A shot in the dark?
Review Since the launch of the D3, Nikon has released a studio version, the D3x with its unsurpassed full frame resolution of 24Mp, and now comes the D3s intended for the photojournalist, sports and wildlife photographer.
Full-frame feast: Nikon's D3s
Like the original D3, the D3s features a 12.1Mp, 36 x 23.9 mm FX-format sensor. However, the D3s sensor offers significantly lower noise levels and an increased maximum sensitivity that hits a nocturnal 102400 ISO. The other major update is the introduction of a movie mode capturing 1280 x 720 resolution (720p) videos at 24fps.
The D3s is a top of the range professional camera. At 160 x 157 x 88 mm and 1.41kg it’s big and heavy, but the sophisticated ergonomic design feels nicely balanced in your hand. The body shell is made from tough magnesium alloy with comfortable rubber grips for both portrait and landscape shooting, each with its own control wheel and shutter release.
Designed to withstand extensive and rough usage, weather seals protect every area of the camera. The layout of the external controls is rational and similar to that of the D3 with dedicated controls and customisable buttons for almost every function a professional photographer is likely to use. This means you rarely need to access the menu to change settings, making for a swift and smooth shooting experience.
Like every good pro DSLR, the dials and buttons have been designed to prevent accidental changes or triggering whilst shooting. Hence, Nikon does not provide a Mode dial in its pro cameras but opts for a Mode button that needs to be used in conjunction with the control wheel on the rear to activate changes. The menu itself is far too complex and exhaustive to describe in detail in here, suffice to say that, despite the multi selector that facilitates navigation through the many options, you may find it challenging to operate unless you are used to a Nikon Pro DSLR.
Various safeguards can make navigation a challenge for the uninitiated
You should have little need to go into the menu while shooting but if you tend to use specific settings that you can’t access directly or assign to a customisable control, you can add it to your own collection of parameters in the My Menu folder for easy recall. For a professional this level of customisation is essential and I wasn’t surprised that Nikon dedicated so much space to personal pre-programming.
I don't understand the wingeing about the video resolution. Who the hell uses a pro DSLR for video anyway? It's like moaning about boot space in a sports car. If you're serious about results, you will of course use the right tool for the job. Nikon should have resisted adding these consumer level features to their pro line - who cares what Canon do.
Agreed on the video...
...but i'd like to add some praise for the quality of the photos, no doubt expected from a pro but they were excellent. It's nice to have someone who clearly knows what they're on about reviewing things on here also!
The Morris Minor shot was stunning!
"Pushing the shutter button and taking the pics" is not the important thing. If it were, the mass upload of out of focus pub shots, depicting the pores in some tedious drunk's nose would be thrilling.
Taking good or interesting pictures is more important, and often requires slightly more than just "pushing the shutter button and taking the pics". Either that, or maybe Henri C-B, Robert Mapplethorpe, William Egglestone, Jane Bown and co are just making a lot of fuss about nothing.
You may find the following thrilling info-graphic fact felch instructive:
I'm in lust!
HD Video? Pah, it's a DSLR, not a video cam-corder!
Next you'll be complaining it's not comfortable to hold against your eye for 30 minutes and why can't it have a forward eyepiece halfway down the lens and sit over your shoulder like a real pro video camera!
The video mode is a nice to have, not its reason d'etre, and 720p is perfectly good. Only a few years ago we were all happy watching 625 interlaced in the UK (512 in the states I believe) until someone convinced us all that we were watching pixels the size of tennis balls. Even now I'm sure that many of us are still "only" watching 720p. Hell I've still got several CRTs and they still don't make my eyes bleed despite all the hype.
I moved from a D80 to a D300 for better low light gig shooting, but this beasty is in another league! Just look at the pictures that baby takes, at that ISO, wow.... Droooooool...
Some pros do use video
I have a friend who is a cinematographer who like me swears by Nikon.
He explained his need for video, but it wasn't necessary to do 1080.
Nikon is right in focusing on developing the body for a specific niche and make it the best that it can be.
Note that this is a *pro* camera and that it is designed for sports/nature niche. I mean if I could afford one I'd rather have a camera that had these features plus 24mb resolution. (How many years will that take?)
Oh and I swear by Nikon because I grew up using Nikon. Anyone see a Nikon F (yes the original F) take a 3.5" fall on to the ground and survive with only a minor dent in the head? Still usable, although it sits on a shelf in my brother's house because no one uses film these days.
Oh and I want one, except my wife keeps spending me in to the poor house. ;-)