Would it be crazy to buy a D3s now?

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  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    As always "better" is in the eye of the beholder. Is a newer body better in terms of resolution, AD conversion, dynamic range and AF? Most likely. Is the D750 better than the D3s in all respects though? I doubt it. If you need a tough body with a built in grip that can shoot very quickly for long periods of time, the D3s is still a better choice. Many people who shoot like that do not want the larger file sizes of the 24 or 36MP sensors of modern mid-range bodies.

    Unless you need to make large prints, or crop heavily, the older bodies are still more than good enough for just about anything. If it wasn't for my desire for greater resolution, for cropping, I'd likely still be shooting with the D700.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,428Member
    "If you need a tough body with a built in grip that can shoot very quickly for long periods of time" get a D4. Prices will soon drop as it will be two generations old.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited December 2015
    ...get a D4. Prices will soon drop as it will be two generations old.
    Into the under $3k range? I doubt it. The D3s will likely be in the $2.3-3k range for a while yet. The D4 will likely stay in the $3-3.5k range until the D5s shows up.

    How do I make these assumptions? Simply by tracking the way the prices of the D2Xs, D3 and D3s prices dropped as later models were released.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,300Member
    A lot of people keep using the D3s and use the D750 as a backup. I have heard that this is an excellent combination, and I can see why.
    Not really sure how to answer this one..... I have a D700 and a D810..... The D700 sits on the shelf... Next to the D70.

    For me it would not make sense to get a D3s. If you haven't gone full frame yet, a D3s would be nice, but then I would have to argue that with the right glass, the sensor and noise in the D610 would out weigh anything the D3s can do, unless you need a very specific feature that the D3s has.
    I think with the release of the D5 being announced next month, will basically signal the real exodus from the D3s. Nikon's pro bodies really were built to last though so a D3s will be around for years to come. It's a classic :)

  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited December 2015
    D3S has already been under 2000 for awhile. I got a near mint D3S for $1800 back during the summer. D4 will drop but still still hover close to the 3k range. D3S is the better bang for the buck.
    Post edited by safyre on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,497Moderator
    Sorry to trot this out, but it is true: Competition winning entries have come from far more modest and older bodies than the D3s so I would certainly be tempted if I needed the speed of fps and focus that it offers.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    The advantage for me of having a D3s, or a second D4 is to carry both with primes and be able to switch with the functions in identical positions. And, this may be more because as I get older I find it much more to my preference to have buttons, menus, etc., always in the same spot vs. significantly different camera bodies.

    My D90 has not been used for a couple of years at least. About time to give it to my grandson.......and grab another pro body.....LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,751Member
    The advantage for me of having a D3s, or a second D4 is to carry both with primes and be able to switch with the functions in identical positions. And, this may be more because as I get older I find it much more to my preference to have buttons, menus, etc., always in the same spot vs. significantly different camera bodies.

    My D90 has not been used for a couple of years at least. About time to give it to my grandson.......and grab another pro body.....LOL
    +1 totally agree with your comment about as "we" get older we have a strong preference to have buttons, menus, etc in the same location. \:D/
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
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  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    Seems like I am also getting older then :-).
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    I'd get one if you can live with 6400 as your top usable ISO (barely)... Im actually am considering one as a field camera. Whether the D5 has what I need will be the dealbreaker for me tho... Try one out
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited December 2015
    If you do not shoot video the D3S is still on a par with the D4, but not the D4S.

    For event shooting, portraits, and shooting multiple models in different settings (with, and without, flash and strobes.) I carry two D3S cameras, one with the 24-70mm, and the other with a 70-200mm VR which is the perfect rig for this kind of shooting.

    I choose the D3Ss over my D800 for this kind of shooting for numerous reasons: The D800's extra pixels are usually an overkill for image quality, low light capability is essentially the same as the D800, autofocus is lightning fast and repeatedly accurate, the longer battery life of the D3S is very significant at about 3,000 shots which translates to no battery changes even when shooting all day, has much higher fps, has better balance with my heavier fast lenses than the D800 with an external battery grip which is easier on my hands, no stress shooting moving from vertical to horizontal with the built in grip, and much better access to all my controls in manual mode, has superb auto white balance when shooting under a wide variety of unknown light temperatures which translates into more accurate skin tones when I start to edit. The D3S has a great viewfinder as well which makes it a dream for following fast action sports like tennis matches, football, hockey, and basketball games in all kinds of light with its excellent auto white balance (I am not suggesting anyone use auto white balance when you know the color temperature ;) ). The D3S is also great for BIF if you have super telephoto lenses.

    The D3S gives me faster editing speed owing to my files loading quicker than the D800, and processing my edits is also faster because of the smaller D3S files.

    Msmoto mentioned above that continuity of controls when shooting as we get older is important. I agree, but will add that for those of who shoot with two cameras the same controls on both cameras is very important even if our age was not also a factor.

    Bottom line: if you want a camera that will last several decades, takes excellent images, and handles well in all kind of scenarios the D3S is a good deal for $2,200 to $2,500 depending on what, and how often you shoot. WHEN, I have to get the shot the D3S is the camera I will have in my hands. Any price below $2,200 for a reasonably low shutter count D3S is, as others have already mentioned, a no brainer in terms of value if you think the camera will meet your needs for a long time.

    But be aware aware that at some point the D3S will fall as dramatically as the D3 which is also an excellent camera up to about ISO 1600. The D3 now typically goes for $1,000 - $1,400. Keep in mind that technology is improving faster, and faster which means the D3S might be worth even less at the same age as the D3. So the real question is how long will you want to keep the D3S, and is 12 MP sufficient. I am in no hurry to sell mine, but have other cameras for landscape, and wildlife where I might want a higher pixel density for more detail owing to the relatively much smaller size of the subject.

    Whether you are young or old, IF YOU love playing with the latest greatest toys, want a much smaller / lighter camera that is easier to carry without elaborate shoulder harnesses, and expect to trade up every 3 /4 years, I recommend the D750 without hesitation. It is an amazing camera period, the end.

    I think the average user will like the lighter, smaller body build of a D750, and is unlikely to stress its build quality in normal use. The D750 is not only a great value, but one of the best cameras Nikon makes in terms of image quality under almost any scenario where fps is not a significant issue.

    The D750's lower sync speed of 1/200th of a second, and especially its top end shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second are insignificant compared to the D750's pluses.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,497Moderator
    A well thought through and rationalised explanation TriShooter. I would just add that if 12 mp is enough now, it will be enough in the future as for most uses less than 12mp is actually used to create the final image. A friend who has a decent Macbook pro got the 50 mp Canon and was very disappointed that it slowed processing down so much. 12mp is a dream for processing.
    Always learning.
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