Shooting Hoops with the Nikon D3S

While evaluating the autofocus performance of the Nikon D3S, I shot with it at a couple of recent Tennessee basketball games.  I’m working on a more in-depth evaluation of the AF performance. In the mean time, however, here are a few of the resulting images.  All of the following images were captured as NEF files and processed in Lightroom 2.

I’ve had several requests for displaying the basic camera information and settings, so I’ve done that with each of the images below.  Additionally, the top series of images was captured at 1/1000s, f/2.8 and ISO 3200 with the D3S and the AF-S 24-70mm in Manual Mode.

The UT student section poured it on thick for the Kentucky players.  I’ve never heard Thompson Bowling Arena that loud.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 70-200mm VR II lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/800s, Manual Mode

Wayne Chism blocks Eric Bledsoe’s lay up attempt.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 70-200mm VR II lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

Bobby Maze working his way around Eric Bledsoe.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 70-200mm VR II lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

Scotty Hopson shooting over DeMarcus Cousins.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 70-200mm VR II lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

The UT Cheerleader Squad celebrates after the game in front of a rowdy student section.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

More of that fired up student section, which went nuts when the players made their way into the crowd after UT upset Kentucky.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

Dunkaholic, Scotty Hopson, during the first half of the UT/Arkansas game.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

The UT/Arkansas game was a little rowdy amongst the players and coaches.  There were some technical fouls and intentional fouls called along the way, which fueled some emotions among the UT players.  Below, Cameron Tatum tries to get the crowd fired up after a big UT play that followed shortly after some questionable calls.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

Arkansas Head Coach, John Pelphrey tries to help Jemal Farmer block Scotty Hopson’s 3-point attempt by willing him up higher.


Nikon D3S and AF-S 24-70mm lens at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/1000s, Manual Mode

I had a blast shooting these games with the Nikon D3S.  While I still have some evaluating to do on the autofocus performance of the D3S, my initial impression is that it just might be the best all-purpose camera – ever.  The D3S took almost everything that I could throw at it, and came back asking for more.  ISO 3200 on this camera might as well be ISO 800 on everything else (granted that there’s a small asterisk for the 1D Mark IV).

I’ll have some more in-depth looks into the AF settings and performance soon, along with a direct comparison to the Canon 1D Mark IV under similar shooting conditions.  So, stay tuned.

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Comments

  1. says

    The High ISO performance is stunning, looks so clean for iso 3200, I wanted to ask why all the photos are too vivid ?! do you use vivid color setting in the camera or you saturate them in LR ?!
    Very good timings though, you captured the action well.

    • says

      @Nour El Refai – I kicked up the vibrance, clarity and blacks on the RAW files a little in Lightroom, but nothing too drastic. Saturation stayed at zero though. The colors tend to pop a lot more on the D3S than the 1D Mark IV, even with similar adjustments in Lightroom.

  2. ossme says

    I would agree with Eric. In general and by default, I found that Nikon Bodies provided more colorful pictures straight out of the camera. The only execption would be the 5D. Having said that, the Canon is easly have a mataching result either through the camera settings or through computer processing.