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Kyros
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Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2012-03-14, 21:47

The local camera shop had a D300 with grip (but no extra batteries) for $700, so I grabbed it. Havent played with it much since my only cf card is 32mb, but so far I love it, coming from a d60. It also turns out to have less than 5000 clicks, so I was really happy when I saw that!

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PB PM
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2012-03-14, 22:42

Congrats, that's a good price for an extremely capable camera.
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PKIDelirium
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2012-03-14, 23:42

Eww... CF cards...
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PB PM
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2012-03-14, 23:57

I love CF cards, so much nicer (and way faster) than SD cards. My 8GB 60MB/S CF can clear 16 14Bit RAW files in 3 seconds, can your puny little SD card do that?
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Kyros
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2012-03-15, 21:11

SD would have been nice, since I have those flippy SD cards that have a USB connection attached. They are incredibly slow by modern standards, but the convenience is really nice. I'm sure that I will appreciate the speed more on the D300 than the D60 anyway.

Unibody, 17 inch, 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, 320 GB + 64GB SSD (No DVD), Snow Leopard
Pismo, 400 MHz, 1 GB, 40 GB, Panther
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turtle
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2012-03-16, 20:32

The thing I like about SD is Eye-Fi and the Express Card reader in my MBP. CF is nice for just about every other reason.
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PB PM
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2012-03-16, 20:40

On the iMac the built in SD reader is a liability, more than It is helpful. I know a few people who shoved their SD cards into the optical drive by mistake (they are too close together). I've almost done it 3-5 times as well, thankfully I noticed before letting go! My external USB2 card reader is faster anyway (even with SD cards).

Yes, I can see how those wireless SD cards are nice if you shoot at home at lot, I shoot outside the home 95% of the time do its not a deal breaker. If I wanted to use one I could get a CF to SD card (SD card plugs into a CF thing).
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-03-18, 07:32

Funny, last term I sat right next to someone who made the insert SD-into-CD mistake. Neither lab nor student were too happy.

So far SD cards have been disappointing. CF is better in almost every metric.

Recent 5D3 samples make me want to wait before finally buying - they're better than the awful stuff that first appeared. Realistically, the hassle for switching doesn't seem worth it, but I'm still curious.

All camera samples currently available point to the D800 easily having the best file of any commercially available camera at ISO3200, I would say possibly even at 6400 based on equalized still life samples from imaging-resource.

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PB PM
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2012-03-18, 12:03

The 5D mk3 is a camera that is meant to be a jack of all trades, meant to take back some of the space the D700 took. Too bad that it still cannot meet it in terms of low light performance from what I've seen.

One area the 5D beats the D800 is video. What, but it doesn't shoot RAW video. True, but Canon made the sensor 22.3MP just so it would have a better pixel pitch for video. Canon also put in some very video centric controls that the D800 lack.

The question is will those controls and superior aspect ratio for video be enough to keep pros from switching for the RAW video? I think the extra $700 for the 5D Mk 3 will put a lot of people off from switching, even if the D800 had slightly worse noise performance.
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Matsu
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2012-03-18, 19:09

The amount of armchair analysis out there is both helpful and hilarious.

Some have gone so far as to speculate, based on light reflections in the glass bottles of the test scene, that some of imaging resources lights were low, leading to the 2/3rds stop longer shutter speeds shown by the 5D3 at equivalent ISO.

But I'm not convinced. The 5D3 meters the scene exactly the same as the 5D2, and those tests were years apart. Furthermore DXO shows the 5D2 reporting ISO a bit more ambitiously than some of its peers. A lighting inconsistency seems unlikely, despite the level of scruitiny.

The D800 OTOH, meters the scene exactly like the D4, so the Nikons would appear to be more sensitive than the 5D series at any given ISO. I haven't seen a test for the 1Dx yet, for some reason I expect it to report ISO more accurately than the 5D.

Last edited by Matsu : 2012-03-18 at 20:37.
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PB PM
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2012-03-18, 19:14

The 5D Mk3 has the same meter as the 7D, so it should be better than the 5D Mk2. If not that would be unfortunate.

I believe the 1Dx was delayed till mid April which might be why we haven't seen any tests. It could be a firmware or hardware problem.
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Matsu
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2012-03-18, 20:45

I guess it's not the meters, which are doing their job to get the correct exposures, but the way the ISO scale has been calibrated, which in turn forces the meter choose to 2/3rd stop longer exposures. Would suggest that the 5D3 sensitivity extends 1.33 stops higher than the D800, not the 2 stops indicated by Canon. Equalized to the same relative sensitivity then, they are about 25600 vs 68000, or something like that, not factoring in the relative quality at those settings.

