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Thread: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

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    Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Some brightsparks over at DPR (I know, I know...) may have stumbled across something in the new D3 firmware update that hints at what the D3x may look like (24.4 MP).

    I HATE these 'when is the new 5D Mod 8 coming' BS, but this may be the first to have something resembling some merit.

    The short - version: The new D3 firmware (logically) APPEARS to have a common base to be shared with the forthcoming D3x. Peaking into this code indicates (assuming it's not a hoax) that a 24.4MP beastie is forthcoming. IIRC is this not the same res as the perpetually delayed Sony A900?

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=27581087

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Hi Rob
    It certainly seems likely doesn't it. It seems to be a kind of assumption that this sensor will be used in a D3x, so it's not terribly surprising.

    It's one of the reasons I finally cracked and bought the 14-24 and 24-70 lenses (and a D3), they certainly seem to have been designed with that kind of sensor in mind.

    I might yet be saved from medium format and a bad back!

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    I read this over at NikonCafe, too. I hope your wish comes true, Jono.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    I read this over at NikonCafe, too. I hope your wish comes true, Jono.
    HI Cindy
    I'm sure it'll be there - I just wish they'd make it without the built in grip - I don't need 4000 shot battery life, but I'd really like a smaller camera! (not a chance I'm afraid).

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Ah, but 24.4 million tiny photocells on a 24x36mm substrate. Great detail capture but what about DR, CA control and noise? How much of that extra detail will the required NR firmware compromise above say ISO 800? The usual debates.

    I look at the reviews of (and samples from) the 1Ds3 relative to those of the 1Ds2 in its day (in terms of IQ, not ergos, etc) and I'm more convinced then ever that once you breach the 20MP barrier in 35mm, you start to face the same 'wall' as was/is faced at 12MP+ w/APS-C:

    From my perspective, you either need to either:

    1. Develop new sensor tech
    2. Hit 'the reset button' and enlarge the sensor to increase cell size (hardly easy with an entrenched lens base)- or
    3. Develop a VERY integrated lens+body+sensor solution as with the H3D so that the shortcomings at that cell size -- and the lack of lenses that can perform to the abilities of the sensor can be overcome (to some degree) with integrated control of the total image chain.

    The issue with #3 is that the approach has limited headroom (there is only so much firmware can do for you) and it may require a new lens line a la the HC Fujinons. It only buys you time.

    Now, if you're going to pay big $$$ to shoot at modest ISO, why not take that step to a large substrates and fatter cells with a modular entry-level MF kit? The issues or portability, speed, etc., ignored for the sake of convenience on my part ;>
    Last edited by robmac; 17th April 2008 at 10:43.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Ah, but 24.4 million tiny photocells on a 24x36mm substrate. Great detail capture but what about DR, CA control and noise? How much of that extra detail will the required NR firmware compromise above say ISO 800? The usual debates.

    I look at the reviews of (and samples from) the 1Ds3 relative to those of the 1Ds2 in its day (in terms of IQ, not ergos, etc) and I'm more convinced then ever that once you breach the 20MP barrier in 35mm, you start to face the same 'wall' as was/is faced at 12MP+ w/APS-C:

    You either need to develop new sensor tech, hit 'the reset button' and enlarge the sensor to increase cell size - or develop a very integrated lens+body+sensor solution (aka closed) as with the H3D so that the shortcomings at that cell size -- and the lack of lenses that can perform to the abilities of the sensor can be overcome (to some degree) with integrated firmware control of the total image chain.

    If you're going to pay big $$$ to shoot at modest ISO, why not take that step to a large substrates and fatter cells with a modular entry-level MF kit (portability, etc ignored for the sake of the argument)?
    HI Rob
    As I understand it the pixel pitch on the 24mp sensor from Sony is a fraction LARGER than that in the 12mp sensor on the D300.

    For me, at least, having a camera which does 24mp well at 800 ISO or less is definitely worthwhile.

    I'm not convinced that Canon's problems with the 1DSIII are not more related to lenses than to the sensor.

    In short, although I do agree with your general principle, I would have thought that a 24mp pixel with the new Nikon lenses might produce good results - I'll accept that might be the limit for now at least.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Your point on the Canon lenses is well taken. Would love to see a 1Ds3 test with some top C glass vs Leica /Z to see what shakes out.

    As you also point out - it all depends in what/how you shoot. While Photokina will be interesting, I'll be more interested in what happens 18-24mos hence when the successor bodies are due out.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Your point on the Canon lenses is well taken. Would love to see a 1Ds3 test with some top C glass vs Leica /Z to see what shakes out.

    As you also point out - it all depends in what/how you shoot. While Photokina will be interesting, I'll be more interested in what happens 18-24mos hence when the successor bodies are due out.
    In a rough manner, I've field tested some Zeiss glass on the Canon 1DsMKIII ... and it does make a difference. How much is debatable, but it is a bit different in a positive direction.

