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A humble blog by M. Scott Smith

Shooting in the Dark 🔗

I just wandered into the darkness of a heavy snowstorm (what may be one of the biggest snowstorms on record for Maryland), with the new Nikon D3S camera in hand.

The following shot was taken handheld with a non-VR lens, shot in near-darkness at 6:03 pm EST. There was heavy, wet snow. I couldn't see the geese with my own eyes (although I could hear them honking), and had to guesstimate the focus. The aperture was f/2.8 with a 1/10 second exposure. The ISO was set to 25,600. (The D3S can be pushed above 100,000 ISO.)

The low-light performance of the Nikon D3S is truly groundbreaking. You simply couldn't have captured this shot in these conditions even a couple years ago. There is slight grain in the picture, but it's completely serviceable. Looking at this, it's hard to believe it was shot in the dark. The D3S sees light my eyes can't see.


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