forthcoming D3X pro review

Started Feb 5, 2009 | Discussions
MackyLuke Regular Member • Posts: 244
Re: bundled vs. "free"

I am from the printing business and a few years ago, QuarkXPress, a page layout application was everywhere. Then came the Quark Killer... InDesign. The first revisions were very bad but suddenly Adobe released Creative Suite which included InDesign "for free".

Everybody switched to InDesign and actually, Quark business is gone and Adobe is surfing on a software they gave to everyone. They are making their money out of their upgrade.

Software publishers do not make money for the initial release, they have to go through a distribution and a reseller channel.

Nikon should follow this good marketing operation. Give it to everybody then wait for the next upgrade to get the money from an incredible number of users.

And by the way Nikon... Be sure to make these upgrades available as a downloadable software. You can deal with the end users and make all the money!

Maybe I should work as a marketing consultant for Nikon...
--
I am not young enough to know everything
Oscar Wilde

Bob GB Senior Member • Posts: 1,819
Looking forward to your review.

It will be refreshing to read some real user experience, as opposed to whining and pixel peeping.

I kind of agree that NX2 should have been bundled with the high end cameras. For sure it would add a little to the price. I believe it is a matter on how Nikon are judging the market situation. If they believed they are just following Canon, software would be part of the packet like it is with Canon. But if they believe they are leading the pack, to some degree, they would feel free to make things their own way.

Some people are extremely occupied with the price and how it brakes down compared to the D3. This is the layman’s economic thinking, IMHO. First of all pricing is not just to add a premium to the production and distribution cost, but also dependant on the volume they expect to sell, where the NRE cost (non-recurring engineering, the one-time cost of researching, developing, designing, and testing a new product) has to be covered by this volume. I believe the volume for the D3x will probably be the lowest of all Nikon DSLR so far. Secondly Nikon obviously are feeling they are leading the pack with the D3x, and therefore are free to set a price they believe the market is willing to pay. This is important to understand and is the way a company with success earn more than other companies.

It is also a question whether Nikon are using strategic pricing in order to gain market share. This might have influenced the D3 and D700 prices. It is a question mark though.

Gweeds Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

As a fellow wedding pro I'm looking forward to it - shooting D3's and a D700 here with no plans on buying a D3x, but a D700x possibly...
--

'All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.' - Elliott

Erwitt | 'It's no good saying 'hold it' to a moment in real life.' - Lord Snowdon

yunfat Contributing Member • Posts: 877
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

dchphoto wrote:

You must not do a lot of high end weddings.

I guess not... I can't offer my clients "instant back-up", perhaps I should get out of the business entirely.

The bride who is going to
pluck down 7k for a wedding photographer expects a much higher level
of quality and service than the one on a budget.

Isn't 7k a budget? Or do your clients just hand you blank checks?

Educating your
clients is something all good businesses do. If I use a D3/D3x for my
weddings and everyone else uses s5's, I'm going to use that to my
competitive advantage. Since data loss is real and a risk, instant
back-up is a giant selling point that bride's can understand and
appreciate.

You don't need an education to know a great photograph, at least that is my philosophy. I have owned almost every nikon DX body and a fuji S5, I must be lucky, in 10 years shooting digital and 1 million+ images I have never experienced data loss. I only use the cheapest CF and sd cards, no name brand, because I don't believe in solid state media loss. If I lost a weddings photos I would be out of business, so I understand your concern, but that is not something to advertise to clients... that would be like buying a car without an engine... I am going to shoot all these photos at your wedding, but you may not get them because of data loss, isn't it implied you won't lose the data? I spend most of my time educating my clients about other things, like the camera bears little significance on the photos, because in my experience, it's usually the photographer who counts.

If you are booking a bride and one of your sales tools is "instant"
back-up, I hasten to say your photos are probably less than stellar.

Oh really? Well my site is at http://www.harrislightcraft.com . Feel free to
have a look. And what would your site be?

Nice pictures there, the flash is very hard to navigate though (firefox 3.1b2). Mine is http://www.artistwithlight.com . You can find some wedding shots, but you will really hate them, they are mostly blurry and technically deficient.

My photos make bookings, not instant back-up, which I doubt more than
1% of prospective brides even know about. Make that .1% actually.

I spend most of my time with prospective brides helping them plan a
great wedding day experience and showing how using me will add to
that. Dual card slots takes up perhaps 30 seconds of an hour long
discussion. If you cannot afford the best equipment, do not slander
those who can. I have done 200 or so weddings with an S5. Now I use a
D3x. There are advantages over the S5 that will give peace of mind to
a prospective bride. Sorry if that offends you.

