Nikon D3S In-depth review
The D3S has the same VGA resolution 3 inch screen as its predecessor and indeed every high-end Nikon DSLR from the D90 upwards. The screen has excellent resolution, which means that accurate focus is easy to confirm at high magnification levels in playback mode, and easy to judge when focusing manually in Live View mode. Viewing angle is a quoted 170 degrees, and in use, the screen is bright and contrasty in all but the brightest ambient lighting conditions. Screen brightness can be manually adjusted in +/- 7 steps, but there is no automatic brightness setting (as there is with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II for example).
Another rather neat function inherited from the D3 is the Virtual horizon, which provides an aircraft-cockpit type live virtual horizon on the LCD monitor indicating the current orientation of the camera. When the camera is held perfectly horizontal or vertical, the camera axis line turns green (shown on the right below). Although undoubtedly fun, this implementation isn't as useful as it could be, since it requires you to remove your eye from the viewfinder and - despite it's Spitfire-esque pretentions - doesn't show a pitch indication. More useful in our opinion is the slightly more understated, but considerably more sensible viewfinder level, which can be assigned to either the 'Fn' or 'Pv' button. This indicator appears both in the viewfinder and on the top plate LCD screen, and works in both landscape and portrait orientations. There's no pitch indication either, but at least this function can be accessed at the press of a button with your eye to the viewfinder.
|Viewfinder level: strong tilt||Viewfinder level: mild tilt|
|Viewfinder level: no tilt||Top panel level indication|
A single press of the playback button enters playback mode, and pressing the multi-selector up or down changes the display mode. By default you get an image view with an information strip along the bottom of the image - pressing up or down takes you to a simple histogram and data page. Using the 'Display Modes' option in the Playback menu you can change the simple image view to include the focus point used to shoot the image. Additionally you can add optional screens, such as Highlights, Histograms and full data listings (which runs to three pages). If you're still hungry for information, the histogram and highlights screens can be adjusted so that they show data about the individual color channels. Here, I've shown every possible screen, but depending on which option you set in the 'display mode' line of the playback menu, not all of them are available at the same time.
|Basic photo display: file number, folder, filename, date & time, quality, size||Highlight clipping warning, showing luminance, and red green and blue channel clipping. Holding the magnify button and scrolling left or right with the multi-selector shows each channel in turn.|
|Optional AF point display, showing selected AF point at time of image capture.||Luminance histogram, plus detailed shooting information including color space and Picture Control preset|
|Luminance plus red, green and blue channel histograms, with white balance and highlight clipping information.||Information display, showing copyright information (which can be entered manually via the setup menu)|
|Information display, showing key metadata including flash mode and lens information.||Information display, showing white balance and Picture Control parameters.|
To zoom in on an image hold down the magnify button and scroll the rear control dial clockwise (to the right). While magnified use the multi selector to move around the image. There are eight magnification levels, on the D3S's high resolution screen the last two go beyond 1:1 and provide a pixilated view. Using the rear control dial jumps between images without changing the magnification level, so that you can compare critical focus between images. Video clips cannot be magnified.
Playback thumbnail views
The D3S has three levels of thumbnail view. Hold down the magnify button and scroll the rear control dial anticlockwise (to the left) to switch to the initial 2x2 (4 image) view, again for the 3x3 (9 image view), and a third time for a 9x8 (72 image) view. These views are particularly useful for selecting images to delete, without having to nudge through every single image. Use the multi selector to move around the index. It's a shame that the calendar view as found in Nikon's lower-end DSLRs doesn't make it into the D3S, because it is useful to be able to view images by the date they were taken.
|Standard view||One click left for a 2 x 2 thumbnail view|
|Two clicks left for a 3 x 3 thumbnail view||A third left gives a 9 x 8 thumbnail view|
You can choose for the D3S to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Note that record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means its easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' CSM c4 or until you half-press the shutter release.
Other Playback displays
|After pressing the delete button just press once more to confirm the deletion.||An example of a protected image, and what happens if you try to delete it.|
- 18 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 19 Photographic tests (DR)
- 20 Photographic tests (DR)
- 21 Photographic tests
- 22 Movie Mode
- 23 Compared to
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (JPEG)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 31 Compared to (Resolution)
- 32 Compared to (Resolution)
- 33 Conclusion
- 34 Samples
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.