Open Photography Forums  
HOME FORUMS NEWS FAQ SEARCH

Go Back   Open Photography Forums > OPF Welcome Hall > Breaking News

Breaking News Updates, innovations, equipment: moderated!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:05 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 32,753
Default Is the D3X entry into the 21-24 MP race too late and too expensive? I think not!

There's a significant opinion by a frequent commentator on cameras, Michael Reichman that Nikon's new flagship DSLR, the 24MP D3x is not a competitively priced camera in this quality range. Michael has been correct on a number of predictions, but not always! Here's an excerpt from "Judging Value" by Michael Reichman:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reichman
That's something of what I feel about the D3x and why I cancelled my order. Yes, I can afford it, but I simply find it not to represent good value. After testing the 24MP Sony A900 (which I purchased for less than the equivalent of US $2,500 here in Toronto last month) the thought of paying US $8,000 for a camera that that has the same resolution, the same frame rates, a similar large and bright viewfinder, etc, just seemed to me to be a bad value proposition. The Canon 5DII at well under $3,000 is another current alternative in a full-frame 20+ MP camera.

With the value represented by the Nikon D700 as compared to the D3, and the Canon 5DII as compared to the 1Ds MKIII, I feel that the days of the mega-pro DSLR are numbered for many photographers. Yes, of course they offer superior AF, weather sealing and maybe a slight edge in image quality, but the price differential is enormous, especially now as the world enters a serious recession, if not worse..........

That was the reasoning behind the cancellation of my D3x order simply the acceptance that an era has passed, and that the perceived value wasn't there (for me) at the US $8,000 price point given the current economic and technology environment. It might be for others though.
Source in Luminous Landscape.com, December 2cd 2008.

So what do we think? I have already stated that the Nikon D700, having almost all the owl-like capability of the D3, at a modest price, is the camera of the year likely to bring back the joie de vivre in the hearts of Nikon users! For many photographers, the price of a camera is "budget dust" compared to the massive material and processing costs they had with film for every client. With todays Nikons and Canons, the speed of being able to supply images to news desks and art directors and other clients has revolutionized the impact of their creative work. They are not buying the camera for "review". Most already have a huge investment in Nikon glass and several Nikon bodies to boot. For these folk, there is little immediate interest in giving up the superb optics of Nikon with brilliant focus for the albeit logical price advantages of Sony's (Minolta-heritage) 24 MP A 900. Even for enthusiasts, few lenses on the market match the Nikon superwide angle zooms. The other lenses can stand shoulder to shoulder with Canon's best. If I was still using Nikons and wanted large prints, this D3X is what I'd get.

Read about real Pros who make their living competing with other photographers in the quality of their prints; the clarity, contrast, resolution and dynamic range and resistance to brights being blown and shadows lost. The best of the best are MF backs. If one cannot justify that, the Nikon, Sony and Canon offerings are logical choices.

Now why would nicolas Claris choose an US $8,000 + all the European VAT and extra price margin to get a Canon 1DsIII 21MP camera over the previous 1DsII 16MMP full frame predecessor? Simple! He needs to make prints that are stunning to show off 50 million dollar yachts and $400,000 motor vessels. Some prints are for closed circulation books, others for brochures. For eye-level billboards every good pixel counts! Often such prints are 10 feet by 24 feet! That might be just from 70% of the full frame! For such professional work, the camera needs to be well waterproofed, of course, as he's low over the boat in hanging from a helicopter or else bumping through a foaming wake in a chase boat. Now for a Nikon users, the same resolution pictures could be taken with the D3X. The photographer with a D700 would be at a disadvantage!

For a lot of us, we can sell our current 5D or 1DsII and get a 5DII. However, unlike the Nikon 700 or D3. the 5DII has been given a less sophisticated focus system than the flagship, for Canon, the 1DsIII.

