The multi-camera system at the Tokyo Skytree is powered by 12 Nikon D3S cameras


Nikon recently published this interesting article on the multi-camera system located at the Tokyo Skytree which consists of twelve D3S DSLR cameras equipped with the Nikkor AF 35mm f/2D lens that take 360° photographs of the city 24 hours a day:

Tokyo Skytrree multi camera control system Tokyo-Skytrree-multi-camera-control-system-2

"The Multi-Camera Control System consists of 12 D3S digital single-lens reflex cameras installed on TEMBO DECK, the observation level at 340 meters, that continuously photograph the 360° view 24 hours a day. The images that are shot are transmitted to PCs in TOKYO SKYTREE's server room. This is where the images are stored and the camera settings are made. The interval between photographs can be set to any duration of not less than 30 seconds. The current settings are for 10-minute intervals between photographs during the daytime and 60-minute intervals at night. However, there are times when the interval will be purposely reduced—for events such as the Sumida River Fireworks Festival or when images of particular interest such as photographs of rainbows, lightning and typhoons are anticipated."

Here is a sample video captured by the system:

Check also this website for an interactive view of Tokyo captured with the system:

Tokyo-Skytrree-multi-camera-control-system 3

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  • fixit

    That’s exactly what the mayor of Toronto needs in his office !!!

  • Aldo

    shoulda used d800’s… pretty cool though

    • NRA Advocate

      36 megapixels is unnecessary for most applications, unless you’re someone like Peter Lik.

      D3s is eminently capable for this sort of work, and also offers vastly superior low light capability at high ISO.

      • Aldo

        hmmm… look at what’s being captured here… ISO don’t matter much since the cams are mounted.

        • zeum

          not to mention the d3 shutter will last 100k more clicks than a D800

          • Aldo

            assuming they keep the current settings you would be looking at 205,860 actuations in a six year period. I don’t think that would be an issue for the d800. Te resolution increase would be pretty significant, and it would make this project that much more cooler.

            • ds

              Unless we all view it on screen they they could get away with a D700 easily.

        • Shad


          • Aldo

            how so?

        • ballsack

          You know nothing about this. Perhaps they have certain budget requirements (high or low)? or maybe they got a better “wholesale” price? They went with 35 f2 so perhaps they were price shopping? or maybe they required certain technical requirements we know nothing about? So many assumptions on both our ends.

          • Aldo

            you guys are missing the point… next thing you know they would be able to solve crimes in the city had they installed d800’s. Like I said… it would just have made this project “cooler” than it already is/was.

      • lucianus

        the D3s offers “vastly Superior” low light capability at high ISO ? Have you ever compared the two cameras ?

        • Shad


        • europat

          I own 2 D3s bodies, 1 D800, and 1 D90. The D3s is superior to the D800 from ISO 1600-2500, and vastly superior at any ISO above that. Also, the D800 focuses much, much slower compared to the D3s (using the same lenses for comparison). In fact, the D3s is still a bit better than the D4 at ISO higher than 10K.

          • Aldo

            I’m not a D800 die hard fan… and given that the 3ds is an outstanding camera, but for the sake of argument, are you taking in account scaling down d800 files to compare?

      • gsum

        That’s a bit of a generalisation. 36mp gives you the scope to print A2 at over 300ppi or to crop whilst retaining a decent image size. For example, a 300mm f4 lens becomes 600mm f4 equivalent if you crop to a 9mp image so no need to spend a fortune on the 600mm lens.
        Peter Lik – very impressive.

    • Japanman

      New System will be 36x Sony RX100….

      • Aldo

        it makes more sense.

    • Mandrake

      It only shows how much you know about the cameras.

      • Aldo


    • I am the expert


      • Aldo

        you should know.. you are the expert…

  • Is it me, or can you not zoom?

    • ragamofyn

      you can zoom if you’re a SORAMADO member, but new registrations are closed since the site is going bye-bye on May 31!

  • Volchesta Jfr

    Holy crap Tokyo is huge! Godzilla would need a map app to get around, but not Apple Maps…maybe Mothra could mount cameras and do some flyovers to add to Nikon’s site?

  • ragamofyn

    gah! check this out quickly because they are shutting down the service on May 31! 🙁

  • Robert Ash

    Hi Admin, this is great. Too bad it’s closing tomorrow 🙁 Quick observation, SkyTree is misspelled in the article’s title and also in the first paragraph of the article itself right below the first photo of the man standing. Thanks again, though, for another great article, very interesting.

  • Cesar

    Why on earth are they using such a piece of crap lens for this?

    • Mike M

      Probably because it gives the correct field of view (with a little overlap) for 12 cameras. If the 35 1.4 was even out when this thing was designed it would cost 5x as much for the lenses. A zoom would have required locking it to a focal length and making sure all copies were matched exactly. The 35 f2d isn’t that bad stopped down and since this is a permanent mounted system that’s not a big issue.

    • What’s crappy about this lens? The only people I know who think this lens is crap are forum users. I meet professional after professional who use this lens and have used it quite religiously for a variety of work.

  • F200

    Check out Nasim Mansurov’s article about D400..

    • RondoX

      If this is true…. just, WOW!

      Expeed 4 and a brand new AF system, the same that will be in the D4s…

      I want to believe…

      But any sight of new pro DX glass? Or any new DX glass for that matter?

      Come to think of it, that would be a pretty nice pre-announcement slogan.

      I Want to Believe…

    • I saw that, planing on covering it today. I still have no reliable info on the D400.

    • AlphaTed

      I’m one of the believer that the D400 is coming, it’s just a matter of when Nikon will release it. Anyway, the image looks fake, to me it looks like the D300 and “D4” copied from the … D4.
      This is exciting though, if true.

    • Aldo

      Thanks for sharing that link.

  • not that the previous posts reliability of Mr Mansurov is really reassuring… I want to believe, but in the meantime I am enjoying my D7100

    • Captain Megaton

      Good plan. It’s the closest anyone is going to get to the D400 … until the D7200 comes out, anyway!

  • Gareth O’Neill

    Site finished on the 31st of May LOL.

  • derek

    why they not use the D800E for this ?

  • Sam

    This is a view with a 4K projector.

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