General

compared to recent DSLRs
"Nikon's long-awaited first foray into the world of the full frame sensor is essentially in a class of its own."
dpreview.com | talking about the camera's overall-performance
Brand
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Nikon
Lowest price
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$1,868.81
Announced
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October 2009

Sensor

"For a 12 million pixel camera, it is hard to see how the Nikon D3S could deliver better image quality at its optimal output settings."
dpreview.com | talking about the camera's image-quality
Type
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CMOS
Crop factor
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1x
Megapixels
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12.1 MP
Light sensitivity
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12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (boost)
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102,400 ISO
Sensor cleaning
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Yes

Sensor (Advanced)

compared to recent DSLRs
True resolution
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12.1 MP
Native resolution
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4256 × 2832
Pixel size
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71.4 µm²

Screen

Type
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LCD
Size
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3"
Resolution
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921k dots
Touch screen
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No
Flips out
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No
Live view
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Yes

Lenses

compared to recent DSLRs
Lens availability
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171 lenses
Lens mount
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Nikon FX

Form factor

"Buttons and other controls are positioned to be used easily."
dpreview.com | talking about the camera's button-layout
"The D3's proportions make it almost square, and thanks to a magnesium shell it is literally as solid as a brick."
dpreview.com | talking about the camera's build-quality
Size
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160×157×88 mm
Depth
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3.5"
Weight
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1,240 g
Interchangeable lenses
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Yes
Waterproof
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No
Weather sealed
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Yes
Built-in focus motor
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Yes

Viewfinder

compared to recent DSLRs
Type
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Pentaprism
Viewfinder size
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0.70x
Coverage
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100%

Movies

Format
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720p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
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Yes
High-speed framerate
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None
External mic jack
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Yes
Autofocus
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None
All formats
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  1. 320 x 216 @ 24fps
  2. 640 x 424 @ 24fps
  3. 720p @ 24fps

Features

compared to recent DSLRs
Panorama
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No
HDR
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No
3D
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No
Image stabilization
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None
Supports RAW
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Yes
GPS
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No

Performance

Startup delay
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120 ms
Shutter lag
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197 ms
Battery life
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4200 shots
Continuous shooting
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9 fps

Focus system

compared to recent DSLRs
Autofocus
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Phase detection
Focus points
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51
Cross type focus points
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15

Shutter

Max
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1/8000s
Min
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30s

Flash

compared to recent DSLRs
Built-in flash
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No
External connection
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Yes

Storage

Storage slots
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2
Supported formats
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  1. CompactFlash (Type I)
  2. CompactFlash (Type I)

DXO Mark Scores

compared to recent DSLRs
"Class-leading high ISO performance and incredibly versatile ISO 100-12,800 sensitivity range"
dpreview.com | talking about the camera's iso-noise
Image quality
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82.0
Color depth
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23.5 bits
Dynamic range
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12 EV
Low light performance
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3,253 ISO