updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2008
Nikon D3x coming?
Nikon recently released a firmware update for its flagship D3 DSLR, version 1.10, that will enhance its usability as well as resolve some bugs with the old programming. What Nikon didn't account for was someone to go snooping through the code and finding mention of a 6048x4032-pixel, 24.4-megapixel resolution, something the current D3 is not capable of, topping out at 12.1 megapixels. This could only mean a D3x variant, which would effectively feature the second highest megapixel count of the current crop of popular pro-consumer DSLR cameras, falling just short of the rumored 24.8-megapixel Sony Alpha A900 and outdoing Canon's 21.1-megapixel 1Ds-MkIII.
It is believed the firmware was shared with a prototype of the D3x, able to shoot at the higher resolution, and the code was never modified for just the D3. When, rather than if, it officially launches, it is likely the D3x will complement the D3 and not replace it.
Apart from the information it revealed, the firmware update addresses at least 10 aspects of current D3 operation. More options in the on-screen menus include a Vignette Control, and focus point brightness. Otherwise, the Highlights playback mode has moved to its own submenu, an L icon is displayed in the monitor when in LiveView mode, among other detail differences.
Functionally, shutter speed has been increased from 1/250-1s to 1/4000-1s. Issues D3 owners faced involving inaccurate white balance calculations in specific shutter speeds and exposure modes as well as inaccurate aspect ratios when cropping images have been addressed.
While there are no official release dates or prices, the earliest consumers are likely to see a D3x is late this summer or early next year, with prices significantly higher than the current D3's near $5000 price. [via Digital Photography Review Forums]