Why Nikon D3xs?

I received those pictures two days ago and decided not post them online because I did not see any convincing evidence that the pictured camera is a Nikon D3xs - it could be any of the D3-D3x-D3s line with black tape over the logo and model. The story goes, that this person was testing some kind of a lens and when he noticed that he was photographed, he became nervous, turned around (see picture) and immediately changed the lens - see the full story @ photofan (computer translated).


So, why is this online? First to get your attention away from the Nikon D4x concept. This news is now hitting the wires and I have to cover it since it is Nikon rumors related, otherwise I will get dozens of emails about it. Also, take a look at those pictures, maybe you will see something unusual (I couldn't). I know that there was a Nikon D2xs, but what is the D3xs suppose to be (if true)? A 24MP with very high ISO? The D3x will be 2 years old this year and since it appears that there will be no D4 in 2010, we may get another D3 refresh around December (this is an opinion/speculation, not a rumor).

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  • Lobaaaato


    • Banned

      Just a regular 24-70 2.8 lens and a D3? Nothing much to worry about I think.

      • Anonymous

        Nop sorry man but this is not, mut be some sort of tele like the 85 f 1.4 or some like zis….!!

        • It looks like a zoom and does not have any VR switch, just a M/A-M switch…
          I guess it’s just a 24-70…
          Does the D3 support GPS????

    • Lance

      Why is this guy standing in the middle of the road.

      Does it matter that he is standing in front of the Tokyo Apple store… http://tinyurl.com/32x3xwx

      Or, that he is just six blocks from the Nikon house store here… http://tinyurl.com/2eg6acc

      Or, that he is only about six miles from Nikon R&D HQ here… http://tinyurl.com/37w39jv

  • alvix

    seems is having fun…

    • I am just reporting what the author of the pictures wrote on the Japanese forum, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. Don’t kill the messenger 🙂

      • alvix

        hey ! not my intention ..sorry,.,was just commenting on the pic I see here,

      • I find it a bit strange that the forum is Japanese, but the garbled characters interspersed in the English are for Chinese.

        • NOT JAPANESE

          Because It IS Chinese Forum.

      • Anonymous


  • Keith

    I dont know, that looks like a battery pack to me. Couldn’t be a D700x?

    • no, there is no built-in flash – the D700 has a built-in flash.

    • Dr SCSI

      This DEFINITELY looks like a new body. Keith noticed the battery cover, and I can say it is different than that on my D3 for certain. A closer look at the eyelet for the strap looks like a new swivel design too. I would guess the bottom of the body is possibly larger and flatter as well, based on the elongated battery cover. Final thought, why the GPS module?

      • PHB

        I can’t see a new body for a D3 series mid life refresh.

        Mind you, I can’t see why Nikon would badge a prototype at all. Apple had their iPhone 4G in a disguised case. Car companies use camouflage. It would hardly be difficult to take a Dremel to a D3xs logo and take off the ‘s’,

        Reving the D3x only makes sense if the changes made to the D3s and D300s affect the sensor in a major way. The DxO figures suggest that the actual improvement in low light noise is not so spectacular as the ISO boost might suggest. In which case the change could be mostly software enabled by the better CPU that are irrelevant if shooting RAW. – The rules for ISO rating go by the JPEG performance, so increasing CPU and not changing the sensor allows higher ISO to be claimed.

        • The DXO mark ISO score changes are pretty meaningless. They appear to up the score when a camera offers a higher ISO, whether or not it performs well at that ISO.

      • Anonymous

        If the body (and/or lens) is a proto, i’m sure Nikon wants to track ALL possible EXIF data including where te camera is being used. It’s also the Nikon gps unit, so it could simply be testing peripheral accessories on a new body, as well. My guess is, though, that Nikon would require all testers use the gps on prototypes.

  • Anonymous

    The men who stare at goats! Old Jedi mindtrick!

  • Nikon would make a killing if they would just slap a D3s sensor in a D700, add dual card slots like the D300s got, crank up the video to 1080p, and make it loss-less instead of M-JPEG. Even at $3300, a camera like that would be sold out for 6-12 months, for sure. Of course, throw in a D700X with the D3X sensor, and you’ve got a 100% complete, class-leading lineup.

    But who am I to say what Nikon ought to do…

    • Henrik

      loss-less? are you dreaming of 1080p video in RAW? that would need “hyper fast” data processing and memory cards 🙂

      • Stefan Krösbacher

        well, a rumor goes canon will bring some Raw codec in the near future…

      • PHB

        I don’t think an on-camera RAW video codec makes any real sense on a non-dedicated video sensor. Certainly not in this generation where the sensor bandwidth is not high enough to allow all the lines to be read out.

        It would make a lot of sense if Nikon either produced a dedicated 4K video sensor themselves or worked with another company to make one. Even so it would be a long way from being a replacement for Red. You would want features like power zoom for a start and DSLR lenses are not compensated so that the zoom setting remains constant with focusing. Some of that could be addressed in software, but a power zoom would be a precondition.

