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Thread: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

  1. #51
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Yeah, I think we've pretty well determined that, as far as IQ, the A900 and D3x are different beasts with different strengths. I believe Marc was referring to the camera body, in which the D3x is surely top of the charts. The A900 is quite a match in build to the D700, IMO, but the D3x is a different matter. I'm in agreement with Shelby that the A900 ergonomics are perfect for me.

    Shelby, I'd be curious to learn more about your AF problems. Is it an outside AF point issue?

  2. #52
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Shelby, I'd be curious to learn more about your AF problems. Is it an outside AF point issue?
    No... it's just a bit too slow in certain situations. It might be the lenses that I have, but my general impression is that most people on this forum have not shot a lot of 1) objects moving directly at/away from you in lower light and 2) shot kids who cannot sit still. I'm not talking about kids that are hyper, I'm talking about how even when a kid is sitting "still" they are actually swaying and twitching minutely. If you're like me and shoot with very narrow DoF, then the sony just doesn't react quickly enough in those particular situations (IMO). Even my old 5D's had better af-servo performance (i don't even use it on the sony).

    I do find the outer points really usable in many lighting situations... as long as there isn't quick motion.

    Let's not confuse "panning" action with movement towards the camera. Many of the "swing" shots I've done with kids actually work because the af is not really having to predict distance-to-subject. Once it locks, there's a decent chance of getting a shot in focus. Even if they are swinging towards me there is a decisive moment when they "stop" at the top of the swing arc. I can usually predict that and get a few shots. If I tried to shoot in mid-swing. No go.

    So, I'm probably being harsh on the a900 af because it can't track, effectively, objects moving directly at/away from the camera. Outside of that situation, the af is great IMO. Quite accurate. I bet even birds in flight are entirely possible if they are moving across the frame and not towards it.

    Even if I "feather" the AF button during, let's say, a processional... there's still a large enough (but almost imperceptible) lag between focus acquire and shutter actuation to render a frame OoF if you're shooting wide open or close to it.

  3. #53
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    I know the initial contention was the camera body. But to what extent this quote meant was a different thing all together.

    I love them both, but I'd sell the Sony before the Nikons.
    This is a declarative statement. Its presumes the the better camera overall.

    All I am trying to say is, at least support it (ie., pictures).


    P.S.

    I know this is pointless, because of the wide subjectivity of the topic, but yeah...its my last post.
    Last edited by docrjay; 26th June 2009 at 15:19.

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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    So, I'm probably being harsh on the a900 af because it can't track, effectively, objects moving directly at/away from the camera.
    Do you think you can focus faster than it can? My sum total A900 experience is now up to about 15 min., but I kind of got the feeling that unless what I was trying to focus on was directly in the center sensor, I probably could do better. To focus on something that was stationary, it seemed to be ok. I think if it can lock on something that is moving at a predictable speed and stays on one sensor it should be ok, but I would have to test it. I was playing with an 80/1.4.

    @docrjay there is a lot more to a camera than just image quality. If you want to play the image quality card, a 4x5 will destroy an A900, but that really is a meaningless comparison. I think what everyone is getting at is the A900 is a very capable machine, particularly at low ISO, reasonably bright light conditions, but it is not fast. Mark and Shelby both rely on a camera that can be fast and deliver high quality images (properly focused, white balanced, exposed) in very demanding conditions. That has, in many ways, little to do with the sensor and "best conditions" image quality.

  5. #55
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Bill is right. While the A900's center AF is probably the fastest, most accurate single sensor in the business, AF tracking with the camera using outside points is rather pedestrian. I have seen a couple of bird shooters on different forums that have managed to get things more dialed in for tracking, but I can't find the links.

    I think the bigger point is ( I think this is what Marc is getting at) that the A900 is more or less a "hybrid" ( or "poor man's" ) Medium Format camera, with the advantages of price, some speed, SSS, and portability, although not quite there in IQ. For a shooter like Marc, who has MFDB as well as the better tracking D3x, the A900 may be a little redundant, and it would make sense for him to sell that first. The A900 is geared more towards a shooter like me: who can't quite justify the cost of a new back for the Hassies, doesn't really shoot much action at all, and wants a camera pretty small in size. I love the dang thing.

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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    Do you think you can focus faster than it can? My sum total A900 experience is now up to about 15 min., but I kind of got the feeling that unless what I was trying to focus on was directly in the center sensor, I probably could do better. To focus on something that was stationary, it seemed to be ok. I think if it can lock on something that is moving at a predictable speed and stays on one sensor it should be ok, but I would have to test it. I was playing with an 80/1.4.

