As well as being compared against other pro DSLRs, the Nikon D3S is also often compared to entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless. The Nikon D3S's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D3 and the D3X) and Sony (such as the Alpha a6300 and the SLT A65)

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 significantly longer battery life (4200 shots vs 1230 shots) 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 88.0), has much less color depth (23.5 bits vs 24.7 bits), has much narrower dynamic range (12 EV vs 13.7 EV), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2") and takes significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24.2 MP).

Nikon D3

Nikon D3
2 years older

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 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 D3X

Nikon D3X
10 months older
$59 (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

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 D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,419 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,899 - $1,997 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.3 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Has a flip-out screen

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 D4

Nikon D4
2 years newer
$4,998 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

  • Significantly 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 D610

Nikon D610
4 years newer
$1,100 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,900 - $2,447 28-300mm lens

Significant advantages of the D610 (vs the D3S)

  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Significantly smaller: Professional size (141×113×82 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

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

Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S
similar age
$1,899 18-200mm lens

Significant advantages of the D300S (vs the D3S)

  • More lenses available: 230 lenses vs 171 lenses
  • Significantly smaller: Professional size (147×114×74 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.9" vs 3.5"

Significant disadvantages of the D300S (vs the D3S)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 787 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Much shorter battery life: 950 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Smaller viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D300S and D3S

  • Extremely good image quality: 70.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 22.5 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • Excellent dynamic range: 12.2 EV vs 12 EV

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 6 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 2800 ms) and has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs pentamirror).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), has a significantly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a much lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,228k dots), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift) and takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP).

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 D5500

Nikon D5500
5 years newer
$499 (body only)
$549 - $720 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

Sony SLT A65

Sony SLT-A65
1 year newer
$866 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the SLT A65 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the SLT A65 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 2800 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 510 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Has a digital viewfinder: Digital vs Pentaprism

common strengths of the SLT A65 and D3S

  • Large viewfinder size: 0.71x vs 0.70x
  • Very fast continuous shooting: 10 fps vs 9 fps
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000
1 year newer
$1,275 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

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$749 - $797 (body only)
$1,097 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 D5300

Nikon D5300
4 years newer
$445 (body only)
$500 - $514 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

compared toMirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to mirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors include: it has a significantly larger screen (3" vs 2.5"), has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital), slightly larger viewfinder (0.70x vs 0.50x), records movies in 24p and has significantly less startup delay (120 ms vs 1700 ms).

However, on average it doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes slightly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), doesn't have a touch screen, doesn't have a screen which flips out and doesn't have an OLED screen (LCD vs OLED).

Sony Alpha a6300

Sony Alpha a6300
6 years newer
$729 - $798 (body only)
$839 - $898 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the Alpha a6300 (vs the D3S)

  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Records high-speed movies: 120 fps vs None
  • Much smaller: Mid size (120×67×49 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the Alpha a6300 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 400 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 Alpha a6300 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Weather sealed
  • 24p support

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
4 years newer
$998 - $1,498 (body only)
$1,689 14-140mm lens

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

  • Has an OLED screen: OLED vs LCD
  • Higher resolution movies: UHD @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Has a flip-out 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
  • 24p support

Fujifilm X-T1

Fujifilm X-T1
4 years newer
$1,299 (body only)
$1,499 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the X-T1 (vs the D3S)

  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Much smaller: Standard size (129×90×47 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much lighter: 440 g vs 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the X-T1 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 350 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-T1 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Minimal startup delay: 1000 ms vs 120 ms
  • Weather sealed

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1
3 years newer
$1,099 (body only)

Significant advantages of the E-M1 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,400k dots vs 921k dots
  • Has a flip-out screen

Significant disadvantages of the E-M1 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 350 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the E-M1 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Minimal startup delay: 800 ms vs 120 ms
  • Weather sealed

Sony A7

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

Significant advantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Significantly higher resolution screen: 1,229k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much smaller: Standard size (127×94×48 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

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

common strengths of the A7 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Weather sealed
  • 24p support

Leica M9

Leica M9
similar age

Significant advantages of the M9 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Mid size (139×80×37 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Higher true resolution: 18.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lighter: 585 g vs 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the M9 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 350 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller screen: 2.5" vs 3"
  • Much lower resolution screen: 230k dots vs 921k dots

common strengths of the M9 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Rangefinder vs Pentaprism
  • Minimal startup delay: 800 ms vs 120 ms