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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2012-03-20, 04:38

According to the people at Imaging Resource, they "micro-gel" (see link) their HMI lights. That would cause their lights to lose some brightness over time, though the effect may be too slight to matter.

And importantly, that link makes no promise of lighting intensity consistency from one test to another, only of consistency across the frame of any single test shot to within 0.1 stop (and even that isn't so much a promise as a statement about the lighting at the time it was measured in 2006).

So I guess it's likely the lighting intensity isn't kept perfectly consistent over time. (That the old 5D Mark II metered the same as the 5D Mark III doesn't prove the lighting was the same, as you know, since different camera models definitely have metered differently from each other over the years.)

And since you mentioned it, I had a look at the softbox reflections in the bottles. The top-right reflection, in particular, does look dimmer in the 5D Mark III photos compared to the D800 shots taken a week later. Did they replace that HMI globe, perhaps?

DxOMark will hopefully test these sensors soon. DPReview and Imaging Resource don't seem to realise that exposure consistence is critical to comparing noise performance. The exact ISO calibration and metering behaviour isn't really important; what's important is shooting a scene of identical brightness, at identical f-stop and shutter speed, and developing the resulting images to the same brightness. At that point, you can compare the images. Otherwise you're comparing ISO calibration and meters, something that might be interesting for actually using the cameras, but something which doesn't tell us much about image sensor performance.
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Matsu
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2012-03-20, 07:24

One of four lights is low by comparison. Even if it's as low as half brightness, that's about 1/8th of a stop, not 2/3rds. If only national security could muster the same level of scrutiny available on photography message boards

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Dorian Gray
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2012-03-20, 09:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
Even if it's as low as half brightness, that's about 1/8th of a stop, not 2/3rds.
Good point.
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Matsu
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2012-03-20, 11:08

I swapped cameras with a friend for class the other night. It was a Canon 5D. I was comfortable to hold, but not to control - the wheel plus command dial interface is questionable to me. Much prefer the for and aft dials of my Nikons. I guess I have Nikon hands.

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Mac+
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2012-03-20, 16:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I was comfortable to hold, but not to control...
That's what she said.
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PB PM
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2012-03-20, 19:12

I get the same feeling with pro/ semi pro Canon bodies. I find them comfortable, and even find some of the button layout to be superior (such as the ISO & WB), but the placement of the dials is just odd to me. I suppose if I used one long enough it would be fine, but I like Nikon's dial placement.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-03-21, 04:35

Ooops, silly typos from me.

I wonder what people think of Canon's menus. Nikon's menus are a little too easy to get lost in. Not that they're bad, just extensive. I didn't really get a chance to see if Canon's were any better. Fuji's X Pro quick menu looks like a really good implementation.

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Last edited by Matsu : 2012-03-21 at 14:33.
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PB PM
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2012-03-21, 12:22

If you think Nikons menu system is bad (I rather like it), stay clear of Canons it's worse.
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Dorian Gray
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2012-03-23, 11:12

DxOMark has finally published test results for the D800 sensor, and the resulting interest has predictably crashed their servers.

The results are more or less as expected: superb low-ISO dynamic range, mid-tone signal-to-noise ratio about as good as the D4/D3S (but achieved at the expense of some colour fidelity), and high-ISO dynamic range (i.e. practical low-light performance) clearly behind the D4/D3S but ahead of the D3/D700.

Definitely the sensor of the moment for anyone who typically works under ISO 800 and doesn't need more than 4 frames per second. Er, that describes me!
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Matsu
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2012-03-23, 14:48

The news on the camera is very good so far. Excellent test results, and what seems to be very mature development. A number of sources reported variations of the camera in the field for months, with top level pros, both before and after the natural disasters.

Nikon might just have a massive year, if sales continue as projected, they're going to move an awful lot of full frame cameras. Even better, if all of the 28mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.8 VR, new 16-35mm f/2.8 VR, and 135mm f/1.8 patents see the light of day this year, it's going to be a revolution for FX users. It could end up being an expensive year...

