Nikon D3x problems?

Thom Hogan (from all people) got a defective Nikon D3x: "the original camera I received was sub-par in more than one way". His main complain were the noise levels. He got a replacement and this trigger him to even re-write his D3x review. It seems that other people experienced D3x problems as well (according to his post). If you have an issue with your D3x, I would like to hear from you. Send some examples as well.

The bottom line is that If you are the fortunate owner of a D3x, it is worth to compare your results with other D3x owners and make sure you did not get a lemon. Remember the price you paid for this monster? If there is interest, I can create a group on flickr where you can send your D3x photos for comparison/evaluation.

Update: if you want to submit your D3x pictures for discussion/comparison/evaluation you can use the NikonRumors group @ flick.

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  • JM Gux

    Well great!!! I did not occur any “noise level ” problem so far but will check this out also with the D3 ( having both lucky me …).

    But will send some shots. Great idea form you!

  • Pablov

    Too bad to receive a defective D3x !!

    I did read a Nikon statement telling that they specially test each camera of the D3 series to ensure the reliability and durability expected for them, even under conditions beyond the “normal use”

    If they do such a great test, how can a camera get out deffective ? 🙁

  • Have no problems at all with mine. I absolutely love it.

    • cecelia

      Mine seems to be fine – I did the 30 sec noise test and it looks perfect with and without noise reduction, just like Lloyds.

      • JM Gux

        What do you mean by “the 30 sec noise test”. Thanks for any link or ref.

        • cecelia

          Lloyd Chambers has a wonderful series of paid reviews called DAP at his web site. He does teasers in his blog, but the meat is in DAP. It is well worth his subscription price. He did a noise study of the D3x vs D3 vs. 5DII vs. 1DsMKIII.

          • JM Gux

            Ok already heard of him and DAP. So thanks for the tip and I think I will subscribe then…

  • alex

    for a while i really doubt hulk hogan’s reviews
    i really doubt he received a bad d3x

    it’s just website traffic and/or other brand’s marketing at work

  • alex

    oh and one more thing. i’ve been reading maybe each and every review or forum post about d3x and this statement “I’ve already heard from more people with problems with their D3x ” i can’t verify. if “many” people are having issues with it how come everybody is silent? something isn’t right.

    hulk hogan is spending 90% of his daily time on dpreview forums starting flame threads against nikon so i don’t think the dude has any free time left to do any “reviews”

    • Sloaah

      Hogan is a Nikon shooter…
      Thom is very well respected in the Nikon community, as he attempts to give unbiased reviews, backed up by evidence. It is definitely true that the D3x is not for everybody. He gave rave reviews for the D3, D700 and D300, and what he says about the D3x is very valid.

      The change in the two cameras is that the first had considerably poorer noise characteristics. This is especially true with amp noise at long exposures, and you can see the difference between the two images he took. How he would have a company behind him, firstly pushing him to make something look bad, then pushing him to make the same thing look good again, I don’t know…His comments aren’t coming out of nowhere.

      • Thom Hogan’s M.D.

        Thom is very opinionated and would be better of taking more photos to improve his rather mediocre work (YES, it is VERY bland and missable!) rather than telling other people what they should do/buy/drink/eat/bake/cook/drive/fly or floss with.

      • Hilarious!

        I was glancing through the comments today and in speed reading, read “Hogan is a hooker”, not “Hogan is a Nikon shooter”.

        I have nearly wet myself.

  • Patience is a virtue

    In 2017 when this camera comes down enough in price I can afford it … these little quirks of this first generation sensor will be worked out.

  • So far I have not noted ANY problems with D3x be it noise or misaligned view finder.Appears to be in similar working order to my D3

  • Should have bought..

    …a Sony A900 like me – I have no such problems and I am trying out something even more impressive for Sony… oh to be me!

    Plus, my Zeiss primes make Nikkors look like, well, nickers!

  • Thom Hogan’s M.D.

    Thom Hogan is rather like Ken Rockwell, lots of opinions – just without Ken’s humor.

    I have heard some of Thom’s pod-casts and have never:

    a) been so bored.

    b) heard such a monotonous droning voice.

    c)heard anyone ever make photography seem so complicated – remembering that photography is – by far – the easiest (and VERY easy) of the arts to master.

    d)make photography sound like the least enjoyable and most laborious thing that one could attempt in a thousand lifetimes.

    I have also heard one pod-cast by Rockwell and have to say – agree or not, I sometimes do and sometimes don’t – I felt excited and infected by his enthusiasm and he is refreshingly free of the ‘fluff’ that photographers surround themselves with to make it seem they are doing something like splitting the atom when really they are taking pictures cos that’s often all they have mastered… give many of them a brush and some watercolours and they would struggle to match a kindergarden level of art.

    Comparable ‘semi’ quotes from the podcasts I listened to. It was months ago so this is not verbatim and there were better gems, if I could just get them verbatim, but this is the general gist:

    Thom Hogan:

    I have a stuffed bear in my yard and before going of on a shoot my and my assistant touch lean on each other and practice shooting the bear. We do this for weeks. (It sounds like a euphemism for something completely different from photography!)

