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Nikon D4 vs Nikon D3s vs Nikon D800 from ISO 50 to Max

I played with my dolls again today.

Just published in DAP in my review of the Nikon D4 is a comparison of the Nikon D4 to the D3s and D800 from ISO 50 to ISO 202800. I used the lovely Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro.

Nikon D3s: 12 megapixels
Nikon D4: 16 megapixels
Nikon D800: 36 megapixels

Larger pixels (fewer megapixels) are better for noise, right? Right? And what about image detail, not just at lower ISO values but at higher ones?

At least to my eyes, one of these cameras leaves the others in the dust.

I provide some generously-sized crops to help you decide for yourself, including the usual mouse-over series and A/B comparison tool.

Nikon D4

Reader comments

Martin D writes:

Jaw dropping comparison. Interesting how the D800 challenges one to rethink the question of sensor noise.


Hans WT in Germany writes:

I'm reading your very interesting informations since 3 years now, especially the Guide to Zeiss lenses. This was while I found your site in i-net when was looking for serious information about Zeiss ZF. After reading I decided which lenses to buy and was never disappointed about my 4 Zeiss lenses and want to have even more.

When Nikon announced the new D4 I ordered one the same day, got it 3 weeks ago. When they announced the D800 / D800E some weeks later I was not sure if I made the right bargain. So I ordered a D800E too.

When my retailer told me the D4 was in shop I went by train and got it because I much prefer the bigger body and much better handling (in my eyes) of the D1 - D4. I always used this bodies from Nikon.

And today I saw the most interesting comparison of both cameras:
your compare-D4-D3s-D800-dolls-resolution... This is the best one could ever do to make a decision to buy the D800e too. I was not sure till today if I will get the one I ordered, but now I'm sure. I will!

Thank you very much for your work, it will help many photographers- like me- to make the right decision!

DIGLLOYD: I also much prefer the large-bodied cameras for shooting, but as I noticed at the zoo, it was much more pleasant carrying the D800. I use an OpTech strap which makes the big cameras more comfortable to carry than the awful Nikon “steal me” yellow-logo strap.

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