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Thread: NEED HELP _ DX or FX SENSOR ??

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    NEED HELP _ DX or FX SENSOR ??

    Seeking help with another technical question.

    Currently have a DX sensor camera (10.2meg). Works well with long lenses to give that extra 50% reach. Thinking of buying an FX (12.3meg) camera at some time but this will not be as good for long lens reach – OR WILL IT?

    DXs appear to have had this advantage but if it is easily and equally overcome by cropping the FX image and getting the same quality results (or better), then, that presumed advantage is just a myth and not an advantage at all.

    Question – is there any difference in IQ between using the DX (with a 50% increase in lens reach) AND say, using a FX with the same lens but then cropping the image to give the same magnification of the DX image ???

    Help with this question will assist the decision.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The cropping process also reduces the pixels. On my D3 at 12MP FF, if I put a Dx lens on it, it drops the pixels captured to around 5-6MP. If you can live with that, go for it. IQ difference would be related to the actual pixel site size (and lens used). When you consider a D200 is 10MP and a D3 is 12mp (but a much larger sensor), each pixel site on the D3 sensor is bigger than that of a D200, meaning it can effectively capture more light. One of the reasons the D3 is reasonably good at high ISO.

    Just be aware the D3 sensor is a dust magnet. I have to clean mine a lot more than I clean the D200
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    Tough call. If it is only for the reach factor, and to try answer you question directly. I would say the DX for pixel density with a given lens if you want to go real large prints.

    But 12MP gives you a lot of room to move/crop if the largest you print in 12x8 or something like that.

    As you are taking Nikon here, then there is a bit more to throw into the mix, mainly ISO performance. And that's a whole different thread

    Each format has their distinct advantages. I found the easy solution to the dilemma.........get both But if for some reason i could only choose one then even though I love the birding. The FX would win out for the options that the ISO performance presents and the improvement in the general day to day shooting. I have found a new love for my nifty fifty on the FX format

    Hope that helps
    Neil
    My Story: www.neilcowling.com.au
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    another consideration is that you can get some great software such as genuine fractals which does an awesome job of upsizing images.,, if you do want to print larger.
    I really like the D300, but unless I am shooting sport or birds (not much ), I don't hesitate to grab the D700 95% of the time....I love it. ...and it has sensor cleaning.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    , I don't hesitate to grab the D700 95% of the time....I love it. ...and it has sensor cleaning.
    yeah, rub that in Lani..hehe

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    I don't know that the so called DX 'reach' factor is going to make a significant difference in your case. Sure the pixel density is less on the FX sensors but the pixel quality is significanly better IMO. I recently did some comparison shots with a friends D700 and I was pretty shocked at how much better the D700 files looked even at ISO200! So you may have less pixels with FX but the files will also handle cropping better than the DX files. You still may have a small advantage with the D300 or D90 over the D3/D700 (you wouldn't see it in web images or small prints though) but may be not so with the older bodies (D200/D80).

    Cheers
    Leigh
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    Ahhh... Clearly, you need a d3x. 24MP (3,968 x 2,640) FX and 10MP (3,968 x 2,640) DX. The best of both worlds. (A pity about the kidney you need to sell to buy it!)

    (Slightly OT - it seems to me that Nikon's next move should be a d700x with the d3x sensor. It is a logical fit.)
    Regards, Rob

    D600, AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX, AF-S 50mm f1.8G, AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR, AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G VR, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I think Leigh, 2 posts above has nailed it.
    The image quality from a D700 or D3 compared to the D200 will override the cropping on all but the largest prints in all practicality.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    sincere thanks for the advice to all. It is a little clearer now than before.

    Farmer Rob, in a perfect world the D3x is exactly what would fit the bill and I have thought about it. However, not in my wildest dreams would I actually do it. There are some photographic businesses that can not justify a D3x let alone a casual amateur like me. If the equivalent of the D3x is brought out in a much much cheaper body without the other bells and whistles, it may be worth a thought but not until then.

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    One aspect of the D3/700 sensors that I've read about(but haven't experienced personally) is that they respond better to sharpening than do the equivalent Dx sensors.
    The way I'm reading that is that while you gain detail due to the Dx cameras higher pixel density for a given area, the detail that you do capture with the lower resolution Fx sensor is better anyhow.
    It's not just the quality of the light captured per pixel that is better, it seems as though there is a directly proportional increase in the detail quality also. I suppose you can therefore correlate that info, and when combined with Lani's reference to Genuine Fractals pixel interpolation software to up res an image, you probably don;t end up losing anything compared to a D200(although the extra res of the D300 may be different story??).

