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Key Features

Nikon-original FX-format CMOS Sensor
Newly engineered for striking image fidelity and low-noise, optimizing pixel size and count in a 12.1-megapixel sensor to produce extraordinarily rich files.

Continuous Shooting Up to 9 FPS
Secure exacting moments in time with an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

One-button Live View with Two Shooting Modes
Two modes for studio or remote shooting—Tripod Mode offers 27x magnification for precise focus confirmation.

Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System
Ultrasonic process combats the accumulation of dust on the optical low-pass filter, safeguarding image quality.

Fast, Accurate 51-Point AF System
4 Dynamic modes and 15 cross-type sensors deliver AF precision and razor sharpness.

Scene Recognition System
Referencing an onboard image database, teamed with RGB metering, SRS enhances exposure and white balance evaluation and improves AF speed and accuracy.

Nikon Picture Control
Four preset options and 9 customizable settings provide personalized style control.

Dual CF Card Slots with Overflow, Backup and Copy Options

Approx. 4,200 Images per Battery Charge

Low Noise ISO Sensitivity from 200 to 12,800
Renowned low-noise performance at 12,800, plus expanded settings to an astounding ISO 102,400 (equivalent) and ISO 100 (equivalent).

HD Video Capture
Record smooth 24 fps HD video, leveraging low-noise D3S image quality along with high fidelity stereo sound capability.

3-Inch Super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor
D3S monitors are individually calibrated during assembly to assure accuracy.

Nikon EXPEED Image Processing
Drives breathtakingly rich image fidelity, low-noise and fast image processing.

1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Nikon-pioneered RGB metering includes color information to intelligently determine more accurate exposures.

Rugged and Precise Magnesium Alloy Construction
Effectively protected from invasive dust, moisture and electromagnetic interference with a self-diagnostic shutter mechanism tested to exceed 300,000 cycles.

