D3x medium vs D3 large

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by larry_pao, May 12, 2009.

  1. I usually stick with my D3 for events and shoot jpeg fine most of the time. I have one coming up this weekend and would like to use the D3x instead. However, I don't want to deal with overly large files so I am considering using "medium" size files on the D3x instead of the usual large size I use with a D3.
    Q uestion: Would a medium size image (4544 x 3022) from the D3x look better than a large size image (4256 x 2832) on a D3?
     
  2. bmm

    bmm

    Question back - why on earth would you operate such fine camera models but then not shoot in RAW so as to get the best out of them?
     
  3. i am also confused why you would want to lug the d3x if you dont want big files. seems like you want your d3 then, right. explain your situation a little more clearly. as to a comparison of large d3 vs med d3x, take some photos and show your comparison here. not too many others will have bith of these cameras
     
  4. Obviously you have both camera's, so click, click upload files, look at the monitor and you have the answer.
     
  5. Hi, I would check out a guy called Johnricard on f l i c k r. If not mistaken he has a d3 and d3x. I know there are also a few formus dedicated just to d3/d3x owners
    good luck
     
  6. I checked this thread earlier this afternoon and I was puzzuled about it. Now I see it is not only me. My 2 questions are
    1- Why would buy such a camera to shoot JPG?
    2- I am not a pro but to me the only reason to buy a D3x is just because of the large files..... if you don't want those large files, what was your reason to buy it?
    Please don't take it personal, I am just really curious! good luck!
     
  7. If you have both cameras then you can do a test and see what you prefer. I don't know why everyone always feels a need to question why someone would shoot JPG. A D3 is still a D3 handles like a D3 and performs like a D3 and has the viewfinder of a D3 even if a person chooses to shoot JPG. Lots of people managed to shoot slide film in the past when they could have shot print film instead and many bought F5s and F6s when they could shoot the exact same film with an F50 or F60.
     
  8. Nikon picture controls give the photographer a lot of flexibility to get superb JPGs. If a photographer has the picture controls set exactly where he/she is happy with them, does he/she really need to shoot RAW?
    "Would a medium size image (4544 x 3022) from the D3x look better than a large size image (4256 x 2832) on a D3?" It depends on what you are shooting. The increased color and dynamic range of D3X will give you better results in some or perhaps most shooting situations, especially those with difficult lighting.
    René, I believe the main reason to invest in a D3X is because you want larger dynamic and color range, not necessarily huge files. If someone is printing 8 x 10s or smaller, 6mp is more than adequate. All things being equal (except for MP), a 100mp camera will produce an identical 8 x 10 as compared to a 6mp camera.
     
  9. For event photography jpeg shooting is just fine, as long as your happy with your technique. imho
     
  10. I have not seen that the D3x offers better dynamic range than the D3, actually the D3 should have a slight advantage.
    I suspect that in camera downsampling of D3x images to jpg images similar to the file size of D3 files can only result in equal or inverior images than obtained by the D3. The only (theoretical) advantage I could see is perhaps better moire suppression. It would be a good test of the D3x image processor ^^.
    Larry you may be the first to demonstate this. Please post in case you do.
     
  11. Walter, the dynamic range of the D3X has been documented and is higher than that of the D3 and most other DSLR cameras for that matter.
     
  12. According to dxomark.com, dynamic range (DR) of D3X is wider at ISO100 than D3 at ISO200. At ISO200, both has the same DR and at ISO400 and higher, D3 has wider DR.
    According to dpreview.com, D3 has slightly more DR than D3X.
    D3 is less noisier than D3X in any situation, which is of no surprise.
     
  13. OR... you could shoot the really big files on the D3X (if you're shooting tons of big files, I definitely can see an advantage to shooting JPEG, if you have everything just right in-camera... I do it all the time), then batch process them to the res you need, edit THOSE files, and then you can go back to the bigger files if you want to re-crop or something...
     
  14. Akira, thanks for pointing that out. I stand corrected. I had never checked the DR at the various ISOs. I guess my initial response is invalid unless shooting at ISO 100. And I guess René you are correct as well (unless shooting at ISO 100). In fact, according to the DXOMark site, the D3 is superior to the D3X in almost all measured results except at ISO 100. And of course the 24mp file you get. I guess the D3 isn't that bad after all! :)
    I guess unless the OP is shooting at ISO 100, he would be better off with the D3. Go figure!
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I just spent three weeks testing a D3X and I did a lot of comparison against my D700 and also a freind's D3. It should surprise no one that the D3X has noiser shadows. And if you want to take full advantage of the D3X's 14 bits, it becomes a slow 1.8 frames/sec, which can be very annoying.
    If we are talking about events such as weddings and parties, there is no point to use the D3X. Despite that Nikon gives you their highest build quality and faster AF, the D3X is intended to be a studio and still-subject camera. To take full advantage of its 24MP, you need to set the D3X on a tripod, shoot at its base ISO 100, use the best lenses and in their optimal apertures. For parties and events, the D3 is the better camera, especially at higher ISOs.
     
