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D3/D300 officially announced today


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#61 seagrant

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:02 AM

It's all very well for the infinitely rich, but what are the chances that the D300 is just different enough not to fit in a D200 housing?
B)


I think the chances that it is just enough different not to fit in some if not all d200 housings is great. I'm most concerned about the "raised" AF button and the switch that has 3 AF settings on the d300 and 4 settings on the d200. Anything "raised" or changed like that could mean it won't mesh with those buttons, etc or even make it impossible to close the back - this is where housing make may become huge and how tightly it fits. I'm not to optomistic about the Subal but I'll wait and see. Shchae is on it!!

I so want to believe the d300 will fit in my housing and maybe with a few modifications it might, probably a given that it will fit in the Light and Motion housing as that one is larger - but the d200 fits so tight in the ND20 Subal and with that change in the AF area lever and the raised button or buttons, plus the cut off lcd screen well I don't know.....?? :(

Would be wonderful though I never bought the d200 or S5pro backup and the d300 would make a wonderful backup!

Hope, hope, Carol

Edited by seagrant, 23 August 2007 - 10:04 AM.

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#62 craig

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:51 AM

Nikon had called their previous lossy compression scheme "lossless". They'll have to come up with a good face saving way to explain the new format to the masses.


They call it "visually lossless" which some who've tested it claim to be true. I'd rather avoid it though. The Leica uses an even more extreme form where they store the square root of the raw data as an 8 bit value in the raw output! Yuck...

I don't see how making both the sensor and DSP lends any special credibility or significance to the "Digic" brand. "Digic" after all, is a name Canon uses in their digicams where the sensor itself is a CCD supplied by Sony. It's marketing pure and simple, though it is effective. Canon is clearly a better marketing company than Nikon and selective branding of technologies is very effective in promoting an image as a technology leader. Nikon is basically ripping off Canon there and I'm glad to see it. Now, when ignorant Canon fans boast that Canon has Digic, ignorant Nikon fans have something in response. ;-)
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#63 james

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:03 AM

Check this out:

"14-bit NEF (RAW):uncompressed or compressed RAW. Images are recorded at a bit-depth of 14 bits, producing files roughly 1.3 times larger than 12-bit files but increasing the color data recorded resulting in smoother tones. Maximum frame advance rate decreases to 2.5 fps. "

And here's another one, the rear LCD is not 920k pixels, it's 920 dots @ 3 dots per pixels which is actually 306k pixels precisely.

Don't believe every spec sheet or marketing blurb at first read...:-( It's a 640 x 480 size - which is still pretty nice - but it's not "nearly one megapixel."

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#64 herbko

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:24 AM

I don't see how making both the sensor and DSP lends any special credibility or significance to the "Digic" brand. "Digic" after all, is a name Canon uses in their digicams where the sensor itself is a CCD supplied by Sony. It's marketing pure and simple, though it is effective. Canon is clearly a better marketing company than Nikon and selective branding of technologies is very effective in promoting an image as a technology leader. Nikon is basically ripping off Canon there and I'm glad to see it. Now, when ignorant Canon fans boast that Canon has Digic, ignorant Nikon fans have something in response. ;-)


Sure. Canon marketing played up their DSP. The point is this is not possible if you're using a different one for each camera you build because each has a different sensor design. The fact that Nikon is now doing this suggests that they will continue with one line of DSP design which I think really only works if they stop switching sensors with every camera.
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#65 herbko

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:11 PM

They call it "visually lossless" which some who've tested it claim to be true. I'd rather avoid it though. The Leica uses an even more extreme form where they store the square root of the raw data as an 8 bit value in the raw output! Yuck...


Renaming it to "visually lossless" is their new face saving spin. Have a look back at the D70 introduction. It was just lossless at that point. I guess the spin is working.

http://www.dpreview....ond70/page2.asp
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#66 craig

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:37 PM

I've been familiar with the "visually lossless" term for quite a while. It's not new though I haven't seen it used in the D3/D300 context. Nevertheless, I hate the idea. Canon has been able to achieve similar compression without discarding data. Now, hopefully, Nikon can too. I don't think compression is all that important. The D80 doesn't even offer uncompressed as an option though.

