Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Started Feb 12, 2013 | Discussions
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Nhelnhel Senior Member • Posts: 1,261
Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

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Nikon D3
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AllOtherNamesTaken Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?
2

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

Depends what you want to use it for, primarily.

It is built like an absolute tank, has excellent AF, and by the sounds of that one, is almost new.  It'll just be a great, solid, camera but the IQ (while excellent on it's own) leaves something to be desired in light of the newer, higher MP cameras which are better everywhere.

If you are big into landscape though, you might consider paying just a little more for a D600 which will provide much, much, better output at the expense of some build quality.

If you don't need ridiculously high ISO, lots of DR, or high MP for printing, I think an almost new D3 would be a very nice choice for $1300.  If you think you will really appreciate some extra resolution though, I'd hold off.

rayman 2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,228
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

Depends what you want to use it for, primarily.

It is built like an absolute tank, has excellent AF, and by the sounds of that one, is almost new. It'll just be a great, solid, camera but the IQ (while excellent on it's own) leaves something to be desired in light of the newer, higher MP cameras which are better everywhere.

If you are big into landscape though, you might consider paying just a little more for a D600 which will provide much, much, better output at the expense of some build quality.

If you don't need ridiculously high ISO, lots of DR, or high MP for printing, I think an almost new D3 would be a very nice choice for $1300. If you think you will really appreciate some extra resolution though, I'd hold off.

Well said ! Its an awsome camera...

But if you need high MP get something with higher resolution....

Peter

Nhelnhel OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,261
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

Depends what you want to use it for, primarily.

It is built like an absolute tank, has excellent AF, and by the sounds of that one, is almost new. It'll just be a great, solid, camera but the IQ (while excellent on it's own) leaves something to be desired in light of the newer, higher MP cameras which are better everywhere.

If you are big into landscape though, you might consider paying just a little more for a D600 which will provide much, much, better output at the expense of some build quality.

If you don't need ridiculously high ISO, lots of DR, or high MP for printing, I think an almost new D3 would be a very nice choice for $1300. If you think you will really appreciate some extra resolution though, I'd hold off.

Thank you for the fast reply.

I have a also a Pentax K-5 which i will use if i need the high ISO.

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mpe Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

I personally prefer flexibility of the body with detachable grip with cleaning sensor ( D700) when travelling. However, D3 is still fantastic camera. Great speed, rugged body. If you are fine with 12mpx and have a chance to get body with so few clicks, it is definitely good buy.

AllOtherNamesTaken Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Nhelnhel wrote:

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

Depends what you want to use it for, primarily.

It is built like an absolute tank, has excellent AF, and by the sounds of that one, is almost new. It'll just be a great, solid, camera but the IQ (while excellent on it's own) leaves something to be desired in light of the newer, higher MP cameras which are better everywhere.

If you are big into landscape though, you might consider paying just a little more for a D600 which will provide much, much, better output at the expense of some build quality.

If you don't need ridiculously high ISO, lots of DR, or high MP for printing, I think an almost new D3 would be a very nice choice for $1300. If you think you will really appreciate some extra resolution though, I'd hold off.

Thank you for the fast reply.

I have a also a Pentax K-5 which i will use if i need the high ISO.

The D3 is going to be quite a bit better than your K5 for high ISO shooting.

I'd maybe use the K-5 so you get the extra reach for birding, and the D3 for everything else.

I suspect you will love using the D3 so much that you just use it all the time though haha.

Good luck with your decision!

Kerry Pierce
Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,174
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

That's an incredible buy, IMO, when you consider that d700's are usually going for more than that.  Indeed, if I had that opportunity, I'd buy it without a second thought.  The sensor is still an excellent imager and the body is superb, both in handling and performance.  With only 7k on the shutter, it's practically a new camera.

good luck

Kerry

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Sutto Regular Member • Posts: 420
I concur
4

Yes an excellent camera.  Do not listen to all the horse-scheisse that is spilled on sites like this regarding the dire need for huge sensors.  Chasing the latest, greatest and largest high def beasts can make you crazy (and broke), ha ha.

Maybe in some cases for some people they may need 24-36 mp, but for the majority of us 12K is perfect.   For the size of the prints I sell and the type of photography I pursue, 12K in right on the mark.  Check out Carl Groble's blog, http://karlgrobl.com/blog/ He travels the world running highly paid tours and also shoots professionally for NGO's.  He is on the road 8 months of the year and makes his living with his cameras.  He ONLY ever shoots JPEGS and uses two D3s bodies.  I have corresponded with him a few times and he indicated that 12K is all he needs, and he is certainly not chasing the latest high res incarnations.

In fact, I only recently bought (like you) a mint, very low click D3x.  It is an awesome camera and just reeks of quality.  However, with all of the extensive testing I have done, I can barely tell any difference between shots from this and my D700 (same deal as 'your' D3).  It would be a hard decision, but if I had to choose only one camera it would be the D700.   The slight edge you may get on definition has to be weighed against other factors like, file size, dynamic range and high ISO ability.

