172 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2008
Owned a D3 for one and a half years and traded in for the D3x after trying out the new model for a day. My review is not about price - for the record I think Nikon stretched the barrier on the price point for this which I am not happy about - but as far as performance goes I am happy. The D3x results is are perceptibly superior for landscape and macro photography - which is what I typically shoot - even on just A3+ prints.... so I can imagine that the results would be that much better for larger sizes. Just as many of you, I have also read arguments on the net re the megapixel myth ad nauseam and was half convinced about it but nothing speaks as clearly as prints (and I'm comparing studio shots of the same subject taken with the two different cameras).
Have not tried the D3x for sports photography yet but I suspect that unless you are shooting either motor-sports or winter sports, the moderately slower 5fps in large FX mode compared with the 7fps for the D3 is not going to be an issue.
I also spent a day with the Sony Alpha-900 given that is the only other player in a similar mega-pixel category. The output was all right but overall just not in the same league as the D3x in terms of handling, build quality etc etc (I'm probably biased as I am very familiar with Nikon controls - just found the Sony too 'fiddly' and 'plasticky' and couldn't see myself spending hours with it without getting irritated).
Early days with the camera but so far it feels like one of the best DSLR's I have used especially when the medium format alternatives would involve rendering my large pile of Nikon lenses useless and the replacement cost would be prohibitive. As mentioned earlier the D3x pricing is a different issue altogether and I think that the right price point would have been around $2K lower......will update if and when I discover any shortfalls or glitches.
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2009
A little context...I've shot a lot with a D200, even more with a D3, and most recently with the D3x. Most of my work is in fashion, with a small bit of commercial product work here and there.
I must say - the images this camera produces are truly stunning. Paired with a suitable lens, the detail is amazing...and other qualities, the more subjective ones like contrast and color, are hard to describe but are excellent and for my work, exceed the D3's already excellent capabilities.
But all the detail in the world can't help you if you can't count on the camera to deliver the shot...and that's where handling comes into play. The D3 is, IMHO, the best-handling DSLR body in the world - a combination of the autofocus system and the camera controls (and the metering system, but I'm usually shooting in manual so don't rely on it often). The D3x handles identically to the D3x (save for the frame rate), which is exactly what I would have hoped for.
I use this camera mostly at ISO 100; the files delivered are amazingly noise-free. Sure, any camera can deliver at its base ISO...but you truly need to study these files to really understand the cleanliness and enlargement potential.
All in all, this is exactly what I hoped Nikon would deliver. Sure, I'd rather it was cheaper...but if you want the best image quality in digital 35mm format that money can buy, this is it.
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2009
I purchased and reviewed the Nikon D3 earlier and decided to keep it when I purchased the D3X. The reason I kept the D3 is that I shoot sports, low light, outdoors etc. The capability of shooting with such high ISO settings, high frame rate is what persuaded me to not trade it in. I did not realize just how much more detail the D3X would result in. I also had been almost convinced that higher megapixels is a waste over kill etc. It most certainly isn't unless you are dealing with small prints, snapshots, presenting just on internet along this line, then it would be a waste. If however you are like me, a want to be professional, larger the image the better, with extreme clarity, detail, conatrast, in a word stunning, then you must try to test out the D3X. I question my decision to keep the D3 but found at recent Zoo outing that both cameras came in handy. I had the Nikon 200mm F/2 lens on the D3X to shoot at greater distance and for the close intight shots, and had the 24mm to 70mm Nikon zoom on the D3. I was able to take about 150 shots on each camera, and found a few I liked because of the composition of my shots, not because of either camera, both are amazing. I found when you view a picture at 100% size from the D3X, I shoot in RAW in both cameras, the results are simply amazing. I could literally see seperate eye lashes of a camel, and elephant, even the lion shots some at a good distance convinced me that if I make it as a photographer it will be in large part of Nikon D3X, D3 and lenses. I love the build of both the D3 amd D3X, sturdy, heavy to some, solid to me. I lugged both cameras around with the above mentioned lenses, along with 2 extra lenses for 7 hours at the Denver Zoo. I spent maybe an hour all day with periodic rest stops. I would do it again and I'll be 60 in a few months. I love the controls and layout of both cameras which if you like one you'll like the other they are identical as far as I can tell, I have not closely examend each menu item. I am glad I kept both cameras now because of the changing lens issue, for me it is worth it and love the shots I took with both, but the D3X resolution would make it the choice if I had to choose between it and the D3. I know Nikon will come up with bigger and better in a few years they always do, but for now hard to imagine, how to better the D3X.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2010
I bought a D3x this week and the first thing I wanted to do was compare it to the two other bodies in our household: my wife's Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D700. I have written a full article on my website and linked full-sized image galleries from there also that people can download and review on their own computers.
