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Customer Review

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IS it THAT much better than the D700 ?, 7 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only) (Camera)
I guess for many people who aren't professional photographers, the key question is whether the D3s represents a sufficient step up from the truly excellent D700 to justify the considerble extra expense.

Firstly, it's important to realise that there are a lot of similarities between the D700 and D3 cameras, meaning that the quality of images from the two cameras can be very similar. The D3s will allow you to produce this quality in a signifiantly wider range of situations.

Having recently upgraded from the D700 with MB-D10 battery grip to D3s, the immediate benefits noticed are:

* Speed of operation. Although the two cameras have very similar AF systems, the D3s is clearly faster in continuous use - an important consideration for many photographers.
* Low light/High ISO performance. The D700 is excellent in low-light, allowing me to increase the ISO to 1000, 2000 ISO+ and get publishable pictures where other photographers are having to compromise aperture or shutter speed. The D3s is simply spectacular in this respect, allowing hand-held pictures of Venus and Jupiter in the dawn and dusk skies respectively!
* Size and weight. Compared to the D700/MB-D10 combo, the D3s is noticeably lighter and feels slightly smaller.
* Quality of controls. The 'feel' of the D3s is noticeably more robust than the D700 with slightly more positive feel to the controls etc.

There are clearly very few situations which the D700 cannot handle as well as almost any D-SLR on the market. Nevertheless, the D3s manages to represent a significant step up from this high standard. Not surprisningly, access to this level of performance costs!

PS: My top tip for anyone considering the D700 to D3s upgrade is to look around for a secondhand D3 from somewhete reputable like Grays of Westminster. :-)
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2011, 13:59:24 BST
C Garnet says:
Telling us how good the D3s is then recomends the D3!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2011, 08:01:43 BST
JK says:
Just a suggestion that's often helped me out in the past. When an 'update' like the D3s comes out there's often a flurry of secondhand 'original' D3 bodies which represent excellent value for money.

If you have the cash then there's no question - go for the D3s! If you want to get on the ladder for a good deal less money then have a look for a secondhand D3... :-)

Posted on 17 Oct 2011, 14:24:01 BST
You say handheld photos of Venus and Jupiter... What lens are you using with the D3s ?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2011, 18:01:36 BST
JK says:
14-24mm f2.8

Posted on 20 Oct 2011, 17:48:27 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 21 Oct 2011, 08:22:10 BST]

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2011, 11:49:45 BST
I would be interested to see those venus and jupiter photos. I have the possibility to pick up a 2nd hand D3 body for 2000 pound, what do you suggest ?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Oct 2011, 20:45:02 BST
JK says:
I'll try to get them uploaded to Flickr so you can have a look.

£2k sounds pretty good for a secondhand D3 - I couldn't find anything better on the web really. The main thing to try to find out is what kind of useage it's had since new - i.e. one careful amateur owner or thrashed to death every day by a busy pro..? The number of shutter acutuations should tell you this. Amateurs do about 5000 or so a year. Anything substantially over this might raise concerns.

In temrs of your alternatives...

Secondhand D3s - these seem to be holding their value depressingly well - the cheapest I could find was well over £3k so probably not an option.

New D700 and some spare cash - unless you absolutely need the highest speed of operation and/or need to shoot at well over 2000ASA regularly then I'd give this some thought as you would get a brand new camera and a full warranty for your (large!) sum of cash.

As long as the D3 looks reputable and you are sure the D700 will not meet all your requirements, then I'd go for it.

Hope this helps a bit - feel free to get back to me.

Jupietr and Venus pics to follow..

JK :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2011, 09:50:40 GMT
JK says:
I think this link will take you to a flickr page with the image of a Christmas tree which I took just for fun and it has Jupiter top left as well!


I think this one was actually with the excellent 35mm f2 and the D3s rated at something bonkers like 10 000ASA to give an (almost) handhold-able shutter speed.
Will try to find the Venus image too... :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2011, 14:40:16 GMT
Thanks for the link to the photo. In the end I missed out on the 2nd hand D3, and on another one which was even cheaper at 1700. I am still looking, likewise if I see a D700 pop up 2nd hand at the right money, then I could bite at that. Look fwd to your Venus image if you can find it. Andy

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2011, 07:32:18 GMT
JK says:
OK. I still think that at the price range you're looking at I might be tempted by a new D700. Secondhand ones are still pretty rare which speaks volumes for their quality. I think most of the National Railway Museum pictures on my Flickr page were taken with a D700 - have a look and see what you think :-). Venus pics to follow...
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