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D3x vs D3 and EOS 1DsM3

This page compares the D3x’s 24.4 megapixels to the 12.1 megapixels of the Nikon D3, and the 21.1 megapixels of the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.

Multiple trials were shot with each camera, using the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro. The tripod remained fixed, but due to slight differences in angle between the camera+bracket combination, a slight angle adjustment had to be made for each cameras to keep the same coverage.

Matching focus, field curvature, etc

Matching focus is maddeningly difficult. Complicating matters, it appears that there is slight field curvature to the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 used for this comparison at this distance (80 feet or so). The edges are optimal at f/8, the center is optimal at f/5.6.

Even with Live View at maximum magnification, matching focus is a exceedingly difficult; a high confidence level (yes) is the only thing that allows presentation of such comparisons. Even so, there is no guarantee that each camera was at its absolute optimal setting (3 trials shot for each using LiveView and a magnifying viewer). In particular, the Canon 1Ds Mark III image peaks at f/8, showing a slight but visible contrast improvement over f/5.6, whereas the D3 and D3x images peak at f/5.6 and show a slight degradation of contrast at f/8. All cameras show a decline at f/11 in contrast. Comments refer to the center of the image; best results at the edges require f/8 for all.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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D3x   D3x   D3x
Actual pixels: D3x (left), 1DsM3 (middle), D3 (right)

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