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Now I know why I need 24 megapixels

For over a year now I’ve been wondering what shooting sport would be like with the D3x and the 24 megapixels it offers – twice the number of pixels of the D3 and the D3s. There are just times when you need more reach from a 400mm. If I had more pixels, then I don’t need to put on a teleconverter or a 600mm.

Well, the lovely people at NPS had a D3x body at the grand prix so I got my hands on one with a bit of excitement. I used it for subjects that didn’t call for 9 fps. Just the 3 fps was fine. I shot some fans, crowd, grid girls, parades, team photos and podium. I was blown away by the results. I didn’t expect the difference between the D3 and the D3x to be so great.

Put simply, the D3x is much more than a studio camera. The flexibility of having that many pixels to crop from is like having a lens that’s 1.5-2x longer. So you could shoot with a 70-200mm zoom and it’s like having a 300-400mm lens, such is the size of and detail contained in the image. Here’s an image of a candid shot of a Qantas grid girl, and a 100% crop of part of her face.

I can’t wait for a 24MP sports camera at 9fps!

EXIF: 70-200mm, 200mm – f5.6 @ 1/1600, ISO 800. JPEG. Compression setting: Optimal.

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