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Old 23-08-2007, 09:44   #1 (permalink)
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Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

With Nikon D3 having the following spec , do people feel Nikon are now a serious option for Pro Sport Photographers ?

"The image quality of the D3 is combined with outstanding frame rate options. At 9 fps, the D3 is the world’s fastest full format D-SLR1, with an even faster 11fps2 consecutive shooting possible in DX crop mode. A second crop mode is also premiered in the D3, with 5:4 (30mm x 24mm) aspect ratio. Shutter release time lag is an imperceptible 41 milliseconds (CIPA standard), while the image sensor’s integrated high-speed 12-channel readout contributes both to burst speed and Live View performance. The D3 also gets to work quickly; startup time is just 0.12 seconds and mirror black out is only 74ms."

Will we start to see more Nikons at those sporting events now, or have Canon had it tied up for too long now ?
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Old 23-08-2007, 10:01   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

Nope
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Old 23-08-2007, 22:11   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

I doubt it will be cut and dried but at least Canon will have a fight on it's hand again. It might have the edge again since that extra 2 MP is a plus and as DP magazine just found out in a test the Nikon G Lenses are still noticably sharper wide open than Canon L. But it is full frame so sports shooters will need longer glass for the same reach or shoot at 5.9MP The snappers are definitely going to love the idea of ISO 25600 but only if the noise at 6400 is as good as the Canon but I expect with full frame it's going to be outstanding.
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Old 24-08-2007, 15:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

I don't know if I'd get too excited about the 25600 ISO with the Nikon just yet. The right photoshop know-how can take an image shot at ISO 400 in the dark and tweak it to look just as good (if not better) than one shot at ISO 800 or ISO 1600 if done right. I'd have to see some sample shots from a Canon at 1600 or 3200 that were adjusted in PS and maybe tossed through Neat Image to compare to an indentical shot taken with Nikon's 25600. I'm not thinking there will be much of a difference.

Either way, 9fps is a great step forward for the folks over at Nikon. Good to see them keeping up the good work.
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Old 24-08-2007, 16:44   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

9fps in DX format which makes the full frame images 5.1MP though That doesn't leave you much room for crops and will force shooters to have long lenses.

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Old 24-08-2007, 18:27   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

No it's 11 fps in DX 9 FPS in full frame.
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Old 24-08-2007, 19:00   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
No it's 11 fps in DX 9 FPS in full frame.
I dunno, I believe that you could be wrong there.

From the press announcement copied here

• Continuous High [CH]: 9 fps (9 - 11 fps with DX format)
• Burst @ JPEG Large/Normal: 64 shots (at 9 fps)
NOTE the DX format Image sizes
• 2784 x 1848 [L; 5.1 MP]
• 2080 x 1384 [M; 2.9 MP]
• 1392 x 920 [S; 1.3 MP]]

And directly from the specs on nikonusa.com..

Release Modes:
1) Single-frame [S] mode
2) Continuous low-speed [CL] mode: 1-9 frames per second*
3) Continuous high-speed [CH] mode: 9 fps (9-11 fps with DX format)*
4) LiveView [LV] mode
5) Self-timer mode
6) Mirror-up [Mup] mode
*With Continuous-servo AF, S or M exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster; other settings are set at Default

Image Size (pixels): FX format (36 x 24): 4,256 x 2,832 (L), 3,184 x 2,120 (M), 2,128 x 1,416 (S)
5:4 (30 x 24): 3,552 x 2,832 (L), 2,656 x 2,120 (M), 1,776 x 1,416 (S)
DX format (24 x 16): 2,784 x 1,848 (L), 2,080 x 1,384 (M), 1,392 x 920 (S)


The first set of data makes it very clear that it is only capable of sustaining 9-11 fps in DX mode for up to 64 shots (jpgs). While the data directly from Nikon shown above is a little more vague, the mention of Continuous low-speed [CL] mode: 1-9 frames per second and Continuous high-speed [CH] mode: 9 fps (9-11 fps with DX format) seems to indicate that for sustained high speed you have to switch it into DX format as well?

I could be wrong but it seems to back up my point although I’ll admit it remains a little vague. Either way there is not much point having up to 9fps for sports etc if the camera then locks you out while it clears the buffer.
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Old 24-08-2007, 21:30   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

From the nikon web site processing engine enable it to shoot at a staggering 9 fps (11 fps in DX Crop mode). 64 frames is a pretty big buffer. The outgoing Nikon and Canon never even got close to that.

And from the press release At 9 fps, the D3 is the world’s fastest full format D-SLR1, with an even faster 11fps consecutive shooting possible in DX crop mode

JPEG Large/Normal: 64 shots (at 9 fps)
So clearly that refers to the FX 9Fps mode not the DX 11Fps mode.

All Pro Nikon models have a CH and CL Mode and you can select how many FPS in the settings.

