D3s is out, but no need to pay attention.

It is out, and while I don’t really enjoy Nikon bashing because I think they make great stills camera, I have to say that I am not impressed. While it is going to be a great tool for photographers who wants to be able to shoot occasional clips, its lack of manual control over fps, short HD clip duration (5mins) and restriction to 720p, is really limiting!

On the other hand, the high ISO is really impressive, but unless you are constantly shooting in the dark, it is not a key feature as it used to be before the ISO 3200 era.

Basically, the current generation of HDSLR belongs to Canon, even more so with the upcoming announcement on Oct 20 of the expected 1DMarkIV.

Some reading about the D3s:

Nikon official mini site
DPReview
Pro review

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • Keith Spring

    So you are basing your initial views on a STILL cameras ability to shoot video?

    • admin

      You do realize this site is mostly targeted to people who wants to shoot video with their HDSLR right?

      As a still camera, the D3s is great, as the D3 was (and still is). It is just that I (and many others) was expecting more. It seems like Nikon has decided to stay away from the serious cinephotographers and I think this is a very bad move. With the Canon 1DMrkIV going to be announced anytime soon, pros (videographers) who are wondering if they should move to Nikon or Canon will probably take the Canon route.

  • Please explain your comment: “its lack of manual control over fps”. I just shot with the 5DMII this past weekend at a wedding and was gravely disappointed in it’s lack of aperture priority as well as how poorly it focuses WHILE shooting (it brightens the LCD substantially while recording to obtain focus and this ruins my shot). Please explain your comment and how this is not also an issue with the 5DMII. Thanks.

    • admin

      The D3s only shoots at 24p, I was expecting a pro camera to shoot at various fps, at least like the 7D.

      I think you miss used the 5DMrkII. The only way to have control over the aperture when filming is to go in manual mode. Any other mode will be full automatic. This is why you couldnt control the aperture, even in AV mode.

      Focusing is an issue, but not a deal breaker once you get used to manual focusing and have a viewfinder, such as the Z-finder. Also, you have to understand that shooting at f2.8 yield a very small DoF and learn how to deal with it. Video is very different than photography in this regard. Now, I shoot most of my clips between f4 and 5.6 unless I can be far away from my subject to ensure that it is totally in focus, not just the eyes like I used to do for stills.

      Finally, set your LCD brightness level to manual (it is at auto by default), this way it will keep the light level constant. Something very important when trying to figure out if a shot is well exposed or not.

      Hope it helps!

  • I looked at some of the sample images at high ISOs and wasn’t too impressed. No better than a 5DMkII at the same ISO, IMHO. Of course, you can go crazy with the D3S and jump up to a six-digit ISO, but those pictures are no doubt quite ugly.