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Wednesday at breakfast.

Under here.

February 28, 2008

Night And Day
Wednesday. So it arrived this morning. You have expectations, of course, through reading reviews and examining test photographs taken under various conditions. The one aspect of this camera that immediately grabbed my attention was the stated lack of “noise” and excellent color when shooting at high ISO's. My D2Xs gets what I consider pretty good color at ISO 800, although I try to go no higher than 640. I say “pretty” good because my first professional level digital camera, the D2h, pretty much fell apart above ISO 400; whether that was a problem with my individual camera or across the board I'm not sure although the issue was noted more than once in the press. So, when I saw D3 pictures taken at ISO 6400 (and ISO 12,800 and 25,600!!) that looked better to me than my D2X cameras were getting at ISO 640, I was hooked and it was just a matter of me selling my first born and them reeling me in.

So? What's your reaction?

It's larger and heavier than the D2X cameras by reading the specs - the D3 is 5 ounces heavier, almost half an inch more in height but, although you get the feeling the dimensions are probably somewhat larger when you first pick it up, it essentially feels the same: very comfortable as are all the earlier Nikons. The new 3 inch back display is amazing in both size and clarity so now I'll do some testing at these new wonder ISO's. I don't feel guilty and, as honest and perceptive a fellow as I am (old true-blue Bob), I suspect I won't. Feel guilty. Certainly not until next week. Next year. Next incarnation.

Geeky Thursday Addendum: I now recall the main reason I need to move from Windows 2000 to Windows XP here on my main computer. The latest version of PhotoShop won't run on Windows 2000 and you need the latest CS3 version of PhotoShop to open a D3 raw image. So I cobbled together a couple of photographs taken today in the latest version of PhotoShop on my laptop (running Windows Vista), saved them as PhotoShop (rather than RAW) images and then opened them in the earlier CS2 version of PhotoShop on my main computer running Windows 2000. A bit cumbersome, don't you think? Pain in the butt, but let me tell you it will get me to upgrade this damned Windows 2000 computer to Windows XP.

Did you really need to go through all that? You lost every reader you ever had with that first sentence.

There's a couple of photographer die-hards who stayed the course. This means it's a new digital photographer's world for all makes of cameras (for all I know Canon has it now) and this technology will soon be available (cheaper and better) everywhere. The photographer's goddess is in her heaven.

Anyway, this was taken at my breakfast place at ISO 6400 with very minimal PhotoShop curves adjustment and no color balancing or other adjustment whatsoever. Pretty much out of the camera in other words. This is very good, my friends, this is the difference between night and day. Or is it day and night? I'll take some comparison photographs using the D2Xs at the same location with the same lens at some point and run a comparison (at 3200, the D2X cameras won't go to 6400). I'll do it if and when I get off my ass, of course. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at breakfast with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor F lens at 1/60th second, f 2.8, ISO 640.