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D3 vs D3X
by Dr. Rudy Dusslier and Stany Buyle
 


introduction:

A friend of mine owns both D3 and D3X. We made a couple of shots to compare D3 with D3X about resolution, detail rendering and noise @ different iso settings.
All pictures were originally taken in RAW. I converted them with NX2 to tiffs and from there I made some jpegs and crops to use in this little review.
All pictures were taken on tripod with the same lens on both cameras for the same scene.
I did not resize the pictures to be @ equal resolution next to each other, but I kept the original proportion so you can see the approx. difference in resolution between both cameras.

 

The scenes:

1 2 3 4

*85mm F1.4 @ F7.1
*Original in camera settings: matrix, RAW, neutral, sharpness 1.
*PP to standard mode, sharpness 4, converted to tiff and resized, converted to jpeg.

*24-70 F2.8 @ 50mm and F7.1, *Original in camera settings:matrix, RAW, neutral, sharpness 1.
*PP to landscape mode, sharpness 4, converted to tiff and resized, converted to jpeg.

*24-70 F2.8 @ 50mm and F7.1, *Original in camera settings:matrix, RAW, neutral, sharpness 1.
*PP to landscape mode, sharpness 4, converted to tiff and resized, converted to jpeg.

*14-24 F2.8 @ 14mm and F8
*Original in camera settings:matrix, RAW, neutral, sharpness 1.
*PP to standard mode, sharpness 4, converted to tiff and resized, converted to jpeg.

 

Scene 1:


crops for detail, resolution and noise comparison:

  D3   D3X


iso 200, matrix metering, AWB, noise reduction off, "standard" in-camera shooting mode,  sharpening 4. Lens:nikkor 85mm F1.4.

      
       
iso 1600, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4, nikkor 85mm F1.4.
   
       
iso 3200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens: nikkor 85mm F1.4.
   
       
iso 6400, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 25 in NX2, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:nikkor 85mm F1.4.
   


Scene 2.
This scene is especially taken an behalf of some extreme crops.

 

D3

 

D3X

iso 200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction off, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8

   
       
iso 1600, matrix metering, AWB, noise reduction off in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   
       
iso 3200, matrix metering, AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   
       
iso 6400, matrix metering, AWB, noise reduction set to 25 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   


some extreme crops for detail, resolution and noise comparison:
 

The crop you see underneath is this:
 


 

iso

D3

 

D3X

200  
     
1600  
     
3200(Hi-1  
     
6400 (Hi-2)  


Scene3

 

D3

  D3X

iso 200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction off, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8

   
       
iso 1600, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   
       
iso 3200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   
       
iso 6400, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 25 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens:24-70 F2.8
   


crops for detail, resolution and noise comparison:

iso

D3

 

 

D3X

 

200  
       
1600  
       
3200(Hi-1  
       
6400 (Hi-2)  


Scene4

 

D3

      

D3X


iso 200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction off, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens: 14-24 F2.8

   
       
iso 1600, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens: 14-24 F2.8
   

       
iso 3200, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 15 in NX2, "standard" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens: 14-24 F2.8
   
       
iso 6400, matrix metering,AWB, noise reduction set to 25 in NX2, "landscape" in-camera shooting mode, sharpening 4. Lens: 14-24 F2.8
   


crops for detail, resolution and noise comparison:

The cropped area is here:

 

D3

D3X

 

D3 D3X
iso 200              iso 1600           

 

         
iso 3200(Hi-1 for D3x)         iso 6400(Hi-2 for D3x)       
 

 

My thoughts about:

Color output: Here I see a quite big difference, especially in the pictures in scene 2 and even @ iso200. The D3 colour output seems more saturated and deeper than D3X. Of course this can be ajusted in PP to anyone's preferences.

Contrast:  D3 seems to have more native contrast in the images than D3x. I would add a little contrast to my D3X files to make look black like black and not like very dark grey... Eventhough you can fix this very easy in your custom banks, I would like to see Nikon push the D3X native contrast a little in a firmware upgrade. Of course pushing the native contrast could increase noise, and that's perhaps the reason why the Nikon engineers did not...

Noise: based on this samples D3x is doing extremely well in relation to noise, even @ very high iso, very close or equal to D3 with more detail remaining, which is an incredible achievement by the Nikon engineering team. According to Chasseur d'Images, the stunning microcontrast, the enormous detail rendering and the outstanding performance @ high iso of a camera with a quite high pixel density like D3X is the result of revolutionary low pass filter design.

Resolution: Even @ very high iso, and best visible in the crops of scene 4, D3x confirms the difference between 12 and 24Mp. This is much more than "marginal".

Additional images(click here):
X
Here you find 800 x 532 size images of both D3 and D3X to compare @ equal size or to print. These images have been saved in the highest quality jpeg.


Affiliated forum members of this website's forum have also access to the RAW files after request.
To become a member of this forum, click here for more info.
 

Sample images in lowlight conditions(click here):

 

There is a topic about this review on the forum of my website: http://www.fotografie.fr/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=115
 

 

Back to main pages of this comparison review (click here).

Thanks for your attention and for visiting my website.

Stany Buyle.