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Dan Wells

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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2008, 05:32:35 pm »

Could something important to the D3x's image quality actually BE very expensive? Nikon says say there's something unusual about the AA filter - could whatever it is have either a very high development cost or a very high production cost? Alternatively, could the A/D's Nikon's using be unusually expensive? For all that the D3x sensor seems to be related to the Alpha 900 sensor, the images don't look terribly alike - the Nikon samples are clearly less noisy, look like they have smoother transitions, and may have even more DR. The sharpness of the samples looks really good, which indicates that the AA filter is doing its job well.

                                  -Dan
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Tony Beach

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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2008, 09:18:59 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
Could something important to the D3x's image quality actually BE very expensive? Nikon says say there's something unusual about the AA filter - could whatever it is have either a very high development cost or a very high production cost? Alternatively, could the A/D's Nikon's using be unusually expensive? For all that the D3x sensor seems to be related to the Alpha 900 sensor, the images don't look terribly alike - the Nikon samples are clearly less noisy, look like they have smoother transitions, and may have even more DR. The sharpness of the samples looks really good, which indicates that the AA filter is doing its job well.

CFA filter also plays a role.  The camera produces 14 bit files.  Optimizing all the interrelated parts requires some R&D.  Nonetheless, this was all true of the D3 too, so the price difference is strictly an effort to protect already eroding margins on the D3, D700, D300, D90 and D60.  The problem is that it sends a message to those who want something that competes head to head (in terms of price and resolution) with the A900 and 5DII that Nikon is in no hurry to provide that and that it could end up costing a lot more (therefore, not competitive in terms of price, albeit perhaps -- as yet unproven -- it will provide better image quality).
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jjj

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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2008, 09:25:28 pm »

Quote from: BJL
For now the D3X at least has a few Unique Selling Points over the 5DMkII and A900, but the list is rather thin:
<snip>
3. 5fps vs 4fps for the 5DMkII
I never use the 3fps or whatever my 5D has, as I prefer to take a single shot at the correct moment.
I had a 5fps camera years back, I tried it out of curiosity and found it always missed the shot.
If you are a decent photographer, being able to take a picture at the right time should be a given.

Quote
4. better AF system (but how much does it matter for careful, deliberate high res. work?)
5. Integrated vertical grip (is that overall an advantage or a disadvantage for non-action photography?)
As you can buy a grip for the Sony + Canon and still be waaaaay cheaper, not much of a point. Plus the vertical position [if like the D3] does not include all the horizontal controls unlike the Canon, so not very good in fact. Not tried the Sony to commment.
The Nikon rep who was showing me the D3 last week admitted that was a serious boo-boo when I asked about this odd ommision. The other thing that was unexpected was the very slow AF performance using the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. Particularly as this was an area that the Nikon is meant to excell in. Shockingly slow in fact, possibly the worst AF I've ever used by a long way. This was kit supplied by Nikon UK at a Nikon promotional event.


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BJL

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« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2008, 11:56:38 am »

jjj,
     as I said in the text that you quoted, the list is rather thin; in fact my goal was to be comprehensive in listing any possible advantages just to show how limited the case is.

My guess is that unique selling point #1 on my list is the main issue: for now, those who prefer the Nikon system of lenses, accessories and professional support to the Canon and Sony alternatives, and who want more than 12MP, have nowhere else to go. Once they do have other options, like the widely expected "D700x", then the D3x will probably become a very slow selling flagship. I understand that the 1DsMkIII has already suffered this fate with the arrival 5DMkII; Thom Hogan reports this.

Even so, producing the D3x along with the D3 and "D700x" adds little cost to having only the latter two, since the D3x uses mostly or entirely components needed anyway for the D3 and/or "D700x". Likewise for the 1DSMkIII, once Canon is making all the components needed anyway for the 1DMkIII and 5DMkII. So it is probably cheap to have these flagships, even if they sell in far lower numbers than the 1DS models used to.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 12:02:27 pm by BJL »
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John Camp

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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2008, 12:42:36 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
Could something important to the D3x's image quality actually BE very expensive?

