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Nikon D3S vs Sony NEX-5R

The Nikon D3S and the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2009 and August 2012. The D3S is a DSLR, while the NEX-5R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D3S) and an APS-C (NEX-5R) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3S   Sony NEX-5R
Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/24p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-12800 (100-102400) ISO 100-25600
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
4200 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
160 x 157 x 88 mm, 1240 g 111 x 59 x 39 mm, 276 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3S and the Sony Alpha NEX-5R? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3S and the Sony NEX-5R. 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 NEX-5R can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3S is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3S vs Sony NEX-5R
Compare D3S versus NEX-5R top
Comparison D3S or NEX-5R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-5R is considerably smaller (74 percent) than the Nikon D3S. Moreover, the NEX-5R is substantially lighter (78 percent) than the D3S. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D3S is splash and dust resistant, while the NEX-5R does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D3S) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-5R). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-5R, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D3S gets 4200 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the NEX-5R can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 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.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3S» 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Sony NEX-5R« 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 40.7 oz 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999- i Nikon D700
 
Nikon D3« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 97.9 oz 330 n Aug 2013 699- i Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The NEX-5R was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 Nikon D3S features a full frame sensor and the Sony NEX-5R an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-5R is 58 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D3S and Sony NEX-5R sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the NEX-5R offers a higher resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 12.1 MP of the 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 4.78μm versus 8.43μm for the D3S). However, it should be noted that the NEX-5R is much more recent (by 2 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.

The resolution advantage of the Sony NEX-5R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-5R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.4 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.9 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.6 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3S are 21.3 x 14.2 inch or 54.1 x 36 cm for good quality, 17 x 11.3 inch or 43.2 x 28.8 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.4 inch or 36 x 24 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D3S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D3S versus NEX-5R MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the D3S has a notably higher overall DXO score than the NEX-5R (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.2 bits lower color depth, 1.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3S» Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Sony NEX-5R« APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« » APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2230380Nikon D700
 
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the NEX-5R provides a better video resolution than the D3S. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D3S has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-5R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-5R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3S and Sony NEX-5R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3S»optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Sony NEX-5R«- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D700
 
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3

One feature that is present on the D3S, but is missing on the NEX-5R is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The NEX-5R has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D3S does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D3S 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 D3S writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the NEX-5R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D3S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the NEX-5R only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon D3S and Sony Alpha NEX-5R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3S»Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Sony NEX-5R«Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-5R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3X« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D700
 
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3

It is notable that the NEX-5R offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3S does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D3S (unlike the NEX-5R) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D3S and the NEX-5R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3S was replaced by the Nikon D4, while the NEX-5R was followed by the Sony NEX-5T. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.


Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3S or the Sony NEX-5R – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3S:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (4200 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • 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 available for much longer (launched in October 2009).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16 vs 12.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/24p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x59mm vs 160x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 964g or 78 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D3S launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (12 points each). 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 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.

D3S 12:12 NEX-5R

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3S and the Sony NEX-5R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3S or the NEX-5R. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3S»-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Sony NEX-5R«--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
Canon 1D Mark III« »---o- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« »89/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999- i Nikon D700
 
Nikon D3« »-+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D2Xs« »---o- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2013 699- i Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5N« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D3S:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-5R:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3S vs Sony NEX-5R

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2009 August 2012
    Launch Price USD 5199 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 23.9 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 860.4 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.1 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4256 x 2832 pixels 4912 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.43 μm 4.78 μm
    Pixel Density 1.40 MP/cm2 4.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200-12800 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-102400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.5 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.0 13.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 3253 910
    Screen Specs Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3S Sony NEX-5R
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL4a NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)4200 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 160 x 157 x 88 mm
    (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.5 in)
    111 x 59 x 39 mm
    (4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1240 g (43.7 oz) 276 g (9.7 oz)

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