Nikon D3S Feature Comparison

The following table compares Nikon's current line-up of pro models. What we've done below is to present something of a hybrid comparison between these three models. A red cell means that a given camera performs below the other two, a green cell means that it performs better than the other two, and a yellow cell means it falls between the other two. In cases where two cameras share a superior capability, both their cells will be colored green. Sharp-eyed readers may find some areas where we haven't chosen to highlight a particular difference. Those cases are simply ones that we don't feel are significant in typical use of the camera.

Nikon Pro SLR Camera Comparison
Manufacturer
Nikon Nikon Nikon
Model
D3 D3S D3X
Imaging
System
Sensor Manufacturer
Sony(?) Sony(?)
Nikon design
fabricated by Sony
Sensor Type
CMOS CMOS
CMOS
Color Filter Array
RGB RGB
RGB
Total Megapixels
12.87 12.87
25.7
Effective Megapixels
12.1 12.1
24.5
Pixel Pitch (µm)
8.45 8.45 5.94
Effective Sensor Size (mm)
36.0 x 23.9 36.0 x 23.9 35.9 x 24.0
Focal Length Multiplier (approx.)
1.0x
(Nikon FX)
1.0x
(Nikon FX)
1.0x
(Nikon FX)
Image Processor
EXPEED EXPEED EXPEED
Viewfinder
Type
Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage
~100% ~100% ~100%
Magnification (-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
~0.7x ~0.7x ~0.7x
Eyepoint (mm)
18 18 18
Dioptric Adjustment Range (diopters)
-3.0 to +1.0 -3.0 to +1.0 -3.0 to +1.0
Focusing Screen
Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI
Depth of Field Preview
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button Enabled with depth-of-field preview button Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Live View
(on LCD)
Yes
(2 Modes:
Hand-held mode uses conventional AF sensor;
Tripod mode uses contrast detect AF from image sensor)
Yes
(2 Modes:
Hand-held mode uses conventional AF sensor;
Tripod mode uses contrast detect AF from image sensor)
Yes
(2 Modes:
Hand-held mode uses conventional AF sensor;
Tripod mode uses contrast detect AF from image sensor)
Recording
System
Recording Media / Quantity / Slot Type
Dual Type I or II CF card / Microdrive slots
(UDMA supported)
Dual Type I or II CF card / Microdrive slots
(UDMA supported)
Dual Type I or II CF card / Microdrive slots
(UDMA supported)
Compatible File System
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
Recording Formats
RAW 12-bit or 14-bit (uncompressed, lossless compressed or compressed NEF), JPEG, TIFF RAW 12-bit or 14-bit (uncompressed, lossless compressed or compressed NEF), JPEG, TIFF RAW 12-bit or 14-bit (uncompressed, lossless compressed or compressed NEF), JPEG, TIFF
Maximum Resolution
FX format (36 x 24):
4256 x 2832