I've been trolling the web looking for D3x samples, and I have to say that there's a possibility that Nikon priced the D3x as it did because they believe that when people really start seeing a lot of samples, that they will pay the $8,000. The quality seems to me to *very* good. Better than the 1DsIII and the A900 -- from what I can tell. On the other hand, I'm mostly looking at web jpegs.

I mentioned earlier on a LL thread that I'd decided not to buy this camera because, like Michael and others, it didn't seem that the value was there, that Nikon was simply gouging us because they thought they could. I'm starting to re-think that, although I'm still going to wait for the price to drop, and I'm still not sure that I will buy it at all. But when I made the original decision, I was fixated on the question, "How much better could it be, than the 5DII and the A900?" and the underlying thought was, "Not much." But what if it is? What if it's a whole generation better? I think that's a possibility, but I want to hear some serious, in-depth reports.

Further along in this thread, jjj said he tried a 24-70 on a demo D3 and found the autofocus to be terribly slow. I used the D3 with that lens both in Iraq and at the Republican convention and found it to be fast and accurate.

JC


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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2008, 12:49:51 pm »

Quote from: BJL
My guess is that unique selling point #1 on my list is the main issue: for now, those who prefer the Nikon system of lenses, accessories and professional support to the Canon and Sony alternatives, and who want more than 12MP, have nowhere else to go. Once they do have other options, like the widely expected "D700x", then the D3x will probably become a very slow selling flagship. I understand that the 1DsMkIII has already suffered this fate with the arrival 5DMkII; Thom Hogan reports this.

Let's also not forget that Canon shooters who were not willing to spend 8000 US$ on a 1ds3 had the option to buy a second hand 1ds2 as well with a resolution that was not half that of the flagship. Incremental increases a la Canon have at least that value.

Cheers,
Bernard

douglasf13

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« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2008, 02:42:50 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
Could something important to the D3x's image quality actually BE very expensive? Nikon says say there's something unusual about the AA filter - could whatever it is have either a very high development cost or a very high production cost? Alternatively, could the A/D's Nikon's using be unusually expensive? For all that the D3x sensor seems to be related to the Alpha 900 sensor, the images don't look terribly alike - the Nikon samples are clearly less noisy, look like they have smoother transitions, and may have even more DR. The sharpness of the samples looks really good, which indicates that the AA filter is doing its job well.

                                  -Dan

  All of the signals are pointing to the D3x's A/D conversion being similar to the D300's implementation.  The D3x has on sensor A/D's as stated by Nikon, and it only gets 1.8 fps in 14bit mode, a la the D300.  Here is a great explanation by emil:

d300 14bit

  Or, possibly, the D300 just resamples:

link

  If this is the case, the D3x is more or less a giant D300 sensor, just like the A900 is a giant A700 sensor.  We'll have to see....
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 02:47:21 pm by douglasf13 »
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Plekto

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« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2008, 03:30:02 pm »

I'm just waiting for the crushing reality of obsolescence to hit Nikon when one of the other makers ships a 25-30MP DB for $5K.      You know it'll likely happen in the next year or so and obliterate their pricing structure.   At this rate, I'd bet on Sony or maybe Fuji getting into the DB market at a fraction of the price.  Possibly Sigma as well(see below)

$8000 is just silly.

I'm actually considering the A900 because of this - it's cheaper and finally Minolta/Sony has a contender.  Yes, they are really late to the game, but then again, so was Hyundai.  And they are now giving GM and Ford fits as they nearly equal the same quality and performance for loads less money.

But I'm waiting for Sigma's next move.  I really like their sensor technology a lot.  And now that they have bought Foveon outright, I suspect things to start moving quickly.  Both companies also have a Hyundai-esque(new term? heh) philosophy of undercutting the competition.  Should be a fun next year or two
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 03:34:32 pm by Plekto »
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Pete Ferling

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« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2008, 10:59:24 pm »

Quote from: Fine_Art
Earning $1 would be ROI. Do you mean profit? You would have $5000 more profit with 5DII or A900.


