Amazing images? Check. Top build quality? Check. Top-notch ISO performance? Check. There are other prosumer cameras around that come close to the D3s – which is incredible, when you come to think about it – but none that match it.
The standout feature on the D3s is its ISO capabilities.
The top end of its ISO range is a bit of a gimmick – peeping Toms and paparazzi aside it's unlikely you'll need the D3s's spectacular light-gathering detail. But the ISOs further downrange are amazing – ISO 3200 is a genuinely usable setting, which means you can shoot for longer at decent shutter speeds.
Build quality also gets a mention – the D3s feels like it could survive a bomb blast.
We wish the D3s had a better movie mode – 5 minutes of filming at 720p isn't earth-shattering, and of equal concern is the lack of manual control.
It's good enough for simple reportage footage, though, although well-heeled budding documentarians should consider a camera capable of 1080p or, better yet, a dedicated video camera.
At this price and performance it's a straight shootout between this and the Canon 1D MKIV, which we haven't seen yet. If you're a professional in the market for a new body and are already committed to Nikon equipment, there is no reason not to buy this camera.