DXOMark just tested the D3X

Started Jan 15, 2009 | Discussions
Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: We may have to choose...

And you have to remeber that Thom, excellent as he is and has been with much of this, is in fact especially upset at Nikon for the price without support (as he states). Tough to be real objective under those conditions. But I am goning to trust that he will be in spite of his frustration.

And, while I completely agree with the "support lacking" part of Thom's complaint, there needs to be a serious look at whether or not the D3X is delivering "near" MF quality and then relate that fact to the price of what it would cost to go MF and then also lack flexibility enjoyed with the D3X. Not to mention lens line availability inboth Nikon and Zeiss.

So far, the preliminary findings inclusive of this DXo report and samples and owners voicing their findings, is that the D3X really is "all that". Vs the belief of a like camera model with the same Sony sensor as the A900.
--
Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

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

Hi Mel, I´m not so partial as may seem obvious, since I´m a Nikonian at heart.

And I am impatiently waiting for a camera that will make me dump my Fuji S5 which the D3X is said to better. Well, I´m keeping the S5 as of yet

Here is a portrait and crop from the A900 with CZ 135/1.8

If you´re interested, you can look into the Sony Dslr part of this forum, I posted some trials at landscape recently, mind you I have a lot to learn. I always include 100% crops and you will see that sunset shots get quite grainy even at 125 ISO.

A misty city scape
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=30631679

Samples I posted and got criticised for doing so in the Nikon section
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=30461962

Mel wrote:

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

-- hide signature --

Greetings from Germany,
Pam

Check out my images @
http://www.fotografie.fr/n3-galleryPMeier-1.htm

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

Very nice Pam!
Thank you.

I have no idea why you would have received flak about posting those in this forum. Afterall the A900 at the very least, is one of the perceived competitors to the D3X. I believe this also holds true for the 5DMKII.

The question becomes whether or not those two models are in the same league with the D3X? Your atmospheric haze noise/lack in detail, of the city scape shot may or may not (depending on too many things to mention), be some evidence of not being equal to the D3X. Yet in all fairness, your little princess shot and crop are stunning!

This may all come down to "more specifcally than ever before", what the user(s) is taking photos of. Example: Printing under 20 X 30 of non landscape type images, in general to not very stressed shooting conditions . . why would one need a camera that cost almost 5K more? You simply would'nt.

On the other hand, the D3X may well prove to be the MF killer of sorts in it's image quality and lens line availability, portability and 1/3 less the price of a true MF system. In that case (as one poster has already stated), it will be a bargain!
--
Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

Endos Senior Member • Posts: 1,381
Re: Here I am

Interesting to view:

That DxO values from diwa-labs are different from those at the dxomark website. Interesting is the Sony A700 has better DR here and strangely is not analyzed in dxomark website.

Regards,
Juan

ThomasMiller Senior Member • Posts: 2,735
Re: such dynamic range improvement unexpected

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.

Zowee!!! Seriously, aren't you just even a LITTLE embarrassed to type that? At this point even Canon themselves would admit that the D3x has better IQ. So is every site testing them.

Don't you feel a bit sad inside to suggest otherwise and with no actual experience? I own a D700, D90 and previously a pair of D300's. I've recently tried the new 5D MK2. It's a STUNNING camera, especially at the price. But the D3x is on another level, which likely has nothing to do with you as it's truly meant for a money earning market segment (Read: PRO).

Oh, and my D700 focuses better than ANY Canon I've tried, but it takes a lot of practice to master. The Canons currently have weaker AF modules and nothing on the market meters as well as the D3, D700 or D3x.
There's no "loss" for the Canon to not measure up to a D3x.

Canon is just a camera company. They're not your "friend" or "lover" just a company that sells stuff. Their "stuff" doesn't suit everyone.

Haven't you figured ANY of that out yet?

Snap out of it.

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

Mel, I can only speculate that some people just want to be on their own in their manufacturer of choice´s forum. I like sharing and learning more than anything else and that´s why I keep coming back here

I don´t think that the Sony A900 is a threat to Nikon, I hear it doesn´t sell well and I´m not surprised. About image quality differences, they do matter, but the deciding factors will be lenses, shooting discipline, conversion skills. So put the blame on me rather than on the A900.

