The Nikon D3 rugged and toughness test.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alpinism, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2005
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Those videos are lame. Only the water video was good, and even that video was flawed. He didn't show us the screen so that we could see it was still taking photos. He just let us hear the mirror clap.

    Scratch test.....pointless. The resolution on his video isn't high enough to let us see whether there are scratches or not.

    His drop test was also pointless. He drops the camera, and the video fades out. How can we see that the camera was still working? We can't. He didn't test it.

    Microwaving the camera didn't do anything, but it doesn't mean anything. A microwave doesn't heat food via heat. It uses microwaves to excite the water molecules in the food. That's why putting a bowl of soup in the microwave will make the bowl incredibly hot, while microwaving a piece of cardboard sitting on a plate won't heat the plate nearly as much.

    This camera durability test was the equivalent of a Mythbusters episode (ie: really really bad).
  3. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    More informative perhaps was Thom Hogan dropping a D300 in saltwater. He notes it in his review - he noted water intrusion though the bottom of the body, but then again the thing isn't water proof.
  4. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    The whole Darth Vader business is kind of amusing and really seems to have caught the ire of many DPR posters. He's apparently been banned from that site recently, for the second time IIRC. Not sure why...he seems harmless enough, just kind of a weird guy.

    I'm not sure what his point is in his goofy D3 "torture tests". His posts and videos seem more oriented toward getting attention than proving anything about the durability of the camera.

    I'm sure the D3 is a solid, well built camera, but it would be naturally unwise to assume that it will somehow stand up reliably to that kind of abuse. As was mentioned, we don't really have any good idea if the thing actually works after any or all of that stuff.

    As to dunking in salt water...let's not confuse "weather-sealed" with "waterproof".
  5. N10248 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2004
    Essex, U.K.
    The real question is was it a fully working one before he played with it, it may have had some serious faults, like a ruined sensor, and the mirror working was enough to prove it worked.

    Surely the microwave would have done something bad to the battery and heated up any left over water that was in there from the earlier tests, the lcd would be the first thing to go as well as most lcds have liquid properties in them.

    Either that or he has a some good insurance on it.
  6. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Yes, they spoke volumes to being utterly worthless.

    Of course, I merely have two decades worth of professional experience in the "Test & Evaluation" business for the military, where there's a long tradition of vendors with "Snake Oil" products that try to get someone to buy their junk. In other words, I know how easy it is to pervert a test until nearly anything can be made to pass.

    What I saw just from the most casual of observations:

    1) Seals designed to be rainproof will of course be sufficient for a ~2 minute exposure to apple sauce, since a more viscous fluid is always less prone to pass through any gap (even one lacking any o-ring seal). Let's see him try a "Acetone-proof" seal test :D

    And even if it did penetrate, it might not have gotten all that far within the selected time period (delay): come back in a couple of days, please.

    Finally, the fact that the shutter is able to trigger doesn't prove that the camera is doing anything (like...still taking a proper exposure, or an in-focus picture). Thus, without any before/after photos and before/after displays of the viewfinders, LCD screen, etc ... his test has proved utterly nothing more than that it didn't have an immediate and catastrophic electrical short circuit. Overall, you're in acomplete "Trust Me" mode of the claims.

    2) Dropping. Why Gosh! The camera angle used obscured the actual drop could have been 6 inches. And Golly, no "clickity-clickity-click" this time to prove the shutter could still trigger...I wonder why? And again, without any before/after photos or images of displays, you're in a "Trust Me" mode regarding the claims. Anyone want to take any bets on how far out of alligment the optics are now?

    FYI, back in ~1986, I worked on a project where we had to conduct a MIL-STD-810 drop test on a "product that included an optic". The -810 requirement called for around 8 samples to be dropped (different orientations) a total distance of 5ft onto a hard surface (Steel backed by Concrete). Long story short, the optic didn't survive any of the drops, so we ended up spending roughly $10,000 for a protective case for transportation.

    To really demonstrate ruggedness/shock resistance, instead of some lame contrived 'demo', you need to have test data performed by an independent lab in accordance with ASTM D3332, ASTM D5487, ASTM E1169 or many other similar existing industry standards.

    3) For the scratch test, he never showed that the roof of his matchbox car was unscratched before he started. He then very obviously worked the matchbox a lot harder (longer and with more force) than either of the two short and gentle "unscratched" samples that followed. This one's a classic "arm punching" contest.

    4) I've not heard of his Microwave Oven test (I can't watch YouTube here at work), but since the camera doesn't have water, the first question would be if it even has any material that would attenuate to actually become heated, or if the RF would simply bounce off (or pass transparently through). In any event, its not that hard to rig the microwave oven in one fashion or another so that it only *seems* that its tube still works (and has an even field), and given how cheap microwave ovens have become, its not that expensive of an item to wreck in order to rig it for a "demo".

    Most people don't realize how incredibly easy it is to fabricate an impressively looking - but technically meaningless - test.

  7. Alpinism thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2005
    Here's his resume and studio's work

    Reminds me of the people that would buy xbox 360/ps3/new ipod and then would immediately smash it in front of everbody.

    Also, notice the blatant National Geographic logo rip off.
  8. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    But still entertaining!

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