    One recent test I did was between a 85/1.2L-MKII @ f/2 verses a Leica R90AA, and the difference was very apparent ... the APO 90 optic killed the 85 which is a fairly well thought of Canon L lens. That result was not debatable.

    However, I tend to agree that there's a ceiling for 35mm DSLRs, and 16 meg FF may have been it.

    Frankly, for that type of camera and what most people use them for ... I think the D3 hits it right on the money.

    These 35s will never replace MF in the area of IQ ... It's a pipe dream that will never come true.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    However, I tend to agree that there's a ceiling for 35mm DSLRs, and 16 meg FF may have been it.

    Frankly, for that type of camera and what most people use them for ... I think the D3 hits it right on the money.

    These 35s will never replace MF in the area of IQ ... It's a pipe dream that will never come true.
    HI Marc
    I've read this so many times - it's beginning to sound like a kind of mantra.

    But I've also read that 12mp is the 'right' resolution for an APS sized sensor, (certainly, the D300 suggests that it's a 'good' resolution), and if that's the case, then it's equivalent to around 25mp on a full frame sensor.

    I'm not sure that anyone wants to 'replace MF in the area of IQ', but I would certainly like 25 good MP in a body like the D3 (and I'd put up with the possibility that one wouldn't want to shoot above 1600 ISO). What a godsend for travel and long distance landscape.

    Every comparison I've seen between the new Nikon NC lenses and Canon lenses has shown them to be a real leap forward, so that the apparent ceiling of 16mp indicated by the 1DSmkII and III might easily not be the case with these lenses.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Marc
    I've read this so many times - it's beginning to sound like a kind of mantra.

    But I've also read that 12mp is the 'right' resolution for an APS sized sensor, (certainly, the D300 suggests that it's a 'good' resolution), and if that's the case, then it's equivalent to around 25mp on a full frame sensor.

    I'm not sure that anyone wants to 'replace MF in the area of IQ', but I would certainly like 25 good MP in a body like the D3 (and I'd put up with the possibility that one wouldn't want to shoot above 1600 ISO). What a godsend for travel and long distance landscape.

    Every comparison I've seen between the new Nikon NC lenses and Canon lenses has shown them to be a real leap forward, so that the apparent ceiling of 16mp indicated by the 1DSmkII and III might easily not be the case with these lenses.
    Well, we'll see what Nikon (and maybe Sony) does in the 20+ meg range. Technology does march on.

    The main issue will be how well detail is resolved without Moiré and other artifacts rearing their ugly head. It's been speculated that Canon struggled with this and resorted to an overly aggressive AA filter to tame it.

    In terms of Canon's IQ, it didn't get much better going from 16 to 22 meg even with 14 bit. If fact it got worse in a few areas IMO like noise in the darks with even a slight underexposure.

    And this generalized IQ observation is made using optics like the Leica 90/2 AA on both the MKII & MKIII cameras, which is about as good as it's gonna get for 35mm optics (moving to the MKIII was still worth it due to the other operational advancements.)

    I've actually considered trying something to definitively determine the role of optics with these higher meg 20+ 35mm DSLRs: I recently discovered that Rollei makes an adapter for 35mm DSLR use on my Rollei Xact-II 6X9 view camera. Now it's generally agreed that the Schneider and Rodenstock APO digital view lenses are the epitome of optical design and outperform just about anything out there made by anyone ... including Leica and Zeiss.

    Could be an interesting, and perhaps helpful experiment ... unless I'm missing something?

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    HI Marc
    I don't think you're missing anything. Although, while the problems of the Canon seem to be acknowledged, perhaps all you will do is to emphasize them?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it will be a revelation (as some aspects of the d3 are), simply that the fact that Canon seem to have dropped the ball slightly with the 1DSmkIII doesn't mean that the concept of a high MP dSLR is a write off.

    Nikon do seem to be on something of a roll at the moment, but I'd be a little more sceptical of Sony's ability to bring it off.

    Only time will tell.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    The weight and size issues just underlines how much utility there is in the M8 for a tourist/travel set-up don't you think guys?

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    In a rough manner, I've field tested some Zeiss glass on the Canon 1DsMKIII ... and it does make a difference. How much is debatable, but it is a bit different in a positive direction.

    One recent test I did was between a 85/1.2L-MKII @ f/2 verses a Leica R90AA, and the difference was very apparent ... the APO 90 optic killed the 85 which is a fairly well thought of Canon L lens. That result was not debatable.
    I tested a number of 85mm lenses in that range (Canon 85/1.8, 85/1.2L, Zeiss ZF 85/1.4, Nikon 85/1.4) and found it exceedingly difficult. Every one of them has a different amount of focus shift. While I don't know how you tested, I tried five (5) times. For that matter the leica 90/2 APO has strong field curvature at close distance. Now try comparing that to the Zeiss ZF 85/1.4 which has little or no field curvature there!

