Nikon D3s: 14fps and HD Video


Nikon D3s rumors are spreading like wild fire. Another website (Cameratalk from Australia) writes about "insider information from a software developer at a research facility connected with Nikon" and that the new Nikon D3s will have 14fps and full 1080p HD video. Expected in stores on November 3rd, 2009.

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  • Zorro

    Probably of great interest to professionals and gear-heads with more money than sense, but of no interest at all to me. To big and heavy.

    But 14 frames per second – wow!

    • Justin

      Is 14 fps in DX mode or in FX mode. Can it AF/AE during 14fps?

  • Dan

    If this is true, I WILL be buying this camera!

  • Tim

    14 frames a second is insane. That’s a mega jump!

    Stranger Nikon announced the new 70-200/2.8 with the D300s -a dx camera – and not with a new fx body like the rumoured D3s / D700s/x release? Perhaps they’re saving the primes for that…

    Oh, and your post should read the 3rd (not 3th) November unless it’s an American english thing!

    • Tim

      and this comment should read “Strange Nikon…”

      • donde?

        or rather “Strange, Nikon…”

        • Alex

          Or “Strange. Nikon…..’

  • If canon needs 2 processors to attain 10 fps, nikon might well do 14 frames with 2 expeed CPU’s.
    There’s not much else I can think of that would warrant a “s” addition though. I wander if the addition of video is worth the upgrade for many.

    • WoutK89

      The D3 already has 2 EXPEED procs.

      • STJ

        Maybe it’s EXPEED II and not 2 EXPEED???

        • WoutK89

          Wasnt D3/D300 first with EXPEED? If so, then it cant be EXPEED II.

          • Ronan

            EXPEED II, not 2 EXPEED.

          • Carey Photography

            To achieve 10fps Canon used two DIGIC III processors, The 7D has two DIGIC IV processors, one to crunch picture data at 8fps (right out of the box I might add), the other for autofocus, I’m sure Canon will do something similar in the MkIV’s to achieve higher frame rates than 10fps and have a faster, superior autofocus, which will definitely put them above Nikon, where they’ve really always been… Canon wins, sorry dudes.

      • I.T

        the D3 uses 1 EXPEED processor
        and in order to achieve a higher frame rate
        they merely need to increase voltage to the drive motor
        not that difficult
        the 7D does not need the dual Digic processor for frame rate.
        it needs it for the image processing especially when in video

        • RT

          But the 5DII manages to do video with one Digic IV processor.

    • iamlucky13

      At 14 fps, I’d not be impressed so much with the processor capabilities as with the mechanical bits and pieces moving at ludicrous speed within the camera. If they’ve sped things up enough to improve the flash sync mode back up to what a $500 D40 achieves, some action shooters might be very interested.

      Hmm…14 fps stills versus 24 fps video. The D3 already sounds like a machine gun. If this is true, it’s practically a video camera even without video mode.

      • Peter Pan

        The flash sync of the D1/h/x and D70 reaches 1/500s or even faster, but not due to fast mechanics! These cameras uses electronic shutter, thus the shutter only needs to open fast, not open and close.

  • Anonymous

    And I hope there’s a chance the line by line readout of this sensor works any better (read: faster) than that of the D300s/90/5000 – so the jello effect will finally disappear.

  • Tim

    With 14 fps and a new EXPEED chip to power it to those dizzy heights, the buffer’s going to have to increase dramatically as well to keep up with all those pictures that need writing to card. Guess it could write in parallel to both cards to speed things up.

    • WoutK89

      45 MB/s on the old D3(x), 90 MB/s with the new Sandisk Extreme Pro’s?

    • STJ

      The most impressive would be the changes to the shutter – imagine how fast those things operate?

      • WoutK89

        D3s goes mirrorless 😛

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think shutter has much to do with it

  • Anonymous

    If the d300s is any indication, the d3s would pretty much be the d3 with shitty 720p video…

    • STJ

      Come on – optimism please 🙂

  • Rod

    14 FPS?! This is getting silly – just like the pretty pointless MP war. It you miss it with 10fps then 14 ain’t gonna help much.

    Tell you what, how about just increasing the buffer and making it, say, 24 fps and kill two birds with one stone? 🙂

    • WoutK89

      exactly, low res photo turned into video, if Nikon could manage to do so (by not breaking the mirror) your AF problem is gone.

