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  • Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)
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Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)

by Nikon
| 6 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 12.1-megapixel, FX-format CMOS sensor; 720p HD video capture
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Low-noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 12,800; continuous shooting up to 9fps
  • Fast, accurate 51-point AF system; Nikon EXPEED image processing
  • 3-inch super-density 921,000-dot VGA LCD; one-button Live View with two shooting modes
  • Dual CF card slots with overflow, backup and copy options (CF card not included); up to 4,300 images per battery charge
5 new from $6,149.99 21 used from $2,209.00 3 refurbished from $2,250.00

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 6.2 x 6.3 inches ; 2.7 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B002SQKVD0
  • Item model number: 25466
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,418 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 13, 2009

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Power. Precision. Performance. The bluprint for versatility.

The D3S is uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of photographers whose assignments demand 100% from them and their equipment. Leading with uncompromising FX-format multimedia versatility and engineered for demanding professional use at up to 9 fps, the D3S' rugged magnesium alloy construction, comprehensively sealed against dust and moisture, delivers on its promises of superiority. Exacting moments in time are captured to an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights
The D3s features a 51-area AF system
Nikon's newly engineered, original 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, teamed with exclusive technologies such as EXPEED image processing, Nikon's Scene Recognition System and a fast, accurate 51-area AF system, work together to assure that both still and smooth 24 fps HD video files exhibit incredible edge-to-edge sharpness, rich color depth and broad tonal range, while barrier-breaking performance enables low-noise ISO sensitivity to 12,800.

Expanded ISO sensitivities of 25,600, 51,200 and an astounding 102,400, shatter many long-standing rules of photography. Audio to accompany HD video is preserved with a built-in microphone, while high fidelity stereo sound is recorded through the external Mic input using an optional microphone. More proven technologies include Nikon's renowned 1,005-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, assuring exacting exposure evaluation and white balance detection. Precise image review and menu access comes to life with the D3S' tempered glass-protected and individually factory-calibrated 3-inch, 921,000-dot Live View monitor. A self-diagnostic shutter, tested to beyond 300,000 cycles, and a myriad of inherent benefits stemming from decades of Nikon design experience, round out the D3S' qualifications to meet the needs of professional photographers.

Nikon D3s Features & Highlights

Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights
Capture up to 9 frames per second
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 with high fidelity stereo sound capability.

One-button Live View with Two Shooting Modes
Two modes for studio or remote shooting--Tripod Mode offers 27x magnification for precise focus confirmation.
Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights


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.
Nikon D3s digital SLR highlights


