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Nikon D3 early impressions

Radiohead

Prominent Member
Very quick early shot from the D3 - very low light from single tungsten light behind Nicky:

1/25, f/2.8, 70mm, ISO6400 (auto-ISO floating to that limit). No NR applied in PP (using Lightroom until Apple start supporting the new bodies in Aperture), converted to mono in camera and no PP applied.

Thoughts are a) it nailed the white balance, b) I'd happily print at this size, c) I can't see any chroma noise in the RAW file, d) it nailed the exposure despite the single backlight. The D3 and 24-70 combination are ultra-fast to focus.

2183364769_50e74248d6_o.jpg


2184151964_3bc44cac89_o.jpg


Early days with the camera though as it only arrived today.
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
What surprising is the smooth grain of the noise that is there. I ran a quick A4 print off and it's clean in print. That means 6400 can be shot for wedding albums....nice. There's also no banding whatsoever. That's also 6400 at 1/25s. At 1/100s it might be a little better still.

The WB was obviously on the money in the colour shot. Very impressive for an AWB performance in tungsten though. Makes JPG much more realistic if needed and left on AWB.

I've yet to use the camera in daylight. By the time it had charged up it was pitch black and pouring down.
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
Interesting to see you've come back to the Nikon camp Guy.

I have to say, when I tried the D3, I was completely blown away. The ISO performance at 3200 ISO in daylight was stunning.

OK, if you go pixel peeping at 100% you'll see some noise - but it's 'clean' noise and has good pattern. And here in the real world, where performance is defined by print @ 300dpi, not an image on screen at 72ppi, it's an amazing tool.

Having said that - I'd wish they'd made a cut down FF camera with this sensor setup. I imagine a lot of what you pay for in this camera is for things I have no use for. I want this camera, but I don't want the bells and whistles.

Enjoy it Guy - it'll pay for itself over and over. :smashin:
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
There was a review of the D3 in this months Practical Photography magazine.

There was a double page shot in the theatre @ ISO 6400. All I can say is that I was blown away! Looked very, very usable at what is an A3 print.

There was also a shot at ISO 25,600 showing a 100% crop, and that didn't look to bad either.
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
Interesting to see you've come back to the Nikon camp Guy.

I have to say, when I tried the D3, I was completely blown away. The ISO performance at 3200 ISO in daylight was stunning.

OK, if you go pixel peeping at 100% you'll see some noise - but it's 'clean' noise and has good pattern. And here in the real world, where performance is defined by print @ 300dpi, not an image on screen at 72ppi, it's an amazing tool.

Having said that - I'd wish they'd made a cut down FF camera with this sensor setup. I imagine a lot of what you pay for in this camera is for things I have no use for. I want this camera, but I don't want the bells and whistles.

Enjoy it Guy - it'll pay for itself over and over. :smashin:

Took me a long time to decide what to do. I was always happy with my old Nikons aside from hgih ISO noise and the 5D proved great there. The ability to shoot with the AF of the D3, at 6400, without flash, dual CF cards, auto-ISO floating to 6400 and the stunning new 24-70 called me back though.

The 5D replacement will no doubt be a great camera, but I didn't fancy the 1D3 due to the crop factor and I really wanted the build, battery life etc of the Dx series body again. If I wasn't earning with it there's no way I'd have bought it.

I do think they'll bring out a D300 size body with the FX sensor and that will sell by the boatload.
 

Tobers

Prominent Member
Whose a lucky boy then! That looks just super - I reckon you'll get some stunning results with it. Looking forward to seeing some more!
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
That's pretty amazing low light performance.

I've just noticed your signature Guy... I'm in shock!
 

edddie_veddder

Established Member
I'm patiently waiting to see what the 5d replacement can do. Canon seen to have alot to do to catch up in the high ISO performance stakes. How do you rate the current 5D high iso compared to the 40d? How much for you 5D :devil:
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
Looks very nice! Will have to keep an eye on the classifieds for the Canon gear ;)

It's almost all gone. Just a 580EXII, 35/1.4 and 85/1.2 left...

That's pretty amazing low light performance.

I've just noticed your signature Guy... I'm in shock!

I know - took me 2 months to make my mind up. Wasn't easy and I look like a bit of a dick if I'm honest.

I'm patiently waiting to see what the 5d replacement can do. Canon seen to have alot to do to catch up in the high ISO performance stakes. How do you rate the current 5D high iso compared to the 40d? How much for you 5D :devil:

The 5D still beats the 40D for me, but it's close. Its sold though....I don't doubt Canon will match the D3 in their next iteration though.
 

stevegreen

Distinguished Member
I know - took me 2 months to make my mind up. Wasn't easy and I look like a bit of a dick if I'm honest.

What? Because you changed your gear? I don't think so! You need the best for your job and that's what you have gone for. Lets face it, the high ISO performance of the D3 is stunning and to have the ability to get useable shots in lower light, without flash, must be a godsend for you.
 

edddie_veddder

Established Member
i'll keep an eye out for those primes in the classifieds. I'm a canon man at heart and prey that canon do something special with the 5D replacement, i'm too scared to try the the D3 in case its as good as i think it is and i have to jump ship!. Hopefully the 5Dmk 2 will be around the 2k mark. Glad you like your new toy, keep the photos comming!.
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
any particular reason you didn't wait to see what a 5D2 might have offered? or were there just things the Nikon does that yiou don't expect the Canon to match? (eg the auto ISO etc)?
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
What? Because you changed your gear? I don't think so! You need the best for your job and that's what you have gone for. Lets face it, the high ISO performance of the D3 is stunning and to have the ability to get useable shots in lower light, without flash, must be a godsend for you.