[...] For a camera of this resolution and detail, the performance at higher ISO is spectacular. I previously used a Hasselblad H2 with a Phase One P45+ and with that I don't think I ever shot it above ISO 100 and it is a very very slow camera back. The D3x is the pinnacle of the DSLR hierarchy right now, a fabulous tool... Highly recommended.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2010
Forgive my very poor english... It's been only 10 days since I have this amazing camera, so I'm not really aware of what it can do, but I have already taken pictures for two asingments. The first one I already delivered it, and the client (a huge hotel downtown San Jose Costa Rica) was so impressed by the results, he even called me to congratulate me. They have been my clients since 4 years. I used to shoot with a Nikon d2x and I made up my mind and decided to invest in this piece of wonder. The quality of the image surpasses by far my expectations (and my client's as well): The photos are much more detailed than anything I had seen, maybe only comparable to pictures shot by my film Hasselblad. Even if you tak photos at a high ISO, like 1250, they come out very detailed, so that gives you a lot of freedom. The files are really big, so you need a fast computer to work on them (I have a 24" iMac that I bought a year ago, that works perfectly well). The tonal gradation is fantastic. If you shoot in "raw" you then have the possibility to make other decisions like fine tuning on the color temperature of the pictures, or make a curve on them. I like the D-Lighting option, but not that much when taking pictures of people, the skin tones come out a bit unrealistic. Something that I love is that the photos have a wider dynamic range than its predecessor, the D2x, so when you open the photos in photoshop (when shot as raw files) you have much more information than before, let's say, more details on the shadows and highlights; this is very convenient, specially when you take pictures of architecture. When you shoot in "raw" you have the option of compressing bit the files with no quality loss, this is very usefull, I tried it and it works very well. So in average they would weigh about 25 MB each one. I guess this is not the best camera to shoot sports since it's not as fast as the D3s, but for what I do (architecture, weddings, products, people, fashion, food, tourism) it works very well. Once you have it in your hands, and you shoot the first photos and look at the amazing quality, then you forget about the high price you paid for it...
I'm still learning how to use this camera, so I may update this later.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2010
What can I say? The price debate has gone on and on, so I have no intentions of adding to that. It is not about the price but what you get for it.
I bought the Nikon D3X with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor for my studio last week and have shot outdoors with natural light, indoors with low ambiance light, and also (and most importantly for me) in the studio with my wireless sync flash system. If you are looking for the best DSLR money can buy, the D3x is for you. It produces professional work of the highest degree.
Detail is astonishing, at low ISO it is unrivaled, virtually noise-free, clean, artifact-free, and with a world-class output pixel-level detail. Resolution is amazing.
I know without a shadow of a doubt the money I invested in the D3X will make me more money than I have ever made. Business is already great. I am looking to do even better now that I have the best available tool in the DSLR universe. My only regret is that I waited this long to buy it.
111 of 145 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2009
$8000 is not a small stack of money especially in today's economy. So how dare Nikon can put up such a price tag? Does they fall into a crack and totally out of the reality?
So far all the reviews on Amazon.com are from the price complainers who would not buy a D3x. However, let's first face the fact that the Canon's flagship, the 1Ds Mark III, also retails at $8000 although they are routinely sold at discount since it has been on the market for a while. But when it came out the price was the same so we can hardly say Nikon is too crazy.
Then there start to merge rave reviews, mostly from pros who have extensive experiences with the Canon 1DsIII. All these reviews seem point to the same observations: the D3x RAW files set a brand new standard for a DSLR and has far passed the 1DsIII quality level.
Let's first look at the professional review site of Lloyd Chambers who has on going exhaustive D3x tests including comparisons with the 1DsIII, D3, A700, and with both the Nikon and the Carl Zeiss lenses:
Yes the real reviews on his DAP ("Diglloyd's Advanced Photography") is not free, but from my opinion the $29.99 fee is well deserved. You can also get the DAP and his extensive Zeiss lens review free of charge, if you order a D3x through his links to Amazon, B&H, and Adorama online stores.
Here let us see what Lloyd have found and put out today (all quote from his free blog pages):
"And so I'll repeat what I've stated before: the Nikon D3x offers the finest image quality in a DSLR the world has yet seen. The online bitching and moaning about the price won't change that fact--I don't like it either. But if you need or want the very best DSLR available today, the Nikon D3x is your camera. In fact, I have zero desire to shoot my Canon 1Ds Mark III any more. None at all. It's not about resolution: it's about stunning image quality."
