Handling And Controls
Keeping with what works, the body of the D3S is the shining result of a slow evolution. When we showed the camera to a friend who owns a Nikon D2H (introduced in 2003), he jumped right in and got some great shots. Owners of pro-level Nikon bodies should similarly feel right at home with the D3S.
Buttons for bracketing and flash sit atop a locking dial for drive modes. Metering gets its own locking dial on the right side of the prism. Buttons for ISO, image quality, and white balance are just below the 3-inch, 921,000-dot LCD.
The body is rugged and heavily weathersealed, and it has a grip that’s a work of ergonomic art. Elegantly sculpted, it feels like a natural extension of your arm. The inside of the grip has a perfect divot that accepts your fingertips, and your thumb lands on the camera back in a perfect home position between the main command dial and the multi selector joystick.
The menus are extensive, but they’re also easy to navigate with the multi selector. On the left side of the body you’ll find connections such as Hi-Speed USB, a minijack stereo microphone input, and, to play high-definition video directly from the camera, a mini HDMI jack. Speaking of HD video, the D3S can shoot at up to 1280x720 pixels at 24 frames per second, the same as all other Nikons that shoot video. By now, we’d have expected Nikon to go up to 1920x1080p and at least 30 fps, as Canon has in the EOS 7D and will in the 1D Mark IV.