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Why do you need a D2X?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jonathan F/2, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. I just wanted to ask this question. Why do you need a D2X? Is it for professional needs? Do you need the cropping ability? Are you a sports, wedding or event photographer? Are you retired and have a fat pension and plan to leave your fancy equipment with your grandchildren? Or do you have a really well paying job that helps finance your overly expensive hobbies such as cameras, cars, boats and other machismo things?

    I just want to know, because $5000 USD is a lot of money. My car doesn't even cost $5000! :p  I would rather spend that on a down payment for a house, a 30" Apple display, 17" powerbook, my rent, a trip to visit the Great Wall of China, etc. I'll probably pick one up, but not until the camera drops by a significant amount.

    Even with my photo work, I don't really need 12mp. Anyways, I'm just wondering how you justified the cost. I'm not trying to criticize anybody's purchase, I'm just interested. Thanks!
  2. billT

    billT Guest

    The other side of the coin is, if you have both the D2X and the D2H, does one really need to keep the D2H, assuming that a backup body is not an issue here.

  3. tweber


    Feb 12, 2005
    St. Louis
    I don't need it

    But it's sure going to come in handy.

    I also spent less on my car than on the camera. It's all about priorities. I sold my D2H, because the D2X will cover all my bases (for my part time event and portrait work).

    I do like being able to crop without worrying. It helps me crtique my own work and learn to improve my framing.

  4. For me personally I probably don't need one and I'm just practical enough not to get one. I am just getting used to shooting with the D2H and had they not dropped the price on that I would still be shooting with the D100. I do like those pro-bodies however and I'm certainly not sad that I moved to the D2H.
  5. I have to agree with you there Jonathan......$5,000 is a lot of money for a camera.......to me that is, but like Tom said some people just have different priorities than others. :)  :)  :)  :) 
    I wish I could afford a D2X.......I don't think it would help my novice photo taking ability though.... :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :) 
  6. Honestly, the only way I could justify a D2X is if I was doing large studio prints. I was watching the movie 'Closer' with Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and there is a gallery scene with these huge 6'x6' foot prints and if the D2X can yeild prints like that than I am sold (well when I can afford a D2X)!
  7. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jonathan :

    Need ? Well, that's a tough one to answer.

    Most of us aren't dealing with measurebator photo editors, so the "need" for megapixels isn't quite as driving in that sense. Most of us aren't blowing shots up to poster size, so the issue of resolution isn't incredibly pressing, except in our minds.


    A lot of the Cafe regulars are nature photographers, and resolution coupled with a fast buffer is a handy item. Shooting a D100 amongst D2H users at a Reznick workshop in the Bosque sure gives one a sense of "shutter inadequacy", especially with a guy immediately and aptly nicknamed "Bam-Bam" shooting about ten gigs in a dawn session on the next tripod over. A camera with that fps and about 70% more resolution (approximately as the square root of 12MP/4MP, and allowing that this is a fast approximation for discussion) - well, boy howdy, that's some kind of improvement over a D100 or a D2H !!!

    Landing great shots in tight circumstances is a high incentive for many to follow. Getting fast shots that can be cropped down pretty far is an attractive option when the birds are small and distant, even with a mega-5000mm lens. Shooting with all the advantages of the high resolution and the fast buffer is going to make most people think they're better photographers.

    It's all rather seductive, actually. And seduction, to be absolutely clear, is all about "want" and precious little about "need".

    But I'm also very much of the mind of a comment by Thom Hogan that most photographers are not using their existing cameras to any real fraction of their capabilities. I know that I don't pull all of what I can out of my D100, and I'm learning as fast as I can, blast it ! I'm testing the limits of my abilities to use the equipment for the most part, not the limits of the equipment itself.

    So the question of "need" vs. "want" is very much a real one.