True enough, but some will think it anyway :D

any particular reason you didn't wait to see what a 5D2 might have offered? or were there just things the Nikon does that yiou don't expect the Canon to match? (eg the auto ISO etc)?

Exactly that - I used to shoot D2x/D300 and moved to 5D's for the high ISO noise. If it wasn't for that I'd have stayed, so the D3 appealed. After 3 months thought and talking to D3 users I moved back this week (D3, D300, 24-70/2.8, 85/1.4 and 70-200/2.8VR).

The D3 is nothing short of astonishing at high ISO and in poor light I'm seeing D3 shots at 6400 that match 5D shots at 1600. It's 2 stops better, and clearly so (and there's no reason why the 5D replacement won't be at this level). That doesn't tell the whole story though. I'm also paying for a superb AF module that is frighteningly fast and accurate, a brilliant, bright 100% viewfinder, a superb auto-ISO feature that makes Canon's look poor ( do not understand why they did it so badly), uncannily accurate white-balance, superb ergonomics, a brilliant LCD, dual CF card writes with 3 options, 3000 shot battery life, access to the Nikon flash system. The new 24-70 Nikkor is nothing short of stunning. These are the reasons why I chose to shoot Nikon again. I say this in bold though: Canon is great. Nikon is great. I don't judge anyone by what they choose to spend their money on so please return me the same compliment. The fact that I have chosen Nikon is not a slight on anyone and simply a personal decision. Me making this change has already attracted grief on another forum.

If you need what the D3 offers then I say choose without fear. The one hole I see right now is a 35/1.4 with AF-S. That's it.

My overall cost to change is zero by the way (by buying mint used kit it's not difficult) as I was lens heavy anyway. I just prefer Nikons. If you prefer Canons it's all good.
 
V

vulkan75

Guest
Very interesting thread Guy.

Its seems to be quite a familiar story with people who shoot professionally.Take bristol pete,I think hes on the change too and many others ive heard of, NIKON have always seemed to be a step behind....not anymore it seems.

I have to be honest Ive only ever used Nikon as Thats the camera that handled best for me in my trials before I ventured into the world of DSLR,I cant comment on Canon really but Im sure theyll have to respond.



Youve made me want a D3 now though:rolleyes:
 

cedmondson

Prominent Member
Canon is great. Nikon is great. I don't judge anyone by what they choose to spend their money on so please return me the same compliment. The fact that I have chosen Nikon is not a slight on anyone and simply a personal decision

Well said Guy. The thing I've disliked the most in ALL the photographic forums (although some are worse than others) is the senseless bickering about which brand is best..... What we should all wish for, is that Canon, Nikon, Sony et al continue to compete and leapfrog one another in terms of functionality, performance and price. That way we all win.
 

Spooky

Established Member
Even at that crop im impressed with the D3 at 6400 iso, doesnt really look like digital noise at all and looks quite like film grain, pleasent even.
Was that pic taken with a FX or DX lens?
Thinkin about an upgrade later in the year so seeing as you have experience of the D300 was curious what you think of it, i dont expect the same levels as the D3 but whats your opinions?
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
The fact that I have chosen Nikon is not a slight on anyone and simply a personal decision[/B]. Me making this change has already attracted grief on another forum.
.

The thing I've disliked the most in ALL the photographic forums (although some are worse than others) is the senseless bickering about which brand is best..

I don't think we see much of that sort of thing here. Sure, we get some friendly banter etc. but nothing with any venom.

I think brand loyalty is a fact of life - we don't see many people jumping from one to the other, (and back again ;)) but those that do should be admired for choosing the best kit for the job, rather than being blinded by brand. Personally, I've always shot with a Nikon - I'd love a camera like the 5D (or 5DII :rolleyes:) It has the full frame I crave without the features I don't need at a price which seems reasonable. However, I just can't bring myself to focus the [-]wrong[/-] other way :)
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
I don't mind which way people swing, I just found the timing interesting. Personally (IMO etc etc) if I had a lot of money invested in a system, I'd try and wait to see what their answer was before making a big switch.
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
I don't mind which way people swing, I just found the timing interesting. Personally (IMO etc etc) if I had a lot of money invested in a system, I'd try and wait to see what their answer was before making a big switch.

I agree - it is odd. :D

That said, I'm fairly confident that the reasons that appeal for the D3 won't appear in the 6D (if it's called that). Many do on the 1D3 but personally I didn't want to go back to a crop camera as my main body.

If they put the 5D sensor in a 1D body, add Digic III, equal the D3 for noise and AF, and make it £2250 I'll be kicking myself though. C'est la vie.
 

bodoman

Distinguished Member
aah, so not completely a rational decision. Those I can understand. :D

I really enjoy reading these threads about Canon & Nikon Cameras and i agree with Richard that the average person on here, which certainly includes me, rarely makes a rational decision, its just a case of wanting something new
regardless, then justifying it afterwards, we all do it that its what makes it such fun.

But for them that use their cameras professionaly or are really serious about their hobby, the decision is a lot more more rational and the choice is made from a more knowledgable point of view.

To be honest i usually dont have clue about a lot of the technical jargon or what does what best, thats why i never have joined in any of threads that discuss them, but still read all of them and manage to pick up some useful information or knowledge on the subject and certainly enjoy the occasional bun fight from the side lines.

My own position on all this is that my camera is an Alpha 100 and this camera is capable of taking better photos that i am, so unless it packs up, i have no intention or yearning to change it. but i do admit to serious bouts of lens lust.

Just thought i would join in on one these threads for a change:)
 

Radiohead

Prominent Member
What? Because you changed your gear? I don't think so! You need the best for your job and that's what you have gone for. Lets face it, the high ISO performance of the D3 is stunning and to have the ability to get useable shots in lower light, without flash, must be a godsend for you.

Cheers Steve - appreciated

:thumbsup:
 

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