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Well, I destroyed my Nikon D3S last night. I'm back in California and went down to the Long Beach Aquarium area to shoot. While trying to get a nice shot of the sun setting behind some palm trees and a light house, my tripod leg started to slowly shrink until everything became a little too front heavy. Before I knew it, the camera started to fall towards the water & pier below. It fell in a gracious, timeless arc and sailed over a pier guardrail about 15 feet down to the concrete boat landing below. It landed lens first with the delightful sound of shattering glass, and then bounced backwards into the drink. The Pacific Ocean welcomed my baby -- tripod and all -- and I stood above watching it sink into the glistening sea with the 3 legs disappearing like you see in the movies. I considered jumping in, but having just destroyed my Google Nexus phone by walking into the Ocean the week prior, I knew there was no chance... It was a goner (I upgraded to the Galaxy, btw).

So now I'm thinking about buying a new camera. Mr. Ratcliff (of the Trey variety) has discussed this with me. He suggested I not wait for, or buy the Nikon D4. Instead, he thinks should just get another D3S. Now I like to have two cameras -- one on the tripod, and one on the hip to capture anything that comes up quickly (mostly people shots) while in "walkabout" mode. The D3S is what I have been using for all my Hawaii tripod, landscape shots. If you look back in my stream for a bit, you'll get a sense of what I like to shoot - landscapes, nature, architecture, low-light and bright light. Not many people in my shots. +Trey Ratcliff believes that the new Nikon D800 will actually be the better camera for this (my) style of shooting. So his recommendation was that I go out and get another D3S and use it like I have been... Shooting everything with it for now. Then when the D800 comes out (mid March), the D3S will become my "hip" camera, and the D800 will essentially become my tripod, "landscape" shooter.

I'm curious to hear others opinions on this setup and suggestion. I don't know personally know any serious Nikon users besides the folks here on G+ ... Of course, whenever I mention this plan to a salesman at a camera store, they tell me I'm crazy. They say I should buy the Nikon D4 and that Nikon isn't even going to continue making the D3S. What do you all think?

Btw, that's me in Death Valley below, feeling very small, sorta like I did as I watched my camera die last night. :-/ Boo hoo!
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258 comments
 
But now you have the perfect excuse to get a D4!
 
Buy a new GN, think about camera later :}
 
Oh my God. I had a visceral reaction reading this. Best wishes for the replacement. 
 
At least you're not alone! We've all been there--everyone in love with #techgadgets, anyway! Time for some waterproofing, huh? ;)
 
Buy a sturdier tripod first! :)
 
I would (if I could) get the d700.
 
Ouch! Sorry to hear that. Personally, I would go with Trey's idea just for the sole fact that you'd be able to continue shooting without having to break until the D4 comes out. Plus the specs aren't too far off from the D3S anyways, so it's a camera that's just as good for cheaper. The high MP's on the D800 would be excellent for you landscapes as well. I hope you get back to shooting soon regardless of what you decide.
 
haha +Don DeCaire my tripod is from really right stuff - SOOO expensive. I think it started to move because I'd gotten all this sand in it from Hawaii and I'd had difficulty tightening the legs. Need to clean this baby up!
 
Looks like the Miniature Effect on the Canon S95. Very cool.
 
oh no. that has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world.
 
Ugh, thats terrible! When I kill a camera, the loss of the photos is always what hurts the most.
 
+Tom Anderson wow! great pic mate! how did you create this look? its superrrrb Tom. It's very British. If you've seen the latest Sherlock Holmes shows from the UK, they do a similar style of editing where the subjects look miniaturised.
 
+Holly Ares Snyder yes, I haven't plugged in the CF cards.. They're currently recuperating in a bowl of white rice. That said, I didn't have anything good in there ... I had a laptop stolen a few months ago and I lost weeks of photos. That killed me!
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The D800 is a better camera for general shooting.

The D4 is kind of a niche camera. 200,000 ISO is silly for anyone that's not a serious photo journalist or sports shooter.

The D3S is still a fully capible pro camera.

Eh, I say try out something like an X100, x10, or a nex7 while you wait for the D800. Most of the innovation is in the compact world right now. The x1-pro looks pretty sweet too. Also, it's nice to have a compact to shoot on when you don't want to carry around a big ol' dslr.

Compacts definitely aren't going to be as functional as a dslr, but they're fun to shoot with and are great when you want mobility. Also, the new ones are rivaling and even surpassing the image quality of dslrs.
 
Good luck with that. A friend of mine recently recovered a drowned smartphone with the rice trick.
If I lost my laptop....i don't even want to think about it!
 
I can't give this a +1 because a D3S died. :(
 
+Tom Anderson What a terrible story, it makes me cringe just to think
about it. I have had several close calls but that must have been a awful feeling. How about picking up a used D3S and put a D4 on order,
when you get your D4 sell the D3S. At least you can keep shooting with what you are used to. What is your back-up camera now?
 
It looks like a fake scene. The texture of the landscape makes it appear as if its part of a toy train model. The fella in the road ..just looks photo shopped there. He looks more real then the reality around him.
 
+Ikaika Arnado thanks for the advice - glad to hear some of Trey's thoughts on the D4 echoed here by you.

