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Top of camera controls (left)

Top of the camera on the left side of the viewfinder are situated the mode / settings and drive dials. The mode dial is free to move, the drive dial is 'locked', this means you must hold down the small locking pin to move this dial. To change ISO sensitivity you turn the dial to the required position and then use the main or command dial to change the setting. The special CSM position puts the camera in custom setting mode. (Can we please have a shortcut to ISO from one of the rear buttons?)

Just like the S2 Pro the S3 Pro is limited to 0.5 EV (half stop) exposure steps, this is because its exposure system is inherited from the Nikon F80 (N80).

Mode / Settings Dial: Settings

Dial
position
ISO ISO Sensitivity

• ISO 100
• ISO 160
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
No function

Mode / Settings Dial: Mode

Icon
 
Mode
 
P

Programmed Auto (Flexible)

The Program AE on the S3 Pro is flexible, that means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the main command dial (rear of camera) left or right. Example:

     • 1/15 F4.0 (turn left a click) P*
     • 0.50 F3.3 (turn left a click) P*
     • 1/30 F2.8 (metered) P
     • 1/45 F2.4 (turn right a click) P*
     • 1/60 F2.0 (turn right a click) P*

The S3 Pro remembers the selected offset from default metering, the only way to reset this is to quickly turn the camera off and on again.

S

Shutter Priority Auto

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO).Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main command dial (rear) to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will show 'Lo' or 'Hi'.

    • 30 seconds - 1/4,000 sec (in 0.5 EV steps)
 

A

Aperture Priority Auto

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the sub-command (front) dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will show 'Lo' or 'Hi'.

    • Range depends on lens max. and min. apertures (in 0.5 EV steps)
 

M Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Main command dial selects shutter speed, sub-command dial selects aperture. The meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will immediately reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will add an arrow '<' or '>' on the end of the meter. Bulb shutter release can only be accessed when enabled by a custom setting.
CSM Custom Setting Menu

This mode enters the cameras custom setting menu. Custom settings can be selected by turning the main command dial, a setting change can be made by turning the sub-command dial. A numerical indication of the custom setting is shown on the top LCD panel, a full descriptive version is also shown on the rear LCD monitor. This menu is detailed later in this review.

Drive Mode Dial

Symbol
 
Mode
 
Single frame shooting

One frame is taken when shutter release is pressed. You can take another shot almost as quickly as you can re-press the shutter release.

Continuous shooting

Press and hold the shutter release and the camera will shoot frames continuously (the actual frame rate and maximum number of shots depends on DR and image quality settings).

Self-timer shooting

Camera takes a single frame after a predefined delay, this delay can be set to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds via a custom function.

(Still no mirror lock-up option either here or via the menu / custom functions)

Top of camera controls (right)

Top of the camera on the right side are the two sub and main command dials (front and back), the power switch, shutter release, exposure compensation, flash compensation and LCD illumination button.

Power switch

Symbol
 
Mode
 
OFF

Camera Off

The camera will only power off once it has completed writing any buffered data. This means that you can shoot a burst of frames, turn the power switch to the OFF position safe in the knowledge that the camera will write all your images to the storage card before powering off.

ON Camera On

Switches camera on, this is virtually instant, there's only a slight delay (perhaps a third or half a second) between turning the dial to the On position and being able to shoot.

Buttons

Button
Exposure Compensation

• +/- 3.0 EV in 0.5 EV steps
No function
Flash Compensation

• +/- 3.0 EV in 0.5 EV steps
No function
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