Wait, "instant back-up" is a "giant selling point" but you spend less than 1% of the time with your client to explaining it and the difference between a fuji S5 vs a D3x... I must humbly ask for an education, 30 seconds isn't a lot of time.

It is I who am sorry if I offended you, but if you think a bride gets peace of mind from a D3X vs a Fuji S5 due to your thorough explanation and education of things DSLR, I am in awe, and wish to see it first hand. You must be the best salesman in the world and I would love to hear your pitch so that I could learn a few things.

Gweeds Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

I get brides who are obsessed with avoiding failure on the day and will probe about what happens if I'm ill, my car breaks down, am I insured, how many cameras have I got and so on. I get others who never ask those questions.

So, for the ones in the former category adding detail like 'Not only do I shoot with 2 cameras on me with a spare in the bag, both of my mains are also writing images to 2 cards in case one of the cards fails' is exactly the sort of thing they want to hear.

In that regard it's a useful selling tool. Others won't care at all.
--

'All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.' - Elliott

Erwitt | 'It's no good saying 'hold it' to a moment in real life.' - Lord Snowdon

thomas1973 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,477
Looking forward to the review, too

Especially as you have both the D700 and the D3x. I have the D700, so it will serve as a reference for me. I don't need or covet the D3x, as to me, the D700 is really all I've been waiting for in terms of resolution, high ISO - and decent DR (more DR would always be welcome, though). But it will be interesting to have one more "real life user" review of where the state of the art of 35mm DSLRs is at the moment, and added with some good portrait/skin tones.

Thomas.

five0guy Regular Member • Posts: 402
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

1. I agree. Nikon should included NX with the D3x. That was a mistake. Cmon Nikon! This is a no brainer.

2. Marketing the dual card capability is smart. I would too if I shot weddings. Good move. Not sure why some posters here dont get that.

3. I look forward to your review. I really enjoy when folks talk about "PRINT" quality. Thats my measure ultimately. How does a 16X20 or larger print hold up?

 five0guy's gear list:five0guy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS 5D Mark II Sony a7R Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D810 +20 more
Dan Wells Contributing Member • Posts: 572
NX2

I agree with everyone else about NX2 - another factor that makes software a good item to include is that its manufacturing cost is negligible. Yes, it has substantial development costs, so Nikon has to sell copies of it to pay those (or use their software as a selling point to sell hardware, like Apple does - Apple doesn't come CLOSE to selling enough boxed copies of Mac OS X (or even iLife) to fund development, BUT they use them as reasons to buy a Mac). However, it doesn't really hurt Nikon at all to toss a 25 cent Capture NX2 disk in with each of the couple thousand D3x bodies they sell each month (they already have a big,high profit hardware sale), while still trying to SELL NX2 to the 80,000 people who buy a D300 each month. Most NX2 buyers probably shoot a D300 or a D700, bodies reasonably enough priced to be common, yet sophisticated enough that most users are shooting RAW and looking for real conversion tools (lower-end bodies probably attract a high proportion of JPEG shooters or folks who use free tools like NikonView and iPhoto to convert RAWs). Even if they included it with the D3 as well, those two bodies are less than 10% of the "D300 and above" market - the D3x alone is only a couple of percent. They could easily sell more copies by making it more appealing to D90 users than they would lose to not selling it to D3x users (many of whom own NX2 anyway, or use another favorite RAW converter and wouldn't buy NX2).

Nikon's major problem selling NX2 is probably Adobe, who sell Lightroom around the same price as NX2 and bundle Camera Raw with the inexpensive Photoshop Elements. Camera Raw doesn't handle NEFs as well as NX2, but it is a credible, full-featured RAW converter, not a limited "freebie" converter.

-Dan

peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
bundled, free, and theories of value

As I pointed out, they could have ameliorated the situation
considerably by taking a more Lexus type approach and bundling high
perceived value things that cost little.

Yes, I see the point that you and the OP were making about the D3X; it may well have been a good marketing decision to bundle NX (or other products) with the D3X. I continue to prefer the word 'bundle' to the word 'free'; it keeps the financial facts clear.

On the larger issue of the D3X's price, and the question of perceived value that you are raising, the cold business reality is that Nikon is making a mistake only if the price results in a failure to sell as many D3X's as they plan to make (significant caveat noted below). At Nikon they call the sales plan "the budget". So if they don't make budget on the D3X, they've blown it.

