Nikon D3s: bits and pieces

UPDATE: the Nikon D3s may have a new 1.3x crop mode.

I don't know about this rumor (anonymous email), but here it is - the Nikon D3s looks much better already (if those are true of course):

  • Nikon D3s with ISO 200-12800 (D3 was with ISO 200-6400)
  • New ISO range HI-3 at 102,400 ISO
  • 12.1 mp FX sensor (same as the D3, but tweaked)
  • 14fps
  • D-movie with 24 fps/1080p
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  • Huh

    I’m starting to wonder whether or not Nikon really will have something that will blow Canon’s socks off.

    • Ronan

      They have been blowing Canon’s suck off for the past 5 years straight.

      • More like the past 2 years, cuz before FX Nikon was seriously hurting, but yes I’ll agree that Nikon is currently “winning”

        • And I’ll object that Canon’s CAMERAS have not been knocking anything off of Nikon CAMERAS for some time, at least 5 years. Canon’s smoother files came at the expense of detail. Canon produced larger resolution files which lacked a dramatic increase in resolution or sharpness. Test after test showed that. I saw the 1DsMII producing horrible red banding in the mid-dark tones at 200 ISO IN THE STUDIO!!! Properly exposed images, and yet the chip was nothing short of reprehensible. I felt truly sorry for the gal that spent thousands on that body, only to find out that it was really just an over-hyped body.

          And that’s the crux of it. Canon did so well at out-hyping Nikon for years, and blatantly hinting at the fact that Nikon had more apparent noise (albeit with the benefit of greater detail and sharpness) that the market really started to respond. Sure, Canon had some advantage with full frame. But then again, once Nikon went FX, the show was over. Now the odds were even, and Nikon blew the doors off the “industry standards”. Hype would no longer work, and so Canon stopped talking about noise.

          So no, Canon’s 1dsMII was not better than the D2x. Was it better at producing smoother files at 800+ iso? Sure. But the tradeoff was that the entire ISO range (from base up) sacrificed detail, or was subject to noise. (I suspected at the time that Canon was really good at processing their images, hence the apparent high ISO performance, as well as the low ISO noise susceptibility – the chips weren’t as good at producing clean shadows at low ISO’s).

          In lower ISO’s, the Nikon blew the Canon away, and at half the price (I paid $4,300 new). People believed the hype blindly for a number of years. Canon wasn’t really that good.

          • Jay

            I think someones smoking something illegal… fanbois gotta love em.

          • Jay –

            I’ve provided clear and arguably accurate detail representing where my views are based. Can you please elaborate, instead of resorting to name calling and rhetoric?

            Can you provide real world examples how the Canon lineup isn’t what I have claimed it is? Or did you just want to argue?

          • Konkel

            Nikon can’t even produce a clean RAW file. Before 2007… What happened? Why couldn’t you make one single good camera? Nikon’s Sony’s bitch.

  • lyr

    Well, HI3 could be 102400.
    In D3 and D700, nominal ISO are from 200 to 6400. HI1 is maximum nominal x2, hence 12800 and HI2 is HI1 x2, hence 25600.
    In D3s, assuming the nominal range is from 200 to 12800, HI1 is 25600, HI2 is 51200 and HI3 is 102400.
    But seems too much in one step. Already having clean and easily usable ISO up to 12800 should be great. Then HI2 at 51200 is still twice the actual maximum (D3, D700 and 5DmkII).
    So HI3 seems “too much” for me.
    But if they manage to have a nice one, that will be a revolution!

    • zzddrr

      are we hunting bloody bats? I mean that’s almost survailance …

      But seriously, can somebody donate a different sensor to Nikon? They definately love the 12MP

      I wonder whether they will supply a small group of Japanese engineers who will do the sensor cleaning on demand or we’ll stuck with the same blower.

      Price? Japanese sensor cleaning crew = 6,000 USD …. Nikon’s Stupidity = Priceless … so it is true … there is something money can’t buy!


      • Ronan

        12MP is the sweet spot for high resolution + high ISO capability.

        Anything more = failures like the new DSLR coming out.

        I’ll take 12MP super clean high iso images over 16 or 18mp which noisy images.

        Whats the point of having 16-18mp if your images are noisy.

        Right now its a war of high iso. Oh and 12mp is MORE than enough for ANY work i can imagine… HECK you can cover a building with a 12MP image… geez.

        • Ivan

          Oh God. Another clueless post.

          21 MP aren’t significantly noisier. They are not as clean at high ISO, but they have more detail… So in reality they about the same at high ISO and they kill the 12 MP at low ISO for detail.

          • Ronan

            I’ll be sure to let the D3x know at the studio that it should be cleaner than the D3.

            So far its not working out.

            And on a more serious note, if you knew ANYTHING about how a DSLR sensor is built, you would know that more MP = smaller pixels = less light = more noise.

            Or you can take a photo with a D3x and then a D3 and see the D3 will always have less noise.

            I confirm that about 2-3 times every week.

          • Ivan, you are wrong. Look at 5dmii for proof.

          • zeeGerman

            The difference right now isn’t that big between the D3 and D3X,a actually. The D3 scores ISO 2290 and the ISO1992. Though the difference is less than a quarter stop.

            But one should keep three things in mind, first, that there is quite a time gap between the release dates of the two cameras (-> time for development), second, the D3 doesn’t feature EXMOR, which gives about a stop advantage, and last but not least, the D3 with it’s capabilities was, and still is, mind blowing, regarding at least the low light abilities, there simply wasn’t any need for more. Though it’s quite reasonable that they would been able to create better low light performance, but there simply wasn’t the need for it.

        • zzddrr

          In this case the D3x should be cheaper than the D3 since its more noisy.

          Ronan, there are people who would love to have that noise and useless big ugly files = landscape photographers I guess… What’s good for you is not necessarily good for everyone.

          • Ivan

            5d mk 2 which is 21 MP is on par with the D700 when it comes to high ISO.

            Noise isn’t everything… D3x might have more noise at high ISO, but it also has more *detail*… You need to look at final output… it’s ridiculous to call a high MP sensor noisy when in reality a 5d2 is as good as the D700.

      • QZTRONIC

        Ha Ha Ha, Just like coming out from my mind. I’m love those word dude. What is it so much about 12mp (actually alittle more than 12 🙂 ).

        I just don’t understand that when Canon is pumping up the megapixel can they kind of get a great ISO result also (I don’t know how they do that). Nikon always stick with the number “12”.

        I understand Pixel is not everything……..but……I’ve try shooting a same landscape with my D90 at 12mp and my friend’s Canon 500D at 15mp. …..The result, Our Nikon’s have a great-amount of vividness while Canon is kind of pale, maybe because the picture control/picture style and lens. BuT! the 500D get more detail (Didn’t mean sharp) and when I zoom in to the picture. The experience I see just make me feel convincing for more MP.

        • zzddrr

          yes the detail.

          Many other parts can be processed differently after but when you don’t have data it is hard to create.

        • PHB

          Nikon seem to love 12MP because that is sufficient resolution for the vast majority of photographic assignments that people bought 35mm cameras for.

          While even a D300 can do ISO 12800 as an extended range, Nikon only advertise it as an ISO stop if it meets certain specifications for noise handling that the Japanese manufacturers have agreed to. While that still leaves a lot of room for variation since each ISO stop means half the light the previous one had, a D300s should perform about as well as a D3 did noise wise.

          The fact that Nikon can now produce a D300s offering ISO 6400 suggests that it should be able to squeeze the same out of the 24MP sensor as well. But I can well imagine Nikon keeping a 12MP body with very high ISO in its range alongside a D4 which offers 24MP resolution at D3/D300s ISO levels.

          Bringing out the D3s before the D4 is understandable, but what I don’t understand is the D300s which would more logically be a D400.

