D3s vs D800 storm braining

Started Jul 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
mgblack74 Senior Member • Posts: 1,678
Re: D3s vs D800 storm braining

I have both. I use them primarily for weddings. The D3s is my main body for the getting ready shots, church, reception & dancing. I use the D800 for detail stuff, and portrait time and for situations like speeches where I can get 'extra reach' in DX mode with a not so longish lens.

I love both and use them differently. If I didn't do what I do I would probably stick with a D800. The built in HDR and built in "time lapse capture -> 1080 p video clip" is worth it's weight in gold as it saves a lot of time not being in front of the computer. DR is stunning too, that goes without saying.

The D3s as often reported , is a camera just "gets out of your way". It's strength is speed and ease of use. I much prefer the D3s on along day of shooting for its deep grip. Its still thethe most comfortable body I've used. The D800's operational strength is ultimate resolution flexibility. I typically switch to 9mp JPEG (fine, small) for family snaps, have used the various crop modes at full resolution for different effective looks, and 36mp RAW for rediculous IQ.

One thing I have learned and am still getting used to with the D800 is how good it's DR is. To get crisp shots at slow shutter speeds i have found that I need to double my shutter speed at the risk of under exposure. But in post I bring the house lights up, so to speak, and voila, perfect exposure, nice and crisp.

Do you need 9fps? 5? 9 x12mp or 5 x 36mp is a lot of data and memory requirements either way so don't let that be a deciding factor.

I'm fortunate to have both, and in your shoes it would be a tough choice for sure. If I went one way I'd be wondering about the features of going the other way. That's just me. I will say this, if you hang on to cameras for a while, the D800 is a little more future proof. Computing and storage will catch up and make the D800 files a non issue. I sound very pro D800, sorry! The D3s is a remarkable camera in its own right. But the images you get with D800 make you sit down and say "gee-zus".

retrogal60s wrote:

I am really tempted to buy a D3s, used prices are at new D800 prices. Weighing pros and cons (just layman's analysis):

pro body
teething problems resolved (hopefully)
fast fps (not that I will use to earn my bread & butter but still nice to have)
Good rendition even at high ISO capture
Enough resolution for what I do
Can buy and of course use now (learning curve)
Reliable AF ?
DR ?
I know Dave Black makes gorgeous, gorgeous images with his D3s.

semi pro body ? (please try to resfrain from cyberstoning me ;-))

seems like a lot of teething problems to be yet resolved. (see my comments in brackets above)
fps prolly faster than me
flexibility between FX and DX (I have enough assortment of lenses)
14.4 stops Dynamic Range !!!!!!

Way to go despite big files to process (because I will need to upgrade my computing equipment sometime down the road too)

What to do, what to do ?

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"You're guaranteed to miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky

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Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED +5 more
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