Melville, N.Y. - Nikon introduced today the next phase in its popular D3 line of full-frame digital SLRs for the professional market - the D3S.
The camera is billed as Nikon's first 24-by-36 FX Format camera with D Movie Mode, and has been enhanced to handle standard ISO speeds ranges from 200 to 12,800.
Nikon also adds emergency ISO modes to stretch the performance at: High 1 (25,600), High 2 (51,200) and High 3 (102,400) ISO ranges, for both still images and video, said Lindsay Silverman, Nikon senior technical manager,
The new Movie Mode also includes mono sound (internal mic), stereo sound (external mic) and autofocus, with up to 720p HD motion JPEG movies.
The D3S, which is expected to have an estimated retail price of just over $5,000 when it ships in November. The camera also offers built-in expanded buffer capacity over the D3 and adds built-in image sensor cleaning.
Nikon is targeting a core customer group of "photojournalists and sports photographers, nature photographers, generalist photographers, wedding photographers and for the first time, we believe filmmakers are going to want the camera as well," said Silverman.
The image sensor offers 12.1-megapixel resolution, but Nikon uses extra large pixels measuring 8.45 microns to produce a higher signal-to-noise ratio for extremely low image noise levels.
The camera's standard ISO range is from 200 to 12,800, allowing lenses with moderate apertures to extend shooting into low light ranges beyond anything they have been able to do before, Silverman said.
Other features include: aperture priority in manual model control, depth of field control to f/16, retouch menu items to edit video items in camera, and a film-in-motion JPEG function, which offers 24 individual JPEG frames per segment shooting in video that enables extracting a single frame from a movie sequence at 1,280-by-720 resolution.
The camera continues the same autofocus system used in the D3, including 51-point-focus points and15 cross-type sensors.
It also continues the built-in scene recognition system of the earlier D3 models.
Improvements were made to auto-exposure, auto white balance and flash exposure, Silverman said.
The camera uses the same body platform as the D3, although the size might be slightly larger to accommodate the built-in sensor cleaning.
The Live View button from the D3 model was moved and given its own dedicated spot on the back of the camera for easier access, Silverman said.
The camera also adds a new 1:2 crop mode and a quite shutter release.
For memory, the camera offers dual flash memory card slots and includes the option of designating which card photographers would like to use for video recordings and which to use for stills.
Startup is clocked a 0.12 seconds, and shutter lag is 0.04 seconds.
The camera also features a 3-inch LCD monitor.
In other introductions, Nikon introduced the first Micro Nikkor lens made specifically for DX family cameras.
The AFS DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G EDVR. The VR2 lens has up to four stops of VR correction, ED glass and a compact design.
Nikon said the lens will be priced between $500 and $600 at retail when it ships in November.