        Even a RAW codec would need some form of compression. But it could be lossless. Even so, there is no way you would want the storage device on your camera. Commercial cinema uses RAID arrays for video capture to get the necessary bit rates.

        • i’m perfectly aware that current so called raw cameras are mere a hi class compression device. red does it so well that they can store on cf cards since over 2 years… so the refresh rate – as i call it – has to be faster that we get rid of most of the jello (which works well enough in the 3ds and 5d/7d) higher frame rates etc… i don’t think that this will compete with red scarlet ff, or the upcoming pana and sony 4/3rds, but this will be much more affordable.. i would happily pay 3000-3500 dollars for such a camera..
          heck, even if it was decent 1080p 24/24/30 with apple prores codec…
          focussing and zooming will be trouble when handheld, sure, but not on a shoulder rig with follow focus.
          NAB2011 the latest all the manufacturers will have their cards on the table….

          • alex

            nikon applies picture controls on raw video data from the sensor before it gets converted to mjpeg.

            it won’t be that hard to create some sort of raw video format.

    • Lance

      If on your D700S they also dropped the pop-up flash and added a 100% viewfinder it would be nearly perfect. The main reason I upgraded from a D700 to a D3S was to get the 100% finder. To my taste they could also drop the video, but as long as it doesn’t get in the way, I don’t mind as on the D3S. The D700S would be a PJ’s super-machine.

      • Who needs a fucking pop-up flash?

        • Lance

          That’s what I said, drop it, i.e. get rid of it. I was trained to use available light only, nothing else.

        • Greenwood_Geoff

          It can be a nice little option in a pinch, or to trigger slaves

    • jason

      totally agree lance, that way nikon would rule the d-slr market once again and for a long time.
      come nikon listen too the ppl who buy your kit

      • Scott

        I agree that a D700S is the no-brainer easy thing to do. Don’t want a pop-up flash, video and higher ISO, you bet. Video, yes please.

        But, they could surprise us. If they do, it’s not likely going to be announced until August-Sept.

  • Why cant that be a 24-70mm VR lens? that would explain the button on the side and the size of the lens =) if so, they’d beat Canon to this great idea.

    • Anonymous

      You beat me too it. 24-70 VR – the lens I’ve been waiting for.

    • David Hasselblaff

      Because there is no VR ON/OFF switch. Simple as that. Obviously the 85mm f/1.4 won’t have VR.

      • the 24-120mm F/2.8 is also a possibility, perhaps without a VR to cut down on costs? if that would be priced at about $850 to $980 it would be murder on Canon’s 24-105mm F/4 VR lens price.

        • Jim

          A 5 times zoom with constant f2.8 in a reasonable size? Not sure that is possible, but if it is would be an instant hit if the iq is there.

        • PHB

          There is a 24-120 f/3.5-4.5 that Ken Rockwell rates as ‘crap’. But a f/2.8 would have to be even bigger than the beast. I think you meant an f/4?

          It could well be, the size looks remarkably like the 3.5-4.5, maybe a bit bigger as you would expect for a 120 f/4.

          That would make sense, I have not read any review of the 24-120 where the reviewer liked it. Thom is unimpressed by both editions, Rockwell thought the earlier edition better. 24-120 is exactly the focal length that would be essential for a lower price FX format body to make sense.

          Still can’t see a cheap FX body in the near future. I guess that there is a chance of the D700 coming down closer to D300 levels when a higher resolution body becomes available. But given how good DX format is, there is no point in an FX sensor without a first class focusing mechanism, an AF motor and all the other goodies.

          A 24-120 f/4 would also be a perfect lens for a serious DX-er wanting to hedge their bets on moving to FX in the future. Either as a starter lens on a D300s or as an upgrade to the inevitable 18-200. Paired with a 10-24, a good 24-120 on DX would give nearly the same range as the magic three on FX for a lot less money and a lot less weight. Unless you really had a thing for f/2.8 zooms, the $4K saved is better spent on some first class primes anyway.

          Add in whatever the replacement is for the 80-400 on an ‘as needed’ basis, and that is a pretty powerful and almost future-proof set of kit.

    • Take a closer to the photo, there is no VR-Switch on the lens!

  • DBX

    What’s the biggie? Guy with D3-series camera and 24-70/2.8 has put electrical tape over his Nikon logo so as to be a little less obtrusive, and then gotten a bit self conscious when another photographer starts giving him the eyeball. Move on, nothing to see here.

    • Janne303

      +1 on that! Just copy the flickrpic and zoom in and see its just a 24-70…

  • DBX

    And no, the only button on the same of that lens is the standard M/A-M switch for focus. As I say, nothing to see here.

  • alvix

    what a D3XS may have more then the D3x? D3x is hi mpixel camera, so is it possible a little improvement in resolution, say from 24 to 28 ? or like the D300s…it may have just HD/Full HD video more…with same ISO etc…?