    At the same time, look at the relative age demographics of people getting the D2X, and factor out the professionals who make their fulltime living from that set. You'll quickly see that many are post-forty in age, have a relatively high disposable income, and devote a substantial effort to their hobby, proportional to any other enthusiast group (e.g., classic cars, world travellers, etc.). Most of these folks are already in the real estate market with a house (or two in some cases), already have a lot of other technological items, and in general, are redevoting their leisure time around photography.

    And while you look at those folks, contrast the total number of point'n'shoot buyers with the D2X buyers, seeing the ratio of P&S to D2X being immense. It's a bit like asking why BMW or Jaguar automobile buyers "need" their cars over a Kia when all car varieties are intended for movement from point A to point B.

    Different market, different imperatives.

    Personally, I'd like a D2X, but I don't "need" it right now. If the price drops or my financial situation swings higher, my "like" could become more strong in nature.

    But that's me.

    John P.
  8. An excellent and well thought-out response, John.

    For most folks, it comes down to cropping capabilities coupled with focusing and shooting speed reducing the limitations on what can be done with a shot. This makes your top-grade results capable of larger output, and also increases the ratio of top-grade results assuming you can make the camera do what you want it to. The latter requires practice and some talent, the former requires a D2x. If you want to give yourself a better chance to get shots that are difficult to get, pick up a D2. Either one. If you want to have plenty of resolution which will allow you to get a usable shot of a small subject at distance, get the X. If you want fine detail rendition of smaller parts of a landscape or other finely detailed image, get the X. If you can fill the frame or are shooting up close, you can get a very good print at larger sizes from the H. The D2h does a really fine job, as many of us can attest. You do want to get as many pixels on the subject as possible though, if you want good detail rendition. The X allows you to do that in more situations than the H, but at a cost. Is it worth it to you?

    Select the tool that will do the job you want to do, as always...

  9. I just want a D2x for the social status and image boost it will give me. When people look at me and see me with the big bad "X" and a bigmah lens they will think I'm so cool. I have a hard time meeting girls so this camera should help me out. :D '

    (this migh be better in the D2xtasy forum)
  10. Hmmm...if I'm honest with myself, I don't really need one. Also, I don't really buy the stuff about Photo Editors. A normal D2H Raw file, once I've worked on it, saves as a Tiff at about 23-25 MB. Often I upres it in Capture to 3008 pixels in one direction which sizes it as a 6MP, that' s just fine for me. The funny thing is that when National Geographic Traveler Magazine bought 3 images from me earlier this year, one was taken with a pocket sized non zoom Canon Ixus i (4MP), one with a Sony V1 and the other with a D70. (I've have a photostore that lets me try out all the little carry around cameras). Now, Nat Geo didn't even ask about the cameras, the sizes, or anything, and we know how fussy they are. Besides in my own magazine, the D2H is regularly used for full A4 sized covers, no, problem.

    Sure, I might really regret it if I shoot that once in a lifetime picture and want to sell it as a giant poster..but then again with the right upsizing techniques..

    One valuable thing the D2H has taught me is to compose and frame in the viewfinder. I now never ever crop at all. The violin series I had up is all uncropped. This teaches you soooo much about photography and composition - more than you realise. Makes you really think about what you are trying to say. Too much cropping afterwards is the lazy man's way. Composing in camera makes you think about the lens you are using and the angles, and teaches you to look at all the edges in the viewfinder. This has been a VERY VERY valuable lesson for me : I have learn't a LOT about composition from the D2H.

    Having said all of that, Ron is really right when he says that the X is a much better proposition for landscapes. I've noticed that sometimes the fine detail just isn't there, but seeing that it's not really my field, well, it's OK.

    Yes, an X would be nice to have, but I'm in no rush whatsoever. I love my H, with one reservation - the meter failure issue - and that's only because I have an H that's USA in South Africa, so if it happens it will be a costly fix.

    But no-one's ever said a bad word about my H images. In fact, as I have said before on these forums the H was killed by trolls and idiots, not by informed users. Now that the H is dead, so to speak, it's interesting to see the rush of new users across at DPR, as well as a radical sense of new and very positive opinions compared to a few months ago.

