How much abuse can the Nikon D3s take?


We have seen Nikon cameras falling off from a motorcycle, getting run over by a pickup truckbeing submerged in mud, getting exposed to hail and water. The French website Pixelistes went a step further and published a 15 minutes video where they torture a Nikon D3s through mud, water, ice and fire. At the end, the camera was still working. Here is the full video:

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  • Marco

    Ok, that’s a sad DigitalRav TV imitation. That’s sad.
    And with a D3s.
    No man, you did it the wrong way, the worst way.

  • hzrn


  • Mantronic

    I’m working with a D90, I made several event under HEAVY rain. Never stopped working.
    In fact it stopped working twice because the shutter button was filled with water. I simply “sucked” the water out of it and I continued my assignment.

    I also made night long shot of the sky in -20 temperature…

  • James

    All these idiots doing this to pro-level cameras have waaaay too much money and waaaay too much time. That’s all I’m saying.

  • glico

    I don’t think electric screen is working. I don’t think this camera will endure some 200.000 shots normal D3s would. I will replace the camera if burnt this way anyway. Yeah, this is seriously disgusting. Caucasians in general have no respect for the equipment. That’s very sad from the engineer’s standpoint.

    • Clint

      ‘Caucasians in general’…..seriously???? I’m Caucasian and completely anal with my gear. I’m not even against the odd stereotype but that isn’t even one I’ve heard before.

      Funny too that after 9 hrs no one even commented on your post, yet if you would have replaced ‘Caucasian’ with Asian, Black, etc you would have been lambasted.

      • Turbohampster

        Yes but everyone knows you can’t be racist for hating white people!

  • Clint

    Somewhere….someone… starving. Enough said.

  • jkkkj

    This is all great and comforting on some level. However, the biggest risk our cameras face are probably impact and water damage. I can speak from experience since I have dropped a D3 and a D3s twice while working. A simple camera strap mix ups both times and they fell onto the ground from below waist level. Once on concrete and once on grass landing on a small loose rock. At the time I was like no big deal, these things are pretty tough….picked it up and it was cracked and dead.

    In both cases they did not function at all and had to be repaired (along with a bent 24-70 2.8 in the concrete fall). I am not trying to prove anything different than what the article states and of course a fall on concrete is pretty serious… But with all theses videos (most notably the type where people drop them down concrete stairs etc. and they still work). I just don’t want people to get false hope thinking these are “built like a tank”.

    Nikon cameras are not indestructible…durable sure but they are still cameras.

    Also, just to make this sound even more disturbing… I have dropped and damaged a 70-200 VR, 2 SB 700 flashes and a D700 body so I know a bit about durability when it comes to dropping…something I am not proud of but hopefully it helps put this into perspective.

  • Juggalo

    My D3x was not nearly so robust. It was in a dry-bag that leaked when my canoe overturned. About 1 minute afterwards I had the dry-bag on shore, and about 5 min later when everything was on shore, I opened it to discover water had gotten into the bag. I pulled everything out let it dry, and it was a dead dodo.

    When I got back from the trip I put it in box loaded with desiccant for 4 days, and it was still dead.

    A week later I took it to a camera store, and it more or less came back to life, but obviously had some residual issues. I sent it to Nikon, which informed me that it was uneconomical to repair, and offered me a minor discount on a new one.

    Subsequently, my insurance gave me replacement value on the camera, and I asked for the old body back, which I gave to the insurer, (after informing them that it had residual value.) My camera store picked it up, and a third party did an overhaul, and then the camera store sold it for around 3.5K, (making a profit.) I can only conclude that there are cases where Nikon says, “uneconomical to repair”, and it means, “we would rather sell you a new camera.” That is just my experience, but I wonder if others have similar things to report.

  • mike

    in other countries.. people starve and slave away to own one of those.. 🙁

  • Rick Hemi

    Nikon Pro bodies have always had a reputation of being robust tanks that can handle punishment, I remember an old F2 in Tel Aviv back in the mid 80’s that survived a plane crash, apart from a few dents it was still operating ok. In todays world of sale & marketing you get what you pay for which isn’t cheap if reliability are a part of the design…

  • Peter

    My D3s fell to the ground from 1 meter and since that time is not working properly. It is not working with Nikkor D lenses.

  • Nikonphile

    A serial number before and after the “test” would have been nice. Also, claimed is that the camera is still working. How precisely will it work though? Metering, focus allignment, dust.. e v e r y t h i n g. I can`t imagine it would be a fun camera to use, it containing all the “left-overs” from the .. “test”. How do we know that this is not initiated by Nikon, the corporation? I like durable cameras too, and I happen to shoot the D3s, but this is .. pure non-sense.

    Reviews and ..rumours. Oh, we got plenty of that on the internet. If one remembers the story on “agens & patiens”, sender and receiver, it sometimes helps in pulling out the actual data of the object reviewed/debated.

    If we have to believe in this, we better see another ten identical tests, at least. Performance afterwards, incl., thank you.

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