The Nikon D3s

The Nikon D3s

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As many of you know I shoot with three cameras.  My primary camera is my Leica M9.   I also shoot a FujiFilm x100 which is a fun camera if I want to take pictures of my food or just something light and simple to carry with me.   I also shoot my Canon 5DMKII for shooting my family pictures and 'action' type photography.  After watching Jay Maisel and how he was shooting with his Nikon D3s I decided upgrade my Canon.    I figured it was a pretty good time as I only had a couple of lenses so I wasn't overly invested in the 'system'.  I love the trade in system in Japan.  I was able to trade mine in and get a D3s and a 28-300 lens for just a couple of hundred bucks.

The amazing thing about this camera is it's ability to handle extremely high ISO.  It completely throws what you think about ISO out the window.   Below are the shots that I took with my Canon 5D for my 'How I shoot' post.   Noise is visible at 1,250 ISO and the image is very noise at 2,500.

A visual explanation of ISO
A visual explanation of ISO

So to reduce this noise you have three choices...keep your shutter open longer and reduce your ISO but this isn't always an option.   Use a bigger aperture but this can be very expensive.   Use a de-noise software but this will degrade your image quality.   All are possibilities but come at a cost.   I did a couple of test shots with my D3s to see how hard I could push it.

The first image is shot at 6,400 ISO.  Essentially no visible noise in the image.

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I was out the other night and decided to jack this up to 102,400 ISO and see what this camera can really do.   Check out the shot below... while there is noise it is certainly useable.   I was out walking around at night and shooting at 1/500 of a second.   Pretty amazing.

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I was watching how Jay was shooting his and during the day he sets his fixed on 1,600 ISO and F/11.  If you are at f/8 you can use a shutter speed of 1/2,000 of a second in direct sunlight and 1/1,000 of a second at f/11.  This unlocks all sorts of opportunities...

If you are like me and have a child that refuses to stand still with continuous shooting at 9 frames per second and you will be sure to get a great shot.  After a few days of shooting my review 'this camera is awesome'.  It won't replace my Leica but it is a welcomed replacement to my Canon.

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