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Nikon D3S

alaTest has collected and analyzed 204 reviews from magazines and websites. Opinions about the screen and usability are generally positive. The low light performance and performance also get good views. There are some less positive views about the software and portability, and opinions are divided on the video.

image quality, performance, low-light, usability, screen

value for money, portability, software

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Nikon D3S is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 93/100 = Excellent quality.

See all Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 204 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 81 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 81 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (91)

Expert review by:

Shooting around with the Nikon D3S: the field review


Nikon's D3S didn't exactly emerge out of nowhere, but the DSLR's boosted ISO ceiling of over 100,000 (102,400, if we're being precise) has certainly shaken up the industry. Nikon claims that it's set a new bar for low-light performance and raw speed in...

World-class low-light performance ; Insanely fast ; Stunning image quality

Pricey ; No 1080p movie mode ; Heavy


Expert review by:

Nikon D3S Review


When the Nikon D3 was launched in August 2007, it had an immediate impact on the DSLR market, and not only in the professional sector. The D3 was Nikon's first DSLR with an FX (full frame) CMOS sensor, but its major selling point, in the minds of many...

Unmatched image quality at high ISO settings. Incredibly efficient sensor. A new benchmark ; Excellent AF and metering performance ; Compatible with virtually all Nikon AF lenses, and most MF lenses (up to 9 AI spec or later manual focus lenses can be...

White balance isn't brilliant in artificial lighting (but few cameras shine in this respect) ; AF array is smaller (as a proportion of viewfinder area) than D300S, which makes swapping between cameras awkward in some shooting situations ; Vertical...

In terms of versatility, the Nikon D3S is the best DSLR we've ever tested, and the image quality in ultra low light is a major selling point. If you don't need to take advantage of the D3S's high ISO settings though, the D700/D300S offer better value.

Expert review by:

Nikon's D3S officially announced, previewed extensively


One day after having been leaked to the wilds and then officially announced, Nikon has opened the floodgates on the upcoming D3S, an upgrade to last year's D3 that was oh so warmly received. Early indications are the D3S is just as hot, adding a ...


Expert review by:

Best all-around pro DSLR


For professional photojournalists -- and anyone else who needs the best camera money can buy for shooting fast action (such as sports) and in low light -- experts prefer the Nikon D3S. At 12.1 megapixels, it offers only about half the resolution of the...

Full-frame sensor, outstanding low-light image quality, high-speed shooting at 9 fps, fast, accurate autofocus, shoots 720p HD video, heavy-duty build for pro use

No built-in flash, lower resolution than rivals (12.1 megapixels), heavy and bulky

Expert review by:

Nikon D3S DSLR Review


The D3S is aimed at the professional photographer or video producer. Combining crisp pictures with amazing color and the abilities to shoot in any lighting…

High quality photos ; Incredible low-light capability for video or stills ; Excellent build quality

Video autofocus is loud and slow ; HD video in 720p 24fps only ; Low video resolutions

The D3S is aimed at the professional photographer or video producer. Combining crisp pictures with amazing color and the abilities to shoot in any lighting situations possible changes the rules from ordinary video capture.

Expert review by:

Nikon’s D3s; A Speedy, Full-Frame D-SLR


If you want to test the mettle of a camera intended to satisfy a craven need for speed, take that camera to a hockey game, one of the world's fastest sports. That's one of the tests to which I put the Nikon D3S, a brute of a camera that seems to adapt...

For those of you unfamiliar with the feature, you set the outer limits of what you want the camera to use-say ISO 12,800-and the minimum shutter speed you want to be set-say 1⁄250 sec. That way, Auto ISO becomes a form of Shutter-Priority that only...

Expert review by:

Nikon D3s hands on review video


What are the main features of Nikon's full-frame professional level camera and how well does it perform? Ben Brain, Digital Camera's Deputy Editor, takes a look at Nikon's new flagship D-SLR, the D3s, a direct update to the popular D3, released back in...

Expert review by:

Nikon D3S Review


Nikon's taken the opportunity to refresh the D3 with the D3S, in much the same way as its created the D300S, incorporating Nikon's D-Movie mode and sundry other enhancements at the same

Expert review by:

Nikon D3s


The Nikon D3s is the successor to the Nikon D3. The camera is not much of a change from the previous model except for higher ISO settings and the addition of a new video mode. Nikon users will still appreciate that much of their beloved D3 has not been...

Expert review by:

Nikon D3s Review


Surprise, it is better.

Shoot at any ISO. Certainly true for everyone up to ISO 3200. Where you'll start to object is going to be somewhere north of there. Personally, the best ISO 6400 camera I've seen, bar none, and usable at 12,800 with care ; Pro in every aspect. Lots of...

You pay for FX. The penalty for FX is currently a minimum of US$1200. That's because you can pick up a perfectly fine D300 for US$1499 new but a D700 will go for US$2699. The penalty for getting FX in a D3s body is even higher ; Kiddie Movies. This...

Product Specifications

The D3S's large prism gives you the FXformat visual advantage when you shoot. The viewfinder image is not only large and bright, but the focusing screen is also carefully designed to help you to intuitively sense sharp focus, be it manual or autofocus. For the reliability professionals' demand, the shutter of the D3S has been tested for 300,000 cycles. And to ensure rigorous real-world conditions, the testing is always performed on fully assembled cameras. Minimizes mirror bounce and extends viewing time, which allows more time for AF operation - one reason why the D3S can offer autofocus and focus tracking even at high-speed continuous shooting.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Nikon EN-EL4a

Camera Flash

Type: None

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Flash Memory

Form Factor:CompactFlash Card
Storage Capacity:4GB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Nikon

Lens System

Lens for SD:Body only

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:23.9 x 36mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):23.9 x 36 mm
Optical Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes
Sensor Resolution:12.1Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Fixed eye-level pentaprism

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:MJPEG / AVI
ISO (Max):102400
Light Sensitivity:ISO auto / ISO 100 / ISO 200-12800 / ISO 102400
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Vivid / Neutral / Monochrome
Still Image Format:RAW + JPEG / TIFF / NEF (RAW)
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical