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Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)

by Nikon
| 5 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 12.1-megapixel, FX-format CMOS sensor; 720p HD video capture
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Low-noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 12,800; continuous shooting up to 9fps
  • Fast, accurate 51-point AF system; Nikon EXPEED image processing
  • 3-inch super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD; one-button Live View with two shooting modes
  • Dual CF card slots with overflow, backup and copy options (CF card not included); up to 4,300 images per battery charge
1 new from $6,799.99 13 used from $3,099.99

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 6.2 x 6.3 inches ; 2.7 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item can only be shipped to the 48 contiguous states. We regret it cannot be shipped to APO/FPO, Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico.
  • ASIN: B002SQKVD0
  • Item model number: 25466
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,703 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 13, 2009

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Power. Precision. Performance. The bluprint for versatility.

The D3S is uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of photographers whose assignments demand 100% from them and their equipment. Leading with uncompromising FX-format multimedia versatility and engineered for demanding professional use at up to 9 fps, the D3S' rugged magnesium alloy construction, comprehensively sealed against dust and moisture, delivers on its promises of superiority. Exacting moments in time are captured to an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights
The D3s features a 51-area AF system
Nikon's newly engineered, original 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, teamed with exclusive technologies such as EXPEED image processing, Nikon's Scene Recognition System and a fast, accurate 51-area AF system, work together to assure that both still and smooth 24 fps HD video files exhibit incredible edge-to-edge sharpness, rich color depth and broad tonal range, while barrier-breaking performance enables low-noise ISO sensitivity to 12,800.

Expanded ISO sensitivities of 25,600, 51,200 and an astounding 102,400, shatter many long-standing rules of photography. Audio to accompany HD video is preserved with a built-in microphone, while high fidelity stereo sound is recorded through the external Mic input using an optional microphone. More proven technologies include Nikon's renowned 1,005-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, assuring exacting exposure evaluation and white balance detection. Precise image review and menu access comes to life with the D3S' tempered glass-protected and individually factory-calibrated 3-inch, 921,000-dot Live View monitor. A self-diagnostic shutter, tested to beyond 300,000 cycles, and a myriad of inherent benefits stemming from decades of Nikon design experience, round out the D3S' qualifications to meet the needs of professional photographers.

Nikon D3s Features & Highlights

Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights
Capture up to 9 frames per second
Nikon-original FX-format CMOS Sensor Newly engineered for striking image fidelity and low-noise, optimizing pixel size and count in a 12.1-megapixel sensor to produce extraordinarily rich files.

Low Noise ISO Sensitivity from 200 to 12,800
Renowned low-noise performance at 12,800, plus expanded settings to an astounding ISO 102,400 (equivalent) and ISO 100 (equivalent).

Continuous Shooting Up to 9 FPS
Secure exacting moments in time with an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

HD Video Capture
Record smooth 24 fps HD video, leveraging low noise D3S image quality along with high fidelity stereo sound capability.

One-button Live View with Two Shooting Modes
Two modes for studio or remote shooting--Tripod Mode offers 27x magnification for precise focus confirmation.
Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights


3-Inch Super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor
D3S monitors are individually calibrated during assembly to assure accuracy.

Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System
Ultrasonic process combats the accumulation of dust on the optical low pass filter, safeguarding image quality.

Nikon EXPEED Image Processing
Drives breathtakingly rich image fidelity, low noise and fast image processing.

Fast, Accurate 51-Point AF System
4 Dynamic modes and 15 cross-type sensors deliver AF precision and razor sharpness.

1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Nikon-pioneered RGB metering includes color information to intelligently determine more accurate exposures.

Scene Recognition System
Referencing an onboard image database, teamed with RGB metering, SRS enhances exposure and white balance evaluation and improves AF speed and accuracy.
Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights


Rugged and Precise Magnesium Alloy Construction
Effectively protected from invasive dust, moisture and electromagnetic interference with a self-diagnostic shutter mechanism tested to exceed 300,000 cycles.

Nikon Picture Control
Four preset options and 9 customizable settings provide personalized style control.

