Feeds
90%
Nikon D3s

Nikon D3s

A shot in the dark?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Also unchanged from the previous model is Nikon’s 3D Colour Matrix Metering II, which does an excellent job of delivering spot-on exposures in almost every lighting situation. The system works by evaluating each scene against a database of 30,000 correctly exposed images to select the best automatic settings. In my experience the system is extremely reliable, delivering natural skin tones and accurate tonal range in every colour.

Nikon D3s

Auto and manual dust removal modes keep the full-frame sensor clean

Like most Nikons, the D3s has a tendency to overexpose shadow areas in very low light scenes (see phone box images) but otherwise, even very demanding lighting conditions are handled perfectly well. The Scene Recognition System is the brain behind most automatic settings – from auto exposure to auto white balance – also contributing to tracking the subject in continuous Autofocus. Auto white balance is generally very accurate, although artificial light is usually rendered warmer than it is by a slightly yellow/orange cast.

Active D-Lighting automatically optimises shadow details and highlights. It can be applied pre or post capture. To boost creativity Nikon offers its portfolio of preset adjustments to colour, contrast, sharpening, saturation etc. It is called Picture Control and lets you apply four different profiles already loaded in the camera. You can download more from Nikon’s website or create and save your own. New to the D3s is also a Vignette Control application designed to vary the vignetting (corner shading), a typical characteristic of full frame cameras and lenses.

The D3s features the same Multi-CAM 3500FX focusing system, with 51 AF points comprising of 15 cross and 36 horizontal sensors, and was one of the main selling points of the D3. The module is fast, reliable and accurate, even with fast moving subjects. I don’t normally like to work in Autofocus mode, yet I shot most of my test pictures in Auto, simply because it works every time. Indeed, the autofocus performance was also greatly helped by the matching lens provided.

Launched at the same time as the original D3, the Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is the most recent and best standard zoom Nikon has produced thus far. The lens features Nikon’s excellent Silent Wave Motor, for near-noiseless focusing, a Nano Crystal anti-reflection coating, which effectively reduces ghosting and flare, and a remarkable 0.38m focusing ability. Nikon has replaced the Manual Focus switch with an instant manual focus override, activated by the simple turning of the lens. Manual Focus is extremely smooth and the optics are among the sharpest available. There is no barrel distortion at all focal lengths, except the widest, where it is still more than acceptable.

Nikon D3s

The bright Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens is an ideal match

Aside from the highest ever ISO sensitivities, the single major addition to this new version of Nikon’s classic flagship DSLR is the introduction of D-Movie, which captures 24 fps video at 720p and can save files up to 5 minutes long/2GB in MJPEG format. The video quality of the D3s is sharp and smooth and with no jelly-like effect to speak of. The sound is excellent too, despite the mono mic and, for the first time, Nikon enables the autofocus module in the movie mode. D-Movie also sports full aperture control but, unlike Canon, there’s no shutter speed or ISO control. There’s also a High Sensitivity mode to take advantage of the low-light capabilities of the camera.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.