    So I will just chip in my skepticism at the claim of "killing" the 85/1.2L II.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by diglloyd View Post
    I tested a number of 85mm lenses in that range (Canon 85/1.8, 85/1.2L, Zeiss ZF 85/1.4, Nikon 85/1.4) and found it exceedingly difficult. Every one of them has a different amount of focus shift. While I don't know how you tested, I tried five (5) times. For that matter the leica 90/2 APO has strong field curvature at close distance. Now try comparing that to the Zeiss ZF 85/1.4 which has little or no field curvature there!

    So I will just chip in my skepticism at the claim of "killing" the 85/1.2L II.
    Skepticism accepted. I was so stunned by the result myself that I did the entire test over to confirm it was repeatable.

    The bench test between the two lenses was posted on this forum in the "For Sale" section in response to a request from a potential buyer of a Leica R90/2AA. That thread has been subsequently been purged after the sale was complete ... so I can't link you to it. The 85/1.2L-II is also my personal lens and is a great optic ... just not up to the R90AA as the test proved.

    Here's how I did it ... A Canon 1DsMKIII was mounted on a studio stand and the subject was a special edition yellow Hasselblad 501CM lit by Profoto studio strobes to assure exactly the same lighting consistently from pop to pop.

    Both lenses were mounted to the Canon and manually focused using the 1DsMKIII's Live View feature to zoom in @ 10X magnification which eliminates any focus errors; mirror up mode and electronic cable release. Both were set to f/2 & 1/125th in Manual mode. Nothing was altered except to swap lenses. Processing was done on both RAW files at the same time using batch in PSCS3 to assure exactly the same WB and conversion to Jpgs for web posting.

    At 100% view the Canon exhibited obvious CA and/or sensor bloom especially in the specular highlights of the Hasselblad chrome, and generally was less sharp looking that the 90AA which showed almost no CA and generally looked "snapper" over-all... even the color was nicer. Basically, the 90AA "killed" the Canon in every respect.

    While both lenses use an Aspherical element, the result is not really a surprise given that the R90AA is an APO corrected lens and the 85/1.2L is not. In my experience, APO optics fair much better with high meg 35mm digital sensors. One of the reasons many of the view-camera focal lengths have been redone as APOs and designated as "Digital" optics. Same for MF optics. My Mamiya APOs easily out-perform non APOs in the same focal lengths using an Aptus 75s digital back. This is also the reason Mamiya is "redesigning" many of their 645 lenses for use with digital backs.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    The weight and size issues just underlines how much utility there is in the M8 for a tourist/travel set-up don't you think guys?
    Absolutely Peter.

    However, having recently secured a Nikon D300 as back-up to the D3 for weddings, I am struck by it's relatively small kit size when coupled with some of the Zeiss ZF lenses.

    Certainly not as demure as a M8, but suprisingly compact and built like a tank.

    Darned good balance and IQ with the ZF50/2 Macro ... with fairly decent ISO 1250 results. I'm now getting that ZF 28/2 you recommended for use on the 1.5X D300 ... as soon as I sell something else : -)

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Absolutely Peter.

    However, having recently secured a Nikon D300 as back-up to the D3 for weddings, I am struck by it's relatively small kit size when coupled with some of the Zeiss ZF lenses.

    Certainly not as demure as a M8, but suprisingly compact and built like a tank.

    Darned good balance and IQ with the ZF50/2 Macro ... with fairly decent ISO 1250 results. I'm now getting that ZF 28/2 you recommended for use on the 1.5X D300 ... as soon as I sell something else : -)
    Hi Marc
    I'm fighting off the D300 temptation (I can't work out a decent lens kit)- but there are lots of rumours of a 'D10' which will be the D300 body with an FX sensor - that will be much harder to resist!

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    I have a D200 that I was considering to keep as a backup, but am now resolved to sell since I at least for now would like to settle on the fx format to stabilize my lens kit. Besides, I still view the M8 as my main travel and landscape camera and the D3 positioned for events, wildlife, pets and little children. Oh, and the MP for stealth.
    -bob

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Lloyd - first, welcome. Glad it all worked out with RobSteve's 90 AA.
    I remember the comparison shots in question and the in terms of lack of CA and apparent detail 'pop', the 90 AA shots did take the Canon's lunch money. That said, the Canon 85 is a lens known for CA production whereas the 90 tends to have that issue put to bed.

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Marc do get the Zeiss 28 F2 it really is a nice lens on the nikons. I also have the Zeiss 50mm F2 macro and another great lens. I have the Zeiss 85 1.4 and it is very nice but I am selling it to go back to the Nikon i think unless someone talks me out of it. I have not used it much, tonight it gets to go to work.

    Now the D300 is at least a stop less DR than the M8 that I can tell by the files
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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post

    Now the D300 is at least a stop less DR than the M8 that I can tell by the files
    Probably Guy . . . but the D3 isn't

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    Re: Nikon D3x Technoleak?

    No from the files I have seen the D3 is not which keeps making me lean D3
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