  16. Shun,
    Why would someone not want to use the D3X at a wedding or event? We used a large bulky Mamiya RZ67 medium format camera for all portraits, individual and group, which was always used on a tripod with external lights. The D3X is high quality enough (at least it seems to be) to replace a medium format camera shooting color neg film. Some of our clients wanted 24x36 inch prints and the D3X would scale nicely to that size.
    If you're talking about candid photos, even the the D3X would be a good one to use with on camera flash. We shot Fuji NPH 400 color neg film (exposed at ISO 250) on F100's with on camera SB-28 flashes, the D3X would be ideal in this situation too.
    I was pretty surprised how good the D3X performed at high ISOs. It certainly looked better than the D200 I currently use, which is pretty bad above 800.
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dave, I don't know what type of wedding clients you have. People may want one 24x36 studio type portrait. Otherwise, how much wall space do you have at home for 24x36 prints? Over at the Wedding Forum, most wedding photographers provide no more than 8x10 that go into an album.

    As I said, I did a lot of studies between the D3X and D3/D700. Even for 24x36 prints, you need to look at them at an unusually close distance like from a foot or two to see the difference in fine details, such as some landscape shots. The difference is certainly obvious when you look closely. However, from a more typical viewing distance for 24x36, it is very difficult to tell them apart. In particular, for wedding type images, you don't necessarily want all the fine details and sharpness to reveal all the flaws on people's faces.
     
  18. There has been some misunderstanding of my post and for that I will take full responsibility. Allow me give it another shot.

    I've been shooting jpeg fine on the D3 for most of my events. I experimented early on with shooting raw for events and found that the extra effort and size not worth the time considering hundreds of shots are usually the norm for any significant event. In a word, the D3 performed admirably and my clients did't need any higher resolution than what I provided.
    I bought my D3x for studio and landscape work, but lately it's been events, events and more events. So after three events in a row using the D3, I started to wonder if with event photography, the D3x might do just as well of a job if not better than a D3, especially if I can keep the files more manageable. What do I mean by "a better job?" Well IQ for one. What about noise, especially as the evening wanes into semi darkness. Other factors that can affect results might include hand shake and speed.
    Hence the original question posted: Would a "medium size" image (4544 x 3022) from the D3x look better than a "large size image" (4256 x 2832) on a D3?"
    So far I think Shun has answered with the best understanding of the original question. Thanks!
     
  19. The D3X is high quality enough (at least it seems to be) to replace a medium format camera shooting color neg film. Some of our clients wanted 24x36 inch prints and the D3X would scale nicely to that size.
    You will need a tripod and good technique to get sharpness approaching medium format out of a D3x, or for that matter, medium format quality from a medium format camera. If I was required to produce a 24x36 inch print for any purpose (other than a theatrical poster), I would use a 4x5 camera, or no less than an Hasselblad (or RZ, if I had one).
    Speed of operation, card capacity and low noise at high ISO make the D3 much better suited than the D3x for events and weddings.
     
  20. What Dave Lee said has some merit. As long as you have a D3x available, why not bring it along to the event as a backup and for when the client might want you to pull a "studio" portrait or two out of your hat. For the walkaround and bulk of the event use the D3 as suggested by Shun, Edward and others.
    But again, just thinking IQ, which would yield better quality shots setting aside all real world limitations. (ISO, handshake, speed)
     
  21. "What do I mean by "a better job?" Well IQ for one. What about noise, especially as the evening wanes into semi darkness. Other factors that can affect results might include hand shake and speed."
    i have a d90, so i don't have direct knowledge of this; but from what i understand, the d3 has far better noise control from its larger pixel sites, as i understand it. so if you are worried about declining light, the D3 is the obvious choice, right? In fact, the base ISO of the d3x only goes to 1600, expanded to 6400. The D3 expands up to 25600. Of course the highest aren't usable, but you can pull great monochrome out of high iso shots and the D3 is usable up to 6400 in color, right?
    then you say other factors can affect the IQ like hand shake and speed. I have no idea what you are talking about between a d3x and a d3; i understand hand shake but don't see how it might differ between the d3 and d3x. I don't know what you mean by speed; frame rates? then the d3 should be the body you turn to right? But maybe the d3 and d3x shoot at the same frame rate when shooting 8bit jpegs. it just seems that the d3 is the tool for the job, but the d3x may work as well with some compromise.
    Spoke about the original question of quality differences between the medium size jpeg on the d3x and the large size on d3. But you seem to be the only person equipped to answer that question. No one has answered this question; Shun spoke about the reasonable question of comparing the larger printed sizes of the results from the D3x, d3 and d700 (at what i'm assuming to be processed raw files and not sized jpegs) and the noiser aspects of the smaller pixel pitch of the d3x. Others spoke about dynamic range, raw purists, etc. But you question remains unanswered. put those cameras on a tripod and take a picture. Switch the bodies and take the same picture. Let us know what you find.
     
  22. "between a d3x and a d3; i understand hand shake but don't see how it might differ between the d3 and d3x."
    The D3x is more prone to motion blur due to its pixel count.
    "put those cameras on a tripod and take a picture. Switch the bodies and take the same picture. Let us know what you find."
    Whatever I find with that test is somewhat limiting if other considerations are not factored in, like real world event shooting, which does not allow for trekking a tripod along unless doing a formal portrait. I wanted to see if anyone might be able to comment based on their own knowledge or experience.
     
