A non-working camera. It would be similar to trying to put the new CPUs from Intel into an original IBM PC. Completely different processors for the code and they most likely use different machine level code.
There is a different sensor and processor, EXPEED, which could use different machine code and power. This causes all sorts of other changes that would require completely replacing all the electronics.
Actually I read about the rumour on Ken Rockwells site and thought I would have a little joke.
"A non-working camera. It would be similar to trying to put the new CPUs from Intel into an original IBM PC. Completely different processors for the code and they most likely use different machine level code.
There is a different sensor and processor, EXPEED, which could use different machine code and power. This causes all sorts of other changes that would require completely replacing all the electronics."
No, not quite like that, you could swap the sensor and the expeed board and it would work wouldn't it? 8-)
>>No, not quite like that, you could swap the sensor and >the >>expeed board and it would work wouldn't it? 8-) > >I could put a Lamborghini engine in my Hyundai, too, but it >would take more than a firmware change. >
I have seen a photo of one of those on Ken's site it's called a lamborundai. 8-)
it would make complete marketing and efficiencies sense to govern the sensor of the D3 and to allow the D3x to roam free. this would equate to the ability of raising the price of the D3 by $4 Grand without any additional overhead!
i haven't done enough research, but think it is very possible, especially with the lack in ergonomic and functionality upgrades seen on the D3x, I mean honestly, $7K should garner a drastic increase in not only greater number of pixels, but also increased ergonomics etc etc. the M5 is greatly more badass than the 5 series BMW's (an analogy which holds much more relevance than a Lamborghini engine in a Hyundai).
At first look Nikon is taking the Apple stance on things, release a great product with the ability of producing a better one, wait a year for everyone to buy product A, then release Product Ax for double the price, everyone purchases Product Ax and ROI goes through the roof.
>it would make complete marketing and efficiencies sense to >govern the sensor of the D3 and to allow the D3x to roam free. >this would equate to the ability of raising the price of the >D3 by $4 Grand without any additional overhead!
It would if:
1) such an engineering feat were possible, which it is not, and
2) you never got caught shafting your customer base that way.
>i haven't done enough research, but think it is very possible,
engineering is based on efficiencies and the ability to use the same technology, body molds and automated machines to increase the value of initial investment (meaning it is definitly possibly and has been done in many other industries for millions of products). I'd rather not say it, but it seems you may have a blind eye to how the world and big business actually work.
and, in a sense, you aren't shafting your customers because you're telling them exactly what they're getting and what they're going to pay for it. No shaft necessary if all truths are laid out in a specs page.
and i love how defensive you people get, I'm not saying the cameras are the same or they aren't, I'm simply raising the validity of its possibility.
I understand quite well how the worlds of both business and engineering work. I also understand a bit about physics, which is the real show-stopper to this particular conspiracy theory.
As for "shafting," just look at the howls from people because this product costs 25% more than they were expecting. What do you think the customer reaction would be if people thought their D3 could do what a D3X does except it was deliberately hobbled?
I'm not defensive, just tired of reading breathless statements of "possibilities" that are based on ignorance of engineering or business -- or as in this case, both.
>and, in a sense, you aren't shafting your customers because >you're telling them exactly what they're getting and what >they're going to pay for it. No shaft necessary if all truths >are laid out in a specs page.
I can't think of an example in which a product was sold with 'hobbled' versions of EXACTLY the same components as a more expensive, more capable unit produced by the same company. It's simply not done because it WOULD be perceived as a company shafting its customers, and that's bad business.
(If you have a real-life example, I'd love to know what it is.)
>and i love how defensive you people get, I'm not saying the >cameras are the same or they aren't, I'm simply raising the >validity of its possibility.
FYI: The phrase "you people" is inflamatory and unwelcome. And there is no validity to this rumor.
> I can't think of an example in which a product was sold with 'hobbled' versions of EXACTLY the same components as a more expensive, more capable unit produced by the same company.
I can. One of them was a Canon - the 30D? It was a firmware-hobbled of one of their other models. People had it hacked within months.
I personally have witnessed an upgrade of one model to the one two models up by having the tech come in and remove two wires. This was on a Fujitsu mainframe. The "removal" was a bit more subtle than I've described: the tech actually replaced two boards. Unfortunately, he left the boards on premises, and a highly skilled engineer with too much time on his hands was able to show that the two boards were exactly the same except for two traces. The analysis was actually done because the engineer was innocently a bit curious as to how the upgrade was done with such apparently small changes, as the machine in question had a number of boards, only one of which was being upgraded. I can assure you that the customer (in this case a joint customer of ours and Fujitsu's) was very unhappy.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
>I can't think of an example in which a product was sold with >'hobbled' versions of EXACTLY the same components as a more >expensive, more capable unit produced by the same company. >It's simply not done because it WOULD be perceived as a >company shafting its customers, and that's bad business.
IBM, SDS and Digital Equipment used this strategy routinely in the mainframe and minicompter era of the 1980's.