    • Dr SCSI

      A D3XS would be a hybrid of both X and S, a compromise of the two best Nikon Pro bodies; higher pixel count and great ISO. So, I would guess an 18MP sensor with ISO capabilities up to 9600. Now that would rock and satisfy all those looking for the body which is better than a D3 for ISO and Pixel count, but yet still give you the ability to crop and use it outside the studio, plus they throw in HD video for fun. The classic “All Arounder”, the “Jack of All Trades, But Master of None”. This way Nikon can still offer a new Pro body at Photokina this fall, and still have a new D4 for the next PMA in the Spring of 2011 or 2012.

      • anonymous

        add 8fps too.

      • Joe

        but is it going to be 8k?

      • alvix

        .but how could be “felt” such a camera by the customers? would they feel “spoiled” of 6 Mp ?..do you think Nikon can justify a regression in Mp from 24 to 18 at this moment , with Canon probably going to 32mp with 1DsMk4 ?..for me the D3 was improved in its strong point, Hi Iso so a D3xs coud be improved in its strong point, resolution..or maybe they’ll throw in a 16 bit AD converter..kinda…”THE FIRST dslr on the market to sport a TRUE 16 bit AD converters” .. ?..

        • Dr SCSI

          Unless there is some kind of major sensor break through, I think we are at the point of diminishing returns with respect to ISO an Pixels. They have reciprocal benefits, increase ISO capability above X and pixel count must go down by Y. Increase pixel count above X and ISO must go down by Y. Again, new technologies may give us some gains, but I haven’t heard of any wiz bang stuff lately. I think 16 bit processing, with possibly dual processors, a 6MP gain (for 18MP total) while maintaining or even boosting ISO by a 1/2 stop vs. the D3 (with video tossed in), might give several PROs who were squeeking out the last shots on their D2H’s and D2X’s, a reason to upgrade. If Canon jumps on 32MP it will probably be an ISO 400 ONLY model.

      • jason

        liking it already

  • Dave B

    I agree with Daniel’s post. It looks like my 24-70 f/2.8. Perhaps it has a VR. I write into Nikon with recommendations (as do probably many of you) and that is one I have been shooting for. I also stated they need a new FX walk-around lens that improves upon the poor optics of the old 24-120 VR. Canon’s 24-105 IS is quite popular. Nikon needs one too. Right now, we have nothing that is VR in the mid range with good optics and that is the most frequently used focal length.

    • Dr SCSI

      @Dave B,
      Reduce the 24-120 focal range, improve the optics, add VR II, ED, N, G, and all the other letters which are needed for a killer zoom. The current 24-120mm 5x zoom is the problem, Nikon should pick up where the 16-35mm zoom left off, but don’t exceed a 3x zoom otherwise IQ suffers; thus a 35-105mm zoom would compliment their new 16-35 very nicely. But since this new fantasy zoom should double for light macro work (1:3) and portraiture, it needs close focusing capabilities (like 25cm/10 inch) and a 9 blade rounded, f/2.8 (or f/2 if feasible) aperature for soft bokeh. Adding the VR II would also improve hand held macro shots as you stop down for DOF. I know a reproduction of 1:3 probably doesn’t meet macro standards, but it would be acceptable (in a pinch) none the less. Finally, let us not forget the 77mm filter thread to round things out.

      • What about a 35mm – 135mm f4?
        Like this, Nikon could make a new serie: 16-35, 35-135, 135-300 all at f/4…
        a 35-135 would be nice for DX too…

        • Dr SCSI

          @Jesus (here in the forum, not the other ONE),

          35-135mm @ f/4 would actually be feasible, again add the VR II and the other alphabet soup needed to make it rock! And a 135-300 f/4 would be very obtainable, affordable, and both of these lenses would ROCK on both FX and DX. On a DX, the 300 would be like shooting 450mm at f/4, a rock solid bird shooter at 10-20 yards depending on the size of the bird. Maybe you need to work for NIKON! 🙂

    • David Hasselblaff

      I think Nikon would be selling quite a few 24-1xx lenses. Personally I would love to see something like a 24-85 1:3.5-5.6 that could go with my 70-300 for going walkabout.

      • Dave B

        all agreed. The basically need more FX glass. Not everyone wants to spend $1700 on each pro zoom. It isn’t always handy to carry a large 2.8 lens on your camera. For FX lenses, we are left with their prime lens lineup, which are good but not versatile. They just spent too much time and energy concentrating on DX equipment. I’m sure the bulk of sales are by consumers buying D90s or less, who don’t require full-frame lenses but let’s not forget about keeping up with the pros and serious amateurs before we jump ship to Canon. I think Nikon is starting to get it. They’re coming out with the 16-35. the new 24 1.4, etc. I might just hold my breath for a new 24(ish) to 120(ish) FX VRII zoom.

      • a 24-85 3,5-5,6?!?
        Is that a joke?

        • Dr SCSI

          +1 Jesus
          It is so much of joke, like the 24-120mm is now. It just ain’t funny.

  • chuck

    new pickup strategy for white boys, put black tape on DSLR and make yourself look important so girls will talk to you

    • Orb

      Looks to me like he may be trying to get them to sign releases.