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 Option

Virtual Horizon Graphic Indicator

Up to 4,300 Images per Battery Charge

Product Description

The D3S is uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of photographers whose assignments demand 100% from them and their equipment. Leading with uncompromising FX-format multimedia versatility and engineered for demanding professional use at up to 9 fps, the D3S rugged magnesium alloy construction, comprehensively sealed against dust and moisture, delivers on its promises of superiority. Exacting moments in time are captured to an expanded buffer, allowing continuous capture of up to 82 JPEG (fine) or 36 14-bit NEF (RAW) images.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 45 customer reviews
I bought the D3s as I wanted another body, I've since ditched my D700 and waiting to pick up a second D3s. It just feels so right in your hand the image quality is superb! I… Read more ›
The D3s's colors are correct right out…And the image quality is simply stunning, although you really should invest in high-caliber glass to get the most out of this camera. Read more ›
Has served me well for sports photography for last few years! Top of the line results! Read more ›
I'm dying to see what the D4 will bring but I'll be holding out until the D5. For the next few years, this camera body will continue to let me take amazing photographs. I… Read more ›
I tried to resist buying this camera when it was first…The problem with Cranes is that the best photographable behavior occurs right before sunrise or right after sunset. Read more ›
I would never venture into the "HI" ranges of ISO on the D3, but recently shot an entire wrestling event in ISO 25,600 (HI 1.0) with stunning results (I cleaned up with N.… Read more ›
When shooting events even using flash if it's really dark and you need to push your ISO around 3200+ this…The focus accuracy is amazing let alone the sheer speed of focus. Read more ›
In my D7000 i used to hit the OK button on any photo i'm viewing while in play mode and directly choose the…5) Auto-focus is not faster than my D7000 using the same lenses! Read more ›
Everything I read was correct, 12 megapixels done right is…The autofocus system is the fastest I've ever experienced on a camera, and possibly one of the most accurate. Read more ›
The…All the pro features like fast continuous shutter rate, fast 3d focus tracking, weather sealed body, and dependable ruggedness are all up to the D3 very high standard. Read more ›
Now, after having used the Nikon D3S for around 2 months in…Its ability to shoot sports action in low light is stunning and the focus is very responsive and always spot on! Read more ›
I personally don't use this alot, but can see why others would. - Accurate and fast auto focus using the 24-70 2.8 lens and my 14-24 2.8 lens - HD Video at 720p Read more ›
I was using a Canon 5D Mark II camera for over a year but became more and more…The focusing system used on the Canon was poor and the high ISO was good but not great. Read more ›
Overall, I'm absolutely thrilled with this camera. The ISO is amazing, double memory cards, 4200 photo battery life, the feel in my hands.... can't be happier. Read more ›
I can now shoot pictures with the D3s that were previously impossible to obtain. I can safely crank the ISO up to 6400 and beyond. With the auto-ISO, I now live in a 3… Read more ›
While my ideal camera would have had many more pixels like the D3x so that I could crop without losing significant quality, as well as high ISO quality, these features are… Read more ›
The vast majority of…Even though there is alot more to this camera than it's amazing new ISO abilities, lets start with it's most unique feature and major selling point. Read more ›
You see something in low light that you might never see again (e.g. a rare or thought to be extinct animal or a UFO), would you…Don't like the high ISO, don't use it. Read more ›
But all in all - I thought it…I have the Nikkor 24-70 2.8G lens which is sharp as a razor, the Nikkor 105 2.8D Macro lens which is also razor sharp, and the 50 1.4G Nikkor. Read more ›
I normally do landscape…I don't normally need high ISO, and I have a collection of fast lenses including the Nikkor 85mm f1.4G and 50mm f1.4G and D for portrait. Hence,… Read more ›
I don't use flash when shooting my baby's picture for obvious reasons. Without the flash, the fastest lens I have is still not fast enough, unless I bump up the ISO. Read more ›
Anything beyond that, however,…Since I already have fast lenses, I want to have a FX camera body capable of doing higher ISO and D700 seems to be the next logical choice. Read more ›
Having shot with Canon for the last 15 yrs, moving over to Nikon was not an easy…I had a decent collection of lenses and the 1D Mark II was beginning to show its age. T… Read more ›
2) Great build quality and feels great in hand despite the weight. (so does the D7000) 3) Excellent (not perfect) ergonomics and layout of buttons. I can spend all day… Read more ›
* Still has video mode, albeit 720p vs canons 1080p * Comes with vertical grip with amazing ergonomics (1Ds comparable but the NIkon is lightyears better) * Better control… Read more ›
All I can say is WOW. I love the ergonomics of a pro body. The D700 with grip just isn't the same as a pro body with integrated grip. Read more ›
Of course, since the D3S is an FX (full frame) sensor, I…I love the D3S ergonomics and the programmable function and other buttons (programmable AE/AL and Preview button). Read more ›
The only downside is, as a professional body, it is most definetly heavier and larger than the rest of the Nikon lineup but that is to be expected for this level of camera. Read more ›
It also seems to…Currently, Canon doesn't offer a full frame sports body, so I ended up carrying a 5D Mk II for wide angle shots, in addition to the 1D Mk II & IV bodies. Read more ›
The new functions…With a full size body, it does have more fuctions that you can set using the designated button on the body, as opposed to going through the camera menu. Read more ›
Add a fully usable 12,800 ISO, almost noiseless 6400 ISO for portraits and HD video that is stunning even in near darkness and you have what I can only call the best camera… Read more ›
I used to run out of buffer…The video is neat but I recommend putting it on tripod if you want this feature....remember it has no anti-shake so every movement is recorded. Read more ›
I experimented with the movie mode. The camera took some very nice looking videos in extremely low light. I don't know what ISO it used, but it must be hitting ISO 102,400… Read more ›
The Nikon D3S, even as a previous model is a spectacular camera. It get's the job done and gets it done very well. Read more ›
It'…Even though this effect is highly improved from models like the Nikon D90, it is still annoying, and you will have to buy expensive software if you would like to fix it. Read more ›
Here's what impressed me about the D3s: 1. Ergonomics -- well designed button placements, easy to nagigate menus, buttons for metering/shooting speed/autofocus. 2. Image… Read more ›
I ordered the camera from Amazon on a Sunday and had it in my hands on Friday!!!! I was pretty happy with my D5000, but I wanted the full FX sensor. What surprised me is… Read more ›
I finally decided on the Nikon D3S because of its full frame sensor and how its relatively large pixel size would be an advantage in low light situations (i.e., High ISO). A… Read more ›
The D3S seems a bit bigger than my Nikon D2Xs and other…Of course, since the D3S is an FX (full frame) sensor, I have heavier lenses attached and in my bag too. I love… Read more ›
2) Multi-selector is a little out of reach (for my hand) when shooting portrait. 3) No ability to assign active D-lighting to any function button. (D7000 is able to do so) Read more ›
Here's what impressed me about the D3s: 1. Ergonomics -- well designed button placements, easy to nagigate menus, buttons for metering/shooting speed/autofocus. 2. Image… Read more ›
Of course, since the D3S is an FX (full frame) sensor, I…I love the D3S ergonomics and the programmable function and other buttons (programmable AE/AL and Preview button). Read more ›
The photos produced with this camera are beyond phenomenal with rich colors, great contrast, and wonderful detail. Everything I read was correct, 12 megapixels done right… Read more ›
I haven't done extensive image tests yet, but my first impression is the images are superb, color is very accurate and auto focus is very fast and accurate, even in what… Read more ›
After the competition I went to the mountains to spend a free time with my family and friends and the quality of the images, the saturation of colors, the details are… Read more ›
The photos produced with this camera are beyond phenomenal with rich colors, great contrast, and wonderful detail. Everything I read was correct, 12 megapixels done right… Read more ›

