Nikon D3X is too expensive, which leaves me with no reasonable choice but to think about the Canon EOS 5D Mark II when it comes to the next upgrade. Or I can stick with my two year old Nikon D200 until there is an affordable D700x… Please note this is a continuously updated post.


It is shipping now but not many retailers have them in-stock. Some got theirs from local BestBuy. Check availability at Amazon (body, kit), B&H (body, kit), Adorama (body, kit).


Black dots problem

  • The Internet is buzzing about a strange problems showing up in high contrast night scenes: there are black dots appearing to the right of a bright spot, such as street lights, Christmas lights, etc. Example can be found here. This happens even at ISO 200. One guy reported that he could get rid of or at least reduce the occurrences by turning off highlight tone priority, lighting optimizer, and noise reduction. However he wasn’t convined in follow-up posts.
  • Here is one trying to be funny about the situation:

    I cried because I had black dots – and then I met a man without a 5D MKII at all!

    As I’m still waiting for mine, if you want to unload your horribly flawed MKII I will buy it at the black spot discount price.

    Since the dots basically render the camera useless… 30% off retail? 

  • Someone has posted a speculation on the cause of the black dot problem. A software and digital signal processing engineer built a plausible model to explain it. — [12/12/2008]
  • The black dots even shown up in video mode! – [12/12/2008]
  • The black dots could be a real world photography concern. – [12/12/2008]
  • An analysis of the RAW photo data with the black dot issue is here, suggesting a possible software fix.

Subjective comparison

Image samples

Video samples

  • Official sample video (amazing!): Reverie – directed by Vincent Laforet
  • DPReview sample movies: here
  • Videos shot with Nikkor lenses: this post, and this vimeo video

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