I am having problems with the D3s exposure, photos look as if bracketing is turned on when I shoot in burst mode (CH) I get two photos lighter then two photos darker and this repeats. I have checked that all bracketing is turned off even went to the extreme to reset the entire camera back to Nikon defaults (holding ISO/WB, Reset Custom Settings, Reset Shooting Menu). I have checked b4 easy exposure compensation it is OFF, exposure compensation is turned off, bracketing is off. I tried to narrow down the problem by shooting in Manual mode, fixed shutter, aperture and ISO and I still get this alternating exposure. I checked the Exif data and all photos have the same settings. This seems to be more prominant in photos with alot of contrast. I also tested this my shooting the exact same scene and with the same settings on my D700 and the D3s still had the varying exposure where the D700 did not. My D3s is very well taken care of and has 94,000 shutter clicks, I called Nikon and they had no ideas, I uploaded example photos for their review hope to hear back from them on Monday, any thoughts as I have run out of ideas.
There's nothing wrong with your D3s. The problem is the stadium lights. Your eyes can't see it, but they vary in intensity with the 60-cycle AC power. The reason you don't see it with the D700 is that it can't shoot as quickly, so you don't have as much opportunity to catch the dips. This has happened with all of the high speed bodies, including D2h and D3 in my personal experience. You probably won't see it at the top-level venues (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NASCAR) because they have more lights and better lights for TV. But short of those, this is a constant problem for sports shooters.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Brian, thanks for your response that sort of makes sense except I am shooting at only 1fps less with the D700 than the D3s 8fps vs 9fps, that being with the grip and 8AA eneloop batteries. I shot football an entire season with the D700 in very dimly lit stadiums and it was never a problem also I shot high school dance in the exact same gym with both cameras and again no problem with the D700 but the D3s did experience the same issues. Maybe as a test I will set the D3s to 8fps (setting the CL option d2 shooting speed to 8fps and see what I get). Also the exposure is every two frames and if the lights were cycling that would be equaivalent to 4.5fps well below what I typ shoot with the D700 but I'm open to any suggestions to try this is very frustrating. Also have a friend who stands next to me with a D3s and he does not experience any of these problems.
Was you D700 shutter speed also 1/250s? The lights are cycling at 1/60s so at the fast shutter speed you have an opportunity to hit a "valley", you can see that the color temperature changed in these images also which also happens as the light cycle on/off.
Those of us that shoot slow shutter speeds in available light typically don't get to see this phenomenon. I do have a snow flake photo, falling snow in front of my house - under a single street light. If you look closely in that image the snowflake trajectory is interrupted several times during the frame by the 1/60s blink of the street light. You can almost calibrate the slow shutter speed by how many "dots" there are between the top and bottom of the frame.
Roger, yes I don't shoot sports or dance less than 1/250, thats the strange thing is I have no problems when shooting my D700 using the same exact setting settings, only differance is D700 is shooting at 8fps burst (with grip and AA batteries) vs D3s at 9fps.
Thanks Brian, I am new to this forum, I am going to try adjusting the frame rate on CL to 8fps and maybe 7fps to see if I can find the optimum combination that minimizes the exposure issues. I appreciate your responses and info.