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John Ricard: This is John Ricard. You’re watching On Set with John Ricard. And what we have here today is the Nikon D3X. This came out in December of 2008 its something we’re waiting for a long time from Nikon; a high resolution full frame camera. Canon had this for several years but Nikon just put this out very expensive $8,000.00 a lot of people complaining about the price because it’s basically the same as the D3 just have different chip. So people say why is it $3,000 more for just a chip? I don’t know I thought it was expensive but I bought it anyway.
So let’s see what we have in the box. First, they’ll give you a camera strap. Now, I never like these straps. I’m actually surprise that so many people use them. I see a lot of pro’s use these straps and lot amateurs as well. I think it’s really gaudy and it’s very ugly. And to me it’s like, if you have the top of the line camera like D3 and you wear strap that’s Nikon D3X, it looks like you’re trying to show off like I’ve got the top of the line camera, so I can’t really see wearing it. And then if you’ve got a bottom-end camera something like D40X just a few hundred bucks then it looks really silly to be walking around bragging like, “I’ve got a D40.” So to me, no matter what camera you have, the strap looks really silly but I see a ton of guys using these straps. I think it’s too thick and I think it’s too short also. I’m going to show you the strap that I like later on with the model.
Next, we have our instruction book here and I see there’s a CD here which I can only assume as some type of Nikon Software. Now, I used to use Nikon view at one time and the time I changed to using photo mechanic instead to do things like make web galleries or rename pictures or move pictures around and I think it’s so much better program that Nikon View. This just says software suite. It might capture NX which is another program I don’t like. At one time I was using Nikon Capture but I found the program to be kind of unstable it would crush a lot. And they had one feature I like the called the Multi-image Window but Lightroom has the same thing. It’s a feature where you could process like a thousand pictures very quickly. You can see them all, make image adjustments and do what you need to do with a very quick way and I think Adobe Lightroom is so much better program. So I don’t want to use that.
Then, we have here an instruction book. These are usually pretty good from Nikon, there’s a guy named Tom Hogan who makes a far superior book and it will cost you about $50.00 which is probably the best $50.00 you’ll ever spend. He gives you a manual and a CD. The CD has a lot more than his manual. But if you put the two together there’s a lot of information on it and it goes to much more detail than this. But the Nikon books I think are pretty good.
So we’ve gotten rid of the little top part here and take this off and we see what looks like a USB chord every product you buy comes with one of those so you probably don’t need that. We’ve got a video cable if you want to connect the camera to a TV. Protective cover here and let’s see what’s in here before we get to the actual camera itself. This is a really nice charger, it looks just like the one it came with theD3. We can charge two batteries at the same time; you can also refresh or calibrate the battery. The Nikon Cameras are great because they tell you exactly when you need to refresh the battery. And it also tells you how much life you have left in battery. So when it’s time to replace the battery, the camera is going to tell you that the battery is running out of juice it’s at the ends of its life, you need to change it. So I like this a lot.
And as we get further down here is the actual battery. And again, it’s the same battery that we used on D3. They come up with this little cover. I toss these out I haven’t been able to carry the battery with that. I never had a problem carrying this in my pocket or my camera bag just like this.
And last inside of our case, we’ve got the actual camera Nikon D3X body. So here it is from the front and here is our back. As you’ll notice, it looks a whole lot like a Nikon D3. Basically, identical camera; only difference really is the chip. I was hoping that they would make a few minor changes like I think the live view feature could be improve. I think that would have been nice I think it would have been nice if they could have spread the focus points out a little bit more. Also right now, they’re kind of all clustered in the middle but they didn’t make those changes, all they really did was change the chip.
So I’m going to show you the kind of camera strap that I like and then we’re going to get some pictures. Debbie is going to demonstrate the type of camera strap that I like to use. So Debbie has two cameras on now. On her left, she has a D3 which is using the strap that I like. It’s a donkey swivel strap, one inch. I think they call it a gripper and it’s the one inch version. And on her right side, she has the D3X which is being supported by the D3X strap that comes with the camera.
So the first things we want to know is—let’s move to D3 where the D3X is please. So the strap I like is a little bit longer and I’m not exactly sure why but I find that is very useful to have the camera to hang really low like this. Somehow it’s just easy to get it out of your way if you have a big, heavy lens on or if you’re carrying two cameras; you can get it out of the way better if it’s longer. I find the D3 strap that comes with the camera over here are just a little bit too short.
Now the second thing I like about this donkey strap—let’s switch the D3 back please Debbie, is that you can swivel the camera. So Debbie, show us how we swivel this D3 camera. I’m not sure how I end up swiveling my camera in the course of shooting. But if you were to keep doing to this—let’s do it about three more times. She want to keep turning the camera round like this, it really would not affect her. So let that hang for a second. Now you can see the camera is not really twisted up, there’s a little small twist there but the camera is basically fine. Let’s swivel the D3X now.
Alright, she swivels this camera, you noticed the strap gets really tangled up. Now again, I don’t know—that’s good you can let that hang. I don’t know how I end up twisting the camera in the course of shooting but somehow I find it—it’s very useful to be able to have a camera that if it were to twist around it doesn’t get all tangled up like that. And this little swivel feature here, on the donkey strap allows the camera to rotate without it getting tangled.
Another thing I like about the donkey strap is that you can disconnect the strap. So sometimes I find myself in situation where—let’s say I was shooting, the way she is now just wearing a t-shirt and jeans and I need to put my coat on. We can put the coat on right over the strap and go wherever you’re trying to go quickly and you can leave the camera like this. Now, when you wan to disconnect the camera to get it from inside the coat, you can just disconnect the strap, pull it out here. She’s going to reconnect it and now she can move the camera to her outside. And again, this is a feature that it’s hard to explain why this is useful but I do find it useful to be able to put on the coat and then remove the camera from the inside the coat. Also if your camera ever get tangled up because you’re wearing two cameras or even three, it’s very easy to disconnect them.
Ready to get some shot Debbie? Alright, let’s do it. So now, we’re ready to shoot. We out Debbie over here near the wall. She’s holding a light meter. This is my old Sekonic light meter. I used to use this on every shoot when I was doing film and I kind of got kind of going back to it now in the last year or so. So we’re doing some light checks using the pocket wizard here to trigger the light behind me. And I’m reading an 8 ½ for ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 160. So even though the light meter is getting the 8 ½, I’m going to shoot this at 11 because I did some testing before I ran this clip and it looked better with F11.
She is being lit by Elinchrom Octabank, it’s just one light but it’s a large light so it’s very soft. And for the shot we’re doing right now which is just a simple headshot, it’s going to be more than sufficient.
Debbie: Thank you for watching On the Set with John Ricard. My name is Debbie, you can find me on MySpace, shorty_D. Bye!