    Before going on a shoot we plan exactly what we are going to take and refine it over the weeks removing or adding items as we deliberate. (Yawn! – so boring – go make photo’s Thom, please!)

    I’m very a**l about things. (Yes, Thom, you certainly are! Boring, boring, boringly so!)

    Ken Rockwell:

    Interviewer: So what is it you see in the images you make – what is it you are looking for? What is the secret of your images? (Typical of an interview with a photographer seeking the secret artistic “what does the image mean?” angle)

    KR: I like bright colours. (Touche!)

    Ken you are a star! You blow away the c**p and tell it as you see it – whether anyone agrees or not!

    • PJS

      If you’re spending your time listening to podcasts of Hogan and Rockwell, you have my sincere sympathy. Get a life! :->

      • Pablov


        Well, I find Hogan’s review very interesting, specially when doing technical tests. (for instance with the D3x comparing to D3, and in many aspects like diffraction, resolution, etc)

        That demonstrates that a higher res camera not always give you more detail. More care has to be applied when shooting too (if you want to really get the high resolution the camera can give you)

        Some data can be Very useful.

      • Thom Hogan’s M.D.

        No, just a few mins out of my day when they were emailed to me.

        Thou doth protest too much PJS – me thinks you have a poster of Thom above your bed… with a special leather case for his ‘broken’ D3x and a chain rather than a strap. Do you like straps PJS?

        • LOL – I was really LOL

        • PJS

          Hey – I wasn’t the one who said “I felt excited and infected by his enthusiasm ” when talking about Rockwell, and I don’t claim to be Hogan’s “M.D.” either. Who here has the fetish?

  • Pablov

    I read Hogan’s review (the 1st part telling about his experience with the faulty camera), and I still wonder about the Quality Control that Canon and Nikon are applying today.

    Nikon states that D3 series are tested one by one, to ensure everything is working fine, even under harder conditions than the specified for the camera.

    So, if Hogan received a D3x with missalignement and noiser sensor, then the Quality Control failed in more than just 1 test.
    If he received emails telling some other people having also some out-of-the-box issues, then it is something to review with lot of care.

    As he says, if you raise your price, you should also ensure a better customer experience, and Quality control is a must on these extremely expensive products

    I hope Nikon (and Canon, why not? ) review their own Quality Checks and procedures.

  • Francis

    I fail to see what some readers are so worked up about. Of course there are going to be faulty D3x cameras, there will always be a slight margin of error, and Thom just so happen to fall into it this time. After reading his review the only problem I can see is that Thom wastes the reader’s time with several paragraphs that could be summarized as “I received a faulty camera from Nikon. My consumer trust has wavered considerably in regards to the MSRP paid. However, as a responsible company, Nikon replaced my product without fee.”

  • Thom Hogan doesn’t..

    have a very strong grasp of Latin either… so I would question his mental capacity to review anything more than a slice of lightly buttered toast.

    In his current posting on his site he writes, “In looking at my images post mortem, I’ve got shots…. blah de blah de blah….”

    Firstly, “post mortem” is not two words, it should be written thus: post-mortem.

    Secondly, the laws of EVERYTHING prevent ANYONE EVER examining a photograph post-mortem, unless they are describing what they are doing when looking at their images after their own demise, though this too is rendered IMPOSSIBLE by the laws of, well physics, every other science, the church, the state… and the law of common sense… plus Ghostbusters would just come round and give you a beating anyway if you tried it!

    In my professional opinion this is indicative of someone who tries to go a long way with very little substantive knowledge.

    As my oiled professor used to say, ” a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    • Joe

      Seriously? That’s just about as silly as a lawyer claiming a woman’s eye-witness testimony in court isn’t trustworthy because she’s a hooker.

      I haven’t read any review by Tom Hogan, so you might be right for all I know. I’m just sayin’: It might be a good idea to cut out the melodrama and use arguments that actually make sense…

      • Shady Dealings

        Well, it wouldn’t be silly to claim that would it?

        I mean if you had the eye witness testimony from, for example, a nurse and that of a hooker (your words, not mine!) who would you believe?

        The nurse is a qualified professional and probably caple of reasonably accurate recollection and reasonable to upper middle IQ.

        The hooker (again, your words not mine) is likely stoned, high, unwashed, could have the plague, probably has a criminal record and almost certainly a low IQ. She could be short-sighted and would be unlikely to wear glasses so would probably have to make it all up.

        Lets hope you don’t need her at your trial Joe?

    • Martin

      Just to be correct. If you’re talking about Latin: Yes indeed in Latin post mortem are two words. So, don’t be too sure about your knowledge of Latin.

      Used as a foreign word in English expression post-mortem might be written with a dash, but I’d be not too sure about it.

      Regarding your second point: I haven’t read Thom’s review. But in project management there is this expression of ‘reviewing post mortem’. Which simply means: ‘looking back on a finished project and learn from it’.
      In this sense it works to examine a photo ‘post mortem’.