          The D300s is clearly an interim body which suggests that there is also a D400 on its way offering a clear improvement in some area. One possibility is that we will see a simultaneous launch of 24MP D4 and D400 bodies. Another is that the D4/D400 difference will be adding WiFi networking, GPS or some other workflow/convenience feature.

      • I’ll stick w/ my 12mp sensor thankyouverymuch. Not all of us want MOREmoreMORE.

        As it is, I eat up the gigabytes fast enough. You large MP people are a dream come true for Western Digital/Seagate/Maxtor, etc.

        • zzddrr

          Exactly. WD/Seagate/Hitachi did pay us to screw up Nikon. Make it worse, Intel and Apple were the mastermind behind our sinister plot of asking Nikon to give us more data (over 12MP). In that way they both can sell they new crappy riggs to us at discounted price since you know we already got a deal with the two above mentioned gangsters.


      I pray for the reduce the noise at high ISO too…Hope they could do it.

      But for me, for now, I think they can’t……

      I mean, Crop-Frame like D300 even D300s , Noise says hello to your eyes all over the photo at ISO 1600 and start to increase through out the highest.

      -But now this is full-frame (which have much lower noise)?
      -The New!…. D3s……=new cool potential?
      -Hi3 at 102400 = fun with your friends in the next New York new blackout or would it be a new workable potential?
      -When D3s is at……6400 at highest normal, that’s mean 6400 will be clean enough?

      I say in my idea I don’t want to believe they will be able to do
      but I think if the rumour was true …..that mean they already could do it?

      So pls be true….. amen amen amen

      ^ ^…..Cheers, Nikon!

      • specs

        If you’d compare pictures instead of just numbers you’d see the D300 is not doing so bad in comparison with a D3 (or D700). Most people forget the complete picture is important, the framing, the DOF and the lighting. Opening the aperture won’t allways produce better pictures.

        Noise says hello to a D3 as well at ISO3200 instead of ISO 1600 with a D300 (similar framing, DOF and lighting). From the pictures I saw the “low ISO” advantage seems to be largely overrated based on a comparison of apples and oranges.

        Off course this does not mean the D3 has no advantages over the D300(s).

  • WoutK89

    Hi-1 25600, Hi-2 51200, Hi-3 102400, if base ISO are 200-12800

    • that makes sense – I was comparing with the D3 data

  • iHateCanon

    What happened to the so called video at 14 FPS ?

    • Well, video at 14fps isn’t really a feature anybody wants is it? If my memory serves me correctly, a cinematic fps is considered 24fps. And if that is the case, then nobody would want 14fps, that’s just not smooth video.

      • WoutK89

        Exactly, it was shooting stills at 14 fps…

        • ‘What happened to the so called video at 14 FPS?’

          That’s what I was responding to. Maybe he meant stills, maybe he didn’t. But my response was built on what the person to whom I was replying said in his post.

          • WoutK89

            And I said you were right, Video at 14 fps is not what you expect to see in any whatsoever video device.

          • Haha, I’m so confused. But I’m pretty sure I’m following everyone now. :p Anyways, stills at 14 FPS is amazing for sports shooters and photojournalists. And video at 24fps is a good standard fps for video. So I don’t know why anyone would really be disappointed with this update, which follows Nikon’s past patterns pretty well.

      • Alex

        14fps is for shooting pictures (that’s fast !)
        The video will be 24fps or better 30fps.

        • Ronan

          You want 24fps not 30fps.

          Don’t ask me why, thats what my videographer buddy said. I guess the standardt is 24fps and anything else = more work to do.

          • Ronan – You are 100% correct. 24fps video = motion goodness. 30fps video = nasty soap opera/home video look.

            That’s why home videos don’t look like movies, and movies don’t look like home videos.

  • townerboy

    12.1 MP??? What da cluck is going on. Where is my 14MP? where is my 18MP??

    Where is NIKON going with this? I TOO am getting a lil worried about the LACK of direction Nikon is taking.

    • WoutK89

      You have been spending way too much time at the wrong website

      If Nikon was to introduce a new sensor, they would just call it D3s, and another thing, where would they get those sensors from?

      • iHateCanon

        Sony.. is what I heard..

    • WoutK89


    • Anon

      OK it says D3s. “S”, Meaning useleSS. Get D3x if you want more MP… It’s out so stop complaining.

    • Ronan

      Stop reading that KR bs.

      12.1MP is more than enough.

      Thanks for showing everyone how much an amateur you are 🙂

      • WoutK89

        Hehe, I didnt dare to put it like this 😀

    • sohnjwan

      What are you talking about? as it is the D3 is a great camera… I prefer better per pixel quality, great micro contrast, super noise handling, than a lousy camera that can´t do AF properly (1Ds and 1D MKIII) or a camera with a prehistoric AF system (5D MKII). Heck just by watching how much noise is produced even at ISO100 and how micro detail is eroded in the EOS 7D I´m thankful Nikon isn´t as stupid as Canon.

  • Ryan

    MP isn’t everything.. it will be the new photojournalists camera

    • zzddrr

      they already have one the D3

      in the meantime landscape dudes can discover Alice in Wonderland … at least that story has a good ending.

      Quite few will be pissed and take a second look at the A850

      • Anon

        OK enlighten me, why are more than 12 MP needed for landscape???? 12 MP prints quite large already…

        • Ronan

          For landscape you want maximum resolution.

          D3X is there for that or medium format.

          • zzddrr

            agreed but Nikon does not make one that is affordable for the serious amateurs.

            I kind of understand why many is pissed since they just want to take pictures at high res and not video. They’ve been waiting for a year now and Sony and Canon offers that. That is many complains.

        • teila

          I suppose it depends on what your use to, and what your personal standard is. 12mp in my opinion is horrible for landscape and large group photos (I respect those of you who feel that 12mp is ok for such), and doesn’t get decent until nearly 30mp. Large group photographs and landscapes in my mind are firmly the job for large format cameras, or digital back backs > 40mp.

          Look at a landscape from a 39mp back and 28mm lens and compare it to a 16mp photograph and the difference is obvious. Large wedding portrait prints? Years ago we viewed thousands of prints (20×30 ish) from the 16mp 1dsII, and walked away sorely disappointed.

          12mp is great for most paid work, however, there is a huge difference between a 12mp fashion/beauty or bridal shoot or the same taken with a 30mp or higher digital back. Absolutely no comparison!

          Hmmm… look at large bridal prints (20×30) from a D3, then look at the same from a D3x, 1ds3, or 5d2… notice anything different in the eye, veil, fabric, jewelry, hair and skin detail? View the same size bridal prints from at least a 39mp back and you’ll be ruined forever… 😉

          There are tons of uses for more MP. One great usage that I can think of for the D3/D3s are available light portraits and beach weddings at sundown. I can’t think of any camera that would be better for general wedding photos over the D3/D3s. 14fps? High iso performance? That would easily come in handy when the groom is spinning his bride around in his arms on the beach, with the sun already on the horizon.

      • Gordon

        It really makes you wonder whats happening at Nikon, everyone can see what a strong body a D700X would be as an addition to their line-up, yet Nikon seems blinded by what the competition is doing or more importantly the needs of the customers.

        A D700X would be perfect us tripod users, those of us who demand more resolution for landscapes, architecture, fine art or studio work but who don’t need the bulk and weight of a D3X.

        I can’t understand why Nikon are dragging their feet, do they want to lose market share over to Canon and Sony? For landscape photography they’ve pretty much given the market to Canon over the last few years, now what little they have left could be snapped up by Sony.

        • Ronan

          D700x will come, but thats up to Nikon if they want competition with their own product.

          Right now the market is NOT asking for more MP, it’s asking for cleaner images, hence the whole High ISO war.

          And any pro photographer that needs more MP is already shooting with a medium format camera or will be getting one soon.

          Anything more than 12MP we go for the hassy. We do have a D3x and use it every week, but for those high MP contracts, Hassy, Hassy, Hassy.

