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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Nikon D3S vs. Nikon D3

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D3S: Nikkor 85mm mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200 (default base), JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with exposure delay), ADL off
     
  • Nikon D3: Nikkor 85mm mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200 (default base), JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with exposure delay), ADL off
Nikon D3S
Nikon D3
5.1MB JPEG (4256 x 2832)
5.1MB JPEG (4256 x 2832)

Although not technically a competitor, the D3 is one of the cameras against which the new D3S will inevitably be compared most often. With that in mind, we've included it in this comparison. It is no surprise that at their native base ISO sensitivity setting of ISO 200 (equivalent) both the D3 and D3S offer essentially indistinguishable image quality. We understand from Nikon that apart from the addition of a sensor-cleaning mechanism, the most important physical difference between the two cameras' sensors is a new, more efficient array of microlenses in the D3S. This is intended to increase light-gathering efficiency of the 12 million photodiodes in low light, (as well as minimize light fall-off towards the edges of the frame) but we're not surprised to see that it has no noticeable benefit in the bright, high contrast environment of our studio.

The D3S's standard JPEG profile appears to deliver slightly more contrast than the D3's, but to any practical extent, the two cameras are on a par here, and both deliver a lot of detail for their pixel count.

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