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Larry, two months ago you asked whether you should get the D3X or the D3 with the 24-70: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00SnwN
    Now it seems like you have bought both cameras?? I wonder what was your objective for getting the D3X. Since you own both, you should be quite familiar with their pros and cons.
     
  24. D3 may have better noise control, but it also has less resolution. I loved my D700 but wanted more resolution (I'm a pixel peeper by profession), and would take it in trade for a little more noise. Look at the test results on dpreview for the D3x, you'll be surprised how well it handles higher ISOs, I know it did so a lot better than I expected! I think it's about the same performance as the D300. I can't wait until the day when I can afford a camera like the D3x (but hopefully in a smaller size).
     
  25. Shun, Prior to the D3 and D3x I owned a D300 and D700. Because of a windfall in the form of selling all my Hasselblad film equipment I was able to consider the ideal situation for my work, which is to have the D3 (for travel, events, action) and the D3x (Studio and landscape,) so I sold both the D700 and D300. Why did I trade in my D700 if the performance is identical to the D3? Well, I really like the dual card slots and the 100% viewfinder of the D3 and I like being able to familiarize myself with essentially the same camera body.
    Sure I know the pros and cons of the two cameras, but what does that have to do with my question? Why is it that D3x owners seem to have to justify their purchase? People seem to be a bit hostile with D3x owners. It's like, how dare you own a D3x if you can't fully appreciate it? Why the hostility? Can we just stick to the point of the original question?
     
  26. the motion blur from higher pixel count seems plausible. would it be just too cumbersome to strap both cameras around your neck with two different lenses (maybe the 24-70 and an 85 on one or if the weight doesn't prohibit, although i bet it would a 70-200). take both out and shoot them in real world conditions at this coming event. setup some good profiles and set the resolution sizes that you've been talking about and shoot the two cameras. i suppose that we can argue all we want, from paper, that one camera will do better than the other. but that doesn't necessarily dictate the way things will play out. It seems we have a consensus that the d3 is the better choice, but it's certainly possible that the d3x comes out shining like a star. hang both on your neck and enjoy your equipment and see which works out better.
     
  27. Dan, good suggestion. Instead of a real live paying event however, I will shoot a local street fair tomorrow to see what I can come up with. Thanks!
     
  28. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Larry, you certainly do not need to justify your purchase to me. However, you already know the answer to your own question:
    I was able to consider the ideal situation for my work, which is to have the D3 (for travel, events, action) and the D3x (Studio and landscape,​
    The D3 is a much better event camera than the D3X, which is designed to be a studio and still-subject camera as I pointed out earlier. Since you already have the D3, I don't see the point to bother with the D3X for event photography. In particular, when you shoot JPEG medium, you further throw away any remaining advantage from the D3X.
     
  29. As a D80/D40x owner I would love to have Larry's troubles. It would be great to tell my wife that I am depressed because I can't choose between my D3X and my D3 *grin*
    (just kidding Larry)
     
  30. "The D3 is a much better event camera than the D3X, which is designed to be a studio and still-subject camera as I pointed out earlier. Since you already have the D3, I don't see the point to bother with the D3X for event photography. In particular, when you shoot JPEG medium, you further throw away any remaining advantage from the D3X."
    Shun, that's the answer I was trying to confirm. Of course its not much of a stretch to see that jpeg fine IQ on a D3x will exceed that of a D3, but twice the file size is a problem, especially for event photography. I thought for some reason that if jpeg medium could match or better IQ of jpeg fine on a D3 at about the same size, it gives the D3x one more reason to be. Do I sound like I am trying to justify the purchase of the D3x? Perhaps a bit since lately the D3x is sitting in my bag 75% of the time. Yes it blows me away on landscape and studio shoots but darn, I want to test its mettle in other areas too!
     
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Larry, as I said earlier, I was trying to see whether you already know the answer to your own question. Clearly you do. If you were looking for confirmation, you certainly get it from me.
    As I pointed out earlier, we have a D3X on loan from Nikon USA and I spent the last three weeks preparing for photo.net's D3X review, and I did a lot of comparisons under various conditions. As a friend of mine points out (he also owns both), they are quite different cameras that serve different purposes, although from the outside they look and feel very similar.
     
  32. It's like, how dare you own a D3x if you can't fully appreciate it? Why the hostility? Can we just stick to the point of the original question?​
    That's funny, I've seen Leica owners asking the same question.

    Anyways, I am sure that there are very few people here who own both a D3 and D3X. So maybe the sentiment is that if the OP is fortunate to have these two very nice cameras, that he should do his own comparisons. ...I don't know, its just a thought. I don't see how difficult it would be to setup a tripod and snap a few pics with each, then compare.

    Good luck with your event shooting Larry. I hope that which ever camera you take that you get wonderful photos.
     
  33. D3 is for best for sports and speed. D3x is for studio, portraits and landscape etc. Even the D300 is faster than the D3x in frame rate and can save a large fine jpeg almost as good (4288x2848). D300 is A$1600 on ebay vs A$12500 (d3x). No brainer. Its the biggest swindle ever.
     
  34. I guess the point being made is that if one owns both cameras, it would take about 5 minutes to photograph a target, upload, and view the files to compare. If one ones both cameras, that would be quicker than posting a thread here. That is….if one really owns both cameras.
     