          • Agreed. I’d put the D3/D700 against the 5dMii any day of the week in resolution, detail, sharpness, noise, color, build quality….and on, and on, and on.

            Megapixel wars are as pointless as processor MHz wars. There are so many more factors than simply megapixels.

          • zzddrr

            Think about this for a second –

            What is good for you is not necessarily satisfactory for others. Perhaps others have different needs?

          • Geoff

            zzddrr… I completely agree with you. Ronan seems to think that he IS the market.

          • zzddrr and Geoff –

            I think the point Ronan is making is a salient one – too many people see what’s NOT there (and waste time whining about it), as opposed to seeing what IS there. There are so many features, options, and possibilities in today’s cameras that we couldn’t even dream of fifteen years ago. If we could have time traveled from then to now, I guarantee most of the whiners would be too dumbstruck to utter one syllable.

            I think its wise to remember to keep things in perspective. Just because tech is evolving rapidly doesn’t mean we NEED that tech now in order to produce great work. The tech will come eventually. Is that fact going to stop you from creating something spectacular today?

          • PHB

            No, a D800 will come, but a D700x is not a sure thing.

            The D3x underperforms the D300 in ISO despite having essentially the same sensor pitch. There is something not right about that sensor, which is I suspect the real reason Nikon priced the body as they did. We know that they were under huge pressure to deliver something, as was Sony. Failure for Sony to deliver for Nikon when Canon did was a bad loss of face.

            So what I think they did is to perform a short fab run with the ISO1600 sensor while they set about fixing the process and priced the resulting body at an exhorbitant price to limit demand to the bare minimum.

            KR is blowing smoke if he is talking about 18MP bodies. I cannot see any purpose to doing one. 12MP is the sweet spot for photojournalism and most amateur needs. 24MP is overkill for those applications but not enough for landscape or studio where 50MP is the sweet spot. I think that there will be a 12MP body in the Nikon Pro lineup for years to come, albeit likely to be a d300/d700 body rather than the flagship body at some point.

            The resolution required is proportional to the square of the longest side. So doubling the resolution means you can have a 40% larger print. A 50% increase in resolution gives you a 20% bigger print.

            That extra 20% was worth having when it meant the difference between noticeable artifacts in a 10″ print and not having noticeable artifacts. It is not worth having when it means a 28″ print rather than a 24″.

          • zzddrr

            Ron, I just don’t understand why do you (and Ronan) want to convince me and others the we do not need more resolution (or we do not know anything and we should just accept your point of view)?

            I wonder what will be your comment when one day next year Nikon will come out with a fast 24-30MP with same iso capabilities as the current D3?

          • zzddrr –

            It’s an interesting point of argument. You allude to the notion that my view is invalid, as my only point could be to convince you that you’re wrong. My view is different than yours, this is true. However, I’m not here to convince you of anything. I’m here to try to add some balance to the conversation.

            Some here are complaining that Nikon is wronging them by not releasing a 14, 16, 18, 21, 25, 30 or 50 mp body that costs ~$2k, while outperforming the cameras they have now. I’m arguing that despite what the competition is doing, Nikon is doing precisely what I would want them to do, what they have done for years, and what is (in my personal views) more responsible than what the competition is doing. They are quietly developing, and publicly announcing. The D3 wasn’t a bunch of hype. It was a breakthrough. Nobody can dispute that claim. The D3X was not hype. It was a revolution. Look at the Sony cameras carrying the same chip. Sorry, but they perform a great deal more poorly under the same conditions.

            Further, I feel the need to speak up against the attitude of entitlement, short-sidedness, and lust for the best specs on paper coming from the camera community in general. The Canons have 21mp, yet they perform about on par with the D3/D700 in lab tests. I have found them to be extremely sub standard to the Nikon cams in real world use. Color fidelity is much lower, noise is higher, and there is quite a bit more artifacting in the Canons. So the specs on paper mean nothing to me. Case in point – the D3 didn’t blow me away until I was able to pick one up and use it myself. The paper specs sounded impressive, but I wanted to know first hand that it wasn’t hype – cause it sure sounded like it.

            If you can clearly show here why 25mp <3k is necessary for the majority of Nikon shooters then I'm first to listen and agree.

            You also allude to the idea that I either won't appreciate a 25mp body next year, or that I would be flip-flopping if I were to praise it. Again, you assume incorrectly. I would be very happy indeed if a D3x style camera came into my realm of affordability within the next year. My argument is not that the D3x is useless, but rather that I don't NEED it to get the job done. I also argue that there are very few people that actually NEED that type of resolution on the job. You may disagree. Thats fine. Provide your arguments. But if all you can say is that I should shut up because you'll never change your opinion, or that Nikon is stupid, then I can't see you winning much of the debate.

          • Geoff

            Ron Adair.. I think you’re misunderstanding my point. I don’t have a problem with the current amount of megapixels. I’d be thrilled to have 12 mp as I currently use a camera that has 6. So I’m definitely not a MP hog. I, personally, prefer quality mps over quantity mps.
            My comment was made to point out that just because I want something or that Ronan wants something, doesn’t mean that’s what the market wants.

            Specifically, my problem was with the quote “Right now the market is NOT asking for more MP, it’s asking for cleaner images, hence the whole High ISO war”.
            What about the whole MP war? Bad logic.

            The following part of the post doesn’t make sense to me either though. “And any pro photographer that needs more MP is already shooting with a medium format camera or will be getting one soon. Anything more than 12MP we go for the hassy. We do have a D3x and use it every week, but for those high MP contracts, Hassy, Hassy, Hassy”.
            So…. the D3x is used every week for? Those in between times? Doesn’t make sense to me.

          • Geoff,

            Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand where your previous comment is coming from now, and agree that some of Ronans arguments may not be as on point as others. Still, it sounds like we’re at least in large part in agreement.

            Specifically, I agree with your statement on the quality vs. quantity megapixel game.

            “I, personally, prefer quality mps over quantity mps.”

            Not only do I prefer that, but I feel that Nikon, by taking the conservative route in producing better (not merely more) megapixels, are actually behaving with greater responsibility. They clearly have a more long term market in mind. This approach will always piss of the ones who want their favorite company to look best on paper, even at the cost of true quality. And that’s also why I call the whiners whiners – I can’t believe that many (or any) of them actually need more megapixels. If that’s the case, then I certainly haven’t heard many sound arguments from them as to why.

            And then, even if they truly could benefit, then why don’t they just switch to the companies they tout as killing Nikon? If these companies offerings are so great, why not just jump ship and sign on with “those other guys” instead of wasting everyone’s time whining about it? Again, I call hot air.

          • zzddrr

            now that was a long piece to read.

            As I said before, generalization … No question in my mind that each customer has a little bit different need hence these companies Nikon, Canon, and Sony try to sell to them depending what they think is profitable for them.

            What Ron and Ronan do not understand is that 1) their view cannot be applied to the general public. What is good for both of view is not necessarily good for everyone otherwise everyone use Nikon 12MP (even the current Canon users). 2) Why people don’t switch? Well, slowly they are doing it. Very slowly. The reasl reason behind is that they might have investment in glasses. Basically the switching cost would be too high. 3) But the real difference is this. In the film era you were able to take the same quality imagy with an FM3, F40, F5, and F6 as long as you used the a) the same quality lens and b) knew how to do it manually. Meaning that you had more options of selecting the “sensor or film” for your purpose. Today this is very costly. That is why people are pissed because they have to wait perhaps years to get an affordable high res (or in film world Velvia) camera.

        • rhlpetrus

          Gordon: the info gathered by some people is that yhe D3x sensor cannot produce video as Nikon seems fit for competition in the entry-midrange FF market (meaning 5DII). That could be a good reason for no 24MP smaller FF.

  • nir.e

    to be honest, I’m perfectly content with the D3.
    I don’t like the look of D-SLR videos, to my opinion it cannot replace camcorders yet. Maybe Nikon manged to get clearer picture at higher IOS witch is a nice feature, but still not a reason for me to upgrade.