I remember back in '83 in Navy Photo School when the instructor told us that it was OK to drop the camera, but if we break the lens, he would dismiss us on the spot.  The camera is a dumb box, the lens is what make the image work.  If you have more than $8000 invested in lens and matching kit materials... Kinda makes this whole thread pointless, doesn't it?

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spidermike

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« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2008, 11:45:00 am »

Quote from: Pete Ferling
I remember back in '83 in Navy Photo School when the instructor told us that it was OK to drop the camera, but if we break the lens, he would dismiss us on the spot.  The camera is a dumb box, the lens is what make the image work.  If you have more than $8000 invested in lens and matching kit materials... Kinda makes this whole thread pointless, doesn't it?

I went to a photo seminar recently and the professional running it has a contact in industrial imaging apparently and he was buying all the Nikon 600mm lenses whenever and wherever they could because it was cheaper to break the lens up and pull the glass out than it was to buy the glass as individual items. Now that is a pricing structure!
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jjj

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« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2008, 11:43:14 am »

Quote from: John Camp
Further along in this thread, jjj said he tried a 24-70 on a demo D3 and found the autofocus to be terribly slow. I used the D3 with that lens both in Iraq and at the Republican convention and found it to be fast and accurate.
Which is what I would expect, from previous experience of using Nikons.This was indoors with not the best lighting, but even so, my 5D which is not known for it's sports photography autofocus capabilities, has no problems in those conditions.
Maybe it was a duff camera. Not good for selling product though
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Ken Doo

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« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2008, 11:47:35 am »

Hitler thinks Nikon is on crack too.  (Well, I thought this was on-point and funny....)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnwf2RShNV0

Walt Calahan

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« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2008, 08:03:14 am »

I find the various rants against Nikon and the D3X extremely surprising, and childish.

It's as if no one has been paying attention to the buying power of the dollar as record deficits are run up by many countries.

The dollar is not worth as much as eight years ago. Nikon has poured a lot of money in the development of this camera knowing it is designed for a small market segment, just like the Canon 1D mk III, which when it first came out was similarly priced, so the need to recover the design costs is spread over fewer camera bodies.

The dollar when the D1 and D2 series where released was much stronger, and thus the cost of these machine have the illusion of being cheaper.

If you can't afford the camera, don't buy it. There is no rule that says you need to buy the latest and greatest. A camera is not 'male jewelry' we hang from our necks. It is not a status symbol of how good you are as a photographer or human being. It's just a tool to help you achieve your vision. The D3X doesn't know a crappy photograph from a quality photograph, and can NOT make you a better photographer.

I heard no complaints when the Canon 1D mk III was released. I did hear tons of complaints about the focus system of the Canon 1Ds mk III when it was released. Talk about a true waste of thousands of dollars per camera. No one equates Canon with Hitler, one of the singularly evil men in history, for releasing a poorly designed camera on the public? I hear no one complaining about the cost of the Leica M8 (with its Infrared problems) or M8.2.

Let's wait till the D3X is in the hands of shooters before we nail it to our cross. Let's see how its auto-focus tracks. Let's see how clean the files are.

I'm so amazed at the belly aching by people when the camera hasn't hit the streets yet.

The only crack users I see are the ones throwing a tantrum. Get over it. Worry about making compelling images, not about a piece of gear that will be obsolete in 3 years.

If more time and energy went into making quality photographs, we'll all be better served. As I remind my college students during our first class of the semester, it's not the quality of the gear, it is the quality of your thinking that counts.

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Tony Beach

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« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2008, 10:41:33 am »

Quote from: Walt Calahan
It's as if no one has been paying attention to the buying power of the dollar as record deficits are run up by many countries.
The dollar is not worth as much as eight years ago. Nikon has poured a lot of money in the development of this camera knowing it is designed for a small market segment, just like the Canon 1D mk III, which when it first came out was similarly priced, so the need to recover the design costs is spread over fewer camera bodies.
Nikon is charging even more for the D3x in Japan, so currency exchange rates have nothing to do with the price.
The D3 cost a lot to develop too, but Nikon charges $3000 per unit less. for it than the D3x.  One way to amortize R&D is to spread the costs over several bodies and to increase volume.

