$8000 is not a small stack of money especially in today's economy. So how dare Nikon was to put up such a price tag for the new D3x? Does they fall into a crack and totally out of the reality?
So there are complainers who swear they would never buy a D3x because of the price. However, let's first face the fact that the Canon's flagship, the 1Ds Mark III, also retails at $8000, although they are routinely sold at discount since it has been on the market for a while. But when it came out the price was the same so we can hardly say Nikon is too crazy.
Then there start to merge the reviews from the real D3x users, mostly from pros who have extensive experiences with the Canon 1DsIII. And it happens majority of these if not all are seemly pointing to the same observations: the D3x RAW files set a brand new standard for a DSLR, which has passed the 1DsIII quality level.
Let's first look at the professional review site of Lloyd Chambers, who has on going exhaustive D3x tests including comparisons with the 1DsIII, D3, A700, and with both the Nikon and the Carl Zeiss lenses:http://www.diglloyd.com/diglloyd/blog.html
Yes, the real reviews on his DAP ("Diglloyd's Advanced Photography") are not free, but from my opinion and as I read from many others, the $29.99 fee is well deserved. You can also get the DAP and his extensive Zeiss lens review free, if you order a D3x soon through his links to Amazon, B&H, and Adorama.
Here let us see what Lloyd have found and put out today (on his free blog):
"And so Iíll repeat what Iíve stated before: the Nikon D3x offers the finest image quality in a DSLR the world has yet seen. The online bitching and moaning about the price wonít change that factóI donít like it either. But if you need or want the very best DSLR available today, the Nikon D3x is your camera. In fact, I have zero desire to shoot my Canon 1Ds Mark III any more. None at all. Itís not about resolution: itís about stunning image quality."
"How well do D3x images scale? The crop below is actual pixels after scaling to 97.5 megapixels (12096 X 8064), using RAW Developer. It has been sharpened during RAW conversion and also in Photoshop CS4. Probably those versed in the finer points of image scaling could do even better, and sometime soon Iíll be exploring how well PhotoZoom Pro and Genuine Fractals do scaling of D3x images.
You donít need ďfaithĒ with the Nikon D3x: itís offers the finest image quality in a DSLR the world has yet seen."
Is Lloyd, who offers both free and paid reviews of photographic products from all the makers for many years like many others, just biased, or simply over-excited, even he had reviewed the Sony A900 and the Canon 1DsIII just recently? Let's checkout an independent and totally free review on our own Luminous Landscapes forum, from Dan Wells, again a long time 1DsIII user. The title of the topic was titled "Nikon is NOT on crack - Initial D3x image quality is AMAZING!"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=30658
, where we can find the following words:
"I just got out for about 4 hours of serious (landscape and macro) shooting with the D3x this morning, and have been looking at the files for most of the afternoon. The easiest comparison I can make is to the 1Ds mk II (note: NOT mk III), as that is the highest-resolution camera I have a lot of experience with (other than the D3x). I am comparing at ISO 100, converting from 14-bit NEFs (in Nikon Capture NX2) and viewing at 100% on screen (unfortunately, my printer is 180 miles away right now, and I'm on my laptop monitor, NOT my calibrated work monitor, because I am visiting my parents for the holidays). There are two apparent differences - first is the incredible sharpness of the D3x. When I've nailed the focus, the D3x looks very darned sharp at 100% without applying any sharpening - because of the AA filter, the Canon never did that. It would PRINT very sharp, but 100% on screen always revealed a slight blur. There is absolutely no noise in an ISO 100 D3x file, even at 100%, which adds to the impression of sharpness - very slight shadow noise in the Canon files adds a slight haze to dark ones - that is simply not there in a D3x file. The second difference is the dynamic range - the D3x has about a stop more range in the highlights, plus at least an extra stop in the shadows, maybe even 1.5 stops extra in the shadows, all of it very clean. This camera, properly handled, should print 24x36 inches with ease from its base ISO of 100 (I get 16x24 out of the Canon, but don't like to go larger than that).
