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 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 2,303 ISO), shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 6.5 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 300 ms), has an external mic jack and has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 1240 shots).

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 has a slightly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,229k dots).

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,370 - $1,797 (body only)
$1,956 - $2,297 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 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 D800

Nikon D800
2 years newer
$2,699 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D800 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 36.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Significantly smaller: Large (146×123×82 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the D800 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 900 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots significantly slower: 4 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D800 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,979 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 96.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 25.6 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D700

Nikon D700
1 year older
$106 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D700 (vs the D3S)

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

Significant disadvantages of the D700 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1000 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2
  • Much less viewfinder coverage: 95% vs 100%

common strengths of the D700 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,303 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 80.0 vs 82.0
  • Excellent color depth: 23.5 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D500

Nikon D500
6 years newer
$1,549 - $1,897 (body only)
$2,497 16-80mm lens

Significant advantages of the D500 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,359k dots vs 921k dots
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the D500 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1240 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the D500 and D3S

  • Built-in focus motor

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
10 months older

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

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 0.51x), 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 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"), has a significantly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,228k dots), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP) and slightly fewer lenses available (171 lenses vs 230 lenses).

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$789 - $997 (body only)
$1,025 - $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
$849 18-55mm 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 D5200

Nikon D5200
3 years newer
$463 (body only)
$534 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5200 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (129×98×78 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D5200 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 500 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 500 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.51x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D5200 and D3S

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

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100
3 years newer
$629 - $679 (body only)
$895 18-140mm 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 D90

Nikon D90
1 year older
$600 (body only)

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

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, records movies in 24p, has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 1700 ms) and much better viewfinder coverage (100% vs 92%).

However, on average it has a slightly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,229k dots), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 23.8 MP), much lower maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 409,600 ISO) and doesn't have a screen which flips out.

Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000
4 years newer
$443 - $498 (body only)
$598 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the A6000 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Lens
    vs None
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Mid size (120×67×45 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

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
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.70x vs 0.70x
  • Great battery life: 420 shots vs 4200 shots

Leica M10

Leica M10
7 years newer
$6,895 (body only)

Significant advantages of the M10 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 23.8 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 50,000 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
  • Much smaller: Mid size (139×39×80 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the M10 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 210 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 77 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the M10 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Rangefinder vs Pentaprism
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.73x vs 0.70x

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2
6 years newer
$1,699 (body only)
$2,148 - $2,598 23mm lens

Significant advantages of the X-Pro2 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,620k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 51,200 ISO vs 12,800 ISO

Significant disadvantages of the X-Pro2 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 350 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much less viewfinder coverage: 92% vs 100%
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

common strengths of the X-Pro2 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Weather sealed
  • Have external mic jacks

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1
3 years newer
$1,099 (body only)
$2,300 12-40mm lens

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

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Significantly 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
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.71x vs 0.70x
  • Incredible startup delay: 800 ms vs 120 ms

Sony A7S

Sony A7S
4 years newer
$1,998 (body only)
$2,571 28-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the A7S (vs the D3S)

  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 409,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Much smaller: Standard size (127×94×48 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

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

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.71x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed

Sony A7

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

Significant advantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Has a flip-out screen
  • 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
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the A7 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Digital vs Pentaprism
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.71x vs 0.70x
  • Incredible startup delay: 1700 ms vs 120 ms