  • Chad

    I can’t wait to see what the D3s video looks like. I hope the rolling shutter problem is gone so that we can have hope that the solution will one day trickle down to the consumer cams. I thought they’d solve it in the D300s but no… if they don’t fix it in the D3s I guess it can’t be done.

    • Soap

      It can be done – and will be done, but I doubt the “tweaked” D3s sensor will fix it.
      Regardless, the D3s reading lines faster or not is in no way, shape, or form a statement on if it can be done or not.

      • Chad

        If the D3s shoots the same quality video as the D90 did two years ago (which I think the D300s does), I will take it as a sign that Nikon isn’t serious about video in their DSLRs. The current video is pathetic and if they put it in the flagship camera then I take it as that’s all there is, plane and simple.

        I’m not sure the problem with video from a CMOS sensor has anything to do with reading lines faster.. but I’m not an electrical guy. My understanding is that we’re waiting on either a global shutter to solve the problem or something in the software to correct it. I have no clue when we’ll see a global shutter so my hope is that Nikon has implemented a software solution to fix it in the D3s.

        • 1 – The D90 was announced one year ago, not two.

          2 – D300s video is much improved over the D90/D5000. Not perfect, but better.

          3 – Pathetic must be in the eye of the beholder. I have found the D300s video to be incredible so far, so long as the camera is operated professionally as any Panavision/RED/Arri would be.


          • Chad

            Ron, so the video out of the consumer D90 looks good as long as it’s being operated by a pro? What sense does that make?

          • Prosumer. Besides, wasn’t your whole point that Nikon doesn’t care about video? Why, because you say so? They’ve improved since their initial foray into the video world. And they will continue to improve. Mark my words.

            And can you point to a “consumer” camcorder that normally looks good when operated by a typical human being?

            I can show you footage from $5-10k cameras (or more) that look like crappy home footage when in the wrong hands. Nikon can’t fix stupid. Should that stop them from offering useful features to those willing to learn how to use them?

        • Soap

          If you’re “not sure” it’s a CMOS line read issue you don’t understand the issue. Hint: It’s not a mechanical issue or a software one.

          • WoutK89

            if its not hardware, nor software, what is it then?

        • Soap

          It would take an entirely new sensor, not a “tweaked” one to switch to a global shutter. The line by line read mode of the current Nikon sensors isn’t an issue when shooting stills because the physical shutter covers the sensor during read and prevents the light wells from accumulating a new (different) charge. When in video mode, however, the physical shutter remains open and there is plenty of time for the light wells of line N+1 to read a new charge while line N is being read.

          There are tricks and tweaks you can employ off-sensor to minimize this effect, but it is a physical limitation and the bottleneck will always be the slow line-read speed of the sensor, no matter how fast the hardware behind it.

          • Soap

            WoutK89: I didn’t say it wasn’t “hardware” I said it wasn’t mechanical. It’s the electrical properties of Nikon’s (and most other’s) choice of CMOS sensors. Global shutter on CMOS comes at a price.

          • WoutK89

            Isnt electricity a part of the mechanicals? I am trying to learn what could be done, so I understand what people complain about, and if it would be easy for Nikon to fix it 😉

          • Soap

            As I understand it to do global shutter on slow CMOS sensors you must put an expensive on-die buffer on the sensor for each line, or you must be willing to read in parallel every line at once. Both of these solutions take mucho silicon – and thus mucho expense.
            Rolling shutter allows you to read lines sequentially w/o (significant?) on-die buffer.
            My original point was this is not something that can be fixed in software or even mechanically. It can only be fixed through the use of more (expensive) silicon. Remember, CPUs get cheaper every year not because silicon gets (much) less expensive, but because they use less of it per chip. A FF (or DX) sensor will always be the same size, and thus the cost can not be expected to go down over time in the same manner CPUs do. Adding on-die cache increases the footprint of the die and thus increases the cost significantly, both through the use of more silicon and through the likely decrease in yields.

          • Soap

            And arguably the current video functions don’t impact still photographers in any significant way (outside software R&D), but if they (Nikon) move to a more expensive sensor simply to improve video functions they will have passed significant unwanted costs to still-only photogs. This is why I expect rolling shutter to continue to be a real issue up to that point in time CMOS sensors evolve to read faster or other innovations allow some other unforeseen workaround.
            I just can’t see Nikon forcing everyone to pay significantly more for video improvements on their primary camera lines until that point in time.

          • Chad

            Thanks for the detailed explanation Soap.

            As I said originally, I can’t wait to see what the D3s video looks like.

        • rhlpetrus

          As I mentioned above, a possible reason for the delay of the D700x is that the Sony sensor cannot do video at same level as Canon’s.

  • Alex

    Nikon will relase a 12MP camera in October 2009 !
    Great ! 12MP that’s very good, you just have to take 2 pictures next to each other and you have a 24MP camera for only $4.000!
    I hope the Nikon 700s will also have a 12MP sensor !
    What ? You guys don’t have any sens of humor ?

    • Anon

      Well the 2 pics technique isn’t really humor, it’s actually quite handy.

    • Ronan

      Panoramic shots.

      Mine average 60-80MP.

      Really really really fun! 🙂

  • Gary

    Hopefully the video will be 1080p, not just 720; ideally, there would be many choices like on the new 7D. If Nikon can make this a serious video dslr, they may be able to finally steal back some of Canon’s thunder in the video world. Right now Canon is mopping up with the video crowd, and make no mistake about it, this is a worthwhile and growing market.

    14fps on stills seems amazing.

    I’m with zzddrr though with the high ISO; are they aiming for night vision? It’s hard to believe they can improve upon what they already have, but if so more power to them.

    • sjms

      lets see how long the mirror assy lasts at that innane frame rate. canon has a fair failure rate in their shutter assys in addition to a whole lot of mirror bounce (i have intimate experience with that one in many of my shots). so i presume that the predicted 14fps will be with the mirror up and out of the way as the 11fps in my D3 is.

      • WoutK89

        Patents, patents 😀

  • Ray

    hmm i would buy it.. if it was $2000. LOL

    i dont think nikon should put video on the d3s, probably just a bit more res, higher iso, and higher fps is fine… leave the video for d700(x/s/lalala)… and give canon a run for their money by making it cost 2500… =x i wish.

  • Chris

    I don’t care about adding a crappy video mode. HEY NIKON HOW ABOUT DROPPING THE D700 DOWN TO $1,999?

    • Henson

      That’s right!! That would be lovely, init?

      • Alex

        Did you say $1500 ?

  • SimonC

    In-spec high-ISO of 12800 is very welcome. That means a very clean ISO 6400. My guess is that they have reduced the read noise of the sensor to D3x levels.
    The HI-3 extension (as opposed to HI-2 in previous cameras) only means that Nikon is very confident in the high-ISO IQ.

    The 14 FPS still shooting is extremely impressive. But I wonder if this is with AF and metering? The D3 had some restrictions > 9 FPS.

    • Ronan

      D3x is more noisy than D3. It doesn’t ‘look’ like it thanks to the higher MP count + new algorythm for NR, but it is more noisy.

      Theirs a reason the D2h is less noisy than D300. Less MP = bigger pixels = more light = less noise 😉

      • SimonC

        True, but I believe the D3x is more “noisy” in the sense that there is more photo-shot noise at high ISO than the D3 (and not from inherently “noisy electronics”). However, noise from reading the sensor and ADC conversion, I believe is lower in the D3x than the D3 (probably due to the column-parallel architecture of the Sony-based sensor used in the former).

        The D3 simply does better than the D3x at high ISO due to the very large photosites, which more than compensates for the moderate read-noise the sensor may have. (The latest Canon’s have about 2.5 electrons in read-noise, while the D3 and D300 both average around 4.6-4.9 electrons)

        Back to the D3s: They’ve most likely reduced the read-noise, resulting in much higher SNR (thus more DR and higher ISO). But this is just a guess, based various astrophotography journals I’ve read that have detailed results on read-noise, SNR, etc. on Nikon and Canon sensors.

