Nikon D3S: the VR Killer.
Nikon have just launched their long awaited D3S professional FX camera. As the D3, it is equipped with a 12.1 effective Mp. CMOS sensor, to which Nikon have made several improvements to further limit image noise.
To find out if they have actually succeeded in building the fastest camera on the planet, check out these sample images @ 6.400 ISO, 12.400 ISO, and 102.400 ISO.
The first is virtually noise free, the second more or less as grainy as a 400 ISO from my D200 in low to medium low light, while the 100K ISO pic I found on the Nikon Japan site, proves that even at these extreme ISOs the camera still produces usable results.
It is also important to remember that high ISO images shot with more abundant light generally tend to be (much) cleaner than those shot at the same ISO in low light, which is especially relevant when hand holding heavy and long lenses at lower apertures.
The D3S features 24-frame 1280x720 HD 720p video capture, an extended standard ISO range of 12.800, an ISO-max of 102.400 (Hi3), an improved frame buffer of 36 14-bits RAW (D3: 18) and - finally - the sensor cleaning system that was absent sofar in the flagship Nikons.
In/output includes a mini-jack for the connection of an external stereo microphone, and HDMI HD out.
The camera has 2 live-view modes, phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus, the tripod mode offering a 27x magnification for precise previewing.
The monitor is a 3" 930K dot, tempered glass design (without protector), individually calibrated during production.
Most of the other specs are D3(x), including dual CF card slots, Multicam 3500 AF with 51 focus points and 100% view finder coverage with automatic DX masking and an optional virtual horizon (also availabe in Live View mode).
Nikon have added support for the D3S in their Nikon View (1.5.0) and Nikon Transfer (1.5.1) software. Nikon Capture NX2 and Camera Control Pro do not yet include support for this camera.
Available from november 2009, ESP $ 5.199,95.
Nikon D3S. DxOMark Sensor Score: 82.4, DxOMark Low-Light ISO Score: 3253. More information.
For more information, check out the Nikon USA site: D3S
DxOMark review: Nikon D3S vs. Canon 1D Mark IV. Guess who's the winner?
D3S in depth preview on DPreview.
More D3S sample images here, here and here.
AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5G VR Micro Nikkor
Useless for this camera, but still interesting, is the new AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens, designed specifically for extreme close-up photography. Focusing as close as 27 cm. (NB: measured from the focal plane), this new Micro lens allows the capture of close-ups with life-size reproduction ratios up to 1:1.
In conjunction with Nikon DX-format digital SLR cameras, the lens renders a picture angle equivalent of approximately 127.5mm (in 35mm or FX-format), providing a natural perspective along with a desirable and practical lens-to-subject working distance.
Available from december 2009, MSRP $ 529,95.
For more information, check out the Nikon USA site: 85mm DX Micro Nikkor.
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