Hands on preview – Nikon D3s

Team Blog

Exciting news today comes in the form of the new professional camera to be announced from Nikon


Exciting news today comes in the form of the new professional camera to be announced from Nikon. The D3s is the fourth member to be launched into the FX range and comes with a variety of upgrades from the D3 with key features being the new HD movie mode and its extreme ISO range.

At DCE we managed to get a sneaky peak at the model and we liked what we saw. First things first the D3s feels sturdy and robust which is what you would expect from a model of this level. Nikon claims that the D3s comes in a weather-sealed durable magnesium body and is built to withstand extreme temperatures and humidity. There is no reason to believe that this is not true as the body felt very tough.  The menu options were easy to navigate and control and overall the D3s feels very much like a Nikon camera should.

Nikon has gone one step further and improved the design so the D3s is easier to control with gloves. Small vital upgrade design changes like this one from the D3 to the D3s means that for the professional photographer shooting in the extreme cold they will greatly see the benefits of upgrading.

Presently the trend in the camera market appears to be lowlight photography, the Nikon D3s is no different and has jumped on the bandwagon. The ISO range is undoubtedly one of its key selling features and something that all lowlight photographers will want. Back in 2007 when the D3 was launched the model had a large ISO range of 200-6400 that was extendable up to 25600. The D3s (you may need to sit down for this) has an ISO range of 200-12800 that is extendable up to a whopping 102400! That is ridiculous! However it means that night time images can be taken hand held  and the quality in the examples shown to us were rather impressive. This is something we were unable to test properly and to read the full review of the Nikon D3s you will have to wait.

Other major improvements to the D3s comes in the form of the new HD video mode that is capable of shooting at 1280 x 720p, (24fps). Still not full HD yet from Nikon yet however with its larger ISO range and its improved sensor design the video quality has improved. Nikon has also integrated a new start button for the movie mode that will feel more natural as the button is situated on the front of the body.

The D3s now incorporates in camera RAW processing meaning images can be corrected on variety of options from size, white balance, exposure compensation and much more. For some this feature will be unnecessary however for those traveling this will come in handy.

The D3s is a great addition to the FX range and whilst it is still only an upgrade of the  D3 its popularity amongst professional photographers will rest on its larger ISO range and new HD movie option. The D3s will retail at £4199.99 and will be available from December 2009

  • Tell a Friend
  • Our Twitter provides the latest photography news and our Facebook fan page is the best place to communicate with other Digital Photographer fans.