I now shoot with a D200 and have ordered a D800. Although I am excited about upgrading my camera I do not expect the photos made with it to necessarily produce better prints than I am now able to make using my D200. It will be helpful if those of you who have experience shooting with a D3X to share your experience with regard to the following:
1. Do you find that shooting hand held shots with the D3X is a lot harder than shooting with a camera with fewer pixels? Do you have to shoot at a higher shutter speed to avoid camera shake?
2. Do you find that you are able to produce better quality prints due to having substanially more pixels than other cameras? For example, I understand that if one prints at 360 dpi (as I generally do) the "native" size of a D3X Raw print is roughly 11"x17". The native size of a print from a D200 is roughly 7"x10.75" (again, at 360 dpi). So if you made two 7"x10" prints, one with your D3X and one with a D200 or similar camera would the higher resolution of the D3X produce a higher quality image? I realize that this a bit of an academic question since other qualities of the camera would influence the quality of the prints. However, I am just trying to get some idea about whether the higher resolution camera does help one obtain a higher quality print. I would like to thinnk it does; however, it seems that in the printing process one selects 360 dpi (or whatever number one uses for printing), thereby discarding the rest of the pixels (if one is printing at less than the native size of the print for that camera. Then, taking into account the possiblity of added camera shake (as addressed in 1. above) does one actually end up with a print that is of worse quality than a print produced by a lesser pixel camera?
I will appreciate any input you are able to offer.
#1. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 0Gandalfsfoto Registered since 18th Feb 2012Thu 08-Mar-12 11:04 AM | edited Thu 08-Mar-12 11:34 AM by Gandalfsfoto
1) Yes, I need faster/higher shutter speed with the D3x vs. my earlier D700.
- when the D3x was released a lot of people said it was "only" a tripod-camera, but that is certainly not right, but you need faster shutter speed = can not say exactly how fast, but you can only get along with the same speed as the focal lenght (60mm = 1/60 sec) if you have really good handheld technique /remember the breathing). To be sure I put about 50 % over = 60 mm lens = 1/90 sec (just for the record, I know the "normal" is 1/60 and the next 1/125)
2) Oh yes, I am sure I can print larger and better, but have not tryed yet (the D3x is new for me), but that was the reason I bought it, and I can see it allready on the screen.
There is a certain clarity from the D3/D700, and I think it is because of the huge pixels, but even the pixels are smaller in the D3x the pictures are better, I must say.
On the contrary I can not say, that the pictures are better printed or viewed on my screen (24 calibrated) with my D7000DX, than the D700FX, and I think the reason can be as mentioned above = the huge pixels (The D3/D700 has the biggest pixel size ever in a DSLR)
So I think you have a winner in the D3x= the balance is perfect, and we will see, if that is also the right in the D800 = the pixels are smaller in the D800, than in D3x, but we all hope they have done the developement, and I think they have, so I have also pre-ordered a D800, but I am still in doubt if it should be the D800E, and I am also thinking about the D4 (I love huge pixels size ;) and I suffer from NAS ;), and perhaps it is better to wait for thorough and not biased tests of those 3 cameras, before I take the descision.
#2. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 1Sat 10-Mar-12 02:21 PM
Yes, I do expect to have to shoot at somewhat higher shutter speeds when hand holding, as you have found with your D3X. Therefore I do not expect it to be the "perfect camera" for every shooting situation. Only time and experience will tell.
Thanks for your reply.
#3. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 0
I've been using my D3x for several years now, always hand held, for street, candids, snapshots and travel... Exactly for the use it wasn't recommended when it came out
When I was a film user with cameras like the F4, FM2n, Leica M6, Bronica SQ, I had already a tendency to use low ISO films (B&W or Slides), meaning that I had to deal with lower speed zones then the comfortable focal length/speed ratio.
The digital era with it's Auto ISO, great metering, programs, gave me a much easier way of life, getting even sloppy about it (shooting with one hand only, etc.). With the D3x I had to revert back to good camera holding postures, to proper techniques for pressing the shutter button, etc.
At first , I thought that I had better focus with MF lenses, but it was mostly because I held "properly" the lens (triangle with two hands and eyebrow rest). Then, I had better focus with AF lenses when held properly AND setting a higher speed (125th for a 85mm focal lenght)... Then, again, because the D3x isn't the D3s, I started dialing down the speed and can have either the classical ratio or can even have some success with lower than average speeds - just like in old days !
So, to answer the question, yes, it's harder then shooting with a camera with fewer pixels, but, no, it isn't harder then using Kodachrome in classical travel situations !
