Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:21
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Posted 13 January 2010 - 20:25
In Single-area AF the AF reads from a much smaller area of the screen - it reads much smaller AF targets in this AF mode than the D3.
On noise and resolution it is all relative - I do not regard noise as dominant at A4 print size until Hi 2 50,000 ISO.
I regard 1600 ISO as very clean. UK's AP reports resolution (at 100% 72 dpi) in RAW as 26 lpm at 200 ISO, 24 at 1600 and 22 at 6400. The reported modest resolution loss at 1600 and 6400 is in line with my initial results.
At very low light levels with an f1.4 lens be prepared to switch to manual metering. This permits at least an extra 5 stops low light metering.
Video is fairly straightforward - once you crack the missing detail in the instructions - come out of Live-View for playback. You can have either limited speed phase detect AF OR exposure changes during recording (depending on Live-View mode) - but not both together. Video quality is as good as many digital projectors deliver.
All in all a worthwhile purchase for me as I want some video wild life during my 3 week trip to Tanzania starting next week.
Posted 15 January 2010 - 02:46
Posted 11 March 2010 - 17:36
First shootings (sports, mainly) have been very favorable. I've been able to shoot w/ my f2.8 lenses (also got the 24-70 and 70-200f2.8 VR II) indoors, in venues where I had never been able to use them. So I have a new set of shot possibilities now available to me. And, I have the AF performance, which in sports like basketball, helps tremendously to shift your target and quickly acquire focus. It has taken a bit of adjustment to change my position/zoom for framing, but it's starting to click.
Even in well-lit venues, being able to go f4 for better DOF, is a plus. I have also been using Dynamic focus more (9 pt). I was never pleased with Dynamic on my D300, despite pros like Dave Black raving about it (D3). Perhaps it's the tighter cluster of focus points on FX, and the better AF performance, but I'm a lot happier w/ Dynamic mode now.
I do intend to use the video, I think it's a great addition -- e.g. catching the jube after a hard-fought win, etc.
Some of the niceties for me include the ability to lock the command dials, which helps a lot when in Manual mode and the camera is bumping around (I use a Black Rapid R-strap so it's banging against my hip). I intend to use the CSM b4 which allows me to use the command dial to quickly dial in EV adjustments...when I'm shooting outdoors sports I'm in A mode so the ability to quickly dial in + or - EV to compensate for the sun will be great. Also, the Quiet shutter mode is handy when taking a shot of a player at the free throw line; in high school or younger the crowds are still quiet (unlike college or pro) during this time so your regular shutter can be quite loud.
Two negatives I've have so far include 1) there is only one multi-selector button. Shooting the D300 w/ MB-D10 the past few years I really like the 2nd multi-selector button on the grip. I have what I would call average size hands (maybe 7" from thumb to pinkie when stretched out) and I like to change my focus point on the fly a lot; it's a little less convenient on the D3s, and 2) as I mentioned above I use the Black Rapid Strap (RS-7). A few times, I've brought the camera up to get a shot after putting down my 2nd body and I've discovered that Live View is enabled (where I obviously didn't want it to be). If you're not aware, they moved Live View off the dial on the top left (D3) to a dedicated button on the rear of the camera on the D3s.
Update: Another thing I miss from my D300 is the grid line overlay; these really helped me keep my horizons level. There is the virtual horizon CSM but since I'm shooting Manual right now (basketball) I prefer to keep my exposure meter active. I am finding myself being more cognizant of the camera tilt (or lack therof) so in the end, it's not a bad thing, I guess.
I know there will be another generation next year (D4?) but I'm very happy w/ my D3s and envision using for 3-4 years, at least.
Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:13
Apart from the refinements and improvements mentioned by the others (including the incredible low-light performance and much speedier and more precise AF even with slow lenses in less than good light); there are some other little touches that have been added that just make the whole shooting experience nicer and more efficient.
Some of the little, and rather obscure, new features that I like include:
the Quiet Mode shutter;
the ability to use RAW picture editing in camera as a Colour Temperature Meter to determine the actual color temp. of odd-ball lamps for flash filter-balancing;
the instant view of a spirit level and a grid on the LCD which you can access if you pop into LiveView mode for a moment when setting up the camera even if you don't intend to shoot in LV;
and the additional LCD access button to give you an instantaneous and editable view of your current camera settings.
I am just so happy that I was able to buy the D3S.
Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:42
A downside of modern multi point AF and multi spot metering is, to enable it to work, significant amounts of light are diverted in the central area of the mirror surface. This light never reaches the viewfinder, without "clever" screens etc the viewfinder image would be dark in the center, the apparent screen size is significantly smaller than when I started in photography, and to keep screen brightness reasonable (it is still 2 stops darker than in the OM4 era) it is ground fine.
All this results in a big reduction of one of the SLR's original advantages - the ability to reasonably assess dof in the viewfinder.
Welcome Live View tripod mode
Change the aperture on the front ring and Live View shows the new dof in less than half a second.
Better still the rear screen display size is bigger than apparent viewfinder size was decades ago.
Even better still the rear screen maintains full brightness even at effective f36 with a macro - no more squinting trying to assess dof at small apertures.
Note the dof effect does not work in Live View Hand Held mode.
One fault - as with the D3 the viewfinder mirror closure lever looses it's paint finish quickly.
Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:33
8.000 shots (low light, nature, people, racetracks, etc.) and I am still trying to find something I don't like on this camera.
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Posted 05 April 2010 - 17:47
Posted 30 April 2010 - 03:42
Secondly, AF-Assist Light on SB-600, SB-800, SB-900, and SU-800 simply don't work at all when they are mounted on the hotshoe for AF-S, and AF-C mode with Dynamic AF, Single AF point, and AF tracking for all my lenses. Also tried using SC-29 to attach speedlights, still without success. The other bodies have no problem with those speedlights' AF Assist.
One observation is that I don't see any AF illumination light emitting from the camera body when it's in a dimly-lit lighting environment without speedlights on the hotshoe.
There are some other nasty things that I don't like. Its shutter sounds three times louder than that of D3, and I can even hear noise from metal springs moving inside. Certain menu functions are available but simply don't work. Example is that Preview and Function programmable features are largely don't work.
Already contacted Nikon asking for solutions. This is my fourth D3s since last December, and I start to feel a little bit tired of it by now.
Posted 30 November 2011 - 11:46
I have found the camera really designed for speed in all respects; shooting, customizing, on-the-fly changes etc.
What I had to work with for some time was getting the colors to my taste when shooting landscapes. There the D2Xs did a great job from start. But now I can be happy about all details in a picture. I don't have the need for those extreme details provided by D3X
Posted 17 December 2011 - 16:46
D3, D300, D2X, and a raft of lenses and other NIkon cameras.
Posted 18 December 2011 - 20:35
Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:28
A loud admonishment emanated from the front row at my left - "FLASH!", the source being my ex-wife. Some people.... divorced 26 years ago & still trying to control the show. Thank you, D3s, for effectively raising your middle finger .
Posted 09 July 2012 - 17:56
D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
3*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200...
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