  • Just a Thought

    Specs jump too high, too soon especially using the same sensor.

  • Chris

    I’m breaking into my kid’s college account!

    • Aaron

      dude…be careful…

  • Aaron

    I figured out that Nikon will one day enable us to shoot in complete darkness handheld without any blur…

    • WoutK89

      I can already take a picture in complete darkness, no blur whatsoever 😛

      What the picture shows, well more complete darkness, but I made a picture in complete darkness

      • zzddrr

        Good humour

    • Alex

      Well, 24.000 iso can be usefull to take a picture of my hass, bust seriously, I never go over 800 ISO, what the point to have $1500 lenses if you don’t care about noise ?
      All I want is a D700x with 24MP (with no stupid & crappy video).
      (funny how we care about thoses little things when alf people on the planet are dying because of wars, diseases or malnutrition)

      • WoutK89

        so why do you bother about video on a D700x, if half of the world is in agony?

        • Alex

          Right now a $300 camecorder give you better video than a DSLR.
          For now, I prefer than Nikon does not incorpore video unless you can make good movie with it.
          It’s not that I don’t care about the video, I just don’t like to use tools that are not good enough to give me good results.
          I have the video on my D5000, compared to a digital camecorder, it sucks.

          • Ben

            Are you kidding me? Have you seen what DSLR video can do? In the hands of a person who would buy a 300$ video camera, sure, they can’t do anything with it (OMG manual focus!! Its garbage!)
            Take a look at a real pro shooting with a 7D (and nikon, I want this quality video in the D3s and you’ve sold me another D3):

  • Ivan

    Are Nikon stupid or what? Another 12 MP camera?

    • GlobalyGuy

      They have the best 24mp pixel camera in the world. This is a D3x alternative (hi-ISO vs. high pixel count). Nikon is showing that they will have BOTH.

      I think what you are commenting on is the need for a D700x and a D300x.

      Just wait. Its only been half a year since people were still oohing and aaahing about the D700. You have to give major corporations time to move their machine, design the parts, train the people and have strategic plans in line. Its not simply a matter of snapping your fingers. Canon has far more resources. Sony has far more resources. Nikon is pretty focused, but also has to manage a smaller amount of resources. Trust the brand, they will get there.

      • I agree, GlobalyGuy. Also worthy of note is that Nikons 12mp is the equivalent of Canons 21mp. In fact, the 12mp FX sensor beats their 21mp ff sensor hands down. That’s why Canon is pushing video so hard right now. They don’t have legs to stand on in the other areas where they got complacent, but they’ve had a market in video for some time now.

        Canon and Sony do indeed have far more resources. However, I don’t get the sense they’re in it with the passion and zeal which Nikon continues to exhibit year after year. Personally, I’m ok with their more methodical approach.

      • WoutK89

        I rather have better quality and control, than a camera or lens that has been put together too fast just because the crowd wants it…

        • ^^^That is precisely my thought as well. Nikon seems more like Apple in that sense, where they strive to only release something which works as well as they believe it SHOULD, or they don’t release it at all. Too bad there are other companies *cough* canon *cough* who would be first to market with a heap of hype, instead of the more conservative route of under-promising/over-delivering.

  • GlobalyGuy

    The need for a 16-35 is simple — the 14-24 CANT TAKE FILTERS and the 17-35 ALREADY EXISTS (quite successfully).

    Nikon could go with a new f/2.8 17-35, but, instead they might be choosing to go slightly wider, and slightly slower, while retaining the ability to use FILTERS and also contributing to a new affordable line-up (f/4s), which have been demanded over and over and over again by the market segment familiar with Canons f/4 line.

    If Nikon is doing this — it is a SMART MOVE.

    Maybe they will make a 16-50 f/2.8 AFS G some day, who knows. But if right now its an f/4 16-35, then right now its an f/4. Thats not so bad if its not a $2,000 dollar lens, unlike all the f/2.8s right now!!

    • Ben

      Yes, as a shooting pro I am constantly tempted to buy the 14-24, but as a wedding photographer I’m not really sure its worth the money right now (for me specifically. Its totally worth the price its sold at). a 16-35/4 (if its sharp at 4!) for 500-1000$ would be a new addition to my bag for sure. I typically shoot alot of the reception with a 35mm/2 at 5.6 while my wife uses a 24-70/2.8 at 5.6 (or there abouts). A 16-35 would make a very nice reception lens while also giving me a great wide angle for vacations and other fun stuff.

  • forgot to mention: the Nikon D3s may have a 1.3x crop mode

    • jon

      dammit admin..this is a crucial info and you left it out..

      kidding..thanks for the excellent job..keep up the good work..

      i can sleep well tonight since i don’t have to sell my d3 now..may not need 1.3x crop..

      • remember the specs are just rumors, but the D3s is real

    • That could be good. That’s exactly what the D3x needs. 10mp crop is just a tad too small, IMO. Stock agencies require min. 12mp.

      Thanks for the extra info!

    • Bob Howland

      “forgot to mention: the Nikon D3s may have a 1.3x crop mode”

      This has to be joke spread by Canon 1D fans!!!

      • Actually, Kodak also had a 1.3x crop factor. I quite liked it. I’m not particularly partial (in general) to either a 1.3x crop or a 1.5x crop, or full frame for that matter. It all depends on my intent. I definitely appreciate the 1.5x crop when I want my 200mm to give me a tighter shot at the same resolution. Then again, DX crop on an FX sensor is too intrusive for me. For instance, if I am using a 25mp camera and don’t need the full resolution, the DX crop seems a bit too aggressive. 10mp is a tad too low for me. Sounds like a 1.3x crop would be perfect. What would that come out to, 12mp? Half the res?

        Likewise, on a 12mp FX sensor, if we cut it in half, that would be ~6mp?

        Does anybody know a simple way to calculate the resolution one would get from a 1.3x crop factor?

  • a

    Why do people suddenly need more than 12MP? Just because 5dII with its sucky AF has 21MP, suddenly everyone needs 21MP?

    • a


    • Alex

      No, more than 50MP will be useless, so in 2-3 years we will be done.
      I keept my film camera for 10-15 years before renewing them because a lens is a lens and a film is a film.
      If they give me a D700 with 24MP I will keep it for many years.

      • WoutK89

        I think we will first improve Dynamic Range and bit depth of the photos before we ever reach 50 MP (my guess, not before 2015)

        • This is the type of “quality” I prefer over quantity. Are there shots where double the resolution would add critical fine detail to my shots? A few. But there are a ton of shots that would benefit by greater dynamic range and color rendition. Nikon is already a leader in that area, and I hope they continue to find improvements.

          I did see a Nikon patent a while back which discussed a true RGB sensor which utilized a lens over each pixel bin (already being used), and a series of mirrors and filters below the chip which would direct the light from each bin into an RGB space. This would allow a true color chip, and allow greater sharpness, detail, and color integrity than the traditional B/W / Bayer pattern chips.

          Admin – does this ring a bell? Anyone hear anything else about this chip design?

  • low

    if you want more MP, get a d3x. if you want to whine about the price, get a 5dii…if you want more and dont want video, go hassey! the options are out there, stop whining! ask yourself, why the hell are you even spending this much money on something you arent getting a single dime on return?? ive never seen so many crybabies before except on a mac forum, lol!

    • great post! (especially about the mac forum part)


    • Neil

      Most people who are complaining aren’t actually in the market to buy it. They just like complaining.

      • a-freaking-men. The sad fact of digital is that there are TON more people in the market that ACT like photographers. Good for camera companies, bad for forums where people want to chat about the great tools that would be considered impossible a few years prior.

        Thanks Low, Neil, et al. for calling out the whiners.

