Nikon D3S What You Need to Know for Best Performance

The Nikon D3S uses a Lithium-Ion EN-EL4a rechargeable battery & charger.

The battery can not be charged via USB. This means a battery charger will be necessary.

Third party battery chargers will be less expensive than OEM Nikon chargers. There will usually be an option to get one bundled with a third party battery purchase.

The Nikon D3S is compatible with CompactFlash (Type I) x 2, UDMA supported memory cards.

The D3S is compatible with Nikon F mount lenses. This opens up a wide range of lens possibilities. A full range of lenses exists including circular fisheye, ultra wide angle, perspective control, macro, telephoto, mirror, bellows, and all kinds of zooms.

There is a list of the best Nikon D3S lenses that covers lenses for all different types of photography.

  • Active D-Lighting
  • 11.0 fps continuous shooting
  • Auto Active D-Lighting System
  • Custom Setting Options
  • Red eye correction

The D3S has an Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sized sensor. This is paired with the Expeed image processor. The Expeed image processor is also used on the Nikon D3000.

The Nikon D3S can record video at 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps) in Motion JPEG.

The fixed screen on the D3S can make shooting video difficult. A fully articulated LCD screen would make recording video easier.

Manufacturer Nikon
Model D3S
Body type Large DSLR
Max resolution 4256 x 2832
Other resolutions 3552 x 2832, 3552 x 2368, 3184 x 2128, 2784 x 1848, 2656 x 1776, 2128 x 1416, 2080 x 1384, 1776 x 1416, 1776 x 1184, 1392 x 920
Image ratio w:h 5:4, 3:2
Effective pixels 12.1 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 13 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed
ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (100-102400 with boost)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 100.0
Boosted ISO (maximum) 102400.0
White balance presets 12.0
Custom white balance Yes (4)
Image stabilization No
Image stabilization notes None
Uncompressed format RAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic
Autofocus ['Contrast Detect (sensor)', 'Phase Detect', 'Multi-area', 'Selective single-point', 'Single', 'Continuous', 'Live View']
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 51.0
Lens mount Nikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 921000
Touch screen No
Screen type Low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.7×
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
Flash range None
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe plus Sync connector)
Flash modes Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Continuous drive 11.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 to 20 sec)
Metering modes ['Multi', 'Center-weighted', 'Spot']
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (2 to 9 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis))
Format Motion JPEG
Videography notes None
Modes None
Microphone Stereo
Speaker None
Storage types CompactFlash (Type I) x 2, UDMA supported
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Microphone port None
Headphone port None
Wireless None
Wireless notes Optional
Remote control Yes
Environmentally sealed Yes (Water and dust resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL4a rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 4200.0
Weight (inc. batteries) 1240 g (2.73 lb / 43.74 oz)
Dimensions 160 x 157 x 88 mm (6.3 x 6.18 x 3.46″)
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes GP-1