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Thread: Nikon D3 or D3s - old, but worth it?

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    Ausphotography Regular Euskadi67's Avatar
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    Nikon D3 or D3s - old, but worth it?

    Howdy fellow forumers! (not sure if that's even a proper noun?)

    I'm currently shooting with a Nikon D610 and D600, and I'm shooting quite a bit of road cycling photography at our club and at the DISC indoor velodrome in Darebin.

    My question: is it worth looking at a second-hand D3 or D3s, as they're a bit long in the tooth, but a pro camera body, and definitely faster than the D610? I realise the pixel count is half that of the D610 or even the newer D750. I can't (or don't want to) stump up for a new D4 or D4s just at the moment!

    In addition, has anyone here used the D3 or D3s for shooting birds in flight? Good, bad, better options out there?

    First world problems! :-)

    Thanks!
    Ern

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    For the cycling shots that you are after Ern I don't think that you could go wrong with a D3s, if you are close enough to the action and have good lenses you will fail to see much difference between that and a D4/s. That is with the proviso that you aren't cropping radically and have reasonable lighting.

    You will get an advantage over the 600 / 610 for sport work and you will have good gear that will last for quite a long time. I would look at a D3s in preference to a D3 though and from my limited looking around the D3s is in reasonably short supply at good prices because there are still many photographers using them that didn't consider the D4 as so much better to rush out and buy one.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Euskadi67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    For the cycling shots that you are after Ern I don't think that you could go wrong with a D3s, if you are close enough to the action and have good lenses you will fail to see much difference between that and a D4/s. That is with the proviso that you aren't cropping radically and have reasonable lighting.

    You will get an advantage over the 600 / 610 for sport work and you will have good gear that will last for quite a long time. I would look at a D3s in preference to a D3 though and from my limited looking around the D3s is in reasonably short supply at good prices because there are still many photographers using them that didn't consider the D4 as so much better to rush out and buy one.
    Hi Andrew, thanks for your feedback! You're right about the availability of D3s models out there versus examples of the D3. The D3s has a few features that aren't on the D3, and would probably sway me in that direction. Thanks! -Ern

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi Ern,
    I've only had limited experience handling a pro body (D3s) and use a D700 (same sensor as a D3) so take this with a pinch of salt.

    If I shot a lot of action I would definitely consider a pro body with integrated vertical grip. From my limited experience, as good as the D700 style bodies are, the build level on pro bodies (D# series) are on a different level.
    In addition, the shutter life are usually rated for much higher cycles but of course with the law of probability this doesn't always ensure it will last longer. But if you shoot a lot of frames then this is an important consideration with the more robust shutters on the D# models.

    AF wise I don't know how they compare. The D750 works down to the lowest EV. But most of the pro bodies have shorter mirror blackout times. I'll leave this area to those with experience with both.

    With regards to sensor, I don't think you should consider the D3. Not that there's anything wrong with that sensor and I certainly have no issues with my D700 but the bar has moved.
    The modern sensors such as the units in the D8## and D750 have much better DR at base and low ISO ranges but if you typically shoot at high ISO for action, the D3s and D4/s are actually better DR wise from the medium ISO ranges upwards.
    Noise wise they are actually quite similar IMO though I feel the D3s/D4/s have the upper hand but does so with less resolution. But there are more factors to high ISO images other than noise, including colour saturation, noise pattern and the DR which I already mentioned above which makes the D# models especially suitable for high ISO shooting.

    So I guess it comes down to your output. If you don't need to crop much and have the appropriate lenses for reach, and you don't print very big I think the D3s would still be a gem of an action camera.
    If I were you, that's probably my pick. But otherwise I hear a price drop is coming for the D750 this month, at least in the US.
    Nikon FX

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    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    Jb hifi has a 15% off nikon gear well worth it .I pick up finally a D750 ......with extra battery on a good deal.Till this Wednesday
    The D3s/D3 was a game changer now with more firepower the D750 takes this to a new level/s


    cheers
    Last edited by cupic; 18-04-2015 at 8:26pm.




    Nikon D750,D700,D300s,Coolpix P7700
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    I think if you can land a d3s for a good price you will be very happy with the output for the style of photography you mention

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