  • chuck

    Notice how the little lady is grinning after looking at his big thing

    • Anonymous

      You see, size does matter!!!

      • twoomy

        I think they’re just laughing at him because he thinks he’s so cool flapping his thing around in the wind.

        • Gabel

          He’s obviously compensating for something!

  • The invisible man

    Why Nikon (or other camera manufacturers) have to “send” people playing around with new lenses or cameras before puting it on the market ?
    They don’t know for sure if the lens/camera is good ?
    If the “tester guy” says “your new camera/lens sucks” they will stop the production and redo the all thing again ?
    I don’t get it.

    • Dr SCSI

      For the same reason car manufactures mock up their new vehicles and put them on the roads. To test drive them! Nikon needs publicity photos for view on their websites, as their new products are anounced. Also, they get free publicity when sites like this start seeing pictures like the one above! Did you really beleive the new Apple iPhone was “Accidentally” left in a bar? It was placed there intentionally just so Apple wouldn’t have to spend a dime anouncing the new iPhone was coming. Do you get it now? 🙂

      • ArtTwisted

        There is no way to know if it was or was not left in a bar and anyone who knows otherwise would have to be high level apple. As for testing a product, testing something in the lab and testing something out in the real world are two different things and something that the lab guys see as a plus a seasoned pro shooter could find as a problem. Every high end product is tested extensively before release wether thats Nikon, Canon, Hass, Leica, Pentax, Ford, Apple, Microsoft, LG, Panasonic, the list goes on.

        • The visible woman

          So if for example the guy say “to me, the autofocus is not fast enough”, then Nikon will trash all cameras already produced and will desing a new “faster” autofocus sensor to get that guy happy ?
          I agree with the fact that testing a new product/desing is absolutelly necessary but I don’t belive that Nikon wait his new product to be ready for sales to start making sure that they work well by sending some “tourists” testing it all over the world !
          It’s way too late to be able to modify the camera/lens.

        • rg

          than why wud apple lodge a police complaint against gizmodo? author and storm his house, take away all his electronics?

          was that also part of the plan? i say that was bad publicity.

    • They need pros to put them through the paces. Pros get to shoot them, and Nikon get free QA.

      The D700 was in the wild as early as February 2007. I don’t recall any rumors about it. A lot more probably goes on that we know about.

    • Lawliet

      Think of the 1D3-story.
      More intense field testing might have prevented a…less than ideal PR situation.

  • younggun

    i am not impressed by that picture. it looks staged…..if u suspect anything new was there, u should zoom in and shoot the camera instead of shooting the back of a cameraman talking to ladies, so that we could be sure.

    • Shooting on the streets of Japan isn’t like shooting in a studio. We’re lucky he got this shot off. Oftentimes there are so many people milling about, you’ve got but a millisecond to get your shot off before people walk in between you and your target.

      I would imagine that since he bothered taking this photo, the photog himself had an interest in the camera. That being the case, I would assume that he’d do the best he could to get as close as possible. And as posted above, the guy noticed that he was being photographed and turned away.

      Go to Flickr and download the picture if you want to zoom it 😛

  • Kevin

    No if you make cheap cameras Nikon sells no flagship models so get that out of your head and that’s why we see no D700x. The camera in that picture looks very similar to the D3x I have sitting in my hands right now. Not saying this isn’t the same camera but a D3xs makes no sense from a Nikon standpoint. The D3s sales are so bloody strong that it makes one wonder why they would want to hurt those sales unless they want to release a $10,000 beast. I can honestly say though that ISO 3200 is rather usable on a D3x already so I can’t guess why a D3xs would be necessary.

    I’m quite certain the 1Ds Mark IV will be an EQUAL to the D3x. IT’ll be hardly to vastly improve on the camera.

    • Dr SCSI

      Go to the FLICKR website where that pic is posted, look at the largest image, and tell me if the battery cover looks like the one on your D3X in your hands. There is something different here.

      • JorPet

        Not having a D3 anything, I just compared that picture to the 3D rotational picture of the D3s on Nikon’s site. set to the same angle as the picture all of the angles, sizes are identical. Doesn’t mean it isn’t an upgrade, but the external size of the camera and all front controls are identical to a D3s.

        • Kevin

          No it’s just the angle that particular picture is taken at. The battery on my D3x looks very similar when held at that angle. It’s a D3x/D3s/D3 type body. It still could be D3xs. I don’t think Nikon would change the body design especially in the battery area from a cost perspective.

          • Dr SCSI

            +1 “I don’t think Nikon would change the body design especially in the battery area from a cost perspective.”

            I guess the excitement of a new pro body has me seeing things that aren’t really there. 🙁

            I own the D3 now, and can hardly wait until the next version which trumps the D3S for ISO. I love the 6400 ISO capability of my D3, but I can’t justify an upgrade to the D3S for one stop of light. But….when a newer body comes out and gives me a two stop gain, it will be like getting all new glass again. 🙂

  • Supermac

    what about a D3inxs,
    that would be a beautiful girl

    • The visible woman

      “beautifull girl” are you talking about me ?

