Skip to main content

Nikon D3s review

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

nikon d3s
The NIkon D3s is without doubt the best prosumer camera currently available

nikon d3s

Amazing images? Check. Top build quality? Check. Top-notch ISO performance? Check. There are other prosumer cameras around that come close to the D3s – which is incredible, when you come to think about it – but none that match it.

We liked:

The standout feature on the D3s is its ISO capabilities.

The top end of its ISO range is a bit of a gimmick – peeping Toms and paparazzi aside it's unlikely you'll need the D3s's spectacular light-gathering detail. But the ISOs further downrange are amazing – ISO 3200 is a genuinely usable setting, which means you can shoot for longer at decent shutter speeds.

Build quality also gets a mention – the D3s feels like it could survive a bomb blast.

We disliked:

We wish the D3s had a better movie mode – 5 minutes of filming at 720p isn't earth-shattering, and of equal concern is the lack of manual control.

It's good enough for simple reportage footage, though, although well-heeled budding documentarians should consider a camera capable of 1080p or, better yet, a dedicated video camera.

Verdict:

At this price and performance it's a straight shootout between this and the Canon 1D MKIV, which we haven't seen yet. If you're a professional in the market for a new body and are already committed to Nikon equipment, there is no reason not to buy this camera.