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Nikon D3s vs D3X Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3s

Nikon D3s

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
Nikon D3s
Nikon D3X
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
October 14, 2009
December 01, 2008
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D3X takes the lead with a score of 64/100, while the Nikon D3s trails behind at 57/100. Both cameras are DSLR models, released in 2008 and 2009, respectively. They share the same dimensions, measuring 160 x 157 x 88mm. The D3X has a slightly higher weight at 1260g, compared to the D3s at 1240g.

The D3X excels with a higher score, mainly due to its superior performance in various aspects. However, the D3s does have some advantages, such as a lower launch price of $5510, compared to the D3X’s $9172, and a slightly lighter weight.

While both cameras have their merits, the Nikon D3X ultimately stands out as the better choice due to its higher score, indicating better overall performance. The Nikon D3s, though, remains a viable option for those seeking a more budget-friendly and lighter camera.

Nikon D3s vs D3X Overview and Optics

The Nikon D3X wins the optics comparison with a score of 65/100, while the Nikon D3s scores 55/100. Both cameras share several optical specifications, including a CMOS sensor, Expeed processor, full-frame sensor size, Nikon F FX lens mount, and no image stabilization.

The Nikon D3X outperforms the D3s in certain aspects. With a higher megapixel count of 24.5 compared to the D3s’s 12.1, the D3X allows for more detailed and larger prints. Additionally, the D3X has a higher DXOMARK sensor score of 88, compared to the D3s’s score of 82. This indicates that the D3X generally has better image quality, dynamic range, and color depth.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3s has some advantages over the D3X. With a shooting speed of 11 frames per second (fps), the D3s doubles the D3X’s shooting speed of 5 fps. This makes the D3s more suitable for action and sports photography, where capturing fast-moving subjects is crucial.

To conclude, the Nikon D3X is the winner in terms of optics, with superior image quality and a higher megapixel count. However, the Nikon D3s excels in shooting speed, making it better suited for fast-paced photography. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the specific needs and preferences of the photographer.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
12.1 MP
24.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4256 x 2832 px
6048 x 4032 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
11 fps
5 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F FX
Nikon F FX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D3s vs D3X Video Performance

When discussing the video capabilities of the Nikon D3s and Nikon D3X, it is important to mention that neither of these cameras possess video functionality. As a result, there is no difference between the two cameras in this aspect. Both the Nikon D3s and Nikon D3X focus on their respective strengths in photography, rather than offering video recording features.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Nikon D3s vs D3X Features and Benefits

The Nikon D3s and the Nikon D3X both have a feature score of 54/100, making them equal in this aspect. They share several common specifications, including a 3-inch screen size, lack of touchscreen, absence of a flip screen, and no GPS, WIFI, or Bluetooth capabilities.

Despite the identical feature scores, the Nikon D3s has some advantages over the Nikon D3X. Its screen resolution is slightly higher at 921,000 dots compared to the D3X’s 920,000 dots. This difference provides the D3s with a marginally clearer and sharper display for better image review and menu navigation.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3X also has its merits. Although the screen resolution is slightly lower, the difference is minimal and may not be noticeable in everyday use. The D3X matches the D3s in other aspects, such as screen size and lack of additional features like GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth. These similarities make the D3X a viable alternative for photographers who prioritize these specifications.

Given that both cameras have the same feature score and share many specifications, the choice between the Nikon D3s and the Nikon D3X ultimately depends on personal preference and the importance of screen resolution. The D3s offers a slightly better display, while the D3X remains a strong contender in other aspects. Photographers must weigh the importance of these features to determine the best fit for their needs.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,000 dots
920,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D3s vs D3X Storage and Battery

The Nikon D3s and Nikon D3X both score 87/100 in storage and battery, indicating no clear winner in this category. Both cameras have two memory card slots and accept CompactFlash (Type I) and UDMA cards. Additionally, neither camera has USB charging capabilities.

The D3X has a slightly longer battery life, with 4400 shots compared to the D3s’s 4200 shots. Both cameras utilize the same EN-EL4a battery type. This advantage in battery life makes the D3X more suitable for extended shooting sessions without needing to replace or recharge the battery.

However, the D3s accepts only Type I CompactFlash cards, while the D3X is compatible with both Type I and Type II cards. This compatibility difference allows the D3X to have more flexibility when it comes to memory card options.

As both cameras have the same storage and battery score, it is evident that their differences are minimal. The D3X has a slight edge in battery life and memory card compatibility, but these factors alone may not be significant enough to determine the better camera for every user. Ultimately, the choice between the Nikon D3s and Nikon D3X will depend on individual preferences and specific use cases.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
CompactFlash (Type I), UDMA
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
4,200 shots
4,400 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.5 bits
24.7 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
12 EVs
13.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D3s vs D3X – Our Verdict

Nikon D3s vs D3X Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3s or the Nikon D3X:

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