It has been a month since my last posting, I have had a few changes in my life, some photography related and some personal. I’ll skip the personal side and go right to the photography side. One Friday the 21st. Fairborn Camera in Fairborn Ohio called and said that my camera was ready to be picked up. I did have my camera on order with Ritz since October 2nd but I didn’t think that I would be able to get a camera in time for a wedding on December 28th so on December 13th I called 3 local camera stores and put my name on the que list and voilà, I got it just a little over a week later!
I was going to visit my good friend in Erie, PA for the weekend so I stopped by Fairborn camera on the way up. All of the folks there were really nice and the two guys who helped me were both watch entusiatest and I would have loved to talk to them about watches too but come on, I’m holding a D3, I gotta get out of here and start playing. While at the store I put the battery in and there was one bar of battery power, play time would have to wait until I can get it decently charged up. 4 hours later I arrive in Erie, PA and I let the battery charge while we go to dinner.
My initial impressions are that my wallet just took a huge hit, but besides that, it was well worth it. The ergonomics of the camera feel very natural and secure in my hands. With the 24-70mm attached the camera is heavy, it really is, adding on the SB-800, and it’s weighing more like 10 lb weight at the gym than a camera, but hey, you have to pay to play right? To me weight adds to keeping the camera stable while hand holding since Nikon doesn’t like to put VR on wider lenses (hint hint Nikon). Coming from the D200 (which I still have) button placement changes were not too difficult to find and get used to. I played with all of the menu settings and started the custom list of features that I was most interested in. I also changed two of the custom front buttons. The lower button I changed that to no flash and the DOF preview button was changed to viewfinder virtual horizon.
I found single focus to be fast and accurate whether it be cross-type or non. Dynamic with 3D tracking is amazing. I couldn’t believe that focusing and color tracking has come to this, what a great feature to have. Now my brides walking up the isle probably won’t need this but dogs dancing left and right fetching a stock another story all together and could really come in handy. I tried the 3D tracking with birds in flight at 200mm, the 3D tracking really helped me as I was a little unstable pointing so high in the sky and the focus tracking really helped.
The color accuracy and and image quality is top notch. I was throughly impressed by the images I saw and the ability to manipulate both negative and positive side of curves to much higher degrees than I was ever able to with the D200. I am shooting on aRGB, 14 bit Raw compressed lossless.
Verdict: The Nikon D3 is a fantastic camera that will suit my needs quite well.
On to the photos, below are this photos over this past weekend, all have been processed, some more than others. All images were taken with the 24-70mm or the 70-200mm lens (14-24mm will be here tomorrow) If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section. I should note, these imags were shot in RAW and convered in Lightroom 1.3.1. Capture NX was included and I know that it’s the best to use but the workflow is so terrible that I just can’t handle it.