I'm kinda shying away from the compacts for now. As a newbie, I'm overcompensating with my gear, for sure. :-) What are those x10, x10, nex7 or x1-pro? Are they Nikons? I don't even know what those are.
 
Oh sorry I thought you said what camera should I buy....my mistake! I actually have no idea which high end Nikon is the best right now so all I will add is I hope you get a replacement soon. :)
 
Well +Dennis Hoffbuhr I'd have to have a reason to buy the D4, if you read the post I've been warned against it... any thoughts on that?
 
I would agree, the D4 is very specific use while the D800 should be perfect for your landscapes as your "tripod" camera. Sorry about the mishapp, had to be hard to watch.
 
Sounds like you need leashes and waterproof cases for all of your stuff... maybe even a bubble. Sad times +Tom Anderson! That said, it gives you the opportunity to change things up a bit. :-)
 
sorry to hear about your camera trying to swim back to hawaii :) no amount of wd-40 will fix that. i would take Trey's advice and get a camera now (D3S) so that you don't get discouraged taking pics w/ your current hip camera.
 
wow, phone and camera. youre on fire tom :)
 
+Tom Anderson Yeah, personally I don't think it's much of an upgrade. Of course I'm sure it'll be an incredible camera, but the new specs just don't stand out as a very significant upgrade. Plus I'm personally all about getting back in the game ASAP. I'd hate to have to wait and not be able to shoot when there's an incredible camera with similar features already on store shelves.
 
+Mahei Foliaki I think its called a "tilt shift" affect - the photographer blurred the top and bottom of the photo in processing which creates some kind of trick for your eye makes me look small and kinda fake :) I love it :)
 
Kind of off topic but I am curious if you had camera insurance or not.... just tell me to jump in the ocean if you don't want to answer...was that insensitive the jumping in the ocean remark? :)
 
Sorry to hear about the Tom. I'm guessing your weren't able to recover the photos?

Hmm, that is a tough one. It is always easier to spend other people's money, so take this with a grain of salt.

If you like the D3S, I would say get another. However, if you are looking for a lighter option, the D700 is very nice and you can save yourself a few bucks. I shoot a D700 and love it. Performs great in low light, and is capable of a very clean image. You can add a battery pack if you like the feel of the Pro body, and then remove it for GoLite trips.

Yes, the D800 according to all accounts, is going to by very nice. A perfect landscape camera positioned to compete with medium format resolutions. I like smaller light bodies, as does my wallet, so I would prefer the D800 over the D4. Just beware you will need to your storage and processing power on your comps.

I don't know what lenses you are packing, but the D7000 is a nice option as well. It is about 1/2 the price of the 700 and way less than the D3s. My 'storytelling' kit is a FX sensor camera (D700) with a 24-70 and the D7000 with either a 70-300 VR or 70-200 VR I, depending upon the weight I want to carry. This is capable of giving me (w/ the crop factor of the D7000) a focal range of 24mm to 300mm at f/2.8. The D7000 behaves as a 16mp 1.5x teleconverter. I will throw in a fisheye and 20mm prime and I am all set. I shot this entire story using that exact kit.

http://www.hossedia.com/category/series/the-bull-riders/

You could get a 700 and a 7000 right now for the same price as a D3S. Just a thought.

Again, sorry to hear about losing your photos. I am guessing you will be back in the saddle soon.

Justin

p.s. Definitely pick up a good tripod.
 
+Tom Anderson well I have a D3 now and had read the specs on both the D4 and the D800. Personally I am going to get the D4 because I shoot a lot of different things. The slow FPS on the D800 is a deal killer for me, but that's just me.
 
Tom - that's a shame. Photographers's worst nightmare. Any time I see any of my equipment in the air headed towards the ground, time stops.

At any rate, I'd agree with Trey - D800 would suit you better. Bigger resolution and optimized for what you shoot (and what I shoot as well).

One thing I don't understand - right now the difference in price between D3s and D4 is mere $800. Why not go with the newer technology, if this is the route you're going?
 
+Ivan Makarov Thanks for your thoughts. Sounds like the D800 is definitely one for me.. But since I'm getting two new cameras, you also bring up a good point on the D3S vs D4 .. the price difference is not significant for me. Is there anything the D3S does better than the D4? I think the D3S does better in low light conditions and its faster... is that true? +Trey Ratcliff
 
+Dennis Hoffbuhr well I'm getting two cameras, so I'll probably have the D800 and a D3S or D4. What does the D4 do for you in terms of flexibility that you think the D3S won't do?
 
It's happened to all of us or at least ALMOST happened to all of us at one time or another..... My ALMOST moment was when I was exiting a kayak in less than shallow water, as I stumbled up the launch area I lost my balance and fell straight back with my camera around my neck I instinctively grabbed the body and lifted it straight out in front of me, when I hit the water the only thing NOT submerged was the camera! Long arms saved the day! But it got quite a laugh from everyone on the shore...
Wen D
 
Ouch, really sorry to hear about your loss. I know how I'd feel if I lost mine. Good luck with your soon to be new cameras!
 
