Nikon D3s

Last update (24 March’12):
– Review by Shutterbug

Nikon D3s professional DSLR is the successor to the popular Nikon D3 features 12 megapixel 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor (full frame), 720p HD video recording, ISO 100 – 102400 (boost), Fast, accurate 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors), continuous shooting up to 9fps, 3-inch super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD; one-button Live View with two shooting modes, Dual CF card slots with overflow, backup and copy options (CF card not included); up to 4,300 images per battery charge.

The Nikon D3s has won the 2010 TIPA Awards in Best D-SLR Professional category.

nikon d3s
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Nikon D3s Reviews

Shutterbug reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“the D3S is a state-of-the-art pro camera that lets you get images you might not have considered previously possible, and then some. Battery staying power, framing rate, customization features, nine-shot brackets, focusing speed and accuracy, and video and still crop and size options make it a formidable machine for any working photographer.”

DCR reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“Image quality is excellent, particularly when shot in RAW. Naturally, your lens choice will affect parameters like sharpness, but overall I was pleased with most shots captured with the Nikon D3S.”

ImagingResource reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“While we’re used to seeing a pretty clear descent in image size as ISO rises, images from the 12-megapixel D3S don’t start to need a size downgrade from 16×24 until ISO 12,800…Really a remarkable performance from the amazing Nikon D3S digital SLR camera.”
Rating:N/A reviews the Nikon D3s1 and writes;
“No noise was visible in test shots up to ISO 3200 and it didn’t become obvious until ISO 12,800… the D3s provided sharper, more saturated images than we obtained in test shots from the EOS 1D Mark IV, as shown in the sample crops from our Imatest tests”
Rating: ★★★★½

WDC reviews the Nikon D3s1 and writes;
“Sharpness is excellent with the right lens choice, though due to the large sensor the resulting depth of field can be much narrower than you are used to. With a relatively moderate pixel count, the level of detail is not breathtaking but does offer as much as the pixels will allow – which is plenty for prints up to A2.”
Rating: ★★★★½

LetsGoDigital reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“I even dare to say that this is the best digital SLR camera at this moment. In any case, the best that Nikon has ever built. Thanks to the D3, many photographers made the switch to Nikon, either having stepped over to Canon before or not. And I actually think that the Nikon D3s will make more photographers want to make the switch. People are lining up for”
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon D3s VS Canon EOS 1D Mark IV comparison review video by DigitalRev;

PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“Pictures taken between ISO 100 and 800 are practically indistinguishable from each other upon a visual inspection, and even at ISO 1600, you really need to know what to look for to find a trace of luminance noise. Between ISO 3200 and 12,800 the amount of luminance noise increases, but chroma noise remains very well controlled without any readily apparent loss of colour saturation. Suffice to say that I would not hesitate to print an ISO 12,800 shot at 300ppi…. ISO 51,200 and ISO 102,400 are for on-screen viewing only”
Rating: ★★★★★

Pocket-Lint reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“This evolution of Nikon’s D3 full “FX” frame professional digital SLR brings new features such as HD movies into the frame. A new 12.1-megapixel sensor with improved circuitry allows superb image quality at very high ISO settings makes the D3s a stunning pro model”
Rating: ★★★★½

NeutralDay reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“For photographers not needing the absolute best in high ISO performance, and/or those uninterested in shooting HD video, the D3s may not be the most dire of purchases. But for photographers just now moving up to a professional level camera and invested in Nikon glass, or for professionals desiring even higher levels of performance, the Nikon D3s definitely comes “Highly Recommended“.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“# Good: Incredible low light performance • Inclusion of D-Movie • Quiet shutter • Stunning pictures
# Bad: Unless you value the increased ISO and video, it’s an expensive upgrade from the D3”

Rating: ★★★★½

PopPhoto reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“Noise didn’t reach Unacceptable until ISO 12,800. Even more impressive: It scored our top rating of Extremely Low all the way up to ISO 400.”

ePhotozine reviews the Nikon D3s and writes;
“Its high ISO sensitivity means you can carry on shooting in the poorest ambient light and without using a tripod. That would count for nothing if the results from using the high ISOs were poor and unusable, but they are not. Yes, there is noise and detail loss at the equivalent of ISO 102,400, but you still get an image – and try getting that sort of speed from film!”
Rating: ★★★★½

User Opinions

Nikon D3s User Reviews

This professional level camera is amazing Rating: ★★★★★
“… I do a fair amount of studio work and thought I might opt for the Nikon D3X or even a Canon body since high ISO is not important, but this camera is so good I may use it for all my photography work in all conditions. If I really need high-end studio shots, I’ll perhaps use my Mamiya with a digital back or even rent a Hasselblad.” – Thomas

