Nikon D3s – Fast/Quiet/ HD Video/Crazy High ISO : We’ll Take it!

The rumor mills have been swirling, as everyone in the photo world has been waiting for Nikon to make it’s 800 lb gorilla move into a pro DSLR with HD Video capability.
Well, it just entered the room.


The Nikon D3s with an incredible ISO capability that carries over from stills AND video (how about a “standard “12,800 ISO and a boosted ultra high end 102,400 ISO!!!)
Yes, the pros have been waiting on this one. New features, like a quiet mode, 9 fps, bigger buffer for those massive files, improved viewfinder, and of course the new video specs:
Movies are captured in HD quality 1280×720 pixel resolution at 24fps that can be trim edited in-camera, but most significantly, most of the camera’s still shooting functions – including ultra-high ISO settings – are available in the video mode, and single frames can be saved on the fly as JPEGs. Although these frames are of low resolution, they are sufficient for multimedia presentations, says Nikon, and could be used for newspaper print.

By the way, when we said 9 FPS, that meant at full resolution! Couple that with the incredible ISO range, slip in a little quiet mode, and there is no where you can’t shoot!

If you want and need the toughest combo DSLR (still and vid ) out there right now,
The Nikon D3s just claimed the throne.

Of course you may have to wait for Santa. It won’t hit stores till end of Nov.
And then you better have been extra nice this year : the body will be listing at $5199.95.
A much lower price than the eyepopping D3x last year, which had about twice a many megapixels.
Maybe the megapixel wars are over.

So here you go: you wanted a high end Nikon with HD video capabilities, you’ve got it! You save some mega dough on the mega pixels.
Huh, we guess the race has changed directions. And is moving rapidly to the world of motion. (too much?)

There are some major advances here:

(More pix after the jump)
“Big Pixels Equal Greater ISO Capabilities
The amazing low-light ability of the D3S, as well as its astounding image quality can be attributed in large part to the engineering behind the newly designed, Nikon original 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, which measures 36×23.9mm. While the pixel size and count that served the D3 were maintained to deliver the pinnacle of image quality, dynamic range, phenomenal tonal gradation and outstanding color, other aspects were engineered to add versatility through broader low-noise ISO sensitivity. Individual pixels measure a large 8.45 microns, which support enhanced sensitivity to light and other qualities leading to superior image fidelity. The D3S captures light and renders images in a way that no other Nikon camera has yet to achieve, with a higher signal-to-noise ratio and an unmatched dynamic range for both stills and HD video throughout its broadened ISO range.

The Nikon D3S adds the extra benefit of an Image Sensor Cleaning function to reduce instances of image degradation resulting from dust accumulation on the optical low pass filter (OLPF) in front of the image sensor. The OLPF oscillates at four specific frequencies to release particles that would disrupt image quality. Sensor Cleaning can be set by the user to cycle automatically when the camera is powered on, turned off, or on demand”


And here is the video breakdown:
“Whether on the frontlines or sidelines, the amazing ISO range of the D3S can also be applied while recording HD video clips to give unprecedented low-light ability for movie clips. The refined D-Movie mode for the FX-format offers smooth 1280×720 video at a cinematic 24fps, with a new algorithm that severely reduces the phenomenon of “rolling shutter” typical to D-SLRs while panning. The motion JPEG codec allows for easy extraction of single frames from a video clip and the ability to save it as a JPEG file, while the 720p HD format eases storage, provides faster wireless transfers, and offers video files that are generally easier to use in the field. Photographers can also trim movie clips on the fly by revising the start and end points, and save the edited clip as a copy while maintaining the original. Additionally, the D3S features a built-in monaural microphone, augmented by a stereo microphone input, which is perfect for hot-shoe microphone mounting or the use of wireless microphones for interviews or spot news.


Photographers and film makers alike will appreciate the full aperture control from a wide f/1.4 to f/16, as the FX-format sensor renders low-noise movie clips with outstanding clarity, aided by the large selection of renowned NIKKOR lenses to produce a dramatic depth of field. High Sensitivity Movie Mode allows the utilization of the entire ISO range to capture otherwise hidden details in challenging lighting conditions, more effectively than cameras with smaller sensors. Now, users can benefit from available natural light for applications such as telling a story in a journalistic style in the field or to create a gritty film noir masterpiece without CGI post production. While recording, users also have the ability to control exposure, and will enjoy the added benefits of improved contrast-detect type AF while in Tripod Live View mode. ”


And still in 720p not 1080i? But they claim to have solved rolling shutter which is a massive improvement over the other choices.
Seriously, we have been shooting in 720p and it rocks. Did you know that no one broadcast in 1080??? Not yet, anyway so don’t fret.

And the double CF slot that we have loved since it was introduced on the D3 is now optimized for your video files , too.


“The D3S digital SLR also features two UDMA compatible CompactFlashâ„¢ card slots that can be used for consecutive recording (overflow), simultaneous recording (backup), separating recording of RAW and JPEG files or even copying pictures between the two cards. One or both can also be designated for data-heavy D-Movie recording. Images can be displayed directly from the camera to a High Definition monitor using the camera’s HDMI port and an optional cable.”

This one we have to hear for ourselves though. Will that ga-KLUNK sound of the mirror be a goner? Hope so.

“To alleviate another kind of noise, the D3S also features a Quiet Shutter Mode which substantially reduces the sound of the camera’s mirror-down cycle, which is perfect for shooting in sensitive environments, such as movie sets, meetings, ceremonies, or while photographing wildlife.”

OK, and up top:


Look familiar?D3S_LCD_E2

Well there you have it. Some big news from Nikon.
There is also a sweet DX lens that was introduced, but we’re going to leave that to tomorrow.

Now we’re going to look around at our possessions to see what we are going to sell so we can buy this.

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