      • iamlucky13

        I would think for video there’s an advantage in terms of slowest effective shutter speed by not having to wait for the mechanicals each frame, but yeah, I was thinking the same thing…ultimate fix for rolling shutter issues.

        • Roger

          Except for the slap slap slap slap slap (you get the idea)

    • nikkor_2

      High frame rates are very valuable in sports photography. The action in so many sports — e.g., soccer — moves so fast; as a result, the difference between a fantastic image and one just a tad less is quite small. A higher frame will help the ‘hit ratio’, I believe.

      Buffer improvements are always welcome; if you shoot sports in RAW, a larger buffer in the off-the-shelf D3 variant is great news.

  • Double Sweet !!!

  • Man

    Oh, f**ck! Very interesting! How many damned megapixels? I hope not more than 12?

    • donde?

      HD video needs just 2MP… so why cram the space with so many pixels :-p

    • WoutK89

      looking back at the history of Nikon D_s, the S doesnt mean higher MP, just an added feature…

  • Michael

    I could be wrong but I think that is probably too much for a mid range upgrade. I am not saying it is impossible but I would imagine that big of a jump would be in the major upgrade, i.e. D4 in a year or so. The D3s, if there is one, and there probably will, will most likely use the same sensor, remain at 9fps and add some features such as video. Going from 9fp to 14fps will require some serious re-engineering and would more than likely wait until the D4 for introduction.

    This is just my opinion.

    • Tim

      Tricky one. Maybe Nikon can just shove in the reported 2nd EXPEED processor and up the ante. Depends what the limiting factor is: sensor / processing speed, or the mechanical ability of the mirror to jump up and down that quickly. I think it’s more to do with the computer hardware (which would include the video abilities too I guess) than doing anything physical to the camera, its sensor or its AF system. … so I can’t see a dust cleaning mechanism coming on board like some are wanting.

      • Mackanov

        Dusting mechanism? With that mirror flapping up and down so fast you already got it. Might even dry your eyes through the eyepiece! =D

        • Erik

          Haha good one 😀

        • regular

          my guess is the the mirror certainly does not flip at that speed. The AF will estimate intermediate position on half of the frames.

  • Mackanov

    People complaining that this is a minor upgrade or about the 14fps thing forget about Nikon’s naming conventions. “X” (or “H”) for higher resolution, “S” for faster frame rate, and that’s about it.

    • WoutK89

      H is higher fps and lower res, right?

      • Mackanov

        Actually it’s the other way around. H = S (more or less), not X

    • STJ

      Look at the 300s – more buffer, more fps, more video (ok starting from scratch that is..)

      • WoutK89

        Actually not really more fps, 8 is still the maximum.

  • Theodore

    Sounds like the same sensor, etc., which I think is very good news (I love the D3/D700 sensor) as my concern was they’d try and cram more MP in and degrade the clean / amazing low light performance; the frame rate increase is something.

    • nikkor_2

      Agreed; it’s a fantastic sensor, particularly in low light conditions.

      But, I’d love to see 16-bits from the current D3/D700 sensor. 16 bits would be very sweet, in my opinion.

  • low

    yah baby!

  • steve

    How about some sort of electronic shutter a la D50/D70, that just turns on and off to reach 14fps? Or perhaps it would also help remove the jello effect when making movies? Also improving sync speed.

    • Steve

      That wouldn’t work, as the D50 and D70 had CCD sensors, while the D3 (and all current Nikons save the D3000) have CMOS sensors.

    • WoutK89

      Didnt I read here many time that the jello has to do with the CMOS, and so might never disappear, or will it disappear at higher fps (60 fps for instance) Video?

      • zeeGerman

        The problem is that the cmos sensors readout mechanism is line by line, thereby, if you have a moving object, it results in the known rolling shutter/jello effect. What they need to do is, speeding up the readout. Panasonics new DSLR also features a cmos sensor, but the readout mechanism is way faster and optimized towards video. In my eyes the rolling shutter is pretty much gone(but not completely).

      • Anonymous

        It has to do with the rate in which the image is read off the CMOS. As long as you have the processing power to read from the sensor quickly enough, you should not see jello. The Red One uses a CMOS sensor and it doesn’t have a jello problem (anymore…)

        • WoutK89

          Thx both for clarifying. But I see no problems with 14 fps readout for stills ;-), processing power enough.

