Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of D800 vs D3S

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Nikon D800
Nikon D3S
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Nikon D800
Nikon D3S
continuous shooting


What do the experts think?

Reviews from,,, and 5 more

No winner declared

Too close to call

Benchmarks Real world tests of Nikon D800 vs D3S

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Nikon D800
2,979 ISO
Nikon D3S
3,253 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Nikon D800
3,100 LPH
Nikon D3S
1,700 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Nikon D800
209 ms
Nikon D3S
197 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Nikon D800
43 ms
Nikon D3S
43 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Nikon D800
200 ms
Nikon D3S
120 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Nikon D800
4 fps
Nikon D3S
9 fps

Features Key features of the Nikon D800  vs D3S 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

Nikon D800
36.2 MP
Nikon D3S
12.1 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

Nikon D800
25,600 ISO
Nikon D3S
102,400 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

Screen size Larger screens make it easier to preview and review photos

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

Nikon D800
Nikon D3S

Pixel size How much area of the sensor is dedicated to each pixel

Nikon D800
23.8 microns
Nikon D3S
71.4 microns

Reviews Word on the street

Nikon D800  vs D3S 

For more advanced processing, Nikon offers the considerably more sophisticated Capture NX2, which is a truly professional-grade platform for in-depth raw and JPEG adjustment.
Nikon D3S

Otherwise the Nikon D800 is a highly dependable and capable camera that offers a versatile and improved auto focus system, an enhanced viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and a very good movie mode.
Nikon D800

For example, in our shots taken a gym that was dimly lit by sodium lamps, chroma noise is clearly visible from around ISO 2500 when the images are viewed at 100% on the computer screen.
Nikon D800


9.0 Out of 10
9.1 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Nikon D800  vs
Megapixels 36.2 MP 12.1 MP
Resolution 7360 x 4912 4256 x 2832
Size Full frame Full frame
Area 35.9 x 24 mm 36 x 23.9 mm
Crop factor 1.0x 1.0x
Pixel size 23.8 microns 71.4 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO 200 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 6,400 ISO to 25,600 ISO 12,800 ISO to 102,400 ISO
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 3,100 LPH 1,700 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 3,100 LPH 1,700 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 51 51
Cross type focus points 15 15
Supports continuous Yes No


Min 30 s 30 s
Max 1/8000 s 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 146 x 123 x 82 mm 160 x 157 x 88 mm
Thickness 82 mm 88 mm
Weight 1,000 g 1,240 g
Is weather sealed Yes Yes


Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR Yes No
Automatic panorama No No
Create realistic 3D images No No
Image stabilization


Nikon D800  vs
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack 3.5mm 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection


Size 3.2" 3"
Resolution 921 k dots 921 k dots
Has a touch screen No No
Has a flip out screen No No
Supports live view Yes Yes


Viewfinder mirror Opaque Opaque
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Type Pentaprism Pentaprism
Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.7x 0.7x
Viewfinder size 0.7x 0.7x


Max continuous shooting 4 fps 9 fps
Battery life 900 4,200
Continuous shooting
4 fps @ 7360 x 4912, NEF 14bit, 20 shots
5 fps @ 6144 x 4080, NEF 14bit, 25 shots
6 fps @ 4800 x 3200, NEF 14bit, 29 shots
9 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 209 ms 197 ms
Shutter lag 43 ms 43 ms
Startup delay 200 ms 120 ms
Nikon D800
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Nikon D3S
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