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 6D)

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to other pro DSLR competitors include: it shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 6.5 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 500 ms), has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital), has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 1230 shots) and has more storage slots (2 vs 1).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 30fps), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 20.9 MP) and doesn't have a screen which flips out.

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,349 - $1,397 (body only)
$1,719 - $1,897 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.3 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much smaller: Professional size (141×113×78 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1230 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 6.5 fps vs 9 fps
  • Much slower max shutter speed: 1/4000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

common strengths of the D750 and D3S

  • Great battery life: 1230 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2
  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these

Nikon D3

Nikon D3
2 years older
$389 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • None found

Significant disadvantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • None found

common strengths of the D3 and D3S

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

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
2 years newer
$2,199 (body only)
$2,300 24-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the 5D Mark III (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 22.3 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much smaller: Professional size (152×116×76 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the 5D Mark III (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 950 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 6 fps vs 9 fps
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

common strengths of the 5D Mark III and D3S

  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D
2 years newer
$999 - $1,022 (body only)
$1,412 - $1,699 24-105mm lens

Significant advantages of the 6D (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 20.9 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Professional size (145×111×71 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.8" vs 3.5"

Significant disadvantages of the 6D (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 980 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 4.5 fps vs 9 fps
  • Significantly fewer focus points: 11 vs 51

common strengths of the 6D and D3S

  • None found

Nikon D4s

Nikon D4s
4 years newer
$5,837 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D4s (vs the D3S)

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

Significant disadvantages of the D4s (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 3020 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Thicker: 3.6" vs 3.5"

common strengths of the D4s and D3S

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 11 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 3020 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

Sony SLT A99

Sony SLT A99
2 years newer
$3,198 (body only)

Significant advantages of the SLT A99 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Professional size (147×111×78 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 921k dots

Significant disadvantages of the SLT A99 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Has a digital viewfinder: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Shoots much slower: 6 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the SLT A99 and D3S

  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

compared toBoutique competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to boutique competitors include: it has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 330 shots), has interchangeable lenses and has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital).

However, on average it has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a much 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 slightly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24.3 MP).

Nikon Z6

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8 years newer
$1,960 - $1,997

Significant advantages of the Z6 (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 Z6 (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 Z6 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

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 0.52x), lets you preview your photos on the screen, shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 3 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 700 ms) and has much less shutter lag (197 ms vs 238 ms).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 24fps), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), slightly fewer lenses available (171 lenses vs 230 lenses) and is older (october 2009 vs february 2013).

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$709 - $797 (body only)
$1,097 18-140mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7200 (vs the D3S)

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

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
  • Shoots much slower: 6 fps vs 9 fps

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
$3,515 18-105mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7000 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 16.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×105×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 3" vs 3.5"

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
  • Shoots much slower: 6 fps vs 9 fps

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

Nikon D7100

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

Significant advantages of the D7100 (vs the D3S)

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

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
  • Shoots much slower: 6 fps vs 9 fps

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 D3000

Nikon D3000
similar age
$600 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

Significant advantages of the D3000 (vs the D3S)

  • 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 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the D3000 (vs the D3S)

  • Much lower true resolution: 10 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lower resolution screen: 230k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much more startup delay: 700 ms vs 120 ms

common strengths of the D3000 and D3S

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

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 much less startup delay (120 ms vs 1700 ms), has much less shutter lag (197 ms vs 221 ms), much more lenses available (171 lenses vs 58 lenses) and has a built-in focus motor.

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 4K @ 24fps), has a slightly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,036k dots), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 26 MP), significantly lower maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 409,600 ISO) and doesn't have a touch screen.

Fujifilm X-T3

Placeholder
9 years newer
$1,499 (body only)
$1,899 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the X-T3 (vs the D3S)

  • Has a touch screen
  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Shoots much faster: 20 fps vs 9 fps

Significant disadvantages of the X-T3 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 390 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-T3 and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Have external mic jacks

Sony A7S

Sony A7S
4 years newer
$1,998 (body only)
$2,598 28-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the A7S (vs the D3S)

  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 409,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Has a flip-out screen

Significant disadvantages of the A7S (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 320 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much more startup delay: 2000 ms vs 120 ms
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

common strengths of the A7S and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Have external mic jacks

Sony A7

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

Significant advantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Significantly higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 921k dots
  • Has a flip-out screen

Significant disadvantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 340 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much more startup delay: 1700 ms vs 120 ms
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

common strengths of the A7 and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Have external mic jacks

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-T2
6 years newer
$939 - $1,099 (body only)
$1,349 - $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

  • Weather sealed
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Have external mic jacks

Sony A7R

Sony A7R
4 years newer
$1,532 (body only)
$3,198 50mm lens

Significant advantages of the A7R (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 36.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Has a flip-out screen

Significant disadvantages of the A7R (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 340 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the A7R and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Have external mic jacks

Samsung NX1

Samsung NX1
4 years newer
$3,578 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the NX1 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 4K @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Has a touch screen
  • Has an OLED screen: OLED vs LCD

Significant disadvantages of the NX1 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 55 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the NX1 and D3S

  • Incredible startup delay: 700 ms vs 120 ms
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots