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Trackside with the D3S at the Nikon SuperGP

The streets of Queensland's Gold Coast were transformed for four days in October for the Nikon SuperGP, with a host of cars being our test subjects for a range of Nikon digital SLRs including the D3S.

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Lexy Savvides
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1 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

The streets of Queensland's Gold Coast were transformed for four days in October for the Nikon SuperGP, with a host of cars being our test subjects for a range of Nikon digital SLRs.

From V8 supercars to classic roadsters, the SuperGP had it all. Fortunately, we had enough tools that were up to the job, from telephoto zooms to wide-angle lenses that suited the task. We tried out a range of cameras from the top-of-the-line FX sensor D3S, through to the D700, D90 and the babies of the bunch, the D5000 and D3000. Click through for plenty of pictures and a sample of video from the D3S.

Alexandra Savvides attended the SuperGP as a guest of Nikon.

Trackside before the race began, the streets of the Gold Coast were transformed from plain tarmac roads to the home of grandstands and tyre-squeals. Note the burning rubber in the background. We took this with the D700 and the new AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens.

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2 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

With Nikon insignia everywhere, there was no doubt as to who was sponsoring this event. These were the mini-cars lining up for their event.

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3 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

It wouldn't be a SuperGP without the requisite Miss Indys, posing for a gaggle of press before the practice laps began.

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4 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Here's a snippet of the 720p HD video that the D3S can produce. We were pretty pleased with the results given that we weren't using a tripod; the audio is clear and the colours are great. Mucking about with focus is also pretty fun, too. Download at your peril, the file is 30.4MB straight from the camera.

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5 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Underneath the grandstands, the mechanics work their magic on the assorted bits and pieces. A good advertisement for not drinking and driving, then.

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6 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Back on the tracks, we got up close and personal with two of the V8 supercars before they were unleashed thanks to the AF VR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED mounted on the D90.

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7 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Pushing the cars into alignment? No, that's what the engine's for. Still on the track before the practice laps begin.

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8 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Like a flock of birds in formation, the supercars take off in quick succession to do a final lap of the track before lining up in position.

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9 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Returning to the pits after a few laps, the supercars and their drivers looked pretty spent. All in a day's work.

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10 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

The view from the Nikon grandstand wasn't too shabby.

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11 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Back underneath the grandstands, a series of classic racing cars were on display. This was the Torana A9X that Bob Morris drove to win the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1979.

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12 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

One of the souped up classic cars took a spin around the track.

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13 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Back to the D3S, and one of the other classic cars. Looks a bit like Noddy and Big Ears might pop-out at any time.

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14 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Like a number of the new Nikons, the D3S can take multiple exposures and merge them together in-camera, up to 7 shots at a time.

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15 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Even in low light, the D3S coped spectacularly, which is what you'd expect from the professional workhorse. Even at the maximum native ISO of 12,800, the results were very impressive (note this was taken at ISO 800). This is just a small selection of the tyres that were all around the pits to replace worn ones. Anyone fancy a doughnut?

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16 of 16 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

We always thought the girls and boys in the pits were fuelled by the pure smell of gasoline and engine oil, but it looks like we were wrong.

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