So, I can see now a good reason for even switching to Nikon, (which I'll likely not do for other reasons) because one can have a 24MP full frame camera and for a bargain price and as a backup a brilliant super-focussing D700 that can see what the owl sees!

With the Canon, to maintain focus quality, one needs two 1DsIII, LOL. Now, the 5DII is going to be a revolutionary camera, but doesn't take the spotlight off Nikon and for sure many pros will use it ad their main camera, but for many, the moat rugged camera will still be preferred, regardless of paying $3000-$5000 more!

For a long time, Nikon in press booths were just black dots in a see of white Canon lenses. Now it's changing. I do not doubt that people who depend on their cameras to put bread on their table will welcome and embrace the D3X.

Now, just like the 600mm lenses, Nikon does not expect to sell thousands every day. I think the mere availability of this camera, will influence enthusiasts getting into their first DSLR. The fact that there's a D3 and even a D3X provides an upgrade path and a feeling of belonging to the "Nikonians", one of the most brand-loyal photographic communities that are around.

There do not need to be many flagships sold. I'm betting that enough will be sold to impress Canon and MF camera MFRS. From this I'd expect new bold moves by Canon and lower prices in the MF market.

I don't think the age of the flagships are past. We have yet to see the best. I'd imagine the S3 Leica might be a path Canon will take next, of increasing the sensor size. The other possibility would be a new midrange enthusiast's camera with Foveon like sensor and no need for Bayer interpolation.

Thousands of professionals will immediately buy the D3X if it can be at all justified. It's a wonderful feeling to have the latest and the best to go on your best lenses! If it can get them more orders and help deliver the work they want, the choice will be even better. Doctors, dentists and lawyers will always go for the "best" and that's not yet Sony. No baloney!

Asher
__________________
Follow us on Twitter at @opfweb

Our purpose is getting to an impressive photograph. So we encourage browsing and then feedback. Consider a link to your galleries annotated, C&C welcomed. Images posted within OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 06:37 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 32,753
Default

Well, Nikonians,

What do you think? Where will the new Nikon camera be in your wish/must have list?

Asher
__________________
Follow us on Twitter at @opfweb

Our purpose is getting to an impressive photograph. So we encourage browsing and then feedback. Consider a link to your galleries annotated, C&C welcomed. Images posted within OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 07:06 PM
Joel Schochet Joel Schochet is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36
Default

OK; I'll step in here.

I don't think the proper comparison is D3x to A900 because the bodies are so different. So I'll comment on the comparison of the D3x to the 1DsIII and to the D3.

First, the D3x has the same "recommended" price as the 1DsIII and that appears to be the only basis for Nikon pegging it there. Not many 1DsIII's have been sold because of the high price, and Canon could live with that when it was #1 in DSLR sales. Nikon took that away and Canon presented the 5DII as a lower-cost, high-MP alternative. But does Nikon, the new leader in DSLR sales, want to travel the "exorbitantly-priced flagship" route in this economy? They should not, especially since DSLR sales were forecast to decrease even before the present economic woes. Nikon should try to reinforce its lead in DSLR sales, and could have done so with a $5K D3x. Just because Canon has priced the 1DsIII at such a high price is no reason for Nikon to do so. "Two wrongs do not make a right."

Second, the differences between the D3 and D3x appear to be only the sensor and processing engine. While the D3x sensor might have more megapixels, the production cost of that sensor is probably not much more than that of the D3 sensor. After all, they're both full-frame (and the D3x sensor is probably based upon - but is not - the Sony sensor in the A900). Moreover, the processing engine (forgive me if I've used the wrong terminology - I'm not a techie) of the D3x apparently permits 14-bit shooting only at 1.8 fps in full-frame, or FX, mode. That is a BIG step down from the D3's 9 fps at 14-bit or even the D3x's 12-bit 5 fps. In light of these probabilities (I can't say they are facts yet), does the D3x cost $3500 more to produce than the D3, which has been selling at $4500 and even below? Clearly not. So the D3x's price is not a reflection of its cost-to-build. And while Nikon has the right to price the D3x where it wants, its departure from its past pricing methods is what has angered loyalists and confounded pundits such as Thom Hogan and Michael Reichmann. Let's face it, cameras are less expensive today than when Canon priced the 1Ds and its progeny at such premium levels. If Nikon had come out with a D3x three years ago and priced it at $8000, there'd be nary a peep. But today, Nikon's pricing is a giant faux pas.