  35. stephen, don't ever buy a d3x for 12,500 haha. now that's a profit.
     
  36. Neither one is good enough! You need a Hasselblad H3DII-50, which is only about $27,000.
     
  37. STUART .... Maybe in your case you already know all the answers..... In my case sometimes by questioning what other people do I learn.... Just like in this case......
    Elliot .... Thanks for your explanation.... uhmmm!
     
  38. Dan...the D3x is A$12350 discounted inc tax here in OZ. The D3 is A$6550, discounted. Aussie dollars. The crazy thing is though, Nikon sold more D3x's here last month than D3's.
    Me...I'm waiting to get a nice year-old D700, then I would not need anything more. For a while, at least. In the meantime I'm climbing the D300 learning curve from film before that.
     
  39. oh. i saw the 1600 which is reasonable for a (didn't think of it but only for a new) d300 here in USD, so i assumed that the 12,500 was USD too. i thought people on ebay were ridiculous!! haha. stephen, i'm in the same boat as you. I'm actually posting my d90 with the kit lens tomorrow, having sold it on amazon and waiting for my 17-55 to sell on ebay so i can buy my d700 in a week or two. I'm so excited to get it i'm foaming at the mouth. I'll be on FX with a 50mm, and it will feel good. then try to pick up a 28, then an 85, then eventually a 135 and i'll have one sweet setup with my sb900. the only bad part will the be week or two that i do not have a camera. not sure what i will do...
     
  40. Hmm, well, if you'd kept the D700 instead of trading it in, you could have carried both the D700 and the D3x in the same bag.
    For the life of me I can't understand why you're shooting JPEG format. Worse yet, why you'd consider using anything less than the top resolution of the D3x. You might as well have kept your D300 and invested the difference in the stock market.
     
  41. I do not understand why there's so much fuss about the D3/d700 vs the D3X. And, there're also myths about having more pixels imply that you will get blurry images sooner than when you have 1/2 the number of pixels. Please explain that logically. We'll like to understand that.

    Yes, there's a disadvantage: low frame rate. But, who in their right mind is buying this camera for frame rates? What's there to be annoyed about? If you want frame rate, you go for a camera that's created for that in mind --- the D3 --- sorry, not, the D700.

    People buy the D3X for double the pixels count and at the same time maintaining a decent individual pixel size so that noise is still under controlled (unlike the P&S cameras).

    People buy the D3X because they also enjoy the same amenities that are of the D3 and they want those.

    People buy the D3X so that they can print images that are upsized from a large original 24.5Mpix image to their large print sizes. I cannot see how one can argue that an upsized image starting with twice the amount information can end up with a print that's the same as that originating from a 12Mpix image. I think that's preposterous! I would laugh at myself if I were to even entertain that idea.

    Enough reasons for the D3X. If you have the $$$, the D3X is the best in the market [PERIOD]. There's nothing better than it in the 35mm arena.

    Whether you, or I, or they can afford or are willing to pay for it is a totally different story and topic for another day. Whether you are jealous you can't afford it, that's another topic for a different forum. Please don't mix up facts with your own negative misinformed emotions.
    And, lastly, Nikon has NEVER said that an individual pixel from the D3X is better than one pixel from the D3/d700. That's total folly! The key advantage here is total pixel count to give you double the fidelity when you print. Please do not crop an image down to 600 pixel from both images of these two cameras and say they are the same. Of course, they are the same!

    I am trying to be objective here. And, I get a little perturbed when I see the comparisons/tests published in the Internet that are inherently faulty and lack of depth. We have great minds in Photo.net; Dr. Philip Greenspun, being a prime example of that. Let's not stray away from this tradition.
     
  42. "And, there're also myths about having more pixels imply that you will get blurry images sooner than when you have 1/2 the number of pixels. Please explain that logically. We'll like to understand that." I'm not the expert, but read what the experts have to say, which is in order to extract the best from a D3x, you need to perfect your handheld techniques and some say don't even bother with a D3x unless you are willing to use a tripod. I believe they are talking about motion blur.
    "Enough reasons for the D3X. If you have the $$$, the D3X is the best in the market [PERIOD]. There's nothing better than it in the 35mm arena." Doesn't this depend on the application? It seems like the consensus is that if you are doing event photography, nothing beats the D3.
    "And, lastly, Nikon has NEVER said that an individual pixel from the D3X is better than one pixel from the D3/d700. That's total folly! The key advantage here is total pixel count to give you double the fidelity when you print. Please do not crop an image down to 600 pixel from both images of these two cameras and say they are the same. Of course, they are the same!" Is it total folly to think that image quality is more than pixel integrity but involves dynamic range, color rendition, shadow and highlight detail, etc etc?
    "I am trying to be objective here. And, I get a little perturbed when I see the comparisons/tests published in the Internet that are inherently faulty and lack of depth. We have great minds in Photo.net; Dr. Philip Greenspun, being a prime example of that. Let's not stray away from this tradition." Now that is a pompous attitude. I am the first to admit that perhaps I don't have the great mind of Dr. Philip Greenspun, but what exactly is the purpose of these forums? Are they not available for lesser minds like myself to learn something or is it a forum for the Advancement of Photography Concepts? Does my inferior mind somehow offend you and your learned collegues? Indeed. I have a suggestion. Next time you encounter posts that irritate you, I suggest you move along and not waste your time and others by posting a response that seem to be mostly geared towards insults and personal attacks.
     
