I think it actually did make a difference. It seems to focus a little faster, I don't think it's hunts as often, and it seems to select whatever I focus on a little sharper (or a fair bit even) than before. I am getting images as sharp as my tripod images now.
I wish I had done some tests before the upgrade and after to be sure. But I swear ISO 800 is better now. I've taken some shots around the house and it looks great. I never used ISO 800 before because it was pretty noisy. I haven't taken any real shots yet, at events, etc. I hope to shoot some kids hockey this weekend and try it out in the field. But then, again, I might be seeing things. I really didn't have any focus issues before the upgrade. I think the AF is awesome!
I've only used the D2x for general purpose photography for about 2 months and I haven't had the time to throughly feel the difference between the firmware. so No, the new firmware hadn't change my life.
Yes! I think you have it... I feel it's better close up! Far away stuff might never have exhibited a problem due to the larger DOF at greater distances, but I can get ANYTHING in focus thats up-close now, where as before it was hit or miss.
I did do the before and after test; but I was already happy with my AF performance... in fact ecstatic (even in the dark).
I used a D2X, 70-200VR, tripod and I at all 11 sensors in 'medium' light, at an angle, at 70mm and at 200mm. All tests showed identical perfect focus results for before and after... I did make one bonehead mistake during testing. Before shooting the 'after' shots, I turned on VR. This made my 'after' shots slightly out of focus. After I turned the VR off, my results were improved to the same focus as the 'before' shots.
Some people had mentioned better 'noise' performance in Hi-1 and Hi-2. I didn't see this. My Hi-1 noise is there, but just ok (as before). And my Hi-2 noise is/has been awful... completely consistent with that ISO 3200 color film I never shot
Not in my case. I have 500+ before shots that are predominantly out of focus.
My first body was horrible at auto focusing close up objects (I shoot a lot of flowers), Nikon adjusted it and it worked better, but I still got a lot of soft images and after the adjustment color rendition seemed to go down the gutter. The replacement camera was excellent at color rendition and autofocus was not bad, but there was still a lot of softness to my images, to the point that I had decided I was not going to spend more time with it, sell the equipment and buy Canon.
After the firmware update my camera is like a new body, I shot 66 images of orchids yesterday all perfectly focused and the color rendition is outstanding. If this is placebo it must have been a horse pill!
Yes. The firmware upgrade did change my life. The D2X forum, without the daily exchange of focus issues, has become a bit boring. I must now seek the rabid exchange of posts in other forums.
I am fortunate to have had no problems in the past, and the upgrade does not appear to be a "downgrade." Though, like many others, I have taken only a limited number of post-firmware house shots. The weekend will provide proof.
Now, it's off to the D200 forum to view the daily D2X vs. D200 exchanges...
I was disappointed that the moderators locked up the other focussing threads so soon after the firmware announcement, not giving time for those having problems to state their firmware upgrade results in the thread where it all started; but I also understand the need to clamp down on the nature of the arguments as it was becoming uncivil at times. Perhaps those people will find this thread and state their findings. As previously noted herein, before and after pictures will be greatly appreciated.
Rather than details and before and after images I'll put in a vote, the D2X is a great camera after the firmware update, I would recommend it to anyone considering it. Nikon stood behind their product and worked hard to find a solution. The only sin was that the company would not acknowledge there was a problem which is not surprising giving their history of doing so. During the last few months they lost some sales of D2X and lost some customers to the competition as a result of this philosophy.
All the traffic from those having focusing issues was real, there was a problem with the D2X and it was more widespread than it was presented in some forums. I saw a lot of "great" examples from the D2X, but mostly did not impress me because they were mostly warm and soft. What I got yesterday from the camera satisfies me that I did not waste my money. When I bought the camera I wanted to feel pain if I took a picture of someone bleeding, heck $5k worth should get you that.
It is extremely hard, almost impossible for any of these threads to deteriorate because there was a tremendous amount of disparaging statements directed at those having problems during the last few months, some are so stubborn that they intend to continue to chant the mantra of it is technique. Not so in other forums by the way.
I'm anxiously awaiting the return from service of my D2x to see if I get the results you are getting. After hassleing with D2x's since March 2nd I'll definately be happy. Thought I got a good deal when I got it for $4699 when they 1st were released but after shipping a total of 5 times to Nikon and 9 months of wasted time the good deal has lost it's effect. All Nikon had to do was say they know there's a problem that is going to be solved ASAP and hold onto you camera until it can be resolved. This didn't have to be a public announcement only a simple letter to those that called and said they had a problem. Instead they let us ship these back and forth god knows how many times at our expense and I do admit I'm peeved about that. It will all fade when things are right but I still think there's no excuse for them to treat good customers that way. This too is my opinion only.