Often a $250,000. upgrade was (covertly) delivered to the client by clipping a jumper at the client's site.
Having said this I will go on record as not subscribing to the D3 24MP sensor rumour.
Mini One and Mini Cooper. Same engine, bhp of engine cut down by (IIRC) 25 or so bhp by changes to ecu software. Mini community are enthusiasts so hacked chips appeared very soon after BMW's subterfuge, sorry I meant marketing plan, was revealed.
sorry about the "you people" reference, don't mean to start arguments in here, would rather just discuss...it just seems that SOME people like to instantly argue rather than accept all points of view and or possibilities.
>At first look Nikon is taking the Apple stance on things, >release a great product with the ability of producing a better >one, wait a year for everyone to buy product A, then release >Product Ax for double the price, everyone purchases Product Ax >and ROI goes through the roof.
Methinks you're not paying very close attention. Apple traditionally releases the "better one" at just about the same price as the original, and then drops the price of the original significantly (assuming they continue to offer it at all). Sometimes Apple reduces the "better one" at a significantly lower price than the original.
Take the iPhone, for example: The original 8GB model was $599 (and I bought one). Within a few months they cut the price to $299. And then they released the 3G version, but instead of the price being doubled, they kept the price the same but doubled the storage capacity. Today (about 18 months after the $599 original 8GB model) you can get a 16GB, 3G iPhone for $299.
iPod and iMac history has been similar. Today you can buy a variety of iPods with video and huge capacities for a lot less than the early models. iMacs are probably half the price they were eight years ago, and a lot faster and with superior displays and other hardware, to boot.
Nikon has clearly not done anything Apple-like here.
right, and they are able to drop the price for release two because the high cost of the original product is to cover R&D costs and because of the "we can" mentality. then the company plays on economies of scale, new technology costs less and less over time, meaning you are able to provide better and better technology at lower and lower costs.
question that comes to my mind is, why is nikon charging so much for the D3x, and my only answer to that would be, because they can. because they are pushing the limits and currently sitting behind hasselblad.
If Nikon could have released the D3x at the same time as (or even close to) the D3, they would have. If they were in fact using the same sensor just different firmware, it would have been trivial for them to ship them at the same time, thus satisfying both needs and answering the Canon assault all at once. It would have been viewed as a massive tour de force. The fact that it didn't happen all at once (and further, that the D3x launch got slipped around a lot) is strong evidence that Nikon didn't have the physical ability to put the D3x in the field at the same time as the D3.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
>it would make complete marketing and efficiencies sense to >govern the sensor of the D3 and to allow the D3x to roam free. >this would equate to the ability of raising the price of the >D3 by $4 Grand without any additional overhead! >
I'm replying to this stage of the thread because I think we have gone off on a misapprehension.
It makes marketing sense to release two differently specced pieces of kit _at the same time_ to gather two different market positions. The more common components the two had, the more efficient, to the point where the maximum efficiency is reached when the only difference is firmware.
However, it makes no sense to wait a year before releasing the 'high end' version, while your competitors establish their dominance in that area of the market.
If the two cameras were really the same, then Nikon's marketing strategy should have been to release _three_ models of camera at the same time: The D3h — high ISO, ultra fast performance The D3x — class-leading resolution The D3xh — switchable for performance or resolution
What's more, in the same way that TC Electronics releases hardware and then lets you unlock the particular model you like, and computer manufacturers have released machines which could be upgraded with a jumper cable, Nikon would have exploited its market position by saying: "Can't decide? You can upgrade from either model to the D3xh at any time for the current market price difference between the two models."
In this way, Nikon would have owned both the high speed and the high resolution categories, and achieved the holy grail of electronics: future proofing.
The target market for the top of the line nikon camera is only so large. lets say it is 100 (for sake of simplicity). if nikon were to release a D3 and D3x at the same time, then their total market would be split between the two cameras, lets say a 50/50 split. that would mean total sales would equate to $605,000. (not a bad chunk of change).
now, with the current strategy (D3 released and then D3x released one year after) 100 customers purchase the D3 at initial release ($410,000) but with the release of the D3x we'll assume that 50% of D3 owners are to purchase the D3x, ($400,000), equating to a total of $810,000, which is $205,000 more than in example one.
(assuming the ROI involved in upgrading the D3x was very minimal, which i believe it had to be, then this is a very nice deal. And, Nikon is now owning the market over Canon, especially with the reported news that the Canon D5 Mark II is producing black spots in areas of highlights (which may or may not add to consumers questioning the quality of a canon over a nikon.
Now clearly if 28% or less of the initial 100 were to purchase the new d3x, then the second scenario is null and void. But that's the fun of marketing, isn't it. all the possibilities and analysis behind the plans to see what will actually happen in the consumer world!
Note: price of D3 of $4100, D3x $8000, based on the current advertised price from B&H. Note: disregarding any future sales, analysis done for examples sake.