  43. Dan South,
    I usually prefer shooting raw for the ability to refine the image with as much information as I can get. I always shoot raw with my landscapes, studio work and for most of my travel images. However, for event photography and some wedding applications, with hundreds and hundreds of files shot, it is much more efficient to find a good formula for your jpegs and then just shoot away. Instead of spending hours on PP later, you can pretty much breeze through the load with great shots that are already "in the can."
     
  44. Sadly, indeed. Over and out.
     
  45. Everyone's getting sensitive. The thing is, everyone is correct in their own way.
    If Larry has the luxury to choose between his D3 and D3x (and Larry, that means you have something like $20k tied up in gear!) then lucky you, Larry. But for me, thats my sons whole uni fees!
    I'm cheap, and I have never paid more than $1600 (my D300) for a camera or lens. The other important issue behind all this is of course is the price of the computing resource possibly needed if you shoot Raw and generate and correct massive files.
    I share a laptop with my kids and I have no intention of buying $2-3k's worth of specialist software so I can pretend I'm a graphic artist. The laptop wouldn't run it anyway, nor do I have the disk capacity to store huge files. So I use Jpeg large/fine, import using Nikon's PC-to-Camera free software, open, view and auto correct in Microsoft's Picture Manager which is free with Office and I'm done. If the shots I have taken are poor, then I would be a fraud if I used PS to fix them. This way, if I would ever be proud enough to post a shot on here, it would be because I got the framing, mood, scene, focus, aperture, speed and ISO right in the first place, and the image would be real, not some technical creation. That's how I feel anyway.
     

  46. I usually prefer shooting raw for the ability to refine the image with as much information as I can get. I always shoot raw with my landscapes, studio work and for most of my travel images. However, for event photography and some wedding applications, with hundreds and hundreds of files shot, it is much more efficient to find a good formula for your jpegs and then just shoot away. Instead of spending hours on PP later, you can pretty much breeze through the load with great shots that are already "in the can."​
    Agreed, but there are other options.
    (1) Shoot NEF+JPEG. Now you have a card full of JPEG files ready to go, and for the shots that didn't turn out quite right you have a NEF file to manipulate.
    (2) Shoot NEF and batch convert to JPEG in Capture NX. You can shoot a little more rapidly that the NEF+JPEG mode permitsand you still have NEF files to optimize just in case.
    Landscapes just sit there - well, okay, the light changes very quickly - but people move all over the place. You only have one chance to capture a "moment." For that one chance, I'd prefer to have a RAW file in case I (or the camera) have/has misjudged something.
     
  47. The D3 would smoke the D3x in every respect expect for image size.
     
  48. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D3 would smoke the D3x in every respect expect for image size.​
    Tom, you seem to use the term "smoke" quite often in this type of context, and I don't quite understand exactly what that means.
    As I mentioned earlier, a few days ago I ran into a friend who has both the D3 and D3X, and he feels that they are very different cameras that serve different purposes. Earlier I ask Larry the OP to see whether he feels that way, and he clearly understands it. Neither the D3 nor the D3X is necessarily "better" than the other; it all depends on what you are going to use it for.
    Otherwise, I feel that this thread has largely run its course. Given the D3X's price, it is not a realistic purchase for most of us, but I am glad that I got to use one for a few weeks.
     
  49. Tom.
    Wrong. fps speed, extremely high ISO handling are two areas the D3 shines. And sometimes a bigger image size is a drawback. This is one of those cases.
    And... people... please stop trying to tell our OP how to shoot events. I used to have photogs do corporate events all the time, with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos that had to be evaluated and handled and processed quickly. If those photogs had shot RAW I would have just laughed at them. They shot jpegs and they got the exposures RIGHT so that we didn't have to mess with them. (turnaround times of hours not days...)
    In fact, depending on the usage of the image, they often used smaller image sizes so I wouldn't have to spend any time batching whatsoever. Not unusual for some of these events to feature guys shooting at the lower resolutions their cameras shot!
     
  50. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Peter, I totally agree with your post here.
    But that is precisely why when I first read the initial question, I was very puzzled. If you shoot JPEG at events, you almost cannot take advantage of the D3X at all, so why even bother to use one? It looks like the first few people who responded in this thread were also puzzled. I decided not to post in this thread and observed how it progress for a little while. Eventually I asked a few questions to see whether the OP was already familiar with his two cameras or not. Perhaps that was when the OP felt that he was being interrogated.
     
  51. Shun,
    Part of why I posted that comment. I very much want Larry to stay around and know that we need the perspectives of people like him who put their cameras to real work, as opposed to pixel-peeping theorists like myself. (NOTHING wrong with that...)
    But you're right, there is simply no advantage to using the D3X in this framework that I can imagine, except that it makes one sickeningly sweet backup camera.
    OR... stick the less used lens on that D3X and walk around with both of 'em...
    Any gear-hound at the event who knows cameras will be impressed!
     
  52. Personally, I don't see the reason for spending all of that money on a D3, when you can have a D700 for about half as much!
     