I've been shooting Nikon since I bought an FE in 1979. I bought a D3 but sold it when I found I hardly ever used it over the smaller D300. I have since bought a D700 and agree with Asher that this has to be the camera of the year. I would not buy a D3x even at $5000 because of the size, so I'm not whining about the high price. But I will whine if Nikon does not put this sensor (if it proves to the superb quality I expect it to be) in a D700-sized body and price it no higher that $3500. Why? Because that is what Nikon's recent history and the currect market have led me to believe it would do. But what's the chance of that given the D3x price? Nikon has already seen how the rapid introduction of the D700 has canibilized D3 sales. Will it produce a $3000 or so D800 and have it take away sales from the D3x? (Hmmm. Maybe Nikon doesn't expect to sell more than a few D3x's and they've priced it high to make a $4000 D800 seem like a bargain.) This is why I disagree with Asher's opinion that having the D3x gives Nikon users a path to upgrade. I think that seeing that Nikon's only high MP offering costs $8000 will make many more new DSLR buyers go to Canon or Sony for their affordable high MP solutions.

As Thom Hogan as noted, Nikon did it right with the D3/D300 introduction last year. They dropped the ball big-time this time. I still hope that the D3x is a fantastic camera, but I'm afraid it might become Nikon's Folly.

Joel
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old December 4th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 1,792
Default

I hadn't realised that 14bit processing was only available at 1.8fps - that also puts it behind the 1Ds3 which will churn 5fps at 14 bit - indeed it doesn't offer the alternative lower bit and (alledgendly) lower quality 12 bit processing path - that may be an issue for some users.

To me the price seems exactly where I'd expect - slightly above what you actually pay for the canon equivalent. As to sensor cost, I wouldn't be surpirsed if it is higher than the 12Mp version as failure rates will be higher. But of course the big cost is recovery of development costs and there won't be that many units.

As to selling the D3 because you use the D300 more, I'm in the opposite position as I barely use my canon 5D now as the 1Ds3 offers much more in every way. I've recently been surpirsed to find myself being frustrated ona couple of accoasions when opening up a file and finding it was shot with the 5D and not the 1Ds3 and so had lower resolution than I'd like. Mike at the Online Photographer commented on this in a roundabout way as well.

Finally - and then back to the grindstone! - I played with a panasonic G1 the other day and that idea has the possibility of becoming something very interesting. The G1 is already a useable camera even with it's LCD. You can attach M-mount lenses (remeber the sensor is smaller) and it's comfortable to use. The 12Mp files a nice at normal isos and olympus will likely put in body IS on theirs. dslr sales will fall I think... particuarly at the entry and mid level. Thius could also be the first digital camera that would really replace my ikon (not just yet though as I;ve a few bricks of film in the freezer.)

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old December 4th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1,557
Default

LL:

the glass is more important, than the PM, in my book.

I don't see many photographers jumping the boat just for a few MP more, if they've a arsenal of good lenses in the old boat's line.

Nikon:

Well, some might jump on the new one, cause they can get some extra-stuff.
For the rest, I guess, it's a minor question.
__________________
http://www.proimago.net
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old December 8th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,540
Default

the point is that there has been a significant migration to Nikon as people become less and less enamoured with canon's marketing/lineup/QC. The D3 and D700 following the D300 put nikon shooting right back on the map winning the respect of all. The D3X should and couuld have followed this trend and instead did a 'canon'. I think a lot of the sorrow is over the potential of what could have been rather than lenses being the ONLY reason why anyone would buy a D3X over the 1Ds mkIII, and if you don't need a pro speced body, the reason is very questionable given the price of a 5D mkII or an A900.

