Written by someone who uses puts "Nikon" and "pro" in the same word!
Another fan of "How to impress people and make friends ".
A year or two ago the above quote was not far off... but have you ever used an H4D-40?
Yes, I even posted comparison images D3x and H4D here.
Hello Dick -
IMHO, The HD40 is as good as it gets in MF, with focus that works and 1600 ISO that is usable in some contexts, however as I tried to state above it suffers like any other MF camera from a degree of kludginess which takes us back by 10 years to film SLRs.
- H4D has very good DR, beautiful "look", and will outresolve Nikon.
- H4D Focus worked well generally, but was inaccurate near infinity. But with Nikon you have LiveView to set up exact focus.
- 100mm lens I tested had nice Bokeh, but left angly diaphragm cutouts all over my images. Ugly. Nikon has round openings.
- ISO 1600 on new H4D40 is decent (not too noisy) but running out of shadow detail (fake ISO), Nikon D3x is still going strong.
- Phocus software is usable but not yet quite as perfected as C1. This matters because one gets stuck in front of the software for hours.
- Nikon Jpegs are really good, and the D-light shadow compensation is useful. This can matter if you're under deadline.
I'm not saying the Hassy is bad, in fact for MF it is very good, much more usable than my own Mamiya, it's just that the Nikon has had many more engineering hours going into their camera, and it shows.
In the end, the Nikon can get you a clean, very usable, well-focused shot in almost any setting and lighting, the H4D40 will get you a decent image most times, but only in a fairly static well lit situation will the sensor really show its full abilities. Of course, in a studio setting the H4D40 will beat the Nikon all the time. Just like a big truck will haul more freight than a pickup every day, but you don't park the truck in your driveway.
Let me ask the question in the other direction: Have you ever taken the time to set up a Nikon D3x for 14bit Raw, and really compared it to an MF camera? It won't win, but it sure will get close. Don't confuse the D3x with the Canon 5D2, these are different animals.