As it happens, I had dinner and a beer with a senior Nikon DSLR executive a couple weeks ago -- an old friend from my days there. I don't want to get him in trouble by quoting him directly, but he let me know that the budget on the D3X is modest; they aren't making all that many.

Sure Nikon must cover their costs. However, what ARE their costs? A
quick breakdown analysis of a D3x shows that its costs are pretty
close (nearly identical) to a D3, which sells for quite a bit less.
Thus, the D3x price is artificially floated at its current level.

Hmmm. "Artificially floated"? Are we edging into Marx's Labor Theory of Value here, Thom? (Not that there's anything wrong with a little Marx on a Saturday morning.) If Nikon is pricing the D3X based on classical capitalist market theories of value (which they do), they should set the price at the highest level that will still sell the number of units they want to make. If they price it at $5,000 but can only make 500 units a month, and it's on heavy backorder for three years, they've underpriced (undervalued) the product -- they're leaving money on the table. Now I realize you know all this stuff, and I hope you realize I'm just having a little philosophical fun here.

But maybe this brings us around in a circle because it's true that most consumers, no matter how much they profess love of free markets, to some degree have an internal Labor Theory of Value -- they don't like the idea that a product's price is many times higher than its cost of manufacture, based on nothing more than market demand and competitive conditions. They don't seem to mind when it's perfume, or designer clothing, but on things like cameras (and software), a manufacturer can develop a reputation for price gouging, if people think the camera is priced way above its manufacturing cost.

So that's the caveat, I mentioned above. Even if the D3X sells to budget at $8,000, the price might still be a marketing mistake if Nikon develops a real (not just Internet forum) reputation for price gouging. To some limited degree, Canon did develop just such a reputation after years of selling the 1Ds-series at $8,000. So I think I'm paraphrasing one component of your argument about the D3X price here, yes? If so, it's not unreasonable, but it's also not easy to figure out if such reputation damage is really happening with any single product, D3X included. And Nikon has enjoyed much the opposite reputation more or less ever since the D1 intro (D200/D300 and D3 being more recent examples) -- lots of camera for very reasonable prices.

So bottom line, at least for me, is that we won't know if Nikon really made a mistake of any substance on the D3X price until a) we see if they make budget on it and b) we see if there's any real (i.e. lasting) reputation damage. I believe you think it's already evident that Nikon made at least some mistake (yes/no?), whereas I would say, at this point, time will tell.

OP dchphoto Regular Member • Posts: 381
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

yunfat wrote:

dchphoto wrote:

You must not do a lot of high end weddings.

I guess not... I can't offer my clients "instant back-up", perhaps I
should get out of the business entirely.

After viewing your site, let me revise my statement to read "you must not do a lot of weddings of any type period."

The bride who is going to
pluck down 7k for a wedding photographer expects a much higher level
of quality and service than the one on a budget.

Isn't 7k a budget? Or do your clients just hand you blank checks?

Let me break it down for you differently. If someone can only afford a Chevy Metro, they probably do not know or care that for a lot more money, they could get a Cadillac with OnStar that will notify someone should the car break down. Someone who CAN afford such a car will probably appreciate knowing about it and will expect a better product. By your logic, the Caddy dealer should not tell prospective customers about this difference or the customer might think the car is prone to breakdown. One of the early objections to putting seatbelts in cars was that people might think the cars were not safe. It is still faulty logic today just as back then.

Educating your
clients is something all good businesses do. If I use a D3/D3x for my
weddings and everyone else uses s5's, I'm going to use that to my
competitive advantage. Since data loss is real and a risk, instant
back-up is a giant selling point that bride's can understand and
appreciate.

I only use the cheapest CF and sd cards, no name brand, because I don't believe in solid

state media loss.

Really, ok. Good luck with that one.

If I lost a weddings photos I would be out of

business, so I understand your concern, but that is not something to
advertise to clients

All differences that offer benefit to clients should be advertised.

I spend most of my time educating my clients about

other things, like the camera bears little significance on the
photos, because in my experience, it's usually the photographer who
counts.

Ok. So you obviously have not had clients call you wanting a life sized portrait of their special needs child because their medical issues will probably not let them live very long. My clients routinely ask for huge enlargements. And the camera absolutely makes a difference. Why don't you just go use a point and shoot or disposable camera since the camera bears little significance? My s5 will not cut it for large wall portraits. It just wasn't designed for that use.

If you are booking a bride and one of your sales tools is "instant"
back-up, I hasten to say your photos are probably less than stellar.

Oh really? Well my site is at http://www.harrislightcraft.com . Feel free to
have a look. And what would your site be?