100% Viewfinder Coverage

Dual CF Card Slots with Overflow, Backup and Copy Option

Virtual Horizon Graphic Indicator

Up to 4,300 Images per Battery Charge

Product Description

The D3S is uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of photographers whose assignments demand 100% from them and their equipment. Leading with uncompromising FX-format multimedia versatility and engineered for demanding professional use at up to 9 fps, the D3S rugged magnesium alloy construction, comprehensively sealed against dust and moisture, delivers on its promises of superiority. Exacting moments in time are captured to an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
40
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
2
See all 43 customer reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • All Topics
  • "Image Quality" 30
  • "Focus" 7
  • "ISO" 6
  • "Lens" 5
  • "Ergonomics" 4

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R. Sweet on December 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
Update: Images up to ISO 51,200 have very acceptable levels of noise (very little). Worst case, I touched up with Dfine 2.0 (noise reduction software) and they look nearly perfect. I experimented with the movie mode. The camera took some very nice looking videos in extremely low light. I don't know what ISO it used, but it must be hitting ISO 102,400 at times. The video and sound using the internal microphone are really good. I may add an external stereo mic in the future if I shoot video. I should have known, you can't shoot movies in vertical format -- of course -- but I did take some that way before I realized that format doesn't work when you play back on a TV.

I've now got a growing collection of images in various conditions and remain extremely pleased with this camera.
-----------------

I received my new Nikon D3S only a couple of days ago, and my early testing of this camera has already proven it to be much more than I expected. I took a few dozen test shots in nearly complete darkness and with relatively little noise the shots look like they were taken in fairly bright lighting. I am very impressed. In fact, I would even say they are unbelievable.

I love the new "info" button. I passed over the written material before the camera arrived thinking: who cares. Well, I find it to be an extremely helpful feature. When you press the "info" button, it shows not only the exposure settings, but gives you immediate access to several of the relevant menu options that you can then immediately access and make changes. I find this to be very quick and useful.

The D3S seems a bit bigger than my Nikon D2Xs and other professional bodies I use, but it feels like it's built absolutely solid.
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By R. Adams on December 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
The Nikon D3s is an amazing camera and I love it. The vast majority of people looking at buying this camera are talking about it's ISO and low light abilities. Even though there is alot more to this camera than it's amazing new ISO abilities, lets start with it's most unique feature and major selling point.

How good does it's ISO get? How about 12,800! The ISO can be pushed up to 102,400 using the Hi ISO settings.

My tests - Nikon D3s combined with the Nikkor 24-70 2.8 Lens.
I tested the camera at 400 ISO, 800 ISO, 1,600 ISO, 3,200 ISO, 6,400 ISO, and 12,800 ISO both inside in low light and outside at night. I have also tested the Hi 3 or 102,400 ISO setting

The ISO settings look really great up through the 3,200 mark. After that one can a little notice grain/noise up to the 12,800 ISO point. I would not hesitate at all running this camera at 1,600 or 3,200 ISO. BTW - Pictures taken at 12,800 are usable. They look really good. But there is a little noise as I said. The 102,400 setting creates all sorts of noise/grain, but that should be expected. So far the pictures I've take at the highest setting basically turns this camera into your own "night vision" camera. It can see in very dark surroundings.

More on the D3s

- This camera is rugged. Over the holidays, I had it outside in snow storms, rain, and sub freezing temperatures. It performed flawlessly.
- Info button - New to the D3s and really nice. It displays information such as f-stop, shutter speed, mode, and remaining pictures on monitor/display screen on the back
- Live view - there are 2 setting here. One for a tripod and one for handheld use. Turn this on, and you have a view of what you see through the viewfinder on your back monitor.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Bernhard J. Gaarsoe on January 21, 2010
I initially started this comment as a reply to someone who asked why anyone would need a camera that goes higher than 12,000 ISO unless you wanted to take pictures in a closet, especially since you can get a much less expensive consumer-level DSLR with more mega pixels and higher resolution video. I decided to post my response here with the hope than someone else might find it to be useful:

For the past couple of years, I have been using a Nikon D80, which from all the reviews I have read competes fairly well with other cameras in this class. I am not a professional photographer, but I enjoy photography enough that the limitations this consumer-level DSLR seems to have became a source of frustration to me.

I recently upgraded to a D3S, and I am absolutely amazed at the difference between the two cameras. The D3S is ten times the camera--and not because of the marginal difference in mega pixels.

It's not all about being able to take pictures in near darkness either. I take a lot of wildlife pictures with a solid, f 4.5 70-300mm zoom lens (popular because of its good price/performance tradeoff), and with my D80, if I am zoom out much at all, it has to be a bright sunny day to get really good pictures. Cloud cover and even shade results in quite a bit of color noise and a loss of detail, even at ISO settings as low as 400, and I almost always have to shoot with the aperture wide open to mitigate these problems, which, of course, limits my flexibility in terms of depth of field and tends to wash out bright areas. It is also very difficult to stop the motion of things like birds in flight with the low ISO settings that are required to avoid color noise and loss of detail. This is a very frustrating tradeoff to have to make.
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