Hi, I say that's a great photo but is it the photographer more than the gear here? Of course the 300mm f2.8 is a (insert superlative adjective here) lens that in itself is amazing on any camera. The only thing that could have made the photo better is more depth of field to get the bill in focus as well as the perfectly focused eyes. Save your love for living things and perhaps appreciate technology, they are just tools and from what I can see the D3X is a good tool. Could the same photo been taken with another type of camera? A D90 or a D2X......Could you have boosted ISO sky high to get a smaller DOF? Like ISO 1600 to get f 8? Plus for a fairly slow moving bird could you have gone a little slower on shutter speed? Just being picky here as you asked. A beautiful shot of a really good looking bird. First one I have seen photographed. Nice work no matter what you took the photo with. Do you see much difference from your last camera and happy with the upgrade? Those of us with out a D3X would love to hear your thoughts. I look forward to my D3 when the price falls to sub 1000 as it surely will one day.
Thanks for the comments. Re comparisons with previous D body? I had the D2X, spent 2 years with a serious NAS issue but managed to buy glass instead of the D3, figured i would wait for the next model so here i am. Until i used the d3x I couldnt imagine that it could get much better than the D2X, now i know check out this shot and the linked image for a good indication of why i love it, totally untouched and no in camera pp. http://www.wildpix.net/docs/equip/buzkashi3.php martin
Yep, very impressive but I maintain that shot would be impressive even with a Coolpix 995! Subject matter trumps pixels any day. The best we can ask for is to be content with our gear and keep NAS at bay. I enjoy seeing the life over there, especially the wildlife. If you get any chance shoot some reptiles and birds in your "spare" time. Again what ever your doing over there stay safe and away from quakes.
It's a wonderful shot -- and I like the second attempt better. The first one appeared overs-sharpened. When you have lots of detail like the feathers sticking out you have to be careful not to sharpen too much.
For further steps you might try using the Shadows/Highlights tool and darkening the highlights 5-8% to darken the background. Some midtone contrast would help too.
This is probably my favorite bird in the whole world!