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New member of the D3s club


Indianapolis, US
134 posts

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JustJeff Registered since 14th Mar 2011
Sun 03-Jun-12 11:46 PM

I just made the move to FX with the purchase of a very lightly used D3s from another Nikonian. After using a D300 and a D300s to shoot second camera at several weddings the past year, I’ve been wanting 2-3 more stops of shutter speed than the 300s/300 cameras were giving me for usable images during low-light conditions of the wedding ceremony itself. That much improvement in low-light performance might not be absolutely essential for weddings, but my experience suggests that, at the very least, it’s definitely well advised.

After a few months of wondering whether there will or won’t be a DX upgrade to the D300s, and whether Nikon can nurse another two entire stops of low-light performance beyond that of the D300s DX sensor, I decided to buy now, partly so I can start learning a new camera to be able to use it with confidence in shooting my own weddings and other events starting (I hope) this fall.

Why a D3s and not another FX camera? I didn’t want to pay $6k for a camera (there go the D4 and the D3x), I didn’t want to instantly double or triple my needs for memory (there go the D3x and the D800), I didn’t want a 95% viewfinder (there goes the D700), and I wanted another stop or so of low-light performance beyond what even the D3/D700 sensor would provide.

The only camera left standing from this analysis was the D3s. What put me over the hump on whether to buy a D3s was a landscape pro’s show here in Indianapolis a couple of months ago. My gut reaction was that the gorgeous 16x20 prints in that show were from images shot with a D3x because the resolution in the prints was so impressive, and it “just made sense” that a landscape pro would have a D3x. I was surprised to learn that only a couple of the two dozen or so prints in that show were from images shot with a D3x; the rest were taken with a D3s. A D3s, I realized, could be an across-the-board camera, not just an outstanding performer in low light, and that versatility cinched the deal for me.

I’ll probably be posting in this forum from time to time, and I’ll also partake of the wisdom here just by listening, too. Greetings, and thanks in advance for all the help I’m sure that this forum will provide.