  53. Ha Joseph, I think am regretting having sold my D700! Although I like dual card slots camera body consistency and 100% viewfinder, I sure miss the in-camera flash (both as a quick fill flash and a flash commander.) I also miss the sensor cleaner, although it may not work as well as it could. We live and learn!
     
  54. Larry, you said you were gonna swing both of those cameras around your neck and go do an event before the event in your original post. Has that happened yet and we might get your thoughts or is that still to come?
     
  55. Dan, I am hoping to do some tests tonight at the Street Fair. My actual event is on Sunday.
     
  56. oh ok. i'm looking forward to the real worlds tests. i hope there's other photographers there and their jaws drop when they see a d3x hanging with a d3 pulled up against your eye. that's gotta be a little intimidating. let us know what works for you better. ha.
    one other question, are you insured for personal use? It seems like if the results are even close at all you'd rather the d3 at $5000 than a $7300-$8000 d3x hanging from your shoulder. just another consideration that hadn't been raised earlier and wondering if it worried you.
     
  57. Dan, my D3 has been out for two weeks at a Nikon repair center due to some bracketing issues. It is due back on Friday, just two days before my actual event. Knowing this, I had arranged to not relinquish my D700 to its new owner until Monday after the event in case my D3 does not arrive on time for the Sunday gig.
    Should I do the test anyway with the D3x/d700 combo since the D700 is identical with D3 as far as IQ is concerned... or should I wait till next Thursday at the weekly Street Fair and stick with the D3x/D3 combo?
    As far as the camera hanging bit... frankly I would be embarassed to have the D3x/D700 hanging from my head, let alone the D3x/D3 combo.
    I have my D3x and the D700 covered by insurance, but not yet the D3. Frankly, I am not worried because I will be accompanied by my wife who not only is good looking, but is good at looking after my gear. :) It's her birthday and I will be taking her out to dinner tonight. After dinner, we may mysteriously end up at the Street Fair. (you think?)
     
  58. "If those photogs had shot RAW I would have just laughed at them. They shot jpegs and they got the exposures RIGHT so that we didn't have to mess with them. (turnaround times of hours not days...)"
    Peter, you are so right on. On a celebrity shoot where Paula Abdul was promoting Natural Balance products at Petco, a condition of being awarded the gig was for me to have the ability to wirelessly send images to her publicist so that they can get the images to the AP as soon as the shots were taken. (I had two hours max after the shoot to send files)
     
  59. As far as the camera hanging bit... frankly I would be embarassed to have the D3x/D700 hanging from my head, let alone the D3x/D3 combo.​
    Check out the new Dual Harness from OP/TECH . One of the guys at the local photo dealer got one to test (we live like 10 minutes from the factory) and its pretty awesome when you have two big cameras to pack around. He let me borrow it for an afternoon and I packed around my D200+300 f/4 and F100+180 2.8 with it. It was very comfortable. The only thing is I had to return it and they aren't availalbe to buy yet!
     
  60. the point of the test, so IQ wise, the D700 should be a nice substitute for the D3. One problem: what if you prefer the handling and size of teh D700 over the D3x and then have to ship it out on monday. there's a pickle. But it cannot hurt to test your gear to see which gives better performance in certain situations: that seems like it should be required anyways. But my eyebrows did raise a little when you have to say, "happy birthday, honey. oh and by the way, i need you to shoot this body on this jpeg setting and we're gonna compare the results, but today is all about you". haha. there's a twist to the story. maybe this weekend might not prove to be the best one to test your gear in fact. but i sure am chuckling how you're sneaking in a gear test on your wife's birthday, good luck
     
  61. Keith , dual harness is too cool. I ordered a quick release OP strap last week and of course did not see the dual harness product. When you tried out the dual harness, were the pads comfortable as well as secure so that the straps don't slip off your shoulder like advertised for the single strap product?
    Dan , if I get in trouble tonight I'll just tell her it was your fault. It is, you know.
     
  62. haha. your dedication remains unquestioned sir. larry, you've got a sweet deal. d3 and a d3x and you've got your wife doing camera tests on her birthday. write a memoir or a self help book: i'm preordering. have fun.
     
  63. Keith , dual harness is too cool. I ordered a quick release OP strap last week and of course did not see the dual harness product. When you tried out the dual harness, were the pads comfortable as well as secure so that the straps don't slip off your shoulder like advertised for the single strap product?​
    It was very comfortable and secure. There isn't any grippy stuff on the bottom like the neck straps, but it doesn't move because it is more of a yolk that wraps around your shoulders. With two cameras on it I found the balance very pleasing, and it was still pretty secure with only one camera hanging on one side (I took the other off to put it on a tripod).

    As far as the weight reduction goes, I took a pretty good hike with the two cameras and my tripod too. I didn't get fatigued/sore at all. My current system is a strap on my neck and one on my shoulder, which usually gives me a tired shoulder, but the Dual harness system did a lot better job IMO; its almost like having a really light backpack on. I plan on getting one when the local camera dealer gets them in. I think it will work much better for day hikes than my backpack. I'm sure it would also work well for pros doing events/weddings when they are using 2 camera bodies so they don't have to switch lenses.
     
  64. Shun, Peter, what I mean by 'smoke' is that the D3 would beat the D3x in every aspect except imiage size, IMO. D3=best small format digital DSLR ever made, again IMHO.
     
