|Nikon D3S, ISO 1600|
I wouldn't miss it for the world. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.
|FSU's new Football Indoor Practice Facility|
I recently received a new-used D3S from KEH Camera in Atlanta (only 648 shutter clicks!!!) and have been chomping at the bit to test it out and make sure everything works the way it's supposed to. Tuesday, I was scheduled to shoot Florida State University's new Football Indoor Practice Facility (currently under construction) for a magazine article and the 'Noles baseball team was playing a mid-week series at Dick Howser Stadium against Florida Gulf Coast. The baseball stadium is located right next to the football facility so what better chance to test out the camera body? I knew the football facility shoot would be low ISO, wide angle shooting and the baseball game would be early evening/, dusk, and under the lights shooting that would involve high ISO settings and a long lens. One extreme to another. Perfect. I arrived at the Indoor Facility just before 6:00 pm, met up with my escort and went about getting the shots on my shot list. Basically, these were images that would update the progress of construction, mostly of the interior, but out of an abundance of caution I decided to snag a few shots of the exterior as well. Then, it was on to baseball.
Game time was 6:00 pm so by the time I settled into the shooting pen just beyond FSU's dugout along the 1st base line it was 6:45 pm or so. I grabbed my 200mm-400mm f4 lens, set the D3S to ISO 800 and 1/800th second and started shooting. My plan was to shoot until just past dusk so I could push the camera body to ISO 2500. With an f4 lens, that was expected, which is why I brought it instead of my 400mm f2.8.
ISO 800 and 1600 was a walk in the park for the D3S, just like with my other D3S body and a noticeable improvement over my old D3 which I sold in order to buy the first D3S.
But a D3S doesn't really begin to get warmed up until it gets beyond ISO 1600. As light began to fade, I increased the ISO to 2000 and then 2500 before I left after the 6th inning. Well, I didn't really leave the park after the 6th inning ... I left the field after the 6th inning and went up to the press box where I knew there would be some food. I grabbed some dinner and ate while I relaxed, watched an inning, and touched base with FSU' Baseball. Then I headed home to download the cards and see what I had. Hey, I was hungry and I wanted to make sure FSU would win the game before going to the car.
Lighting at Dick Howser Stadium creates color issues (the light is very, very warm) and there's only so much you can do to adjust the white balance (which is why I hate shooting night games at Dick Howser Stadium), but aside from the expected white balance corrections, the D3S chewed up the high ISO's and spit them out. Noise levels are fabulous and what noise resulted was easily minimized with Photo Ninja. If you've never used Photo Ninja, it's the new version of a program I've used for years, Noise Ninja, and it's finally out in Beta as a Photoshop plug-in. after having been available since release only as a stand alone program.
|FSU's John Sansone smacks a fastball over the left field wall with a runner aboard.|
Now if Nikon would just come out with a replacement for the D300, an fx-sensored body with improved noise levels....