In the first set of sample images from the Nikon D3s, I gave you a number of JPEG images straight out of the camera, which were no joke to begin with. Now, I’ve gone back and converted some of those same images from the NEF files to JPEGs and used both Nikon ViewNX and Lightroom 2 in the process.
We’ll start off with another HDR image from the D3s though. The following image was compiled from 9 bracketed exposures at ISO 3200 and then put through Photomatix for the HDR creation. Finally, I tweaked the exposures in Photoshop using layer masks. For a detailed walkthrough on HDR, see Trey Ratcliff’s HDR tutorial.
Below, you will find a number of images along with links to the originals. Additionally, I have taken a couple of 100% cropped sections from different processing methods and put them side-by-side for the sake of a quick comparison.
As you can see in the charts, I’ve labeled the settings for the software and in-camera settings. All images were shot using the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
You can download the full-res file (for personal use and inspection only) by right-clicking any of the links below the respective images and choosing “Save link as…” from your menu. Please do not republish any of these images on the Internet or elsewhere without permission.
Nikon D3s ISO 12800 Comparison
Again, this is a 150×300 pixel crop shown in actual size from the hot dog stand shots that you see a little further below.
ISO 12800 is where I’m finding to be a reasonable limit for the D3s and usable images. But, holy cow! That’s ISO 12800!
8×10 prints are no problem at ISO 12800. Sure, you aren’t going to get shots accepted at iStock at these higher settings, but wedding receptions and sports at dusk? Check.
ISO 12800 just became the “new ISO 3200.”
Nikon D3s ISO 25600 Comparison
Not that you would, but you just might be able to if it was a do or die scenario. I was really stunned when I went back and looked at ISO 25600 in some of these files. Like I said though, it’s not like you would go out looking to shoot ISO 25600; however, if shutter speed was a critical concern, you can probably get some smaller prints out of it.
You can also see in these two examples how that Nikon’s NEF format looks better coming through Nikon’s software export. That said, I am still working in Lightroom up to ISO 12800. If noise control is critical though, switching over to Nikon’s software is always an option.
ISO 1600 – f/4 at 1/30s
ISO 3200 – f/4 at 1/60s
ISO 6400 – f/4 at 1/125s
ISO 12800 – f/4 at 1/250s
ISO 25600 – f/4 at 1/500s
ISO 51200 – f/4 at 1/1250s
ISO 102400 – f/4 at 1/2500s
ISO 3200 – f/4 at 1/160s
ISO 6400 – f/8 at 1/125s
ISO 12800 – f/8 at 1/125s
ISO 6400 – f/4 at 1/160s
ISO 12800 – f/4 at 1/500s
ISO 102400 – f/4 at 1/5000s
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