Fujifilm X100S vs Nikon D3
The Fujifilm X100S and the Nikon D3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2013 and August 2007. The X100S is a fixed lens compact, while the D3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X100S) and a full frame (D3) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 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 X100S||Nikon D3|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|35mm f/2.0||Nikon F mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)||ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|2.8 LCD, 460k dots||3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|330 shots per battery charge||4300 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 74 x 54 mm, 445 g||160 x 157 x 88 mm, 1300 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X100S and the Nikon D3? 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 X100S and the Nikon D3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X100S can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3 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 D3 is considerably larger (167 percent) than the Fujifilm X100S. It is noteworthy in this context that the D3 is splash and dust-proof, while the X100S does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100S has a lens built in, whereas the D3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D3 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the X100S gets 330 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the D3 can take 4300 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D3 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|Nikon D3||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Fujifilm X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Nikon D3X||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1260 g||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999|
|Nikon D700||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
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.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X100S was launched at a lower price than the D3, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X100S features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D3 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D3 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 X100S offers a higher resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 12.1 MP of the Nikon D3. 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 4.80μm versus 8.43μm for the D3). However, it should be noted that the X100S is much more recent (by 5 years and 4 months) than the D3, 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 X100S has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X100S implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X100S for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3 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 X100S has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X100S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The Nikon D3 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|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|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X100S indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D3 does not. The highest resolution format that the X100S can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X100S has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D3 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 D3 has a higher magnification than the one of the X100S (0.70x vs 0.43x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X100S and Nikon D3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X100S has one, while the D3 does not. While the built-in flash of the X100S is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Nikon D3 has 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 X100S writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D3 uses Compact Flash cards. The D3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X100S only has one slot.
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 X100S and Nikon D3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D3 (unlike the X100S) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X100S and the D3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3 was replaced by the Nikon D4, while the X100S was followed by the Fujifilm X100T. 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 how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X100S better than the Nikon D3 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X100S:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16 vs 12.1MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D3 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (127x74mm vs 160x157mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D3).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D3 launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D3:
- 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.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.43x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (4300 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2007).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 X100S and the Nikon D3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X100S or the D3 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. 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 X100S||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|Nikon D3||..||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||o||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|Fujifilm X100F||+||83/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X100T||+||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Fujifilm X100||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X Typ 113||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Nikon Coolpix A||+||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|Nikon D4||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|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|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm X100S vs Nikon D3
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 X100S||Nikon D3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||35mm f/2.0||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2013||August 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 4,999|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X100S||Nikon D3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||12.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||4256 x 2832 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||8.43 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||1.40 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2290|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X100S||Nikon D3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X100S||Nikon D3|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X100S||Nikon D3|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X100S||Nikon D3|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||4300 shots per charge|
127 x 74 x 54 mm
(5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 in)
160 x 157 x 88 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.5 in)
|Camera Weight||445 g (15.7 oz)||1300 g (45.9 oz)|
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