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I'm a professional photographer and purchased a D3 shortly after it was released.
It's definitely the best digital SLR I've ever used. before using this camera, I shot with a Canon EOS 1D mkII.
The D3 has all the speed I could wish for shoiting at 9 frames per second but it's party piece is low light photography. The quality up to 3200 ISO is astonishing.
Focus is accurate and speed is very good if used in conjunction with Nikon's AFS lenses, the flash system is also superb and reliable with it's exposure, however, the camera's light meter does have a tendency to over-expose a lot. I tend to shoot manual due to this.
The battery is another major improvement over previous models, lasting me a full week of jobs.
So, a superb camera and I think the only thing that needs attention is the meter, and a built in sensor cleaner would be a bonus.
Designed with sports photographers and photojournalists in mind, the Nikon D3 introduces an astounding list of brand new features and technologies that make it the most sophisticated and advanced Nikon digital SLR to date. In addition to the new FX-format CMOS sensor, the D3 incorporates Nikon's new EXPEED Image Processing System that is central to the blazing speed and processing power needed for many of the D3's new features.
Images taken with the D3 reflect exceptional overall quality, broad tonal range and depth, along with extremely low-noise throughout its normal ISO range of 200 to 6400. By setting the camera to its built-in options of Lo-1 or Hi-2, the ISO range of the camera can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 100 or ISO 25,600 respectively, offering unmatched versatility in practically any shooting situation.
The D3 also features an entirely new 51-point auto focus system with Nikon's 3D Focus Tracking feature and two new LiveView shooting modes that allow photographers to frame a photograph using the camera's high-resolution LCD monitor. The D3 uses the world's first Scene Recognition System to greatly enhance the accuracy of auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance detection in the camera by recognizing the subject or scene being photographed and applying this information to the calculations for the three functions.
The D3 reflects Nikon's most streamlined, functional and aesthetically pleasing layout in a digital SLR camera, all designed so photographers can take pictures with less fatigue, greater accuracy and comfort.