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Author Topic: D3x is coming  (Read 8849 times)

Tony Beach

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D3x is coming
« on: November 28, 2008, 04:05:01 pm »

FX = 24.5 MP, 5 fps
DX crop mode = 10 MP, 7 fps
Base ISO = 100
ISO range = 50-6400
Features = D3
Price = ?


With the likely price to be $4500 (USD), this raises the question of the camera's value relative to the Canon and Sony competition.  Well, Nikon answers that question in part by the differences in price and features between the D700 and D3:
Price difference = $1700
Additional features = 9 fps v. 5 fps, two CF card slots v. 1 CF card slot, 300K v. 150K shutter life, tougher body and better weather sealing, built-in vertical grip, voice annotation, better AF, more dedicated buttons and an extra LCD screen.  The D3 has 100% viewfinder versus the D700 95% viewfinder, but the D700 has sensor cleaning.

So there you have it, the A900 or 5D MkII look more like the D700 than the D3, and both the 5DII and the A900 have less robust bodies and shutters than the D3.  Personally, I would prefer a less expensive, smaller body, and would be willing to give up the added robustness and features; so I expect I will be waiting for both financial and preferential reasons for the D3x sensor to appear in the D700 body -- after all, I have a lot invested in Nikkor lenses -- YMMV.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 04:41:46 am »

Quote from: Tony Beach
So there you have it, the A900 or 5D MkII look more like the D700 than the D3, and both the 5DII and the A900 have less robust bodies and shutters than the D3.  Personally, I would prefer a less expensive, smaller body, and would be willing to give up the added robustness and features; so I expect I will be waiting for both financial and preferential reasons for the D3x sensor to appear in the D700 body -- after all, I have a lot invested in Nikkor lenses -- YMMV.

Yes, indeed... Nikon is probably going to announce a D800 a few months down the road too. It would be a very cheap operation for them really.

As far as I am concerned though, the killer feature of the D3/D3x over any other pro body out there is the double CF cards slot in backup mode.

The peace of mind of knowing that even a fried CF card in the middle of a once in a life time shoot is never going to impact me is just great.

This being said, I am really not sure whether I'll by any of these bodies in the first place, the D3 remains a superb camera for landscape work, especially when doing stitching.

Cheers,
Bernard

Czornyj

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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 07:35:22 am »

I'm very interested in that new OLPF type, and 16 bit quantization. I wonder if it'll be really sharper, and will have increased DR...

Tony Beach

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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 12:07:35 pm »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Yes, indeed... Nikon is probably going to announce a D800 a few months down the road too. It would be a very cheap operation for them really.
With the recession upon us, Nikon will almost certainly have the capacity in the Sendai plant to add a "D800".  If the D3x shares the same body as the D3, then practically all they have to do is to put the D3x sensor into the D700 body -- which leads me to think they might call it the "D700x".  The Sendai plant would then be producing 4 cameras built on two bodies and two sensors, which sounds like a winning operation to me as they can squeeze down costs on both bodies and sensors.

Quote
As far as I am concerned though, the killer feature of the D3/D3x over any other pro body out there is the double CF cards slot in backup mode.
The peace of mind of knowing that even a fried CF card in the middle of a once in a life time shoot is never going to impact me is just great.
It is the most compelling feature for me too.  I already find myself often having to change CF cards in the middle of shooting using my D300, since that will happen twice as often if I stick to 4 GB CF cards in a D3x, then I would want dual CF card slots set to seamlessly switch when capacity on the first card is reached.  At a $1700 premium though, along with the extra weight I do not want, I would instead prefer a D700.

Quote
This being said, I am really not sure whether I'll buy any of these bodies in the first place, the D3 remains a superb camera for landscape work, especially when doing stitching.
My D300 does very nicely too, and the prospect of slightly improved pixels on a larger format is what I really want -- that means half as much stitching.  With the DX crop mode, I can also dial back to 10 MP when appropriate.  I will likely give my son my D300 and buy a D700 to go with the D3x predecessor for myself; I also have an IR converted D200 and hope to convert my other D200 to true B&W (no CFA or AA filter); that will be all the cameras I need until Nikon comes out with a modularized system that allows me to carry one body and several sensor packs (high ISO, high MP, B&W, etc.) because my bag is getting too heavy and I will find myself leaving half my cameras at home.

Quote from: Czornyj
I'm very interested in that new OLPF type, and 16 bit quantization. I wonder if it'll be really sharper, and will have increased DR...
Nikon has been using 16 bits in many of their cameras for quite awhile now (as far back as the D2Hs), and since the D50 they have been using it in all their cameras; the D3 and D300 were the first to offer 14 bit files though.

