D3x review is here!

Started Feb 19, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,659
Re: Absolutely Matt . .

nicram wrote:

For small reproduction, at or under the actual file size of the D3,
the D3 matches the D3X at ISO 1600, if the D3X is downsized to the
D3 (and remember, the D3X is double the file size).

Well, I'd say no. If you're downsizing the D3x to the D3's resolution at ISO 1600, I see a bit of an advantage to the D3x. We're right in the realm where most of us think the crossover is, so you'll get a bit of disagreement about IQ of the two from some people, but I'd say at ISO 1600 the D3x would be slightly advantageous to the D3 if you're downsampling to 12mp.

But if the
original file size of the pic is twice as large as the D3 file size,
as the D3X is, then by virtue of having to be blown up, the noise of
the D3, when blown up as it sometimes needs to be, will not be as low
as the D3X.

Uh, that's not quite it, either. The D3 has lower noise values at ISO 1600 than the D3x. You're making the argument that blowing up a lower noise level to a larger size increases the noise, but that's not quite right. You might be trying to argue that low noise blown up is more visible than high noise at its native size. The real issue is whether you've pushed the visibility of the D3 noise up into the range where it can be seen. I'd say that if you're blowing the D3 up to the D3x size, then, no, the D3 noise won't come close to being pushed into visibility at ISO 1600 (unless, of course, you're using some weird re-sizing algorithm). What happens instead is that we get what looks like a further aliasing: we see some resolution difference between the two. The question that's been debated is whether the destruction of resolution due to the D3x noise is worse than the lack of resolution from the D3. At ISOs 800 and lower, the answer is absolutely no. At ISOs 3200 and higher, most seem to agree the answer is yes. It's in that mid-range we have some serious debate. My tested told me that it's close to a tossup.

So to say there is no way the D3X is going to be as good at high
ISO's, one really has to take into consideration final file size and
use, correct?

Yes, absolutely.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

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