DXOMark just tested the D3X

Started Jan 15, 2009 | Discussions
vqro
vqro Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: where are all the people who...

Ilkka Nissilä wrote:

Nice result.

Now, where are all the dozens of people who swore that the image
quality will be the same as with the Sony A900? Show yourselves and
defend your claims with evidence.

I second that. Everyone has been saying the D3X is no better than the A900 or even the 5D2. This here is proof that there's more to the D3X than a mere resolution boost.

OldScotch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: where are all the people who...

I kept hearing the d3x was the finest 35mm dslr money can buy...it was more that it was a whole lot of money.

I must admit I'm impressed by the dynamic range measurements too. It was pretty clear that the noise was better than the a900 at higher iso, but I expected the DR to be much closer.

Dan Wells Contributing Member • Posts: 572
Re: Point of diminishing returns?

I've raised JB's point in a poll over on Luminous Landscape, and gotten some interesting responses. Most people are either happy with what's out there today (although they may want the image quality of one camera in the body of another), or they want more DR/color range (unconventional sensor like Foveon or Fuji). The manufacturers are more interested in feeding us video modes or more resolution. For me, even printing high-detail landscapes big, the D3x is a "sweet spot" where I'll stay for quite a while (I'm thinking 5 years). I have a lot of DR, enough to capture any scene if I'm careful, and I can print 24x36 inches (and the print stands up to inspection from 8 inches away) without stitching.

-Dan

Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: Point of diminishing returns?

jb_va2001 Wrote:

"If people feel less compelled to upgrade to the newest DSLR, how will camera companies motivate us to spend?"

The problem continues to be that people are matching the D3X to the other models just listed. It is not. Was never meant to be. We are doing that and it has been in error from the start.

The D3X is a superior model for a nitch group of professional and high end amateur shooters. It is exactly what they wanted (not this consumer added stuff like video and anti shake), and the only issue would be with the pros who are buying them as to whether or the not the price is too high to pay. So far it does not seem so. If it comes down as suspected, the D3X will simply flourish even more. But this idea that the camera is going to die because of the price is ridiculous. The people who would have direct control of this because of a buying boycott, are not the target audience anyway. Let's see what keeps transpiring in the pro ranks. This is where it will live or die.

Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
This is and will be the key factor . .

"BUT the next step up in image quality is TWICE as expensive, less convenient to use and requires all new lenses (no reasonable zooms. As several knowledgeable people (the staff at Calumet Boston - dealers in everything photographic who care if you buy a camera, but don't care if it's Nikon, Canon or Hasselblad) who saw a 24x36 inch print from my D3x said, "this is the best digital SLR on the market from a pure image quality standpoint, and Hasselblad should be worried for their low end, because the difference from the H3DII/31 is not great". "

Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,872
Re: This is and will be the key factor . .

Mel wrote:

"BUT the next step up in image quality is TWICE as expensive, less
convenient to use and requires all new lenses (no reasonable zooms.
As several knowledgeable people (the staff at Calumet Boston -
dealers in everything photographic who care if you buy a camera, but
don't care if it's Nikon, Canon or Hasselblad) who saw a 24x36 inch
print from my D3x said, "this is the best digital SLR on the market
from a pure image quality standpoint, and Hasselblad should be
worried for their low end, because the difference from the H3DII/31
is not great". "

Nikon seems to have found some technical trick regarding DR. The last two releases, the D90 and the D3x, show the best DR among dslrs, excluding the HDR-style Fujis.

The D3x seems to have some extra also in the AA filter, as well as color depth at base ISO, all essential as IQ points for the market it's aimed at.

I think we'll see some interesting performance from the next fast camera, likely a 16MP D4, following that trend.

Now, talking about MF. The 31 MP Hassy is certainly not that far, only about 13% more resolution lineraly.

Even the Hassy 39MP gives you less than 30% more resolution linearly. For example, you would go from 24x16" (3:2) to something like 29x22" (4:3) at same printing specs.

Certainly larger, but not such a huge difference, if DR, color and detail are similar. And at less than 1/3 of the price, it's starting to look like a bargain, once you think of price of lenses, lenses availability, accessories, flexibility of use, ...

