The trilogy has been released… long life to the D4! (D3X thoughts)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jose_angel, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Some conclusions I take at the official Nikon D3X presentation:

    The D3 series FF project (D3-D700-D3X) that started (four?) years ago has finished with the release of the latest
    model, the D3X. This is the D3 version specialized on fashion, landscape and studio.

    It is almost a D3 with increased resolution (thanks to the higher pixel count). Funny that Nikon technical staff also
    name “pixel resolution” as mere “resolution”. It is optimized for accurate colors, better detail, smoothness, color
    transition, etc. The Expeed processor will work at 16bit with 14bit depth RAW images, exactly like the D3.

    Just an idea. The D3 is the successor of the failed D2H (failed: why this wonder is a failure is topic for another
    thread). The D3X is obviously a D2X successor, with the difference that -probably- people will not buy this one
    instead of the D3 (like happened on the D2 series).

    Dynamic range is slightly wider (by their own testing). D-Lightning will have a higher set-up option, like the D90. The
    shutter is proven
    for 300.000 cycles, instead of 250.000 in the D3. No more differences.

    Firmware is not still definitive. They didn`t let the press to take some photos with the camera. Funny, they didn`t
    take any lens to the presentation.

    Sensor cleaning option was not an option. It will probably be on the next series.

    There will not be a D700X or whatever it can be called, the D3X on small body. Never. The project has finished; Nikon
    staff is currently working on the future D4.
    I must say that they said something similar to my also similar questions at the D3-D300 presentation.

    My personal opinion is that it could be changed if there is enough market for that camera. It`s so easy to add a "s"
    to current models... (D3Xs?) Looks like the Nikon
    policy is to build always competitive products that will be directly placed in top of he market. If not, they simply will
    not work
    on it.

    About lenses, I asked about the 70-200VR performance on this camera. “They didn`t tested it yet… “ (!!!) They need
    definitive firmware to see how it will work. I don`t want to start rumours, take your own conclusion. I have mine. It is
    true that looks like after the first firmware update, the 70-200VR is working slightly better on the D3.

    Same AF than on D3&D700. How AF will work in this high resolution camera? No answer. It could be a tricky issue;
    it is also true that it has the best current AF system.

    SRP will be very close to EUR6000… ouch! On the shelves at final December.

    Looks like they are doing things very good; -european- market share is currently in favour to Nikon, with more of 60%
    from Nikon, against slightly more than 30% from Canon. Sales has been increased by a huge amount since the D3-
    D300 release.

    No more FX lenses or FX releases soon. Next one, a DX lens ( what about a 17-86 or 16-54?), probably another DX
    camera… (I was pretty disappointed because I wanted to check the new 50/1.4 AFS… they haven`t this one there… )
     
  2. There will not be a D700X or whatever it can be called, the D3X on small body. Never.
    Just months before the D3 was announced, Nikon claimed that there is no full-frame body planned for imminent release, and they said that the FF work they do is only at the research level, no products. This turned out to be untrue. When the D3 was released, Nikon claimed that there will not be a D3X, that the D3 is both "H" and "X". This didn't turn out to be the case either. There will definitely be a high-res version of the D700, if not, Nikon will find themselves losing a lot of customers. I think it's just that Nikon always advertise and promote the currently available products, and try to persuade people from waiting for the next model. This is a policy I think is flawed as people will be upset frequently when the claims of the marketing people turn out to be false in a very short time. I was astonished to see the D700 only less than a year from the D3 announcement, and with such a full feature set.
    At first I thought okay, the D3X costs top dollar initially, and this is acceptable, people will wait a bit and get that or the "D700X" next summer. But if Nikon actually turns out serious that they won't make a D700X I think they will quickly lose a lot of the market share that they have gained. People love high resolution images or at least the thought of it. And those high res lovers who do not need the speed and autofocus of the D3X will buy Canon and Sony models preferentially to Nikon, since they give similar resolution at $5000 lower price.
    Personally the 12 MP FX cameras are sufficient for me, and I think their high ISO performance is a feature I frequently use (most of my people pictures are shot at ISO 800-3200 while the still subject work is ISO 200-400) but if available I would consider the purchase a D700X and probably buy if it is priced at or less than $3500. Not as a replacement to the 12 MP models, but as a complement for landscape and macro work. The D3X - no way, far too expensive for me and also for landscape and macro I think the vertical grip is a hindrance rather than a benefit (whereas it's useful for people work, but for that 12 MP is more than sufficient). I am confident that Nikon will make a "D700X" very soon. The D3X sales will probably be minimal as people who got "burned" by buying the D3 when the smaller D700 would have fit them better are wiser this time and will wait for the lightweight X model, which is better fit for most people's high res applications.
     
