Nikon D3X vs Nikon D2Xs

  • Full frame
  • 25 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 45
    Overall
  • 23
    Imaging
  • 49
    Features
  • 66
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 35
    Overall
  • 9
    Imaging
  • 25
    Features
  • 66
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D3X vs Nikon D2Xs: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Pro DSLR category, introduced by Nikon. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are D3X and D2Xs. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Nikon D3X comes with a 25.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Nikon D2Xs features a 12.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs.

Nikon D3X Key Features:

  • 25.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 1600 (Expands to 50 - 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 160 x 157 x 88 mm
  • Weight: 1260 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D2Xs. Compare

Nikon D2Xs Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 800 (Expands to 3200)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 8.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 158 x 150 x 86 mm
  • Weight: 1200 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Nikon D2X. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D3X. Compare

Being a newer model, Nikon D3X substituted Nikon D2Xs.

Why is Nikon D3X a better choice than Nikon D2Xs

Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Resolution 25.0 MP vs 12.0 MP 52% more pixels
Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 vs 372.09 mm2 56.8% larger pixel area
Screen Size 3″ vs 2.5″ 0.5" larger screen
Screen Resolution 920k dots vs 235k dots 74.5% higher resolution screen
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Dxo Color Depth 24.7 vs 22.2 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.7 vs 10.9 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 1992 vs 489 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.7 vs 0.57 0.13 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D2Xs over Nikon D3X

Continuous Shooting 8 fps vs 5 fps 3 fps faster
Weight 1200 g vs 1260 g 60 g lighter

Key PROs of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs

Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 920k dots | 235k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
AutoFocus Face Detection No | No No Face Detection
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D3X vs Nikon D2Xs: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs from the front view.

Nikon D3X
Nikon D2Xs
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D3X
Nikon D2Xs
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D2Xs is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 60g less than the Nikon D3X. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Thickness values for Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D3X — 88 mm
Nikon D2Xs — 86 mm
Min: 74 mm
Average: 85 mm
Max: 123 mm
Weight values for Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D3X — 1260 g
Nikon D2Xs — 1200 g
Min: 735 g
Average: 1275 g
Max: 1585 g

Comparing Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D3X features a 25.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Expeed processor . Nikon D2Xs, in its turn, comes with a 12.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D3X
Nikon D2Xs
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D3X has a sensor area 0.4x bigger compared to Nikon D2Xs. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D3X Nikon D2Xs
Portrait Photography
91%
67%
Street Photography
76%
59%
Sports Photography
97%
84%
Daily Photography
94%
97%
Landscape Photography
98%
70%

Nikon D3X for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (25 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D2Xs for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3X for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (4400 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D2Xs for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Large APS-C(23.7 x 15.7 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (158 x 150 x 86 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3X for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1992)
  • Big battery life (4400 shots)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (1600)

Nikon D2Xs for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big size (158 x 150 x 86 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (8.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (489)

Nikon D3X for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1260 g)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash
  • Video is not available

Nikon D2Xs for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1200 g)
  • Big size (158 x 150 x 86 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash
  • Video is not available

Nikon D3X for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (25 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1992)

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (1600)

Nikon D2Xs for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Dynamic Range (10.9)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (489)

Comparison of Nikon D3X vs Nikon D2Xs: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D3X or Nikon D2Xs, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D3X and Nikon D2Xs here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D3X deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D2Xs. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D3X vs Nikon D2Xs Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D3X Nikon D2Xs
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D3X D2Xs
Announced Feb 19, 2009 Jun 01, 2006
Body Type Large SLR Large SLR"
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 35.9 x 24 mm 23.7 x 15.7 mm
Sensor Area 861.60 mm2 372.09 mm2
Sensor Resolution 25.0 MP 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6048 x 4032 4288 x 2848
Max Native ISO 1,600 800
Max Boosted ISO 6,400 3,200
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes No
AF Face Detection No No
AF Contrast Detection Yes No
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 51 n/a
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 2.5″
Screen Resolution 920k dots 235k dots
Live View Yes No
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7 0.57
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps 8.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes No
WB Bracketing Yes No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes No
Average No No
Spot Yes No
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 88 59
DxO Color Depth 24.7 22.2
DxO Dynamic Range 13.7 10.9
DxO Low Light ISO 1992 489
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a n/a
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No No
HDMI Yes No
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 1260 g 1200 g
Physical Dimensions 160 x 157 x 88 mm 158 x 150 x 86 mm
Battery Life 4400 shots n/a
Battery Type Battery Pack n/a
Battery Model EN-EL4a n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II) x 2, UDMA Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Storage Slots 2 1

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