Quote
If you can't afford the camera, don't buy it. There is no rule that says you need to buy the latest and greatest.
That's not the problem for Nikon (or me).  The problem is that Sony and Canon are offering me less expensive alternatives.  I could end up funneling $10,000 towards Sony instead of Nikon over this, and multiplied by thousands of others that starts to add up to real money and future market share.

Quote
No one equates Canon with Hitler, one of the singularly evil men in history, for releasing a poorly designed camera on the public?
It's a parody of those complaining about Nikon; not about Nikon.

Quote
The only crack users I see are the ones throwing a tantrum. Get over it. Worry about making compelling images, not about a piece of gear that will be obsolete in 3 years.
If a perfectly good camera becomes "obsolete" in 3 years, then I think you are on to something about the addiction analogy.  Perhaps Nikon isn't on crack, they just think they're users are, and will pay any price to get their fix.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 10:43:14 am by Tony Beach »
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jjj

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« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2008, 11:16:02 am »

Quote from: Walt Calahan
I find the various rants against Nikon and the D3X extremely surprising, and childish.
It's as if no one has been paying attention to the buying power of the dollar as record deficits are run up by many countries.
The dollar is not worth as much as eight years ago. Nikon has poured a lot of money in the development of this camera knowing it is designed for a small market segment, just like the Canon 1D mk III, which when it first came out was similarly priced, so the need to recover the design costs is spread over fewer camera bodies.
The dollar when the D1 and D2 series where released was much stronger, and thus the cost of these machine have the illusion of being cheaper.
That's a very naive point of view and ignores that this is not an American forum. When the pound was very strong compared to the dollar, Adobe products cost up to 100% more in the UK and Europe where the Euro was also strong. So Adobe stuff should have cost a less/same not a lot more than in US. Same goes for Camera gear. As for a lot of development cost on camera, it's an old body with a new sensor, not a new and improved body with a new sensor


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If you can't afford the camera, don't buy it. There is no rule that says you need to buy the latest and greatest. A camera is not 'male jewelry' we hang from our necks. It is not a status symbol of how good you are as a photographer or human being. It's just a tool to help you achieve your vision. The D3X doesn't know a crappy photograph from a quality photograph, and can NOT make you a better photographer.
Uh, a lot of people who can afford it are also complaining. It's less the absolute price of the item, more that it seems poor value that is annoying people.


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I heard no complaints when the Canon 1D mk III was released.
That was a while back, things have changed and people expect more bang for their buck when buying electronics several years later.


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No one equates Canon with Hitler, one of the singularly evil men in history, for releasing a poorly designed camera on the public?
Duh! Have you even looked at link, before making such a daft comment?


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I hear no one complaining about the cost of the Leica M8 (with its Infrared problems) or M8.2.
Most people know Leica is overpriced and very overrated, so not news really, but people did comment on the price. Personally, I've always considered Leicas to be male jewelry, that can also take pictures. And if anyone thinks that's a daft statement just lookat the pictures on this page
Gold + Snakeskin Leicas


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If more time and energy went into making quality photographs, we'll all be better served. As I remind my college students during our first class of the semester, it's not the quality of the gear, it is the quality of your thinking that counts.
Need to improve yours a bit then!  
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 11:17:43 am by jjj »
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Walt Calahan

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« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2008, 12:43:52 pm »

Guys, I wasn't taking about the exchange rate. I was talking about the world inflation rate due to the cost of rare materials and services. Services include the engineering that designed and built this new chip. A chip that will be obsolete in 3 years, even though the camera will last far long. Europe, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia, the USA, have all got to deal with rising costs.

I'm not the one who is angry over the price, but I am puzzled by so many people ranting.

