I’m on the Waiting List for the Nikon D3X! (and a small diatribe on megapixels)

This is probably a rather crazy thing to do, but I have done crazier things for worse reasons. Also, a man will do many insane things for what he loves, and this may or may not be limited to things like cameras and games.

What can someone do when faced with new camera equipment?

I plopped down a deposit at my favorite camera store to get on the list… I will try not to lose the receipt in my trunk underneath sports equipment and old jogging shorts that I really should have washed in April.

I’m very excited about the mystical Nikon D3x. I have a D2x right now and it has treated me well. I think the new sensor, the new sweet megapixels, the new screen, and a bunch of other little goodies will be great. I’m going to have to work with some smart programmer friends to hack the thing to make it more suitable for HDR. The firmware won’t let me do what I want to do, which is:

  • Press the button once to take 3 autobracketed exposures
  • Have a 2-second delay after I press the button for the camera to stop the micro-shakes
  • Take the shots at +2,0,-2, rather than the silly +2, +1, 0, -1, -2 that I have to do now
  • Keep the mirror in lock-up mode the whole time… there’s no need for it to flap up and down like some Da Vinci mechanical wonder

A Small Diatribe on Megapixels

I think that having 20+ megapixels will be great too.  And YES, I will use the megapixels.  It bothers me when people wag their finger and say, “You don’t need that many megapixels.”  Yes I do!  I need the details… who wants to zoom in on a flower 100 feet away and see a blur?  Who?  Not me and not my great fans… we need the details.  I’ve got the tripod, and with my firmware hack I can get zero shake.  If there is a little wind, I can crank up the ISO and still get nice clarity thanks to the new sensor.

People also say that you don’t need more than 5 megapixels to get a nice 8×10.  That is very true, but I don’t think that is how most people will consume photography in the future.  I think they will consume it while in a comfy chair or couch, looking at a huge display with incredible resolution.

The other reason we need the megapixels is that we, as humans, are woefully unable to envision to doubling of tech fidelity every two years. It won’t be that long until we have the Fareinheit 451 video walls, and people are going to want walk-up resolution. For every shot, I need it to be the absolute best in quality — otherwise, why bother?

Below is the first shot I took when I got the Nikon D2x while I was in Chicago.  I’ll be putting this great camera that has served me well up on eBay as soon as my new ride rolls into town.

My Kinda Town

  • Wow! My compliments!
    I would like shot a photo like this one!!


  • chris banach

    you don’t even need the +2,0,-2 scheme anymore.

    seriously. try “Dynamic Photo HDR 3.0”, you will really get similar results than with ‘hardware’ HDR. Check out the demo:

    i’ve tried it and it’s really impressive and much faster than ‘old-school’ HDR.

    you can download a demo here:

    about your D2X on ebay, will you sign it? 🙂

  • You poor Nikon guys needing to do a firmware hack to get those features! All the features mentioned are standard on my little Canon 400D.

  • Sounds like a good choice. Being a fan of Canon, I’m waiting on the 5dII. More MP is definitely better – being able to crop down to a more than large enough image is a great thing to have.

  • One note on MP, I have never heard that more MP isn’t a wonderful, useful thing. Rather the argument tends to be that while these are putative MP, they are not real MP. What critics mean by this is that cramming more MP onto a sensor (which stays the same size) in many cases decreases the quality of each pixel enough that even if you do view a 20 MP pic at 100% (or crop it), it’s the same (or nearly the same) quality as viewing a 10 MP pic at 200%. Now I don’t have the technical knowledge to know the accuracy of that argument, but I do know it is often made.

  • I’m surprised the D3X won’t do that. The D90 can take 3 shots at -2.0, 0, +2.0 using bracketing + continuous mode. If you have bracketing enabled, instead of shooting as long as you hold down the shutter release, continuous mode will take only the 3 bracketed shots.

  • hehe thanks yall for the good comments.

    Yes – the D2x won’t even do it – I have to shoot 5 shots at +2, +1, 0, -1, -2… and you Canon people make me jealous sometimes! 🙂

  • Ive been looking at the new nikons and they do look great and since ive been a nikon man all my life i find it hard to change. They feel good in my hands 🙂

    Since more of my customers are beginning to “demand” larger size, i have been looking into medium format cameras and their high resolution.
    Have not made the switch yet….but my finger has been on the buying button many times

    Wish you luck with you D3x (when it becomes more than a rumour)

  • James

    Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp.com/listofwordpressblogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

  • My old D70 is set for bracketing at +2, 0, -2, although the manual and other D70 owners tell me it can’t be done. Did I accidentally hack the firmware? 🙂

    My new D700 has all the limitations you describe, and it’s frustrating to not even be able to do what my D70 can do on the bracketing intervals. Come on, Nikon!

  • I hear you on the wider bracketing, it’s a serious waste of time during a sunset to have to just through 5 exposures when you only need 3! Especially when all they have to do is change a calibration value in their firmware… I dropped them a suggestion, hopefully there are enough other similar voices….

    I’m not sure why someone hasn’t just created an HDR mode. Just have the camera bracket in aperture priority or manual, they could even do the merge to HDR in camera or through the download to computer… simple innovation that would appeal to many…

  • Gee, Trey, I started reading about you buying the new Nikon and immediately wondered, “Can I have your old one?”