Buy a cheap point and shoot camera and show the world that it is the photographer that matters, not the gear :-)
 
+Tom Anderson I think the D3s is great but I am still a year out on getting a new camera so I was going to go with the newer version.
 
+Tom Anderson the x10, x100, and x1-pro are part of fuji's x-series. Fuji's putting out some innovate sensor technology, and they are hip to the lens game because they having been making lenses for hasselblads x-series. Although, the x1-pro hasn't hit the market yet.

A lot of serious photographers have been using the x100. My buddy uses one and his main cameras are a D3S and a hasselblad.

I shoot on an x10, hasselblad, D40 and D700...and I think the x10 is a great little compact.

Haha...yeah gear acquisition is a serious affliction when you are starting out. This might be a blessing. Consider going minimalist for a little bit...force yourself into manual shooting. Having a compact system is great for versitility. Also, it is a great compliment to serious DSLR set up.

I'll look for link to the album I have that has some x10 shots if you want to check them out.
 
thanks +Justin Balog I actually have a D7000 - that was my first camera that I used for everything up until I got the D3S a few months ago. I'm looking at the D700 now that you mention it... Price isn't really a concern for me. Is there anything better about the D700 vs the D3S except the lower price?
 
+Tom Anderson main changes are from D3s are - (1) more megapixels (I think biggest change), (2) better video (probably doesn't matter to most of us), (3) even faster shooting ability (again, probably doesn't matter). Also, if for whatever reason you decide to sell it soon - D4 will retain value much better than D3s. With Olympics and Eurocup coming up, all news agencies are updating their cameras so used camera market is about to get flooded with D3s and D3. But if I was to picking one or the other, I'd go with newer technology. D4 is going to be the flagship for the next 3-4 years.

Noise wise, I haven't seen enough samples to see that D4 is any better, or any worse than D3s.

For good review, I usually look here - http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7799914638/nikon-d4-overview
 
and oh by the way - yes, insurance is always good thing to have. Personal articles will cover $10,000 of equipment for about $100 or so a year. Any damage - they just write you a check, even if it's your fault. Or you can go all out and also get protection that covers other property in case you drop that camera on Aston Martin or something.
 
Sorry for your loss! I use a D3 as my primary camera and will probably purchase a D4 because I am expanding my business into doing more video in combination with the stills. I just like a good solidly built camera that's going to take some hard use including weather.
 
+Tom Anderson That is so poetic and tragic... I can't even imagine losing a camera in that decisive manner. Ugh. Was the tripod broken or faulty?

Are you attached to full frame? Because if you're getting the D800 anyway, maybe there would be a benefit to having a crop sensor camera as a secondary. I'm not familiar with all of Nikon's lineup, just throwing it out there as an idea.
 
+Derek Kind heh thanks :) I have a D7000 which I think is a "crop sensor" whats the advantage of this? I hadn't really thought of it as an advantage...
 
+Tom Anderson you're a champion!!! Thanks for that. Over the last couple of months, I've noticed the increase in use of the "tilt shift" effect being used in British TV/Film productions. Another related effect I just found is called "miniature faking" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_faking

..and here are some more pics on Flickr for you: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/tiltshift/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/Miniaturefaking

I'm with you mate, the tilt shift effect is très cool!!

Mahalo for the banter servings ;)
 
+Ivan Makarov yah well I have regular insurance that would cover it... I just don't have any specific camera insurance. I don't think it'd be financially worth it for me to make a claim for the $6,000 based on the issues it may raise with my umbrella policy, etc.
 
You can rent just about anything you want, if it is all about "getting back in the game". Try it before you buy it. +Tom Anderson Samy's Camera has a huge rental department, and they have a store in Venice.
 
Any micro43 fans here? I think that as a secondary camera/backup could be a great option! (Not being a professional photographer, I use a Panasonic G3 as my "one and only" camera)
 
+Tom Anderson yeah, that's a good point then. They do write a check quickly, but then any future claims they can just drop it easily. That's one of the reasons why I have a separate insurance just for the equipment. It also protects theft, which does happen often these days.
 
Errrg...I only have a modeling test shoot I did on my page. The cool thing about the x10 and x100 is that they have insane flash sync speeds, and I did this test to see if I could drown out the backlight of the sun.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/109477125048775132448/#photos/109477125048775132448/albums/5677863052570856433

I have some landscape and street shooting stuff with the x10 on my main comp...which I can post later.

Although, come to think of if you do mostly landscape type work the x10 might not be a good choice because it has some sensor blooming problems.
J Young
 
You are a millionaire. Why do you care?
 
Being a millionaire doesn't auotmatically mean wasting money on stuff you don't need.
 
+Trey Ratcliff - Trey thanks for that... Did you see the questiona bout the D3S above? Does the D3S shoot better in lowlight conditions than the D4? The comparison website seems to suggest it will. That would be a reason for me to stay with the D3S. But the larger megapixel kinda makes me lean towards the D4. In other words if the D4 can do everything the D3s does and its just a little more expensive, I wouldn't mind getting it.. if it's not as good in lowlight then I probably would stick with the D3S
 
+Tom Anderson oops, I didn't know you had the D7000. The only benefit to the D700 vs the D3s is weight/size. I believe the D3s has dual card slots and video, which might out weigh (pun wasn't intended, just no way to avoid it) the weight of the D3s. Well, that and the D700 can control the Nikon CLS (creative light system...flash) without having to buy the SU800...but that doesn't sound like something you are looking for right now. So, if money isn't a factor and you don't might a little bit bulkier camera...the D3S is the one. Once you get your D800, I would love to hear about it. Too much horse power for me right now, but in a year or two, it will be in the bag.

