As well as being compared against other pro DSLRs, the Nikon D3S is also often compared to entry-level DSLRs, mirrorless and compacts. The Nikon D3S's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D4 and the D500) and Canon (such as the EOS 1D Mark III and the EOS 1Ds Mark III)

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 an external mic jack, has a significantly longer battery life (4200 shots vs 1240 shots) and has more storage slots (2 vs 1).

However, on average it has slightly lower image quality (82.0 vs 93.0), has slightly less color depth (23.5 bits vs 24.7 bits), has a significantly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a slightly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,229k dots) and takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24.3 MP).

Nikon D4

Nikon D4
2 years newer
$6,759 (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)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 2,965 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • 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
  • Good color depth: 24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D500

Nikon D500
6 years newer
$1,649 - $1,797 (body only)
$2,397 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 D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,399 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,989 - $1,997 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D3S)

  • Better image quality: 93.0 vs 82.0
  • 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 more noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • 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
  • Good color depth: 24.8 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D3

Nikon D3
2 years older
$63 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • None found

Significant disadvantages of the D3 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 2,290 ISO vs 3,253 ISO

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
  • Good color depth: 23.5 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
10 months older
$2,895 (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)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 1,992 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • 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
  • Good color depth: 24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D800

Nikon D800
2 years newer
$2,899 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D800 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 36.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Significantly better image quality: 96.0 vs 82.0
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D800 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 2,979 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • 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
  • Good color depth: 25.6 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 is much less noisy at high ISO (3,253 ISO vs 1,167 ISO), has much better image quality (82.0 vs 67.0), much larger viewfinder (0.70x vs 0.54x), has a weather sealed body and shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 5 fps).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), has much less color depth (23.5 bits vs 24.2 bits), has much narrower dynamic range (12 EV vs 13.7 EV), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2") and takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP).

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600
7 years newer
$620 - $647 (body only)
$629 - $747 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5600 (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 D5600 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 970 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much more startup delay: 200 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.54x vs 0.70x

common strengths of the D5600 and D3S

  • Great battery life: 970 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Many focus points: 39 vs 51
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$797 (body only)
$1,048 - $1,097 18-140mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7200 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Better color depth: 24.5 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • More dynamic range: 14.6 EV vs 12 EV

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

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,333 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 87.0 vs 82.0
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.61x vs 0.70x

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D
6 years newer
$999 (body only)
$1,049 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the EOS 80D (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Professional size (139×105×79 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the EOS 80D (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 960 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.59x vs 0.70x
  • Shoots slower: 7 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the EOS 80D and D3S

  • Fast continuous shooting: 7 fps vs 9 fps
  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 960 shots vs 4200 shots

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100
10 months newer
$538 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3100 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (124×97×74 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.9" vs 3.5"

Significant disadvantages of the D3100 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 919 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Much worse image quality: 67.0 vs 82.0
  • Much lower resolution screen: 230k dots vs 921k dots

common strengths of the D3100 and D3S

  • None found

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100
3 years newer
$629 - $679 (body only)
$949 18-140mm lens

Significant advantages of the D7100 (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Better color depth: 24.2 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • More dynamic range: 13.7 EV vs 12 EV

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

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,256 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Extremely good image quality: 83.0 vs 82.0
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.61x vs 0.70x

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
  • More dynamic range: 13.9 EV vs 12 EV
  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×105×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the D7000 (vs the D3S)

  • Much worse image quality: 80.0 vs 82.0
  • Much more startup delay: 400 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 1050 shots vs 4200 shots

common strengths of the D7000 and D3S

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,167 ISO vs 3,253 ISO
  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.62x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed

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, has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 2000 ms), has much less shutter lag (197 ms vs 221 ms) and much more lenses available (171 lenses vs 92 lenses).

However, on average it has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a slightly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 1,229k dots), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs lens), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 36.2 MP) and much lower maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 409,600 ISO).

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-T2
6 years newer
$1,402 - $1,499 (body only)
$1,761 - $1,799 18-55mm lens

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

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 51,200 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
  • Much smaller: Standard size (133×92×49 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

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
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D810A

Nikon D810A
5 years newer
$3,797 - $4,346 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D810A (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 36.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 51,200 ISO vs 12,800 ISO

Significant disadvantages of the D810A (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1200 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Doesn't have a through-the-lens viewfinder: Optical vs Pentaprism

common strengths of the D810A and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.70x vs 0.70x
  • Weather sealed
  • 24p support

Sony A7

Sony A7
4 years newer
$798 - $2,398 (body only)
$998 28-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the A7 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much smaller: Standard size (127×94×48 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Has a flip-out screen

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 fewer lenses available: 92 lenses vs 171 lenses

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

Leica M10

Leica M10
7 years newer
$6,895 - $7,995 (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

Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000
4 years newer
$447 - $448 (body only)
$498 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
  • 24p support

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
  • Much smaller: Standard size (127×94×48 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • 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

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

compared toCompact competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to compact competitors include: it has a significantly larger screen (3" vs 2.5"), has a slightly higher resolution screen (921k dots vs 115k dots), significantly higher maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 400 ISO), has a weather sealed body and records movies in 24p.

However, on average it doesn't have a built-in flash, is much larger (large (160×157×88 mm) vs compact (90×57×27 mm)), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs lens), is thicker (3.5" vs 1.1") and is much heavier (1,240 g vs 185 g).

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100
2 years newer
$397 - $448

Significant advantages of the DSC-RX100 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Compact (102×58×36 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Built-in flash
  • Image stabilization:
    1. Lens
    vs None

Significant disadvantages of the DSC-RX100 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 330 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Lacks an external mic jack
  • Slower autofocus: Contrast detection vs Phase detection

common strengths of the DSC-RX100 and D3S

  • High resolution screens: 1,229k dots vs 921k dots
  • Larger than average screens: 3" vs 3"
  • Very long battery life: 330 shots vs 4200 shots

Canon PowerShot SD550

Placeholder
4 years older

Significant advantages of the SD550 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Compact (90×57×27 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Built-in flash
  • Much lighter: 185 g vs 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the SD550 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller screen: 2.5" vs 3"
  • Much lower resolution screen: 115k dots vs 921k dots
  • Slower autofocus: Contrast detection vs Phase detection

common strengths of the SD550 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Tunnel vs Pentaprism