The Nikon D3s has just been announced. It looks like a really impressive stills camera but it feels like Nikon still haven’t risen to the challenge when it comes to the video mode.
I have been a Nikon user for years and have a huge amount of lenses, so am still waiting to see their reply to the 5dmkII and even the 7D. I haven’t seen any video from this camera yet or held one/ used one. But the specifications for video are somewhat disappointing.
Full frame sensor: GREAT!
Only 720p 24p: Not so great, we need full HD and different frame rates. In the EU we need 25p. Even the relatively ” cheap” Canon 7D does 720p 50 and 60p (although not 720 24p, that is limited to full HD only)
Autofocus in video mode: Now this is very interesting as it uses the same autofocus system that the stills mode uses but in video. Not sure how this will work in practice as changing focus in video needs to be subtle and smooth rather than fast and jarring which stills camera autofocus generally tends to be. The Panasonic GH1 is the best “DSLR” I have come across for autofocus, in fact it has one of the best autofocus systems I have come across period, with it’s facial recognition and tracking. There are many times when it comes in handy (even with my inbuilt knee jerk reaction to autofocus for video being a big fat NO!) like steadicam and really fast moving shallow DOF shots. But then that is rare and there is nothing better than manual focus for me. So be interesting to see just how smooth the autofocus will be whilst actually rolling. Do you have to hold down the shutter button for it to continuously track focus?
Motion JPEG AVI: Not a great recording format, nor is the Canon’s H264. So again, a shame. This is recording format for point and shoot cameras, not big bold competitors for the video camera market.
Twin card slots: Great for still but less interesting for video guys like me as am sure the clips are going to be length limited and don’t span for continuous recording, but I could be wrong.
Record time: I believe just 5 mins at a time?
Price: This really is a very high end stills camera with a bonus video mode and is priced for that high end stills market at $5199.95! Wonder how much the Canon 1dMkIV will be when that comes out?
So take a look at full specs here, really really impressive stills camera. But for what lights my fire, the video mode, disappointing. Let’s see what they do with the D700s/x. Please Nikon, look at the competition and rise to the video challenge!! But if you are interested in 99.9% stills this is a beautiful camera. Don’t forget the Canon 1dmkIV looks like it won’t be full frame, probably a 1.3x crop.
So shame about the 720p 24p