        • Ennan


          The D3 is an amazing camera – as yet unbeaten by any other camera in it’s class. The D3s will be even better. What is there to complain about?

    • Nicely said, low. 🙂

      Please stop whining, people, the specs of this D3s are breathtaking. Unless you do serious zooming and huge printouts, the 12 Megapixels is a sweet point, especially combined with the new superhigh ISO sensitivity.

  • Jack

    I’m certainly not going to complain about a D3s, especially considering it might have even better low-light abilities than the D3. In fact, a d700s with the same specs would be cool too. I just hope Nikon will release a high resolution D700x-type body as well sometime in the very near future. I could go for some flapjacks too. I wonder if it’s too early for that.

    • Never.

      Never too early for flapjacks.

      • Jack

        Well, at least we can all agree on something.

  • Bral

    1,3X crop mode? What the point with that? Do you mean some kind of automatic crop when DX lenses is attached, like in the D700?


    • [Ô]

      The D3 already has auto crop with DX lenses. both D700 & D3 crop at 1.5x.
      D3 has 3:4 crop mode too.

      Admin is suggesting that we will see a 1.3x crop as well.

    • Rangefinder Bob

      Why 1.3 cropped mode? Ultra high speed–14 FPS. Like the D2 series with HS crop mode, or better yet, Canon’s 1D Mark III (1.3x crop), only even faster. Would allow any Canon photographer to switch from 1D Mk 3 to D3s without breaking a sweat (bank account might hurt a tad, though). I can imagine a LOT of sports photographers would be salivating at 14 FPS.

  • M!

    HI-3 at 102,400 ISO.
    14fps = a roll of 36 film in 2.6s.
    quite advanced from film era.
    sports photographers (and event photographers) will love the D3s.
    studio photographers will still love their D3x.

    • jon

      and people who buy their own gears and don’t have lotsa money still love their d3(s) as in plural..

      • Bob Jobson

        ….and we still won’t have any updated primes. Yes, I’m one of the whiners, but I’m also happy with my D300 which I expect to keep until the shutter fails in about 3 years time.

  • kalif

    What would it mean 1,3x crop?? Like 12MPix on FF, 10MPix on DX (crop 1,3x) ?? That would be nice 🙂

  • iHateCanon

    I’ve got to buy another one of these…. I was doing a shot where I took the camera and mounted it ( HARD ) on side of my car and it fell off in the middle of the interstate … I sat there on side of the road watching my $4,000 ( with lens ) camera getting ran over by semi trucks and cars….. 🙁 it was so sad….

    • jon

      maybe getting an insurance the next year when you mount the new d3s outside your car..?

      • WoutK89

        I dont think insurance will cover this 😉

        • I believe there are actually production policies that cover just this kind of incident. And I believe they’re pretty affordable, too. Same as a rental policy if you’re a rental house.

    • Alex

      Were you able to save the sensor ?

  • Man

    For what a new 1.3x crop mode?

  • Steve

    Built in sensor dust removal system please. This is a fundamental feature that the D3 lacks (and D3x come to think of it). I would far rather have the basics in place than movie capability. The D3 is still THE standard when it comes to low noise and Iook forward to the D3s continuing in this tradition.

  • Steve

    Excited by the 16 – 35 FX lens. This could be the wide lens I’ve been waiting for. Unlikely to need 14mm and like the idea of being able to use filters (I’ve not bought 14 – 24 even though it is SENSATIONAL because I just thought I wouldn’t get it out of the bag much). Well done Nikon! I look forward to the short to mid tele primes being updated in due course ; )

  • Chris

    Powerball is up to 170million!

  • Man

    My big respect to Nikon that it didn’t increase megapixels and left them on the same 12 MP level. For those people, who needs perfect picture quality, low ISO noise, good dynamic range etc. For megapixel onanists there is Canon.

  • funny

    only 24fps. has nikon taken a look at the 5D and 7D?
    seriously, they need to outdo both of them in every video feature if they expect to compete against the 1DIV.

    if nikon makes the D3s with crappy motion jpeg video at 24fps they may as well not even put video at all.

    • WoutK89

      Read the above comments about 30 fps, and you will know why they use this 😉

      • Little N

        but… as long as general broadcasting is concerned, 30fps/29.97fps is much easier to use. The 24fps needs to be converted, and to sync the sound to drop frame converted footage is pain in the butt.

      • AS

        Little N is rite, 30 fps is not only better but also easier to manipulate, 24 fps was used in film era cinematography and it is NOT a standard for consumer usage, 29,97 fps is!

        • Man

          Agree. 24 fps is bullshit. I don’t care about Hollywood.

          • Alex

            Porn movies don’t even need 24fps !

        • Zoetmb

          Drop-frame time code is no longer necessary, although still used in professional operations. The original reason for drop-frame is because when color TV was invented, the color subcarrier would absorb common-phase noise from the harmonics of the line scan frequency. Rather than adjusting the audio or chroma subcarriers, they adjusted everything else, including the frame rate, which was set to 30/1.001 Hz for NTSC video (primarily North America). In Europe, the rate was always 25 fps.

          Note that when using drop frame, no frames are dropped. There are just certain units of time code that are dropped: frames 0 and 1 of the 1st second of each minute are dropped except when the number of minutes is evenly divisible by ten.

          In digital TV, this is not an issue and 30fps, not 29.97fps is used.

          And while 24fps does give a look somewhat more like what we associate with film, it is not “better”. There have been many proposals over the years to change the frame rate in the movie industry to 30fps or even 60fps, but the industry didn’t want the expense, except for special systems like Showscan.

          The primary difference between the “look” of film and video is contrast, color space and texture, not frame rate.

          • I’m sorry, but look at a well shot piece on a 5dmii that isn’t 24p conformed and you’ll see a huge degradation in motion quality. This definitely has an effect on the mood, drama, motion qualities, and overall narrative quality.

            I won’t go into great detail covering my arguments here. I’ve already worn thin (or out) my welcome with the whiner discussion. But check out this link if you want to know why the debate even exists:


            P.S. 1/48th of a second is much closer estimation of motion that our eyes register in day to day life. That is a very important reason why 24fps if more “natural” looking to us vs. even 30fps, as 30fps requires a shutter speed of 1/60.

        • rkas

          America fuck yeah? Where I live (and in many other cnries aswell) the standard is 25fps.
          And have you ever seen a bluray which is pretty much a consumer standard btw? Guess not; its 23.957fps. ;P

          • Alex

            That is just to show movies at their native frame rate, better than doing a pull-down. Film stock in expensive, so doubling the frame rate on 35mm, would double the cost of negatives and prints. Digital would be much easier to increase frame rate. PAL countries have 25fps (50i) video because of the 50Hz electrical supply, NTSC countries have 60i because of the 60hz AC power. There may be a couple of exceptions in some countries, but generally that is the rule.
            When all else is equal, more frames per second is better. I guess the good thing about 24fps, is it is universal for films. That may change some day.

  • Mr. Good Bar

    My D700, once tweaked can shoot up to 7-8fps.
    Here’s my question: Once I press the shutter button does the the mirrror also flop up and down 7 or 8fps?

    • Alex

      I miss my Nikon FA with 5 aera light sensor, and the high speed 3fs !

    • Kwartjuh

      Uh. Are you asking if your D700’s mirror moves up and down 8 times per second if your camera takes 8 frames per second? Of course it does! The only case where this doesn’t happen is with video in any DSLR: The mirror is moved up, and the sensor records up to 30fps (Canon 5DmkII and 7D)

  • I don’t believe the ISO 100k rumor. If it is fundamentally the same sensor as the D3 I very much doubt that just by tweaking the output stage and noise reduction they can get two extra stops of performance from the sensor.

  • I can’t believe that just by tweaking the output and noise reduction they can get two extra stops of high-ISO performance.

  • HDZ

    WHY NOT D3H?