Nikon could have overtaken canon along all camera lines with the D3X, they didn't. That's a shame.
__________________
Ben Rubinstein
Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
Blog: http://thedustylenscap.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old December 8th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Daniel Buck Daniel Buck is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Culver City, CA
Posts: 374
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Nikon could have overtaken canon along all camera lines with the D3X, they didn't. That's a shame.
You are assuming that people upgrade every time a new camera comes out. I went from a Canon 1D (4mp) to a 1Ds2 (16mp) about 2 years ago, and I am quite happy with the resolution, speed, battery life and everything else. The only thing that I would like now, is a smaller camera (like a 5d) I think the notion that Nikon could 'overtake' other camera brands is kind of silly, even if Nikon had a camera that was twice as 'good' than my Canon, I wouldn't switch because I have my nice lineup of lenses that would not work with the Nikon, and as far as features and function goes, the Canon fits my needs. The wish for a smaller body has nothing to do with getting a 'better' camera, it's about wanting to take the camera with me to more places with less hassle for space and weight. :-)

But then again, I do see alot of people switching back and forth from Canon to Nikon, and it doesn't make any sense to me. Just because one brand comes out with a camera that is a little better than the other brand, doesn't mean that your current camera is instantly rendered useless :-) And if you think it *is* useless, just wait another 6 months or so and your brand will probably have something equivalent :-)
__________________
Daniel Buck - Photographer and 3d artist
photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com
3d work: DanielBuck.net
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old December 8th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 32,753
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
Finally - and then back to the grindstone! - I played with a panasonic G1 the other day and that idea has the possibility of becoming something very interesting. The G1 is already a useable camera even with it's LCD. You can attach M-mount lenses (remeber the sensor is smaller) and it's comfortable to use. The 12Mp files a nice at normal isos and olympus will likely put in body IS on theirs. dslr sales will fall I think... particuarly at the entry and mid level. Thius could also be the first digital camera that would really replace my ikon (not just yet though as I;ve a few bricks of film in the freezer.)
This Mike, is what's really exciting.

The opening salvo of putting the large sensors into a compact format without the mirror was Sigma's transplant of its cool Foveon RGB layered pixels sensor into the DP-1. Now with the 4/3 sensors going the same way, albeit trying to look DSLR-like, the movement is underway.

Once we have a D700 or 5D in the same form, we'll have a great new age of lighter Pro cameras. Do you have any shots with the Panasonic G?

Asher
__________________
Follow us on Twitter at @opfweb

Our purpose is getting to an impressive photograph. So we encourage browsing and then feedback. Consider a link to your galleries annotated, C&C welcomed. Images posted within OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old December 8th, 2008, 04:00 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
pro member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 953
Default

Yes, Nikon has finally arrived after a disastrous detour. Canon went CMOS and could provide their customers a larger array of sensels at a better cost (the manufacturing process of CMOS is similar to that of microprocessors so the cost is lower than that of CCD). And now Nikon is going to dig in... will come up -probably- with the D800 that will be the last "format" we will ever need ... -nah LOL- and then photographers will stop talking about cameras an go shoot with whatever they need: super high ISO, massive amounts of megapixes, you name it.

I personally like the D300. 12MP, small lenses, nice focus and large chimping-display... For gourmet IQ I will keep my ancient P25 with the sensel size of 9 x 9 Microns 16 bits per color 48.9 x 36.7 mm ccd .. and C1-4
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:23 AM.


Posting images or text grants license to OPF, yet of such remain with its creator. Still, all assembled discussion 2006-2017 Asher Kelman (all rights reserved) Posts with new theme or unusual image might be moved/copied to a new thread!