ISO 400 on the D3x is very usable - it looks roughly like an ISO 100 file from a 1Ds mk II in terms of noise - it may have extra dynamic range, which I wouldn't have seen because my ISO 400 tests were on a very dreary, grey day and would have fit easily within the DR of the 1Ds mk II). This is comparing on a per-pixel basis, so the D3x file still has 3/2 the detail in it, due to the increased resolution... I have even fooled around a bit with ISO 3200 (HI 1.0), which looks awful on screen (although quite good considering that it's ISO 3200 - much better than any ISO 3200 film ever looked), but will make a pretty decent 8x10 print with no trouble, and should even print 11x17 with some careful handling. I didn't buy the camera to shoot at ISO 3200, but it's nice to know the capability is there should it be needed. Those unbelievable ISO 100 files are what I bought the camera for, and it is certainly worth its price for its low-ISO performance! There is something highly unusual in the imaging chain of the D3x to get these results - the sensor may NOT be stock Alpha 900 issue (I suspect it isn't - I don't have a lot of Alpha experience, but the test files I've seen are not anywhere near as clean, even at low ISOs) , and if it is, the AA filter in the D3x is extremely unusual, probably made out of pure unobtainium.
Add that performance to a superb rugged and ergonomic camera body with class-leading AF and metering, and the result is a remarkable machine. Yes, it's expensive, but the only way to get better files is three times as expensive and not nearly as rugged."
"Things like microlenses and AA filters are getting better - the D3x seems to have an AA filter that few if any cameras can match (the amount of detail per pixel is remarkably high). I've used a variety of digital setups and film formats over the years (from the original Canon D30 - not 30D, the original 3 MP D30!) to the D3x for the past couple of weeks. My serious photographic work is fairly traditional landscapes, including quite a bit of work much closer in than many landscape photographers work.
Subjectively, here's how a list of cameras I know well come out (when I say low ISO film, I mean Velvia, Extachrome 100, Tmax 100, etc - not Tech Pan or other exotic ultra-fine definition films). When I'm comparing film to a digital setup, I'm referring to film scanned at 4000 DPI on a Nikon 5000 or 9000 (a consumer flatbed wlll have significantly less resolution, and an Imacon may do somewhat better, although the Nikons manage to scan grain, so an Imacon can't be that much better, except perhaps in dynamic range and other non-resolution factors). I shoot everything serious in RAW at maximum bit depth at or near base ISO, and I have rarely used any film faster than ISO 100. This is a rather random sampling of cameras I have owned or used extensively over the years.
Canon D30 (3 mp) - less resolution than low-iso 35mm film, but noise less than grain on 35mm film (overall IQ fairly similar to good 35mm film) - prints 6x9 inches very comfortably, 8x12 in a stretch. Dynamic range of low-DR slide film at 5-6 stops (nail exposures and be careful with subjects).
Sony 6 mp CCD (was in a ton of DSLRs for a while, still in Nikon D40) - resolution more or less equivalent to 35mm, prints a little bigger than I've ever been comfortable with from 35mm due to noise advantage, especially in its newer incarnations (8x12 easily, 11x17 possible). Dynamic range better than most slide films, not close to print film (in the range of 7 good stops).
Nikon D200 (10 mp) - resolution significantly better than 35mm (between 35mm and 645). Overall image quality approaching 645 (which I'd say still has the edge). Prints 11x17 easily, but 16x24 is a big stretch (I've done it, am not terribly happy with the results). Dynamic range similar to 6 mp sensor.
Canon EOS 1Ds mkII (16.7 mp) - resolution nearly equivalent to 645 film, with overall image quality probably slightly to somewhat ahead of 645. The first digital camera I have used that really plays in medium format (film) territory. Dynamic range improved over any previous digital camera I had used by at least a stop (8 or more really good stops in a raw file). Prints 16x24 fairly easily, but gives up before 24x36.
Nikon D3x (24.4 mp) - resolution well into medium-format territory, close to 6x9 cm scanned film (much sharper per pixel than 1Ds mkII due to improvements in sensor/AA technology). Overall image quality significantly better than scanned 6x9 cm Velvia! Dynamic range appears to be over 9 stops, maybe 10, while remaining completely noiseless. The only files I've seen that are definitively better are scans from large-format film. Prints 24x36 inches (a 25x enlargement) very comfortably, even examining the print from a few inches away. Files appear sharp and detailed on screen at 100%
I'm sure that MF digital is even better than the D3x (although I'd be surprised if the 30ish mp variety were a big jump). 60+ MP MF digital would be approaching well-scanned 4x5 film image quality very closely, if it carries at least the same amount of information per pixel as the D3x. The few Hasselblad H3D II/31 files I've seen are in a similar league to D3x files, with the Hasselblad's edge being roughly the resolution difference (20%). I have not seen a Hasselblad file with enough subject dynamic range to make a meaningful DR comparison (it's certainly not less than the D3x, and could be significantly more)."
So, if Canon has the right to sell the 1DsIII at near the price, Nikon seems to have the right to demand the same amount of money. And if someone found the D3x price is too high, probably he or she does not need the tool of such caliber.