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R. Sweet on December 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
Update: Images up to ISO 51,200 have very acceptable levels of noise (very little). Worst case, I touched up with Dfine 2.0 (noise reduction software) and they look nearly perfect. I experimented with the movie mode. The camera took some very nice looking videos in extremely low light. I don't know what ISO it used, but it must be hitting ISO 102,400 at times. The video and sound using the internal microphone are really good. I may add an external stereo mic in the future if I shoot video. I should have known, you can't shoot movies in vertical format -- of course -- but I did take some that way before I realized that format doesn't work when you play back on a TV.

I've now got a growing collection of images in various conditions and remain extremely pleased with this camera.
-----------------

I received my new Nikon D3S only a couple of days ago, and my early testing of this camera has already proven it to be much more than I expected. I took a few dozen test shots in nearly complete darkness and with relatively little noise the shots look like they were taken in fairly bright lighting. I am very impressed. In fact, I would even say they are unbelievable.

I love the new "info" button. I passed over the written material before the camera arrived thinking: who cares. Well, I find it to be an extremely helpful feature. When you press the "info" button, it shows not only the exposure settings, but gives you immediate access to several of the relevant menu options that you can then immediately access and make changes. I find this to be very quick and useful.

The D3S seems a bit bigger than my Nikon D2Xs and other professional bodies I use, but it feels like it's built absolutely solid.
Read more ›
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By R. Adams on December 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
The Nikon D3s is an amazing camera and I love it. The vast majority of people looking at buying this camera are talking about it's ISO and low light abilities. Even though there is alot more to this camera than it's amazing new ISO abilities, lets start with it's most unique feature and major selling point.

How good does it's ISO get? How about 12,800! The ISO can be pushed up to 102,400 using the Hi ISO settings.

My tests - Nikon D3s combined with the Nikkor 24-70 2.8 Lens.
I tested the camera at 400 ISO, 800 ISO, 1,600 ISO, 3,200 ISO, 6,400 ISO, and 12,800 ISO both inside in low light and outside at night. I have also tested the Hi 3 or 102,400 ISO setting

The ISO settings look really great up through the 3,200 mark. After that one can a little notice grain/noise up to the 12,800 ISO point. I would not hesitate at all running this camera at 1,600 or 3,200 ISO. BTW - Pictures taken at 12,800 are usable. They look really good. But there is a little noise as I said. The 102,400 setting creates all sorts of noise/grain, but that should be expected. So far the pictures I've take at the highest setting basically turns this camera into your own "night vision" camera. It can see in very dark surroundings.

More on the D3s

- This camera is rugged. Over the holidays, I had it outside in snow storms, rain, and sub freezing temperatures. It performed flawlessly.
- Info button - New to the D3s and really nice. It displays information such as f-stop, shutter speed, mode, and remaining pictures on monitor/display screen on the back
- Live view - there are 2 setting here. One for a tripod and one for handheld use. Turn this on, and you have a view of what you see through the viewfinder on your back monitor.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JM on February 9, 2010
Verified Purchase
Having shot with Canon for the last 15 yrs, moving over to Nikon was not an easy decision. I had a decent collection of lenses and the 1D Mark II was beginning to show its age. The mark III had its issues and the mark IV had shown promise.

Many friends asked why switch now? Simply put, low light is where I shoot most of my jobs. Nikon at the moment has the advantage. Selling my Canon gear was the big question. I ended up selling ALL my gear (1D Mark II, 135L, 28-70L, 70-200L IS, 35L, 85, 100 macro, and 580EX) in 1 week CASH... It covered the D3s, 24-70, and most of the 70-200 VRII.

While I waited for my gear to sell, I rented the D3s for a week along with Nikon's recent additions -- 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200 VR II. The images from the D3s with the aforementioned lenses were quite simply just amazingly sharp with minimal noise.

One can read the many reviews of the D3s out there.

Here's what impressed me about the D3s:
1. Ergonomics -- well designed button placements, easy to nagigate menus, buttons for metering/shooting speed/autofocus.
2. Image quality -- AMAZING images at high ISO. Check out Rob Galbraith's images.
3. 9 fps full sized RAW files/11 fps DX files
4. Screen size (a big change from my 1D Mark II)
5. Autofocus is stellar even in low light. I've not had issues like others have described.
6. I like 2CF cards vs 1 CF and 1 SD. Using Photofast Plus 32GB ($250) and no problems.
7. self cleaning sensor

Other things that impressed me about Nikon:
1. 5 year lens warranty vs Canon's 1 year
2. 24-70 images are sharper than my 28-70 Canon
3. 70-200 VRII images better than my Canon 2.8L IS

Suggestions for improvment:
1. selection of autofocus point with the back button.
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