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Nikon’s newest top-level professional camera, the D3S was launched on October 14. The camera features a newly designed, 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor that has a standard ISO range of 200 to 12,800, which allows you to capture low-light images that would have been all but impossible before. Using the expanded sensitivity settings, you can push the ISO to 25,600 (where the D3 maxed out), 51,200 and even 102,400. Think about that. In the film era, a fast emulsion would have been ISO 800. If you were willing to sacrifice color saturation and sharpness, and were okay with a very grainy image, you might push to ISO 1600 or even 3200. This new Nikon can shoot usable images up to 5 stops beyond that!
HD video is all the rage in the D-SLR market now, and the D3S includes it in the form of Nikon’s D-Movie mode. The full-frame sensor’s 720p capture at 24 fps will give you a beautiful cinematic look. For nature shooters looking to add video to their repertoire, this pro Nikon body will be a highly capable camera. A built-in monaural microphone and stereo microphone input give you control over capturing sound in the field.
Image Sensor: 12.1-megapixel (effective) CMOS
Resolution: 4256x2832 pixels
Sensor Size: 36x23.9mm FX format
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot Live View
Video Mode: HD 1280 x 720p 24 fps; VGA 640 x 424p 24 fps;
QVGA 320 x 216p 24 fps
AF System: 51-point
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄8000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄250 sec.
ISO Settings: 200 to 12,800 (1/3 increments),
expandable to 100 to 102,400
Continuous Firing Mode: 9 fps (full FX format)
Recording Format: JPEG, 14-bit RAW
Metering: 1005-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II,
Variable Center-weighted, Spot AF
Storage Media: Two CompactFlash slots (UDMA-compliant)
Dimensions: 6.3x6.2x3.4 inches
Power Source: Rechargeable EN-EL4a, EN-EL4 Li-Ion
Weight: 43.7 ounces
Estimated Street Price: $5,199
Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com