Fujifilm X-T3 vs Nikon D3S
The Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2018 and October 2009. The X-T3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D3S is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-T3) and a full frame (D3S) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 26 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|26 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/60p Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO 160-12,800 (80 - 51,200)||ISO 200-12,800 (100 - 102,400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots||3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|390 shots per battery charge||4200 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 93 x 59 mm, 539 g||160 x 157 x 88 mm, 1240 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-T3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3S is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3S is considerably larger (103 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T3. Moreover, the D3S is substantially heavier (130 percent) than the X-T3. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-T3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3S). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T3, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-T3 gets 390 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the D3S can take 4200 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D3S has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the X-T3, Fujifilm provides the VG-XT3 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay). The power pack in the X-T3 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Fujifilm X-T3||5.2 in||3.7 in||2.3 in||19.0 oz||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|Nikon D3S||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Canon G1 X Mark III||4.5 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||200||Y||Oct 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X100V||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||16.9 oz||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|Fujifilm X-T4||5.3 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||21.4 oz||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|Fujifilm X-T100||4.8 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||15.8 oz||430||n||May 2018||599|
|Fujifilm X100F||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.0 in||16.5 oz||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X-T20||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.5 oz||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||5.2 in||3.6 in||1.9 in||17.9 oz||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Fujifilm X-T1||5.1 in||3.5 in||1.9 in||15.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2014||1,299|
|Nikon D5||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D4||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.3 oz||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3X||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||44.4 oz||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999|
|Nikon D700||5.8 in||4.8 in||3.0 in||37.9 oz||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|Nikon D3||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||45.9 oz||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The X-T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 71 percent) than the D3S, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-T3 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D3S a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D3S is 134 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X-T3 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 12.1 MP of the Nikon D3S. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 8.43μm for the D3S). However, it should be noted that the X-T3 is much more recent (by 8 years and 10 months) than the D3S, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-T3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3S are 21.3 x 14.2 inches or 54.1 x 36 cm for good quality, 17 x 11.3 inches or 43.2 x 28.8 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.4 inches or 36 x 24 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-T3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3S are ISO 200 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Canon G1 X Mark III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|Nikon D3X||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||24.7||13.7||1992||88|
|Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
|Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-T3 provides a higher video resolution than the D3S. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-T3 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the D3S has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the X-T3 has a higher magnification than the one of the D3S (0.75x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-T3 and Nikon D3S along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark III||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||9.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-T3 has a touchscreen, while the D3S has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-T3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D3S uses Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-T3 and Nikon D3S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X Mark III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the X-T3 has a microphone port, which is missing on the D3S. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The X-T3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the D3S has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3S was succeeded by the Nikon D4. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-T3:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (26 vs 12.1MP) with a 47% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 720/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.75x vs 0.70x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (133x93mm vs 160x157mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 701g or 57 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (71 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D3S launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D3S:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (4200 versus 390) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T3 is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Nikon D3S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-T3 and the D3S in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Fujifilm X-T3||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Canon G1 X Mark III||+||79/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X100V||+ +||86/100||5/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|Fujifilm X-T4||+ +||..||5/5||..||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3||+||85/100||4/5||..||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|Fujifilm X-T100||+||79/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|Fujifilm X100F||+||83/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X-T20||+ +||82/100||5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Fujifilm X-T1||+ +||84/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Jan 2014||1,299|
|Nikon D5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D4||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3X||..||86/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Dec 2008||7,999|
|Nikon D700||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|Nikon D3||..||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1300D vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Canon R vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Canon T7i vs Nikon D3S
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-510
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic GF6
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic TS7
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony RX0
- Leica S2 vs Nikon D3S
- Nikon D3S vs Panasonic FZ300
Specifications: Fujifilm X-T3 vs Nikon D3S
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2018||October 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 5,199|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixels||12.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||4256 x 2832 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||8.43 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||1.40 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 4||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3253|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Nikon D3S|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||390 shots per charge||4200 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
133 x 93 x 59 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 2.3 in)
160 x 157 x 88 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.5 in)
|Camera Weight||539 g (19.0 oz)||1240 g (43.7 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.