I am wondering what you mean by "increased" sharpness and DR.  "Increased" from what?  The pixel density of the D3x is about equal to the D200, and I would expect the D3x to have more per pixel acuity than that camera has; after all, my D300 already has greater per pixel acuity than my D200 camera bodies had (the IR converted D200 has no AA filter, so its per pixel acuity is a little more now).  As for DR (and by extension higher ISO performance), I would expect the D3x to have slightly more than the D300 but noticeably less than the D3 or D700.

There is also the CFA (color filter array) to consider in the image quality the camera produces.  Iliah Borg has converted D3x files, and he wrote that "...those who want the camera not for formal numbers but for real images will not be disappointed."  Iliah Borg also says the native ISO of the D3x is about ISO 70; compared to approximately ISO 130 for the A900 and the D300; I'm not sure what the native ISO for the D3 and D700 are, but Yves  Pinsonneault has observed better results between ISO 400 and ISO 800 than at "base" ISO.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 11:14:39 am by Tony Beach »
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pss

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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2008, 12:17:25 am »

this sounds like the nikon 1dsmkIII.....very interesting....
i think you are dreaming if you think the price will be that low....i would say it will go head to head with canon....so list 7999.-.....street more like 6999.-.....
i am getting the feeling that nikon is a little late to the party.....the 5dII will provide similar files, the sony won't be far behind...both are a lot cheaper.....of course the 1dsIII and the d3x provide a lot of other stuff for the money....but unlike canon, you won't have the option to get the same file quality at much lower price...the 5d is THE perfect back up for the 1dsIII....
the next canon flagship will probably be something really revolutionary....hopefully finally leaving the film format behind and going for a larger 3:4 chip and a new line of lenses....this will be more or less the end of all MF solutions.....and i would not be surprised to see all this in 2009...if leica can do it, canon definitely can....
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Tony Beach

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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2008, 01:05:30 am »

Looking at the price difference of the D3 and D700 differently might yield a different result.  Instead of costing the features at $1700, we could instead just apply a 36% premium to get the added features -- but that would still make a "D700x" (or whatever they call it) $5000 (USD).

Bottom line for me is that the "D700x" costs $3000, or a little more if the sensor really justifies it -- $4000 would really be stretching it and is probably unacceptably high; otherwise I might switch systems next summer, and right now I'm leaning towards the A900.
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BernardLanguillier

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D3x is coming
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2008, 01:19:11 am »

Probably an excellent camera... bound to be a commercial failure at its current price point.

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2008, 02:42:58 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Probably an excellent camera... bound to be a commercial failure at its current price point.

Cheers,
Bernard

So you're obviously not in the target market for this camera as you haven't been in the target market for the 1DsMkIII. Stop moaning and buy your A900, 5DMkII or wait for the D700x. Neither the D3x or the 1Ds series are meant to be mass market cameras. Not in any sense of the word. And, btw, since you seem to know the business, please define commercial failure for us?

Nikon users have been asking for a competitor to the 1Ds series, they finally get it. Nikon users are asking for a competitor to the 5D series and the A900, I'm sure they will get it sooner rather than later all the while having access to 2 other cameras (D3 / D700) which seem to many not to have any worthy direct competitors at this stage.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 02:49:54 am by NikosR »
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Slough

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D3x is coming
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2008, 03:37:32 am »

Quote from: NikosR
So you're obviously not in the target market for this camera as you haven't been in the target market for the 1DsMkIII. Stop moaning and buy your A900, 5DMkII or wait for the D700x. Neither the D3x or the 1Ds series are meant to be mass market cameras. Not in any sense of the word. And, btw, since you seem to know the business, please define commercial failure for us?

Nikon users have been asking for a competitor to the 1Ds series, they finally get it. Nikon users are asking for a competitor to the 5D series and the A900, I'm sure they will get it sooner rather than later all the while having access to 2 other cameras (D3 / D700) which seem to many not to have any worthy direct competitors at this stage.

As I am not a professional photographer and not in the market for this camera, my comments are not informed.

That said, the 1Ds3 could maintain a high price because it had no competition. Some pros would get the money back from paid jobs. Nikon cannot expect to make a competitor and keep the price the same. Unless they are aiming for a small target market. Maybe they can only make a small number of these things? Maybe a D700 x will appear soon next year? We will see.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2008, 04:15:45 am »

Quote from: NikosR
So you're obviously not in the target market for this camera as you haven't been in the target market for the 1DsMkIII. Stop moaning and buy your A900, 5DMkII or wait for the D700x. Neither the D3x or the 1Ds series are meant to be mass market cameras. Not in any sense of the word. And, btw, since you seem to know the business, please define commercial failure for us?