  • dave


    some one tell me what that gold symbol is close to the hood look closely VR?

    • Anonymous

      I also checked the details, and that gold blob close to the hood strikes me as different, but it is not aligned to the center of the lens, as a VR badge would be. Maybe it’s just some sticker, like an NPS sticker…

  • t-bone

    Will second that it looks like a 24-70, as far as the paperwork goes he’s presenting them, I’d guess that some sort of release. It’s a bit odd though that he taped up the camera but left all the Nikon mentions on the strap. If I’m doing anything that would make me tape up the Nikon I’m also using a plain black strap or taping up the Nikon on the strap when I was using the stock straps.

  • longtimenikonshooter

    I am going to tape my cameras and lenses walking down Madison Ave.

  • Kevin

    I think people think it just makes them look cool when there camera is taped up or something. I see people doing that all the time. Half the time I figure it’s more the fact they are ashamed of what they are shooting with or something.

    • longtimenikonshooter

      I have never taped my FM2 and maybe I will start to do that.

    • I have the Nikon name and D700 blacked out on my D700. I’ve got no need to advertise what it is. Does it make me a better photographer if I show off which model of camera I’m shooting?

      • baked toast

        will it make u a worse photographer if u show that off?

        • No, but it makes it that much less of a target for theft. I’ve been the victim of theft before and if I can minimize the chances of that happening again, then I will do so.

          • Anonymous

            If it makes you feel better, go for it. I can’t imagine a potential thief could possibly care less whether the big camera and lens dangling from your neck or shoulder is a Canon, Nikon, Sony, or whatever – all the thief sees is an object he can sell. Tape all you want, but realistically you nor your camera are any safer.

          • Understand that point *if I’m alone.* But if a thief is scoping out you and your buddies, which camera is the thief going to aim for given the choice? Of course it’s going to boil down to chance as well. If I lay mine down and Bright Nikon Strap Man holds on to his, mine’s going to get nicked. But given an equal opportunity type situation, I’ll take any additional odds that I can get.

            Some people feel the same way about seat belts. Personally, I’ll use them and hope that it helps more than harms me.

      • I Am Nikon

        and you also taped the D700 logo on the strap or used another strap right ?

        damn for now on I will also tape the D300 logo on my Nikon so I can be a good photographer like you bud. 😀

        • I use a non-Nikon strap. Besides being obnoxiously loud (color-wise), the stock strap is horribly uncomfortable, IMO. So two birds killed w/ one stone there.

          If you think taping up your D300 will make you a better photog, then go for it. I never intimated as such.

    • PHB

      Or they do it because they don’t want to get mugged for their expensive camera gear.

      First thing I did when I went to NYC was buy a less conspicuous strap for my D300.

    • Jay

      You’ve never shot in the developing world have you?
      Thiefs will notice a canon or nikon brandname and steal your camera on that basis, not on the basis of how large or how many MP is has.
      Thus you tape any brandnames on the camera.

      • Doesn’t even have to be in the developing world. Guy that bought my 18-200 from me had his nicked out of his car.

        I feel fairly safe here in Japan, but even so I’m not so dense as to think that theft doesn’t occur here. And if I was in the US, I’d be even more wary as I know there are plenty of hooligans with sticky fingers there.

  • Nash

    I analysed the image…
    Ran it through Genuine fractals.. enlarged it..
    Its a D3s or a D3x.. No flash.. same design as the D3s & 3x.
    The guys strap says NPS.. which is Nikon Professional Services. So he might work for N. There is no reason for him to carry around a D3x all taped up.. cause its been out for a while… but since D3s just came out recently.. he might just have taken the protoype/before release body for a spin..
    The battery grip MBD 10, has a square face… and this one has a triangular shape.. so this is not a battery grip… Its what the Grip on the D3s and D3x looks like..

    The Lens is a 24-70 2.8G… zoomed to 60mm

    • Good point – why cover-up the body with black tape and at the same time carry this screaming NPS strap?

      • King Of Swaziland

        I see a lot of cameras running around taped up, presumably to not draw attention for thieves (as if a thief won’t know that a giant camera is worth money). From pros all over, I see logos taped over, with model numbers showing, wildly obsolete models taped up (journo with a D1H running around taped up), taped up cameras with pro straps, people love taping up their cameras for some stupid reason (logos, not functional tapeings), even when they aren’t testing gear for Nikon.

        • Anonymous

          Its for TV you LALA land ,you got some over here??????

      • “why cover-up the body with black tape and at the same time carry this screaming NPS strap?”

        Very good point. But perhaps there are functions that will let you in if they see that you’re a professional shooter. Doesn’t seem like that’d fly, but… figured I’d hazard a guess.

        • fork()

          Everyone recognizes a “Nikon” mark, but only we photographers know about NPS. Having an NPS strap makes sense, as you said, when he needs access to some place otherwise off-limits.