  • davey

    What’s the speculation on the price tag on this monster??

    • zeeGerman

      my best guess is the same as the D3

      • WoutK89

        Like the D300 and D300s did….

  • Strob

    14 fps? Poor mirror… Or maybe it’s a special high fps mode only available in Live View, so no need to flap the mirror.


    Well I would say they will announce D700x and D4 early 2010. I guess Nikon needs to cash in. So if they planing quick stuff now, who buys it, will cry because it will devalue rather quickly. Compare all the “S” one year on market and new full line comes out. If you buy new series, it lasts two years, before actual “S” update.

    I say DO NOT BUY “S”

    • WoutK89

      But I want S if I didnt buy the previous model, need the camera, and will take the available over the ‘new and expected’!

      • MIKEII

        if you need camera I would buy now with cheaper price then new upgraded version. If you want video, of course you get some movies, until you realize, that the Autofocus sucks 😉 well if you shop now because you need it. and it will earn you money great buy it. if you are amateur, waste of money.

  • fanboy

    yea, why not make it 30fps and we have a 12mp super hd video? keep our dream a life I’ll buy this gadget for sure.

    • WoutK89

      12 MP video, have you ever thought about memory problems?

      • Anonymous

        Hey, why not? Red is working on a 261MP video camera…

        • Ennan

          that red camera is insane. I think I read somewhere that they’re also work on a display system to cater for that camera – some kind of super resultion projector or something… crazy.

          The point still stands though – memory is a real issue. Red you can stack any number of hard drives onto… it’ll be an insanely expensive (albeit awesome) system. Nikon aren’t dealing with that sort of market.

  • Lance

    Remember, the current D3 has 11fps, but only in DX Crop mode with no AF between frames. I bet the 14fps (if true) will be in DX only without AF. If they could get 11-12fps FX with AF that would be enough of a serious upgrade.

    1080p video with no jello? That will be awesome and will pave the way for the same technology to appear on the future upgrade of the D700, s, x, or whatever it will be.


    One more thing compare to Sony chips,

    we should be getting very soon. 24.5 MP and 1080p h.264. Sony will come next year with 30MP as Kodak did.

    Video: I like the Panasonic way. they shoot AVCHD, that would be cool on NIKON FUTURISTIC 😉

  • jkilroy

    The pro sports shooters will eat this up. How many years before you can shoot full motion video though a DSLR at full resolution? The advancement of technology is fun to follow.

    • nikkor_2

      “The pro shooters will eat this up.”

      Agree in full.

    • Anonymous

      It’s called “RED”

  • cas

    Please someone tell me the point of having VIDEO in a STILL CAMERA? If Nikon goes this route, I am selling all my Nikon gear and going to either Canon or someone else.

    Priorities Nikon… D3 with sensor cleaning, more FX lens upgrades/releases.

    Give the consumers video… not in professional level bodies. Ugh.

    • Bral

      Uhm? It seems they are all going video, so stick to Nikon.
      Video is nice for journalists. Haven´t you noticed all the videos on the web newspapers? At least here in Norway it is very common with a clickable video as headline “picture”. Why go to work with both a camcorder and still camera when you can have both in one?


    • Lance

      Canon offers video too… why would you dump Nikon because of video support just to support another DSLR manufacturer that’s doing the same thing???


    • anon

      “Please someone tell me the point of having VIDEO in a STILL CAMERA? If Nikon goes this route, I am selling all my Nikon gear and going to either Canon or someone else.”


      I agree with your question, but no sense moving to canon or anyone else, becuase they will all do it. as soon as one does something they all have to, becuase with every new feature (stupid or not) people will expect in every brand. How long do you think it will be before canon has a moronic projector in a P&S camera? Same goes for Mpxs. D700 was the top of the game when it came out. now 5dii came out, d700 is no good becuase of “only” 12 mpx and no video even though it’s still better in every other aspect. and peopel threaten to switch brands. c’mon.. oh well that’s competition and consumer view of what products should be. Doesn’ t matter that your clients who are paying you won’t notice the difference between 12 and 21 mpx unless you are a huge print photographer. it’s all about what has the “theoretically” best specs.

