1. A paradigm-shifting camera, the D3 has a new sensor with incredible low-light sensitivity that, with a high-speed shooting rate (nine frames per second) and a new autofocus system that locks on to moving subjects like glue, can make images that were literally impossible to capture before now.
2. Most DSLRs can shoot at up to 3200 ISO. But until now, noise, or digital grain, rendered the images unusable. With the D3, we regularly shot at 6400 ISO and higher, capturing perfectly clean imagessans flashin situations where the camera would previously have stayed in the bag.
3. Photographing action sports is a dream. The D3 can create 64 JPEGs in just over seven seconds. A new, 51-point autofocus tracks moving subjectslike the skiers and mountain bikers we shotusing color information, yielding more tack-sharp images than any other camera we've tested.
4. The full-frame sensor matches the dimensions of 35mm film, so images now reflect a lens's total field of view. More space per pixel means images with amazing detail, realistic color, and low noise. Nikon even designed a super-wide 1424mm zoom (pictured, $1,800) for the D3 body.
5. Dual card slots allow simultaneous recording of RAW and JPEG filesgreat for quick editing. A built-in mike and speaker record and play back voice memos tagged to individual images. Rubber gaskets seal the body against weather, and key buttons are smartly placed.