Last edited by VinnyP; 24-08-2007 at 21:59.
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Old 24-08-2007, 22:16   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
From the nikon web site processing engine enable it to shoot at a staggering 9 fps (11 fps in DX Crop mode). 64 frames is a pretty big buffer. The outgoing Nikon and Canon never even got close to that.
Where does it state it's buffer ability for full frame at 9fps? I am not saying that you are wrong, just that all the information I am reading is making me believe that the buffer figures quoted are all relating to it being in DX mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
And from the press release At 9 fps, the D3 is the world’s fastest full format D-SLR1, with an even faster 11fps2 consecutive shooting possible in DX crop mode
Again I am not disputing that its not a full frame camera capable of shooting at 9fps, but how many continuous shots can it manage at that rate? All the Nikon wording seems to be vague and can be interpreted in different ways. It just seems strange to me that they would quote the burst rate for the 5.1mp setting but not clearly indicate the same for full resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
JPEG Large/Normal: 64 shots (at 9 fps)
So clearly that refers to the FX 9Fps mode not the DX 11Fps mode.
How can that be so when Nikon themselves cleary indicate that large/normal mode is ...
• 2784 x 1848 [L; 5.1 MP]

Or does the [L; 5.1 MP] stand for something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
All Pro Nikon models have a CH and CL Mode and you can select how many FPS in the settings.
As do Canon but its obviously called something different.

Please don't think I am bashing Nikon's new camera here and being a Canon fanboy. All I am trying to do is get to the bottom of the figures being presented by Nikon, as currently they are far from being transparent.

Why they cannot just give two or more sets of figures (one set for each different resolution) so that they include the resolution, the max fps and total number of frames the buffer can handle is baffling, that is unless they are deliberately trying to hide something or want this situation to arise

What ever the figures turn out to be, I am sure that in certain areas it will be very welcomed and will make many existing and new customers happy. As others have already said, it is as unlikely that the Canon users will jump ship for this as would the Nikon users for the top Canon model.
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Old 24-08-2007, 23:09   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

The D3 buffer handles as follows - all figures are for full 12MP mode

9 frames per second at the following settings

14-bit NEF (RAW) - 17 shots (buffer fills in 1.9 seconds)
12-bit NEF (RAW) - 20 shots (buffer fills in 2.2 seconds)
8-bit JPG - 64 shots (buffer fills in 7.1 seconds)

Now, theoretically the buffer capacity for DX crop mode will be about 2.25x the capacity as standard (since the DX format is 1/2.25 the size)

That would mean 11FPS @ 5.1MP for the following (approx) number of shots:

38 shots in NEF at 14-bit (buffer fills in 3.45 seconds)
45 shots in NEF at 12-bit (buffer fills in 4.09 seconds)
144 shots in JPG (buffer fills in 13.09 seconds)

There's no hard data at present for DX mode shooting buffer, but the above figures make the assumption that the physical buffer and Expeed processor performance scales to the amount of data (MP count) that it has to process.

Once the buffer is full, it is dependent on the CF card speed as to what the framerate will be. The best performance will be with UDMA capable cards. The D3 is capable of shifting a massive 181MB/sec (approx), and a UDMA CF card shifts at 45MB/sec internally (maximum) - so the framerate after buffer filling would be up to 2.5 FPS (assuming 12-bit RAW)

Nikon's last sports camera, the 4.1MP D2Hs, handled up to 50 JPG's at 8FPS - (buffer filling in 6.25 seconds!) so from raw stats the D3 is a better bet for sports photographers.

The only downside for sports 'togs is that they lose the extra "reach" of the DX format, but they gain the extra DOF isolation that the FX format gives them. Also, combine the new ISO performance of with the new 400, 500 and 600 VR lenses and - as one proflific Canon sports shooter put it to me - "the war is over... we're gonna see many more black lenses on the field amongst the white"

As I said in another post: the only way Canon can salvage the situation is to fix the clearly defective AF on the 1D Mk III before Nikon starts shipping the D3.

Last edited by VikingPhotography; 24-08-2007 at 23:24. Reason: Added some speculative data
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Old 24-08-2007, 23:58   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
How can that be so when Nikon themselves cleary indicate that large/normal mode is ...
• 2784 x 1848 [L; 5.1 MP]

Or does the [L; 5.1 MP] stand for something else?
.
There is an L for FX and an L for DX FX is normal mode
From the same press release
Image sizes(FX format)
• 4256 x 2832 [L; 12.1 MP]
• 3184 x 2120 [M; 6.8 MP]
• 2128 x 1416 [S; 3.0 MP]
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Old 25-08-2007, 00:17   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

40 - 30.
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Old 25-08-2007, 00:24   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Is Nikon finally able to compete in Sports Photography with D3 vs Canon 1D MkIII

Quote:
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40 - 30.


Well I have now read Robert Galbraiths article and he has actually tried one he says
when set to FX Format and the card is a SanDisk Extreme IV (or, presumably, other fast UDMA-capable cards), is 64 Large Normal JPEG, 17 NEFs (14 bit) and 20 NEFs (12 bit).

He also confirms:
FX Format This mode uses the full 23.9mm x 36mm capture area of the sensor and produces 12.05 million pixel photos. The D3 will shoot continuously at up to 9 fps in this mode.

DX Format This mode uses a 16mm x 24mm capture area and produces 5.14 million pixel photos. The D3 will shoot continuously at up to 9 fps in this mode. In DX Format mode, the camera will also shoot at 10 fps or 11 fps, but with some limitations. At 10 fps, automatic exposure locks and the exposure throughout the burst is based on the meter reading prior to the first frame in the sequence. At 11 fps, exposure also locks before the first frame plus autofocus is disabled.
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