"How well do D3x images scale? The crop below is actual pixels after scaling to 97.5 megapixels (12096 X 8064), using RAW Developer. It has been sharpened during RAW conversion and also in Photoshop CS4. Probably those versed in the finer points of image scaling could do even better, and sometime soon I'll be exploring how well PhotoZoom Pro and Genuine Fractals do scaling of D3x images.
You don't need "faith" with the Nikon D3x: it's offers the finest image quality in a DSLR the world has yet seen."
"In perhaps my most intriguing findings yet on the D3x, I've explored color and noise with the Nikon D3x and Nikon D3 side-by-side, using my reference lens, the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro.
The crop below is from the D3x at ISO 1600, downsampled to D3 actual-pixels resolution. Noise?"
Is Lloyd, who reviews photographic products from all the makers, biased or simply over-excited? Let's checkout an independent review on the Luminous Landscapes forum, again from a long time 1DsIII user. The title of the blog was titled "Nikon is NOT on crack - Initial D3x image quality is AMAZING!":
where we can find the following quotes:
"I just got out for about 4 hours of serious (landscape and macro) shooting with the D3x this morning, and have been looking at the files for most of the afternoon. The easiest comparison I can make is to the 1Ds mk II (note: NOT mk III), as that is the highest-resolution camera I have a lot of experience with (other than the D3x). I am comparing at ISO 100, converting from 14-bit NEFs (in Nikon Capture NX2) and viewing at 100% on screen (unfortunately, my printer is 180 miles away right now, and I'm on my laptop monitor, NOT my calibrated work monitor, because I am visiting my parents for the holidays). There are two apparent differences - first is the incredible sharpness of the D3x. When I've nailed the focus, the D3x looks very darned sharp at 100% without applying any sharpening - because of the AA filter, the Canon never did that. It would PRINT very sharp, but 100% on screen always revealed a slight blur. There is absolutely no noise in an ISO 100 D3x file, even at 100%, which adds to the impression of sharpness - very slight shadow noise in the Canon files adds a slight haze to dark ones - that is simply not there in a D3x file. The second difference is the dynamic range - the D3x has about a stop more range in the highlights, plus at least an extra stop in the shadows, maybe even 1.5 stops extra in the shadows, all of it very clean. This camera, properly handled, should print 24x36 inches with ease from its base ISO of 100 (I get 16x24 out of the Canon, but don't like to go larger than that).
ISO 400 on the D3x is very usable - it looks roughly like an ISO 100 file from a 1Ds mk II in terms of noise - it may have extra dynamic range, which I wouldn't have seen because my ISO 400 tests were on a very dreary, grey day and would have fit easily within the DR of the 1Ds mk II). This is comparing on a per-pixel basis, so the D3x file still has 3/2 the detail in it, due to the increased resolution... I have even fooled around a bit with ISO 3200 (HI 1.0), which looks awful on screen (although quite good considering that it's ISO 3200 - much better than any ISO 3200 film ever looked), but will make a pretty decent 8x10 print with no trouble, and should even print 11x17 with some careful handling. I didn't buy the camera to shoot at ISO 3200, but it's nice to know the capability is there should it be needed. Those unbelievable ISO 100 files are what I bought the camera for, and it is certainly worth its price for its low-ISO performance! There is something highly unusual in the imaging chain of the D3x to get these results - the sensor may NOT be stock Alpha 900 issue (I suspect it isn't - I don't have a lot of Alpha experience, but the test files I've seen are not anywhere near as clean, even at low ISOs) , and if it is, the AA filter in the D3x is extremely unusual, probably made out of pure unobtainium.
Add that performance to a superb rugged and ergonomic camera body with class-leading AF and metering, and the result is a remarkable machine. Yes, it's expensive, but the only way to get better files is three times as expensive and not nearly as rugged.
"Things like microlenses and AA filters are getting better - the D3x seems to have an AA filter that few if any cameras can match (the amount of detail per pixel is remarkably high). I've used a variety of digital setups and film formats over the years (from the original Canon D30 - not 30D, the original 3 MP D30!) to the D3x for the past couple of weeks. My serious photographic work is fairly traditional landscapes, including quite a bit of work much closer in than many landscape photographers work.