100% Viewfinder Coverage

Virtual Horizon Graphic Indicator

Speedlights/Flashes
Speedlights/Flashes
Stereo Microphone
Stereo Microphone
Eyepieces and Viewfinders
Eyepieces and Viewfinders
NIKKOR Lenses
NIKKOR Lenses
Optimized for FX Format but compatible with extensive range of NIKKOR lenses.
D3S 4.9 5 182 183
This camera is a workhorse and its fun to shoot. The Nikon D3s is fun to shoot, the features and tools are robust and the images are outstanding. This camera makes its own light and you'll be amazed at its low light capabilities. I was shopping for a new camera (upgrade) when the D3s was announced and I pre-ordered it right away. I got the camera toward the end of 2009 and I've been shooting it for about 9 months now - and I love it. I shoot weddings, family portraits, maternity, babies and stock and the D3s outperforms my expectations in every shooting situation. The high ISO, low light capabilities while shooting a wedding are priceless. I regularly find myself shooting at ISO 3200-6400 during wedding ceremonies in dark churches and the images are outstanding. I have tested higher ISO settings on this camera and the images at 12,800 and above will surprise you but I find myself relying mostly on the improved noise and quality control at the 6400 range, it's valuable to the way I shoot. Another feature I love are the two CF card slots. I shoot RAW on card one and L-F JPG on card two as a backup. Its great to shoot live events knowing you've got an instant and automatic backup of every image in case there is an emergency. I know the D3s shoots video, and I have tested it a few times, but I shoot still photographs and I bought the camera for its still capabilities and I hope to find the time to shoot some promotional video and run it through the paces. With the D3s you can shoot with the confidence of knowing you can control light in any situation with reliable and predictable results - every time. This camera is a workhorse, and a super-camera. July 30, 2010
Awesome pictures D3S is a tremendous camera...the picture quality is excellent and it is well suited for Sports photography (Hi ISO performance is particularly important). It is also durable & easy to use. Only one suggestion for improvement...please make the RAW/NEF processing more compatible with Adobe software. I have the Nikon CNX2 software and it does a great job with the NEF files, but it is MUCH less efficient & easy to work with than Adobe LR and Photoshop. LR & Photoshop just do not process the NEF files as well. Therefore, I am forced to shoot jpegs (suboptimal!) most of the time. July 28, 2010
Want to shoot in a cave? The low-light capability of this camera is staggering. Bump this baby up to a higher ISO when you need more shutter speed or a smaller aperture and you've got it. This is a state-of-the-art tool any nature photographer would be happy to use. Topped only by the D3x, it's one of the best cameras Nikon has even produced. Staggering low-light performance, lightning frame speed, and built like a tank. July 27, 2010
King of Shutter lag Normally, you have to push a button to choose another focus point with a usual boring camera design. This is makes a delay. But not like this with a Nikon… I can easily select my focus points between two rapid frame which I like… When I hold D3 becomes part of my hand, while shooting part or my face and eyes… Simple, strong, reliable best friend… What about the lenses, you can not find any other strong built quality autofocus lenses like Nikon… So I feel myself very relax with my Nikon camera and I never afraid even drop my lenses and even body… One of my old friend dropped his d2x camera in a mountain trip in Thailand. Was a big shock for the camera body but in spite of many scratches and tumbles on the rocky terrain it is still working superbly after two years. D3 Shutter lag? This is one the point what makes Nikon a king. Just try this sport car and compare. It is unique ! Trust your Nikon's power and simplicity July 27, 2010
best digital camera in dim light This camera has the most important feature for a digital camera: it works well where film cannot be used anymore. I prefer film to digital but at 6400 iso and higher color film can't make it. This camera gives the photographer another "medium" to work with. July 26, 2010
The D3s took the fear out of change I am a Nikon convert having used Canon for many years. It is an exceptional camera! I was surprised at the intutitivness of handling/use of the functions keys. Well put together with a solid feel!. Thumbs up to Nikon! July 26, 2010
Awesome! I love the D3s body, it makes all my lenses better, focus is fast and accurate. Metering is great. My only criticisms are first, I wish it had a few more megapixels of resolution. However, I know that comes at a price in terms of ISO capabilities, which this camera shines. Second, a minor quibble, Nikon should ship this with a viewfinder cover like it does the less expensive models. July 25, 2010
The best! Being a sports and action photographer I have always been hampered by the lack and quality of high school football lights. This body makes it possible to get the high shutter speeds my line of work requires. Well done Nikon! July 24, 2010
