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October 13, 2009

Nikon D3s is officially announced (also new 85mm f3.5G DX VR lens)

The Nikon D3s is now officially announced around the world! Here's the latest updates, with some previews, hands-on reports, and sample images and videos (we will organize these tomorrow, for now it's chaos time!):

+ now available for pre-order at Amazon for $5200
+ six full-size downloable samples from Nikon (via Galbraith)
+ Nikon D3s mini-site (english) (re-arranges browser-size)
+ Sample pictures and video by Marcus Bell (via dpreview forums)
+ real-world hands-on preview at Let's Go Digital (corrected url)
+ brief hands on at dpreview (there is a cut-and-paste error in the D3s line in "Model Line History" for its burst mode)
+ US price is $5200 says DC Resource with November release
+ Press release at Imaging Insider
+ official Nikon D3s page with sample D3s pictures and movies
+ 8-page brochure from Nikon (direct link to PDF file) featuring Bill Frakes and Vincent Munier
+ Preview at Imaging Resource
+ Gablraith's take
+ It's a tiger says Photoinduced
+ Japanese coverage at DC WAtch
+ Expected release November 27 says Nikon Japan

For Fanboys only!
If you want to describe the new high ISO features of the camera, try this line: "It's ISO is so high it can steal light from a black hole" :-) (make sure there are no physicists around!)

New Nikkor 85mm f3.5G DX VR lens also announced
+ More at Imaging Resource
+ + new dpreview
+ Galbraith
+ press release at Imaging Insider
+ Price is $530 and available for pre-order at Amazon et al


The BJoP early revelation
Breaking news! The British Journal of Photography reveals the Nikon D3s. (via G. Erikson on FF)

And a little bit more from the BJoP, from the BJoP reporter who attended the Nikon event.

Nikon D3s highlights
+ UK price GBP 4200 with a December release estimate (current UK price for D3 is GBP 3111)
+ BJoP sings praises of high ISO based on pre-production unit
+ ISO 200 to 12800 (boost goes up to 102400)
+ redesigned 12mp 35mmFF sensor
+ 9fps at full-frame (11fps at DX mode)
+ 24fps 720p video

Will Canon respond next week?
Canon Rumors points to October 20, one week from today, as a Canon announcement day, with rumors of a Canon 1D Mark IV coming in and closing the not-so-epic Mark III era. The Mk III was announced in February 2007.

On Price
Ouch in terms of price. The starting price of the Nikon D3 in August 2007 was GPB 3400 according to dpreview - it is mentioned right below the first picture of the camera. The US starting price for the D3 was $5000. In contrast, the starting UK price for the D3s is GBP 4200, a jump of GBP 800 (24%)! If it has a similar percentage increase, the US price will likely be around $6000 (exactly $6200 if you multiply by 24%). Wallets, open WIDE!

Already Nikon irritated many by pricing the D3X at $8000 outside the gate.

Early reactions
Never underestimate the power of denial! Some in the Miranda forums are thinking of the BJoP report as a ...rumor! Oh dear :-)

General non-denial discussion in the Miranda forums as well.

As you can tell from the brief specs above, fans of video are unhappy about the lack of 1080p video.

ISO 100K is discussed in this thread.

Needless to say the discussions over video are going to be interesting over this camera, considering its existential raisin (raison d^etre) is to provide industry-leading high-ISO performance. How many of the photographers willing to pay thousands for such a camera would be affected or turned off by the lack of 1080p?

PS: Yes, the yellow banner at the top of the page means we are in "Nikon mode" for the D3s announcement :)

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