  • eval nx2.4

    back in the 60s, at nasa we used movie film camera devices that had 15,000 frames per second rate. what’s the big deal about 14 fps?

    • WoutK89

      It uses a mirror, without it, it cant autofocus that fast. I dont know how it works in high speed movie cameras, but it works different 😉

    • rhodium

      The fact that it doesn’t cost about 5 houses.

    • Alex

      Cameras for movies does not have mirror, that is why you can archive very high speed.

  • zen-tao

    And for the ones waiting for an affordables 24mpx camera, nothing. Perhaps Nikon is going to lower the price of the D3x otherwise we sholud sell our Nikon equip an look for a Canon. It’s likely we earn an extra money with the change.
    Poor improvements. If we want to make videos we must purchase an RedOne for a little more. The quality diference is hight. Ican’t understand that policy.There are a lot of new sensors, technology available and nikon is still digging his heels in.

    • WoutK89

      So everytime only 1 small piece is available, you want Nikon to introduce something new, and make your camera an old one, maybe within a month?

    • Soap

      Bye Bye.

      • WoutK89

        Sleep tight, Good night 😉

  • jbl

    I do not believe in the 1.3x crop sensor and here’s why:

    The D3s should be to the D3 what the D300s is to the D300: same sensor, more features.

    I wonder why Nikon would release an inferior 1.3x crop which is a new sensor that would probably cost a lot to manufacture and develop (considering its new and they produce less since its only going in the D3s so far) while they have the already commercialized, already popular, already concieved and FX sensor that you get in the D3.

    I understand that with the 1.3x crop sensor the D3s could reach higher frame rates, but I don’t think the advantage would really worth it. The D3 is already very fast and they can make it faster without the 1.3x crop sensor.

    I’m really curious about how much the D3s will sell for, I might be interested if it features a 1080p video mode with manual controls. However, I’m more into for a D700 upgrade with video, whether it is the D700s or the D700x.

    • jbl

      Ohh a Crop MODE…

      I thought a new crop sensor.. lol

      well the new 1.3 crop mode with FX lens seems to be a nice way to trade some resolution for reach… I won’t be using this feature if I buy the D3s.

      • Soap

        Sensor density is sensor density. You don’t get more “reach” with a 1.3x crop on sensor X vs a 1.0x crop on sensor X, you get less pixels.

        People seem to get confused about why crop sensors give you an effective (not just apparent) zoom factor. They do so because they (so far) have higher pixel densities than FX sensors. A DX sensor with the same pixel density as a FX sensor has no “zoom”, it has missing edges.

        • Soap

          You’d get just as much “reach” shooting 1.0x and cropping later on as with a 1.3x crop MODE.

          • rhodium

            If you are an idiot you can shoot DX mode on a D3X. Works in the same way.

          • Soap

            Though, the D3x has a pixel density about inline with the D40.

  • Although i believe this rumour is plausible, i don’t believe the videomode, don’t think nikon would put video on such a camera focused on sports.

  • Digitalux

    Hard to believe they will add video. Does Nikon want its sports-photographers to be banned from pro-sports events ?

    APS-H crop is not a bad idea given that all the DX lenses I tried on my APS-H Kodak DCS 760 were working perfectly well (i.e. the 12-24/4, even @12).

    • rhlpetrus

      Video is the biggest marketing point now, and Nikon can’t complain, they started it.

  • Vendetta

    I was waiting for 15 m pixels, nothing less. I left nikon 3 years ago. I’ m actually working with an Hasselblad and Leaf aptus II. Nothing is better. The pictures are like diamonds, no AA filter . I just would like a clever camera to shoot sometimes at 6400 iso noise free.

    • Lol why wait on a d3s ? The nikon d3x is the way u should go.

    • eval nx2.4

      Press Release

      Hasselblad Announces H4D Digital Medium Format System with new True Focus AF

      With the release of the new H4D-60, the first H4D camera and most recent addition to the Hasselblad H System, Hasselblad marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of medium format DSLRs. The H4D-60 will feature True Focus with APL (Absolute Position Lock), making auto-focus substantially easier and more accurate for photography professionals.

      As part of the celebration honoring the first manned lunar landing and the first lunar photography, camera manufacturer Hasselblad is announcing another first, the launch of the H4D camera series. The first model in the new series is the H4D-60, featuring a 60 Megapixel medium format sensor.

      “We are thrilled to be able to announce the introduction of the H4D,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad. “This step represents the natural evolution of our H System and of our photographic strategy in general. As part of our efforts to inspire 35mm photographers to step up to the quality found in high-end DSLRs, the H4D series is built upon the successful H3D platform and features our revolutionary True Focus technology. The H4D also comes bundled with our new Phocus 2.0 imaging software.”

      True Focus and Absolute Position Lock
      “True Focus helps solve one of the most lingering challenges that faces serious photographers today,” he continues, “true, accurate focusing throughout the image field. Without multi-point auto-focus a typical auto-focus camera can only correctly measure focus on a subject that is in the center of the image. When a photographer wants to focus on a subject outside the center area, they have to lock focus on the subject and then re-compose the image. In short distances especially, this re-composing causes focus error, as the plane of focus sharpness follows the camera’s movement, perpendicular to the axis of the lens.”

      The traditional solution for most DSLRs has been to equip the camera with a multi-point AF sensor. These sensors allow the photographer to fix an off-center focus point on an off-center subject, which is then focused correctly. Such multi-point AF solutions are often tedious and inflexible to work with, however, and do not really solve the problem, claims Poulsen.

      “Photographers have grown accustomed to using auto-focus systems in their day to day work and we see increasingly higher numbers of focus points advertised in each new wave of AF products. The term ‘multi-point auto-focus’ is a bit misleading, however, for cameras with sensors larger than APS,” claims Poulsen. “Due to the physics of an SLR-camera, the off-center focus points that are offered are all clustered relatively close to the center of the image. To set focus outside of this center area, the photographer is still forced to focus first, and then shift the camera to reframe, with the resulting loss of focus as a result.

      To overcome this problem, Hasselblad has used modern yaw rate sensor technology to measure angular velocity in an innovative way. The result is the new Absolute Position Lock (APL) processor, which forms the foundation of Hasselblad’s True Focus feature. The APL processor accurately logs camera movement during any re-composing, then uses these exact measurements to calculate the necessary focus adjustment, and issues the proper commands to the lens’s focus motor so it can compensate. The APL processor computes the advanced positional algorithms and carries out the required focus corrections at such rapid speed that no shutter lag occurs. The H4D’s firmware then further perfects the focus using the precise data retrieval system found on all HC/HCD lenses.

      “This technology takes AF to an entirely new level, correcting for the vertical and horizontal focus-shift that results from the rotation of the camera around an axis close to camera,” says Poulsen, “In simple terms, True Focus allows the photographer to concentrate on their composition, to focus on their creativity, while True Focus takes care of the other, more mechanical focus.”

      True Focus on the H4D can be set to work at a half press of the camera release button, or via any user button programmed to AF-drive when the camera is in manual focus mode. This, the first release of True Focus, only corrects the horizontal and vertical positioning of the camera, and does not correct for any focus-shift which results from larger lateral movements of the camera during recomposing. The True Focus technology and APL (both patent pending) mark a significant milestone for Hasselblad’s high-end DSLR strategy and represent the result of many years of development work.

      Faster Software, Shorter Learning Curve
      The new user interface in Phocus 2.0 drastically reduces the learning curve for high-end imaging. The average photographer will be up to speed in less than 15 minutes, claims Hasselblad CEO Christian Poulsen. Functionality has not been lowered, however, with Phocus 2.0 matching or bettering the speed, functions, and usability found in Lightroom, Aperture, and Capture One.