As I said earlier, Leica uses an even more brutal and lossy version of compression for their incredibly pricey rangefinder. I don't like that, but a certain overrated editor of a successful photography website does. ;-)

I still don't think you get my point regarding Digic. Canon uses the Digic brand regardless of whether the sensor is their design or not. It's nothing more than a branding of their DSP, it doesn't indicate anything in particular. It has been very effective, though, and now Nikon is emulating it. Of course it's nice to have design commonality between products, but having worked closely with VLSI design groups before, I don't think it's that big a deal. Once they do a few of these kinds of parts, they get good at it.

Yes, James, I've read that 14 bit drops the frame rate to 2.5 but I've also read that there's some discrepancy on that. It seems very odd to me but someone claims that the shutter slows down (of all things). Since the ADCs and data paths are all full resolution, it's not obvious what destroys the framerate. Interesting to find out.

The 922K spec on the LCD is dots rather than pixels. It's also true of Canon's spec so the resolution of the two is still the same ratio. 922K works out to VGA resolution which is quite nice for a 3" display.
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#67 herbko

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:32 PM

I still don't think your get my point regarding Digic. Canon uses the Digic brand regardless of whether the sensor is their design or not. It's nothing more than a branding of their DSP, it doesn't indicate anything in particular. It has been very effective, though, and now Nikon is emulating it. Of course it's nice to have design commonality between products, but having worked closely with VLSI design groups before, I don't think it's that big a deal. Once they do a few of these kinds of parts, they get good at it.


I think I share you view about this branding gibberish. The point I'm trying to make is that the image processor's tasks are dependent on the sensor design. Canon is up to Digic III. All the Canon CMOS cameras have one of the three chips. If Nikon did the same thing they may be up over 10 by now, which may make the branding of those chips less effective. The fact they are choosing this time to brand their image processor suggest to me that they've converged on a design, and do not plan to do one CMOS camera followed by a CCD followed a LBCAST.... I also read that the sensors on these cameras are their own design and not from Sony. The two suggest to me that they've finally got their design and process act together and plans to use that in the future.

If it really is true that the two new sensors are not from Sony. I'll stick my neck out and predict that with the possible exception of the D40x upgrade, Nikon is done with Sony.
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#68 Tom_Kline

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:23 PM

More critical than overall dimensions is the placement of controls.



I have been comparing the shots of the D3 and D2XS rears posted on DPR- the controls have shifted so the D3 will not work in a D2 housing. :( The important buttons to the left of the chimping screen have shifted left, the four on the bottom are now lower. The AF-on and vertical grip commando dial have swapped positions. The AE-AF lock button has been moved.

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#69 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:29 PM

I think I'll wait for the D3x next year. I don't see the value of high ISO for my underwater photography. And that is a lot of money to spend on Auto-Focus. Although I may end up with a D3 as a back body once I have a D3x.

I think that is a luxuary that the Canon users had with the 1D and 1Ds. The D2H just wasn't worth it for UWP.

Alex

p.s. I shoot the D80 on the "virtually lossless" compressed RAW and I don't see any issues - although I have not done any detailed tests.

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#70 craig

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:39 PM

I've seen a pretty thorough test of the lossy compression that demonstrated that it really was visually lossless, but I think the more postprocessing is required the more questionable it is.
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#71 gobiodon

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:47 PM

I also read that the sensors on these cameras are their own design and not from Sony. The two suggest to me that they've finally got their design and process act together and plans to use that in the future.

If it really is true that the two new sensors are not from Sony. I'll stick my neck out and predict that with the possible exception of the D40x upgrade, Nikon is done with Sony.


You might be wrong on that. While in case of D3 it's clearly stated that it's a Nikon-original sensor, there is no such an emphasis on the D300 sensor:
http://www.nikonusa....ment/index.html

It suggests me that it's surely not in-house produced one. My guess is Sony, maybe exclusively designed for nikon with some extra features (14 bit vs 12 bit).
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#72 BoatMoney

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 03:21 PM

I don't see the value of high ISO for my underwater photography.

I may be nuts, but I think digital pictures shot at base ISO look better than higher-ISO images. I am not speaking about noise, although that is obviously a consideration. To my eye there is a "depth" or "richness", for lack of a better explanation, that base ISO renders and higher-ISO does not. I have no idea why this seems to be the case, but whatever it is I am convinced (noise issues notwithstanding) that higher-ISO, particularly for serious image efforts, represents something of a compromise.
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#73 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 10:44 AM

I don't see the value of high ISO for my underwater photography.