So while I´m waiting for an affordable 20+ Nikon body I´m learning about pp every day, working through Dan Margulies´ PS book and I also read about lighting technique. So I believe that I have to get better and one day the better camera will come along, too

Oh, by the way, my commercial work is very down-to-earth, working for a machine construction company among others, I shoot a lot of machinery. The samples from the A900 I post are just personal snap shots. I´m planning to buy a PC-E 45 Nikkor for better DOF, I believe this will make more impact on IQ than more pixels. Buying a D3X would not help my business at all. Noone has asked me what camera I use nor do I know a pro in that region who uses digital MF.

Mel wrote:

Very nice Pam!
Thank you.
I have no idea why you would have received flak about posting those
in this forum. Afterall the A900 at the very least, is one of the
perceived competitors to the D3X. I believe this also holds true for
the 5DMKII.
The question becomes whether or not those two models are in the same
league with the D3X? Your atmospheric haze noise/lack in detail, of
the city scape shot may or may not (depending on too many things to
mention), be some evidence of not being equal to the D3X. Yet in all
fairness, your little princess shot and crop are stunning!
This may all come down to "more specifcally than ever before", what
the user(s) is taking photos of. Example: Printing under 20 X 30 of
non landscape type images, in general to not very stressed shooting
conditions . . why would one need a camera that cost almost 5K more?
You simply would'nt.
On the other hand, the D3X may well prove to be the MF killer of
sorts in it's image quality and lens line availability, portability
and 1/3 less the price of a true MF system. In that case (as one
poster has already stated), it will be a bargain!
--
Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

-- hide signature --

Greetings from Germany,
Pam

Check out my images @
http://www.fotografie.fr/n3-galleryPMeier-1.htm

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ron purdy Senior Member • Posts: 2,493
Re: Here I am

That DxO values from diwa-labs are different from those at the
dxomark website. Interesting is the Sony A700 has better DR here and
strangely is not analyzed in dxomark website.

Yes, this is what's always confusing about DR measurements - there are many measuring techniques and each produce different results. It's funny to see the Dxomark results showing the D3x at several stops more DR than the DIWA labs site.

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Mark Boreham Regular Member • Posts: 226
It has to be said that this camera..

has pushed the boundaries forward. This just enforces what I have seen of uploaded examples of what this camera is capable of.

Personally I will be getting the a900 because of the price and because I am in love with the Sony 135mm STF, but make no mistake - if I could afford it, this camera would be mine!

Well done Nikon.

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ricardo2 Regular Member • Posts: 122
just to acknowledge bloomoose

bloomoose wrote:

Mel, I can only speculate that some people just want to be on their
own in their manufacturer of choice´s forum. I like sharing and
learning more than anything else and that´s why I keep coming back
here

I like your posts, they're meaningful and judicious. thanks

leping Regular Member • Posts: 429
DxO DR is at 1:1 RMS noise | DxO Insight: Higher-Resolution Sensors = Better Results

Read the DxO DR definition (RMS noise level = luminance level) before comparing to measures using something quite different:

"3. Dynamic range

Dynamic range is defined as the ratio between the highest and lowest gray luminance a sensor can capture. However, the lowest gray luminance makes sense only if it is not drowned by noise, thus this lower boundary is defined as the gray luminance for which the SNR is larger than 1. The dynamic range is a ratio of gray luminance; it has no defined unit per se, but it can be expressed in Ev, or f-stops. "

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Technologies/Measurement-definitions/Noise

How could more pixels does not bring down DR?

DR is determined by the sensor's full well photom capacity and thermal and read noise level.

It is obvious according to the science of physics, but many would just not accept. If the micro-lens(es) are "gapless", and you devide the one pixel area into four. End results? When you binning the 4 pixels together, or properly downsample to 50% size, you get back exactly the same SNR, since the level of noise is proportional to Sqrt(N), where N is the number of photons hit the single low resolution sensor pixel area. You lose SNR by a factor of 2, or 6dB, by checking the high resolution pixels at 100%, since only 1/4 of the photon is hitting, but after bining everything comes back exactly the same (just devided into four parts and individually read and properly combined), since the total number of photoms, and hense the level of fluation are the same.

