I made some A/B comparisons this morning with the 10.1-megapixel Canon EOS 1D Mark III, and feel better than I did yesterday about it (ignoring the JPEGs for now). It looks like yesterday’s statements were related in part to lens selection (with some as yet unexplained results), amount of sharpening used, etc. Additionally, the full-frame sensor is definitely a major influence on across-the-frame image quality (eg the lens really matters), as is focus accuracy and DOF and f-stop used—that much was made very clear in one full-frame comparison. It will be much easier to make faithful comparisons with another full-frame camera like the 5D or 1Ds Mark III.
This is a whole new camera from Nikon, with very different behavior—I should have set my expectations more realistically: it’s going to take considerable time to learn and understand how the D3 behaves on its own and in combination with various lenses. Starting with lenses seems a wise approach.
Family matters take me away for the day, but tonight I expect to post more comments and some samples. Regarding my “gut reaction” yesterday, well, that’s why objective A/B comparisons are always better than shooting just one camera by itself. Too many variables with a new camera, but then again gut reactions are fair game if so-stated. I’ll revert to form with purely objective findings now.