most dependable camera its sturdy,very fast,accurate .im using nikon for the past many years and D3S is one of the best.i have used this camera for aerial and wildlife photograpy and its awsome! July 24, 2010
10/10 Beautiful color renditions, spot on focusing, blazing fast, practically noisless up to iso 12,500, Shoot in pitch black. This was the best investment I've ever made. Great job Nikon!!!! July 23, 2010
An excellent, well-engineered and designed camera. I upgraded from a D300 and couldn't be happier. The quality of this camera is evident when you first pick it up. Yes, it's beefy,but I think this weight adds to the stability of hand-held shooting. If you're familiar with Nikon cameras like the D300, the transition isn't too bad. Menus are well designed and user friendly, and quite intuitive. Add a high quality lens like their 17-35mm or their 24-70mm lens, and you've got a pro-quality setup, limited only by your own skill. The video is OK, but I have to say I have not taken full advantage of it. I find that, unlike a video-cam, it cannot auto focus while in video mode, and this seems like it's only serious limitiation. Perhaps with more experience, I'll get better at it. There's no other way to say it better, and that is that quality of my images has improved significantly since using this camera. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone looking to upgrade to a pro-level camera. July 22, 2010
This camera, D3s, ended my worries about quality images and has changed the way I shoot. Juneau can be dark, wet and cold in the winter. This camera handles assignments, day after day, in all these conditions. July 22, 2010
Awesome low-light performance Excellent low-light performance. I've been working my way up to this camera body for a long time, beginning with the D100, then on to the D200, D300, D300s, D700, and finally this most leading edge of state-of-the-art camera technology. The only issue that I have is the disgustingly huge size of the battery charger. It comes with a double charger and that thing is bigger than the camera! In desperation I purchased a charger for a single battery. I was further disgusted to discover the single-battery version to be huge as well, it is more than 2/3 the size of the double charger, and nearly as large as the camera body. Can't something be done to reduce the size of these chargers? Here I am in the Congo for six months. Do you think that I brought my D3s with me? Not a chance. Already pressed for room in all of my baggage, I needed to leave the D3s and its giant charger behind in Texas and bring my wife's D90. A D90!! The D90 a fine little camera, but it isn't a D3s. On the other hand, the D90 AND its charger aren't as big as the D3s' charger alone! What a shame. You really need to solve this disgusting situation. July 22, 2010
Unbelievable My other Nikon is a D2x. I thought it was fantastic, coming from a F5 and the film world. The D3s is, in a few words, mind blowing. Images that were unattainable are now possible. The reduction in noise at the high iso is phenomenal. The color reproduction, and sharpness of the images are astounding considering it is still rated as a 12mp sensor. Buy it and don't look back. You won't be disappointed. July 22, 2010
Fantastic ergonomics I am just returning to photography and stepped up from the D5000. I love not having to make changes via a menu on the D3s. I shoot almost aways in full manual due to the ease of making changes. Touch the ISO button and scroll the knob, done. Change apature and shutter speeds so easily with the front and rear scroll knobs. Change the white balance by touching a button and a quick scroll of the wheel. Very intuitive and many other changes are done the same way. The image quality and low light capability......unbelievable. The 24-70mm F2.8 seldom gets removed, but now I have the 70-200mm F2.8 to try out if I can just get more time to shoot. July 22, 2010
It's an amazing camera. The focusing speed is just great. Very ideal for sports photography. I've used it in a studio and it performed very well. Outside the studio, it's just amazing. I have never used ISO higher than 800 before but with the D3s, shooting the Hong Kong harbor at night without tripod suddenly became possible. And the quality of image was very acceptable at ISO 6400! Suddenly, having higher shutter speed at low light is possible. That changes everything. July 22, 2010
Superb piece of engineering The D3S is absolutely the finest camera I have ever used. As for all Nikon bodies, the feel and balance are excellent, and the controls are essentially intuitive. I use the D3S along with my D3X, especially when I need to rely on the low-light capabilities of the D3S. A lot has been written about this specific capability of the D3S, but in my opinion words do not adequately describe the superlative results one can achieve in way under-lit scenarios. The results must be seen to be appreciated. Spectacular! July 21, 2010
Love it This rig performs just as advertised , unreal noise to signal ratio , I love shooting street scenes withthis rig as I can always maintain a fast enough shutter speed , no matter the light . You can crank up the iso prety high before you'll see any significant noise . Feels great in the hand . Absolutely love it. I haven't even tried the video mode yet , I love this rig even without video. July 21, 2010
