Author Topic: Considerations on a D3  (Read 1098 times)

Marco Lanciani

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Considerations on a D3
« on: July 10, 2020, 10:57:37 »
I'm considering this camera, mainly for portraits, in studio and on location, and some event photography.

Even though the D3s might have a better Iso performance, I still prefer the D3 because it doesn't have video... so my sensation is of a less stressed sensor... what do you think about this?
Apart from this, two more concerns:
1- 12MP... are still enough?
2- Is it still reliable?... I mean, very old technology

There are some, apparently, good offers on eBay I'm observing...

Why this change... I'm missing many shots with my D7000, more than half are out of focus and blurred under 1/100", sometime even at 1/125", mostly in portrait orientation and I'm not happy with the results of the 50mm @1.8...
I already sent both the camera and the lens at the local authorised Nikon Service for check and AF calibration...

So I borrowed a friend's D700: no AF problems or blurred shots, even at 1/60", and my AFS 50mm 1.8 performs at its best starting wide open.

I'm not considering the D3x, just because of the price. €500 is my budget...
Please, let me know your considerations, and what to ask/look at, when buying used cameras on eBay. Hopefully your experience might save me some headaches...
Any other thoughts are welcome.

Fons Baerken

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 11:34:22 »
Look for one with the buffer upgrade :)

Luc

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 14:11:00 »
I've shot events and portraits with the D700 (same generation and tech/sensor as the D3). Very nice camera, autofocus is up to the task. I've printed up to A1 from 12mp.

Example D700 + 180mm f2.8

700_6810 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr


Marco Lanciani

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 14:56:00 »
Interesting, Fons

Thank you, Luc

Jan Anne

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 16:03:42 »
I’ve owned both the D700 and the D3s, both are really fine cameras, even today.

Don’t care much about pixels nowadays but but higher pixel sensors generally do provide a few more stops of dynamic range, switching to a D800E many moons ago made multi exposure HDR photos a thing of the past because there was plenty detail which could be pulled from the shades and highlights from a single RAW file.

Main differences between the D3 and the D700 was that the former came standard with the high voltage batteries to go full throttle. Talking about batteries, there were some regulation changes in Japan which forced Nikon to use smaller batteries in the D4 and am not sure for how long the D3 batteries will be available.

I might btw still have an RRS L-Plate lying around somewhere in case you are interested :)
Cheers,
Jan Anne

pluton

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 21:31:05 »
I had 2 D3's for 4,5 years.  I still miss them.  The D3 was the only highly-computerized device I've ever owned that never froze, failed, or did anything annoying. A real battle-wagon.
IMO: 12MP is fine if you are shooting for web or not printing above A3, but shows softness on big prints.  You cannot pretend it to be medium/large format the same way you can with a 36MP or 50MP camera.
Also IMO: The presence of video should not be a concern, since if you don't shoot video it can't "stress" the sensor.
One caution:  Nikon can declare the D3's unrepairable at any time now, as soon as they decide that there are no parts available.
I sold mine in 2013 with less than 50,000 cycles on the shutters. They'd still be working today.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

MILLIREHM

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 22:46:26 »
My 2 cents: The D3s had improved High ISO performance compared to the D3 and sensor cleaning. There is no need to use the video feature at all
I shot and occasionally am still shooting the D700 (still very usable). With the MB-D10 and BL3? Adapter you can use the EN-EL4a batteries (they might run into availability problems as well as the EN-EL3e the D700 is using). The D700 would probably be the cheapest option.

Tested the D7000 together with my D700/D300 combo i was using then, had good impressions while shooting but it failed when it came to the results, blurred shots etc., so similar experiences.
Wolfgang Rehm

Marco Lanciani

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 00:22:45 »
Thank you, Jan and Keith, a couple of interesting points on which to think.
And, I don't need video, yes... I'm thinking to who used the camera before me... in this sense a "stressed" sensor... but maybe not many people were using a D3s to shoot video.

Thank you, Wolfgang, for your tips. As for the batteries, I have three EN-EL3e from the D7000 and at least 2 are perfectly working looking at the in-camera battery meter.

pluton

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 20:17:53 »
My 2 cents: The D3s had improved High ISO performance compared to the D3 and sensor cleaning.
Yes...the sensor cleaning is not a small consideration.  The D3 sensor had none, and was the dust generator par excellence. My first D3 needed a wet cleaning of the sensor after about an hour of use. If you only shoot at f/4, of course, there is no problem with dust.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Pistnbroke

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 21:22:24 »
dont even think about this old junk ..12 MP  not enough to crop for events. Go get a D810  as a minimum for events or even a D800E  though its noisy.
Always listen to old people or when they die you live on in ignorance

MILLIREHM

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 23:08:33 »
And, I don't need video, yes... I'm thinking to who used the camera before me... in this sense a "stressed" sensor... but maybe not many people were using a D3s to shoot video.
understand your point Marco, did not get that at first
Wolfgang Rehm

Ian Watson

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 16:14:26 »
Yes...the sensor cleaning is not a small consideration.  The D3 sensor had none, and was the dust generator par excellence.

Mine has the eerie ability to add dust spots to photographs that I took years ago. That's my excuse for finding ever more of them when I revisit the photographs.

Erik Lund

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 10:25:01 »
The D3 is a relative cheap way to a FX Pro body DSLR, the ergonomics and handling is better than  having to deal with a battery grip, the big capacity batteries are an added bonus.AF speed and most other speed and performance issues are also very tightly connected to what lens you can afford.The 24-70 AFS f/2.8 and you have a very versatile fast set with great performance!

Highly recommended!
Erik Lund

Ann

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 19:45:25 »
I have a D3 which only saw a couple of years of use so doesn't have too many shutter actuations and is in very clean condition.
 
It has been "mothballed" in its original box since I got my D3S cameras because I had been meaning to sell the D3 but I have never got around to doing so.

If anyone wants it, just let me know.

CS

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Re: Considerations on a D3
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2020, 21:09:33 »
I have a D3 which only saw a couple of years of use so doesn't have too many shutter actuations and is in very clean condition.
 
It has been "mothballed" in its original box since I got my D3S cameras because I had been meaning to sell the D3 but I have never got around to doing so.

If anyone wants it, just let me know.

IIRC, you got the D3s bodies, which quite impressed you,  just prior to your Safari with many in this gang.  :)
Carl