For the printing part, I don't really print often (nor myself) as I favor coffee table books mostly with some random prints no bigger then an A4 format. Still, each time I have a print done, I'm astounded by the quality !
As many today, I'm so used to see those pictures on a big screen (vs the negative under the enlarger), that I tend to forget about what a print can be...
Either with common books (Blurb) or with the next door shop's print (nothing really fancy in quality) the results are so much better then in the old days... Fine details, local contrasts, just "pop out", even in smaller formats (the usual 10x15cm) with are usually equalizers (my old CP 4500 could fare well in those).
So I would say that in that part, quality is always better with more pixels (all things being equal elsewhere). And in comparing with photographer friends (M9, D3s, D3, D2x) I can see them lingering on some of my pictures and asking me for some shootings specs (which is almost rude over here), mostly out of the final quality (I'm just speaking of technique not talent )!!!
To conclude, I don't have the need for a D800 (yet)! But I've been through the D70, D200, D700, D3x upgrade. I still have them and my grown up children use them every day, my daughter even does gallery shows and sells her pictures ( that's for the usual obsolescence remarks).
I do think that a jump from D200 to D3x might prove less difficult then to someone who started with a D700 ( a very "easy" camera). Now about the D800, I don't know, but believe that it will need a learning curb like the one I stated, and that even with all those "auto" things, success will be mostly in the mind of the photographer...
I'm sure the voyage will be wonderful...
Just to show some pictures...
"Un photographe, finalement, c'est quelqu'un comme les autres, mais qui prend des photos." - Man Ray
#4. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 3
#5. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 3
Excellent point about Kodachrome (25 ISO, right?). I do indeed expect to have to take greater care with technique, and perhaps experience some limitation on shutter speed, with the D800. Your thoughtful reply provides some needed insight into that transition. Thanks for the reply.
#9. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 5Tue 13-Mar-12 01:08 PM
And... Yes, it was the 25 ASA and also 64 ASA series ! I learned to use those with my father's Ambi Silette Agfa (a Leica M sort of clone) with no metering, just guessing... And at that time lost less shots then with my first SRL... Go figure !
"Un photographe, finalement, c'est quelqu'un comme les autres, mais qui prend des photos." - Man Ray
#6. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 0
>Do you have to shoot at a higher shutter speed to avoid camera
I shoot at higher shutter speeds to avoid unwanted camera motion with any camera, not just my D3x, and I'm conservative enough that any special demands of the D3x are countered by that. I tend to not think "what's the slowest shutter speed I can get away with?" If I'm in that type of situation, it's time to drag out the tripod.
I find that most people seriously over-estimate the slowest shutter speed at which they can hand-hold a camera, especially if they fall for the "reciprocal of focal length" myth. Those who think they can hand-hold a wide-angle at 1/30th second often find that serious pixel-peeping using a test I recommend reveals noticeable camera shake at 1/125th or higher. Of course, you can't ignore the fact that if they can't detect the loss of quality, then the actual blurring is probably inconsequential, anyway. As the philosopher Spock once said, "A difference that makes no difference is no difference."
I'm no pixel peeper, but my motivation for using my D3x in the first place was always to get the maximum possible IQ, so, when possible, with any camera, I use a shutter speed that's much higher than conventional wisdom (which is often more conventional than wise) would dictate. With a 125mm zoom setting, I'll often use 1/500th second, or higher, if it makes sense creatively, and that's true with any camera, not just the D3x. If my lens has VR, so much the better.
So, my normal working methods never called for special higher shutter speeds with the D3x, other than those I already used, and I don't expect they will change much when my D800 arrives. Hand-held, I expect my shutter speed will reflect the needs of the image (i.e., some kinds of photos call for slower shutter speeds when camera or subject motion is part of the creative design.)
I shouldn't talk before I've received the camera, but I'm expecting the D800 will be easier to shoot hand-held than the D3x was, because my guess is that higher ISO settings will be a viable choice. If the D800 has a relatively noise-free ISO 800-1600 range, bumping up the shutter speed (vs doing so on the D3x) should be no problem.
>2. Do you find that you are able to produce better quality
>prints due to having substantially more pixels than other
Making extraordinarily large prints is not my thing, so I can't help you much here. For the work I do, especially product photography, the extra resolution has proved useful, so much so that after I sold my D3x in December I began using the 24MP Sony Alpha SLT-A77 as a stop-gap until my D800 finally gets here. For the size prints I make, my D3s or even my D7000 have done just fine.
#7. "RE: Questions for D3X Owners" | In response to Reply # 6Tue 13-Mar-12 12:52 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience with the D3X. It will be interesting and fun to learn how we are able to use this new camera and see how the camera and the photographer perform.