>> don't forget the ungodly amount of time one spent testing <<
That is the part that impacted the users most, I got mine May 4th and spent countless hours trying to figure out if I could make the beast behave; had Nikon issued a statement saying they were aware of the problems and to be patient that a fix was on the way would have saved a lot of this time. I knew a couple of months ago that Nikon Japan had pressure to modify the firmware, but were being reluctant about it.
Don't forget also that some people sold lenses because they were told they were not good enough for the D2X; I doubt that is a fact in light of the improvements I see with the new firmware; for example I believe the 24-120 VR is a fine prosumer lens and will perform well with a fixed camera. My 60mm lens was giving less than desirable results with flower shots and after the firmware update it is amazing; some went through some long dissertations about why the short micros will never perform well on the D2X. Also lost shots, how about the shooter that had a toddler growing in the house, 5 months amounts to a lot of lost shots that could have been sharper and were not.
The people not having problems can't seem to understand why we are so adamant about this issue.
I am sorry but keeping silent and not expressing your opposing opinion to the relentless "it is your technique" crowd would be a disservice to the users, Nikon and the forum. Why do you think having a one side mantra by keeping opposing views help?
>Why do you think having a one side mantra by keeping >opposing views help?
I do not. That is exactly why I asked in my previous post that both sides let this drop.
As I have said numerous times in different threads about this topic, some members have had AF problems with their D2X, that were fixed either by adjustment at Nikon or (more recently) by installing the firmware update, and some members have found that they needed to change either their technique or their expectations to get the best out of the camera. Both scenarios are possible.
Prolonging this ill-feeling does no-one any good. We all need to move on; it's as simple as that!
I don't know.. when one is found to be "in the right", correct all along" or "dammit, I am not crazy after all" it just makes them want to shout it from the roof tops. I too did not buy the D2x due to the many experienced users finding they could take better pictures with the D2h than the D2x. I love my D2h, although I wish the noise issue could be solved. ( my noise got worse after the focus/exposure repair ) and I am afraid to send it in. The D200 seems to be the beast for me. Even Nikon claiming at 10MP it will match the resolving power of most lenses. So I am on a waiting list too. My D100 is already sold, and if after receiving the D200, I can send in my D2h to have them look at the noise issue. If they can fix it great. If not, it will be sold too. I am glad the D2X works now after the update. AND I STILL HAVE TO SAY THIS: if technique was good enough with the D100 and the D2H, ( not to mention the F5 and F100 but those too) then it should have been good enough with the D2X.
The technique issue was mostly from new digital users from film or digital point and shoots, that purchased the best digital SLR camera at the time, but did not know all of digitals nuances.
One person in this forum pushed this reasoning to its extreme. He had no right and often defended trival facts and data often based on.... let us say... statistical numbers that could not be verified.
It hasn't changed my life, but I have to say the attitude of some of the people using this forum may have had more effect.
My 2nd D2x is perfoming much better post firmware update and pretty much all images are sharp (less of course the inevitable few with camera shake etc) with no more focus problems. Not that I'd probably raise them on this site again anyway.
I'm off to improve my technique............
Just as an aside, any of you UK bods going to Solutions Expo later this month?
My reply is based on very subjective data. I did the upgrade, but also turned A4 to "off" (focus lock). Therefore, I made two changes that could have impacted performance. I looked at the images I took today and would say that they, indeed, do appear sharper than past images of similar subjects at approximately the same distance and with the same lens and TC (500mm AFS and TC14e). In particular, I seem to get better AF performance now when a subject is fairly small in the viewfinder than I did in the past. The only other subjective difference that I can report is a sense that my lens snapped into focus much faster than before. There was almost no AF hunting at all, which is a change for the better. Again, none of this is solid evidence. It is just my subjective opinion that could be biased by "expecting" a change!
In the first serious shoot since the upgrade, I noticed that there seemed to be a much quicker focus response in the 80~400 tracking a captive (though quick) wolf in less than ideal light yesterday! Very Nice!
Skip Higgins Member of the Nikonian Team Paddle faster, I hear Banjos!
I agree that the focus response of the 80-400 seems to be quicker when there is only small adjustments to be made when tracking a moving target. I am still having problems with the focus of this lens in low light, low contrast situations. I was shooting birds in trees yesterday and still had focus hunting issues. One of these secearios was with a subject less than 10 feet away on a low branch in a tree.
