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December 17, 2008

Nikon D3x Diary

The Nikon D3x was officially announced on December 1st, Cyber Monday. These are its adventures :-) And before we get started, here are a trio of reference pages for you:
+ Review and preview list so far
+ Pre-Order Tracker
+ D3X mini-blog

Sat April 25
The D3x is hosting again, this time it is the review of the brand new 70-200mm f2.8 VR II lens at Photozone.

Tue April 20
The Nikon D3x serves once again as the gracious hostess for the lens review of the Samyang 14mm f2.8 at

Wedn April 7
The D3x serves as the test-basis for the review of the 200mm f2 VR lens at PhotoZone.

Thur Jan 21
#1! #1! #1! Of all the cameras tested at, the D3X is ranked #1.

Mon Jan 18
The D3X serves as the gracious hostess of the Tamron 60mm f2.8 Di-II review at PhotoZone. "Wait, what?" you ask... Well, yes, the D3X has a "DX mode" :)

Wedn Jan 6
The D3X has some new firmware today. See more in the new firmware round-up on the front page.

Sun Jan 3, 2010
Nikon's top level DSLRs just got a new review, a reminder that it is still around and still the king of the price-hill among full framers. Here is the review, at Digital Camera Review.

Sun Dec 6
The Nikon D3x is serving as the gracious hostess again, this time hosting the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 review at PhotoZone.

Tue Dec 1
The Nikon D3X is hosting a lens comparison in the dpreview forums, where a photographer compares a 200mm prime with the 70-200mm f2.8 at the 200mm mark.

Sat Nov 7
Moose Peterson reveals that his favorite camera is the Nikon D3X in this podcast at Adorama's Tech Talk.

Thur Oct 29
DX-mode samples with the D3x and the Tamron 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 Di-II are posted as part of the review of the aforementioned lens at PhotoZone.

Wedn Oct 21
Marked for life! We have the first Nikon D3x tattoo, on this photographer's arm. See it at Engadget et al.

Mon Oct 19
The D3 servers as a gracious host for the brand new Nikon 70-200mm VR II lens as th Japanese website DC-Watch posts samples with it. Details via this front page update.

Oct 6
Lots of full-size D3X sample pictures are available at - these were taken with the new Samyang 14mm ED lens, and the samples are part of their review of the aforementioned lense.

Fri Sept 18
More D3X action with the aforementioned Samyang 14mm lens, around 20 full-size JPEG pictures at Lens Tip.

Thur Sept 17
The D3X was chosen by lens manufacturer Samyang as the DSLR body to showcase sample pictures taken with their brand new 14mm f2.8 lens. More on the lens and the samples via the new Samyang lens announcement.

Fri Sept 4
A rare Nikon lens from 1959 is mounted on the D3X! Details at the DJOP blog.

Tue Aug 23
A new review, posted last week at Trusted Reviews features the current queen of 35mm DSLRs. As usual, no spoilers here.

But it will be interesting to see how the D3X would compare to the upcoming Leica S-system that costs 3X as much as the D3X.

Sat Aug 8
Comedian Ken Rockwell has a way for you to get a "free full frame" digital SLR that gets HIM the same results as a Nikon D3X. So everybody return your DSLRs, K-Rock has saved the day ;-)

Needless to say, this is another KR-style post, he is just talking about getting a used Nikon film SLR and scanning the pictures by sending them across the country to the Costco that is near the Nikon headquarters.

Even if I tried, I couldn't make these things up :-)

Thur July 23
Imaging Resource has just now finalized their Nikon D3X review!

Mon July 20: versus the Canon 5D Mk II
Here Canon-Canon, come here Canon 5DMk2! The Nikon D3X takes on the 5DMk2 in this full-frame test report at Camera Labs. Comparisons are made, opinions are shared, and conclusions are derived. Find out what they found out!

Thur July 9
Trey of Stuck in Customs says that only a 30mp Nikon D4X would make him get rid of his D3X.

Wedn July 8
The stolen D3X units in the UK has been recovered by the police says the Insider.

Tue July 7
Not in customs, but in the Andes - a breathtaking HDR picture.

