According to me measurements the D3 is slightly better than the D700; not enough to be a deciding factor. See Photographic Dynamic Range at my site (URL in signature) under "Investigations". A recent copy of this graph is also in this post: Photographic Dynamic Range
I'm willing to believe it's "sample variation" but I challenge the idea that "All the relevant components are identical". I very much doubt it. I think the amplification circuit is different. They may readout at a different rate. This would affect the read noise. (And the frames per second, which are clearly different.)
But as I said in my original post; not enough difference to be a deciding factor.
I had a chance to test both-the D3 and the D700. When the images (same subject, shot at the same time, using tripod) were brought on to the computer, I could see that the D3 was superior (by a very small margin) in noise control. As pointed out earlier, though the sensors may be the same, there seems to be some difference in the algorithms used in both the machines. In practical terms, one could say that the noise control on both these bodies are similar. If, for example, one gives 8/10 to the D3, then for the D700, it could be 7.5/10. So much for the difference!
Now in real world usability is there a difference? Not so one could tell but you made a statement of reality not based in fact. Going by the holy numbers of DxOMark the D700 is the low light king.
Not wanting to belittle but you mention your figures. If you are off the DxO figures where a simple 2 minute check shows what their readings are, where else are your facts flawed? If the theory doesn't support the facts, maybe it's time to change the theory?
>Don, > >I don't put any stock into the "Low ISO" numbers >from DxO; they are flawed. >I have much more faith in the Dynamic Range values, although >their scale is off. > > >Bill >
Sorry Bill, you are waffling around. You are the one that made the statement to the OP's question on hi ISO giving DxO as a reference stating that the D3 Hi ISO was better than the D700. That was not a true statement that a quick and easy check confirmed.
Now you are saying that their testing is flawed and bring something else into the equation. So, on one hand you state that you have made a finding and that DxO backs up your finding. Then on the other hand you say that DxO's testing is flawed as are their results which of course makes your testing and results flawed.
The reality of the situation is that the overall difference in quality of images between a D3 or D700 for any given situation is so negligible as to be ridiculous because no one on earth can shoot to a 1/10th. in difference. One is not better than the other, they just have different applications.
I have had my D3 longer than my D700, but I would say that the D3 is better at handling high ISOs than the D700. However, I'm sure there have been some articles (like the one mentioned above), which will clarify this information for you.
~Lindy a Nikonian in Northern California
"Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." ~Pablo Picasso
If you look at the comparison database on the DXO website, it would appear that the D700 is slightly better than the D3. I own both cameras, and I have to tell you, that I really cannot tell the difference between the two and high ISO settings. They are both incredible cameras that are identical in their output to my pretty critical eye.
I own both cameras, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the results are identical under the same conditions.
I shot them both on a tripod with the same lens (24-70G AF-S) and settings, and the pictures were indistinguishable. While this does not qualify as some scientific lab test, I know what I saw, and there is no difference in ISO performance between the two. I am so confident in that fact, that I sold my D3 (I deliver it to its new owner tomorrow). I will keep my D700, and put the money that I get from the D3 towards either a D3X, or whatever smaller version Nikon makes if the 24MP sensor (D700X?).
I have also read some BS on DPReview that the D3 focuses faster than the D700. That is also absolutely false. They both have an identical AF engine and processor.
Much of this misinformation from internet "experts" is a way of inflating their ego, or just envy that Nikon delivered a camera with nearly the same features for half the price just 8 months later.
I didn't need the dual card slots, or the voice memo. The 300,000 shutter acutations vs. 150,000 is also of no concern to me, as I typically upgrade the camera whenever the newer model comes out, and rarely exceed 50,000 shots.
The pop up flash with an on board commander mode, sensor cleaner, and lighter weight was what sold me on the D700 and made the D3 expendable for me. The modular layout of the grip when I need higher speed makes the D700 a much more flexible rig.
The D3 is a great camera for a different purpose, and had the D700 been available when I bought the D3, I would have gone with the D700 straight away.
Just buy the D700, and be happy that you got a great value in a full frame camera that IMO, is superior to all the other brands!