    @docrjay there is a lot more to a camera than just image quality. If you want to play the image quality card, a 4x5 will destroy an A900, but that really is a meaningless comparison. I think what everyone is getting at is the A900 is a very capable machine, particularly at low ISO, reasonably bright light conditions, but it is not fast. Mark and Shelby both rely on a camera that can be fast and deliver high quality images (properly focused, white balanced, exposed) in very demanding conditions. That has, in many ways, little to do with the sensor and "best conditions" image quality.
    Couldn't have said it better myself Bill.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Well, I photographed today my niece's birthday at a Kindergarten, all 3 years old kids jumping around like crazy. Light level was slightly low (used ISO 1600 and 1/60 f/2.8) and continuous AF. Honestly this is the first time in my life I use AF-C since I spent most of my digital experience shooting with manual focus lenses However, I have the impression that AF speed is slow but I can't compare it to other cameras to see how much faster they are. Anyway, I was able to see when the camera acquired focus through the viewfinder and noticed that it was able to track it for 1-2 seconds before it lost it again. I was able to get a fair number of sharp pictures by pressing the shutter when I could see the subject was in focus. Once thing for sure, shooting moving kids is a tough job for both the camera and the photographer.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by docrjay View Post
    An argument that appeals to authority is fallacious.

    Show some pics. Destroy the images that Shelby and APY jr. posted.

    And let the forum members be the judge.

    Peace.
    Peace?

    My work stands on it's own and dick measuring contests are of no interest, and even less profit.

    My work is all about content, not just IQ ... most people wouldn't know the difference in IQ between the A900, 5D or D3/D3X ... but they do grasp content immediately ... and I don't just mean pictures of their squirming kids or bouncing puppy... but life moments that define character, insightful images that see past the surface ... basically things that defined still photography well before these cameras came on the scene.

    I know I am good at that and need not prove it to anyone here, most of all you.

    My choice of gear is based on delivering what I want people to see. The Leica M helps do that for me, and any other camera that does it gets my vote. Even though I have a lot of different gear, it's about getting the shot more than anything.

    For certain things its the A900, for other things, it's the D3X. My experience so far is that over-all the D3X does that better than the A900. It's faster, surer, shoots to 2 cards at once and is built like a tank. I'm finding my cadence for camera settings and post work, and the images are getting better each day I work with it. In short, IQ is not a weak point for this camera by any stretch of the imagination, and it delivers what I want, when I want it, how I want it ... it delivers the content!

    Choose you tool to fit your vision and what you want to put on paper as a voice.

  9. #59
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... and I don't just mean pictures of their squirming kids or bouncing puppy...
    That wasn't a shot at me was it, Marc? (since I've just shot a bunch of kids stuff and posted here as example)... either way, I think I'm finished with this thread and my quest for substantive information since it seems to be going nowhere other than more discussion about the a900 and how we all feel about it... and generally is becoming combative and a bit vulgar.

    Thanks all for your thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Choose you tool to fit your vision and what you want to put on paper as a voice.
    Yep.

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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Just like to thank you Edward and Shelby for providing us with your A900 AF experiences as well as other strengths and weaknesses of the A900 camera system. Info like this helps me in my future camera buying decisions in the future.
    I like alot of different types of photography including shooting sports and birds in flight which really tax the AF system of a camera. Tracking birds in flight really honed my panning and quick acquring skills which make shooting sports/moving people alot easier.
    Sadly AF performance information is sadly lacking in most all camera reviews these days as there is no standard measure or benchmark.
    Rob Galbraith is the only one whom I aware of who put together some AF test scenarios when he was proving the 1d3 AF problem.
    For fast moving subjects its usually best to only use center AF point as this is the most sensative AF point and faster/more accurate than using any non center AF points or multi AF point tracking method. See if there is some custom control for the AF tracking speed which Canon 1 series have. Setting it faster helps of course acquire faster but will also cause it to lose tracking faster if the AF point falls off of the moving subject.Since I have seen quite a few Sony cameras at sporting events, I can't see it being too bad so maybe you are missing some settings to dial it in like Douglas mentioned.

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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    That wasn't a shot at me was it, Marc? (since I've just shot a bunch of kids stuff and posted here as example)... either way, I think I'm finished with this thread and my quest for substantive information since it seems to be going nowhere other than more discussion about the a900 and how we all feel about it... and generally is becoming combative and a bit vulgar.

    Thanks all for your thoughts.



    Yep.
    Of course it wasn't a shot at you or anyone else Shelby. I said I liked your work even though it's not my cup of tea ... and mentioned that differences are what make the world go around. Frankly, I did even look at the post with the kids uploaded. I'm on vacation and only answered the post here.

    Vulgar perhaps, but its calling it as I see it ... "mine's better than yours" is what destroys the ability to share real experiences without turning it into some chest beating contest.

    You asked about the D3X, and those that have ANY experience with the camera at all can't get a word in edgewise for the constant harping on how great the Sony is compared to ANYTHING out there. I'm one of the few that actually has both systems and shoots similar subjects. I do not have as much experience with the D3X yet, so it's not quite even, but enough to try and share what I've noted so far which seems to turn it into a contest of sub 1 meg jpgs. To be expected perhaps given what forum this is and all the purchase justification that's needed.

    Perhaps you should have posted the question in the Nikon forum?


    P.S., while on vacation I have the M8 and ... ta-da! ... the Sony A900 with me ... not the Nikon, I don't need what it does here. Can't wait to finally try out the 500 AF mirror
    Last edited by fotografz; 27th June 2009 at 05:33.

  12. #62
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Nikon D3x (NOT trolling!)

    hey all,

    just wanted to publicly apologize for calling Marc out... unwarranted, and I apologize.

    off to shoot!
    Shelby

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