Glad you are back safe from Hawaii. I enjoyed the photos!

Justin
 
+Rebecca Withey I'm sticking with Nikon mainly because I've got other lens and my friend shoots Nikon, so we can trade lens / gear easily... :-)
 
+Tom Anderson The D4 has around 2 stops of ISO on the D3S. However, no one would really utilize that kind of ISO for most types of shooting...especially if they had the choice.
 
+Tom Anderson Actually, +Justin Balog already mentioned a crop sensor in an earlier post which I missed. I'm not an expert, but as Justin said the crop sensor acts like a 1.5 teleconverter - which is great if you like using a zoom lens, because it'll get you more reach with that same lens on a full frame. If you never felt the need to zoom in closer and you've been perfectly happy with your D3S at all times, then you probably don't need a crop sensor....although, I see you already have a D7000, so you would know if you've ever seen an advantage to shooting with it. Another thing (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong here): I believe the high-end crop sensor cameras will tend to shoot faster (for sports photography). Again, you might not ever need or want that, I just wanted to mention the option. :)
 
+Ikaika Arnado You're distracting us with that girl... how can we pay attention to the picture quality!? D4's ISO means its better in lower light, or... ? That's one thing I thought I was getting with the D3S -- the best low-light camera
 
+Derek Kind I just dont know enough about what I'm doing to have notice the benefits of the D7000 really... I never noticed that about the zoom up. That seems counter-intuitive that you could zoom in closer with it. So if I had my Nikon 28-300mm lens on my D7000 vs. my D3S, I could get in closer ont he D7000?
 
The D4 is probably a little better in low-light. I'm not sure you'll be able to really tell though... a margin-of-error at best. It's not like the jump from the D7000 to the D3S. But, I've never seen side-by-side of the same low-light situation by both cameras... +Gordon Laing is probably a good resource.
 
+Tom Anderson you are right, the D7000 is a crop sensor. In short, it is a smaller sensor, you aren't seeing the full image your lens would be projecting on traditional 35mm film. For me this is a benefit because it increases pixel density. Often I am shooting an event, mostly bike racing, but in some of my stories I venture out into all sorts of interesting situations. Anyway, those events require a long lens. With the 1.5x crop of my DX body (the D7000) my 70-200mm lens becomes a 105-300mm lens and my 300mm lens becomes a 450mm lens. I can't justify buying a 400mm lens, but because of the DX crop I can achieve it with a much cheaper (although not cheap) and lighter lens. I hope that helps.
 
+Tom Anderson Another thought, if you go with a cheaper body you can put that extra money towards a new lens. ;-)
 
Tom, I completely understand. But they do have adapters for Canon to be able to use other lenses on their bodies. Just sayin!
 
+Justin Balog wow that's cool. So now I gotta play with my D7000 again and see what I can do... I did notice once that when I got this shot with my D7000 http://bit.ly/rUGO4U and when I went back with my D3S I could never seem to get the same shot.
 
^^^ What Justin said, plus full frame cameras give you less depth of field (more bokeh, blurring of backgrounds, which can be good), meaning a crop sensor camera like your D7000 will have a greater depth of field, which can also be good - makes it easier to keep things in focus. There are pros and cons to using each type of camera.

Here's a link with a decent explanation and illustration: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

I had to spend some time trying to understand the differences, but now it all makes sense. :)
 
"fell in a gracious, timeless arc and sailed over a pier guard rail," priceless description.
 
+Tom Anderson that could surely be the reason. If you shot it with your D7000 at your maximum focal length, for arguments sake say 50mm, your smaller DX sensor will actually be cropping that to a 75mm perspective. If you went back with that same lens on your D3s (a FX or full framed sensor camera), you would only be able to achieve the 50mm perspective. FX is great because they are clean sensors (lower noise) and allow you to get the most out of your wider angle lenses. However, in my book, there is still a place for the good old cropped sensor.
 
+Tom Anderson I would hold on to the 7000. I forgot to mention that if you ever get into macro photography it will be a blessing. You can really extend your working distance between you and your subject....a nice feature for photographing intimidating bugs.
 
+Tom Anderson yes the higher the ISO capability the better in low light. However, the ISO capability for the D4 is so high that it's not practical for most. Frankly, the D3S is not practical for most as well...unless you're shooting indoor concerts, night time football, or ballet.

6400 ISO and under is a good for most types of shooting...even on an advanced level.

I'm not sure how much you are printing but the D800 will give you 16x24 300 dpi prints and the D4 will give you a right round an 11x14 300 dpi print...maybe a little less.

The D7000 is a great camera as well...that should suit you just fine.
 
Also, keep in mind that the D4 and D800 isn't on the market yet. I think they start shipping at the ed of March.
 