A Great Product that Preforms as Engineered! I have used Nikon Digital cameras for 2+ decades and have witnessed the progressive improvement of features with each newly released dSLR. I have personally used/owned virtually all the dSLRs released by Nikon and the D3S (with all it's enhanced and new features) has allowed me to extend my photographic maturation echelon to another cutting edge level. I teach digital photography at my local University and it is always a delight to instruct my photographic students using the D3S with it professional level of features and unsurpassed performance. July 21, 2010
Best for stills, great for videos! I bought this cool camera back in the beginning of 2010 mainly in order to replace my Canon XH-A1 w/ SGblade 35mm lens adapter which is too bulky and having light loss way too much. My first impression was WOW! The D3s is so handy and powerful. Even I use my old 28mm f/2.8 I still get great photos with this boy. The video mode is fully manual which I really love a lot. The only down side is that lacking of 1080p video mode. July 21, 2010
High ISO capabilities let you re-think your shots. I am SO PLEASED with the D3s. In my paid work, I shoot mainly industrial / commercial documentation photography. In my personal life, it's mostly different types of formal and informal events. Sometimes the shooting is very fast paced, and typically flash is not allowed, (or would alter the image / setting in an undesirable manner). The superb low-light / low-noise capability allows so much flexibility and options. Dual memory card slots let me work in both RAW and jpg conveniently. The high burst rate (shutter release) setting is so quick, my photographer friends sometimes laugh and ask, "C'mon... do it again" just to hear the sustained rapid shooting. Like any other sophisticated tool, you need to take the time to learn the controls, but I consider the purchase of my D3s the best $$$ I've spent in photography. July 21, 2010
The Photojournalist's Camera I use it for B&W photojournalism with a 35mm f/2 lens or the little 85mm f/1.8 for more reach. - Great 100% viewfinder to frame in camera, and the 1.2 x crop option gives a little boost to any lens. - No need or want for those old crutches, a flash or tripod. Use available light only, and keep it set to Aperture priority at ISO 1600 in daylight, for sharp, clear images all the time. - Quiet Mode makes less noise than a rangefinder. - One battery can last for a week or more of shooting 200+ images a day. - Sealed and super tough for harsh conditions of desert or jungle. - It works handheld, by candlelight or campfire. July 21, 2010
I always trust my camera I'v had the D1, D2H, D2Xs , D3 and now the D3s gives me exactly what I need from a camera. I expect to see result just as the reality gives me pictures and this model sometimes feels like a soulmate. A somewhat mindreader from location to location... July 21, 2010
Awesome in every way! I love my D3s, fantastic speed and tracking for capturing birds in flight. The high ISO capabilities are superb. I've only used the video feature once but was very happy with it. Ease of use is great for all camera features. For more imaginative and impressionistic work the multiple exposure on all Nikons is wonderful. I highly recommend the D3s. July 20, 2010
Wonderful pro tool, esp. low light shooting This is a wonderful all around camera. It excels in low light but you do not have to wait until the light drops. This camera produces wonder files to work with & is built to take everything a pro needs. July 20, 2010
outstanding I own all three D3's and the one I reach for most of the time is the D3S. The speed shooting stills and low light abilities are outstanding. July 20, 2010
Amazing combination of features I've owned several other camera brands. This is the camera I'm sticking with. The D3S has all the profession features pros need plus the added feature of video. The feature I like best is the high ISO that allows me to shoot comfortably in a dimly lit wedding reception hall without a flash. The D3S is simply amazing! July 20, 2010
Incredible Can't find anything I don't like about the D3s! I have shot with Nikon cameras for 30+ years. Thanks for a great product! July 20, 2010
Astonishing instrument I've used the D3S since it first came out. I upgraded from a D2XS, although I've used Canon, Mamiya, Olympus and other equipment before. This camera is so versatile I just love it. The high ISO performance is absolutely astonishing, and I can take shots in situations I never could before. I find the camera does a wonderful job in keeping noise very low and rendering true colors. July 20, 2010
D3s is the BEST of the BEST Digital SLR Camera World Best of the Best Digital SLR camera today. An optional choice for Pro Photographer who want the best...no any other SLR out there can photograph in low light as the D3s does. Great designed, most use bottons at your finger tip, feel solid on hand, well balance. Nikon could improve the HD video to 1080 (full HD) will be nice. July 20, 2010
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14 Questions | 18 Answers