However, by going 4 pixels instead of one, you GAIN the obth ways:

1. The option to use the highre resolution, in this case doubling;

2. The option of downsizing to 50% to half the noise. If the sensors are not Bayer type, that's it, and you do not lose or gain anything. Nevertheless, if the sensors are Bayer, which introduces another 3dB true resolution loss, you actually gain here again, because of the much less demosiacing artifacts, better color definition and smoother tonor transition after downsizing, all the higher resolution brings in in the first place for Bayer sensors, even when your lenses can not resolve to the single sensor size level, with or without CA, out of focus, and out of DOF.

These has been, as I tried to mention, but rudely insulted, adequately and confincely tested and confirmed in Lloyd Chamber's DAP reviews, with these free side-to-side comparison 100% unsampled/downsampled samples:

http://diglloyd.com/diglloyd/2009-01-blog.html#_20090109NikonD3x

In the D3x vs D3 case, the area difference is not 4 but close to 2, so that the noise level differs by 3dB in the ideal (linear) world.

Go back to the DxO site, and checkout the following conclusions under the Insights tab:

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, higher resolution actually compensates for noise:

This Insight uses currently-available DSLRs to demonstrate the technique for objectively comparing noise for cameras with different levels of resolution. Such comparisons conclusively show better results overall for high-resolution sensors, despite the increase in noise. ..."

Thanks for reading.

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Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: just to acknowledge bloomoose
Mel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: DxO DR is at 1:1 RMS noise | DxO Insight: Higher-Resolution Sensors = Better Resu

Do the DX0 findings (in your opinion), hold water? Or are they as suggested here, opinions of a commercial source not as profesional perhaps as what we will eventually get fromThom Hogan?
Forgive me if you have clearly stated this already.
--
Mel
http://www.mellockhartphotography.zenfolio.com
http://www.mellockhartphotography.net

Jeff Kohn Veteran Member • Posts: 4,855
Re: DxO DR is at 1:1 RMS noise | DxO Insight: Higher-Resolution Sensors = Better Resu

Mel wrote:

Do the DX0 findings (in your opinion), hold water? Or are they as
suggested here, opinions of a commercial source not as profesional
perhaps as what we will eventually get fromThom Hogan?

But consider, DxO has no commercial interest in one camera winning out over another; their commercial interest is in selling their test suite. Which means that credibility is in their commercial interest.

I'm not saying their tests are the one and only gospel truth about sensor performance, because people a lot smarter than me seem to have some doubts. And lets be realistic, a single numerical score is kind of silly. But there does seem to be some useful data there.

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maxz
maxz Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
why do you guys

even waste the time to reply. If the urge is indeed too strong to resist, two letters is more than enough.

Max

ThomasMiller wrote:

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.

Zowee!!! Seriously, aren't you just even a LITTLE embarrassed to type
that? At this point even Canon themselves would admit that the D3x
has better IQ. So is every site testing them.
Don't you feel a bit sad inside to suggest otherwise and with no
actual experience? I own a D700, D90 and previously a pair of D300's.
I've recently tried the new 5D MK2. It's a STUNNING camera,
especially at the price. But the D3x is on another level, which
likely has nothing to do with you as it's truly meant for a money
earning market segment (Read: PRO).
Oh, and my D700 focuses better than ANY Canon I've tried, but it
takes a lot of practice to master. The Canons currently have weaker
AF modules and nothing on the market meters as well as the D3, D700
or D3x.
There's no "loss" for the Canon to not measure up to a D3x.

Canon is just a camera company. They're not your "friend" or "lover"
just a company that sells stuff. Their "stuff" doesn't suit everyone.

Haven't you figured ANY of that out yet?

Snap out of it.

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Dan Wells Contributing Member • Posts: 572
I agree with the positive comments re: Bloomoose

Even as a D3x shooter, I think Pam has done a great job showing us just how good the Alpha 900 really is, with some nice work. The A900 has an amazing IQ/price ratio, when well handled, and Pam clearly knows it well. I hope Sony keeps up a higher-end line (when Minolta owned that line, their problem with the pro market was that they released a great camera, then sat on it forever and didn't release all the lenses that were needed) , because three competitors are always better than two at keeping innovation up and prices down. While I've got my camera for a LONG while (if I buy anything else in the next few years it'll be a crop body for wildlife) at this point, the Sony/Zeiss lenses will keep the pressure on Nikon to release great Nikkors, which benefit me directly. Thanks Pam, and thanks Sony for adding a third viable option.

