Nikon D3S Digital SLR Camera Body, 12.1 Megapixel, HD D-Movie Mode, USA Warranty

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About Nikon D3S

Nikon is proud to announce the new FX-format D3S digital SLR camera! Like the D3 before it, the D3S brings a new level of uncompromising versatility and an HD D-Movie Mode to Nikon professional D-SLRs. The D3S was meticulously engineered for professional photographers whose assignments demand nothing less than the ability to capture extreme image fidelity and stunning detail, while preserving the low-noise performance that vaulted the D3 to the market-leading status

Nikon Extreme Digital SLR Image Quality and Features

The D3S' barrier-breaking engineering, including the newly designed Nikon-original 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS imaging sensor, teamed with the exclusive EXPEED image processing and an accelerated Scene Recognition System, enables breathtakingly rich image quality and handling speed. In addition, the D3S provides still-image shooting from ISO 200 to an incredible ISO 12,800 at up to 9 frames-per-second all with incredible AF accuracy, to meet the ever-increasing demands of fast-action photography. And, taking versatility to new heights, The D3S offers expanded ISO settings up to an astonishing 102,400.

D-Movie Mode with Stereo Sound

The D3S' D-Movie mode offers an advanced level of video capture, featuring contrast-detect AF and extraordinary 24 fps, 720p HD image quality. High fidelity audio recording is achieved through an external stereo microphone input. HD movie clips are captured in Motion JPEG format, enhanced by legendary NIKKOR interchangeable lens quality to satisfy professional multi-media needs and further fuel photographer creativity

The Nikon D3S is commonly used for Family photos, Landscape/scenery, Low light, Sports/action, Travel, Weddings, Wildlife and more.The Nikon D3S is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Pro photographer, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Nikon D3S is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Nikon D3S: Easy to use, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Fast shutter speed, Good image quality, High ISO performance, Image stabilization, Large clear LCD and Quiet

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
High ISO performance (24),Fast / accurate auto-focus (23),Good image quality (20),Large clear LCD (19),Fast shutter speed (17),Image stabilization (15),Easy to use (11),Quiet (8)
Best Uses:
Low light (23),Sports/action (23),Wildlife (16),Weddings (15),Landscape/scenery (11),Family photos (10),Travel (10),Video (3)
Reviewer Profile:
Semi-pro photographer (14),Pro photographer (10),Photo enthusiast (3)

Nikon D3S Features

  • Nikon-original FX-format CMOS Sensor Newly engineered for striking image fidelity and low-noise, optimizing pixel size and count in a 12.1-megapixel sensor to produce extraordinarily rich files.
  • Low Noise ISO Sensitivity from 200 to 12,800 Renowned low-noise performance at 12,800, plus expanded settings to an astounding ISO 102,400 (equivalent) and ISO 100 (equivalent).
  • Continuous Shooting Up to 9 FPS Secure exacting moments in time with an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.
  • HD Video Capture Record smooth 24 fps HD video, leveraging low-noise D3S image quality along withhigh fidelity stereo sound capability.
  • One-button Live View with Two Shooting Modes Two modes for studio or remote shooting Tripod Mode offers 27x magnification forprecise focus confirmation.
  • 3-Inch Super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor D3S monitors are individually calibrated during assembly to assure accuracy.
  • Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System Ultrasonic process combats the accumulation of dust on the optical low-pass filter, safeguarding image quality.
  • Nikon EXPEED Image Processing Drives breathtakingly rich image fidelity, low-noise and fast image processing.
  • Fast, Accurate 51-Point AF System 4 Dynamic modes and 15 cross-type sensors deliver AF precision and razor sharpness.
  • 1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II Nikon-pioneered RGB metering includes color information to intelligently determine more accurate exposures.
  • Scene Recognition System Referencing an onboard image database, teamed with RGB metering, SRS enhances exposure and white balance evaluation and improves AF speed and accuracy.
  • Rugged and Precise Magnesium Alloy Construction Effectively protected from invasive dust, moisture and electromagnetic interference with a self-diagnostic shutter mechanism tested to exceed 300,000 cycles.
  • Nikon Picture Control Four preset options and 9 customizable settings provide personalized style control.
  • 100% Viewfinder Coverage
  • Dual CF Card Slots with Overflow, Backup and Copy Options
  • Virtual Horizon Graphic Indicator
  • Approx. 4,200 Images per Battery Charge