  3. I'm looking forward to the time when new generations of pro-bodies are released once every ten years or so.
     
  4. Oh, when the D1 was new, I asked Nikon's local importer, when a digital camera with the price around 2500€ would be available. They claimed that this would never, never happen. Look at the situation now; there are 500€ models with far better image quality than the D1's. These examples should give you a good idea of how much to rely on their word.
     
  5. I hope D4 will be released next year and D5 the following year. Then that means in 2 years I can buy D3 for cheap. Heck, I might even be able to afford a D3x by then!
     
  6. "The D3X sales will probably be minimal as people who got "burned" by buying the D3 when the smaller D700 would have fit them better are wiser this time and will wait for the lightweight X model, which is better fit for most people's high res applications."

    Well said and utterly true. About 3 weeks ago I sold my D3 and am more than happy with the D700 for landscape purposes. I would not easily make the mistake now of buying a D3X and then finding a D800 coming out 6 months later at half the price.

    With Canon and Sony producing their high res models already at respectable prices I can't imagine that Nikon would not follow suit and pretty soon at that. I would not be surprised if we see the Nikon equivalent on the shelves in less than a year from now.

    Incidentally I played around with an A900 yesterday and once I had got my head around the completely different interface/button positioning I actually really liked it. If I wasn't already invested heavily enough in Nikon I would be very happy to use that. I even like the look of that retro pentaprism...
     
  7. Ilkka, I agree. I remember at the D3-D300 release, I asked them about that "affordable FX camera"... at that time
    they said that it was a highly non-probably option but, -if so-, surely not soon (!!). This time, when the rep was
    answering that similar question, I was speaking to myself... "Hmmm, perhaps next summer... ?"

    Who knows. Perhaps they prefer to invest all resources on a new platform than refurbish models... I`m pretty sure
    that in one year many people will only look for cameras with video ability...

    Anyway, I don`t feel even the smallest bit of interest for 24Mp. I`m satisfied with my current gear. DSLR
    manufacturers must be very convincing telling what my needs are if they want to sell me one pixel more...
     
  8. I forget to say that the ideas posted above were given by Nikon staff, not my own opinions; if otherwise, mentioned
    as a "personal opinion".
     
  9. Nikon currently has nothing to compete with the new 5d MarkII. I think that would be a pretty big mistake to not produce an equivalent camera for that market. Why copy Canon? I'm seeing ALOT of wedding and event photogs interested in that new 5d because of the hd video, high res/pixel count, and ISO performance.

    It seems like a simple move by Nikon. Just add some of the D90's features to the D700's w/ the higher mp's of the D3x.

    I'm guessing the only reason nikon would not do that is if the cost of the sensor is so high, that they can't do it at the price point needed to compete w/ the new 5d and the sony..
     
  10. forget to say that the ideas posted above were given by Nikon staff, not my own opinions;
    I understood that.
    I have some interest in 24 MP for my macro and landscape work, but I don't understand the passion that some people feel about it - it's as if they think it was their birithright to be able to get one of them at a low price, and they seem to claim that Nikon is committing a major injustice by offering the D3X at $8000. To me, it seems like a fairly subtle difference in practical quality yet at a considerable cost in processing time (not to mention the cost of the camera itself). In large prints it does show on close viewing but usually large prints are viewed from a distance. I think if one cannot make a great image with 12 MP there is little chance that doubling the pixel count will make it so. If you already can make a great landscape image, then the 24 MP will improve it subtly, just like using a top of the line lens like a 200/2 will improve an image subtly compared to a regular more economical 180/2.8.
    Disclaimer: If I get one of these cameras one day, I may of course quickly say its' the greatest thing since sliced bread. ;-) But I am currently busy enjoying the potential of 12 MP and I don't see any end to the possibilities with that.
     
  11. I'm with Albert, there will be a D007 secret agent model out soon. It's not to late to send me your D2x bodies before they fail.
    They are due to fail when it's released
    I will even will pay the shipping.
     
  12. "I have some interest in 24 MP for my macro and landscape work, but I don't understand the passion that some people feel about it -...."

    Ilkka cars with 200 horse power must be better than cars with 100 horse power. A camera with 24 megapixels must be better than a camera with 12. A point and shoot camera with 12 MP must be better than one with 6 or 7 - given the same minute sensor.

    You can read it all over the place that from a technical point of view there is no real benefit for the small 12MP point and shoot camera. Nevertheless these are the new models coming out.

    The conclusion? While there is a small clientele who can put the higher pixel number to good use the majority just can count to 24 and know it is more than 12. It is easier to see that 24 is more than 12 than to produce a technically perfect image with a 12MP camera. Only if you can use the full potential of 12MP it is wise to upgrade to 24MP. And only if you are not limited by the shortcomings of the smaller pixel area, lens resolution, use of tripod, use of lights etc.... you name it.
     
  13. I'm looking forward to the time when new generations of pro-bodies are released once every ten years or so.
    I hear you. I was thinking about this just yesterday, when back in the 1970s they had the new F2 that was released, and I'm sure there were a lot of people who stuck with the original F. And I know it took pros a long time to "upgrade" to the new F3 when it was released, not trusting an electronic shutter vs the tried-and-tested manual one.
    I've fallen victim to upgrade mania myself, having bought a new Nikon digital SLR every year since 2005. But now with the D700, I feel I have a body that will last for a few years anyway. When the D700x comes out with 24mp, I hope to be able to afford that and keep the D700 as well. What a great pair they would be.
     
  14. mjt

    mjt

    I'm in complete agreement with Thom Hogan ... $3k USD for the sensor?<br />
    Get real Nikon. http://www.bythom.com/nikond3xcomments.htm<br /><br />

    It might be worth mentioning that Michael Reichman canceled his D3x order.
     
  15. The price will come way down, just be patient.
     
  16. My D3X thoughts? Like everyone else, I am waiting to get my hands on one to see how it actually performs before passing
    judgement. Clearly it isn't a camera for everyone but I suspect high end portrait, landscape, architectural and wedding
    shooters will be thrilled.
     
  17. I really think that for landscape and macro work a D700 style body without the integral vertical is better than the D3 style. It
    has less weight (good for backpacking) and the grip would just cause an increase in the torque that the body places on the tripod head in
    vertical position (assuming that an L-bracket is not always used). However, for people photography a vertical grip is helpful. I just shot
    some concert pictures
    today with the D3 and I was very happy to have the integral grip as 90% of the pictures I shot were verticals. It really
    makes the camera easier to handle and puts less strain on my hand. I used an 85/1.4 so the extra weight of the body wasn't a
    problem. I shot everything at ISO 3200-6400 (out of necessity) and a D3X doesn't even get there (without boost).

    I'm no expert on how much photographers make, but I do landscape and wedding photographers really have
    $8000 to spend on a single body? I thought the nature photography market is extremely competitive with amateurs
    selling images for (micro)stock and at least here weddings are often shot with a 5D/D700 and very often with a DX/APS-
    C body, rarely do people use 1Ds or a D3/D2 series. A D3X would be great for group shots and formal portraits, sure, but when shooting a
    ceremony I can really benefit from the good SNR at high ISO of the 12 MP FX bodies and going backwards in that respect would not be
    acceptable to me - that's precisely why I got the D700, so that I would have a backup (I suspected Nikon might go high
    res and was afraid that would become the only option in the future). So to retain the available light capabilities a D3/D700
    would be needed for ceremony and available light candids and a D3X for formals. Wow, that's very expensive. I guess
    the D3X would be good for people who shoot everything with flash, but frankly even in flash work high ISO can be useful
    for lighting a whole ballroom/reception hall with small (remote) flashes. Okay, back at studio flash equipment then. And I
    thought weddings were moving towards available light work and documentary style.

    I was just thinking that fashion and advertising photographers must love the D3X but then I was told that they don't have
    work - apparently microstock is making way here and the advertisers now take advantage of it and so photographers
    shooting new material aren't needed as much as before.
     
  18. A very important factor could be the final price. Imagine both D3 and D3X cameras at moreless the same price... people could really decide which one fit their needs better, high ISO or high resolution, available light or controlled light. If not, they could opt for the cheapest choice, that is, te D3: something similar to what happened to the D2H-D2X but in the opposite way... althought the D2H was the ultimate press camera, I have the idea that people opted for the D2X just because is fast enough for most needs and more polyvalent, due to the higher pixel resolution. I wonder how many press photogs really need 12Mp for newspaper or sport magazine images.
     
  19. "I wonder how many press photogs really need 12Mp for newspaper or sport magazine images."



    This would be a management issue. I can go to a local high school football game and take one lens on a D3 body. Shooting available light works right well. The local newspaper photographer has to have a pair of SB-800s and a pocket wizard (i.e., light stands to hold the SB-800s) to get the same results. He is 'fun' to watch moving out of the way quickly....
     
  20. Dave Lee writes [But now with the D700, I feel I have a body that will last for a few years anyway.] But you (and others)
    said the same thing about the D300.

    We should, those of us who can afford it, just be really thankful that we can afford to upgrade when we want. It's a cooler
    world to live in for some than others...

    Then again, Dave, I think you're right, I mean, look how many of us think that the jump from 12MP to 24MP is just totally
    unnecessary.
     
  21. "I'm looking forward to the time when new generations of pro-bodies are released once every ten years or so."

    Let us know how that works out for you :) We are the exact opposite to that mentality at the moment. Just take this thread for example. Already there is talk of camera that may never exist, people looking forward to the D4 now! It is just crazy. Just use what you've got. MP's have nothing to do with the joy of photography, either during or post process. There is nothing a D3x can do better than a D3 except make slightly larger prints. That's all. If you think it is worth the extra money to be able to make larger prints, then buy it. If not, then use what is available now, and when Nikon release the next camera, then talk about it.
     
  22. I enjoy my hifi and each magazine talks about huge improvements in design or technoglogy or sound. And given these perceived incremental increases in quality you would think that a system from as recently as 15 years ago would be comparatively unlistenable. In reality it just ain't so: ther is very little difference in absolute terms. Most systems are damned good and reviewers (and manufacturers) are concentrating on ever smaller details to justify their existence.

    I think we are getting to the same point in photography.
     
  23. All of this 'QUANTITY MATTERS' (pixels) is becoming a bore.
    I understood that it was 'SIZE' (photosites) that counts.
    I think it was 8 microns for the D3.
    Has this been improved on.

    NB.My 16mp Hasselblad CWD has 9 microns combined with medium format and way out shoots the D3 in the Studio.
    I believe that with the lenses I have now, I have to make my kits last.
    I cant keep chasing rainbows at 64. (especially when the pot of gold always gets bigger, and goes to the likes of nikon.
     
  24. "I wonder how many press photogs really need 12Mp for newspaper or sport magazine images."

    A couple of weeks ago I bought an MB-20 grip for my F4 off of the local online want ads. The man who was selling
    it is a photographer for one of the Washington newspapers. He showed me his main camera, a 4mp D2h.
     
  25. Not hard to believe the 4mp story, but then too a 4" x 5" photo in a newspaper in black-and-white can get by with a much smaller initial file than can a full-page or double-truck magazine photo in color.
     
  26. "I suspect high end portrait, landscape, architectural and wedding shooters will be thrilled."
    For weddings, doubt it. Firstly it's too expensive for the difference between it and the D3/D700. Secondly, the increase in megapixels involves major storage and workflow accomodations. I don't think wedding photographers who just purchased D3 and D700 setups will be jazzed about the D3x. I may be wrong, but from posts I've read around the Internet, it seems they aren't overly thrilled. For studio portraits though, it poses a heck of an advantage over buying a $40K medium format camera.
    Lou
     

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