  65. Shun, Peter, what I mean by 'smoke' is that the D3 would beat the D3x in every aspect except imiage size, IMO. D3=best small format digital DSLR ever made, again IMHO.'​
    You know what I'd like to see even more than a D3 vs D3X comparison?

    A D3X ($8,000 camera) vs Sony A900 ($3,000 camera) comparison. Although I am sure that Nikon wouldn't appreciate it quite as much...

    My step-father has a slew of Minolta lenses and I'm trying to talk him into buying an A900... If he does, anyone volunteer to borrow me their D3X for a weekend?
     
  66. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    what I mean by 'smoke' is that the D3 would beat the D3x in every aspect except imiage size, IMO.​
    No offense, Tom, I understand you own a D3, but I wonder how much experience you have with the D3X and how much head-to-head testing you have done between the two to come up with such opinion.
    In the following D3X announcement thread that was posted 3 days before the official announcement due to some "leaks," it was quite evident that Tom was already very hostile to the D3X: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00RdCl
    I have only done a bit of testing between the D3X and D3, but I did a lot more between the D3X and D700 for the up-coming photo.net review. You'll have to wait a bit to see my comparisons, but I think there are no major surprises. Most of the pros and cons are fairly well known and already discussed in this thread.
     
  67. Keith,
    DP Review did quite a bit in the way of comparing the D3x and the Sony A900. The fact that the sensor is made by Sony and is the same size is about where the similarities stop. Read the A900 review....great camera housing, great weather proofing, nice lenses, inferior software that lets it down. The images are just not nearly as good as the Nikon as a result. You get what you pay for. Its a $3k camera.
    I saw that Sony lost $1b this year. The Japanese are ruthless in cutting back in such a situation. I'd hold fire on purchasing until the dust settles.
     
  68. Shun, I look forward to your review and my opinion may change. I do have the opportunity to test a D3x with NPS but have not done so at this stage. My opinion is an assumption based on what I know of the D3 and what I know of the D3x. I don't think that I need to shoot the D3x to realise that it won't have the ISO capability of the D3, and for my use the image size does not need to be bigger. My comments in the previous thread were mainly directed at the OP's intention to shoot either camera at less than optimal IQ, so it is a no brainer to me.
     
  69. Well folks, I had a lovely evening with my wife last night. After her birthday dinner, I just whipped out the cameras while she was chatting with her mom and fired off some test shots. It worked well because we were dining outside on the restaurant patio. Not exactly scientific, but good enough to satisy my own curiosities about the viability of using a D3x for events.
    Mind you, I didn't buy the D3x so that I can downgrade to medium sized jpeg fines for event usage. I bought the D3x so that I can have the best IQ for studio work and for landscapes. However, lately I've been shooting a lot of events which puts the D3x in a bag, unappreciated and unused for 75% of the time. I just wanted to see if I could count on the D3x to be a viable backup for my workhorse D3 when it comes to events photography. I was even hoping that perhaps the D3x might just surprise all of us and even best the D3 in IQ, all else being equal. (meaning same manageable size per client requirements.)
    With controls identical and using the same lens (85 f1.4.) I first shot hand held (as in real life events photography) on my D700 (D3 is in the shop) jpeg fine, large file, optimal quality. Files were 4256 x 2832. I then shot similiar scenarios with the D3x, jpeg fine, medium file (to match size of D700 files,) optimal quality. Files were 4544 x 3024 (closest I can get to D700 size.) The one thing I did not do for the comparison is to shoot all out jpeg on the D3x and damn be the size! I am referring to jpeg fine, large file, optimal quality. (Later, after the short test I did do the walkaround with the D3x with the jpeg settings on high for the rest of the evening.)
    Results? (besides raised eyebrows on my wife and mother-in-law) You be the judge. I will save my comments till last. But here's the dilemna. The differences between the files are hard to distinguish, at least for me. So the question is how to present the files to all of you who are interested? I am afraid that further degrading the files in order to fit image requirements on this forum might be counter productive. Send email with attachments to all those who are really interested to see? Link to a photo gallery (any degradations?)
    If no one really cares, I will just state my own observations here, but I think nothing beats seeing the files and making your own conclusions.
    Let me know!
     
  70. Larry a link to a photo gallery with original size jpg files would be best. I cannot see that many will have such a high limit to file sizes in email. Besides in case you got the file space it might be less work for you to upload the files once.
    Just in case I can stimulate you to a further test (perhaps at next dinner event?) I would be interested to see if down-sampling of D3x raw files to D3 file size in post processing would produce files that look different than files down-sampled within the D3x.
    There is a chance that down-sampling in post processing gives better results than in camera processing after all there is more computing power available. The result would be hard to predict since the raw converters and down-sampling algorithms in say PS are black boxes. Perhaps D3x files might end up better than D3 files of the same size. This could be especially the case of severe moire problems like shooting fabrics. So perhaps you give your wife a nice jacket as a present before dinner ^^.
     
  71. Man, this is long thread ...
    Walter,
    I am pretty sure that desktop post-processing will yield a better image; especially, if the original image was in RAW and the converter was NX2.
    Larry,
    On the whole, if I had a choice, I personally would prefer to use the D3 for events shooting with a photojournalistc style. Some events, however, have formal shooting sessions where lightings are controlled and people would stay still for the shots. I think that kind of shooting with a D3X would definitely surpass a D3. So, I would bring both the D3 and the D3X + umbrellas + SB-900's.
     
