I previously reported on the stunning high ISO performance of the 12-megapixel Nikon D3s— clearly the best DSLR yet made for high ISO work, nothing except the 24-megapixel Nikon D3x comes close (maybe Canon has something in the wings, lest Nikon eat their lunch).
I’ve never seen images this good. Until you go get a D3s, you’re missing something you ain’t seen before. My only wish is that I could get this 12MP quality with more pixels, but perhaps patience will bring that wish true in a year or two. Speaking of resolution, the D3s seems to have better detail than the original D3 somehow. That’s hard to prove, perhaps it’s just an overall visual impact thing, which is just as good, if not better.
At low ISO values, the Nikon D3s image quality in some ways is even more stunning than at high ISO; images are limpid, liquid, magical, with a depth and transparency rarely seen in a DSLR. The image quality reminds me of the Hasselblad 503CWD, only distinctly more vivacious (yes, the D3s is definitely female).
At low ISO values, D3s images can accept a savage amount of unsharp masking without breaking down. No sign of nasties from electronics, just smooth goodness. The 12 megapixel resolution belies a resilience of pixel quality that stands abuse of enlargement or manipulation.
The D3s is about US$5199, still a great deal of money debauched as the dollar is, but as the end of the year approaches, professionals should keep in mind that it’s a 2009 tax deduction (consult your tax advisor). Anyway, it’s unique, and it’s a treat.
My shooting time this evening was cut short by rain and an early solstice dusk, but I made some images I will soon share in DAP at 50% of actual pixels (along with crops). The low-res jpeg example shown here does not communicate the sensory impact effectively, but perhaps it gives a hint. This was a 13 second exposure in very blue light deep in a canyon late in the day, ISO 200.