Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s

Nikon D3S front
Nikon D4s front

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Key Specs

Nikon D3S
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 200 - 12800 (Raise to 102400)
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 1240g - 160 x 157 x 88mm
  • Introduced February 2010
  • Previous Model is Nikon D3
  • Later Model is Nikon D4
Nikon D4s
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3.2" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Boost to 409600)
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 1350g - 160 x 157 x 91mm
  • Released February 2014
  • Succeeded the Nikon D4
  • Renewed by Nikon D5
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Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Overview

Here is a thorough overview of the Nikon D3S and Nikon D4s, both Pro DSLR cameras and they are both designed by Nikon. There exists a noticeable gap among the resolutions of the D3S (12MP) and D4s (16MP) but both cameras boast the same sensor sizing (Full frame).

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The D3S was released 5 years earlier than the D4s and that is a fairly sizable difference as far as camera technology is concerned. Each of the cameras have the same body design (Large SLR).

Before delving right into a more detailed comparison, here is a simple synopsis of how the D3S scores vs the D4s with regard to portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

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Reasons to pick Nikon D3S over the Nikon D4s

 D3S D4s 

Reasons to pick Nikon D4s over the Nikon D3S

 D4s D3S 
ReleasedFebruary 2014February 2010Fresher by 48 months
Screen dimensions3.2"3"Bigger screen (+0.2")

Common features in the Nikon D3S and Nikon D4s

 D3S D4s 
Manually focus More accurate focusing
Screen typeFixed Fixed Fixed screen
Screen resolution921k921kExact same screen resolution
Selfie screen Absent selfie screen
Touch screen Neither provides Touch screen

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Physical Comparison

For those who are going to carry your camera regularly, you'll need to think about its weight and size. The Nikon D3S provides outer measurements of 160mm x 157mm x 88mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.5") and a weight of 1240 grams (2.73 lbs) while the Nikon D4s has specifications of 160mm x 157mm x 91mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.6") having a weight of 1350 grams (2.98 lbs).

Compare the Nikon D3S and Nikon D4s in our brand new Camera & Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Do not forget, the weight of an ILC will differ depending on the lens you have attached at that moment. Here is a front view dimension comparison of the D3S compared to the D4s.

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s size comparison

Using dimensions and weight, the portability score of the D3S and D4s is 51 and 50 respectively.

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s top view buttons comparison

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Sensor Comparison

More often than not, it is difficult to envision the contrast in sensor sizing merely by seeing specifications. The photograph underneath might give you a stronger sense of the sensor sizing in the D3S and D4s.

To sum up, the 2 cameras provide the same sensor dimensions albeit not the same MP. You can count on the Nikon D4s to provide more detail as a result of its extra 4 Megapixels. Higher resolution will enable you to crop photographs more aggressively. The older D3S will be behind with regard to sensor innovation.

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s sensor size comparison

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Screen and ViewFinder

Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Nikon D3S Portrait photography details
Nikon D4s Portrait photography details
has manual focus
great sensor size (Full frame)
saves RAW formats
low megapixels (12MP)
has manual focus
good MP (16MP)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
features face detect focus
supports RAW files
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Street Comparison

Street photography with Nikon D3S
Street photography with Nikon D4s
great sensor size (Full frame)
saves RAW formats
weather sealing
screen does not articulate
no image stabilization
sensor size is great (Full frame)
supports RAW files
weather proof
good high ISO (25,600)
no moving screen
lack of image stabilization
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Sports Comparison

Nikon D3S Sports photography features
Nikon D4s Sports photography features
great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
great sensor size (Full frame)
features tracking autofocus
weather sealing
good battery (4,200 shots)
supports phase detect AF
no image stabilization
low megapixels (12MP)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
good MP (16 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
features tracking focus
weather proof
good battery pack (3,020 shots)
supports phase detect auto focus
lack of image stabilization
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Travel Comparison

Nikon D3S Travel photography advice
Nikon D4s Travel photography advice
good battery (4,200 shots)
weather sealing
low megapixels (12MP)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
good battery pack (3,020 CIPA)
weather proof
good MP (16 megapixels)
does not have selfie friendly display
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Landscape Comparison

Nikon D3S Landscape photography features
Nikon D4s Landscape photography features
has manual focus
switch lenses (Nikon F mount)
screen is a good size (3 inch)
great sensor size (Full frame)
saves RAW formats
weather sealing
good battery (4,200 shots)
2 card slots
no image stabilization
low megapixels (12MP)
has manual focus
interchangeable lenses (Nikon F mount)
nice screen size (3.2 inch)
good MP (16 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
good high ISO (25,600)
supports RAW files
weather proof
good battery pack (3,020 CIPA)
has dual storage slots
lack of image stabilization
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Vlogging Comparison

Nikon D3S Vlogging info
Nikon D4s Vlogging info
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
no image stabilization
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
does not have external microphone support
features face detect focus
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
comes with microphone jack
does not have selfie friendly display
lack of image stabilization
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Nikon D3S vs Nikon D4s Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Nikon D3S and Nikon D4s
 Nikon D3SNikon D4s
General Information
Company Nikon Nikon
Model Nikon D3S Nikon D4s
Class Pro DSLR Pro DSLR
Introduced 2010-02-16 2014-02-24
Body design Large SLR Large SLR
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Expeed Expeed 4
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size Full frame Full frame
Sensor measurements 36 x 23.9mm 36 x 23.9mm
Sensor area 860.4mm² 860.4mm²
Sensor resolution 12 megapixels 16 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 5:4 and 3:2 5:4 and 3:2
Highest Possible resolution 4256 x 2832 4928 x 3280
Maximum native ISO 12800 25600
Maximum enhanced ISO 102400 409600
Min native ISO 200 100
RAW images
Min enhanced ISO 100 50
Manual focus
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Number of focus points 51 51
Cross focus points 15 15
Lens mount Nikon F Nikon F
Total lenses 309 309
Crop factor 1 1
Display type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Display sizing 3 inch 3.2 inch
Resolution of display 921 thousand dot 921 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Display tech Low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD TFT LCD with brightness and color adjustment
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100% 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.7x 0.7x
Min shutter speed 30s 30s
Max shutter speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
Continuous shutter speed 11.0 frames per sec 11.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range no built-in flash no built-in flash
Flash modes Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync Auto FP high-speed sync, front-curtain, rear-curtain, redeye reduction, redeye reduction w/slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
Hot shoe
White balance bracketing
Max flash sync 1/250s 1/250s
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps) 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Maximum video resolution 1280x720 1920x1080
Video file format Motion JPEG MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone input
Headphone input
Wireless None Optional
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS Optional Optional
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 1240 grams (2.73 lb) 1350 grams (2.98 lb)
Physical dimensions 160 x 157 x 88mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.5") 160 x 157 x 91mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.6")
DXO scores
DXO Overall score 82 89
DXO Color Depth score 23.5 24.4
DXO Dynamic range score 12.0 13.3
DXO Low light score 3253 3074
Battery life 4200 pictures 3020 pictures
Type of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model EN-EL4a EN-EL18a
Self timer Yes (2 to 20 sec) Yes (2-20 seconds, 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 seconds)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage Compact Flash (Type I or II) x 2, UDMA CompactFlash, XQD
Storage slots 2 2
Cost at release $5,200 $6,498