    Then I read to the end and saw you were putting it on eBay. Oh, well.

    I suggest you re-think that, though. You may find need or occasion to still make use of that camera and if you sell it, you may regret it.

  • Hehe – well I will entertain offers from friends like you before I put on eBay — no worries there will be a big announcement! 🙂 I’ll probably also include my tutorials and textures along with the camera.

  • Trei, I’m really surprised the company won’t give you a camera for free, just for having their camera associated with your terrific work!

  • Totally agree with the MP issue…I like my photos BIG, and the only way to get real quality prints when printed BIG is native resolution…ya, genuine fractals works ok, but there is nothing like starting with a nice solid file. I am also waiting with baited breath for the new D3x…I sold my D2X this past December and bought the D300 which is my “fill-in” camera until the new D3x comes around…not a bad “fill-in” camera either…I think it is better than my old D2x

    Don’t be jealous of the Canon guys…they are jealous of our low noise machines which they can’t match….I will take low noise at ISO 6400 over braketing capabilities any day.



  • How awesome for you! So, can I have whatever it is you’re shooting with now?, I’m not too proud to beg, lol! Really, congrats, can’t wait to see what you shoot with it.

  • Hey Trey- My jealousy over you being on the wait list for the D3x is mounting 🙂 How do I do that!????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW- love the image from the top of the Hancock in Chi town. I’m doing the Hustle up the Hancock in Feb. I think I have to get that for inspiration alone in training!

  • Yaroslav Bulatov

    Do you have any lenses that are not outresolved by your current sensor already? 😉

    I’m looking at resolution tests at DPReview, and it seems that even the best lenses reach the resolution limit of D3’s 12.3 MP sensor only in the sweet spot and only for a narrow range of appertures


  • hehe thanks… well Ann I think anyone can get on the list just by going to your favorite camera store and paying to get on a list! 🙂

    And Yes Yaroslav – I am very interested in the lenses too and I’m following DPReview also.

  • Really looking forward to the reviews – having looked at the price of this camera I think I need to start saving now !

  • I’ve been using Canon for some time now all 35mm SLR from 1v-hs to ae1-program and the eos 630,300v,30v eye control.And all ways same debate MP 12.4,14.4,10.1,21,24.6,24.4 and so on, on top you got firmware problems! which will be a real piss up! if you just spend big money! on that camera and you get that it is software code little lines of code!! that it can screw your pic big time and it get corrupt code corrupts for some reason I know that one from been involve with enough computers to last me the rest of my life! and speaking to programmers .

    Before the DLSR was the SLR and the only problem would be mechanical or electronic AF just chance the circuit and of you go on or you all manual and just the light meter on the camera was the only electronic piece. And some of them didn’t have electronic light meter as I know .

    In Digital you got to put a lot of information into something the sides of I think 3 cm flat square .From working with sound and radio I’ve learn that sound like visuals has a lot of information and detail to be translated into Bits of information or Mega pixels and some bits fail so the system put it where is missing just like in sound .What you will find that between analog visuals or sound the difference is sound cracks&pops visuals scratches on the film on Digital no scratches clean visuals on sound no cracks and pops.
    And we still debating full frame right up to the top level of cameras if you put it under the microscope .

    Analog film captures light ant put in film , and by a chemical process we get to see the Photo and you have the grain instead of noise I believe , noise been for Digital unless I got it wrong .

    But don’t misunderstand me I am going to go DSLR but I will not be happy having a Camera that will have problems in the software and firmware .

    Some of the greatest Photos in the past were done on analog and the most early one which I can’t recall the name of this guy who was one of the pioneer ( I believe he was French ) and no colour!! and this people did not have the gear we got today!!!.

    Now to give you and example got to el chepo sound shop were the sale those 3 in ones that have lots of light like a Xmas tree and then go to a Hi-Fi shop like were the power amps cost no less than $5000.0 and the speakers about the same and listen to something like jazz or classical or a good sound CD maybe Steely Dan is good test CD or even a Vinyl album direct recording on to the Vinyl .And the look at a Photo analog format Medium format or 35mm on monochrome film Fuji Provia ,Velvia , test this on the same subject.
    What I don’t like is that you haven’t got real Full Frame in Digital and that apparently now is been fix .
    And like I said before one had full frame from the top Camera right down to the most consumer 35mm right through. And for is getting hard to get the film I want and I can see the advantage of DSLR you don’t have to carry different type of ISO say from 100,400,800,1600, depending when where time you were going to use it .Go to my web page yudhisthira999 and other links there for other pages of mine all fill only a couple have been done on a Nokia N95 5 MP. The rest film.
    I hope I haven’t offend any body just pointing something that concerns and find the Camera manufactures not doing the right thing now days they just racing!!!.
    Best Regards Julius

  • Truely stunning and vibrant work

    Great blog site


  • Does the D2X not have mirror lock up either? I would have assumed that the D3 already included that feature. Sounds ridiculous to not include it at all.

    I am just ready to get a D300 since HDR is such a pain with the auto-bracketless D40. It is very difficult adjusting the EV by hand between each shot and not moving the camera at all in the process.

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!