As well as being compared against other pro DSLRs, the Nikon D3S is also often compared to boutiques, entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless. The Nikon D3S's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D750 and the D3) and Canon (such as the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS 1D Mark IV)

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to other pro DSLR competitors include: it is much less noisy at high ISO (3,253 ISO vs 2,290 ISO), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 300 ms), has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 2600 shots), is slightly less expensive ($699.76 vs $5,295.00) and has a faster max shutter speed (1/8000 of a second vs 1/4000 of a second).

However, on average it has much lower image quality (82.0 vs 89.0), records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 30fps), has much less color depth (23.5 bits vs 24.7 bits), has much narrower dynamic range (12 EV vs 13.7 EV) and has a significantly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2").

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,329 - $1,697 (body only)
$1,821 - $2,197 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.3 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1230 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much slower max shutter speed: 1/4000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

common strengths of the D750 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 93.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 24.8 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D3

Nikon D3
2 years older
$397 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • None found

Significant disadvantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • Does not take movies: None vs 720p @ 24fps

common strengths of the D3 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,290 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 81.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 23.5 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D4

Nikon D4
2 years newer
$5,580 (body only)
$6,222 24-85mm lens

Significant advantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 2600 shots vs 4200 shots

common strengths of the D4 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,965 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 89.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D4s

Nikon D4s
4 years newer
$5,295 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D4s (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D4s (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 3020 shots vs 4200 shots

common strengths of the D4s and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,965 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 89.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
10 months older
$781 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3X (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.4 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D3X (vs the D3S)

  • Lacks an external mic jack
  • Shoots slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D3X and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,992 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 88.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
4 years newer
$880 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,426 - $1,997 24-85mm lens

Significant advantages of the D610 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.2 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D610 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 900 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much slower max shutter speed: 1/4000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

common strengths of the D610 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,925 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 94.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 25.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

compared toBoutique competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to boutique competitors include: it has a weather sealed body, records movies in 24p, has an external mic jack, has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 330 shots) and uses fast phase detection autofocus (phase detection vs contrast detection).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), has a significantly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 2,100k dots), is much larger (large (160×157×88 mm) vs prosumer size (134×101×68 mm)), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift) and takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 45.4 MP).

Nikon Z 7

Placeholder
8 years newer
$3,397 - $3,994

Significant advantages of the Z 7 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (134×101×68 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,100k dots vs 921k dots

Significant disadvantages of the Z 7 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 330 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Built-in lens only
  • Has a digital viewfinder: Digital vs Pentaprism

common strengths of the Z 7 and D3S

  • Have external mic jacks
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Fast max shutter speeds: 1/8000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

Leica Q (Typ 116)

Leica Q (Typ 116)
5 years newer
$4,495

Significant advantages of the Q (Typ 116) (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (130×80×93 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the Q (Typ 116) (vs the D3S)

  • Built-in lens only
  • Slower autofocus: Contrast detection vs Phase detection
  • Lacks an external mic jack

common strengths of the Q (Typ 116) and D3S

  • None found

compared toEntry-level DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to entry-level DSLR competitors include: it much larger viewfinder (0.70x vs 0.54x), has a weather sealed body, shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 5 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 400 ms) and has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs pentamirror).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 24fps), has a significantly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a much lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,228k dots), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP) and doesn't have a screen which flips out.

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100
3 years newer
$711 (body only)
$1,097 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7100 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D7100 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 300 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 950 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.61x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D7100 and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.61x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 950 shots vs 4200 shots

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300
4 years newer
$469 - $500 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5300 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (124×99×76 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D5300 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 500 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 600 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.54x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D5300 and D3S

  • Many focus points: 39 vs 51
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500
5 years newer
$499 (body only)
$579 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5500 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (124×97×70 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D5500 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 400 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 820 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.54x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D5500 and D3S

  • Many focus points: 39 vs 51
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
1 year older
$500 (body only)
$1,759 18-105mm lens

Significant advantages of the D90 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×103×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • More lenses available: 230 lenses vs 171 lenses
  • Much lighter: 703 g vs 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the D90 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 300 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 850 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 4.5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D90 and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.63x vs 0.70x
  • Both have pentaprism viewfinders: Pentaprism vs Pentaprism
  • Built-in focus motor

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$705 - $997 (body only)
$874 - $1,297 18-140mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7200 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,228k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D7200 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 400 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 1110 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.61x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D7200 and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.61x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 1110 shots vs 4200 shots

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000
1 year newer
$1,250 18-200mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7000 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×105×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Significantly higher true resolution: 16.1 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D7000 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 400 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 1050 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Significantly smaller viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D7000 and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.62x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 1050 shots vs 4200 shots

compared toMirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to mirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors include: it has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital), has a weather sealed body, much more lenses available (171 lenses vs 62 lenses), has a built-in focus motor and has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 420 shots).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs UHD @ 30fps), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs lens), takes significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), doesn't have a touch screen and doesn't shoot as fast continuously (9 fps vs 14 fps).

Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000
4 years newer
$400 - $448 (body only)
$470 - $548 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the A6000 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Lens
    vs None
  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Has a flip-out screen

Significant disadvantages of the A6000 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 420 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 62 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the A6000 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Have external mic jacks
  • Inexpensive: $399.99 vs $699.76

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-T2
6 years newer
$1,099 - $1,100 (body only)
$1,374 - $1,499 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the X-T2 (vs the D3S)

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

Significant disadvantages of the X-T2 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 340 shots vs 4200 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 D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Weather sealed
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
4 years newer
$998 - $1,498 (body only)
$1,746 45-150mm lens

Significant advantages of the DMC-GH4 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: UHD @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Has an OLED screen: OLED vs LCD
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the DMC-GH4 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the DMC-GH4 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots