New Gear: Nikon D3S

Nikon is all about the "S" here in 2009. Nikon's newest pro-level DSLR checks in at $5,199.95, which is about $200 more than its predecessor, the D3. Notable upgrades come in the form of an HD video mode capable of capturing 1280 x 720 (720p) footage at 24 fps. There have also been some substantial upgrades in the ISO department.

Nikon is all about the "S" here in 2009. Nikon's newest pro-level DSLR checks in at $5,199.95, which is about $200 more than its predecessor, the D3. Notable upgrades come in the form of an HD video mode capable of capturing 1280 x 720 (720p) footage at 24 fps. There have also been some substantial upgrades in the ISO department. They have added a ISO 100 setting on the low end, as well as expanded sensitivity settings of ISO equivalent 25,600, 51,200 and an impressive 102,400.

At the heart of the D3S is a newly designed FX-format 36x23.9mm CMOS sensor that boasts the same pixel size and 12.1-megapixel resolution as the D3. They claim the new design gives it a higher signal-to-noise ratio as well as an "unmatched" dynamic range for both stills and video.

Other upgrades include a self-cleaning optical low pass filter that oscillates to shake off particles. There's also a monaural microphone built-in, as well as an input for a stereo microphone if you want higher fidelity sound with your video.

All in all, the changes are few, but also quite signiicant. The increased sensitivity alone is groundbreaking, marking the first time any camera has allowed an ISO over 100,000. Photos are sure to be quite noisy at that level, but will let you capture images that weren’t possible before this camera came along. You can expect the D3S to show up at your Nikon dealer by the end of November. Check after the link for more photos and a rundown of all the critical specs.