Well that's a very bad outcome for which I am sorry. And I'll be even sorrier if this reduces the frequency with which your beautiful photographs get posted. Quick. Go buy a camera. Please!
 
lovely narrative you have here =)
 
What a huge bummer! I'm so sorry for you. I have bought my last few cameras from http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and have been very happy with them. (No, I don't work for them or own any stock in the company.)
 
I like the picture, but not you're camera dying :(
 
ugh...a heart stopping experience. this happened to me too, but i was able to catch the assembly after only half was submerged. the camera came back to life but the lens died an honourable death. Good luck finding a replacement; maybe a difficult choice because there are so many amazing options out there +Tom Anderson
 
Get the Nikon D4. You will not be disappointed at all. Two D4's even better. The only bad thing is that there's a waiting period cause its not out yet. Just stick it out. Might be till the summer when the D4 is out....

How did you destroy your D3s
 
I like your story telling as much as your pictures. :)(
 
A lot of new photographers go straight for the best, most expensive gear, thinking the camera is what makes them a good photographer. Then they don't learn anything, and then photoshop the hell out of their photos. Not the way to go about photography..... You have a nice eye for composition. Replace the camera with what you had, and back away from the photoshop and HDR. That would be my advice, for what it's worth. ;) I have a feeling there's a pretty amazing photographer in you without that stuff.
 
so sorry Tom...it always sucks to lose a friend...but Im grateful the great photography is in ur creativity and not in the camera alone! and I think that wont change, no matter what gear u buy...or if u use photo editing or not...Your creative and talented and thats a gift I am grateful u share with us. :)
 
Tom, I'm guessing the advantages of the D3S over the D4 would be battery life and the dual CF slots. The new memory card format that the D4 supports may inconvenience your workflow. Carrying around multiple copies of two types of memory cards can be done, but isn't as convenient as having just a pocket full of CF cards and grabbing whatever comes up first. And, you'll have to pack yet another card reader. I'm assuming you are shooting a redundant backup to that second memory card slot. With the luck you've been having lately, I'd be backing up three ways to Sunday every day.
 
Sorry about the camera! I can feel the time slowing down as you watched it fall... :)
 
diskulpa si no contesto solo entiendo el espaÑol pero las fotos k agregas son muy buenas he interesantes si puedes contestar tengo una ??? para ti en k lugar se tomo esta foto ?
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SO sorry.. I broke my pocket camera last weekend :( it was in my back pocket when I lost my balance while dancing... I still have the bruise.
 
Ah! I'm sorry to hear about your camera....that's every photographers worst nightmare...
 
Awww, boo hoo for the camera BUT epic tale you get to tell! hehe! :) Thanks for sharing! And I think I'd prolly take Trey's advise on almost anything without a second thought...most things ;) Think you should have a funeral for your camera lost at sea? Or at least a 21 gun salute for a job well done, falling in the line of duty n whatnot hehe! ;)
J Agnew
 
Okay +Tom Anderson I'm going to fully admit to being lazy and not reading all 122 previous comments :)
My advice would be:
Listen. To. +Trey Ratcliff
Like I said earlier this AM Happy Shopping. While I can't hang with your photog skillz (or your shopping skills ;) ) I can still appreciate New Toy Joy
Have fun.
 
At first glance I thought this was a clever scale-model. :')
 
I like Canons personally. Sorry your camera was destroyed, I would cry if it were me, especially because I saved up for a few months before splurging to buy my canon.
 
Sounds like you're unlikely to use your DSLR for shooting movies, but to give you a tase of the D800's capabilities, check this out: http://vimeo.com/36305675
 
Hi,
Here what I would suggest. Go back to basics
Invest in a Point and Shot and a tripod for your landscape photographs and use your new Galaxy phone for your "walkabout" shots, then let your editing software beautify and glamorous your shot.
That works for me !!
 
Someone suggested Cannon, and I use those too... Canon/Nikon are very similar, in my opinion and Canon has an EOS 1D that does everything that the Nikon D3 does in that $5K price range. Having said that, I agree with +Trey Ratcliff, because I believe you should stick with what you know. If you're knowledgeable with cameras, you can do just about anything with any camera. I personally like to have a nice DSLR and another "hip camera"...
 
Hi +Tom Anderson , sorry for your loss! Hmmm, you don't seem to be having a lot of luck with Nikon do you, maybe it's the camera Gods telling you to shoot Canon... Anyway, I disagree with +Trey Ratcliff on this one. My advice to anyone wanting to buy a semi-pro or pro body is to STOP RIGHT NOW AND WAIT! The Nikon D4 and D800, not to mention the Canon 1D X and maybe 5D Mark III are just round the corner. Mere weeks away for some of them. We're talking about brand-spanking new cameras here replacing models which are around three years old. Repeat that: Three. Years. Old. In techology terms, that's a long time.