  72. Ok I uploaded the D700 and D3x files to Flickr. I uploaded full size 300 dpi files, but I just noticed that when I downloaded the files, it was 72 dpi. I'm not sure how the files got downrezzed. Anyway, there are two folders marked D700 and D3x. Inside each folder are three similiar files. Take a peek and see what you think. It's far from being a scientific test, but it tells me what I need to know. Make sure you download the large file option. Your input is much appreciated. Remember the original question: "Would a medium size jpeg fine image (4544 x 3022) from the D3x look better than a large size jpeg fine image (4256 x 2832) on a D3/D700?"

    D700 Folder: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30507216@N06/sets/72157618210066182/
    D3x Folder: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30507216@N06/sets/72157618209760122/
     
  73. larry:
    the first pictures of the balcony obviously have different jpeg profiles applied, but i like your d3x profile--it seems like a variant of vivid, so the saturation really is appealing. the second, i find almost no noticable difference between the shots, except maybe in the lights on the back wall of the balcony and the reflection of these on the lights on the ceiling of hte balcony. But it seems that you may have the contrast a little higher on the d3x. not sure. but the blacks seem a little richer and the midtones a little more separated, so that's what i'm assuming. The third picture is seen to be just slightly out of focus. For instance, look at the lantern; on the d3x version it is sharp and clear while it seems to be a little fuzzy on the d700 version.
    But these are not in any way the full size jpegs, as the largest that i can download seems to be far smaller. I can view the whole picture at 100% downloading the 'large' version. But the differences seem negligible to my eye, as i think any appealing aspects might boil down to differences in the jpeg profiles. what are your thoughts? did you like shooting with the d700 versus teh d3x or did you prefer the more pro body and substantial build? what about weight after a little while?
    the reason i'm really excited about the d700 shining is that i'm placing an order for one this week as i have sold my d90 and my 17-55 and cannot wait. But it seems that there is no noticable difference, but once again its not viewed at 100%. But does this mean you'd have to print huge to see any difference in print quality anyways? Thus are the differences in the d3x versus the d3 to be expected to come into focus at only gigantic prints? But to my eyes, the cameras perform basically the same.
     
  74. hey larry, one other question. Does the d700 have d-lighting on and does the d3x have this as well? It seems like the d700 is pulling up some shadow areas whereas the d3x leaves those as shadows, something we should want to do, right? But once again, without the full size pics, i'm not sure how useful the comparisons are: which makes me lean towards there is no noticable difference in the cameras at reasonable prints...
    does anyone agree with this assesment or am i overlooking something? thanks for posting larry.
     
  75. All I see in largest file size is 1024 on the long edge this is far from 4500.
    Please try again.
    By the way - the dpi is just a "note" added to the file it has no relevance to looking at the files on a monitor (at least in typical ways to look). The dpi tag only is relevant in case you print so the printer knows the printing resolution. That is unless you re-sample the images when you change the dpi value e.g. in PS. Just leave the files the way they came from the cameras and upload them to the server :)
     
  76. Walter , I uploaded the files as they were, but somehow Flickr down-ressed them, because when I downloaded the files to check, they were much smaller. Maybe pick the shot you find the most useful and I can just send you an email with the two versions. Either way I will try again with Flickr.
    Dan , the profiles are identical on both cameras, no d-lighting or active d-lighting applied. The D3x images seem to be consistently a bit under exposed compared to the D700, making it harder to compare overall IQ, so I ran the shots through Lightroom and adjusted the exposure settings to make the two shots closer in that respect. I found it easier to spot the differences after the exposure adjustments. Perhaps I should have just send them as is as Walter suggested. I could e-mail the untouched originals if you like.
    Dan , you will be absolutely happy with your D700. It is an amazing camera and I recommend it without hesitation. Matter of fact, I am having second thoughts about giving it up! BTW, the D3 never arrived back from Nikon Repair Center on Friday, so it's a good thing I still have the D700 for the event Sunday.
    Dan , about the bodies... I prefer the feel of the D3x/D3 because the D700 with grip is actually a bit heavier and clumsier. However as you probably already know, without the grip, the D700 is substantially lighter and excellent for a long day of shooting.
    The good news for me is that the D3x does not have to sit in the bag for events. D3x images may not look much better than images on D3/D700, under these less than ideal conditions, but what it does show is that it will do an excellent job with the added bonus of being able to really shine for when the occasion calls for some on-location formal portraits. But let me make this clear, even under less than optimal conditions on the field, the D3x images look a tad better to my eyes. Blacks are deeper and there is a more contrast overall. Sharpness is not noticeably better nor is resolution. However, in deal situations (Tripod, strobes) the D3x shines and easily out-performs the D700/D3. A word of caution for the D3x for events shooting: You better perfect that hand holding technique because it is very unforgiving if you have even the slightest amount of shake.
    Conclusion: I will stick with the D700/D3 for events mostly because of the added headroom for higher ISO performance, but the D3x is a great backup and needs not sit in the bag for events and candid wedding shooting.
     
  77. good thread. i agree about the contrast and the richer blacks. have a good event.
     

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