-Dan

MackyLuke Regular Member • Posts: 244
Nikon obviously delivered the best

No Text

ThomasMiller Senior Member • Posts: 2,735
Re: why do you guys

maxz wrote:

even waste the time to reply. If the urge is indeed too strong to
resist, two letters is more than enough.

Max

Right you are, Max.

But I think I'll get banned for those two letters!

Cheers,

OP Dr Frank Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: DxO DR is at 1:1 RMS noise | DxO Insight: Higher-Resolution Sensors = Better Resu

Mel wrote:

Do the DX0 findings (in your opinion), hold water? Or are they as
suggested here, opinions of a commercial source not as profesional
perhaps as what we will eventually get fromThom Hogan?
Forgive me if you have clearly stated this already.
--
Mel

Sorry, but I don't know Thom Hogans work..

DXOMark is doing exactly by routine measurements, what Roger Clark (astro physicist from M.I.T.) publishes on his site clarkvision.com, concerning bare sensor perfomance.
His results match (i.e. scale) with DXOmark, if you read carefully.

Both sources and some other astro-photographers (ref. found on Clarks site) are the only one I know who are doing really reliable quantitative measurements in contrast to qualitative comparisons of random pictures, mostly otherwise found on the net.

DXOmark describe their technical setup and the underlying definitions, standards and calculation routines very precisely and elaborately.

Many people in this forum (especially in my own Canon community) deeply mistrust DXOMark, I assume just because of lack of engineering knowledge.

To engineers or scientists (as me), somehow involved in Signal Processing and its theory, those descriptions are very familiar, fully understandable and there's absolutely no doubt about the results from, or the seriousity of DXOmark.

I also see no practical reason, why DXO should cheat or act non neutral.

They sell their picture optimization program to the public, and their analysis program mainly to interested camera and sensor manufacturers. Mediocre results for one of their designated customers could only rsik their business.

Just take DXOMark, Clark et. al. as an useful quantitative and technical complement to the many qualitative analysises, mainly from photographers.

Both views have the same entitlement and a very similar benefit.

-- hide signature --

Frank

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,872
Re: DxO DR is at 1:1 RMS noise | DxO Insight: Higher-Resolution Sensors = Better Resu

Having some background in science, there are a few things worth saying re DxO mark and any testing of equipment.

1) There are margin of errors in any evaluation due to: intrinsic error (instrument used has measurmet limits), sample variation (one cannot test many samples), variation in methodology (when comparing different tests's results).

2) For photography, 1/3 stop in any measurement is the admissible margin of error. DxO has said that translates into about 6 points in the final scale. Thus, the differences between, say A900 and 5DII, as final scores, are not significative.

3) DxO uses 3 basic variables for final score: DR at base ISO, Depth Color at base ISO, and maximum ISO where one gets both at least 30DB of SNR at 18% and 9 stops DR. When one checks these items separately, then it's clear cameras have different optimization. The D3x is best in DR and color, the D3/D700 in high ISO performance.

4) Thus, it really doesn't make sense to affirm that D3x's sensor is better than D3's. Even less to say D3x is a better camera than the D3, since when you come to fps rate at 14 bits, teh D3 is just 5x faster and that's relevant for some shooting styles, for others, it's irrelevant.

5) The DxO test is about RAW only, and no one actually "sees" a RAW file as a final image. Thus, it's really important to learn to use and use the best RAW conversion possible if IQ is your concern. A poorly converted D3x file will much worse as a final image than one from a, say D300, done optimally (for the IQ issues involved, noise, DR, color reproduction and even detail, even though this one has lenses and AA filter as hardware items to be considered, as well).

6) DxO is a very competent digital imaging company, I really can't see any possibility of bias in their testing. And most people who know about digital imaging agree they have developed a decent methodology for sensor testing. Not that it can't have a few flaws, but I think most complaints are by people that haven't undestood fully the different aspects and what's being measured in each of them, and the relation of each to final output.
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Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 15,886
Re: such dynamic range improvement unexpected

Gweeds wrote:
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.

Kudos to nikon, and i said it way back when it just came out: Nikon did a great job on the d3x! It IS the finest dslr at the moment and you have to pay for it. period.

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