See video in full-size HD

An inevitable addition is the D-movie function, whose top setting is 24fps at 720p. It's more of a tempting tick box than a compelling reason to buy a D3s, though.

There's no arguing that the video mode produces excellent quality - it captured colours accurately and reproduced pin-sharp detail - but there are a few disclaimers to be made.

Unlike the Canon 7D and 1D MKIV you don't get to control the D3s's shutter speed or ISO. And, although the five-minute recording time can be overlooked (except in the case of time-lapse video), the D3s also falls behind in resolution - Canon's HD-capable DSLRs shoot up to 1080p.

A lonely advantage is that the D3s's Motion-JPEG footage is easier for non-linear editing suites to process.

Weak overall video performance

Of course, you almost certainly shouldn't buy one. Tipping the scales at around £3,500, the D3s offers far more power than most photographers need. 9fps continuous shooting is a great feature but most will be happy with the 7fps of the Nikon D300s, or the 8fps of the Canon 7D.

Prospective shoppers might also consider that this much money could buy the D300s' body with enough left over for Nikon's 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens.

You could justify it, of course - the £3,500 D3s is a camera likely to last well into the next decade (and possibly the one after that), and one whose images are more than likely to stand the test of time.

It would be deeply irresponsible, of course, to recommend such an expensive camera to non-professional photographers, but while you might regret the consequences of spending this much money, you won't be disappointed with the camera.