Nice pictures there, the flash is very hard to navigate though
(firefox 3.1b2). Mine is http://www.artistwithlight.com . You can find some
wedding shots, but you will really hate them, they are mostly blurry
and technically deficient.

I could not find a single wedding image. Perhaps you might be best served by a few photography classes if you are interested in weddings. I serve a higher end market that demands the best in skill and service. Cameras are tools. Some tools have advantages over other tools.

My photos make bookings, not instant back-up, which I doubt more than
1% of prospective brides even know about. Make that .1% actually.

.1% of YOUR clients. How many paid weddings have you done in your career? I guarantee, if my competitors get the D3 or D3x you can bet they will sing the dual card slot advantage until they are blue in the face.

I spend most of my time with prospective brides helping them plan a
great wedding day experience and showing how using me will add to
that. Dual card slots takes up perhaps 30 seconds of an hour long
discussion. If you cannot afford the best equipment, do not slander
those who can. I have done 200 or so weddings with an S5. Now I use a
D3x. There are advantages over the S5 that will give peace of mind to
a prospective bride. Sorry if that offends you.

Wait, "instant back-up" is a "giant selling point" but you spend less
than 1% of the time with your client to explaining it and the
difference between a fuji S5 vs a D3x... I must humbly ask for an
education, 30 seconds isn't a lot of time.

I don't think there is anything "humble" about your posts. "A great feature of the camera I use is it's ability to take every shot I make and back it up instantly to a second memory card so that there is virtually no risk of your images being lost due to a faulty memory card." hmmm. Less than 30 seconds. I overestimated. I don't talk about d3x versus an s5.

Since you want to get by with the cheapest gear, I would say this thread and forthcoming review are not for you.

Rexyinc
Rexyinc Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

Had my first wedding with the 'd3x' yesterday ..

OMG what a disaster of a day!..

btw, i ended up just shooting everything with the D3x, I needed to be able to 'move quickly' ( you'll see why when you see the first shot i posted in flickr below ) so it was just the d3x and 24-70 and 70-200 for everything inc 'ceremony & location' shots at the winery.. it was all outdoors and well.. see my flickr link for a snap I posted when i got home..

I shot 486 shots all up in total - on just one 16gb card on the d3x.

( The details are amazing btw, on 'the full length dress hanging up shot' you can zoom in 100% and see the dresses design detail like clear as, love it! )

rambohoho Regular Member • Posts: 198
Re: forthcoming D3X pro review

i like your site design very much. it's really well designed!!! i feel wonderful going through the site.
--
http://www.rambohoho.com
http://www.pbase.com/rambohoho/

CMalsingh Senior Member • Posts: 1,557
Where is the review?

dchphoto wrote:

This forum has been a great help to me over the years. As a "thank
you" to Dpreview, I am going to post my review of the D3x I have had
for two weeks from the perspective of a portrait/wedding
photographer.

Much appreciated.

I have discovered some surprising findings not
mentioned in other reviews. I will post my findings first and then
follow up with posting the relevant files.

Great. When can we expect to read your findings?

-- hide signature --

Colin Malsingh
-------------------
http://www.pbase.com/cmalsingh

CRH Regular Member • Posts: 148
Hey, yunfat... niiiiicccee attitude, there, Tex!

yunfat, you're not only a thoroughly mediocre photographer with a lousy eye and a willful ignorance of both technique and the technical (sic), you are kind of a d*uchebag.

C'mon, the guy spent over 7k, he's a pro who's going to add value to the knowledge database of this site, this community, and you're copping an attitude WHY? Because, as with all the a$$holes on this site, you've gotta get in your snide little remarks and insinuations of disrespect for a working pro's earned opinion.

I make nice bank with my D3X, D3 an S5, a D300, and a long line of Nikon DX equipment back to the D1... does that give me the right to attack someone based on their honest, professional opinion?

I'm attacking YOU based on your commitment to being the kind of snot-nosed poster who thinks a keyboard and a mouse give him license to throw rocks at passing cars with working folks in them. Not so, p*nhead, not so.

What's your next post gonna be 'fat? An ACSCII 'middle finger'? What a PRO you are, yun!

bm bradley Veteran Member • Posts: 3,992
Re: Hey, yunfat... niiiiicccee attitude, there, Tex!

CRH wrote:

yunfat, you're not only a thoroughly mediocre photographer with a
lousy eye and a willful ignorance of both technique and the technical
(sic), you are kind of a d*uchebag.

