Top positive review
89 people found this helpful
This professional level camera is amazing
on December 10, 2009
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. 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.