      “We’ve increased speed, increased functionality, and dramatically increased the speed at which photographers can learn to use this advanced software,” says Poulsen. “In less than 5 minutes an amateur photographer can learn to work with our images. In less than 10 minutes, learn how to setup for production of high-res files for Photoshop. In less than 20 minutes learn how to shoot tethered as a professional studio photographer. The new version of Phocus is just another step in our efforts to make complex functionality simple to use, allowing photographers to focus on their shooting.”

      This philosophy lies behind a range of the features found in the H4D, including Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS), which achieves consistent color reproduction using a single color profile, and digital lens correction (DAC) which perfects each image captured through the HC/HCD lenses, by removing any trace of distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberrations. It was also the key motivation for what will surely be the most attractive feature in the new H4D, Hasselblad True Focus, explains Poulsen.

      The Hasselblad H4D-60 will be available for delivery in November 2009 at a price of 28,995 €.
      The Hasselblad H4D-50 will replace the H3DII-50. Delivery of the H4D-50 will begin in Q1, 2010 at a price of 19,995 €. H3DII-50 cameras purchased between now and Q1, 2010 will be upgraded to the H4D-50 free of charge. A program is also being announced for owners of H3D-31 and H3D-39 cameras to step up onto the H4D platform.

  • Alex

    I already advertise my Test charts for the D3s on Ebay !
    Faster than the light speed !
    Now, it better come out quikly or I will look stupid !

  • toss
    some shop in Thailand have post that D4 will available soon..

  • Charles

    There are many who complain about higher pixel density. I guess is the issue is not whether there is a higher pixel density or lower. The issue is whether the same image quality can be maintained when more pixels are packed in.

    What if Nikon managed to bring out a D800 with 25mpx at an ISO performance which is maybe 5-10% worse than the D700? Such a camera will definitely outresolve the D700 up to maybe ISO 1600-3200. Personally, I try not to go beyond ISO 1600. ISO 3200 is for emergency only.

    That would mean a 108% increase in pixel count while only sacrificing 5-10% of picture quality (at very high ISO). If the pricing is similar, who would even consider buying the 12mpx camera?

    Now come another question, are 12mpx sensors a deliberate decision by Nikon or are they forced to stick to it? For whatever reasons such as availability, pricing, etc, Nikon may not have as much choices as Sony or Canon in terms of sensor choices.

    • zen-tao

      If Nikon has no choices… Who has them? I don’t know what the Nikon-Sony’s marriage internal affairs are. But I can’t figure out who is wearing the slacks. If Nikon doesn’t he should get divorced and look for another sensor.

    • zen-tao

      Of course. There are no doubts. One Fx sensor is 1,5 aprox. times higher than an apsC . More pixel, higher photos. Even Sony is developing a new 100 mpx snsor for Fx format. I can tell between quality and mpx rate, of course, but both of them are positive. Put two D300 sensors together and you have a D3x camera (more or less) Who wants to renounce to that? Nikon Company with his reluctat policy is doing tha and they will pay for it. A camera like D300s may be good for press reporters (or the network company) because they carry two-in-one camera. No more.
      Paying 30.000 USD for a Hasselblad is a robe. They are selling Digital cameras ten times more expensive than analogues ones. Not talk about Nikon prices…
      Professional photographers are passing through serious problems to update their equipment. And many of them ad had to resign to keep making his work. I really despise Hasselblad people who set us with our 500 CM in our hands and didn’t give us a reasonable solution. I don talk about Nikon although they are playing with marketing affairs rather than to attend the real requirements of the photographers.

      • Soap

        No, one FX sensor is aprox 2.3x the size of DX.
        D700 = 23.9mm x 36mm = 860.4 sq mm
        D300 = 23.6mm x 15.8mm = 372.88 sq mm
        1.5x is the CROP factor, not the difference in square area.

        CROP factor is about the field of view, and is a function of the diagonal length of the sensor:
        D700 = 43.2 mm diag.
        D300 = 28.4 mm diag.

        YOU were talking about pixel count, not FOV, and therefore should be using the 2.3x multiplier, the AREA multiplier, as the number of light wells per sensor is a factor of area, not length.

        • Soap

          If you’re going to spout off about what “professional photographers” want – nobody expects you to know the numbers, but at least understand the issues.

          • zen-tao

            I thought this site was for photographers, not for math teachers, smart boy.

          • rhodium

            You know, Soap, people will be more willing to listen if you worded your posts more gently.

          • Soap

            I really don’t care if people like zen-tao listen or not. Facts are facts and he spouts none.

            I can’t hold the hand and sugar-coat corrections to people who would rather vent ignorance over the current technology rather than understand the physical issues at hand.

            All that being said – I think THIS post is the only intentionally nasty one. Elsewhere I have stated facts, w/o hand-holding – all viciousness is implied by others, not explicit by me, IMHO.

          • zen-tao

            Quit showing off and looking for other’s errors. No one is the most clever in the world, every body commits mistakes. Put your loupe aside and devote a little of time to read the comments and write, perhaps, something intelligent to illuminate us, professor. Everybody know widely all that stuff of megapixel. Don’t underestimate the others.

  • getanalogue

    Hello folks, of course, more MPX’s are fine if treated right. If you have 50 MPX FX sensor and use multi-shot tech for compensation of lower sensor sensivity, for lower noise and higher DR – would be fine to have!! You 12 MPX enthusiasts would be the first to buy this stuff. I am not whining, but still using my fine Contax 645, Bentley F4 and a good scanner – btw with multi-shot tech as well creating great results! Sony is showing which way to go with their Xmor R sensor WX1/alpha 550. Match this with the leaked Nikon roadmap and recent Nikon patents, you should easily be able to imagine where Nikon is going to go. In the meantime, enjoy the rumors and taking pictures. And don’t forget, the higher the resolution, the better the lenses have to be. My D90 has better resolution than my 16-85mm!

    • Andy

      I guess I have the opposite problem, with a 27-70 f2.8 on my D200?


      • Andy

        Make that a 24-70mm

  • getanalogue

    think the D3s will be a renamed and stripped-down version of the D4 of Nikon’s roadmap. Nikon is desperately trying to do something – they might have problems with new Exmor R sensors – or with Sony. If you have a look at the roadmap: It’s saying something about 14fps, but for double-exposure and mirror up as far as I understand it, and 15.something MPx’s. If so, already revolutionary.

    • SimonC

      The infamous Nikon roadmap was reportedly fake. What Nikon is doing with the D4 and beyond is totally conjecture and speculation on our part.

      That said, a “disappointing” s-version of the popular D3 and D300 cameras only means (TO ME) that they are spending more engineering resources on the next generation of cameras.

  • 3space

    Will nikon get the video mode right this time?

    They really need a better codec and higher data rate. What about real-time 3D auto focus tracking while recording video.

    What about the LCD screen ? Nikon really set the pace with the original D3 lcd… will they push ahead on this front again?

  • shivas

    the D3s is about par with predictions, higher fps, a new crop mode, and video. . .I wonder what the high iso improvements will be like, I mean, 6400 is shootable in sports events, so I can only IMAGINE how great it’ll look!

    the 16-35 f/4 VR concerns me more. . .I guess it’s like a FF 12-24DX f/4 with VR?
    Just seems slow for pro’s that’ll need the 2.8, and it’ll be priced probably around $1200, so doesn’t make sense for casual shooter. . .so they’re assuming a semi-pro who buys a D700 will drop $1200 for an f/4 lens? doubt it. . .

    technically the VR 2 gives you a two-three stop advantage (so f/4 to 2.8), but. . .I dunno, if it was f/2.8, it would be GROUND breaking!!

    • SimonC

      The pros can use the 14-24, if they want f/2.8. And it’s already a ground breaking lens 🙂

      There is a place and need for an f/4 ultra-wide zoom lens. The 16-35 f/4 VR and 14-24 f/2.8 together would be a formidable FX wide-angle zoom lineup covering the vast majority of shooting needs.

  • Anonymous

    i dont think vr should be a compromise for fast glass since they are not the same thing even though a lot of people think they serve the same purpose or are a fair trade off….

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