The examples are mostly at ISO 3200, though a few are at ISO 1600, and some are “pushed” from ISO 3200 by as much as two stops (effective ISO 12800).
The D3s noise and color at high ISO are stunning. I elected to post all examples as 50% of actual pixels, along with actual-pixels crops, as I feel this really shows what can be expected from the camera, particularly in print.
One word of warning: Nikon inexplicably defaults NEF to 12 bits instead of 14 bits in the D3s, so I shot all my files as 12-bit lossless compressed instead of 14-bit lossless compressed. I’m still kicking myself for overlooking that. Still, the results remain stunning anyway.
I reiterate my enthusiastic recommendation to get the D3s — in my view it’s by far the world’s best low light camera, combining noise and color rendition to stunning effect. In fact, I like it so much that I might just have to buy the loaner camera I’m testing (even though I have a D3x). See yesterday’s comments below, as well.
Click the image below to see a 1536-pixel-wide version. The examples in the DAP review at ISO 3200 are 50% of actual pixels (2128 pixels wide), along with generous actual-pixels crops.
This is ISO 3200! It’s not just noise, there is something exceptional about the Nikon D3s images, highly unusual and stunning in its luminosity and depth. This example and all the others in the review have noise reduction OFF.