Did the upgrade. I made testphoto's before and after. -White balance is improved: YES, see very pleasing results now under incandescent light in A-mode, less orange. -Autofocus improvement: YES. see difference in focussing, e.g. close at 1.8 with my 50mm D -Flash w/ SB800: I could not produce the proble as stated in the announcement -Noise at HI-1 and HI-2: I did not read that in the announcement so did not test it, although HI-1 looks less noisy (subjective)
I really never had any issues with the body beore the upgrade. Most of my issues went away when I dumped the 80-400 for the 200-400. I think it was just that lens (I had two different ones). My close ups with the 200mm macro were always consistantly sharp. Just used the camera this weekend at the Grand Canyon this weekend to teach Boy Scouts photography, even in unskilled hands, it produced great shots.
Before and after...??? It seems just as good as before.
Aside from being heavy, the boys, aged 12-16, didn't have any problems with the basic control of the camera. It is much better to teach with the instant feedback the LCD provides. I am always amazed at how un-impressed kids are by technology that blows me away. They take it as normal. I've got to get them smelling some chemicals to show how we old ones did it, if I can find them anymore.
I was one of those happy individuals who had a 'good' D2X and only suffered a few out of focus and not so sharp shots. Before the upgrade I could merrily pass those off as 'well, it's a know problem, isn't it'.
Unfortunately my D2X now focusses rapidly, in varying light conditions with all my lenses on quite small subjects. I still get a spread of out of focus and occasional not too sharp shots - but I don't have an excuse any more! They are now down to poor technique.
Such is life.
PS slightly 'tounge in cheek', the upgrade is a definate improvement even though I was happy with the camera before it.
I'd like to have a witty signature but can't think of one
Well I got it back today. No time to test but I'll try some indoor stuff. They replaced the shutter mechanism. Not sure if that means they replaced the shutter or parts of it. Plus replaced square Base Plate. No clue what that is. What they did NOT do was install the new firmware. Now I'm stuck on , should I test before and after or just do it.
YES! Was tricky before upgrade but could get sharp results - just that the camera often wanted to focus on anything in background it could glom onto. NOW - it almost always focuses precisely where I want it to - and does so sharp as a tack everytime! Yes - DEFINITE and MAJOR improvement.
Well here is a somewhat simplistic explanation of "firmware".
Firmware refers to the very low level programs / routines that were traditionally in Read Only Memory (ROM) that combined with the microprocessor / controller create the very basic operational functions of a computer / device. In the case of a computer it contains bootstrap program (and other routines) to access the computers hardware and load the operating system off of the Hard Drive.
Firmware referring to the fact the the programs/routines are actually in a chip and not easily, until the advent off flash memory, modified. (halfway between hardware and software) The distinction between firmware and software is certainly blurring these days, but it would still hold true that firmware is the low level basic functional software of the device it is installed in, and is generally installed in a semi-permanent manner.
--- -Steve "If it's a good idea . . . go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission." - Grace Hopper
Here's a few samples of what's going on with mine. I did NO PP as all I was doing was testing focus which I believe is a BF issue only now. Light was bad but I have close to 100 images with same problem. Never posted link here so not sure it will work.
As 1000 of D2X users here would agree, extraordinary photo skill is required to photograph cigarette lighters. That, and a sturdy tripod (preferrably in black) and Arca ball-head (or any ball head that costs more than a college education in most advance nations) will tremendously improve the focus. It is your technique that is obviously at fault.
He..he..just kidding...sorry to see that you've got a bad camera.
Refund it if possible, and get a brand new one, obviously Nikon tech doesn't know what he's doing. In my case, Nikon replaced it with a brand new body when it was returned three times.
JFYI. The lighter photo (have 40+ more) were taken on a Gitzo 1325 Tri-pod with a BH55. I wonder what would happen if I sent it to Mellville instead of re-returning to El Segundo? Maybe their tech is better. Afterall it will be the 3rd try for the El Segundo tech. Unfortunately for me it's the second D2x I've had problems with. Where ever I send it I'll ask for a new one.
Well if it's focusing where you point it and is producing sharp images than consider yourself lucky. If that was all that was/is wrong with the D2x's I've had I'd be estatic. OTOH the lights should work as expected especially from a $5k camera.
I returned a D2X last month since I was not happy with the autofocus. A fellow from the local camera store dropped by with a firmware updated D2X and the results were great.
The results were so much better that I purchased another D2X and performed the update before the first shot was taken.
Attached are two images from the Canadian Parilment building in Ottawa. These images do not do the full versions justice. These are raw converted directly to JPG and posted. I did not want to do anything to the images so you could see the detail captured by the updated D2X.
I am a very happy person and dropped my D200 pre-order.