Let your guards down... it is everything we've been hoping for IQ wise. I'm not big on studio test shots, but these, along with another recent "real world" series (donuts, street scene) have eliminated what little doubt I had that Nikon would deliver a DX winner.
It may be that it isn't just the sensor itself but the tweaks Nikon adds on the front end and their image processing on the back end. The high ISO pics are promising. I'm holding off, though, on upgrading.
I currently own the D50 and pre-ordered the D300, can't wait for it to get here
I look at the shots from the studio, and the nise levels are really good on both cameras. We should keep in mind though that these pictures are all shot in a studio with fairly good light conditions. Even at ISO 6400 in good light, you won't see much noise. The big question is how it performes in poor light conditions. Try a test shot with the D200 on ISO 1600 in a lit room, then turn off a few lightbulbs and try again, there will be a notisable difference.
" Look, I'm not an intellectual - I just take pictures." -Helmut Newton
>Hey! > >I currently own the D50 and pre-ordered the D300, can't wait >for it to get here > >I look at the shots from the studio, and the nise levels are >really good on both cameras. We should keep in mind though >that these pictures are all shot in a studio with fairly >good light conditions. Even at ISO 6400 in good light, you >won't see much noise. The big question is how it performes >in poor light conditions. Try a test shot with the D200 on >ISO 1600 in a lit room, then turn off a few lightbulbs and >try again, there will be a notisable difference. > >/Hampus
Actually, the lighting was set to exhibit low tungsten lighting scenario (concert, indoor sport, etc)... very tough. The reviewer did it this way to exasperate the condition to see how well the cam performed. He explained it on the site he posted the link.
Here are some quotes from David Kilpatrick that explain:
"The lighting was deliberately set for shutter speeds associated with low light, at the lens aperture used. You will notice a lot of 1/4 to 1/8 etc settings, and at 6400, around 1/30 to 1/60th. All that matters to the sensor is the exposure duration, determined by the light level. The sensor does not know you have an f11 aperture, not f2.
So you can predict that noise levels, by tungsten, at shutter speeds as shown, with a tonal range as shown including the black background areas, will be similar. If you want to shoot sports using shutter speeds longer than 1/30th at 6400, another matter. My light level is comparable to a fairly well-lit gym, concert hall, stadium, etc.
It is not a bright level which will give daylight type noise results.
"Steve, I purposefully plut a skim direct light across the subject to create high contrast and some sooty black shadows. The eyeholes of the masks show plenty of noise in the Alpha 700 images. The D300 would be just as noise-free in similarly dark shadows in any other lighting."
>The 1600iso image looks to me almost equal to images of d200 >at 400iso. Surely better than iso640. that's rather nice. > >Anybody a different - and probably more professional - idea >about this?
I don't know if I'd go that far... maybe D300's 1600ISO looks like D200's 800ISO, but nevertheless, it is at least a one stop improve on high ISO and that is welcomed heartily for the light challenged gyms I shoot in. Every little bit helps...
I had difficulty quantifying the difference, kind of hard without a side-by-side comparison. I was looking at the far right-hand side of the image where the tapestry frame meets the dark shadow behind the tapistry. I think it's at least one EV improvement; my intitial impressions were 2EV but I think that's arguable. When I first pulled the images, I looked at the ISO3200 as ISO1600 and my heart sank; too much jet-lag. After struggling to rename the files, I discovered the ISO1600 error and by comparison the ISO1600 is significantly better than ISO3200 IMO.
Even ISO3200 is tolerable in small images. Certainly a loss of contrast and I guess I never do like the results of in-camera NR. But for snaps, I think I could press this camera into use at ISO3200.
Roger It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right?
Roger It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?
Clearly some sort of NDA's are in effect (until the launch). Info about the D3 seems easier to find. I'm not sure I understand why the difference between the D3/D300 pre-release treatment. I do like what I'm seeing on the D300, and I do hope I'm not over-rating it in my mind. I'm feeling like there is some cooling for the D300 because of the lack of info.
Roger It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right?
Roger It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?
seems if the noise thing were so great, Nikon would be glad to tout; I'm afraid we are going to find out that part is just a little better than the D200. All the samples I've seen suggest this. I hope I am wrong. Even so, I ordered one, tho not exactly for that reason.