5:4 format (30 x 24):
3552 x 2832

DX format (24 x 16):
2784 x 1848

FX format (36 x 24):
4256 x 2832

5:4 format (30 x 24):
3552 x 2832

1.2x format (30 x 20):
3552 x 2368

DX format (24 x 16):
2784 x 1848

FX format (36 x 24):
6048 x 4032

5:4 format (30 x 24):
5056 x 4032

DX format (24 x 16):
3,968 x 2,640

Reduced Resolutions
FX format (36 x 24):
3184 x 2120;
2128 x 1416

5:4 format (30 x 24):
2656 x 2120;
776 x 1416

DX format (24 x 16):
2080 x 1384;
1392 x 920

FX format (36 x 24):
3184 x 2120;
2128 x 1416

5:4 format (30 x 24):
2656 x 2120;
776 x 1416

1.2x format (30 x 20):
2656 x 1776;
1776 x 1184

DX format (24 x 16):
2080 x 1384;
1392 x 920

FX format (36 x 24):
4544 x 3024;
3024 x 2016

5:4 format (30 x 24):
3792 x 3024;
2528 x 2016

DX format (24 x 16):
2976 x 1976;
1984 x 1320

RAW + JPEG Recording
Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression
A/D Conversion
12- or 14-bit 12- or 14-bit 12- or 14-bit
Auto crop when DX lens mounted
Yes Yes Yes
Color Space, Image Parameters &
White Balance
User-Selectable Color Space
Yes
sRGB + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB + Adobe RGB
Processing Parameters
(Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Hue) / # of Increments
9 options for sharpening, 7 for contrast, 7 for hue, 7 for saturation, 3 for brightness 9 options for sharpening, 7 for contrast, 7 for hue, 7 for saturation, 3 for brightness 9 options for sharpening, 7 for contrast, 7 for hue, 7 for saturation, 3 for brightness
Picture Control System
Yes Yes Yes
Active
D-Lighting
Yes
3 settings, plus Off
Yes
5 settings, plus Off
Yes
5 settings, plus Off
Preset WB settings
6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade) 6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade) 6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade)
Manual Color Temperature Setting Range
2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments 2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments 2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments
WB Adjustment Range
±3 steps in 1-step increments, roughly 10 mireds per step
±3 steps in 1-step increments, roughly 10 mireds per step
3 steps in 1-step increments, roughly 10 mireds per step
Autofocus
System
Type
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM3500FX autofocus module TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM3500FX autofocus module TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM3500FX autofocus module
# of Focusing Points (Focusing Point Type)
51 points (15 cross-type, 36 line type) 51 points (15 cross-type, 36 line type) 51 points (15 cross-type, 36 line type)
Superimposed Focus Point Display
Yes Yes Yes
AF Working Range
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100) EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100) EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
AF Servo Modes
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
AF Area Modes
1) Single-point AF,
2) Dynamic-area AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)],
3) Automatic-area AF
1) Single-point AF,
2) Dynamic-area AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)],
3) Automatic-area AF
1) Single-point AF,
2) Dynamic-area AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)],
3) Automatic-area AF
AF-assist Beam
Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight
Fine-tune front/back focus adjustment
Yes (settings for up to 20 lenses) Yes (settings for up to 20 lenses) Yes (settings for up to 20 lenses)
Exposure
Control
Shooting Modes
4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode. 4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode. 4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode.
Metering Zones
1,005 1,005 1,005
Metering Modes
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 4mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 4mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 4mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
Metering System Working Range
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
Nikon Scene Recognition System
Yes Yes Yes
ISO Range / Extended
200 ~ 6,400 / down to 100 in Lo-1 mode; up to 25,600 in Hi -2 mode 200 ~ 12,800 / down to 100 in Lo-1 mode; up to 102,400 in Hi -3 mode 100 ~ 1,600 / up to 6,400 in Hi -2 mode
Exposure Compensation
+/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments +/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments +/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
Automatic Exposure Bracketing
2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV
Shutter Speeds,
Frame Rate, Shutter Lag
Shutter Type
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter Durability
~300K cycles ~300K cycles ~300K cycles
Shutter Speed Range
1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb 1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb 1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb
Maximum Frames Per Second / Buffer depth
9 fps / 30 JPEG or 17 14-bit RAW frames at full resolution; up to 11 fps in 5.1MP DX Cropped mode
(measured)
9 fps / 90 JPEG or 36 14-bit RAW frames at full resolution; up to 11 fps in 5.1MP DX Cropped mode
(measured)
5 fps / 31 JPEG or 23 12-bit RAW frames at full resolution, slows to 2 fps in 14-bit RAW ; up to 7 fps in 10.4MP DX Cropped mode
(measured)
Full AF shutter lag (seconds)
0.085
(measured)
0.197
(measured)
0.161
(measured)
Prefocused shutter lag (seconds)
0.043
(measured)
0.043
(measured)
0.045
(measured)
Startup Time (seconds)
0.3
(measured)
0.3
(measured)
0.3
(measured)
Flash
i-TTL / Advanced Wireless Lighting
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Built-in Flash / Guide Number at ISO 100.
No No No
Max flash x-sync speed. (sec.)
1/250
1/250
1/250
Flash Exposure Compensation
n/a n/a n/a
Slow-sync flash
1st or 2nd curtain 1st or 2nd curtain 1st or 2nd curtain
PC Sync Terminal
Yes Yes Yes
Playback
System
LCD Size / Pixel Count
3.0 in LCD / 920,000 pixels 3.0 in LCD / 920,000 pixels 3.0 in LCD / 920,000 pixels
Enlarged Playback / Scroll
Yes (up to 27x) / Yes
Yes (up to 27x) / Yes
Yes (up to 27x) / Yes
LCD Monitor Brightness Adjustment Range
Yes (7 steps)
Yes (7 steps)
Yes (7 steps)
Automatic Rotation for Vertical Shots
Yes Yes Yes
Video Out
Analog NTSC/PAL, HDMI Analog NTSC/PAL, HDMI Analog NTSC/PAL, HDMI
Other Features
Computer Connection
Yes, USB 2.0 High-Speed Yes, USB 2.0 High-Speed Yes, USB 2.0 High-Speed
Direct Printing (PictBridge-compliant printers)
Yes Yes Yes
Menu Languages
15 (Chinese [Simplified and Traditional], Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish)
20 (Chinese [Simplified and Traditional], Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish)
15 (Chinese [Simplified and Traditional], Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish)
Camera Default Reset
Yes Yes Yes
Custom Functions (Quantity / Settings)
Yes (44) Yes (46) Yes (44)
Remote Control
Yes, 10-pin terminal Yes, 10-pin terminal Yes, 10-pin terminal
Info LCD Panel / Illumination
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Movie Mode, Formats, Audio
No Yes,
[email protected] fps,
[email protected],
[email protected];
AVI Motion JPEG,
internal monaural mic,
external stereo mic jack
No
Ultrasonic dust-removal
No Yes No
Virtual Horizon digital level sensor
Yes Yes Yes
In-camera Lateral C.A. Correction
Yes Yes Yes
Self Diagnostic Shutter Monitor
Yes Yes Yes
Body Structure
Body Cover / Chassis
Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals
Power System
Battery
EN-EL4a EN-EL4a EN-EL4a
Rated Shooting Capacity at 20C/68F (shots)
CIPA: 4,300 CIPA: 4,200 CIPA: 4,400
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (WxHxD, mm)
159.5 x 157 x 87.5 159.5 x 157 x 87.5 159.5 x 157 x 87.5
Weight (body only)
1240 g 1240 g 1220 g
Operational
Environment
Operating Temperature Range
0 ~ 40°C 0 ~ 40°C 0 ~ 40°C
Operating Humidity Range
85% max. 85% max. 85% max.
Lens Compatibility
Lens Mount / Compatibility
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data. Up to 9 non-CPU lenses can be registered.
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data. Up to 9 non-CPU lenses can be registered.
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data. Up to 9 non-CPU lenses can be registered.
Auto switch to DX-format crop when DX lens mounted
Yes Yes Yes

 

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