Inital comparison D3x - D3 at 1600ISO

Started Dec 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Jost von Allmen Forum Member • Posts: 66
Inital comparison D3x - D3 at 1600ISO

After some inital tests with my own D3x, all I can say it's very expensive, but technically it clearly produces the best images I have seen from any Nikon so far!

I base my first conclusions not only on comparing images from the D3 and D3x on screen, but also after printing several examples in A2 (roughly 17"x22").

Handling and menus are identical, as well as the results from the exposure system and white balance. So it's very easy to switch cameras during any assignment.
The advantage in resolution of the D3x compared to the D3 is obvious.

What struck me the most, was the unexpected qualities of the files from the D3x at high ISO compared to the ones from the D3: Either downsizing the files from the D3x to the dimensions of the D3 or vice versa, the D3x could EASILY match the proven and exceptional qualities from the D3!!!!

As I don't work in a studio, all my own comparisons ("tests") are done in real word situations, in as similar circumstances as possible.

For that particular comparison I used both cameras with my Zeiss ZF 2,0/100mm at f8 with Live View on a tripod, then for the actual images of course used MLU.
I shoot NEF, develop in NX2, then apply some sharpening with Nik Sharpener 2.

In the attached examples, I have done an extreme test by shooting into a very dark area of a cathedral, then opening up the shadows in Photoshop to really show the differences: Make your own judgements!

Original imaga area (shot with the D3 at 1600ISO):

Shadows opened up for comparison of noise:

The resulting 100% crop of the D3 at 1600ISO:

The D3x at 1600ISO:

The same crop from the D3x at 100ISO:

I'm not actually using the D3x as a high ISO camera, but nevertheless am very interested in it's output in these VERY difficult circumstances (extreme underexposure of actual crop shown).

I was assured by my Nikon Rep, that they have put an enormous effort in improving the AA-filter on the Sony chip but also have added microlenses, similar to the technology used in the D3. Besides the different read out and EXPEED chip, that's probably why the resulting files are very different from the ones the Sony A900 produces.

Sorry, due to the bad weather, I haven't really been able to compare the dynamic range outdoors much, but inital impressions from the D3x in general are VERY favorable!

As I also use a Phase One P45+ for most of my landscape work, I have done some quick comparison shots outdoors and must say that the advantage in resolution of the Medium Format digital back still is amazing. At base ISO (P45+ = 50ISO / D3x = 100ISO), differences in resolution are clearly visible at print sizes of A2 (17x22).

Depending on the actual interest and comments here, I might take my time and publish more examples later.

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'My whole world is a latent image' (by D. Munch)

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