I guess I'm in the middle. I say the D300, when I shot with it, was about at 1600 about the same as the D200 at maybe 640. And the D3 at 6400 was about the same as my D2X at 400 to 640. I'll have my own D3, D300 and 14-24 by December 10th.
D2X -- The meaning of life. D2X & D200 -- Having it all. On order D3, D300 and 14-24 F2.8
"Well, Capture NX has not arrived, but here is what the donationware Mac processor RawPhotoProcessor does with a newly shot (at f8) ISO 100 image on the 24-70mm 2.8. RPP has no sharpening so 100/0.5/2 has been applied in Photoshop at 16-bit TIFF stage."
Again, very impressive IMO. Looks like ISO100 is not too shabby either.
He did another AF burst test with BIF directly into bright light with a duck flying straight towards him. The cam was clocked at slightly over 6 FPS with normal battery (the 40D and A700 he tested were both just short of their advertised fps). The pics weren't that good from that angle but he was testing the AF in an extreme condition. I'm no BIF expert and have only flirted with it, but Kilpatrick was impressed. He's a Sony shooter, from what I gather, and has been really pleased judging from his commments. He said it's in another league for it's bracket.
> > >How are people getting all these cameras I'm still >wondering? > > >Steve Z > >www.stevez.biz
They are part of the preview/review crowd... photo magazines, web sites, select pros, etc... I've heard the NPR folks are getting their production models on the 21st. There has even been "reports" that some of the bigger retailers already have them in their warehouses. Don't know how true that is, but...
I didn't say they were "pro" reviews! LOL Well, except for the sportshooter pics... Dave's a pro (gave it a big thumbs up). The mag reviewers are just reviewers. I have no idea how pro they are or if they even are. they get paid to do reviews so I guess that would make them "pro reviewers"? No?
It's the photo show grab shots that don't look very pro, but hey, what do you expect from picking up a brand new body and having 2-3 minutes to take a few shots. There have been several reviews from folks that look very promising.
They're all going to be pretty close in this bracket just as they've been for the last few years (at least the N & C). I don't think any of the new models in this bracket are going to blow the other away in IQ. Now, feature wise, they all pale in comparison to the D300. Whether or not you are one to take advantage or need those features is purely personal. Price wise, the D300 is very competively/attractively priced for the package you're getting IMO. In other words, it's the least crippled of the bunch when compared to the flagships.
I think you hit it, Beau. Besides, photography all comes down to the clown behind the mask anyway! If you don't know how to frame the shot, or properly expose (yes, even with digital cameras!!), which camera body you select is irrelevant.
"If you don't know how to frame the shot, or properly expose (yes, even with digital cameras!!), which camera body you select is irrelevant."
I dont know why you would make this distinction when this is a forum of mostly experienced Nikon users talking about what the experience of the new Nikon toys will bring us. You could also have similarly said: "If you are blind, which camera body you select is irrelevant.", but to what end?
Steve, this was not meant to be an earth-shaking revelation. I am aware that most in this forum understand photography to some "post-newbie" degree. My point was simply that both Canon and Nikon equipment produce wonderful cameras in this price/feature range, and that good shots can be produced with either by an adequately skilled photographer. We, on this forum (well, other than a few various ruffians) have simply selected Nikon as their equipment of choice for various (good) reasons!
Almost all of the comparisons I've seen so far compare the D300 mainly to the D200. This comparison is completely logical since the D300 is the obvious successor to the D200. However, doesn't the slightly higher resolution sensor and the additional new features beg to have this camera compared to a D2X instead? Has anybody seen any D300 vs D2X comparisons?
In Response to the comparison and Stevez's Comments
My opinion about all the comparisons with these cameras is that while the chips may be the same and regardless what black magic is being done with the electronics and firmware. The real question is who has the better glass to match thier bodies.
I see huge differences in image quality just by switching lenses. And even though the Sony accepts all the old Minolta lenses. I am NOT overly impressed with the Glass available for the Sony.
Anyone can design a good body but if you dont have an excellent line of lenses to use with it then I turn my nose up. Do I think Sony is on the right track with thier product? Yes. Do I think its a viable option to Nikon or Canon? Not yet for Advanced Amateur or Professional use.
