Last Updated on July-10-2012

Latest Price: MYR 14500

Mount: Nikon DX, Nikon FX

Introduced on: 2009

Discontinued

Nikon D3SRugged construction houses barrier-breaking technologies, delivering low-noise 12,800 ISO still shooting at up to 9-fps, with exceptionally rich 24-fps HD video.

  • 12.1 Mp FX (36×23.9mm) CMOS Sensor
  • RAW/JPEGs & 720p HD Video @ 24fps
  • ISO Sensitivity Up To ISO 102,400
  • Built Tough, Fully Weathersealed
  • 3″ 920,000-Dot LCD with Live View
  • Buffers Up to 48 RAW or 130 large JPEGs
  • In-Camera RAW Processing
  • Compatible With Most Nikkor Optics
  • Dual CF Memory Card Slots
  • Up to 4200 Exposures per Battery Charge

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Review

Nikon D3S In-depth review (Barnaby Britton, February 2010) by DPReview.com

Good For: Pros that need to get images quickly in any environment

Not so good for: Anyone that doesn’t need top quality in ultra-low light

Judged on its own merits, the Nikon D3S is an absolutely outstanding camera. It offers exceptionally good image quality across an extremely wide range of ISO settings, and its key systems (AF, white balance and metering) are at least on a par with the best available in other cameras from rival manufacturers. Add its full weatherproofing, excellent battery life and rugged construction into the mix, and you have a truly ‘go anywhere’ camera. Video might not necessarily be a ‘deal breaker’ function for the majority of DSLR users at the moment, but however you feel about it, it’s nice to have, and works (reasonably) well.

You may be able to sense a ‘but’ coming, and here it is. My problem with the D3S isn’t what it can do – which is in all respects exemplary – but what it can’t. Even when the D3 was announced in 2007, some commentators expressed surprise that Nikon didn’t go with a higher resolution sensor. Almost three years later, and 12 million pixels looks even more conservative alongside newly-minted competitors like the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. Nikon’s view is that in this section of the marketplace, better image quality at high ISO settings is worth a penalty in resolution. Anyone that shoots regularly in low available light would probably agree, but it can’t be denied that this extra high-ISO boost answers a criticism of the D3 that no-one really had. After all, it’s tough to argue that the original D3 wasn’t good enough at high ISOs…

We’ve seen from the samples in this test that the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV actually matches the output of the original D3 pretty closely up to its maximum ISO setting of 25,600. Although it’s great that the D3S gives cleaner images at even higher settings, I suspect that most people don’t need to shoot much higher than ISO 3200 most of the time, let alone ISO 102,400.

I could be wrong, and it will be interesting to see what Nikon comes out with in the next couple of years. For now, if versatility and speed are of more use to you than a little extra resolution, the Nikon D3S will serve you very well indeed. Be sure to check out our samples gallery to judge for yourselves.

Nikon D3S review (with video clips) by Trey Ratcliff (stuckincustoms.com)

Trey is famous for his HDR works. Here’s some quotes from his article.

Why did I get a D3S if I already have a D3X?

My suspicions on the camera are correct and it is perfect for a second body for me to carry around. The D3X is still the mainstay of my arsenal because of the 24 megapixels. I know some people say that is too big, but I disagree for a variety of reasons I describe in that review. However, having said that, there are many things the D3S can do that I need.

* Because it shoots great in low-light situations, and I can keep other lenses on that to shoot family and people without flashes
* Because it also has a movie mode, which is very handy
* Because I want a backup that is comparable to the D3x – going on adventures with just one camera is a bad idea

Nikon D3S – New Low Light King by photographyreview.com

Nikon has upped the DSLR ante again. The new Nikon D3S has a 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor just like its predecessor the D3. But the maximum sensitivity on the D3S has been increased to a mind-boggling ISO 102,400 and noise levels have been lowered at all sensitivity settings. If being able to shoot in the dark isn’t enough for you, the D3S also adds 720p video capture with the ability to auto focus while filming. And the D3S now has sensor cleaning – a very important feature that didn’t make it into the original D3 spec.

Nikon D3S Digital SLR Review by ephotozine.com

Having the freedom to shoot in the lowest lighting levels without having to resort to a flash or a tripod is something that is difficult to appreciate until you have done it. Now I have tried it, I must admit I am hooked. It is simply awesome.
I managed to borrow from Nikon a D3S fitted with the new AF 70-200mm f/2.8 (a preview of that lens will follow very soon) for an evening.
The D3S is a well-endowed camera with features aplenty but for this preview I concentrated on its high sensitivity capability. Its top true ISO is 12,800 with the option of a staggering ISO equivalent of 102,400 using the H3 setting.
I appreciate that my shots are not the greatest examples of low light photography but I hope you can see past that and appreciate what the camera is capable of, and that is the important thing.