Mon July 6
The Nikon D3X goes to the zoo! Discussion and pictures in the dpreview forum, the one with the high-end Nikons of course.

Wedn June 17
Imaging Resource has added more components to its Nikon D3X page. The review is in-progress as these new components have been added!

Thur June 11
D3X units were among other Nikon DSLRs stolen from a UK camera dealership. Details via the Amateur Photographeur.

Thur June 4: The $7000 mark
The D3X has now reached the $7000 mark! You can get it at Amazon, sold and shipped by Amazon itself for $7005! As you may recall, the camera started out of the gate at $8000. Not that $7000 is an "affordable" price, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Mon May 25
The test results are in from Imaging Resource! We have an update on this with this new D3X blog update.

Bigma alert! The Nikon D3X was one of the two DSLRs used to test the BIGMA lens at BIGMA of course being the SIGMA 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX DG HSM lens.

Sat May 23
Yes, there is more D3X action! Pro Photo Home has published their three-months-after post, recounting their experience so far with the Nikon D3X, currently the most expensive 35mm DSLR.

Sun May 17
A Leica S2 mockup arrives at David Farkas's shop, and he compared the body size with other cameras, including a Nikon D3X. For more, check this front page blog update.

Sat May 16
A photographer has caused a raucus in the dpreview forums by posting a D3X picture taken with a $170 Tamron lens. An $8000 camera with a $170 lens? Looks like someone was baiting and fishing :-)

Fri May 15
The price is obviously an issue. the elephant in the room, at least when it comes to the world of 35mm DSLRs. Because when you compare it to medium format prices, it's actually "affordable". But let's not digress. The D3X finished third among the mail-in votes of the Camera Press Club Grand Prix award in Japan, which is not bad considering all the flak the camera took for its price.

Sun May 10
Via the Fake Chuck Westfall we learn of a new Nikon D3x vs Canon 1Ds Mark III comparison posted by photographer Yuri Arcus, who compares them for his studio use and also speculates the future. A very good read.

Wedn April 29
Canadian Nikonians, Nikon loves you! Luminous notes that D3X and D3 owners will receive a new set of maintenance freebies directly from Nikon itself. Check Luminous for more details.

Thur April 23
The brand new edition of the official Nikon podcast features a video with Michael Lichter talking D3X!

Wedn April 22
A new short review of the D3X has been posted at Photography Blog. They have increased the number of pages but decreased the "meat" :-)

Mon April 20
The upcoming Leica S2 is likely to re-invigorate the "Big Iron" wars. One such discussion is already under-way, S2 vs D3x vs 1DsMk3. Any which one will certainly break the piggy bank and the credit line too, especially if it starts with an "L" :)

Sun April 19
The D3X won! It won! It won the 2009 TIPA award for professional DSLR of the year, although to be fair, I don't think there was any other nominee in this category this year :-)

Mon April 13
The Moose, the D3X, the 600VR, and the 1.7X TC are making friends with this little birdie. Pictures at the Moose blog.

The D3X has almost reached the price milestone of $7500 at Amazon. More on that at our Camera Deals blog.

Sun April 12
Can your beer DSLR do this? Pictures with the D3X with the 24mm PC-E lens shared and discussed.

Thur April 9
The D3x takes on the 1Ds Mark III in this picture comparison series at Pro Photo Home.

Wedn April 8
One D3X fan fights back and demands that other forum dwellers stop bashing the D3X and its used Honda Accord price of $8000.

Tue April 7
Why did an ...artichoke get the Nikon D3x? Read on to find out!

Sun April 5
A quick D3x vs D300 comparison in the dpreview forums. Picture comparison that is, not a DSLR spec-list comparison. This is a forum-style comparison, not a full review.

Sat April 4
How are the sales doing asks one dpreview forum user. Well, at near $8000 and with the state of the economy, "going" is perhaps not the right word to use :)

Tue March 10
Tormented about a potential purchase of the D3x from a business perspective? The latest post at foto-biz may be helpful in framing it.

Sat March 7
It looks like Moose Peterson is the only blogger using the Nikon D3X out there :) Today he has a new post showing D3X at ISO 1600 with the help of "zoomify".

