It would seem that NASA has become fans of the Nikon D3S camera as the space administration is about to send several of them into space.
According to an announcement from Nikon, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has placed an order for eleven D3S digital SLR cameras and seven AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses to be used for photographic documentation aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The D3S digital SLR cameras and AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses ordered by NASA will be carried on the Space Shuttle and used to photograph activities at the ISS in the future. Â None of the equipment will requireÂ special modifications and will be the same products available to end users
This is not the first time NASA has chosen Nikon equipment for photographic documentation on space missions. Â The history of the two groups working together dates back to 1971 when specially modified Nikon Photomic FTN was used on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon.
The D3S was released in November 2009 as the latest iteration of the Nikon FX-format digital SLR cameras. This camera is equipped with a new CMOS sensor (36.0 Ã— 23.9 mm) developed by Nikon and supports standard ISO sensitivity settings of 200 to 12800. Sensitivity can also be set as high as Hi 3 (ISO 102400 equivalent) or as low as Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent). Image-degrading noise has been minimized to enable shooting at high sensitivities under even extremely dim lighting. In addition, the D3S is equipped with the D-Movie function, enabling HD video capture and includes high-sensitivity movie mode and movie editing functions for trimming start and ending footage or saving selected frames as JPEG stills. Naturally, the camera itself is representative of an all-round flagship model offering basic performance and operation that meet the strict demands (fast, support for high sensitivities, superior image quality) of professional and advanced amateur photographers in a number of fields, including the press, sports and nature photography.
The AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is the worldâ€™s first ultra wide-angle, zoom lens to offer a focal length of 14mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The performance of this lens has been extremely well received by the camera industry, and recognized by Europeâ€™s Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), which awarded it The Best Professional Lens in Europe 2008, and the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA), which awarded it European Professional Lens 2008-2009.