I honestly think you'd be a fool to buy a three year old pro body knowing their replacements are almost in the shops, unless you can literally generate sufficient revenue from some jobs to pay for it over the next few weeks. And that's not even mentioning the latest high-end mirrorless CSCs either. There's just so much happening right now. So my advice is to wait until the D800 and D4 are out there because then you'll know if they're worth getting. And if they are, you can bet the prices on the old models will plummet, making it a win-win regardless which body you go for. In the meantime, I'd rent something from www.borrowlenses.com, or if you're really desperate to buy something now, consider taking a punt on a mirrorless CSC as a second body, like the Sony NEX-7 or even a 5N. You may really enjoy the form factor.

Ultimately there's a lot of strong opinions about the D800, D4 and 1D X, but it's all speculation, rumour and hot air until we actually get hold of them and try them for ourselves. Until then none of us can make a definitive statement about any of them.
 
I would go with the D4 and get the D800 when it comes out. This way you have the variety you need for any shot and place. Its not an easy decision to make when spending this kind of money. More bang for the buck isn't always the answer. What you feel comfortable with is. It would be nice to be able to test drive the cameras to see if it works for you. Happy picking my friend.
 
+Gordon Laing I was starting to be swayed by some of the comments in here... (Swayed to the D4. It's only $800 more than than the D3S) But my main question right now is this: is there anything spec-wise that the D3S is supposed to do better than the D4? (I know we won't know until it comes out... ) Trey sent a comparison link, here: http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon-D4-vs-Nikon_D3S .. The only thing in here that matters to me on the positives for D3S is the "low noise" part... That said, I've never even done noise reduction on a single photo you've seen me put online. I just want to be able to shoot at night with the best tech available... If the D3S were better at that than the D4, that might be a reason for me to keep it in my mind... If it isn't, I think I'd be fine with the D4.
 
To be honest +Tom Anderson we can compare specs, but they're just numbers. Yes the D4 is higher res, which might mean more noise - but only if the sensor technology was identical and hadn't moved on one iota in THREE YEARS! No-one can make a definitive statement until they've compared both models side-by-side in a consistent environment. If you're after a gut-feeling, I think the D800 could be an amazing camera, and while the D4 will outperform it for noise levels, I suspect we'll only really see the difference at very high ISOs. So if you shoot at, say, 1600 or less, I don't think there'd be much in it. But again mere speculation. I'd use this time between cameras to try out a load of different options, including other brands and formats as you may find one which fits your style and desires.
 
Hi Tom Bro... Sooo Sorry 2 hear about UR Fav camera... Anyways luck next time..... tke kre ... Lov Dolly .. INDIA....
 
Sorry you lost your camera, but at least you didn't find yourself swimming out of a rip tide in very cool water. Now you will have all the necessary benefit of experts in the field of photographic equipment. You will make the most well informed decision about which new camera to acquire. Good Luck with your new image maker, and keep the excellent work coming.
 
+Tom Anderson high ISO doesn't matter if you are shooting on a tripod and doing long exposures. It's for shooting in low light when you need a faster shutter speed. It's for people shooting things like ballet indoor, or a concert, or a football game at night...so you can boost your shutter speed to avoid blur, and minimize noise.
 
That hilariously sad go with the fuji Pro X1! way better for people shots.
 
That's the first time I heard a camera's demise sound so poetic.
 
you lefted my space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Here's some more random x10 samples...

https://plus.google.com/photos/106646349662904706677/albums/5710320356015646913

If you decide to get an XPro-1 Kaimuki Camera on Waialae Ave. deals directly with the fuji manufacturer in Japan, which means that they'll be one of the first shops in the US to carry it. Like they did with the x10 and x100. Also, it's good karma to give the local camera shops some love.

Furthermore, if you do get one let me play with it!!! I wanna see if it lives up to the hype!!!
 
I wish I could offer something useful to your camera considerations, but "I got nothin'." However, I do want to say that that shot in Death Valley makes me miss that place something fierce. I love sailing into that valley from the west, powering over those 'whoop-de-dos' in whatever vehicle I'm driving, spotting the dunes in the distance and anticipating the warm pool at the Furnace Creek Inn and the end of the drive. Devil's Racetrack anyone? Thanks for evoking the memory, +Tom Anderson !
 
Only and lonely on never ending destination
 
Long Beach is the coolest place though :-) Sorry about the cam!
 
this is a nice place where u r shooting,,,,,,
 
check photo details: taken by Canon EOS 7D; you buddy must be a canon fan ;)
 
My vote is for the d800 also. The d4 is a lot of camera even for someone as great as you.
 
What an unlucky day! At least you had the sense to not jump in the water.
 
Thanks +Charlie Ebert, I actually think the x10 is a really good high end point-n-shoot.

I definitely want to try out the xpro-1, but it's soooo expensive! I'm sure someone I know will get one. I'm think it will give leica a run for it's money.

Actually, someone in Hawaii has one, because the promo pictures on the site features some shots from a popular hike in an area called Lanikai, which is near my house.

I need to find this person, and convince him/her to let me play with it!!!
 
Looks like South Australia
 
Why didn't you dive for your camera's memory at least? One of my memories survived a whole washing cycle.
Lily L
 
Your plight would be so much more tragic if I didn't enjoy it's eloquence so much, hehe. I'm sorry to hear about your camera. And the phone. :(

Who took this picture anyways? I love tilt-shift almost as much as I love bokeh~
 
what's a pic...great
 
Wow, that's crazy, my worst nightmare. I think now is the perfect opportunity to rent and try lots of other cameras until the new Nikons arrive. I'd love to be able to do that. PS what lens did you loose?
 