If they do revise the 17-35 into a new 16-35 f/2.8VR, someone should take a hard look at the 50-135 AIS and create an f/2.8VR version. This would be a near ideal lens pair both for travel and event work.

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PB PM
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2012-03-30, 13:12

I haven't seen any patents for a 16-35mm F2.8 (at least not at Nikon rumors). There is one for a 16-85mm F4, but that is a DX lens, which will replace the current 16-85mm variable aperture lens.

There was a leak earlier this week, from Nikon Europe, a 18-300mm F3.5-5.6G VR. It will be interesting to see if that replaces the 18-200 or sits along side it at a higher price point.

Also there is a rumor that the D3200, which could be released soon, along with the 18-300mm, will sport Sony's 24MP sensor! If so, that's nuts, 24MP in an entry level body. I guess it could turn into the poor mans landscape camera!
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GSpotter
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2012-03-30, 13:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I haven't seen any patents for a 16-35mm F2.8 (at least not at Nikon rumors).
See this Nikon rumours posting (2nd lens). Excerpt from the linked patent:

"having high vibration reduction performance with excellently correcting aberrations upon vibration reduction, and excellent optical performance with excellently suppressing ghost images and flare."

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PB PM
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2012-03-30, 14:14

Seems odd that Nikon would want to have three high performance wide angle lenses, unless they intended to discontinue the 16-35mm F4. Of course Nikon has many patents for lenses that never see the light of day.
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Matsu
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2012-03-30, 18:18

I think they still have three in the line-up, just that the current 17-35 is a somewhat older design.

The 14-24 is amazing, but its a very particular sort of beast. You have to want to work really wide. The 17-35 and 16-35 take filters and work better in a two lens set-up with 70-200 lenses. Some photographers like to shoot with a 17-35 and a 70-200, finding both 35 and 70 close enough to normal that they don't miss the gap.

There's even a patent for a 15-30 f/4.5-5.6 - which, while obviously intended to be cheaper and smaller, could be a great option for landscapers who spend a lot of time at f/8.

If anything, I could see the 14-24 discontinued in favour of an updated 16-35 f/2.8 design. The original 17-35 was a radical design. Even today, it's centre sharpness still tops all other wide zooms.

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PB PM
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2012-03-30, 20:39

I couldn't see Nikon killing off the 14-24mm. Very few camera shops list the 17-35mm, and the ones that do never have them in stock (and haven't since the 16-35mm hit the market). I think it would be far more likely to see it replacing the 16-35mm F4, which doesn't exactly score high in resolution tests.
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Matsu
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2012-03-30, 20:51

The 14-24 is a bit weird. I looks to me like people buy it and then re-sell rather more quickly and frequently than other pro glass. It's impressive, but it's heavy, doesn't take filters, and is rather specialized. I think people, buy it, try it, and then sell it. I'd be interested in seeing its sales numbers. **

**However, don't get me wrong. I want one regardless.

As for the 16-35. It stays in as the budget option. If there's a new 16-35 f/2.8, it will be a $2000+ lens.

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GSpotter
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2012-03-31, 02:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I think it would be far more likely to see it replacing the 16-35mm F4, which doesn't exactly score high in resolution tests.
It has some strong distortion at the wide end and is a bit soft in the corners, but apart from that it is a very sharp lens. And the usability is much better than the 14-24 (filter thread, less weight, VR as added bonus).

Mansurovs: "The 17-35mm and the 24-70mm lenses have been known as some of the best Nikon zoom lenses ever produced and the new lightweight Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR proved to be better than both wide open at f/4.0. As can be seen from my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G Review, the Nikon 16-35mm is as sharp in the center and only weaker in the corners"

dpreview: "Overall, image quality is pretty impressive. The lens is very sharp in the center of the frame at almost all settings, and while the extreme corners are a little soft wide open on full frame (especially at 16mm), they sharpen up well on stopping down to normal working apertures. "


Ken Rockwell
finds it even sharper than the 14-24.

Only Photozone emphasizes on the corners.

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PB PM
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2012-03-31, 02:28

I said resolution, not sharpness, which are somewhat related, but not always. I am aware of those other reviews, I read them all when I was considering buying the 16-35mm or 24-70mm f2.8. Also keep in mind that Photozone was the only reviewer to test the lens on a D3x. The others tested the 16-35mm on a D700 or D3s, which wouldn't push the lens too much. If the lens struggles resolution wise on the D3x, it must be pushing its luck on the D800.
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