As well as being compared against other pro DSLRs, the Nikon D3 is also often compared to entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless. The Nikon D3's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D4 and the D5) and Canon (such as the EOS 1D X and the EOS 1D Mark III)

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3 compared to other pro DSLR competitors include: it has much less shutter lag (88 ms vs 161 ms), has a much longer battery life (4300 shots vs 2600 shots), has more storage slots (2 vs 1) and is much less expensive ($783.77 vs $3,780.49).

However, on average it doesn't record movies (none vs UHD @ 30fps), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a slightly lower resolution screen (922k dots vs 2,359k dots), takes significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 18.1 MP) and significantly lower maximum light sensitivity (6,400 ISO vs 3,280,000 ISO).

Nikon D4

Nikon D4
4 years newer
$5,121 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D4 (vs the D3)

  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Shoots significantly faster: 11 fps vs 9 fps
  • Significantly higher true resolution: 16.2 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D4 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 2600 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Thicker: 3.6" vs 3.5"

common strengths of the D4 and D3

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 11 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 2600 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

Nikon D5

Nikon D5
8 years newer
$4,860 - $6,497 (body only)
$6,714 50mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5 (vs the D3)

  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 3,280,000 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,359k dots vs 922k dots
  • Many more focus points: 153 vs 51

Significant disadvantages of the D5 (vs the D3)

  • Significantly shorter battery life: 3780 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Significantly thicker: 3.6" vs 3.5"

common strengths of the D5 and D3

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 14 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 3780 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
1 year newer
$759 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3X (vs the D3)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.4 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D3X (vs the D3)

  • Shoots much slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D3X and D3

  • Very long battery life: 4400 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2
  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these

Nikon D700

Nikon D700
10 months newer
$1,591 (body only)
$2,277 24-85mm lens

Significant advantages of the D700 (vs the D3)

  • Much smaller: Large (147×123×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 3" vs 3.5"
  • Built-in flash

Significant disadvantages of the D700 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1000 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the D700 and D3

  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these
  • Inexpensive: $1,590.99 vs $783.77

Canon EOS 1D X

Canon EOS 1D X
4 years newer
$3,780 (body only)

Significant advantages of the 1D X (vs the D3)

  • Shoots much faster: 14 fps vs 9 fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Significantly higher true resolution: 18.1 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the 1D X (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1500 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Heavier: 1,530 g vs 1,300 g

common strengths of the 1D X and D3

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 14 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 1500 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

Nikon D3S

Nikon D3S
2 years newer
$1,869 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3S (vs the D3)

  • None found

Significant disadvantages of the D3S (vs the D3)

  • None found

common strengths of the D3S and D3

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 9 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 4200 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

compared toEntry-level DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3 compared to entry-level DSLR competitors include: it has a slightly larger screen (3" vs 1.8"), has a much higher resolution screen (922k dots vs 230k dots), much larger viewfinder (0.70x vs 0.56x), lets you preview your photos on the screen and has a weather sealed body.

However, on average it doesn't record movies (none vs 1080p @ 60fps), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), slightly fewer lenses available (171 lenses vs 230 lenses), is older (august 2007 vs february 2013) and is much larger (large (160×157×88 mm) vs prosumer size (124×98×76 mm)).

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
1 year newer
$449 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D90 (vs the D3)

  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×103×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher true resolution: 12.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lighter: 703 g vs 1,300 g

Significant disadvantages of the D90 (vs the D3)

  • Much more shutter lag: 208 ms vs 88 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 850 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 4.5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D90 and D3

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.63x vs 0.70x
  • Both have pentaprism viewfinders: Pentaprism vs Pentaprism
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100
5 years newer
$709 (body only)
$1,097 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7100 (vs the D3)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Shoots movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs None
  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 922k dots

Significant disadvantages of the D7100 (vs the D3)

  • Much more shutter lag: 251 ms vs 88 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 950 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.61x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D7100 and D3

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.61x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed
  • Lots of focus points: 51 vs 51

Nikon D3000

Nikon D3000
1 year newer
$637 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3000 (vs the D3)

  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (126×97×64 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.5" vs 3.5"
  • Much lighter: 485 g vs 1,300 g

Significant disadvantages of the D3000 (vs the D3)

  • Much lower true resolution: 10 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lower resolution screen: 230k dots vs 922k dots
  • Much more shutter lag: 262 ms vs 88 ms

common strengths of the D3000 and D3

  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600
9 years newer
$468 - $597 (body only)
$500 - $647 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5600 (vs the D3)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Shoots movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs None
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (124×97×70 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the D5600 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 970 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.54x vs 0.70x
  • Much more shutter lag: 111 ms vs 88 ms

common strengths of the D5600 and D3

  • Many focus points: 39 vs 51
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
6 years newer
$473 (body only)
$399 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D3)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Shoots movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs None
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (124×98×76 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the D3300 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 700 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.55x vs 0.70x
  • Shoots much slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D3300 and D3

  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Canon EOS 20Da

Canon EOS 20Da
2 years older

Significant advantages of the 20Da (vs the D3)

  • Much smaller: Professional size (144×106×72 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.8" vs 3.5"
  • Much lighter: 770 g vs 1,300 g

Significant disadvantages of the 20Da (vs the D3)

  • Much lower true resolution: 8.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lower resolution screen: 118k dots vs 922k dots
  • Much smaller screen: 1.8" vs 3"

common strengths of the 20Da and D3

  • Both have pentaprism viewfinders: Pentaprism vs Pentaprism
  • Very fast max shutter speeds: 1/8000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

compared toMirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3 compared to mirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors include: it has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital), much more lenses available (171 lenses vs 58 lenses), has a built-in focus motor, has a much longer battery life (4300 shots vs 340 shots) and uses fast phase detection autofocus (phase detection vs hybrid detection).

However, on average it doesn't record movies (none vs 1080p @ 60fps), has a slightly lower resolution screen (922k dots vs 1,229k dots), takes significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), slightly lower maximum light sensitivity (6,400 ISO vs 51,200 ISO) and doesn't have a screen which flips out.

Sony A7

Sony A7
6 years newer
$798 (body only)
$965 - $998 28-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the A7 (vs the D3)

  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Significantly higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 922k dots
  • Much smaller: Standard size (127×94×48 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the A7 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 340 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 92 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the A7 and D3

  • Weather sealed
  • Inexpensive: $798.00 vs $783.77

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-T2
9 years newer
$939 - $1,099 (body only)
$1,404 - $1,499 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the X-T2 (vs the D3)

  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Significantly higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Standard size (133×92×49 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the X-T2 (vs the D3)

  • Much shorter battery life: 340 shots vs 4300 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 58 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the X-T2 and D3

  • Weather sealed
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Inexpensive: $939.00 vs $783.77