C'mon, the guy spent over 7k, he's a pro who's going to add value to
the knowledge database of this site, this community, and you're
copping an attitude WHY? Because, as with all the a$$holes on this
site, you've gotta get in your snide little remarks and insinuations
of disrespect for a working pro's earned opinion.

I make nice bank with my D3X, D3 an S5, a D300, and a long line of
Nikon DX equipment back to the D1... does that give me the right to
attack someone based on their honest, professional opinion?

I'm attacking YOU based on your commitment to being the kind of
snot-nosed poster who thinks a keyboard and a mouse give him license
to throw rocks at passing cars with working folks in them. Not so,
p*nhead, not so.

What's your next post gonna be 'fat? An ACSCII 'middle finger'? What
a PRO you are, yun!

-- hide signature --

step away from the boob.... just walk away

 bm bradley's gear list:bm bradley's gear list
Nikon D3X Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR +1 more
OP dchphoto Regular Member • Posts: 381
Re: Where is the review?

Great. When can we expect to read your findings?

It's coming. I was going to post conclusions first and then the files when I find an appropriate hosting site. But since I am already getting attacked before I even start, I will probably wait and write up the review along with the files. Plus I want to do do some more portrait samples in good light. Otherwise, I will get a rash of "your review sucks. Where are the files?" type posts.

Kerry Pierce
Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
you do realize.......

dchphoto wrote:

portrait samples in good light. Otherwise, I will get a rash of "your
review sucks. Where are the files?" type posts.

that you're going to get a ton of those anyway, no matter what you do, don't you?

-- hide signature --

my gallery of so-so photos
http://www.pbase.com/kerrypierce/root

 Kerry Pierce's gear list:Kerry Pierce's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC +17 more
Daves602
Daves602 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,640
You can host on my site if you want.

flick me an email and I will discuss it with you.
--
Warm regards, Dave.
Australian NPS member
http://www.dksphotography.smugmug.com

 Daves602's gear list:Daves602's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D300S Nikon D810 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +25 more
ChicagoNikonGuy Regular Member • Posts: 208
Why Nikon Should Include NX2/Camera Control Pro with their pro and "prosumer" cameras

When paying $2,500.00 or more for a camera one has certain expectations. Having a camera that takes great pictures that cannot be used on a computer without buying special software is like buying a printer that doesn't come the driver software.

IMHO Shooting in RAW mode is the only way to get the best image possible out of the camera and also leaves the most room for post processing.

I am an embedded software engineer in addition to a photographer so I understand the cost of software development. However, both camera control and camera transfer/conversion software should be included with the camera.

We are not talking about $300.00 point and shoot or $600 consumer SLRs. We are talking about multi thousand dollar professional cameras. They should come with professional quality software.

One would think that Nikon would want the purchasers of their professional cameras to get the best possible images from their cameras with the least possible effort.

Since they are most familiar with the camera mechanics, camera electronics, camera sensor and camera firmware, they should be able to produce the best software possible to work with their cameras. At least in theory. Maybe a little less ego and a little more customer understanding and marketing research is in order for Nikon.

Just like the manufacturers of printers provide drivers and the manufacturers of scanners provide image acquisition software. Camera manufacturers should provide the necessary software to get the best image possible to the computer with the least amount of effort.

This should be viewed as a basic cost of business and not a profit center.

One advantage with software is that for the most part it is non-recurring engineer costs. That means you pay to develop it once and it doesn't add to the parts cost of each item sold. Generally for the engineering costs of a device even comes from a different budget line then the actual parts cost of the item.

Some companies consider the engineering cost a cost of doing business, that's why the general rule of thumb is that an item should wholesale for 3 times the parts cost or parts and manufacturing labor costs.

Some manufactures amortize the cost of engineering over some "magic" number of units. If their target goal is to manufacture 10,000 units and their engineering costs are $100,000 then that would add $10 to the parts/labor cost of the device.

Rexyinc
Rexyinc Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Why Nikon Should Include NX2/Camera Control Pro with their pro and "prosumer

they used to give NX away - when i got my D3 when they were first released Nikon smartly gave us NXv1 and then a free upgrade to NX2 BUT i have since lost my OS on that HD on that pc and can no longer upgrade the NX disc with downloaded NX2 and the serial i have no longer functions on NX2. it used to, but not anymore.. you giveth, now you takeawayth...

I have a D3 & D3x. but i don't have a working version of NX2 to use. Maybe when NX3 comes out I will take another look at it, meanwhile LR 2.3 RC works wonders, easier to use, more functions by miles and I'd say 85% of the NX2 quality from raws. but miles ahead on workflow, miles like from different planets miles..

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads