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Nikon D3 User's Guide:
Front Controls

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Nikon D3

Front, Nikon D3.

August 2008    Top of D3 Users Guide    D3 Review    More Nikon Reviews

Want free live phone support? In the USA, call (800) NIKON-UX, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Front Dial     top

Used for all sorts of settings. You knew that. It usually changes the aperture setting.

Depth-of-Field Preview Button     top

The preview button lies naturally under your middle finger.

Tap this to stop the diaphragm down to the taking aperture. The viewfinder gets darker, but look carefully and you can see what's in focus or not. This is a legacy feature from film days. Today most people look at the LCD playback.

You can program this button do other things as explained in Custom Functions.

FUNCTION Button     top

The Function (Fn) button lies naturally under your ring finger.

I program this trick button for many different things depending on what I'm doing.

This button is programmed as explained in Custom Functions.

Nikon D3

Upper Front Controls, Nikon D3.

Self Timer Light        top

Blinks when the self timer is counting, but you knew that, too.

Studio Flash Connector        top

Pop open the tethered rubber cover to connect a PC cord from your professional flash system to your D3.

PC stands for Prontor Compur, a popular German shutter back in the 1930s who invented this connector. The PC connector has nothing to do with personal computers.

Idiotic Remote Terminal Connector        top

Pop open the tethered rubber cover to connect one of Nikon's expensive electronic remote controls, like the $55 MC-30 and $130 MC-36.

Since Nikon overprices these, you can buy counterfeits cheap, but honestly, the release you buy today will last you far longer than any digital camera. I still use the one I bought back in the 1990s before the practical DSLR was even invented. These work on just about all motorized Nikon film and digital cameras.

Sorry, but the D3 won't work with the superb pocket-sized $17 ML-L3 wireless cable release, as the cheaper cameras can. Since Nikon knows you're a big spender with the D3, you'll have to buy the clumsy $175 ML-3 wireless release system.

Nikon doesn't bother to thread the shutter release, so you have to buy one of these gizmos instead of a standard $6 cable release on a tripod.

Nikon D3 remote cover

Nikon D3 front lower buttons.

Focus Mode Switch        top

See my complete Guide to Setting the D3's AF System.

Lens Release        top

Push this button and turn the lens to remove it. It locks automatically when you attach and rotate a lens.

Battery Release        top

You also know this: lift it up and and turn to unlock the battery. The battery slides in and out.

You have to pull out the battery to charge it.

You have to twist the lock again when replacing the battery.

Nikon is funny. If you buy a spare battery (not needed, since you get 2,000 ~ 3,000 shots per charge), Nikon sells you only the battery, not the locking cover to which it attaches. People who buy a second battery may also want to buy an extra locking cover, which is the cover with the twist lock you see above.


My D3 User's Guide continues below.

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Thanks for reading!


Back to Top of D3 User's Guide or Top of Nikon D3 Review









          a Autofocus

          b Metering/Exposure

          c Timers/AE&AF Lock

          d Shooting/Display

          e Bracketing/Flash

          f Controls




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