What do you get for six grand these days? Let’s find out..
In use the D3x handles identically to the D3, which is to say exceptionally well. Why mess with a great design? Despite its weight it’s comfortable to use even for extended periods, whether in landscape or portrait orientation. All the key controls are easily accessible. Like the D3, the buttons for Quality, ISO and WB are along the bottom of the back, with their own mini data LCD which sits under the main colour TFT LCD screen.
If you don’t like the positioning of some of the controls, or the way they operate, the D3x enables within the menu a tremendous degree of customisation. You can change the functions of some of the primary buttons and even the direction of rotation of some of the dials, so you can set it up just the way you want it. You can even calibrate the LCD screen colour if required. Of course, you also have complete control over the way that final images look, in terms of colour, sharpness etc.
The 24-70mm f/2.8 supplied for the review, which is the most logical choice of partner to the camera, is a perfect complement in terms of size, weight and build quality, and gives the camera excellent balance. Focusing with this lens, and with Nikon’s AF-S lenses in general, is fast and accurate, as it should be with 51 focus points, though I usually prefer to use a smaller grouping. On the D3x there are numerous options; in single area AF mode you can select any of the 51 points for single point operation or switch to a smaller grouping of 11 points, while in multi-area AF you can select a cluster of nine or 21 points.
Metering is as sure-footed as the focusing, and performed impeccably, with not a single bad exposure during the entire test, despite a wide range of shooting situations.
The D3x uses an EN-EL4a Lithium-Ion battery and Nikon claims you can shoot up to 4,400 frames on a single charge. Certainly the 1000 odd shots I took during the test made barely an impact on the battery charge display. Buy this camera now !