Nikon D3S Brief Review


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  • 12.1 megapixels CMOS sensor
  • 720p, 24fps HD video
  • 9fps continuous shooting
  • Low-noise ISO 200-12,800 (expandable up to ISO 102,400)
  • Nikon EXPEED image processor
  • 51-point auto focus
  • 3.0-inch Live View LCD Display
  • JPEG/TIFF/RAW formats
  • HDMI output
  • Release Date: 2009-11-30
  • Final Grade: 81 4.05 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon D3S
An older DSLR that still might warrant a look.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 8/21/2014

Nikon's D3S is an impressive update to the two-year-old D3, and is hailed as the best low-light camera ever. It has native ISO up to 12,800 (expandable to a jaw-dropping 102,400), and the pictures are actually of publishable quality at that full native sensitivity. At about $5,000, we'd expect it to be amazing, but it truly does have abilities never seen before, and sets the standard for top-end pro dSLRs to come. The design is sturdy but comfortable to hold, and includes features like HD video (only 720p, sadly), RAW image processing. This is one advanced piece of machinery.

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Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.

It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.

Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.

Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.

Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.