Well, I have indeed found the 1ds3 to be overpriced as well. I would have agreed to dash between 5.000 and 6.000 US$ for this camera, which I personnally don't think is "mass market" pricing, but our definitions might differ.

My view of a commercial failure in this case is a camera that sells less than it could have sold with a more reasonnable pricing, and ends up generating less revenue for the company selling it. Various feedback read elsewhere lead me to think that at least 50% of the prospect buyers will probably end up not buying at the current price point (actually the figure based on the feedback I have read is closer to 90% but it might not be representative).

You seem to think that DSLR are an open market where one is free to move easily from one vendor to another at no cost. The reality is very different. Buying an A900/5DII without lenses doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? My current investement in Nikon lenses is probably around 10.000+ US$ and it would cost me around 4000 to 5000 US$ to sell them and buy the equivalent stuff in the non Nikon world (and I am not even discussing the fact that there is no satisfactory equivalent for some of them).

The problem of Nikon users as of now is that we have invested in a company based on previous pricing policies and have trusted them in keeping releasing products according to a consistent philosophy. The D3x's pricing is IMHO a clear departure from that philosophy. Would I win in court against Nikon on this? Obviously no, but I don't think that I am far off by saying that my feeling is shared by many long term Nikon customers today.

So yes, in this context I am disapointed about Nikon's commercial decisions.

What is the value of complaining about it here? Well I clearly hope that other potential Nikon buyers will understand that customers involved in a captive market like this one do need to unite and express their concerns when a manufacturer goes too far.

Quote from: NikosR
Nikon users have been asking for a competitor to the 1Ds series, they finally get it. Nikon users are asking for a competitor to the 5D series and the A900, I'm sure they will get it sooner rather than later all the while having access to 2 other cameras (D3 / D700) which seem to many not to have any worthy direct competitors at this stage.

Nikon users have been asking for a competitor to the 1ds3, but not at any price point. Others might differ, but I am personnally not looking for a D700x, nor was I looking for a D700 (which is why I have been using a D3 for about a year now).

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, 04:27:47 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Nikon users have been asking for a competitor to the 1ds3, but not at any price point. Others might differ, but I am personnally not looking for a D700x, nor was I looking for a D700 (which is why I have been using a D3 for about a year now).

Cheers,
Bernard

You're out of luck for the time being then...No high resolution body for you from any manufacturer...You obviously don't really NEED one, judging from your words.

Customers always ask for lower prices. That is normal, isn't? What you are essentially asking for is for prices at the high end of the market (and that includes MF) to fall significantly. This is something all users can sympathize with. From a business perspective point of view though, this happens usually when the market is redefined somehow (for example by the introduction of revolutionary or game changing producs or game changing new competitors) and not because the established competitors and principal market share holders wake up one morning deciding to engage in price wars. Not if they can do otherwise.

You are asking for a Canon - Nikon price war. I assure you both companies will do their best for this not to happen. Sony is an unknown factor in the high end market yet, so anything might happen in the future.

PS. As for Nikon pricing in general, I don't know were you get the impression that Nikon has been 'cheap' from. I have not formed the impression that Nikon have ever tried to compete on price. In fact, it seems to me that they have always tried to justify commanding slightly premium prices for their products relative to the competition.

PS2. Since you seem to understand (and challenge) from their business point of view Nikon's pricing strategy, why don't you offer your services to them as a price analyst? I'm sure you'll have something to teach them. What I see as obvious move from their point of view is trying to establish the D3x as the high-resolution dSLR market leader in terms of IQ, sell to their target market (which does not include you, obviously) and then capitalize on that by introducing the D700x.

PS3. I believe all Nikon have to do to justify their pricing is prove that their IQ is just a tad better than their competition i.e. the 1DsMkIII. In terms of non IQ features the two bodies are either equivalent or, some might say, Nikon posess an edge, at least as perceived by many, due to the, deserved or not, notoriety of the Canon mkIII AF system.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 05:02:52 am by NikosR »
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2008, 04:47:46 am »

Quote from: NikosR
PS. As for Nikon pricing in general, I don't know were you get the impression that Nikon has been 'cheap' from. I have not formed the impression that Nikon have ever tried to compete on price. In fact, it seems to me that they have always tried to justify commanding slightly premium prices for their products relative to the competition.

Clearly not so in Japan accross the board, but it would indeed seem that Nikon lenses have overall been a bit more expensive in the US. On the other hand, I believe that past Nikon high end DSLR have typically been priced lower than their competition even in the US though.

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2008, 04:48:48 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Clearly not so in Japan accross the board, but it would indeed seem that Nikon lenses have overall been a bit more expensive in the US. On the other hand, I believe that past Nikon high end DSLR have typically been priced lower than their competition even in the US though.

