Nikon D4 vs Nikon D3S

Tie
Nikon D4

88

Nikon D3S

86

Tie

Reasons to buy the Nikon D4

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
11 fps
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3S

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
3,253 ISO
Battery life
Great battery life
4200 shots

Items often bought with the D4 or D3S

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D4.
Explore our gallery of 48 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3S.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D4

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Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Overall image quality
Better image quality
89.0 vs 82.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.1 EV vs 12 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
24.7 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.2 more bits of color
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
11 fps vs 9 fps
Help
More than 20% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
204,800 ISO vs 102,400 ISO
Help
The D4's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Lowest price
Cheaper
$3,790.46 vs $4,994.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,205 cheaper (more than 20% less)
Nikon D4 Learn more about
the Nikon D4

Advantages of the Nikon D3S

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Battery life
Much longer battery life
4200 shots vs 2600 shots
Help
More than 60% more shots per battery charge
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
3,253 ISO vs 2,965 ISO
Help
The D3S has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Startup delay
Less startup delay
120 ms vs 300 ms
Help
2.5x less delay when turning on
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
197 ms vs 208 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Size
Slightly smaller
160×157×88 mm vs 160×157×91 mm
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Thinner
3.5" vs 3.6"
Help
Almost the same
Weight
Lighter
1,240 g vs 1,340 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D3S Learn more about
the Nikon D3S
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro DSLRs, and ignoring price

Nikon D4 Nikon D4 88
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    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        86 Nikon D3S Nikon D3S
        Retailer
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Low light performance Very low noise at high ISO Help
              D42,965 ISO
              D3S3,253 ISO
              Battery life Very long battery life Help
              D42600 shots
              D3S4200 shots
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              0.70x
              Continuous shooting Fast continuous shooting Help
              D411 fps
              D3S9 fps
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D4300 ms
              D3S120 ms
              Focus points Many focus points Help
              51
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Built-in focus motor Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Autofocuses with more lenses
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              2
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Weight Heavy Help
              D41,340 g
              D3S1,240 g
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D43.6"
              D3S3.5"
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              D4$3,790.46
              D3S$4,994.99
              Size Large Help
              D4160×157×91 mm
              D3S160×157×88 mm
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D416.2 MP
              D3S12.1 MP
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              12,800 ISO
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              15
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D4920k dots
              D3S921k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,585 - $1,997 body only

              $2,125 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,419 - $2,997 body only

              $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Nikon D4s

              Nikon D4s

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Light sensitivity (boost) Significantly higher boost light sensitivity
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 1D X

              Canon EOS 1D X

              Pro DSLR

              $4,599 body only

              $6,760 with 70-200mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,285 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,240 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $968 - $1,197 body only

              $1,235 - $1,497 with 18-140mm lens

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Doesn't shoot as fast continuously

              Nikon D4 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D4.

              Nikon D3S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3S.

              appearance

              Nikon D4 Nikon D3S
              Nikon D4 Nikon D3S
              Nikon D4 Nikon D3S

              discussion

              Nikon D4
              D4
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3S
              D3S
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Avatar for Mrki Mrki (9:18 PM, January 19, 2015)
              Nikon D3s best!
               
              Avatar for Thorsten Odinsson Thorsten Odinsson (4:03 PM, December 31, 2013)
              "Lucky" all those, who have so much money to buy one of these two cameras !!! :/
               
              Avatar for joneill517 joneill517 (1:10 AM, August 10, 2013)
              I love my D3s. The D4 seems to have some cool features but I can't see plunking down six grand for the improvements.The 102,000 ISO boost on the D3s looks like crap anyway.