>How much better do these things have to get? Really, was >anybody thinking that the AF and metering were in need of >improvement on the D3S or the D700?
This is a tough one. The metering on my D3s is VERY good. The AF is too, but I am in that fringe group that could REALLY stand for it to improve.
Shooting college volleyball has got to be one of the toughest things I've ever done. And I've shot many, MANY sports and other subjects over my nearly 30 years at this. There is about 8/10 of a second of possession at this level of volleyball. Less for the pros. In 8/10 of a second, I have get on target, compose, get focus, and fire. All while looking through a 300/2.8 which gives me field of view about 2.5 players wide. If I am off an inch after swinging the camera nearly a foot I miss the shot. If the camera catches something high contrast adjacent to the player, I miss the shot. Oh, did I mention that correct exposure in my team's home gym is 1/800, F2.8, ISO 10,000? It is an absolute nightmare. I shot soccer on a field a few weeks ago at ISO 12,800, 1/640, F2.8 and was still half a stop short on my exposure.
So yes, improvements in focus are VERY welcome. As are metering improvements in those horrific conditions. Sometimes I think folks covering pro sports and who are able to shoot at 1/2000, ISO 400 forget what it's like on those high school and small college fields.