I wouldn't bother chasing higher MP in a lesser body, like the D600.  I tested one and compared to the D3, it is a piece of junk.  You will far outweigh any loss of definition with the D3 (compared to D600), with build quality, weather proofing and just the sheer joy of using a camera that reeks of quality.  For me it is a no brainer (particularly for $1,300), grab the D3 and go and enjoy.

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

ScoobySnacks New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

For that price, absolutely.

yray
yray Senior Member • Posts: 1,498
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?
1

If you don't mind a large body, -- this is a no-brainer.

I hope this is a sign of things to come, as more folks chase the latest and greatest and keep getting rid of fine quality stuff at rock bottom prices.

Photo Grapher
Photo Grapher Regular Member • Posts: 353
Re: I think it is. NT
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PK24X36NOW Senior Member • Posts: 1,570
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

At that price and shutter count, it's an awesome buy.

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,469
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

I used mine for wedding photography and it was fine up to ISO 6400. Autofocus is good though in low light it is not as good as the D4 and D800 cameras. It also has two CF card slots which I prefer to the current cameras with one CF and one SDHC. Battery life (shots per charge) is a lot higher than with the D4 or D800 or older D700 cameras. At $1300 it is a steal if it has not been dropped or otherwise abused.

T O Shooter Senior Member • Posts: 5,051
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy? Yes it is!

At $1300 it's a gift. I just sold two D700s, one week apart, around 7000 shots each, for $1550 each. Put them in on Sunday afternoon; gone Monday by noon. A used D700 grip without extra battery goes for $200. So that $1750 for a gripped D700 vs $1300 for a D3 which typically sells for more anyway.

Buy it, use it, and if you don't like it you'd make money on it.

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ponderosabob
ponderosabob Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?
1

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

Depends what you want to use it for, primarily.

It is built like an absolute tank, has excellent AF, and by the sounds of that one, is almost new. It'll just be a great, solid, camera but the IQ (while excellent on it's own) leaves something to be desired in light of the newer, higher MP cameras which are better everywhere.

Actually, the D3 image quality leaves nothing to be desired. It is also unexcelled in it's performance with Ai-S Nikkors.  More pixels does not a better image make. The D3 shoots fast, has awesome high ISO, excellent AF, Dual CF slots. 12MP not enough for you? Stitching is really easy, and then you are Exceeding D800 resolution. (With less lens optical, and shooting technique issues.)

If you are big into landscape though, you might consider paying just a little more for a D600 which will provide much, much, better output at the expense of some build quality.

Again, stiching is really easy, and provides results superior to D600 or D800 image file.

At the expense of "some" build quality??????

If you don't need ridiculously high ISO, lots of DR, or high MP for printing, I think an almost new D3 would be a very nice choice for $1300. If you think you will really appreciate some extra resolution though, I'd hold off.

Go for the Real camera...

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Giovanni_1968
Giovanni_1968 Senior Member • Posts: 1,834
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Don't get fooled by MP count, the D3 is a monster camera and for that price and shutter count is a steal, I would never trade that for a D600, I shoot the same camera since 4 years and print 12x18 with no pixelation or problem, I don't see where the D3 could eventually fail and if you don't like it for whatever any reason you can resell it and also make a hundred bucks more out of it... if I had that chance I would be glad to leap dance a few nights to earn the necessary to get it...

GET IT!!!

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Nhelnhel OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,261
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Thank you all for all the nice comments and recommendations... I would consider all of them...

I am contacting now the seller to give me his bank account and transfer the money.

I hope he would not back out about his very good offer...

I will update you all what will gonna happen.

Thank you again to all of you...

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Nhelnhel OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,261
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Unfortunately the arrangement didnt went well...

He reserved the camera for me but he sold it to his close friend.

Anyway that is life and i have to accept it...

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yray
yray Senior Member • Posts: 1,498
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Nhelnhel wrote:

Thank you all for all the nice comments and recommendations... I would consider all of them...

I am contacting now the seller to give me his bank account and transfer the money.

I hope he would not back out about his very good offer...

I will update you all what will gonna happen.

Thank you again to all of you...

Ouch! -- this is a red flag right there. You're probably very lucky you didn't have a chance to transfer the money. Unless you're buying from someone you know personally -- NEVER just send money to an unknown account, -- use PayPal or Amazon or something similar, -- these services make an effort to protect you from a possible fraud.

As far as this D3, as the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true -- it probably is. Oh well, -- better luck next time.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,624
Re: Is Nikon D3 still a good buy?

Nhelnhel wrote:

I have an opportunity to buy a used Nikon D3 with 7,000 shutter count for $1300.00

I do general photography. Landscape, portrait and birding.I have also some old glass from Nikon and Sigma.

Is Nikon D3 still a good buy compared to the other Nikon full frame?

Thank you in advanced.

I see you 'missed out' on the 'deal'. Unless you know the seller well, that deal sounds too good to be true, add to that the 'pay into bank account' and as another poster said, its a clear red flag for something unusual.

A good condition used D3 will still command upwards of 2,000 dollars I think (check KEH for pricing). Currently an 'E' rated available for 2,199.

So that one 'offered' to you was way underpriced, has to be a reason.

Always be careful and check sources and 'story'.  Unless you know the seller well, be very wary, especially putting your money into others bank accounts, sight unseen. Dont do that.

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