Improved Ergonomics

Features mean nothing if they’re difficult to access. That’s why D3S and D3X controls have carefully considered sizes and clear functions. The layout shares the same logical consistency as Nikon’s previous professional D-SLRs, along with further improvements, such as command dials with a 5-degree inclination for natural rotation using your index finger, top control panel that is inclined 5.5-degree toward your eyes, buttons whose intervals and shapes have been ergonomically designed, and a grip shape that ensures comfortable and stable holding. With the D3S, ergonomics have achieved even further sophistication. For example, the D3S’s AF-ON button has been redesigned for a more assured response, while the multi-selector shows more enhanced operability. All these minute improvements are the results of Nikon designers’ dedication to details and listening to users and their real-world requirements.

LCD Monitor — 3-in., approx. 921k-dot high-density, 170-degree color LCD monitor

The D3S and D3X feature an expansive 3-in. VGA LCD monitor. Its approx. 921k-dot resolution assures clear, detailed display of images, which proves invaluable when confirming focus or assessing image sharpness at up to 27 times* magnification. The wide 170˚ viewing angle and bright display make it easy to review images, shoot in Live View modes with confidence and make camera settings more easily. The LCD monitor’s surface is protected by rugged tempered glass for superior durability, and each one is individually fine-tuned during final assembly to deliver consistently outstanding display performance.

* [L]-size JPEG or NEF (RAW) images

Monitor display (D3S)

Wide 170˚ viewing angle

Electronic Virtual Horizon

The high-density color LCD monitor of the D3S and D3X, combined with Nikon’s innovative Electronic Virtual Horizon, delivers instant, accurate confirmation of your camera’s position relative to “horizontal level.” You can also level the D3S and D3X while looking through the viewfinder. In Live View shooting, you can choose to display the virtual horizon on the LCD, above the monitor image — ideal for landscape and architectural photography.

Virtual Horizon in Live View mode (D3S)

Information Display — Two types of display options

The menu is formatted large and clear for easy recognition. Choose from black or white letters according to lighting conditions to ensure your information display is always legible. You can also set the camera so that the color of the letters switch automatically according to lighting conditions. With the D3S, the dedicated “info” button is newly incorporated. One push of the button while information is displayed leads you via direct shortcut to the menu page of the camera setting that you would like to alter.

Dark on light (full display, D3S)

Light on dark (full display, D3S)

Shortcut to display for quick setting/option alterations (example)

Enhanced Playback Function

The D3S and D3X give you the choice of reviewing images in various ways. The thumbnail display shows up to 72 frames at a time, for quicker image search and select (up to 9 frames with the D3X). The D3S can also check histograms of a selected and magnified portion of an image.


72-thumbnail display

Histogram display

Histogram display for magnified area

Fn Button — for your most frequently used features

Designate frequently used features to the Fn button. Up to 16 functions are available. You can also do the same with the Pv (depth-of-field preview) button and the AF/AE Lock button.

Option Description
Preview* Press the Fn button to preview depth of field.
FV lock* Press the Fn button to lock flash value (SB-900, SB-800,SB-600, SB-400, and SB-R200 flash units only).
Press again to cancel FV lock.
AE/AF lock Focus and exposure lock while the Fn button is pressed.
AE lock only Exposure locks while the Fn button is pressed.
AE lock (Reset on release)* Exposure locks when the Fn button is pressed, and remains locked until the button is pressed a second time,
the shutter is released, or the exposure meters turn off.
AE lock (Hold)* Exposure locks when the Fn button is pressed, and remains locked until the button is pressed a second time or
the exposure meters turn off.
AF lock only Focus locks while the Fn button is pressed.
Flash off The flash will not fire in photos taken while the Fn button is pressed.
Bracketing burst If the Fn button is pressed while exposure, flash, or ADL bracketing is active in single frame or quiet shutter-release mode, all shots in the current bracketing program will be taken each time the shutter-release button is pressed. If white balance bracketing is active or continuous release mode (mode CH or CL) is selected, the camera will repeat the bracketing burst while the shutter-release button is held down (in single frame release mode, photographs will be taken at about 8 fps).
Matrix metering Matrix metering is activated while the Fn button is pressed.
Center-weighted metering Center-weighted metering is activated while the Fn button is pressed.
Spot metering Spot metering is activated while the Fn button is pressed.
Virtual horizon* The exposure indicators act as a tilt meter. Press the Fn button to toggle between exposure and tilt meter displays.
Playback* Fn button performs same function as button. Select when using a telephoto lens or in other circumstances in which it is difficult to operate the button with your left hand.
Access top itemin MY MENU* Press the Fn button to jump to the top item in “MY MENU.” Select this option for quick access to a frequently-used menu item.
None No operation is performed when the Fn button is pressed.

* This option can not be used in combination with Fn button + command dials. Selecting this option displays a message and sets Fn button + command dials to None. If another option is selected for Fn button + command dials while this setting is active, Fn button press will be set to None.

Custom Settings — Easy access to further customizable settings

The custom settings allow you to customize a variety of camera settings to suit your personal preferences. When you make new selections, you can save those particular changes as a group of settings in the custom setting bank, with up to four groups designated by different names.

a Autofocus
a1 AF-C priority selection
a2 AF-S priority selection
a3 Dynamic AF area
a4 Focus tracking with lock-on
a5 AF activation
a6 Focus point illumination
a7 Focus point wrap-around
a8 AF point selection
a9 AF-ON button
a10 Vertical AF-ON button
b Metering/exposure
b1 ISO sensitivity step value
b2 EV steps for exposure cntrl.
b3 EV steps for exposure comp.
b4 Easy exposure compensation
b5 Center-weighted area
b6 Fine tune optimal exposure
c Timers/AE lock
c1 Shutter-release button AE-L
c2 Auto meter-off delay
c3 Self-timer
c4 Monitor off delay
d Shooting/display
d1 Beep
d2 Shooting speed
d3 Max. continuous release
d4 File number sequence
d5 Control panel/viewfinder
d6 Information display
d7 Screen tips
d8 LCD illumination
d9 Exposure delay mode
e Bracketing/flash
e1 Flash sync speed
e2 Flash shutter speed
e3 Modeling flash
e4 Auto bracketing set
e5 Auto bracketing (Mode M)
e6 Bracketing order
f Controls
f1 Multi selector center button
f2 Multi selector
f3 Photo info/playback
f4 Assign Fn button
f5 Assign preview button
f6 Assign AE-L/AF-L button
f7 Assign BKT button
f8 Customize command dials
f9 Release button to use dial
f10 No memory card?
f11 Reverse indicators

HDMI Compatibility

The D3S and D3X feature an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) terminal, enabling direct connection to a High-Definition TV for breathtaking viewing of still images, and in the case of the D3S, D-Movie clips as well. The D3S uses a type C mini-pin connector, while the D3X uses Type A.


Side panel detail (D3S)