    • Dr SCSI

      The NPS strap is just that a strap, woopie. It is probably free stuff when you become a member of NPS, like many photogs do. http://www.nikonpro.com/AboutNPS.aspx
      As for taping up the body, many pros tape up the bodies of their camera so the masses don’t ask them, “Is that a Nikon”, just to spark up conversation. “Of course the bloody thing is a Nikon, that’s what those bold white letters say on the front of the friggin’ thing. Now go away!”
      Let us not forget, many events have STRICT rules which prohibit wearing ANY advertising; can you say Olympics, NFL, NHL, NBA, etc. The pros just tape up their bodies and forget about it. Although it is a very good rumor and it attracted a lot of attention, I must admit that I am disapointed that their is nothing more to it. 🙁

      I can only hope it is a D3XS in the tried and true D3 body, and this guy does work for Nikon, and he is field testing the hottest new camera from Nikon. Now, nobody pop my bubble. 🙂

  • This picture (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pentakon/4611842964/sizes/o/) is also taken with a D3. Maybe the flickr-User PENTAKON can give us a good 100% crop to disclose the secret!? 🙂

  • Anonymous

    What is that device mounted in his hotshoe that is connected to the camera? GPS?

  • Anonymous

    has there ever been a test camera that was disguised with black tape? why couldn’t nikon just make a test body?

    also as earlier mentioned yes they do this with cars but the cars are covered when in public… if this camera looks so different than covering a logo is going to do very little… I dunno!???!?!!

    • Orb

      Because, at some point a manufacturer has to do real world testing of the model as released to the consumer.
      Doing anything more than casual camoflage would actually attract more attention.

  • Conan

    機身型號以黑膠帶 貼起來了,不過從外型看來應該是D3Xs.

    I saw a pro testing a new camera in Ginza(Tokyo) today.
    The model of the cemera was covered by black tape, but it seems like a D3Xs from its shape.

    I’m a native chinese speaker~U guys can help me check if my translation works for u guys

    It’s hard for his NPS strap not to get attention from others

    A D3 without the model name on it


    After this buddy saw that I was looking at his D3XS(?), he turned around quickly to change his original lens to 24-70G. So he might be testing a new lens, or coincidentally, he just wanted to change the lens?

    • Perfect translation 😀

    • thanks for the translation, now at least we know where the name D3xs came from

    • The thing is, how did the Chinese know that “it seems like a D3Xs”? Maybe they know something.

      • Conan

        I guess he just made the assumption that Nikon was going to have D3XS~He didnt indicate that Nikon would have D3XS ~~He just said a unmarked D3~~i doubt this guy knows something about D3xs~it’s posted in a Chinese forum, but these chinese are currently living in Japan~~it’s a little bit weird ~(u know~chinese are now almost everywhere~tokyo got 140,000 Chinese citizens living there in 2009, not cluding ones who have already obtained Japanese nationality.And they have created many local forums~I believe this is one of them )

  • Anonymous
  • Kevin

    The odds of it being a D3xs I would have to say are very SLIM.

    1. Consider the 24mp sensor was manufactured by Sony. Would nikon go out of their way to make their own 24mp sensor just to sell a D3xs. In all practicality I don’t think any improvements over the current D3x would warrant the new price tag which would likely be in the $8499 price range.

    2. If anything this would be more likely a D4 and not a D3xs.

    I don’t think it’s going to be any surprise that a D4 is due to out early next year or even being announced late this year. It’s in the right period of time for this to make sense.

    It would also go to say that a D800/D900 is likely being field tested as well. I’d honestly think the D4 and D800 option are a lot more realistic.

    In all reality I really couldn’t give a crap as I’ve told Nikon Canada I won’t buy a new Camera body until they stop making replacement parts for the D3s and D3x. Seriously what more do most pro’s need.

    • Dr SCSI

      “Seriously what more do most pro’s need” – More pixels than 12MP and better ISO than 1600, thus the D3Xs should be born. I would take 6MP MORE over the current 12MP from my D3, “IF” it had ISO that would equal or top the D3S, did HD video, new micro-processor, better AF engine (faster and more accurate), built in GPS and WiFi, and still shot 9 FPS. Price Point: Somewhere between $5200-$7500.

  • Phillip

    I am not an electrical engineer, but I assume it would be difficult for Nikon to make as dramatic an improvement in image quality in a D3x -> D3xs upgrade as the D3->D3s. Nikon designed the sensors for the D3 and D3s, while the sensor in the D3x is derived from a Sony design.

    There’s presumably ergonomic and minor functionality improvements they could make, plus the addition of video, but it would seem extraordinary if they’ve developed and tested their own new high-resolution sensor and image processing pipeline for roll-out mid-generation. It’s not impossible, and I’m sure they’d like a newer sensor that’s designed for 14-bit RAW shooting, but I think would it would be even more of a surprise than the D3s sensor.

    • Dr SCSI

      “while the sensor in the D3x is derived from a Sony design” – the sensor in the D3X is a Nikon design, FABRICATED on Sony lithography equipment.

  • edward nafzger

    Thanks admin for this rumour today is my birthday

  • Rafael

    thats one nice strap..


    photofan.jp is a Chinese website, you should set google translate from Chinese, not from japanese.

