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Nikon D3s Heads to Space
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posted on Dec 30, 2009 at 4:01PM

Nikon D3s Heads to Space

By Emily Raymond
  • NASA ordered 11 D3s cameras
  • 7 x 14-24mm f/2.8 lenses
  • HD video
  • Expansive ISO settings
(Credit: Nikon)

Nikon is feeling over the moon. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ordered 11 of the flagship D3s cameras to take to the International Space Station. The cameras will be used to document activities at the space station.

The Nikon D3s will join six D2Xs cameras already at the space station, according to the Nikon press release issued Dec. 21. The D2Xs cameras were purchased in 2008 along with several Nikkor lenses. NASA’s most recent order includes seven AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses, which Nikon says is “the world’s first ultra wide-angle zoom lens to offer a focal length of 14mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.8,” according to their press release.

Nikon may be NASA’s most recent choice of photographic equipment, but perhaps its most famous photographs were taken in the 1960s using modified Hasselblads.

The Nikon D3s was announced in mid-October and made available a few weeks later. The full-frame DSLR has a 36 x 23.9mm CMOS image sensor and flaunts the ability to reduce noise even with its expansive ISO selection. Its ISO settings range from 200-12800, but can be expanded down to 100 and up to 102,400. The D3s is one of a handful of high-end DSLRs that include HD video capability, a feature that previously was limited to compact cameras and then low-end DSLRs.

Publicizing high-end clients isn’t a move limited to Nikon. Last month, Canon announced that the crew of NBC’s Saturday Night Live used its EOS 5D Mark II and 7D cameras to create the opening sequence for the show. The DSLRs were chosen for their excellent low light performance and ability to shoot HD video, stated the Nov. 11 Canon press release.



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