A lot of people here are familiar with your work. Could you provide a general assessment of the camera and its working capabilities, any shortcomings, etc? I personally am not so much interested in Nikon vs. Canon as in a comparison of prints produced by a D3 vs. a D3x, at what print size differences become apparent, the ISO capabilities, need for tripod, etc.
I have only had the camera for a week or so. Although I have has the opportunity to shoot quite a bit with it already, it is still too early to form a final opinion.
I have also not had the chance to make prints from it since my printer is currently down and waiting for a replacement that will not be there for at least another month or so.
As of now, I like the camera and what I see on screen. The detail is IMHO very impressive and the overall operation is nearly identical to that of the D3, which is obviously a very good thing for Nikon shooters, even if some small issues remain the same also (live view implementation could be better, the menu system is still a bit confusing, it is a bit heavy,...).
As far as image quality is concerned:
- The raw converter seems to be impacting more than it did with previous DSLRs I have used, Raw Developper and C1 4.6 seem to be able to extract more detail at base ISO that Capture NX2 does. All things considered, I believe that C1 4.6 will remain my main raw converter,
- The DR seems to be good, but still a bit less than that of the D3, but this is not based on rigorous measurements nor comparisons with identical images (C1 4.6 does a much better job than NX2/RD at extracting available DR without showing too much noise),
- Medium to high ISO is very decent, but I would personnally use the D3 for general available light shooting above ISO 400/800 (again, just a first impression, more detailed comparisons might change that a bit), it appears to be a more forgiving camera still,
- The transitions in skies at base ISO seem to be a bit smoother than those of the D3 at base ISO.
- Extracting the best possible detail is easier to do on tripod than handheld.
Overall, my current impression is that the D3x was clearly optimized for base ISO shooting, and that's how I intend to use it anyway. I believe that it is a worthwile replacement for the Mamiya ZD with very similar image quality at ISO 100 (the D3x at ISO100 being IMHO a bit better than the Mamiya at ISO 100 and very close to the Mamiya at ISO 50).
As of now (again only one week+ of usage), there is little doubt in my mind that the D3x + Nikkor lenses is the best DSLR system available today for those looking at the highest possible image quality while retaining a pretty wide enveloppe of possible usage. Now, whether the value is enough to justify the price compared to a D3 will depend on your applications.
By the way, I might have the chance to compare it to an A900 in the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see what comes out of that. I do have a release cable for the D3x.