D3...serious hotness

Workaround for sending MMS messages using your iPhone. The iPhone camera isn't that hot, but sometimes you just want to send a photo to someone on the spot. Being able to send a photo of decent quality to someone instantaneously using whatever you used to snap the photo is one of those things I would have thought would be commonplace by now, but it's not. Some people have camera phones, but the photo quality is terrible. Others have decent phone cameras, but then the recipient can't view the photo in high resolution. Or you have a digital camera that doesn't have wireless access and a keyboard for typing in contacts.

Speaking of cameras, Nikon and Canon continue to pound the living daylights out of each other on the digital SLR cage fight. Canon introduced the EOS 1DS Mark III, with a 21-megapixel full frame sensor. Today, Nikon came back with the D3, with a near full-frame sensor (a first for Nikon in its digital SLR line), but more importantly, a max ISO rating of 25,600, or "64X what was commonly regarded as high-speed film." It shoots up to 9 frames per second with Autofocus tracking and up to 11fps without.

ISO 25,600? Criminy, that thing will see in the dark. 11 fps? HDMI video output? A virtual horizon function which lets you know when the camera is perfectly level? a 920K dot LCD?!

Once you start collecting some lenses by either Nikon or Canon, it's tough to justify switching, and both are close enough in performance that there's no reason to. But I'd been jealous of Canon's full-frame sensors on its digital SLRs. When Canon announced the 21MP 1DS MKIII, I was a bit envious, but the features on the D3 are much more exciting to me than the 21MP's. That ISO setting, if it's actually usable, may mean leaving your flash at home for so many more situations. Even if it relies on some digital voodoo like the D2X required to reach ISO 1600, the D3 has a still impressive 6,400 top end ISO if you don't resort to digital shenanigans.

Also, the Canon 1DS MKIII costs a jaw-dropping $8,000. Yes, it may perform at medium format quality levels, but at that price you could just buy a medium format camera.

Check out the DPReview preview of the D3 which streets in November. Here's Ken Rockwell's preview.

I wet my pants reading about the D3. All I can say is me...want...now. If I get one, I'm going to set it next to my iPhone in the hopes they mate and spawn some of the sexiest gadgets ever.

Also among the Nikon announcements: an AF-S 14-24mm f2.8 lens. I want one of those, too, as Nikon has really been lacking in the wide-angle lens category for its digital SLRs because of the multiplication factor on its previous sensors.