      • Joe

        Um… I’m sorry, but you really seem like a pompous, arrogant and judgmental *****. Regarding the hooker, there are countless circumstances under which she would be just as reliable as anyone else. Regarding the Latin, everyone here, including you, understood what the guy meant by “post mortem”. It might not be entirely correct usage of the word (or expression, whichever it is), but come on… Or do you just not get metaphors?

        Anyway… I would assume that Mr. Hogan isn’t making stuff like this up simply in order to get more traffic. That would be extremely short-sighted of him.

  • Candida

    “Thom Hogan (from all people) got a defective Nikon D3x: “the original camera I received was sub-par in more than one way”. His main complaint were the noise levels”.

    I am SOO with Thom on this. My main complaint of my D3x is that it is made of marsipan and the ‘x’ in ‘D3x’ has already fallen off… also, I have eaten the command dial and half the prism too – like Thom’s its definitely “sub-par” – I think they should have used more sugar in the mix!

    Who thinks Nikon will survive this year after the now infamous D3x marsipan disaster? I mean $8k for a cake… you’d expect the right amount of sugar eh?

    • Joe

      Ha! One should indeed expect them to have all the details of the recipe worked out. I don’t like marzipan myself, so I’ll stick to my double-chocolate d300.

  • Pablov

    well….. an interesting case (not because was Hogan, but because maybe Nikon is not putting the necessary quality control over D3x as they should) got filled with useless comments.

    I suppose sometimes it happens anyway, after all NR is still great and cleaner than lot of sites !

    Keep posting Admin, all the info is useful.

  • bigmouth

    ok, this is my impression, film critic and film makers are usually different people. In this case, thom and ken aren’t even photography critics, but rather, they are photo equipment critics. So whether they take good photo really is not the most important thing. It’s like food critic aren’t necessarily good cooks, if they cook at all.

    However, we must realize, that people like thom and ken are making their livelihood on their reviews (ken particularly, thom has his book writing business). So it’s actually in their own interests to stir up more controversies. If I am not wrong, I haven’t been able to find one passionate “user/hater” on the canon side, except that one dude who literally drove 1D3 into the ground with his relentless reviews on the AF issue.

    • KR or TH?

      But if you HAD to choose?

      If there was no other option, if you had to have one of them made into a giant marsipan cake, whom would YOU choose?

      • bobthebuilder

        could I have half and half – like in pizza hut?

    • I agree 100% with you – there are photographers (making money from taking pictures) and there are people who write about photography and equipment (making money from web sites, selling books, etc). I think KR and TH belong to the second group. There is not reason to critique them, because I do believe that they both are good in what they are doing for their target audience.

  • The purpose of this post was to see if this is a common problem or an isolated incident. So far, it appears to be an isolated incident.

  • Again, personal attacks to other blog readers that do not add anything to the current discussion will be deleted. We are not here to prove who is smarter, but to discuss Nikon.

    • Funmeister

      The kids are just having fun – like the tiger cubs who play fight. They don’t really bite hard!

    • Joe

      Sorry if I was out of line. I just had the sudden urge to do something about the un-called-for bashing of another reader by that guy. I ended up not contributing to the topic myself. Sorry.

    • JM Gux

      Bravo, anyhow Nikon is better 😉

      • Nikonuser

        Really, I own mostly Nikon equipment but I wouldnt say it is better. Canon, Nikon are different and if you know what you are doing it doesnt matter.

  • Ed

    Wow, I thought Canon forums were full of fanboys and childish bashing of respected and experienced photographers. I don’t like to read DPR forums because of all the kiddies posts, and it appears that some of them have moved here.

    • Anonymous

      I agree!!

  • Nikonuser

    My D3x hasnt display any noise issues but havent shot a lot with it.

  • Ecocyber

    Haven’t noticed any noise problems yet……BUT, I have experienced and interesting problem with my new D3X. For some unexplained reason I get and Err message when using two of my lenses. Specifically, a Nikkor-S 55/f1.2 that has been Ai modded; and my AF-S 17-35 f2.8D. The error message occurs just after the shutter releases. The shot is not completed. I have to change lenses and turn off the camera and turn it back on to clear the error. Now, both of these lenses work absolutely flawlessly with my D300. What is going on here? Anyone else experiencing this type of problem?

  • pappu sahni

    i am suffering with a defective NikonD3 camera since nov2008.just because i dont have the receipt of purchase(i was paid for my services in kind D3 ) ihave been trying in India Canada nikon doesnot want to look at it. where do you expect me to go. it’s not that anybody can solve the problem ??iam really at a huge loss because of the camera. i am willing to pay the repair charges but they simply donot want to help me in this respect.could somebody help me get my camera repaired through the company the camera as of now is in Canada

  • pappu sahni

    i am suffering with a defective NikonD3 camera since nov2008.just because i dont have the receipt of purchase(i was paid for my services in kind D3 ) ihave been trying in India Canada nikon doesnot want to look at it. where do you expect me to go. it’s not that anybody else can solve the problem ??iam really at a huge loss because of the camera. i am willing to pay the repair charges but they simply donot want to help me in this respect.could somebody help me get my camera repaired through the company the camera as of now is in Canada

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