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Renato.
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headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: This is and will be the key factor . .

rhlpetrus wrote:

Nikon seems to have found some technical trick regarding DR. The last
two releases, the D90 and the D3x, show the best DR among dslrs,
excluding the HDR-style Fujis.

I think this is a very interesting point. If you compare the D90 and D300 on DxO Mark, their differences are very similar to the A900 vs. D3x. Could these excellent new DR numbers from Nikon be software/algorithm based? Or hardware based?

Jeff Kohn Veteran Member • Posts: 4,855
Re: This is and will be the key factor . .

headofdestiny wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

Nikon seems to have found some technical trick regarding DR. The last
two releases, the D90 and the D3x, show the best DR among dslrs,
excluding the HDR-style Fujis.

I think this is a very interesting point. If you compare the D90 and
D300 on DxO Mark, their differences are very similar to the A900 vs.
D3x. Could these excellent new DR numbers from Nikon be
software/algorithm based? Or hardware based?

DxoMark is supposed to be measuring raw sensor data/performance, not JPEG's or converted RAW's.

-- hide signature --
headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: This is and will be the key factor . .

Jeff Kohn wrote:

headofdestiny wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

Nikon seems to have found some technical trick regarding DR. The last
two releases, the D90 and the D3x, show the best DR among dslrs,
excluding the HDR-style Fujis.

I think this is a very interesting point. If you compare the D90 and
D300 on DxO Mark, their differences are very similar to the A900 vs.
D3x. Could these excellent new DR numbers from Nikon be
software/algorithm based? Or hardware based?

DxoMark is supposed to be measuring raw sensor data/performance, not
JPEG's or converted RAW's.

-- hide signature --

"Special sauce" is still added to RAW data with cameras. Nikon has been known to clip black levels for a while now.

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,872
Re: This is and will be the key factor . .

headofdestiny wrote:

That's a choice in ADC and doesn't add anything, in fact, just takes something out.

In the case of the D3x x A900, I really think there's more than just ADC, CFA, microlenses. Likely the in-sensor circuitry was redesigned and made according to Nikon's design. Don't forget Sony uses Nikon steppers.

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Renato.
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Good shooting and good luck
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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,872
good grief!

Taikonaut wrote:

mesija wrote:

Nothing comes close in dynamic range from direct competitors. I was
expecting something in the sony alpha 900 range.

Really amazing overall.

The true value of DR is the ability to retain IQ consistency and
details at high ISO. Having measurable superiority in low ISO, ie ISO
100-400 does not translate into visible image difference due to the
fact IQ DR is already at a high enough level detail and colour
retention. The only way of seeing better DR at low ISO is 16-bit.

Actually when you consider the price differences I am a bit
disspointed with D3x DR at ISO 800 and above. This is were better DR
really matters which D3x drops behind the 5DMk2.

You should learn a bit more about digital photography before you say such silly things.

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Renato.
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Good shooting and good luck
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flyingmonkey Senior Member • Posts: 1,180
Who makes the D3X sensor?

Thrilled to see the D3X push the image quality envelope even further, especially with respect to dynamic range. My question is, who is making the sensor? And if it is Sony, what is Nikon doing to noticeably outperform the Sony version of the sensor (in the A900)? Cool stuff!

bloomoose
bloomoose Veteran Member • Posts: 3,224
Here I am ...

... but alas, I have no D3X handy to do any side-by-side comparisons.

On the other hand, I´m quite suprised about the DXO-numbers. Not that I ever paid much attention to them anyways, but the dynamic range claim needs to be further investigated. I´m sure, more capable and trustworthy people like Thom Hogan will do that. It will be interesting to see how good it really is.