>Anyone can design a good body but if you dont have an >excellent line of lenses to use with it then I turn my nose >up. Do I think Sony is on the right track with thier >product? Yes. Do I think its a viable option to Nikon or >Canon? Not yet for Advanced Amateur or Professional use.
I agree. Although I'll have to say that in the realm of advanced consumer lenses, the Sony-branded Zeiss 16-80/3.5-4.5 is scary sharp! I've been really impressed with that lens on the A100 and it performs even better with the A700. In tests, it's shown to best all of Nikon's zooms of the same class. It makes for an excellent walkaround lens. I'd be extremely stoked if Zeiss were to make it in a ZF mount with AF. BTW, the majority of Sony's lenses (with exception of the Zeiss-marked ones which are made by Cosina) are rebadged from Tamron. But even then they're not bad and many are pretty sharp. To my understanding, Sony is intent on reviving the old Minolta G-line of lenses or at least the more popular ones. Their 70-200/2.8 is already on par with Nikon's and Canon's.
>.... >I see huge differences in image quality just by switching >lenses. And even though the Sony accepts all the old Minolta >lenses. I am NOT overly impressed with the Glass available >for the Sony.
Everybody else is very very impressed by Zeiss lenses which are available for Sony. Can you be more specific?
>>.... >>I see huge differences in image quality just by switching >>lenses. And even though the Sony accepts all the old Minolta >>lenses. I am NOT overly impressed with the Glass available >>for the Sony. > >Everybody else is very very impressed by Zeiss lenses which >are available for Sony. >Can you be more specific? My understanding is that Sony Bought Minolta so that they could take a stab at the SLR camera market. Now if your going to include what i would consider a 3rd party Lens manufacturer.. Zeiss has been around making glass for a long long time. So why wouldnt you be impressed with Zeiss? Just to be specific like you asked. I was responding to the comment about the Sony A700 Body. The Last review I read on the Minoltas 300mm F2.8 was less then stellar. Also there was a reason Minolta was struggling in the market in the first place behind Canon and Nikon. Innovation was just part of the problem. I suggest it was a matter of quality comparison. The Value just wasnt there and I dont buy the idea that the Sony is as good a value as a Canon or Nikon. That is Soley my Opinion though. And obviously arguable.
I prefer to see results for myself and I shot with both the D3 and D300 recently at a Nikon Pro Expo, Manchester, England.
I used both cameras for about an hour each. We had 2 Nikon Pro shooters on hand to help with the D3 functions.
I have summarised my thoughts in another thread, but in summary I was blown away with both cameras. The HI ISO performance of the D3 is stunning! I have owned a D200 for 2 years. The D300 is a superior camera in a large number of ways which, frankly is what you would expect. The Hi ISO performance of the D300 is superior to the D200 by at least 2 stops. I shot at 1600 and was very impressed. I shot my D200 also and although the scene was different the indoor lighting had not changed. The D300 images are superior, but then again, based on what I actually saw, so is the AF and the LCD screen blows away all others. Add Liveview (I tried it in Tripod and Handheld mode) and D-Lighting and you have a significant upgrade.
As you know the D300 has many more features of interest and the one thing I am certain of is that I am glad I pre-ordered mine!
The official line from Nikon UK was that the D300 replaces the D2X and is acknowledged as being superior. An absolute bargain at the price!
If I had the money I would by the D3 and D300 as a backup. I haven`t so will keep the D200 and use the D300 as main body. Without any doubt these are signifacant upgrades by Nikon.
Nick Green ENGLAND www.nickgreenphotography.com “There is a forgotten, nay forbidden word that means more to me than any other. That word is ENGLAND.” Sir Winston Churchill
>Hi Beau. > >I prefer to see results for myself and I shot with both the >D3 and D300 recently at a Nikon Pro Expo, Manchester, >England.
Most definitely. Same here... my only intentions were to show examples that weren't up on this site yet.
I, as well, never trust anyone but myself for my own conclusions of performance. After all, nobody is shooting for me so why would I rely wholly on someone else's opinion? Photography is personal, IMO, and the handling of the equipment is also very personal and unique from one to another. To me, this aspect makes those horrid online reviews of test charts and set up scenes of crayons, dolls, etc. almost totally irrelevent.
I look forward to handling the D300. And being as impressed as you are, will be just fine with me.