Saturday, 5 June 2010

The King is Dead long live the King

Yes that's right just 24 hours with the D3s and the D3 seems old hat-LOL well not totally but the D3s takes it up to a new level, The weather in North Carolina is very unseasonable, Very wet,overcast and extremely humid, Days have been dreary to say the least and the afternoons building up to big thunderstorms and heavy rain all the time at 80 degrees plus, Whilst the light was low i decided to give the D3s a little work out, i set up on my back door step, Here i could shoot birds on and near the feeders and also the Squirrels that are very shy due to my dog snapping at their tails at every opportunity he gets, The D3s has a quiet shutter mode which is one big benefit for shy animals, I don't think its as quiet as the Canon version but anything helps over the clack clack clack of its normal sound, As i was some distance from the feeders i put a 1.7x extender on the 600 and set the F stop at 11, This should give reasonable results in good light but would test the D3s more than normal and you should take this into account when viewing the images, Not that i am making excuses as the images are good, So ISO set to 1600 and shutter speeds around 1/200 which is still low for a focal length of 1000mm but with careful use of the shutter button and good long lens technique quite possible to get good results, When shooting at high ISO its critical to get the exposure spot on, By that i mean what you shoot is what you get-no adjusting exposure in photoshop as this will make the grain pop out and become very obvious,
The D3s has a dedicate live view button so with a quick press i can see the live histogram which is the very best friend any photographer can have, So i can see and adjust the histogram quickly without taking an exposure and know that as soon as i take a shot it will be spot on, The D3 had live view with a live histogram but it meant turning a dial and pressing some buttons which was too slow to use in real time, The D3s is instant, Its a technique i used with the Canon 1D MK3 and its good to see that Nikon has listened to their customers and integrated it in the new bodies-its a god send, So here are a few images taken in a hour or two sitting on my door step, The sparrow hawk was a complete surprise and swooped down and tried to grab a bird right in front of me before perching in the tree,
ALL images taken at ISO 1600-NO noise reduction used just basic processing in CS5, No flash used-One of the squirrels is blind in one eye
Click on the images to get a bigger image then just click the back button to bring you back

Now there is always some idiot who gets a new camera which is supposed to be good at high ISO and takes images at ridiculous ISO speeds and it normally involves their pet-So being an idiot here is mine
Firstly the Wife taken late on the first night the D3s arrived in our living room without any lights on-D3s with 70-200 F2.8 VR2 @ F2.8 and ISO 5000
 I left some room above as its normally the background where you see the grain

Without noise reduction

and with a small amount of noise reduction on the background

My dog Alfie at ISO 10000-Yes 10000 without Noise Reduction

and after a small amount of noise reduction on the background

Impressive to say the least-yes of course there is some grain but look at the ISO levels, Even at ISO 10000 with careful processing and a small amount of noise reduction you can have a very usable image, I think the grain at ISO 5000 is about the same as my old 20D at ISO 800, You've gotta love it, Now in the real world of agency acceptance i think ISO 3200 is a reality with this camera  but as always try to keep as close to the base ISO as possible for the very best quality, More to come in the near future on this amazing camera


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