+Tom Anderson if you follow Ken Rockwell carefully you will come to the conclusion that the camera does not really matter and that the best camera is always the one you are carrying.
Wes Lum
 
Dang! Sorry to hear about your camera. I would probably recommend a D4 + D800/D800E combo. They can share the same battery (if you buy the grip + adapter for the D800). I don't think pricing for D3S will come down enough to make it worthwhile. I'm actually surprised Trey didn't recommend a D800/Mirrorless combo! I hope order in the camera world is restored soon!
Wes Lum
 
What lens did you have on there??
 
Don't know much about the D4 but I am interested in the D3s myself after seeing how beautiful the quality was from yours.
 
Wow, a D3S as a 'hip' camera? You must have strong hips. Strong like bull!
 
To be honest I'd trust anybody who shoots over someone from a camera store. They've tried to sell me DSLRs on mega pixels alone.. not that they're not nice people but they're there to make a sale at the end of the day and I'd say a lot of them don't have a lot of experience with the cameras.

I'd say Trey's right with the D800 - from everything I've read it seems like it's going to be really great for landscapes and that kind of photography.

I can only imagine the pain of watching your camera tumble! One of my tripod legs is broken and no amount of weird glue is making a difference so it's often a balancing act. I try to hold on constantly just in case... the fear is in me haha
 
What do you get with the D800 that you can't get with the D3S ?
In terms of images that can be captured.
Take the budget for the D800 and get an extra lense. Some thing wide if landscapes is what you're after.
It's not as much about tech as it is about the person behind the camera
 
Very sorry your equipment got busted. That's gotta suck.
 
Nikon D3S, rest in peace. Beautiful prose about it's death, though...
 
well it is replaceable, glad your ok, and the camera that you feel most comfortable with, I love taking pics too, put i am clueless to the camera world, it seems to me that they should have one that does both that way you can enjoy the tri when necessary and the hip always.
 
Get a Leica if you can afford it. No need to schlep a monster with you everywhere.
 
My man +Dan Hiris, if there's any photographers out there can afford a Leica, +Tom Anderson has to be one of them, don't forget Tom's the founder of MySpace. Do you know how much Tom sold the MySpace to New Corp?
 
Sometimes "afford" has more to do to perceived value rather than actual ability to buy it. I got a Fuji X100 to make up for the inability to purchase a Leica but I'm not in the market for a full frame camera yet so it works out ok.
 
That means for a while, we wont get your posts?
 
This makes me ill. I would sell my crusty little soul for a D3s. I think the D4 is scheduled for a mid-March release in the US. I'd wait. If it were more than about a month, I'd say get a used D3s, then resell it when the D4 comes out.
 
Nice to be rich. Wish I had your problems.
 
Again, sorry to hear about the camera being destroyed. Once you get another camera (if you haven't gotten one, already) to work with again, you won't feel as small as you did in that picture. ;)
 
woah, that's awful about your camera. really sorry to hear that. Trey's way more up to snuff on the Nikon gear than I am, but the Nikon D4 feels pricey and perhaps not the best value. A few years back I tripped over my tripod leg and had the camera come crashing down. Lost a 24mm f/1.4 but the lens bore most of the fall and saved the camera for me. :(
 
i am an artist,oils on canvas, always looking for inspiration, your photoes blow me away. msw.
 
I'm sure you can afford a new one
 
This picture is so cool! You look like a miniature model. Who's the photographer? It doesn't look like a Trey Ratcliff piece. :)
 
Was this taken with tilt-shift or just a gradient layer mask?
 
you should consider canon...
 
Check out the Nikon D40 I've been using it for years with no complaints, give it a look :)

 
+Tom Anderson if money isn't a huge concern, why not a medium format camera like Hasselblad to have on the tripod? I don't think anyone here would take a d800 over a good medium format system, even an entry level one.
 
+Richard Vier Digital medium format backs suck for landscape work, they produce a lot of grain and hot pixels on long exposures. A lot medium format landscape shooters are shooting on film backs and using drum scanners, which is still pulling more resolution than the highest medium format digital backs.

Digital Hasselblads and Phase One cameras are more tailored for studio, fine art, and other high quality work. In terms of quality, yes, a 35mm DSLR won't come close the quality, but you gotta be pretty fluent with a camera and lighting before you can unleash it's potential.

Hasselblads are big and slow, which is fine for a studio shooter that has the fundamentals of lighting down. However, I would recommend someone learn on a DSLR because it's easier and more fun.
 
the collection of the photographs speak the skill u have on the subject and iam captivated.
 
I hear great things about the D800 -- personally, I use my D60 to death. Can't afford an upgrade right now. Listen to your head... get what makes you feel comfortable. Before long the new camera will be just another old friend.
 
I got an htc hd2 and am wondering what will they come up with next and while wondering something else I noticed that my lens is so scratched up that my pictures get slightly blurry but that's not a problem .
 
You couldn't make up a story like this one. Wow. I feel your pain
 
Listen to Trey, you're better off using a camera that you're accustomed to, and you love.
 