Thur March 5
Despite the PMA madness, PDN Gear Guide has found enough time to produce a Nikon D3X review. This is a two-page experiential review, not a 30-page dpreview-style review.

Sun March 1
In the "Nikon D3X vs the People", Justice Luminous Landscape provides his writtepn opinion. A very interesting read!

Fri Febr 27
The Imaging Insider spotlights the latest test results by Pro Photo Home on the Nikon D3X, and PPH's tests declare the D3X king of the hill in both of their categories, surpassing 1Ds Mk III and 5D Mk II respectively.

Joe McNally discusses a D3X portrait, among other things in his latest blog post.

The best price we found at the moment is $7100 with free shipping offered by Cameta Camera on eBay

Wedn Febr 25
Rejected! The D3X was rejected by a photographer, even at a discount.

Fri Febr 20
Another D3x update from Moose Peterson, carrying the D3X flag on the internets, with a new high-res samples shot with the 600mm VR with a TC! It is available "zoomified" so you can dig deep inside and check the nano-pixels under the hood ;-)

Thur Febr 19: dpreview review!
Finally dpreview has "sped up" their processing cycle, so instead of a getting a Nikon D3X review in June, we are getting out right now! That's right, a 34-page review by Lars Rehm. And a rant about it.

Moose Peterson has been shooting at 5fps in 12-bit mode and has new findings to share on his blog. He offers a 143MB file for close examination as he tries to answer the question whether to 14-bit or to 12-bit with the D3x.

Mon Febr 16
Moose has a new post trying to better showcase the D3X quality. The problem of course with the D3X is that it is not 3-times as good as the sub-$3000 full-frame DSLRs. One can make the case that for the price of the D3X, one can get a brand new A900 or 5Dmk2 or D700 and a trio of solid lenses and still have money to spare!

Sun Febr 8: new review
This is a little bit tape-delayed as we are slowly catching up! Photo Review Australia has posted their review of the D3X and they gave it an "EC". What's an "EC"? Read the review to find out :-)

Wedn Febr 4
Via the Moose Blog, we learn that Dave Black has posted part #1 of his Nikon D3X review. Samples are included but they are not full-size. We have to wait for a whole month however before part #2 of the review is posted. Patience young D3X Jedis, patience :)

What would you change about the D3X asked Engadget last week. More than 130 replies so far.

Mon Febr 2
Nikon D3X wins! D3X wins! That's what Ken Rockwell proclaimed in his brand new "sharpness comparison" test where the D3x goes up against a variety of other cameras, including the 5DMk2. More on this via the 5DMk2 blog.

Mon Jan 26: review rewrite!
Thom Hogan had already published his D3X review, but upon further investigation, he had a sub-par model, so he decided to rewrite his review. So check out the new Hogan review!

And in what might be an industry-first, Chase Jarvis will be posting a ...Twitter review of the Nikon D3X, a play-by-play (okay, twit-by-twit) account of his experience with the camera as he uses it on a 4-day commercial project. Follow the Twitter updates through his Twitter account.

Sat Jan 24
I don't think we mentioned this in this diary, so in case you missed it, here is the DXoMark data for the D3x, along with a short but sweet analysis of the data by the DxO peoplez themselves.

Thur Jan 22: new review
The reviews are starting to add up for the price-queen of the DSLR world. Ryan Philippe (oops!), Philip Ryan has posted a Nikon D3X test at the Popular Photography website. As usual, no spoilers here!

Tue Jan 20
Photography Review spotlights a short user review of the D3X.

And also, the D3X is now in-stock at J&R World for the standard price of $8000.

Wedn Jan 14
PhotoWalk Pro does some usage math, Nikon D3X vs Nikon F6, and the dollars-and-sense conclusions may surprise you!

A few more discussions in the dpreview forums after the Thom Hogan D3X review. Here's another one!

And another review-discussion, this time at Engadget with around 40 comments so far.

Tue Jan 13: byThom review
Voila! The first complete review of the D3X by Nikon super-guru Thom Hogan! Check it out!

As if the D3X was not already overpriced, Amateur Photographeur says that Nikon UK will be increasing D3X prices by five-hundred UK pounds. Oh my!