Nikon D3S Specifications

Image Sensor Format
Image Sensor Type
Sensor Size
36.0 x 23.9mm
Total Pixels
12.87 million
Effective Pixels
12.1 million
Image Area (pixels)
FX-format:(L) 4,256 x 2,832 (M) 3,184 x 2,120 (S) 2,128 x 1,416
1:2 format (30 x 20) :(L) 3,552 x 2,368 (M) 2,656 x 1,776 (S) 1,776 x 1,184
5:4 format (30 x 24): (L) 3,552 x 2,832 (M) 2,656 x 2,120 (S) 1,776 x 1,416
DX-format:(L) 2,784 x 1,848(M) 2,080 x 1,384 (S) 1,392 x 920
Top Continuous Shooting Speed
9 frames per second at full resolution
Continuous Shooting Options
FX-format: CH: Up to 9 frames per second, CL: Up to 8 frames per second
5:4 format: CH: Up to 9 frames per second, CL: Up to 8 frames per second
DX-format: CH: Up to 11 frames per second, CL: Up to 10 frames per secondSingle
LCD Monitor Size
3 in. diagonal
LCD Monitor Type
Super Density
LCD Monitor Resolution
921,000 Dots
LCD Monitor Angle of View
170-degree wide-viewing angle
LCD Monitor Adjustments
Brightness,7 levels
Shutter type
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane
Slowest Shutter Speed
30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/8000 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV
Bulb Shutter Setting
Mirror Lock Up
Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity
200 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV
Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity
12800 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV
Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity
Lo-1 (ISO 100 equivalent, in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV)
Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity
Hi-3 (ISO 102,400 equivalent)
Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options
Hi-1, (ISO-25,600 equivalent), in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Hi-2, (ISO-51,200 equivalent), 1 EV step
Hi-3, (ISO-102,400 equivalent), 1 EV step
Storage Media
CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA)
2 CompactFlash card Slots
Storage System
Uncompressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW)
Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Lossless compressed): approx. 60-80 percent
Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Compressed): approx. 45-60 percent
JPEG: JPEG-baseline-compliant; can be selected from Size priority and Optimal Quality
File System
Compliant with DCF 2.0
EXIF 2.21
Exposure Modes
Programmed Auto (P) with Flexible Program
Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
Aperture-Priority Auto (A)
Manual (M)
Exposure Metering System
1,005-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Variable Center-weighted
Spot AF
Spot meter centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
Metering Range
1) 0 to 20 EV (Matrix or center-weighted metering); 2) 2 to 20 EV (Spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, at 20 degrees C/68 degrees F)
Exposure Meter Coupling
Exposure Compensation
±5EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 1
Exposure Lock
Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure Bracketing
From 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Shutter Release Modes
Single-frame [S] mode
Continuous low-speed [CL] mode; 1-9 frames-per-second
Continuous high-speed [CH] mode; 9 frames-per-second
Live View [LV] mode
Self-timer mode
Mirror-up [Mup] mode
White Balance
Fine Tune by Kelvin color temperature setting
White Balance Bracketing
Yes, 2 to 9 exposures, in increments of 1, 2 or 3
Live View Shooting
Handheld mode
Tripod mode
Playback Functions
Full frame
Thumbnail (4, 9 or 16 segments)
Shooting data
Highlight point display
Auto image rotation
Voice Memo
Hi-speed USB
10-pin Terminal
Lens Mount
Nikon F bayonet mount
Compatible Lenses
1) Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All functions supported
2) DX AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/1:2 (30x20) image size /5:4 930x24)
3) AF NIKKOR other than type G or D*2: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI NIKKOR: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
Picture Angle
Equivalent to angle produced by lens focal length (1.5 times when DX format is selected)
SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism
Viewfinder Frame Coverage
Approx. 100%
Viewfinder Eyepoint
18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Reflex Mirror
Quick-return type
Focusing Screen
BriteView Clear Matte VI - Type B
Interchangeable Focusing Screens
BriteView Clear Matte VI - Type B Clear Matte VI - Type E
Viewfinder Magnification
Approx. 0.7x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0m)
Lens Aperture
Instant-return type with depth-of-field preview button
Depth-of-field Control
Autofocus System
Autofocus TTL phase detection, 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors) by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus module; Detection: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F); AF fine adjustment possible. Focal-plane contrast [in LiveView (Tripod) mode]
Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points
Autofocus Fine Tune
Focus Modes
Single-servo AF (S)
Continuous-servo (C)
Single-point AF Mode
Dynamic AF Mode
Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking)
Auto-area AF Mode
Focus Lock
AE-L/AF-L button
Half press of shutter-release button (single-point AF in AF-S)
Picture Control
Nine User-customizable settings
In-Camera Image Editing
Color Balance
Image Overlay
Side-by-Side Comparison
Filter Effects
NEF (RAW) Processing
Red-eye Correction
Edit Movie with Save Selected Frame
Built-in Flash
External Flash Shoe
External Flash Shoe Type
Standard ISO 518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock
Dust-Off Reference Photo
Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator
Save/Load Camera settings
Nikon Creative Lighting System
Compatibility: Yes
Flash Sync Speed
Up to 1/250
X-Sync Speed
Up to 1/250
FP High Speed Sync
Up to 1/8000
Flash Sync Modes
Front-curtain sync (normal)
Slow sync
Rear-curtain sync
Red-eye reduction
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Flash Control
1) TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400
2) Auto aperture (AA): Available with SB-900, SB-800 and CPU lens
3) Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-900, SB-800, 28, 27 or 22s
4) Range-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-900, SB-800
Flash Sync Terminal
Accessory Shoe
Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 5, 10 or 20 sec.
World Time Setting
Date, Time & Daylight Savings Time
Battery Type
Battery / Batteries
EN-EL4a Lithium-ion Battery
EN-EL4 Lithium-ion Battery
AC Adaptor
EH-6 AC Adapter
Battery Charger
MH-21 Quick Charger
MH-22 Quick Charger
Image Comment
Up to 36 characters
Voice Memo Function
Battery Life (shots per charge)
Approx. 4,200 shots (CIPA)
4,700 shots (Nikon Standard)
Tripod Socket
Supported Languages
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Supplied Software
Software Suite CD-ROM
Approx. Dimensions
Width 6.3 in. (159.5mm)
Height 6.2 in. (157mm)
Depth 3.4 in. (87.5mm)
Approx. Weight
43.7 oz. (1,220g)
Nikon 1 year limited warranty
Mfr #

