DXOMark just tested the D3X

Started Jan 15, 2009 | Discussions
jean bernier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,181
for what it's worth...

rhlpetrus wrote:

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". "

To my own surprise, this happens to be somehow true. I had the chance to shoot with three contenders this weeK; Hasselblad H3D-31, D3 and D3X. We did mostly full body shots in order to push the resolution requirement quite high. Close ups mean not much to me, as sometimes, I find my old 6 mpix close ups to look still quite impressive. Full lenght shots really reveal each camera's ability. I won't post samples as I do not have model release, and it's almost sure to start another flame war.

Observations: the D3 struggles to be in the same league, but fails. As much as I love this camera, it is not the studio beast the other two cameras are designed for. I upsized the D3 NEF for on screen comparison.

The D3X, if not at the same level of resolution as the Hasselblad 31 mpix, gives it a really good run for the money. In fact, I suspect if the D3X had the AA filter removed, it would be as sharp as the Blad. Files can take large amounts of sharpening while maintaining integrity, amounts that the d3 files can't support whithout looking pretty bad.

The HD3-31 has base 100 ISO due to microlenses that boost sensitivity, so says Hasselblad litterature. Larger models such as 39mpix, 50 mpix have base 50 ISO, and no microlenses, according to the litterature. The files are definately sharper, but by a relatively small amount compared to D3X properly processed files. The surprise was the immense amount of moire recorded..there was moire everywhere on the fabrics, but the software does a great job of removing these, while maintaining sharpness.

There was no moire to speak of from the Nikon files, but fabrics were close to the Blad's rendition in terms of sharpness with the D3X, but not equal.

Frankly, as one that said the D3X was nowhere near MF, I must change my tune, at least if comparison is made with the H3D-31. The larger MF backs are another story...

The most appalling feature of the H3D is the miserable AF function: it's one single focus area right in the middle. This brings you back to the AF on the 1987 Nikon F4. It really has poor functionality, unless the subject is dead center, or you accept less than critical focus by reframing. Manual focus is the way to go with this camera, depending on what you're shooting. If you can manage to focus critically on a moving target, power to you.

In conclusion, I now see the D3X in a more favorable light, the focus system being lightyears ahead, choice of lenses, ease of use, yada yada yada...

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.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhlpedrosa/
OnExposure member
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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Jean Bernier

All photographs are only more or less credible illusions

Frank C. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,667
Re:true

from iso 150 onwards, the D3 trounces the D3x.... check the graphs it's all there

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

steras wrote:

DxO measures raw performance whereas DIWA measures the same
parameters on jpeg.

Now it makes sense.

Thanks,
Juan

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

rhlpetrus wrote:

These are jpegs. The A700 seems to have shown RAW manipulation, they
have a statement about that, promising a careful analysis for the
future.

As far as I know, this has been solved with the last firmware update.

I hope they can do the analysis soon. It's always good to know the difference with the rest.

Regards,
Juan

leping Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Not really

Then start thinking about MF backs. The P65+ has about the same pixel spacing (size) but you lose about one step of DOF since instead of a 50mm you have to do a 80mm for the normal lens coverage and live with the 80mm lens DOF. So there the D3x f8 becomes the f5.6 in terms of DOF.

This is why I believe even for landscapes (which I do) D3x plays a role unless you shoot flat, 2D things only.

ddt332 wrote:

Thanks for sharing. If DR of D3x is indeed close to, or better than
D3's, then it will be a possible choice for me, once the price drop
to around current 1ds mark III range. The only negative thing about
it is just diffraction start around f8 f11, which is bad for
landscape.
Can you confirm this if you happen to tested it?
--

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LEPING ZHA
4x5 film / 6x7 film / Canon 5DII & 5D-IR / Nikon D700
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Azimuth46 Forum Member • Posts: 60
it'd be interesting to see

what a MP camera or back can score at least at low ISOs to see if the Nikon statements are really approaching the truth or not.

Anyway, as all the Canon, included the 1d series, score around 80, which is what Nikon D3/D700 made too, we should expect a whole new generation of camera from both the worlds (includins Sony too, I hope!).

Azi

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,871
good report

Thanks, I think what you experienced will be relevant to many in the studio/landscape/architecture business, as a D3x could be a nice way to enter the field, besides being a good complement to larger MF cameras for those already owning them.

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Renato.
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,871
Re:true

You should use the PRINT option for graphs, which normalizes the print/view size.

In that case the differences are negligible, within the margin of error of 1/3 stop accepted in photography.

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Renato.
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OnExposure member
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,871
A700

Their statement:

"Some cameras already process their RAW images. In particular, they apply noise reduction, which leads to unfair comparison."

This is correct. In order to be completely fair, we also measure the amount of filtering applied and then retrieve the value of noise before filtering. Until now, no camera in the dxomark.com database generates noise-reduced RAW images. In particular, the Sony Alpha 900 does not filter the green channel, but only red and blue. We will publish some explanations about the Sony Alpha 700’s “pre-RAW” processing very soon.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/DxOMark-Sensor/Questions-Answers/IQ-Database#659

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Renato.
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OnExposure member
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,871
Re: Yes but...

When viewing graphs, just click on PRINT option.

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Renato.
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OnExposure member
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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Endos Senior Member • Posts: 1,381
Re: A700

rhlpetrus wrote:

Their statement:

"Some cameras already process their RAW images. In particular, they
apply noise reduction, which leads to unfair comparison."