Amazing camera…! Rating: ★★★★★
“If you can afford this camera and are shopping for a high end body, get the D3S! I’m not going to be able to say things that the pro reviewers haven’t, so I’m not going to try. Overall, I’m absolutely thrilled with this camera. The ISO is amazing, double memory cards, 4200 photo battery life, the feel in my hands…. can’t be happier.” – Jeff

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon D3s Sample Photos

Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ DCR
Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ Dpreview
Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Nikon D3s Sample Photos @ NeutralDay

Nikon D3s Sample Videos

Nikon D3S Sample Video by NikonAustralia;

Nikon D3S Sample Video by JaredPolinr;

Nikon D3S Sample Video by TechRadar;


Nikon D3s User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Nikon D3s User Manual in English (PDF- 22.3MB)
– Download Nikon D3s User Manual in Spanish (PDF- 22.3MB)


Nikon D3s Specifications

The D3S is uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of photographers whose assignments demand 100% from them and their equipment. Leading with uncompromising FX-format multimedia versatility and engineered for demanding professional use at up to 9 fps, the D3S’ rugged magnesium alloy construction, comprehensively sealed against dust and moisture, delivers on its promises of superiority. Exacting moments in time are captured to an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

Nikon’s newly engineered, original 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, teamed with exclusive technologies such as EXPEED image processing, Nikon’s Scene Recognition System and a fast, accurate 51-area AF system, work together to assure that both still and smooth 24 fps HD video files exhibit incredible edge-to-edge sharpness, rich color depth and broad tonal range, while barrier-breaking performance enables low-noise ISO sensitivity to 12,800.

Expanded ISO sensitivities of 25,600, 51,200 and an astounding 102,400, shatter many long-standing rules of photography. Audio to accompany HD video is preserved with a built-in microphone, while high fidelity stereo sound is recorded through the external Mic input using an optional microphone. More proven technologies include Nikon’s renowned 1,005-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, assuring exacting exposure evaluation and white balance detection. Precise image review and menu access comes to life with the D3S’ tempered glass-protected and individually factory-calibrated 3-inch, 921,000-dot Live View monitor. A self-diagnostic shutter, tested to beyond 300,000 cycles, and a myriad of inherent benefits stemming from decades of Nikon design experience, round out the D3S’ qualifications to meet the needs of professional photographers.

Nikon D3s Features & Highlights

Nikon-original FX-format CMOS Sensor Newly engineered for striking image fidelity and low-noise, optimizing pixel size and count in a 12.1-megapixel sensor to produce extraordinarily rich files.

Low Noise ISO Sensitivity from 200 to 12,800
Renowned low-noise performance at 12,800, plus expanded settings to an astounding ISO 102,400 (equivalent) and ISO 100 (equivalent).

Continuous Shooting Up to 9 FPS
Secure exacting moments in time with an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

HD Video Capture
Record smooth 24 fps HD video, leveraging low noise D3S image quality along with high fidelity stereo sound capability.

One-button Live View with Two Shooting Modes
Two modes for studio or remote shooting–Tripod Mode offers 27x magnification for precise focus confirmation

3-Inch Super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor
D3S monitors are individually calibrated during assembly to assure accuracy.

Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System
Ultrasonic process combats the accumulation of dust on the optical low pass filter, safeguarding image quality.

Nikon EXPEED Image Processing
Drives breathtakingly rich image fidelity, low noise and fast image processing.

Fast, Accurate 51-Point AF System
4 Dynamic modes and 15 cross-type sensors deliver AF precision and razor sharpness.

1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Nikon-pioneered RGB metering includes color information to intelligently determine more accurate exposures.

Scene Recognition System
Referencing an onboard image database, teamed with RGB metering, SRS enhances exposure and white balance evaluation and improves AF speed and accuracy

Rugged and Precise Magnesium Alloy Construction
Effectively protected from invasive dust, moisture and electromagnetic interference with a self-diagnostic shutter mechanism tested to exceed 300,000 cycles.

Nikon Picture Control
Four preset options and 9 customizable settings provide personalized style control.

100% Viewfinder Coverage

Dual CF Card Slots with Overflow, Backup and Copy Option

Virtual Horizon Graphic Indicator

Up to 4,300 Images per Battery Charge

Also Consider

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

One Response to “Nikon D3s”

  1. Jo says:

    I bought it recently and absolutely love it. It has great HD video, apparently this clip was made using it Check it out!

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