Subjectively, here's how a list of cameras I know well come out (when I say low ISO film, I mean Velvia, Extachrome 100, Tmax 100, etc - not Tech Pan or other exotic ultra-fine definition films). When I'm comparing film to a digital setup, I'm referring to film scanned at 4000 DPI on a Nikon 5000 or 9000 (a consumer flatbed wlll have significantly less resolution, and an Imacon may do somewhat better, although the Nikons manage to scan grain, so an Imacon can't be that much better, except perhaps in dynamic range and other non-resolution factors). I shoot everything serious in RAW at maximum bit depth at or near base ISO, and I have rarely used any film faster than ISO 100. This is a rather random sampling of cameras I have owned or used extensively over the years.
Canon D30 (3 mp) - less resolution than low-iso 35mm film, but noise less than grain on 35mm film (overall IQ fairly similar to good 35mm film) - prints 6x9 inches very comfortably, 8x12 in a stretch. Dynamic range of low-DR slide film at 5-6 stops (nail exposures and be careful with subjects).
Sony 6 mp CCD (was in a ton of DSLRs for a while, still in Nikon D40) - resolution more or less equivalent to 35mm, prints a little bigger than I've ever been comfortable with from 35mm due to noise advantage, especially in its newer incarnations (8x12 easily, 11x17 possible). Dynamic range better than most slide films, not close to print film (in the range of 7 good stops).
Nikon D200 (10 mp) - resolution significantly better than 35mm (between 35mm and 645). Overall image quality approaching 645 (which I'd say still has the edge). Prints 11x17 easily, but 16x24 is a big stretch (I've done it, am not terribly happy with the results). Dynamic range similar to 6 mp sensor.
Canon EOS 1Ds mkII (16.7 mp) - resolution nearly equivalent to 645 film, with overall image quality probably slightly to somewhat ahead of 645. The first digital camera I have used that really plays in medium format (film) territory. Dynamic range improved over any previous digital camera I had used by at least a stop (8 or more really good stops in a raw file). Prints 16x24 fairly easily, but gives up before 24x36.
Nikon D3x (24.4 mp) - resolution well into medium-format territory, close to 6x9 cm scanned film (much sharper per pixel than 1Ds mkII due to improvements in sensor/AA technology). Overall image quality significantly better than scanned 6x9 cm Velvia! Dynamic range appears to be over 9 stops, maybe 10, while remaining completely noiseless. The only files I've seen that are definitively better are scans from large-format film. Prints 24x36 inches (a 25x enlargement) very comfortably, even examining the print from a few inches away. Files appear sharp and detailed on screen at 100%
I'm sure that MF digital is even better than the D3x (although I'd be surprised if the 30ish mp variety were a big jump). 60+ MP MF digital would be approaching well-scanned 4x5 film image quality very closely, if it carries at least the same amount of information per pixel as the D3x. The few Hasselblad H3D II/31 files I've seen are in a similar league to D3x files, with the Hasselblad's edge being roughly the resolution difference (20%). I have not seen a Hasselblad file with enough subject dynamic range to make a meaningful DR comparison (it's certainly not less than the D3x, and could be significantly more).
So, if someone thinks the D3x price is too high, probably he or she does not need the tool of such caliber. Let's stop rumbling with empty hands and wait for some real Amazon D3x users to express their findings.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2009
FIrst of all, why are people doing reviews that don't own this camera? When you want to own the best, you have to pay for the best. Enough of that...
I just received my D3x yesterday and I can say that the build quality seems extremely good. It feels great in my hands and I don't get the feeling that if it gets bumped around in the car that it will be damaged. I have only been shooting around the neighborhood in the effort to learn about it's features and operation. I have been shooting 6MP digital and I was stunned at what this 24+MP camera can do! More to come in this review as I move deeper into the camera but I had to chime in and let it be known how pleased I am thus far.
This camera isn't for everyone. That goes without saying. But if you want to experience something truly beyond anything else out there and you can afford it, go for it. It is true what they say- you get what you pay for. This is certainly no exception!!!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2009
As a full time professional photographer and Nikon enthusiast for thirty years, I finally have THE digital camera to lean on for all assignments. Coupled with Nikon's best glass, the results are stunning. My left over film stocks are going to the local art school.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2009
Well, the naysayers have complained enough about the price, however I think you get what you pay for. New models are always at a premium, just like the Canon 1Ds Mark lll was when it first hit the market.
The files from this camera are the best that I have ever seen, stunning resolution that I have not seen in any other digital camera. It sure is not for everyone, but if you never used this fabulous camera, why are you offering an opinion as posted here and on other sites?