Hi Alex,

What about filter photography??? I seem to recall you mentioning the high-ISO filter photography potential of the Canon 5D in the past, but perhaps it was someone else. Still, I would think better sensitivity would be a significant benefit and possibly allow the use of filters with somewhat longer focal length lenses.

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#74 james

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 12:02 PM

Yes, base ISO images tend to be more saturated than higher ISO images. That's a difference for sure. Higher ISO images may also be softer if noise reduction software (in the camera or RAW processor) does a lot of smoothing and blending.

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#75 BoatMoney

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 08:56 PM

Yes, base ISO images tend to be more saturated than higher ISO images. That's a difference for sure. Higher ISO images may also be softer if noise reduction software (in the camera or RAW processor) does a lot of smoothing and blending.

Hi James, while I agree with your comment, I was speaking to something else. I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but it seems that images shot at base ISO have a better contrast. It also seems that tonal range is a bit wider, where at hi ISO a heavier banding due to a more narrow tonal range, at times, becomes evident. I suspect that the way our glass delivers light to the sensor has much to do with it and consequently hi-ISO shooting limits the performance of the glass, or at least limits the way it is captured.
Cheers,
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#76 John Bantin

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:41 PM

Dang! True to form they bring out a replacement! I knew I shouldn't have splashed out on that extra D200 body!

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#77 CeeDave

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:12 AM

Well, it may be time to think about trading up from my old d70. The d300 as it stands would be a fine upgrade for wildlife shots (besides cost, the low pixel count in the DX-crop on the D3 makes it a poorer long-lens camera than the D300, for me). Obviously the focus, noise, and MP would help as well. So I am serioiusly considering the D300 for wildlife shots. (Aside: yes, I know how cropping works, I just want >6MP inside the DX crop area -- and I think a high-pixel-density sensor is better than taking a stop off with a 1.4TC).

The (remote?) possibility of a d300FX sometime in 2008 does give me pause, though: having the 17-35 as a true wide angle again, and better DR, would make it very compelling for UW and landscape use. Of course, the bigger sensor would need a bigger prism, so the shape of a D300FX would have to be a bit different from a D300 -- maybe removing the built-in flash? And perhaps a D300FX housing would also mount a D300. Then I could have a choice of two sensors, to use as appropriate, and a back-up for the housing -- for about the same cost (speculating) as a D3.

I don't think a D300FX is beyond the realm of possibility: if Nikon were to move the D3 sensor down to the D300FX at the same tiime as they introduce a high-res (circa 20MP) D3x, I think they'd protect their high-end and shape up better versus Canon at the same time.

I don't need to be on the bleeding edge, so I'll wait until real reviews are out, and see how the housing market looks, and whether there're any unambiguous signals about a d300fx by the end of theh 2Q08 or so. Next summer's surface shots will probably be with a D300, but subaqua it will probably still be the D70 for me.

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#78 Rocha

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:42 PM

There are a bunch of D3 samples in this Chinese site:

D3 samples Chinese text

The text is all in Chinese, but the images speak for themselves (and the EXIF is intact). Not that it matters to me much, but the high ISO shots are amazingly clean. For example, the ISO 5000 sample below looks about the same (noise-wise) as the shots at ISO 800 in my D2x:

D3 at ISO 5000

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#79 BoatMoney

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:32 AM

For example, the ISO 5000 sample below looks about the same (noise-wise) as the shots at ISO 800 in my D2x:

I think the noise looks different from what the recent D's have rendered. Current D2x noise looks grainy, whereas Canon noise is smoother (which I suspect is one reason Canon is superior at higher iso's). It sure seems that the Nikon noise has a different look in the D3. A better look than the D2x offered.

Of course, I don't know what noise reduction levels the shooter dialed in, but it appears, to my eye at least, that Nikon has tinkered with their noise.
Cheers,
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#80 diverdon

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 07:16 AM

I painted the D300 control locations onto a pic of a D200 back. Looking at my Subal D200 housing I believe that the back will be able to be easily modified to accommodate the D300. Based on this theory I plan to order a D300 this week.

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