Meanwhile Stephen Rockwell-Colbert has some lens suggestions for the D3X. Basically he lists most of Nikon's FF-friendly line-up :-)

Mon Jan 12: Review Cluster is live!
We have just created the Nikon D3X review list. If we missed any reviews, previews, and hands-on/first-impressions, please let us know and we will add them.

Sun Jan 11: Moose goes wild
Moose Peterson is in Yellowstone and there he has fallen in love with the Nikon D3x. Move over Nikon D40, "D3x is for everyone". Stay tuned to the Moose-blog for more updates from YellowStone.

Sat Jan 10
Sample pictures from the D3x at Dutch site Our Holland office is closed for renovations so we can't tell what their findings are :)

Photographer-blogger-author Joe McNally has written up on his D3X experience. Monster is the theme, and there are two monsters in the review. One is the camera, the other ...the subject!

And a short review by high-tech website Tech Radar.

Four full-frame DSLRs walk into Ken Rockwell's bar... The D3X/D3 duo takes on the 5D MkII/MkI duo in this ISO 3200 shootout at KR's. There we learn how to evaluate image sharpness - because they are sharper! The comparison continues at ISO 6400 and ISO 25600. The most controversial of all, at least for Canonites is the sharpness comparison.

John Ricard (any relation to Jean-Luc Picard?) has a video unboxing of the D3x, starting with the camera-strap and dissing of D40-pride. Ken Rockwell, put him in his place please! And whatever you do when you watch this video, keep your eyes focused on the camera, otherwise you will sin and lose 500 paradise miles! ((You may see a green-screen at this site, press the "Click to Play" and the video will start).

Sat Jan 3
Numbers! Galbraith has added Nikon D3x performance data to his memory card speed database. This is no small feat, over 110 memory cards have been tested!

Digital Freak spotlights a D3X vs D3 discussion via a french website. If only Nikon gave the D3x a "real world" price, then things would be interesting!

Fri Dec 26: The first real price drop
Yes, D3X price-haters! You can feel vindicated! The D3x has already dropped. Away from "traditional retail", you can get it for less, $7480 to be precise, if you do a "Buy It Now" on this Cameta eBay listing.

Meanwhile at "traditional retail" there was a $100 off its price by Cameta Cameras on Amazon offering the body only for $7900 plus S&H. (As of Saturday morning, this has sold or is no longer listed by Cameta). But Amazon has it at full price instead.

Daniel Gin was supposed to review the Nikon D3x. Flash-forward to the current timeline, and he opens the UPS box, and he finds a D3 instead. What happened in-between? We promise, this is not as convoluted as lost. Daniel explains.

Thur Dec 25
As promised, here it is, the first D3X shot by Stuck in Customs. A very Merry Christmas shot indeed!

Wedn Dec 24
A great new video discussion by David Ziser of Digital Pro Talk, "Conversations with David", discussing storage and strategies with the 20+ megapixel digital cameras.

Meanwhile, Nikon itself issues a press release touting the three sample pictures you have may seen and pixel-peeped already - the tattoo lady, the lady on the beach with a horse and ominous clouds, and an expensive car in an out of place location.

A new D3X owner in just a few hours! Stuck in Customs is celebrating their D2X, while waiting for DSLR-Santa to deliver the D3X on Thursday :-)

Tue Dec 23
We have a new in-stock alert, if you have $8000 to spare, you can get the D3x at right now :-)

Sun Dec 21: Pixel-peeping samples
Imaging Resource has posted their usual review-studio-shots as part of their on-going work on a D3x review. These are all set studio shots, so they can be helpful in comparing them with other cameras in similar situations. These are a pixel-peepers best friend!

And from pixel-peeper we move to gear-aholic where Digital Rev has posted a video preview of the D3X, in typical Digital-Rev-style!

A brief on-paper comparison between the D3X and the A900 is included as part of a longer Alpha A900 report at Luminous Landscape. Links and details in our special update.

Sat Dec 20
Bill Lockharts tackles yet another iteration of digital vs film, with the D3X prominently mentioned.

An ISO 1600 pictures from the Nikon Plaza, taken of course with the D3X and available at full-size at flickr.

And here's a 7-minute hands-on unboxing and hands-on video from Digital Rev.

Wedn Dec 17: To be released on Friday?
CrunchGear is quoting a Hungarian reseller who says there will be a world-wide release on Friday December 19. Will anyone actually buy it at $8000 though? :-)

Tue Dec 16: Pre-orders
West coast is accepting pre-orders for the list price of $8000. No estimate on shipping date yet.

Mon Dec 15 spotlights a D3X in studio test from France.

Sat Dec 13
David Kilpatrick answers questions about his D3X vs A900 ISO 1600 test in the photography forums of the website.

Nikon's own website repeats the word "proprietary" about ten thousand times to stress that its their own sensor design.

Digital Freak links to some of the latest D3X sample pictures.

Thur Dec 11
ISO 1600, one violin, two pictures, D3X vs A900 at Look for a review by DK at BJoP later on. For a page-full discussion of the samples be sure to check the PBase text below each one of the pictures at the aforementioned page.

Nikonians, the website, has created a special promotion for members of the website/community who pre-order their camera through Roberts Imaging. Details at the Nikonians blog.

For those unbelievers out there, there is official word from Nikon in print that indeed they are using a Nikon-designed but Sony-manufactured sensor. Details at 11 - or if you can't wait check Galbraith :-)

Tue Dec 9
Master Chong dissects the bunny - the ISO bunny. Pictures taken from the D3x ranging from ISO 50 to ISO 6400 are offered for easy comparison. Just jump from tab to tab and you'll see the differences! One interesting test to do is jump from 50 to 6400 and then back to 50!

Do you/we really need 24-megapixels asks Digital Story.

Mon Dec 8
Leonard Goh, the camera guru at CNet Asia, has posted his first take on the Nikon D3x. This is not a review, but an early opinion. "First take" is a name CNet uses as a regular segment.

Via twitter, we learn from DivePhotoGuide that the D3x fits in underwater housings. Come here little fishies, you are going to become a giant poster!

Nikon Watch spotlights sample images taken by Marcus Bell using the 50mm f1.4 lens(e).

If you missed there, here are the Nikon Imaging samples.

Sun Dec 7: Late Edition
No Wolf Blitzer however. But has pictures of the camera body taken at the "Electric Cram" (computer-translation, not actual name?). From what I can guestimate from the computer-translated text, these were live units and you could take the images home. Also shown a brochure that looks a little bit like the CGI Cylon from the new Battlestar Galactica.

Nikonian Marti J. opines on the megapixel-wars and who might be the photographers who need the D3x.

Dec 7: Six days since the declaration of D3x Accomplished
Nikon Watch spots some D3X bodies masquarading as D2H, and notes that December 19 is a possible date.

Scott Kelby has posted a D3x price Q&A to address the whole D3x-pricing kerfuffle. Equally interesting, there are over 130 comments discussing this.

Duncan Davidson chimes in on the whole pricing situation with a long post. And Foto-biz says hooligans.

Nikon is lucky, because people are complaining about the price, not the tiny pixels, which are slightly smaller than the ones on the A900 sensor. And as we mentioned in one of the initial posts, the sensor is designed by Nikon and made by Sony, and it is a different sensor from the one used in the Alpha A900.

Phooey Pics spotlights a couple of 4-minute video previews of the camera from and WDC. In the first interview the Nikon rep says that the customer base of the D3x may "vary wildly". I say, considering the price and global economy, you can count them on one hand ;-) He says that they might also lure some MF photographers.

Master Chong celebrates version 3 of his website with discussion of Nikon D3X sample images. And Digital Freak finds the Nikon-provided samples stunning.

Canon Rumors has received some speculation on a potential D3 to D3x pathway. Again, please note that this is speculative, not news.

Meanwhile a new secret video was leaked on the YouTubes! Hitler (smaller font intentional) is very angry about the D3X price. Video via TOP.

And we close with something fun: What's the difference between the D3 and the D3x? *pause* lipstick!

Official D3x Announcement
The rumors for this camera had been bubbling and bubbling and leaking for months and months. Finally the leak became a lake and the camera got out officially.

It came on December 1st, which also happened to be Cyber Monday, for a rather steep price of $8000.

Initial reactions to the announcement, with price being a major friction point. And then some samples and more reactions.

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