Not really -- you're assuming that the top of the line Nikon is one market segment, but (according to all of Nikon's marketing, and most users) it isn't. D3X - targeted at landscape, fine art and commercial, aimed at the 'near Medium Format' market segment D3 - targeted at press, sports, aimed at the 'fast, low-light' market segment
There will always be an ultra premium 'I have to own Nikon's top camera' segment, but it isn't very large, because the price lifts the cameras out of the range of most amateurs, and you would capture that with the D3xh super-price camera.
Even if your analysis were correct, I would still challenge you to find any commercial company that could release a product now, but chooses to wait a year. Releasing now means money in the bank now. Waiting means that your competitors could trump you, destroying any market advantage you might have had. With hindsight, we know that Canon didn't produce a 24 MP camera this year, but what if they had produced a 32 MP camera, while Nikon had held back their 24 MP camera? At that point as a market-leader the D3x would have been more or less worthless, serving no more than to demonstrate that Nikon can't compete with Canon on resolution.
Or consider the position now: if Nikon were now in a position to release a camera which could be switched between high resolution or high ISO, would they be releasing a high resolution only camera called the D3X, or would they be releasing the D4, which would even now be causing complete despair among competitors?
Wow -quite a thread, but does the D3X have the technological pedigree to capture first class images.
I am about to venture into the abiss and found the economists comments interesting. However there will still be the few of us who really dont care if its a firmware thing or not. I can sell my D3, keep my D300 second camera which is a great machine also, and look forward to 25+ Mp for a relatively small additional investment. Nikon for ever!!
Thu 15-Jan-09 03:44 AM | edited Thu 15-Jan-09 03:50 AM by TomCurious
>Why would the D3 handle noise so much better than D3x at >higher ISO if it were the same sensor. It isnt.
Of course it's not the same sensor, but if it were, the noise could be reduced by averaging the signal of adjacent photosites, thus reducing both noise and pixel count. You can do such thing in post (downsample and reduce noise).
Looking at it another way: The D3 has low noise because of the larger size of each photosite. If there were no Bayer filter, then you add the signal of two half-sized D3x sensor sites and you would approximately get the same signal as from one big D3 sensor site. With the Bayer filter in place, the color from adjacent sites would be different, so it would require some clever logic. But I'm sure it could be done.
What you describe is essentially "pixel binning" and would reduce noise at the expense of resolution.
FWIW, according to measurements, most recent advances in noise are due to improved amplifiers (and associated circuits) as opposed to having anything to do with photosite size. (In other words, improved Read Noise.) There also seems to be some improvement in Quantum Efficiency (QE) with some of the recent sensors.
>What you describe is essentially "pixel binning" and >would reduce noise at the expense of resolution.
Pixel binning won't work as an explanation. The D3 is 2832 x 4256 pixels. The D3x is 4032 x 6048 pixels. Binning a D3x by 2 would yield either a 4032 x 3024 pixel sensor or a 2016 x 6048 sensor. I don't see any sensible way to bin a D3x sensor down to a D3 sensor dimension.
>>What you describe is essentially "pixel >binning" and >>would reduce noise at the expense of resolution. > > >Pixel binning won't work as an explanation. The D3 is 2832 x >4256 pixels. The D3x is 4032 x 6048 pixels. Binning a D3x by 2 >would yield either a 4032 x 3024 pixel sensor or a 2016 x 6048 >sensor. I don't see any sensible way to bin a D3x sensor down >to a D3 sensor dimension.
Take a D3X file, import into Photoshop, resize to the D3 sensor dimensions. Even doing nothing else, there will already be less noise
Pixel binning implies to me that the signals from adjacent sensels are combined on chip. Image resizing (in almost any postprocessing program) does reduce noise, but it's done out of the camera and I don't call that pixel binning. It's image resampling.
While it's true that a jpg can be reduced (resampled) in-camera, that's not the case with the RAW file.
Same as I wrote before. Because of the Bayer filter, you can't just combine the signals from adjacent photosites. What I said is that such a logic could be developed if needed (converting 24MP RAW to 12MP RAW). But it won't be needed since the sensors are different
These two PCBs have rather significant differences. Not only in the circuitry, but more importantly in the external connectors (all of those "CN"s ) If there are actually cables running to all of those in the cameras, then you would need to do alot more than just swap the PCB.
In fact, all the Nikon flagship DSLRs since the D1 have used the same sensor. It is neither CMOS nor CCD. Rather it is a gallium arsenide/germanium alloy chip with quantum efficiency in excess of 215%. It is 6 x 6 centimeters, containing 128-million photodiodes.
The noise performance has always been degraded by the addition of pseudorandom noise after the A/D. The apparently reduced size has been attained via masking with black duct tape.
Successive "improvements" have been due to software mods and the recent unmasking to FX format, all at no cost to Nikon whatsoever. The time lag behind Canon has just been to elicit sympathy.