      Personally i really really hope nikon comes out with a d700s that only adds 100% awesome 1080 video. D700 prices should bottom out and i can get one.

      • Lance

        Cheers to that! I want a D700!

    • lol what are you gunna do when canon puts video on their gear too? There’s no reason NOT to have it.

  • Zippy

    For this to be an ‘S’ upgrade, the upgrades are small. Too bad.

    Would have been nice if it went to 16 megapixel, managed to keep the same low light performance, and added 1080p. That would be the perfect combo in my mind. From 10fps to 14fps is useless for most. The jump from insane fast to insane fast is lost. If it was going from 7fps to 14fps, then it would be from fast to insane, thus it gets noticed and praised. But since 10fps is already in the ‘insane’ bracket, it don’t mean much.

    • Lance

      16mp, great low light performance and 1080p, you’re talking about the D4. The D3s will not offer more resolution, and apparently most pros shooting the D3 don’t want more resolution anyway.

      IMO, the perfect D4 would offer only a modest boost in resolution (if any at all) and focus mainly on low light shooting. Video is coming whether anyone likes it or not. I think it’s great as long as it doesn’t get in the way of taking stills, and so far that’s the case. If little/no added hardware is required the cost to the end customer is minimal, and as others have pointed out the pros in PJ are finding video to be very useful.

      • WoutK89

        What about a launch of D4H and D4X at the same time next year, one with low light capabilities, one with high resolution

        • Man

          Good idea. I hope (or I wish) Nikon will make two modifications of it’s future cameras – with high resolution and the same model for those who don’t neen more than 12 MP, but who care about clean images with wide dynamic range etc.

      • nikkor_2

        “The D3s will not offer more resolution, and apparently most pros shooting the D3 don’t want more resolution anyway.”

        Agree in full.

        As a semi-pro, I want / need a bigger buffer; and I want faster write speed. I’d love a slightly faster frame rate at the top end.

        I’d also like a histogram generated for just a portion of the frame; and I’d like a bigger and firmer vertical AF-On button; I’d like an independent aperture and shutter speed ‘lock’ button (I’d like it bigger, too).

        On my wish list: 16-bit files, rather than 14-bit.

        12 mp is fine for me; no client has ever said to me “your files just do not possess enough pixels for us.”

        • Anonymous

          wow 16bit files.

          I’m pretty sure NIKON is going to give us something new. Something unexpected. a suprise.

          I hope.

    • Anonymous

      It will still have the same light performance+ISO 102400! Not a such a minor upgrade in my opinion.

  • The D3 would need a new shutter mechanism to achieve 14 fps, which means higher manufacturing costs. I highly doubt, Nikon would build a new shutter solely to boost fps – even all sports photographer don’t need 14fps, so I think this is BS.

    We could really see 14 fps in D4, but I’d say not in D3s.

    • Lance

      I doubt the hardware limiting the framerate is the shutter, more likely the mirror mechanism, but you make a good point about manufacturing costs.

      If the D3 shutter mechanism/actuator are D3 specific (i.e. not shared with another camera) then the costs involved are simply associated with Engineering the new unit. The manufacturing cost increase would be minimal.

      If the D3’s mechanism IS shared with other cameras, then making a separate new one just for the D3s would cost more.

      I have a feeling the D3 mirror mechanism is D3 specific (since it’s frame rate is so much higher than the other FX cameras) so upgrading wouldn’t be that big of a deal financially.

  • funny

    NR any details about the video codec? h264?

  • woble

    I still want D700. And I will get it.. that is if it is still available next year. 😮

  • I bought D3 this year and Im very happy with it , Im a pro photographer , weddings .. events , fashion and art , Im a PRO PHOTOGRAPHER .. why the hell do I need HD Video on my pro camera for , I could just go for the point and shoot one that can have 15MP for pic and HD for movies and thats all ,, But i have a small sony T900 I take all the time with me if I like to shoot amovie in cafe or around when I walk or take photos if I dont want to talk my D3 , I really dont understand still why the HD thing for movies on a still camera and you are a pro photographers , whats next ? untill know i didnt hear H3D camera from Hesslblad did with their 50MP camera a video on it cause it will sounds dumb , if you are a videographer so buy a Panasoic 300 or 500 Pro P2 cam they are the best for that but if you are a still photographer ,, you should focus on your gear as lenses and flashes I think .

