Despite my busy week, I still manage to borrow this top notch dslr from a good friend to play around with. Despite having soooo many technical reviews over the web, I thought I’d like to add in one more personal my own hands on review about it. Using a D3s wasn’t hard for me as I’m a user of D700, looking at the menus, they are pretty much identical, except for some in-built flash settings, of course D3s doesn’t have a built in flash, its being traded off with a 100% viewfinder I suppose.
Button Layout and the feel of D3s
As we all know, the D3s comes with an inbuilt vertical grip, the layout of the buttons are pretty much the same as the D700, however, i find the multiselector on the D3s is a little far away for my thumb to reach as compared to my D700. Apart from that, I’m also getting alot of misfiring from the vertical grip shutter button, I had to lock the vertical shutter button whenever I’m not using it.
Dpreview gave the D3s as a cons in this aspect, I’m not sure what dpreview was comparing the D3s with. But personally, I find it more accurate than my D700. Under tricky light, its auto white balance performs better than my d700.
Under low light conditions, autofocus on this SLR is pretty impressive, its a tad faster than the D700, but its still a little slower compared to Canon system. I’m pretty disappointed in this aspect coming from a RM14,400 top of the line DSLR. However, focusing fast doesn’t mean its accurate, the thing I like about Canon is that it focuses really fast BUT its inaccurate! I was an avid canon user a few years back, started from a 350D, to 30D and then 50D. In my opinion, the 50D focuses really fast, but it just wont nail the shot! Unlike Nikon systems, they are a little slower, but it nails the shot almost 90% of the time, while Canon systems misses it alot. So, the D3s focuses fast and accurate while the canon system I used previously focuses very fast, but very inaccurate!
Again, I’m comparing autofocus under low light conditions, I’m sure D3s performs extremely well in bright lit events like sports events, or arenas. I’m giving my opinion base on my usage for my wedding assignments.
Here comes the exciting part, the ISO performance. The Nikon D3s has yet again reach new heights in terms of usable ISO. The previous D3 has already set a new industry standard for the maximum usable ISO performance at 6400. This time around, the D3s brought the record to 1 stop higher to an impressive 12800. Does it live up to its name? I’ll let the test shots explain itself. I’m not going to do a 400% zoom to try to look for little little grains, but rather I’d prefer to see its overall as we all would normal view a photo. So, here goes
Starting with ISO3200
ISO6400, still looking impressively clean
ISO H1, 25600. hmm…it sure looks usable
ISO H2, 51200. Still acceptable I guess.
ISO H3, 102400. Ok, this is a little too far out. But, its impressive enough that I can still can see the image itself.
My personal conclusion
Although autofocus is a little slower than the canon system in low light, but I can accept it as long as its ACCURATE! Needless to say, ISO performance is indeed impressive as claimed by alot of other reviewers out there. As for video recording, maybe its not as impressive as the 5D markII as it doesn’t supports Full HD, but I’ve tried it, 720p looks impressive enough for videos! Would I get it, hell yeah! It’d definitely help me alot in knocking up another notch for my ISO so my flash wont have to work so hard through out my low light event coverage. Not to forget, it focuses fast and accurate too.