• 35mm 860.4mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • 35mm 860.4mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D3S advantages over Nikon D4S

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 8.46 vs 7.31 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 4200 vs 3020 shots
    Capture more photos

Nikon D4S advantages over Nikon D3S

  • Fast startup
    ~0.20 vs 0.3 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • More dynamic range
    13.3 vs 12.0 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Newer
    3 years vs 8 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.6 fps vs 9.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    200 vs 90 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    10.8 fps vs 9.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    78 vs 41 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    409600 vs 102400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent, tank-like build quality; First-rate ergonomics a pro would expect; Superb performance with confident autofocus; Great image quality; Big, bright viewfinder with 100% coverage; Excellent battery life; Doubles as a powerful video capture tool

  • Fairly minor upgrade over the D4; Image quality improvements apply only to JPEG; XQD card format isn't broadly accepted; Consumer-friendly default JPEG processing may turn off some pros; Body is large and hefty (but that's normal for pro gear)

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D700

Nikon D3S
Nikon D700
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
Nikon D4S
Nikon D700
  • $5499
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Internal flash

Compared to Canon 1D Mark IV

Nikon D3S
Canon 1D Mark IV
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $4599
  • APS-H
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
Nikon D4S
Canon 1D Mark IV
  • $5499
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $4599
  • APS-H
  • Less expensive
  • More cross-type AF points

Compared to Canon 1DX

Nikon D3S
Canon 1DX
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Bigger pixels
  • $4599
  • 35mm
  • Shoots 60p video
  • More viewfinder magnification
Nikon D4S
Canon 1DX
  • $5499
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $4599
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • More viewfinder magnification

Compared to Nikon D4

Nikon D3S
Nikon D4
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $5997
  • 35mm
  • Shoots 60p video
  • External Mic Jack
Nikon D4S
Nikon D4
  • $5499
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Newer
  • $5997
  • 35mm
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • Bigger RAW buffer

Compared to Canon EOS-1D C

Nikon D3S
Canon EOS-1D C
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $7000
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Shoots 60p video
Nikon D4S
Canon EOS-1D C
  • $5499
  • 35mm
  • Higher extended ISO
  • $7000
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • More viewfinder magnification
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