As well as being compared against other pro DSLRs, the Nikon D3S is also often compared to boutiques, mirrorless and entry-level DSLRs. The Nikon D3S's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D4 and the Z6) and Canon (such as the EOS 5D 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 shoots faster continuously (9 fps vs 6.5 fps), has much less startup delay (120 ms vs 300 ms), has much less shutter lag (197 ms vs 209 ms), has a much longer battery life (4200 shots vs 1240 shots) and has more storage slots (2 vs 1).

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs UHD @ 30fps), has a significantly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a significantly lower resolution screen (921k dots vs 2,359k dots), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 36.2 MP) and much lower maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 1,640,000 ISO).

Nikon D4

Nikon D4
2 years newer
$5,121 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

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

Significant disadvantages of the D4 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 2600 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Thicker: 3.6" vs 3.5"

common strengths of the D4 and D3S

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 11 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 2600 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Multiple storage slots: 2 vs 2

Nikon D5

Nikon D5
6 years newer
$4,860 - $6,497 (body only)
$6,714 50mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5 (vs the D3S)

  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 3,280,000 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,359k dots vs 921k dots
  • Many more focus points: 153 vs 51

Significant disadvantages of the D5 (vs the D3S)

  • Significantly shorter battery life: 3780 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Significantly thicker: 3.6" vs 3.5"

common strengths of the D5 and D3S

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 14 fps vs 9 fps
  • Very long battery life: 3780 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
4 years newer
$1,149 - $1,297 (body only)
$1,797 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 D500

Nikon D500
6 years newer
$1,399 - $1,797 (body only)
$2,114 - $2,397 16-80mm lens

Significant advantages of the D500 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,359k dots vs 921k dots
  • Many more focus points: 153 vs 51
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 1,640,000 ISO vs 12,800 ISO

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

  • Very fast continuous shooting: 10 fps vs 9 fps
  • Great battery life: 1240 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these

Nikon D810

Nikon D810
4 years newer
$1,999 - $2,797 (body only)
$2,583 - $3,297 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D810 (vs the D3S)

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

Significant disadvantages of the D810 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 1200 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Shoots much slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D810 and D3S

  • Great battery life: 1200 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 D800

Nikon D800
2 years newer
$1,299 - $1,879 (body only)
$3,464 24-85mm lens

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"
  • Much 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 much slower: 4 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the D800 and D3S

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

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 310 shots), has interchangeable lenses, has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentaprism vs digital) and has more storage slots (2 vs 1).

However, on average it has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), 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 significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 45.4 MP).

Nikon Z6

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8 years newer
$1,764 - $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)
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the Z6 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 310 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Built-in lens only
  • Has a digital viewfinder: Digital vs Pentaprism

common strengths of the Z6 and D3S

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

Canon EOS RP

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9 years newer
$1,299 - $1,699

Significant advantages of the EOS RP (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (133×85×70 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Has a touch screen
  • Many more focus points: 4,779 vs 51

Significant disadvantages of the EOS RP (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 250 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Built-in lens only
  • Shoots slower: 5 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the EOS RP and D3S

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

Canon EOS R

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9 years newer
$1,994 - $2,299

Significant advantages of the EOS R (vs the D3S)

  • Has a touch screen
  • Much smaller: Professional size (136×98×84 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,100k dots vs 921k dots

Significant disadvantages of the EOS R (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 370 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Built-in lens only
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the EOS R and D3S

  • Great battery life: 370 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon Z7

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8 years newer
$3,397 - $3,547

Significant advantages of the Z7 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (134×101×68 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the Z7 (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 Z7 and D3S

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

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), lets you preview your photos on the screen, much more lenses available (171 lenses vs 77 lenses) and has a built-in focus motor.

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs UHD @ 30fps), doesn't record high-speed movies (none vs 120 fps), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes significantly lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP) and much lower maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO vs 204,800 ISO).