    • I changed it – the domain name is .jp and I automatically translated it from Japanese.

  • Pat

    A D3Xs is entirely possible. It doesn’t even need to have much change.

    D2X -> D2Xs had very little change either. Basically just a mid life minor upgrade.

  • This is really a great camera for a professional.

  • disco

    forget the cam, where can i get that strap?

  • f-stop

    dam Nikon loves to play games…if they didnt want anyone to see their stuff we wouldn’t…lol..lol..

    • Anonymous

      there is no stuff ,Its just a new Lens and maybe D4 for photokina anouncement out 2 month later november like December for Xmas ,Nikon screwed us I m buying a 7D for summer and the new 5Dmrk III when it comes out , I ll be back to Nikon next year ,they lost this Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Fvncjvkh;l: them!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        …because Its all about geting the best Camera in the market for the lowest price possible ,Canon with the noise nd the underquality of their colors still have the definition ,the video and the Price!!!!!! I don’t pay Nikon like for Glory I want the best evry year and Canon is the best this Year, so Nikon is not going to get my money ,especially to invest it in China after slavin the Thai!!!!Canon just won the chess game,Nikon developpers are so stupid!!!!!!
        All they had to do was put a fuckkkkkken D3X in a D700 body put their fjknbvchx up HD moovie mode at a price under 2 000 $ ,et voila ,but they decided to be greeeeeeeeedy so much that they just lost allm credibility on the pro market for young photographer so I m keeping my Nikon adding some Canon for Video and landscape and I don’t care about beeing with one brand or another ,I always had tonz o lens and camera of difrent brands ,Its not like changing wife or religion,wich most people say they respect it and go for cheeding in a second …….take care to evrybody admin included!!! We are photographer not buyers thank you!!

  • jeffh

    ridiculous. the original poster in japanese was not making any claims nor can substantiate it. the guy in the photo is simply a touristy looking gaijin photog dressed in sandals asking for directions in middle of ginza from two girls. teems of people at that time of the day. as with normal practice, pros who shoot street have the front taped off to distract attention. don’t think it all worth all the commotion. besides, if the poster had similar cameras and if it looked interesting, why not go up to the photog and ask some simple questions? why the shyness? he should go give directions and get us a scoop instead of a snoop and silly rumor. those NPS straps are dime a dozen.

    • Conan

      Firstly, the original poster was posting this in CHINESE rather than JAPANESE~

      Secondly,the original poster are living in Japan~there is a little bit cultural difference~I know that photographer looks like a western guy~but Japan is a place where u should not make a single call on the train~~u got what I meant? they are shyer than americans in public~

      Thirdly, even if that is really a D3XS, the pro gotta keep it in secret~he wont talk anything about it~otherwise, it’s most likely he’s gonna be fired~

      • Not sure what the cultural part has to do with anything. He doesn’t look very Japanese to me 😉 And it being rude to call on the train really has nothing to do w/ this situation (and for the record, I’ve experienced plenty of Japanese people blathering away on trains – mostly on the Shinkansen).

        I think Jeffh’s pretty spot on. I just think the guy’s a photog having two gals sign model releases. Nothing to see here.

  • Chris P

    If it was the camera that he was nervous about why would he leave that on his shouulder to be photographed. Having read the direct Chinese translation It clearly states that when he saw he was being photographed he immediately “changed the lens for the 24-70”. Therefore he was doing a series of ‘field’ test shots with a new lens and, from the fact that he was talking to a couple of people, it could well be a medium zoom suitable for people photography; like a replacement 24-120 3.5/5.6 or, what would be my ideal lens, a 28/35-105 f4.

  • Lance

    The battery cover shown is from a D3 or D3X. The D3S cover has a much wider latch. Of course the covers are interchangeable so that doesn’t help much. Nikon didn’t even change the part number (BL-4) for the larger latch, which makes it difficult to order spares.

  • SNRatio

    It’s clear from the behavior of the shooter that the lens is the most important novelty here. And it is probably the expected new normal zoom – but could also be something like 135/2 AF-S VR, or a 50-150/2.8..

    As already mentioned here, D3Xs doesn’t have to be much of an upgrade from the D3X, remember D2Xs.

  • Jo

    I guess if a weirdo started to take picture of me and my +$6K of gear in the middle of the street, I would also hide my gear, look suspicious and leave …

  • mats

    It’s nothing…

  • xyz

    I become slowly, but surely, a professionnal waiting machine….
    WHEN a D700x ??? (no matter on video, even with no video)

    If I had no Nikon lenses (stupidly bought FF lenses to mount on my old D80 waiting), my camera would be now Canon 5d….

    • mark

      why cant you sell your lenses and switch?

      • xyz

        half lazy, half sentimental, half stingy… but I will treat me!

  • StevenPhotoItaly

    It’s not a D3Xs but a D3H. I’m testing it as well at the moment, you should more about it within the next four months.

    That’s all i can say so far.


    • Conan

      r u kidding us?
      Is today Fools’ Day?~~~

      • Everyday is Fools’ Day around here 😉

  • Anonymous

    There is no evidance at all except the guy who took the picture. the camera and lens looks like d3s+24-70. 24-70is not a vr version so it is old 24-70. I think this one is a hoax.

  • D3xs will be a D3x with 720p MotionJPG video and a newer processor. That is all.

  • kabuki

    this strap NPS is only nps members.. in japan
    nps members can change strap “NPS” logo black strap.

  • Nash

    The rumor about the D3H seems logical.. as there have been a D1H, and a D2H in the past…. But there have been many rumors flying around about D3H…for a while now.. We heard that the new camera will be a 24MP camera… but was either a D3H or a D3s… It came out as D3x… So D3s, and x are already out… so i guess D3H is next… Stephen Photo said 4 months… so obviously there will be an announcement in about 4 months.. Logically speaking.. it should be a D4. we already have the D3s/x.. how many D3 bodies do they want??? Unless…. they have decided to introduce a D3x with a Low noise sensor + video and that too at Full HD 1080p.

    Oh well.. im just speculating.. could be anything… N is pretty good at keeping things under the lid… .. better than Apple 🙂

    Could someone please steal the next Nikon pro dody and sell it to Gizmodo?? ;)… ok im just kidding.. dont…. stealing is bad…

  • Anonymous
  • You ask why Nikon would do a D3sx, but the real question is why would they NOT do one? They’ve clearly established a pattern where they want to keep their pro platform up-to-date as much as possible.

    Those of us who have a D3, D3s, and D3x body know that the menus are subtly different on each. Nikon really wants to conform the firmware between the models if they can, but sometimes changes internally keep them from doing something. The EXPEED processor, for instance, certainly has had an update since the D3x was designed. Moreover, the controls need to be conformed on the D3x (LV button, dedicated INFO button).

    While those don’t seem like big things, reducing parts differences and functional differences have advantages to Nikon’s efficiency and removes cost. Moreover it sends a signal to the pro ranks that Nikon will keep their top cameras as current and the same as possible. All good things.

    Of course, the real question is the sensor. It seems clear that the pro models now need video. Even though I personally don’t get excited by it, there are just too many DSLRs doing video now, and it’s become one of those “marketing check boxes.” For Nikon, it’s also a time where they need to show they can do something other than 720P/24.

    The question is whether Nikon would spend the time to do that to the 24mp Sony sensor. I could see them doing that if they also introduced a D700x/D900 body with the same sensor. I can’t see them doing it for just a D3xs. Too much R&D and testing for a single low volume model.

    No, I’ll bet we have a D3xs before the end of the year. It may not be very different than the current camera, but it’ll continue Nikon’s history of tweaking to remain as current as possible.

    • I_want_a_D700X

      Even if Nikon decides to put in HD video on the 24MP sensor, I very much doubt the smaller body version would show up first in a D700X or D900. If D3X shows up by fall 2010, the 1/2 year lag would see the D700X/D900 in summer of 2011, which is too close to the D4 launch.

      If Nikon does have a D700X, for some reason I wonder if we would see a simulaneous launch of 24MP/1080p D700X and 12MP/720p D700S in one shot this summer. Nikon marketing might not be good at a launch like this, but it is gonna to rock the advanced (or should I say rich) amateur market. The shock wave from such a launch would be awesome.

    • Hom Thogan

      Getting really fed up of these imposters…..

  • SNRatio

    Thom H:
    “The question is whether Nikon would spend the time to do that to the 24mp Sony sensor. I could see them doing that if they also introduced a D700x/D900 body with the same sensor. I can’t see them doing it for just a D3xs. Too much R&D and testing for a single low volume model. ”

    My guess is that Nikon has already implicitly answered this, in the negative: If they intended to introduce another body based on a variant of the current D3X sensor, it should have been out by now. Now, if Nikon has lately been able and willing to do something similar to the D3X sensor as they did to the D3 sensor, things would be a bit different. But I doubt they would, even if they could. They can’t start with a big handicap if they are to be competitive in video, and the D3X sensor looks too much like that.

    If Nikon has another relatively high-res body with adequate video, I can’t see the lack of video being very much of a problem for D3Xs. But if they don’t come up with something like that, something is clearly lacking in their toolkit.

    • Well, that would be my guess, too. I suspect that we’ll see Nikon push a new sensor of their own for any new pro body.

      I was struck by something when Sony discontinued the A900: Sony can’t afford to do an FX sensor with their own volume. The A850 and A900 really don’t see enough to support a sensor on their own. So, if Nikon were to move to something of their own, Sony’s FX sensor experiment is done. Indeed, it may have been a “well Nikon is subsidizing a high rez sensor, we might as well capitalize on it” approach that generated the A850/A900 in the first place.

      The problem I have with following that logic train is this:
      A. I don’t think Nikon would do 24mp.
      B. Next year’s D4 will certainly be >12mp <24mp.


      C. There won't be a D3xs.
      D. A D900 would be a new top of the line sensor in a body that isn't top of the line.


      E. We'll get a D700s. ;~)

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