• 35mm 860.4mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • APS-H 518.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Nikon D3S advantages over Canon 1D Mark IV

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-H
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 8.46 vs 5.70 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,253 vs 1,320 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 4200 vs 1500 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.58x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    90 vs 46 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Canon 1D Mark IV advantages over Nikon D3S

  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.1 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.9 fps vs 9.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

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
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D700

Nikon D3S
Nikon D700
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
Canon 1D Mark IV
Nikon D700
  • $2795
  • APS-H
  • Longer stills battery life
  • External Mic Jack
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Nikon D3X

Nikon D3S
Nikon D3X
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • More dynamic range
  • External Mic Jack
Canon 1D Mark IV
Nikon D3X
  • $2795
  • APS-H
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon 7D

Nikon D3S
Canon 7D
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1499
  • APS-C
  • Internal flash
  • External Mic Jack
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 7D
  • $2795
  • APS-H
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1499
  • APS-C
  • Internal flash
  • Shoots 24p video

Compared to Canon 1DX

Nikon D3S
Canon 1DX
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $5299
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1DX
  • $2795
  • APS-H
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $5299
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D4

Nikon D3S
Nikon D4
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $4500
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
Canon 1D Mark IV
Nikon D4
  • $2795
  • APS-H
  • Less expensive
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $4500
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
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