    If you're not planning on selling the D200, then you really don't have anything to lose so a D700 or D3 is a great update path(for an overall increase in picture quality on many fronts).

    of Nikons current higher end cameras(D300s, D700, D3, or D3x) I think it's a close run thing between a D3 and D700, and while a D3x would be fine and dandy to own, I think there's a lot more merit to the D3's sensor than just absolute resolution(current)noise levels at those speeds.
    Neat Image(current software) or any future NR software with even greater ability(a very likely scenario!) may be a factor to consider also.

    ie.. when light levels completely drop to almost darkness, you still have the option to keep shooting at higher and higher ISO levels, where the D200/300/3x will shut you out earlier!

    A similar question to one I've been contemplating as well.

    D700 now, or D700x in the future(with the assumption that it will inherit the D3x's sensor at some point).
    For me more Mp doesn't enter into the equation(50Mb RAW files is not something I'd want to deal with)
    If I was doing fine art photography, then for sure the more, Mp the merrier, but for 99.9% of my needs which don't include 10' prints .. the nicer quality of each pixel is all I want.. better dynamic range(even for wildlife!) is more important to me.

    Keep the D200 for 'more reach' and get the D700 for everything else

    For your digestion(and considering Mongos' voracious appetite , wouldn't surprise me if IR were to be completely digested in quick time! )

    IR being .... imaging-resource.

    what you do is to compare two cameras directly and then it gives you two columns of information to view. Each image is then downloadable to your PC for grater analysis via whatever software you choose. you can sharpen, brighten, enlarge, NR them.. whatever you choose to do, IR gives you the ability to download the images and have a play.
    the images seem to have a consistent quality about them which allows direct comparisons to be made.
    (note tho!! the images may have been captured with various lenses, but all seem to be at f/8. There is some difference in quality, but at f/8 I don't think it's going to be a massive issue to concern over)

    ISO25600 on the D3/700 is astonishing! .... add a little Neat Image and the possibilities are seemingly unlimited
    ISO6400 on the D3x is also exceptionally well handled too.

    My only decision is going to be based on whether the better viewfinder(a high priority for me) of the D3 compared to the D700, is worth lumbering around a heavier, bulkier body that costs more as well!?
    The $2k difference is quite a lot, and I really don't want the bulkier body, even though I would make use of the vertical grip. Lucky for me, I'm now looking at another year long delay before I can afford either.
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    I'll be straight at to the point. My D3 with a 50% crop produces a cleaner image than my D300 at 100%

    It's DR and ISO capability produces a quality of file in excess of any DX sensor IMHO

    I would prefer to shoot my D3 in DX mode than my D300 anyday. A 6mp file is good enough for 99% of any intended use.
    Darren
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    Member rob149bm's Avatar
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    i went through the same for me it came to the lens as i had mainley DX iwent for the D300 if i was to go to D3 i was up for all new lens and that would have blown my budget big time and very happy with my D300
    rob149bm

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    thanks again for the advice -especially to Arthur for such detail. Based onall of that and what kiwi said, Mongo will likely invest in a FX format when the time is right and either crop (to achieve DX format magnification) or set the camera to DX mode when using a long lens. According to the consensus, this should still give me better quality than I am getting now.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    You also get the advantage of a 5:4 mode as well, which sits about 1/2 way between a FX and DX result.

    No need to crop to get DX format, just chuck a Dx lens on and the D3/D3x detects it and automatically sets your camera to the correct crop settings..easy!

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    If only Canon had this feature and to be able to accept EF-S lenses on their full frame body too without modifications...........SIGH!

    this is what I envy about Nikon, this and the CLS flash system

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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo View Post
    Farmer Rob, in a perfect world the D3x is exactly what would fit the bill and I have thought about it.
    Jump ship to Canon, 5DMkII has the solution of a D3x at the price of a D700 ;-)
    Dave

    http://www.degrootphotography.com.au/
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    .. or just use any lens you want, and set an action of a crop, or many variations of a crop.
    (I say action because I assume you use PS... we have batch edits in Nikon land )

    So what I would do is to work with any image created with any lens, and create one crop. Save that crop as a batch edit(easy in CNX) and then whenever I'd want to crop to DX instantly on an image.. I'd go to the list of batch edits in the menu and select the appropriately named saved batch eidt(or action if you're still adamant on using PS )
    I say don't use DX mode unless you definitely know that the lens only produces an image in that form factor. Many DX lenses are known to produce an image circle larger than APS-C size. If it gains even only 1°of fov, it may be worth it.

    I'm curious too to know from the folks that own a Fx Nikon. if you set the camera to Dx mode, does it indeed only capture the FOV of the APS-C format, or is it just not shown?

    that is: if you shoot in B&W mode, the camera doesn't capture in monotone image, it only displays one .... so you can revert back to a colour image(if you use the right software!! .. are you all still persisting with Adobe??.. even after all I've been telling 'yas! ).
    Does it work the same with crop mode?

    I think I really need a D3x now!

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