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Noise, Color and ISO

This page assesses noise and color rendition through the full ISO range on the Nikon D3x and Nikon D3.

Both the D3x and D3 share a common trait: their “Lo 1.0” setting is not a true ISO, and they both have HI 1 and HI 2 settings as well, neither of which is a true ISO.

D3x: 50 (Lo-1), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (HI-1), 6400 (HI-2)
D3: 100 (Lo-1), 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 6400, 12800 (HI-1), 25600 (HI-2)

Both the D3x and D3 have reduced dynamic range at their non-ISO values. Accordingly, the only true ISO values available for comparison are 200/400/800/1600. But we aren’t beholden to such things, so we’ll just compare them all as we see fit!


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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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