Nikon D3s review

The D3s offers the ultimate in performance, build and image quality

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  • Well-made
  • Stunning images
  • Excellent ISO performance
  • Fast


  • Limited video mode
  • It's either this or a new car
  • Although we'd choose this

When the D3s was announced a few months ago, it was difficult to see what the fuss was about.

It looked exactly the same as the 24.5 megapixel D3x and the original 12.1MP D3.

That wasn't where the similarities ended, either - Nikon has resisted the urge to follow Canon and make its 'prosumer' and professional cameras 15 megapixels and up, and the D3s sticks rigidly to the more-than-adequate 12.1MP of its predecessor.

But while the looks are the same, the D3s delivers a hearty kick to the outgoing D3.

nikon d3s

Its headline specs - the 12.1MP sensor and 9fps continuous shooting speed - are unchanged, but its ISO performance and specification have been massively expanded.

Where the original D3 had a maximum ISO of 25,600, the D3s goes two stops further, to a previously-unheard of 102,400.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyD
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedCompactFlash (CF) Card
Brand NameNikon
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)1.24 kg
Maximum Image Resolution4256 x 2832
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height157 mm
Width159.5 mm
Depth87.5 mm
Product SeriesD
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, TIFF
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD3s
Product NameD3s Digital SLR Camera
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA-270-AE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Nikon's first FX format camera to feature high-definition movie recording offers photographers a whole new level of creative flexibility. The D3S features a highly sensitive 12.1 megapixel FX format CMOS sensor that boasts an ISO range of 200 to 12800. The D-movie function offers superior movie capture in stereo* sound and features a Save Selected frame option to speed up productivity. Nikon's acclaimed 51-point AF system offers high sensitivity in low-light and superb performance when tracking fast moving subjects. An advanced image sensor cleaning function reduces the impact of dust spots and three alternative crop modes enhance shooting flexibility. The EXPEED image processing engine and expansive buffer enables you to shoot up to 9 fps for extended bursts

Package Contents
  • D3s Digital SLR Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a
  • Quick Charger MH-22
  • USB Cable UC-E4
  • Audio Video Cable EG-D2
  • Camera Strap AN-DC5
  • Body Cap BF-1B
  • Accessory Shoe Cover BS-2
  • Eyepiece DK-17
  • Battery Chamber Cover BL-4
  • USB Cable Clip
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year