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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)
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- 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
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||4,200 Photos|
|Compatible Mountings||Nikon F (FX)|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||921,000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||12,800|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||200|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Type||Compact Flash (Type I or II) x 2, UDMA|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/250_sec|
|Flash Type||Hot-shoe plus Sync connector|
|Focus Description||Multi-CAM3500 FX|
|Focus Type||Automatic with Manual|
|Form Factor||Large SLR|
|ISO Range||200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (100-102400 with boost)|
|Image Aspect Ratio||5:4, 3:2|
|Item Dimensions||6.18 x 3.46 x 6.3 inches|
|Item Display Weight||0 pounds|
|Item Weight||2.73 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||6 Watt Hours|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,256|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||30 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Remote Control Description||Yes|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Comprehensive Dust Reduction System|
|Shipping Weight||7.6 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion EN-EL4a rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||Motion JPEG|
|Video Capture Resolution||720p_hd|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical (pentaprism)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
|Weather Resistance||Water and dust resistant|
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This item Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||eDigitalUSA||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Photo Savings||Amazon.com|
|Screen Size||3 in||3.2 in||3.2 in||3.2 in||3.2 in||—|
|Focus Type||Automatic with Manual||Automatic with Manual||Includes Manual Focus||Includes Manual Focus||Includes Manual Focus||Manual; Continuous Auto|
|ISO Range||200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (100-102400 with boost)||100 - 6400 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (50 - 25600 with boost)||Auto, 64-12800||Auto, 100-12800, expandable to 50-51200||100 - 6400 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (50 - 25600 with boost)||Auto, 100-102400|
|Item Dimensions||3.46 x 6.3 x 6.18 in||3.23 x 5.75 x 4.84 in||3.23 x 5.75 x 4.84 in||3.07 x 5.55 x 4.45 in||3.23 x 5.55 x 4.45 in||6.3 x 6.3 x 3.7 in|
|Item Weight||2.73 lbs||2.2 lbs||2.16 lbs||1.65 lbs||1.87 lbs||3.1 lbs|
|Megapixels||12.1||36.3||36.3 megapixels||24.3 megapixels||24.3 megapixels||20.8 megapixels|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.1 megapixels||36.3 megapixels||36.3 megapixels||—||24.3 megapixels||20.8 megapixels|
|Photo Sensor Size||Full frame||CMOS (35.9 x 24.0mm)||CMOS (35.9 x 24.0mm)||CMOS (35.9 x 24mm)||CMOS (35.9 x 24.0mm)||full_frame|
|Style Name||—||D800||Body Only||Body Only||Body Only||Body (CF Version)|
|Video Capture Resolution||720p_hd||1080p_hd||1080p_hd||1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)||1080p_hd||4K|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism)||Optical (pentaprism)||Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex||Optical (pentaprism)||Optical (pentaprism)||optical viewfinder|
|Wireless Technology||None; Optional||None||Optional, via WT-5A or Eye-Fi||BuiltIn||Yes||Wi-Fi|
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Top customer reviews
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. Of course, since the D3S is an FX (full frame) sensor, I have heavier lenses attached and in my bag too. I love the D3S ergonomics and the programmable function and other buttons (programmable AE/AL and Preview button). I hate to fumble with menus in the field (sorry Canon 1ds Mark III and 5D Mark IV and others, but Nikon has you beat here), and the Nikon gives fast access to all the key settings.
I haven't done extensive image tests yet, but my first impression is the images are superb, color is very accurate and auto focus is very fast and accurate, even in what I'd call "no light." I have usable images at ISO 102,400 (an amazing seven full stops better than other pro-bodies I use). At this point, I still can't believe how good images look at ISO 102,400, and images at ISO 51,200 and 25,600 look nearly perfect with either no high ISO NR (noise reduction) or standard NR.
Looking at my images at high magnification and they appear much clearer than even higher megapixel resolution bodies I use. I am now finally convinced beyond any doubt that megapixel is more of a marketing ploy than meaningful for professional photographers and other factors are more important.
As a pro who uses high end digital bodies, this is my first choice (maybe my only choice) for most assignments. I do a fair amount of studio work and thought I might opt for the Nikon D3X or even a Canon body since high ISO is not important, but this camera is so good I may use it for all my photography work in all conditions. If I really need high-end studio shots, I'll perhaps use my Mamiya with a digital back or even rent a Hasselblad.
Another issue I had was the overall ergonomics with Canon. I have fairly large hands, so a grip on the 5D was absolutely essential to me - but the ergonomics of Canon were outdated. The unit coupled with the grip was a bit cumbersome, but I tried to look past it with my years of Canon loyalty. The feel of the canons, even the 1Ds series could not compare to the D3s my associate brought to the last wedding I shot in September. Once I felt that body, saw and experienced the build quality of it, and the output - I knew something changed in me. I knew at some point I would end up switching - when exactly was the question.
So I looked at resale values of the canon gear, what I had to spend and what I could make back - and pulled the plug on the Nikon D3s. The resolution downgrade so far has yet to bite me. Even if I run into a situation where a customer needs billboard sized print, Genuine Fractals will work just fine. I do product photography as well, an it's served me very well so far. Sure - a large 21mp image would be nice, but it's not necessary for most of my applications.
I was nervous switching being a life long Canon user, but with all of the things I like to shoot, I came up with a quick list of pro's and cons of the D3s that helped me make my decision.
Pros of the Nikon vs Canon:
* Full frame 9fps (11fps in crop mode)
* Higher sync speed for strobes compared to the 1/160 - 1/200 on 5D2.
* AWESOME AF system. Even in low light so far, it blows away the canon. Not having to recompose a shot is a true treat.
* High ISO speed has destroyed everything else I have used.
* The build quality is amazing.
* Still has video mode, albeit 720p vs canons 1080p
* Comes with vertical grip with amazing ergonomics (1Ds comparable but the NIkon is lightyears better)
* Better control placement. Aperture and Shutter controls are thumb and index finger wheels where your hand naturally rests. No reaching for the wheel like on the canon. They also Lock when needed.
* Outstanding burst write speed. Redundancy to boot.
But all in all - I thought it was worth taking the risk to switch and so far I love everything about the Nikon D3s and have no desire to move back to Canon. I have the Nikkor 24-70 2.8G lens which is sharp as a razor, the Nikkor 105 2.8D Macro lens which is also razor sharp, and the 50 1.4G Nikkor.
One downside, there is no on board infrared trigger mechanism if you wanted to remote shoot portraits. I had to buy a separate unit for that. Not a big deal. This is after all not a consumer end camera.
The Nikon D3s amazing. Seriously no regrets at all. I can't wait to put it to use when the snow melts for outdoor portraits and events.
One note about the video feature its only 720p, but if your like me I didn't buy the camera as a video recorder. I bought it as a still camera. The video is just a bonus, and if I was serious about shooting a movie then I would use a real video camera that has a lot more options for shooting video.
One thing to consider picking up for this camera is a better camera strap. The strap it comes with is the standard type of Nikon strap and works fine and is strong enough for the camera, but the comfort isn't there. I have found that the Black Rapid straps to be of very good comfort and it places the camera in a more convenient location.