And then let´s hope for Nikon to finally get their corporate act together and release a 20+ camera that is affordable at around 5.000 $, let´s call it "D700X". I´ll then wait some more months to get into the 4.500 $ region ... (tongue-in-cheek). In these months I´m taking images with my A900 which I´m quite happy with.
--
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bloomoose
bloomoose Veteran Member • Posts: 3,224
You may want to read:

http://www.bythom.com

Here in his D3X test Thom Hogan writes the following:
"Dynamic Range

Unfortunately, dynamic range testing will need to wait a bit longer until I have a fuller compliment of raw converters available. My initial assessment is that I don't think I'm quite getting the same range as I get with my D3. But there are some subtle linearity issues here that may be impacting what I see, and I need to get a better handle on what the converters themselves are doing first. In a "brute force" test I see perhaps five stops below middle gray and four stops above. But I'm making that assessment visually and not with absolute measurements, so will just leave that as a "preliminary assessment."
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bloomoose
bloomoose Veteran Member • Posts: 3,224
Re: where are all the people who...

Well, why not wait for the true experts´ evaluation?
Is noone sceptical when reading such abstract numbers from a commercial site?

Thom Hogan will test dynamic range further:
"Dynamic Range

Unfortunately, dynamic range testing will need to wait a bit longer until I have a fuller compliment of raw converters available. My initial assessment is that I don't think I'm quite getting the same range as I get with my D3. But there are some subtle linearity issues here that may be impacting what I see, and I need to get a better handle on what the converters themselves are doing first. In a "brute force" test I see perhaps five stops below middle gray and four stops above. But I'm making that assessment visually and not with absolute measurements, so will just leave that as a "preliminary assessment."

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Greetings from Germany,
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Check out my images @
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Gweeds Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: such dynamic range improvement unexpected

Can I make a suggestion, and I'm sure I speak for many here:

Go away and actually use a Nikon before you pass comment on any of their range. You've spent the last few days claiming that the D700 can't focus in low-light and that 'Nikon refuse to acknowledge this'. You've never actually used one. Those of us that do use one know just what a load of absolute nonsense you spout.

You're 'disappointed with the D3x' yet you've never actually used one, have no intention of using one, so what does it matter. It's quite likely that your hands would catch fire if you ever used a Nikon anyway, such is your blind loyalty to Canon.

Oh, and one other point - whenever a DX0 mark places a Nikon in front you immediately cry foul and claim that their entire methodology is flawed. Whenever they place Canon ahead you're more than happy to crow about it. So which is it - either they're flawed or not?

We all know that you're utterly unable to see things without blinkers on - and with every post you make yourself look more and more ignorant. That's quite some achievement.

Taikonaut wrote:

The true value of DR is the ability to retain IQ consistency and
details at high ISO. Having measurable superiority in low ISO, ie ISO
100-400 does not translate into visible image difference due to the
fact IQ DR is already at a high enough level detail and colour
retention. The only way of seeing better DR at low ISO is 16-bit.

Actually when you consider the price differences I am a bit
disspointed with D3x DR at ISO 800 and above. This is were better DR
really matters which D3x drops behind the 5DMk2.

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bloomoose
bloomoose Veteran Member • Posts: 3,224
Re: Here I am

So far I have not seen any side-by-side comparisons of real life examples.

People need to remain skeptical until proven otherwise. Not that I wouldn´t like the D3X to have such excellent dynamic range, I would applaud it, yet I doubt it.
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JimPearce
JimPearce Veteran Member • Posts: 9,199
We may have to choose...

whom to believe on this one. I think Thom may be in a little deep.
--
Jim

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Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: Here I am

Sure, why wouldn't you doubt it since you already bought a A900? Generally a person would not want the other model to actually "be better".

But aside from all of that, we have seen several D3X examples that look absolutely stunning, Renato as one example of late.

Can you please share one or more of yours? I am quite curious myself to see just what the Sony can produce in real world. I never have been much for charts and graphs etc. So the Sony appearing behind that way does not hold alot of water for me.
Perhaps a people portrait, or really anything depending on your availability?

Thanks,
--
Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

Bernard Languillier Veteran Member • Posts: 4,672
Not really

ddt332 wrote:

Thom reported opposite results.

In fact Thom has not published his final findings on DR yet, but his first comment is indeed that he feels there might be a bit less DR than with the D3.

It was also my feeling, but now that I am using C1 4.6 for both I am not that sure any longer. They are probably close. It really depends on how shadow noise is measured I guess.

I do for sure feel that the D3x provides enough DR for most scenes when exposure is done corrrectly.

Cheers,
Bernard

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