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
  • 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
  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much fewer lenses available: 92 lenses vs 171 lenses

common strengths of the A7S and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Have external mic jacks

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)
  • Much lighter: 585 g vs 1,240 g
  • Much thinner: 1.5" vs 3.5"

Significant disadvantages of the M9 (vs the D3S)

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

common strengths of the M9 and D3S

  • Viewfinders: Rangefinder vs Pentaprism

Sony a7 III

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8 years newer
$1,876 - $1,998 (body only)
$2,116 - $2,198 28-70mm lens

Significant advantages of the a7 III (vs the D3S)

  • Higher resolution movies: UHD @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • Records high-speed movies: 120 fps vs None
  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None

Significant disadvantages of the a7 III (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 710 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 III and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Very long battery life: 710 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Have external mic jacks

Sony Alpha a9

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7 years newer
$3,382 - $3,998 (body only)
$5,096 90mm lens

Significant advantages of the Alpha a9 (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Much higher resolution screen: 1,440k dots vs 921k dots
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the Alpha a9 (vs the D3S)

  • Much shorter battery life: 650 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 Alpha a9 and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Great battery life: 650 shots vs 4200 shots
  • Have external mic jacks

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
7 years newer
$1,699 - $2,049 (body only)
$1,998 12-40mm lens

Significant advantages of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (vs the D3S)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Has a touch screen
  • Shoots much faster: 60 fps vs 9 fps

Significant disadvantages of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (vs the D3S)

  • Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
  • Much smaller viewfinder: 0.36x vs 0.70x
  • Has fewer storage slots: 1 vs 2

common strengths of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and D3S

  • Weather sealed
  • Many lenses available: 108 lenses vs 171 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Fujifilm X-T3

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9 years newer
$1,399 (body only)
$1,699 18-55mm lens

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

  • Has a touch screen
  • Has a flip-out screen
  • Much higher true resolution: 26 MP vs 12.1 MP

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

compared toEntry-level DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D3S compared to entry-level DSLR competitors include: it has a significantly larger screen (3" vs 1.8"), has a slightly higher resolution screen (921k dots vs 118k dots), much larger viewfinder (0.70x vs 0.60x), lets you preview your photos on the screen and has a weather sealed body.

However, on average it records lower quality movies (720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 24fps), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes much lower resolution photos (12.1 MP vs 24 MP), has much more shutter lag (197 ms vs 173 ms) and slightly fewer lenses available (171 lenses vs 220 lenses).

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200
5 years newer
$629 - $697 (body only)
$997 - $1,150 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
  • 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

Pentax K-5

Pentax K-5
1 year newer
$331 (body only)

Significant advantages of the K-5 (vs the D3S)

  • Much higher true resolution: 16.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much less shutter lag: 104 ms vs 197 ms
  • Much smaller: Prosumer size (131×97×73 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)

Significant disadvantages of the K-5 (vs the D3S)

  • Much more startup delay: 600 ms vs 120 ms
  • Much shorter battery life: 740 shots vs 4200 shots
  • No 24p support

common strengths of the K-5 and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.60x vs 0.70x
  • Fast continuous shooting: 7 fps vs 9 fps
  • Weather sealed

Canon EOS 20D

Canon EOS 20D
5 years older

Significant advantages of the 20D (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Professional size (144×106×72 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much thinner: 2.8" vs 3.5"
  • Much lighter: 770 g vs 1,240 g

Significant disadvantages of the 20D (vs the D3S)

  • Much lower true resolution: 8.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Much lower resolution screen: 118k dots vs 921k dots
  • Much smaller screen: 1.8" vs 3"

common strengths of the 20D and D3S

  • Both have pentaprism viewfinders: Pentaprism vs Pentaprism
  • Very fast max shutter speeds: 1/8000 of a second vs 1/8000 of a second

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000
1 year newer
$602 (body only)

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
  • Much 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
  • Many focus points: 39 vs 51

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
1 year older
$449 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D90 (vs the D3S)

  • Much smaller: Professional size (132×103×77 mm) vs Large (160×157×88 mm)
  • Much higher true resolution: 12.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • 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
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D
6 years newer
$872 - $999 (body only)
$870 - $1,149 18-55mm lens

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

  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 12.1 MP
  • Higher resolution movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 24fps
  • 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 significantly slower: 7 fps vs 9 fps

common strengths of the EOS 80D and D3S

  • Above average viewfinder size: 0.59x vs 0.70x
  • Fast continuous shooting: 7 fps vs 9 fps
  • Weather sealed