Is the crop function on the D3S same as a DX

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by trjwv, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. trjwv macrumors regular

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    #1
    When using the crop function on the D3S, are you getting the same magnification you would get if using a DX camera? Example: using a 70-200 2.8 VRII on D3S, the range is 70-200mm, but on a D300s, the range is 105-300mm. Will this be the same range,105-300mm, is using the D3S on crop function 1.5? If so I see no reason to have both a DX body for the reach and FX body other than for the size/weight advantage. Any comments...
    Thanks
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #2
    A DX crop on an FX camera will produce the same angle of view as a DX camera. However, the resulting image is only 5mpx rather than the sensor's native 12mpx (2784x1848px is the DX cropped image size).
     
  3. trjwv thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    However, the resulting image is only 5mpx...

    I see that now, thanks Cliff3...

    What is the crop MP on the D3X?
    Thanks
     
  4. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #4
    The Internet can be an amazing resource...for example, if you pop over to DP Review and look for the D3X review, you would find this page that answers your question directly. Or, if you go to the Nikon site, you can download any of their camera manuals in PDF format. For free!

    Answer: 10mpx, but you really do have the power to look this stuff up yourself.
     
  5. trjwv thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks Cliff, I did go to dpreview.com and looked but couldn't readily find quickly. I had seen the 5mp crop factor on the D3S after you mentioned it but didn't remember the exact page to look on.
    thanks for your help...
     
  6. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #6
    Don't confuse magnification with crop. Sensor size has little to do with resolving power, and what you really need to look at is the pixel density of the various sensors.

    The D3x, with 24MP and a 10MP DX crop, will have the same resolving power as the 10MP D80, and one essentially equivalent to that of a 12MP DX body. There is functionally no "extra reach" in using a D90 say vs. a D3x, because of the similar pixel densities.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #7
    People get very lost in the numbers - but first of all, sensor area is a square, so the numeric differences aren't as big as they seem. Secondly, you can do a *lot* with a 5-6MP image off of a modern sensor- they're certainly good enough for 11x14 prints- in fact I've done 13x19 prints off of about a 40% crop of a 12MP image and been perfectly satisfied up to about 3" from the print where it starts to fall down.

    One of the main reasons I went with the D3x over the D700/D300s combo is that the 10.5MP DX crop from the D3x is at least as good as a straight 12.3MP image from the D300s- but since I'm not limited to just the DX crop, I'll more often get better images. Yes, the combination of two cameras would have been cheaper initially, but by the time I added in grips, batteries, build, etc. The D3x won for me (and I'm not suggesting it's the right answer for others.) If you're waiting for FX, wait for enough resolution that the DX lenses are still useful and don't worry about it (Canon and Nikon both offer FX bodies with enough resolution to shoot DX on them with abandon, and I'd posit that many who hold their noses up at 5MP crops haven't ever done one and printed the results.)

    When I compare out-of-camera DX crops from the D3x against my D2x, they both have things I like about them- once I normalize the images, I'm quite sure the D3x images will win every time (I'm working on a comprehensive test, but life intrudes- I intend to produce 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12MP crops at a minimum with the sensors profiled and then print the results at 8x10, 11x14 and 13x19) over a range of images that require resolution, tonal range and other important features.

    Paul
     
  8. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #8
    It's a nice feature and all to have DX crop, but I still think that using a DX lens on an FX body shouldn't be anything other than a temporary stopgap. You don't gain *that* much size advantage with smaller DX lenses vs. FX, and the difference is largely negated by the size of the FX body itself. As you get to longer focal lengths, there is not much size difference between a good FX and DX lens anyways. I wouldn't seriously consider buying an FX camera with the intention to use the DX mode with any regularity.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #9
    Ultra-wide DX lenses are quite economical compared to ultra-wide FX lenses- since people are happily running around using them on DX bodies, there's no reason not to do so on a FX body if you get the same or better IQ. If a DX lens meets my IQ standards and gives me the output I need, why would I spend $800 more for an FX lens?

    Paul
     
  10. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #10
    The 10-24 DX is about $800? The 16-35 FX is like $1100? Comparing the 10-24 say to the $1700 14-24 2.8 is kind of apples and oranges because one is a prosumer lens whereas the other is a full-on pro built lens. Even the 16-35 has superior construction to the 10-24, and includes VR- thus helping to justify the increased cost.

    Being economical is a little bit of an oxymoron when one uses a D3x. Not a jab at you personally but you have to appreicate the irony :)
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #11
    Nikon considers the 12-24mm DX to be a professional lens. You may or may not be able to "justify" the cost, but in business it's about ROI- so if the DX lens meets my criteria, then I'll look at it in terms of ROI and spend that additional money somewhere where it's better served if I have other needs. The labels "professional" don't matter for me as much as results. If I'm shooting at f/5.6-f/8 wide, then the additional expense of an f/2.8 lens is superfluous. If I need f/2.8, then the f/4 lens isn't even going to get a look.

    You may very well believe that it's ironic, but it's not for me- the D3x meets my needs in ways that an FX/DX combo wouldn't- the ROI numbers weren't nearly as attractive as a D3/D300s or D700/D300s combination, but ultimately it came down to needing to meet a strategic business goal- my calculations made the extra ~$300/year for the D3x worth-while. My alternatives were a 1DsIII, which would have cost me more overall to replace my lenses or a Hasselblad, and that would have stretched my ROI out an extra year or two. It helps a lot that the D3x is also generally a more convenient solution than the two body one is- though it often means my backup camera is a few miles away.

    Paul



    Paul
     

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