    • Anonymous

      I can see why it will benefit photojournalists, but the upgrade could be worth it for the rumoured ISO 102400 alone!

      • anon

        even if they make the top ISO that high, do you think they improved the whole range enough that the 102400 performance is comparable to the 25600 current? If they just added on the additional and 25600 still matches the current 25600, what’s the point? I can’t imagine the high would look that great? But Nikon is superb at low light so i could be very wrong.

        • Anonymous

          I would hope so, they’ve certainly had time to tweak the fx sensor+especially at the rumoured price point-you would assume there will be more in there other than video/buffer to warrant that sort of increase! One things for sure,it won’t be(+doesn’t need to be) more than 12mp-maybe stretching to 12.9. I agree if they have just added on the current ,it will be a shame-but that’s not nikon’s game.
          They are the true innovators!

  • jeff

    14 fps in DX crop mode with no AF? I would see that being real, and really useless. I don’t think the AF system can keep pace, the D3 AF tops out at 9, something tells me that there won’t be a quantum jump of over 50% without some serious reworking. serious enough to be a D4, but not a D3s

  • If I wanted a video camera, I’d buy a video camera. (hugs his D70s)

  • dino

    All this – if true – leads to think that other MIDDLE / LONG lenses are on their way to come soon.. As for me, despite its eventual outstanding performance, it’s not interesting such a camera, actually.

  • nonbeliever

    I don´t think mirror movement is able to be that quick – 14 fps is not realistic.

  • Peter

    Realistically without any increased cost to do mechanical changes, they could do 11fps on the new D3s in both FX and DX format. Increase the buffer size/speed, and add video. That’s probably all that’s going to happen, if that…

  • sjms

    thank the powers that be i have a D3

  • John

    I read somewhere that people successful modded their D3 shutter to run a 14+ FPS. I think someone got it up to 16.

    • Lance

      Never heard of anyone modding any slr for faster mirror/fps… got any links?

  • townerboy

    What will be the MP? I hope not 12.1, I will be rather pissed off at Nikon. I hope they get with it. I want to see 15-19 mp. and plus 14fps. NOW that is the order. BUT it will be what? 5,000 to 7,000 dollar range. WOW.

    I don’t think there will be a 700X it will be simply D800. 14 pm full frame 10 fps.

  • aahnn

    I betcha the high FPS is due to built in HDR.
    it basically doubles the FPS, taking the photos at different brackets.

  • arz

    You guys set the bars way too high. Now if Nikon roll out D3s with lower fps and 1080p will without a doubt disappointing just about anyone including Nikon fans (they are geared up for a fight).

  • zen-tao

    Why not full HD With 50 fps. Professional is professional a nd Nikon cameras are supposed to be. Nikon should launch two models one for HD video for press and budget productions and another for professional photographers demands: Higher pixel rates, Fx, Cmos, low light, etc, etc. But Nikon seems to be reluctant to issue any really new ( and also affordable) camera. I don’t trust 100% this new, we have been long time waiting and Nikon is always giving the silence as answer.

  • HDZ

    Why not D3H? 😛

  • rhodium

    This sounds more like a D3H to me. But a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so I’m not complaining. If this really does materialise as rumoured, I am mortgaging my ass to buy it.

  • jon

    d3 is back in-stock at bh photo..will d3s still possible?

  • I.T

    @ WoutK89

    you’re wrong
    the D3 uses 1 EXPEED sensor
    just like the D700. and infact the D700 responds faster than the D3…
    also the EXPEED/Digic processors are NOT for frame rate.
    they are for image rendering. the dual processor is for the video rendering
    and higher buffer rate. hence they’ve eliminated the 1D range.
    as for the EXPEED sensor it is still much more superior to the digic v due to the fact that the digic v is still slower

  • 9 fps sound like a machine gun, I think it will be crazy to increase this to 14 fps. I think the 9 fps barrier is more a physical barrier (I think is hard the hardware can hold the 14 fps the whole time). I would like to “hear” it.
    If auto focus video is the same than D300s I will pass on that function on D3s. Canon 5D Mark II has a superior autofocus system (the best one is of Lumix GH1).

  • Viljami

    Still waiting for the D700s.

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