Updated (January 2012): Compare the Nikon D3 vs Nikon D4

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D3

Winner
Nikon D3S

87

Nikon D3

79

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3S

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
3,253 ISO
Self cleaning sensor
Sensor cleaning
Avoids dust in your photos
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
9 fps
Great battery life
Battery life
4200 shots
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
88 ms shutter lag
Battery life
Great battery life
4300 shots
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
9 fps

Items often bought with the D3S or D3

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3.
Explore our gallery of 48 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3S.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3

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Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
88 ms vs 197 ms
Help
2.2x less delay when taking photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 12 EV
Help
Almost the same
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
4300 shots vs 4200 shots
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D3 Learn more about
the Nikon D3

Advantages of the Nikon D3S

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Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
3,253 ISO vs 2,290 ISO
Help
The D3S has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D3S's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Startup delay
Less startup delay
120 ms vs 300 ms
Help
2.5x less delay when turning on
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
102,400 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
Help
The D3S's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Weight
Slightly lighter
1,240 g vs 1,300 g
Help
Almost the same
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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3 Nikon D3 79
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        87 Nikon D3S Nikon D3S
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Battery life Very long battery life Help
              D34300 shots
              D3S4200 shots
              Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
              D32,290 ISO
              D3S3,253 ISO
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              0.70x
              Continuous shooting Fast continuous shooting Help
              9 fps
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D3300 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
              D31,300 g
              D3S1,240 g
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              D3$4,999.00
              D3S$4,994.99
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              3.5"
              Size Large Help
              Large (160×157×88 mm)
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.1 MP
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D3None
              D3S720p @ 24fps
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D36,400 ISO
              D3S12,800 ISO
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"

              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
              D3922k 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

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Nikon D4s

              Nikon D4s

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,419 - $2,997 body only

              $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Doesn't shoot as fast continuously
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,174 - $1,497 body only

              $1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $3,783 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,285 body only

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Battery life Has a much shorter battery life
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $2,740 body only

              Size Is much smaller
              Lowest price Is significantly less expensive
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Viewfinder coverage Much less viewfinder coverage

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3.

              Nikon D3S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              appearance

              Nikon D3 Nikon D3S
              Nikon D3 Nikon D3S
              Nikon D3 Nikon D3S

              discussion

              Nikon D3
              D3
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3S
              D3S
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              vitalishe (4:37 PM, May 22, 2015)
              Just because Mrmarkusman says that reviewers are bias(ed) does not mean they are.
              There were quite a few important upgrades done from D3 to D3s:
              - much better high ISO performance (ISO 1600+)
              - sensor cleaning
              - much larger buffer (a factor of 2 or 3)
              - Quite mode and basic video
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:40 PM, June 20, 2011)
              The D3 was released in 2007, and the D3S is the updated version which came out in 2009. There is no bias on our reviews we compare the stats of each camera to one an other, check out how we how we score this comparison.
               
              Mrmarkusman (8:23 AM, June 19, 2011)
              the reviewers a bias, just because it has an s doesnt mean its better