This is correct. In order to be completely fair, we also measure the
amount of filtering applied and then retrieve the value of noise
before filtering. Until now, no camera in the dxomark.com database
generates noise-reduced RAW images. In particular, the Sony Alpha 900
does not filter the green channel, but only red and blue. We will
publish some explanations about the Sony Alpha 700’s “pre-RAW”
processing very soon.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/DxOMark-Sensor/Questions-Answers/IQ-Database#659

Thank you again.

Best regards,
Juan

Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,303
amazing Bernard

The most convincing image I've yet seen from the D3x. The shadow detail is quite something. That Zeiss 100/2 is a splendid lens and appears to live very well with the D3x. Thanks for posting this....Peter
--
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Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 15,886
Re: You may want to read:

bloomoose wrote:
LoL, thanks for making my day This is such a funny remark.
Sorry, for being rude, thinking you know what others think just can´t
be taken seriously. If you care to read Thom´s test, you will see
that he thinks the D3X is worth the price and he has already bought
one. I will pass it as I have the D3 and will wait for the "D700X".

Toermalijn wrote:

Thom just want it too, not for 8 grand, but as soon as it hits a
price he thinks is justified, he will grab one too. Thom knows it's
potential!

Since when thom stated it's worth the money and own one?! Show me the post he stated he own one right now for 8 grand!

By the way, all the sony owners make my day too, still stating it can hold it's own to the d3x! LOL.

ddt332 Contributing Member • Posts: 760
Re: Not really

Thanks, Leping. I know your work very well and to be honest you are the inspiration why I get into photography hobby around 2 years ago. Most of your works I familiar with are films. I don't know you also get into digital now. I wish I can have a chance to directly learn from you.

Do you have any workshop by the way?
Thanks.

Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 15,886
Re: You may want to read:

Toermalijn wrote:

bloomoose wrote:
LoL, thanks for making my day This is such a funny remark.
Sorry, for being rude, thinking you know what others think just can´t
be taken seriously. If you care to read Thom´s test, you will see
that he thinks the D3X is worth the price and he has already bought
one. I will pass it as I have the D3 and will wait for the "D700X".

Toermalijn wrote:

Thom just want it too, not for 8 grand, but as soon as it hits a
price he thinks is justified, he will grab one too. Thom knows it's
potential!

Since when thom stated it's worth the money and own one?! Show me the
post he stated he own one right now for 8 grand!

By the way, all the sony owners make my day too, still stating it can
hold it's own to the d3x! LOL.

Don't get me wrong, the sony a900 is a very nice camera for the money but nikon just did a better job...unfortunately it comes at a price!

It just shows that nikon isn't looking at sony as a competator, but to canon, wich has a simular camera at a simular pricepoint. But nikon should have learned their lesson with the canon mark3, wich simply didn't sell that much.

SteMa Senior Member • Posts: 1,100
Re: Higher than DR of D3 is almost impossible.

The d3x has a real iso100 sensitivity and that's why it can be better in DR than the D3. d3, d3x and d90 (which has similar pixel pitch as the d3x) all have about the same DR @iso200, but the d3x has a real iso100, that's why it can deliver such a DR. But you have to feed that monster with lens... But just look how much the industry developed: comparing the d70's high iso noise and resolution to the d90. And the d90 is more affordable now than the d70 had back then. So in a couple of years we will see such DR, resolution, high-iso noise in the dx field for prices like todays d60 probably.
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Best regards, SteMa

Artichoke
Artichoke Forum Pro • Posts: 12,482
gorgeous example, Bernard

of the D3X advantage put to excellent use
lovely photograph with great shadow detail retention
at full resolution, the detail is breathtaking
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Zane Paxton Veteran Member • Posts: 6,947
Bits not Stops

Bernie Ess wrote:

They say the D3x has 13,7stops of DR,

Hi Bernie,

Their description uses the term "Bits" not "Stops". I couldn't find any definition on their site that defines or describes what they are doing as far as units..... There are only 10 zones and maybe 7 of those are actually useful... 13 stops is absurd... They do use something called "Tonal Range" which is different from their DR measurements and is indeed defined in f/stops.

With a DxOMark Sensor score of 88 points, the Nikon D3X takes the lead of dxomark.com ranking as of January 14, 2009. It shows very good color depth (24.7bits) and max Dynamic Range (13.7bits), with a somewhat lower Low-Light ISO value at about 1990 ISO (all 3 values in “Print” mode).

Cheers,
--
Zane
http://www.pbase.com/devonshire
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jb_va2001 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,741
A900 beats D2x soundly. /nt

Dr Frank wrote:

Wanted to inform the Nikonians also:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Image-Quality-Database/Nikon/D3X

Most impressing are 13.7 Bit of real dynamic @ ISO 100.

Nikon obviously spent much more and much better A/D channels, than
others. This might explain, why the D3X is so expensive.

Compare to Canon and Sony also!

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Image-Quality-Database/Compare-cameras/ (appareil1) 287|0 (appareil2) 279|0 (appareil3) 265|0 (onglet) 0 (brand) Nikon (brand2) Canon (brand3) Sony
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Frank

Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 25,917
Re: Here I am

I also would like to see your findings

We will do better in due time, we will provide a tool to do such measurements in an accurate manner and compare those measurements taken by different testers.

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