    I have a lot of Leica stuff and film Nikon stuff to sell, and if I do, I might buy an X just to "keep up" with technology. so to speak, but NOT to keep up with the Joneses...
  11. F15Todd


    Feb 1, 2005
    NEED: No
    WANT: Yes
    Going to get: Probable not, or at least not with in
    the next 24 months
  12. joecolson


    Jan 28, 2005
    Cary, NC
    John P.,

    Well said. I don't absolutely need a D2X, but I wanted one, bought one and enjoy it. I'm 57 and just want to squeeze a few more years of enjoyment of a creative hobby out of this life. OK, OK, I'm obsessed! As my signature says, "there's a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".
  13. You put into words what I've been thinking--much better than I could. I think my D2H will probably do more to improve my composition than the D2X would, because I won't have the large crop capability the D2X would give me.

  14. I did a poll on Fred Mirandas site on what kind of users there bought D2x's - Hobbyist, Semi-Pro, or Full Pro - here are the results out of about 130 people surveyed:

    Hobbyist - 52%
    Semi-Pro - 27%
    Full Pro - 20%

    Of course the question also comes up about how many more hobbyists actually are active online than Pros are and that frequent that site in particular.
  15. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Easy answers for me

    I'm retired, and this is my only hobby, save for golf, which is more of an expensive recreational past time than a hobby :roll: House paid off, and I want the lastest technology has to offer., And, I admit it, I'm an equipment junkie. I have WAY more equipment than talent! But, most of all, want extreme cropability when lens reach alone isn't enough to get close. I admit it, I'm a cropper! (not to be confused with a sharecropper) ;) 
  16. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    My first objective is to use it instead of Kodak for big prints. I have specific lens, 85/2.8PC, which would not mount on Kodak because of the Leno's chin it has. That lens I need to make packshots faster, without tedious post-processing.
  17. It's a tax write off and I'm a Nikon kinda guy. The D-70 does a 'pretty good' job, but the D2X is a 'professional' camera that has a more rugged construction and I believe the D2X will be the camera that finally gets me away from Kodachrome. Next investment is the Epson 4000 printer and a framing studio for my prints........
  18. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Peter :

    Insofar as the editors go, this has been anecdotally reported a number of times over on DPR. I, personally, not selling my shots to magazines far and wide can't attest to the point.

    It is, however, a widely reported reason for the "need" for getting the higher MP cameras.

    As you can see from my post, I draw a clear distinction between "need" and "want". :wink:

    John P.
  19. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Joe :

    I don't personally think that there is the slightest thing "wrong" with getting a D2X. I'm very much of the opinion that if you've earned your money, it's yours (after taxes, of course) to spend as you like. How your family addresses this with you is another matter, perhaps...

    I will make the comment, because it's quite on point to the topic, that I felt I "needed" a D100 when I purchased the camera. I was photographing chemical plants and refineries as a part of my day-to-day work, and I was finding that I simply could not manage to capture the kinds of images I needed for the work with a point-and-shoot. A digital SLR where I could change lenses as required was indicated.

    Did I "need" a D100 over any other DSLR ? No. What happened was that I tested each DSLR model that I could afford at that time, and I determined that the D100 was the most "comfortable" for me to use. I didn't have any investment in modern glass, just some older manual lenses with a doughty chunk of heavy metal called an AE-1. :) 

    Since then, I've fallen down the road to ruin with Nikon glass that I've wanted, although I've "needed" wide-angle capability for my work, and now find myself with a 12-24mm AFS/DX, which is about as WA as I think I'll be going.

    Funny how all of this stuff plays out, eh ?

    John P.
  20. billT

    billT Guest

    Re: Easy answers for me

    Hi Steve,

    I am in almost the situation as you are except that I am close to retirement. I do photography as a hobby, and unlike pros, I only have myself to please. Using pro equipment addes to my pleasure, so why not?

    By the way, I visited your web site. You do excellent work. I especially enjoy your portrature section.

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