Cheers,
Bernard

Examples? Pls. compare apples to apples.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2008, 05:02:05 am »

Quote from: NikosR
Examples? Pls. compare apples to apples.

Apple to apple comparison isn't easy since Nikon and Canon have so far done an excellent job at not releasing exactly similar products, but I paid my D2x 450.000 Yen and detailed comparisons showed it to resolve nearly as much as the 1ds2 prices at 750.000 Yen at the time.

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, 05:06:05 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Apple to apple comparison isn't easy since Nikon and Canon have so far done an excellent job at not releasing exactly similar products, but I paid my D2x 450.000 Yen and detailed comparisons showed it to resolve nearly as much as the 1ds2 prices at 750.000 Yen at the time.

Cheers,
Bernard

Not apples to apples as you probably appreciate. DX vs. FF no matter how Nikon marketing would choose to position their offerings was never an equal terms game. I'm not saying all advantages were on Canon side, I'm just saying that Nikon could never dream to compete with the high-pixeled FF Canons at the same price level. Which is obvious, isn't it?

BTW You said in a previous post that you are not in the market for a potential  D700x or 5DII, yet in another thread you say that with the D3x introduction the A900 appears even more tempting... Do I detect a slight confusion here?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 05:12:29 am by NikosR »
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2008, 05:12:06 am »

Quote from: NikosR
Not apples to apples as you probably appreciate. DX vs. FF no matter how Nikon marketing would choose to position their offerings was never an equal terms game. I'm not saying all advantages were on Canon side, I'm just saying that Nikon could never dream to compete with the high-pixeled FF Canons at the same price level. Which is obvious, isn't it?

There is a better technology every step of the way. Back in the D2x days, my view was that DX was the way to go and IMHO a superior solution for many shooting situations.

From that standpoint, shared by the Nikon engineers I have had the chance to speak with, I am not sure that Nikon's lower D2x pricing was the result of their feeling of inferiority, if anythjing their were convinced that they were on the right path at that point of time. The lower pricing was more interpreted by their engineers as an attempt to deliver good value at reasonnable prices.

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2008, 05:14:03 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
There is a better technology every step of the way. Back in the D2x days, my view was that DX was the way to go and IMHO a superior solution for many shooting situations.

From that standpoint, shared by the Nikon engineers I have had the chance to speak with, I am not sure that Nikon's lower D2x pricing was the result of their feeling of inferiority, if anythjing their were convinced that they were on the right path at that point of time. The lower pricing was more interpreted by their engineers as an attempt to deliver good value at reasonnable prices.

Cheers,
Bernard

Engineers don't set prices. Business people and the market do. The D2x had to manage a couple of formidable tasks. 1. Compete against both of Canon's pro offerings (in view of the D2h fiasco).  2. Keep Nikon Pro alive. It barely managed to succeed in those tasks and it wouldn't have done so if it had been priced at the 1Ds levels.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 05:16:39 am by NikosR »
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 05:17:11 am »

Quote from: NikosR
Engineers don't set prices. Business people and the market do.

Correct to some extend.

This discussion is pointless anyway. Even if I was wrong to expect a lower price point, most of Nikon's users do share my feeling.

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard

NikosR

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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2008, 05:20:21 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Correct to some extend.

This discussion is pointless anyway. Even if I was wrong to expect a lower price point, most of Nikon's users do share my feeling.

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard

I agree. Most of Canon's users share the feeling that the 1Ds series is too expensive. Yet, the real target market is buying the product otherwise we would have seen the  product eclipsed and substituted by something much cheaper.

The rest is wishful thinking by consumers or pros who cannot afford something or cannot justify an investment.


Look, I have no doubt in my mind that the D3x is priced 'right' at introduction. The real question for me is why Nikon chose to introduce the D3x first and not a D700x that would have competed to the 5Ds and A900s of this world. I can only assume that Nikon, somehow, know their business better than I do...


PS. I expect the D700x (or whatever) to be introduced at a slightly higher price than the 5DMkII and A900 introductory prices. Remember you read it here first   Nikon are trying to position themselves as the premium manufacturer here, I believe. Time will tell if they will succeed.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 06:04:20 am by NikosR »
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2008, 06:08:56 am »

BTW. Mr. Rorslett has started his diary over at nikongear.com   You have to register to read the thread:

http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=13106.0

He's currently shooting with a pre-production camera, hence no images. He expects to get his production sample well before Dec 19th.

One comment of his:

'I'd say that the outcome from the D3x looks fantastic. Even Hi-2 seemed very useful.'
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 06:12:12 am by NikosR »
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