So sorry for your camera but it's one great shot :)
 
Your friend probably knows more about the camera and how you use it than the salesman who's trying to sell you cameras.
 
So sorry to hear about the loss +Tom Anderson :(

There's always going to be a fancier, better, faster, and cheaper camera out there whenever it's time to upgrade.

The Nikon D4 has an attractive list of new features but it has an equally unattractive list of features that the vast majority of owners will never use. The wired ethernet and embedded web server feel like features for IT administrators and not photographers ;)

If this accident didn't take place would you be considering the upgrade from the D3s to D4?
 
The Pacific has one of my camera's too, +Tom Anderson
A one week old 5DmkII taken out to sea by a huge rogue wave. I'm lucky I didn't end up floating away myself. :)
So...I can feel your pain.
 
Ouch. That is one hell of a story. So sorry you had to watch your camera be buried alive. Good luck getting a new set-up.
WL Wong
 
Being able to resume shooting immediately <----- GOLD

And I am sure the D3S is an extremely capable camera in all accounts. You won't regret getting another D3S, sales are not photographers. Sales want to promote flashy new products. Photographers want something that *WORKS*.
 
sad to hear that you have broken your D3S ....
I waanna ask you 01 qtn that i am not a proffesional photographer but still i am excited to do this ....
But i need a cammera ... sir can you suggest me one cammera which is little cheap and a good one for startersss..
 
If you're comfortable with the D3S, stick with what you know. That way you don't need to grieve. ;-)
 
DID YOUR CAMERA SHUTTER WHEN IT JUMPED! FROM THE PIER 2 THE COLD...COLD...WATER?
SORRY COULDNT HELP IT!!
 
I think it's all fiction. And the pictures are all retouched. Tom doesn't exist.
Manh Vi
 
i wish my countryis beauty as this place,
 
Hey Tom, you are a gazillionaire, right? Go out and buy a camera store. Then while you are at it go to Phoenix, AZ, and get +Mark Wallace to give you some private lessons. Hey, I miss Tom's MySpace. Hasn't been the same since you left.
 
Scattered Thunderstorms
 
Is it ridiculous that I started to get teary thinking of you watching your camera, and its contents, sink down?
 
PS-I LOVE this shot.

It looks like you're a toy in a model.
 
I agree with +Trey Ratcliff as well, waiting for the new camera would drive me batty, and if you drop your tripod camera again, then you can photograph it with your hip shooter! :P Also, what do you mean you "need" to clean it up? (As opposed to needed to.) Did you retrieve your tripod from the drink?
 
I can hardly add anything here that hasn't been said, but still, my condolences on the camera deal. That seriously would have given me a stroke. As you described it, I was watching in my mind as the camera teetered and fell... all in glorious slow motion. The D3s is a great hip shooter. I think going with that and the D800 later would be great.
 
High res, no low pass filter for extra sharpness, software to correct more if need be.... It's all good! I It looks like you're a toy
 
Bummer re: the loss of your camera and laptop! Great photo ... did you take it? If not, who's the photographer?
 
hehheeheh kewl, funny :) some one taking a pic of the view while u take there's lol
 
I know it's a huge cost difference, but why wait for a D4 or D800, get the same body as the D3S with the D3X. It just makes more sense than the D3S for a Nikon landscape shooter. Now this is coming from a Sony guy, but a Sony guy with the same 25 megapixel sensor as the D3X. The dynamic range and resolution on that camera is unbeatable for a 35mm full frame DSLR....of course until the D800 comes out. Good luck!
 
Was this picture taken with a tilt shift? And just get a D3S. You can always trade up later since camera backs retain value rather well. For example my used Canon 7D sells within 200 bucks of my purchase price... As for me I hear the call of a 5D Mark III....
 
+Tom Anderson Old Post but I thought I'd chime in. For a camera.. I can pretty much afford whatever I want. I preordered the D800 for a landscape shooter and use a Sony A77 as my hip-gun. I think your proposed D3s/D800 combo will be a great one!
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Hey Tom, I just came across your site (like 5 minutes ago). I'm a pro in photography, but my styles is a bit more classic (nothing better nor wrong with neither style).
I like your enthusiasm and energy!.
I'm stationed in Utah and looking for opportunities to spread abroad my comfort zone.
I'm thinking this post is too late now, but here comes anyways: I like your plan: D3S (for the sake of low light capability) and D800 for your photo size (36 MP).
I shoot with D7000 + D2X with all Nikon lenses (from 10.5 to 500 mm)
 
si è verò tanto belle immàgini.
 
This photo is definitely the work of +veanne cao. Good stuff. Checkout her work at Mackme.com !
 
hi frnd i lik your photoes very much iam abig fan of your photography
Tom Sky
 
Hey Tom we connected on facebook i have been in photography for quite a bit and be happy to share my camera opinion if you haven't get one yet the advantage of D3s over D4 could be perhaps larga battery capacity as it has been produced before japanese battery law restrictions that affected D4 in reportage outdoor style of shooting it may play some role 
 
Seems you have a propensity to destroy cameras around water.  Maybe the camera gods are trying to get your attention?  
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