Nikon D3S Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 27 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Wow...they promise tons and deliver

This is the absolute best overall, most useful camera I have ever handled. It is unbelievable at high ISO ranges with minimal noise. Blazingly fast fps, and must be seen to be believed image quality in low light situations. If you can afford this beauty, it will change the way you shoot sports and action forever. I shoot mostly in hockey arenas and football fields where the lighting varies both in intensity and in temperature and this body adapts easily to anything i have thrown its way.

Reviewed by 27 customers


Nikon D3s review


from Lakeland,Fl  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I use this body with Nikon 300 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 pro lens for sporting events as well as concert and wildlifes. This body is fast and is amazing in low light. You will not be disappointed with this product. There is no down side.


Used Nikon D3S


from Texas  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Arrived very quickly, was in excellent shape exactly as described


Worth every penny


from Cincinnati, OH  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I use the D3s primarily for sports and fast moving action, but also use it during events for the low-light performance and take it as a second body for portrait sessions. So far it has not disappointed. There is only one thing I can say that I don't like about it - there's no selector pad when shooting with the grip so it's a bit of a personal learning curve if I need to change my focus point when shooting with the grip.


It goes to eleven.


from Lake Charles, La.  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Everything I ever wanted or needed in a camera. The high ISO performance is just astonishing; pair it with fast glass and it just SINGS after dark.




from Elkhart, IN  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I needed a better low light camera than my D700 for weddings and outdoor portraits. I looked all over before Adorama finally got a used one in. The listing said it was used and listed the condition as shows signs of wear etc. I received it and the body was so clean I wondered if the ad was wrong. I played around the first night and shot some tests in my kitchen at 10,000 ISO and had images that could go straight to print right out of camera. I have gotten a little more used to it and shot some R/C cars at a race using 2500 ISO at 1/2500th of a sec and froze dirt off the tires as the race cars slid by. The camera was also listed as camera, battery, and charger only but came with a manula and a new strap. I have spent thousands with Adorama over the last five years and have never had a disappointment ever.


D3s body


from New Hampshire  -  Pro Photographer

Great Nikon product. This camera is a significant step forward from the D3 and I'm pleased to have added it to my arsenal.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Best Camera I have ever used


from Michigan  -  Semi-pro Photographer

This camera is the best for sports and low light situations. The best I have used!

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


My Second D3S!


from Reno, NV  -  Pro Photographer

I was so impressed by my first Nikon D3S that I wanted a second to serve as back-up on an upcoming trip to Arica.


Nikon s3s


from Australia  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Awesome , High ISO achieved with no noise..excellent camera for sports photography...Fantastic camera from nikon


Best 35mm format Camera I've ever Owned.


from Aiken, SC  -  Pro Photographer

This is hands down the best camera Nikon has made to date. In my opinion, out performing the D4. Fast accurate and extremely durarable. I've shot everything from major production images (alongside a MF body), to deep outdoor action shots and even spent a week in african desert and they continue to deliver outstanding and consistent quality. 12MP seems a bit dated although I've never had a client complain.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  William, I am interested in your D3S, how can I reach you?
PATRICK C  My name is Patrick, not Wiiliam and I have not considered selling my D3s. If I were, I would be asking about $5,0000 given how few. Licks there are on it. Hope that answers your question.
Fred T  Is there a long waiting list? I need this for trip I am making in about 3 weeks
Jeff B  Is your D3S still available? I would be interested. How can I reach you?
Shopper  I'm trying to decide what to get. Why did you pick this one?
PHIL J  Well I'm not sure how to answer this but . . . I've been doing photography for more than 40 years. About 35 years ago I fell into the Nikon family, and always wanted to purcase the best. After using this camera for awhile; I'll tell you this is the best (we are not into video) . If you can afford this; I'd suggest this camera with anyone that has the desire to advance there photography to the next level "and beyond" that is how great this camer is
See more questions and answers

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