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can this camera take photos while recording video

May 15, 2011 by
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Anonymous
nyatl
 on D3S
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3 years, 2 months ago by
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nyatl
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Age: 35-44
Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
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Answer: 
No - You can shoot one or the other, or switch, but cannot take a still while videoing. and when shooting video it does not allow changing the zoom on a lens
Jun 23, 2011 by
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former nikon advocate
Pittsburgh. PA
Location : 
Pittsburgh. PA
Age: 55-65
Favorite Subject: Family & Friends
Nikon Family: 21+ years
Experience: 6-12 months
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist

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Answer: 
This camera doesn't have the feature to take photos while recording videos.
May 17, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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D3S
 
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Is Nikon D3s water resistant?

Jul 17, 2011 by
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Abhi
Houston, TX
 on D3S
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I want to know if D3s or any other Nikon SLR is resistant to water.
 
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3 years ago
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Abhi
Houston, TX
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Houston, TX
Age: 25-34
Favorite Subject: Nature
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
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Answer: 
From my reading of reviews and my use of my own D3s in rainy conditions, it is at least water-resistant. Whether it is water "proof", I don' t know. So, I don't hesitate to take images on short notice for limited periods of time in light to medium rain, but I don't think I would dunk it in water or just keep it completely exposed in heavy rain.
Aug 15, 2011 by
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vms

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Answer: 
It, along with the other pro spec bodies, are dust and moisture resistant, not totally water resistant, it will hold off a light rain shower for example but would not survive a dunking, say, in a swimming pool.
Jul 17, 2011 by
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KeithD
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What is the best use of this camera?

Oct 5, 2011 by
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DaBoy2Raw
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I like taking nature shots but I am occasionally ask to take pictures for parties and such is it good for all of that or just one purpose
2 years, 9 months ago by
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DaBoy2Raw
Age: Under 18
Favorite Subject: Nature
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Answer: 
This is a serious camera for professional photographers, unless you are running a business or have money to spend this camera will probably be too much for you. There is no specific area of photography this camera can't do, it is full frame so if all you have is DX format lens's you are wasting the cameras potential, it also workes better with newer lens's made with high performance glass and engineering. This is a go big or go home camera, no sense spending $6000 on the camera and buying older cheaper lens's.
 
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Nov 13, 2011 by
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Snapshot
Carmel, IN
Location : 
Carmel, IN
Age: 25-34
Favorite Subject: Nature
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: 6-12 months
Role: Professional photographer

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Answer: 
That will depend on the type of lens you're using. Please click on the link below for the lens simulator; it will help you to make the decision on what lens you need.
http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Produ...
Oct 5, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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D3S
 
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SU-800 with D3s

Oct 21, 2011 by
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Deb F
Harrisburg PA
 on D3S
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I guess I was unclear with my original question. Is the SU-800 controllable through the camera menus or only on the control panel on the SU-800?
2 years, 9 months ago by
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Deb F
Harrisburg PA
Location : 
Harrisburg PA
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Favorite Subject: Portrait
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No, you have to use the SU-800 to control the flashes as there is not in built commander in the D3s.
Oct 22, 2011 by
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KeithD

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I think it's just on the flash? Not sure though, sorry.
Oct 21, 2011 by
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Conelight
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or after the initial recording is your storage space full?
2 years, 9 months ago by
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Customer
U.S.
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Answer: 
Individual movie files can be up to 2 GB in size. The maximum lenght is 5 movies for each one.
Oct 5, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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D3S
 
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when will the d700 replacement be out?

Oct 10, 2011 by
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jswan
evergreen co
 on D3S
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2 years, 9 months ago by
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evergreen co
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Favorite Subject: Travel
Nikon Family: 6-10 years
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Answer: 
Thanks for your question about Nikon products. Unfortunately we cannot speculate about future products until official information is announced on our web site: www.nikonusa.com.
Oct 11, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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D3s and SU-800

Oct 21, 2011 by
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Deb F
Harrisburg PA
 on D3S
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Can you control off camera flash with the D3s from the camera menu (commander mode) and the SU-800 as you can with the D700?
2 years, 9 months ago by
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Deb F
Harrisburg PA
Location : 
Harrisburg PA
Age: 35-44
Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 21+ years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Professional photographer
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Answer: 
The D3s doesn't have a built-in flash to use as a commander like the D700. You will need the SU-800 commander to control other Speedlights.
 
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Oct 21, 2011 by
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dx mode using lx lens?

Jan 1, 2012 by
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2 years, 6 months ago by
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Answer: 
Please click on the link below for information:
http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-E...
Jan 2, 2012 by
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What is on the Software Suite CD-ROM

Mar 3, 2012 by
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Anonymous
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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2 years, 4 months ago by
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Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 21+ years
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Answer: 
View NX2 is on the disc.
Mar 4, 2012 by
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KeithD
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D3S
 
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is it good for bird photo

Apr 8, 2012 by
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Anonymous
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2 years, 3 months ago by
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Answer: 
With the correct lens.
Apr 8, 2012 by
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JoeR
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