Eric Glam: Barney,Since you can't say the truth, I'll say it for you:The D3S is still the ISO king.Even if you down-sample the D4's 16MP 12,800 ISO RAW photos to 12MP,(or up-sample the D3S's 12MP to 16MP - the D3S wins.As simple as that.In the end - Image Quality is what it's all about.D3S owners - keep your camera.
Please explain why the D3s trumps the D4? The pixel-level noise is better on the D4. The sharpness is better on the D4. The resolution is higher on the D4. Then there's the video, in which there is no comparison.
What specifically do you think is so much better about the D3s?
sdyue: D4 fares poorly for fine details as it hits ISO 1600 and beyond:
@ISO1600D4 vs PowerShot G1X vs Sony NEX-7 vs 645Dhttp://tinyurl.com/87eod5r
in exchange, as D3/D3s, before it, because of less details to worry that NR will smooth out (gets it mushy), it can afford to do very nice NR until way up in the higher ISO ranges
it would be expected for any system where coarse details left intact are more important than fine details intact; so the lo-res clean hi-ISO for minimal noise at the expense of such fine details is a well understood tradeoff
it all depends on your objective when capturing a subject
going up to higher ISO 6400, is where Nikon has fared much better for clean NR with least noise, albeit at even less fine details retained
at ISO 6400, the 645D sample wasn't available from DPR, so i replaced it with the D3s, which did well before
@ISO6400D4 vs PowerShot G1X vs Sony NEX-7 vs D3shttp://tinyurl.com/7mfkaea
higher Mp offers more details and more noise even if NR used
I had the same initial impression about the D4 being softer, but then realized the test is flawed.
The images LOOK soft because the focus is different between the D3s and the D4. Look at the items that are closer in the frame (like the paperclips, for instance): tack sharp in the D4 images, soft in the D3s images.
I don't care at all about in-camera JPEG, and I suspect most photographers owning the D3s/D4 are the same — they're shooting RAW for full control.
KlausP: Canon 5DIII a big disappointment for half the photo community and too expensive for everyone.
There are two photo camps that have somewhat divergent needs. They break roughly into the low light action shooters and the high resolution tripod shooters. Neither is right or wrong, just different needs for different types of photography. For low light, video, and action photogs, the improvements represent a desirable upgrade, at an undesirable price point. For high resolution, still work (and yes, there are plenty of pros that print big) the lack of resolution and perhaps dynamic range improvements are disappointing, to say the least. A previous poster said it right, the improvements amount to a 5D2.1 Most perplexing is the price point, particularly after Nikon released a much better speced camera for less. Unless Canon comes out soon with a high spec followup, they will have lost two sales here, one to the guy that buys my 5D2 and one to my new D800.
Also, why aren't you shooting lossless compressed RAW files with the Nikon? It's a phenomenally useful feature, and will nicely package up those huge, detail-laden 36mp files to roughly the same file size as the 5DmkIII images.
What's the benefit again then to the 30mb files from Canon that are probably on-par (if that) with the D800 in low-light capabilities, and lower resolution to boot?
@EvilTed: The D800 will have no more magical powers to ruin shots that employ poor technique than the 5DmkIII, or even the D700 for that matter. If you wouldn't see effects of poor technique at 22mp or 12mp, you won't see them on the D800 when down-sampling images to those resolutions. Also, the D800 is clearly NOT intended as the D700 replacement.
Dismal low-light ability? The better-than-D700 low-light capability is dismal? That doesn't make any sense.
Canon has faltered in some key ways with this camera, and they've trumped up the specs (as usual). The high-ISO specs are a hoax, and that is partially evidenced by the fact that you can't shoot at the higher ISOs during video recording. Why not? Also, wherefore hast the detail gone in the high-ISO shots?
The D700 replacement will come, but if you feel you must have the 5DmkIII for whatever reason in the meantime, go ahead. Personally, I think you sound like a Canon fanboi in disguise, but forgive me if I'm misled by my gut.