If Sony or any other manufacturer is making a camera that works for you. Great. Buy it. But to bash Nikon is silly in my humble opinion.

Let your money do the talking. Nikon will listen.
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Walt Calahan

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« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2008, 12:49:25 pm »

"Duh! Have you even looked at link, before making such a daft comment? "

I still own my Nikon F2. Yes I watch the video through.

I also have personal friends whose families were murdered by Hitler. Tell them about enjoying the parody.

Don't go through life angry slamming a person's opinion as if it is directed to you personally.

As I tell my college students, celebrate life with your camera.

Get over it.
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Pete Ferling

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« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2008, 04:57:50 pm »

This form of pricing is nothing new.  My 1Ds Mark I was $7500, that was three years ago, and I still us it today.  We can wine all we want about price, but we tend to forget how much the real cost would be over and above the $8000 price tag for switching systems.  If you have more than the difference of the cost invested in lens, it would cost you more since you would have to replace the lens as well.  It would also cost you time in relearning a new system, etc.  Don't think for a minute that Nikon is not aware of that fact.

I also have a 40D, it's considered to be a direct crop of my 1Ds, cost 1/7th the price, and does almost 90% of what the 1Ds does, except for the full sensor and rugged build.  There are times that I still reach for the 1Ds over the 40D simply because of that one fact (better portraits, having that extra 30mm for wides, being dropped, getting soaked for instance).  It's that extra 10% that breaks the bank, but has saved my butt more than once.

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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2008, 07:05:23 pm »

Quote from: Pete Ferling
This form of pricing is nothing new.  My 1Ds Mark I was $7500, that was three years ago, and I still us it today.  We can wine all we want about price, but we tend to forget how much the real cost would be over and above the $8000 price tag for switching systems.  If you have more than the difference of the cost invested in lens, it would cost you more since you would have to replace the lens as well.  It would also cost you time in relearning a new system, etc.  Don't think for a minute that Nikon is not aware of that fact.

Would you still pay 7500 US$ for that same 1ds3 today without second thoughts?

Cheers,
Bernard

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« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2008, 07:22:19 pm »

Quote from: Walt Calahan
Guys, I wasn't taking about the exchange rate. I was talking about the world inflation rate due to the cost of rare materials and services. Services include the engineering that designed and built this new chip. A chip that will be obsolete in 3 years, even though the camera will last far long. Europe, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia, the USA, have all got to deal with rising costs.

I am aware that you main point is different.

Speaking about cost though, the exchange rate does matter, but it should if anything make the D3x cheaper in Japan compared to the D3. Assuming that Nikon buys some parts of the D3 abroad, it should be cheaper for them to purchase them now than it has been in the last 8 years, the Yen has never been stronger.

Inflation in Japan has been nil or negative these past few years, and the cost of developing the D3x has clearly not been affected any such engineering consulting fees inflation. Besides, most of the Nikon engineers are based in Tokyo and there has been no significant salary inflation in Japan these past years also.

This being said, Nikon might be anticipating some raising production costs as a result of un-direct financial consideration related to the cost of credit, etc... but I think that factoring all this in in a single high end product wouldn't make so much sense.

So the bottom line is that, considering all we know today, it seems doubtful that the price of the D3x is driven my increased costs at Nikon.

From the point of view of a working pro, it is true that the camera is only one expenditure among others, but they all are, aren't they? All these equipments are complex and cost money to produce, and agreeing happily to a significant price increase of one of them on the grounds that it represents only a few % of the total is opening the door to a large scale inflation accross the board.

Today, the price gap between a D3x and an A900 - mostly competitive for the applications at hand - is equal to that of an Epson 9900 44 inch print weighting 240 pounds (inks included). Of course, considering the price of switching over - even partially - things are not that clear, but Nikon shooters hate to be shown so clearly that they are held hostage in a proprietary system that might induce more and more costs in the coming years.

Is it foolish to react here? Probably so.

Cheers,
Bernard
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