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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  • Ole

    Proves that Nikon has the best cameras in the world!

    • Marceloshak
      • Spy Black

        Is it just me, or do you get a strange pleasure watching that video?…

      • Spy Black

        Is it just me, or do you get a strange pleasure watching that video?…

  • Name

    Too many idiots these days…

  • Crusty


  • RondoX

    Now if only Nikon lenses were this durable….

    • CupcakeNunya

      Go with the D-series lens, which are all made in Japan, unlike other newer series, which are made in china, and they stand up pretty well. Maybe not to being frozen… but they take the abuse. Specifically the 28mm f/1.4 AF-D is a tank.

      • Micah Goldstein

        …actually, I’ve has better luck with the new plastic bodied primes than the old ones. The plastic bounces, while the mag-alloy will deform.

      • Marcel Speta

        I am not sure about D-series, but AI-s lenses are most durable from Nikon i have ever seen and used. That is nice and solid Japan made jewell 🙂

      • Martin Brooks

        You can’t compare lenses without a motor to lenses with a motor – the level of complexity is completely different. And where the lenses are manufactured is completely irrelevant – it’s the quality of the components used that makes a difference and the amount of QA that Nikon puts into the process, not the ethnicity or geography of the worker on the assembly line.

        Unless someone knows better, my understanding is that there is no difference in the machine tools in the Japanese and Chinese factories. They were all developed by Nikon or developed to their specifications. It’s not like Nikon is hiring a Chinese company to develop a lens or body and slap a Nikon sticker on it (which they might be doing with some of the P&S line).

        People talk about the “old Nikon” as if everything were better decades ago, but my Nikkormat shutter died after not all that many actuations and there was also a problem with the meter and the associated power supply. After that Nikkormat, I switched to Olympus, although that shutter eventually died as well.

      • nobody cares

        Am I the only person who remembers when “Made in Japan” was perceived as low quality? FYI, I also remember when Korean manufacturers like Samsung (Samsung) and Multi-Tech (multi-crap) were bottom of the barrel. Things change

        • Greg Soravilla

          IMO Samsung still is. They can’t make an optical drive to save their lives, their electronics are marginal, and their phones have the worst color accuracy and shoddiest materials. What’s changed is people’s expectation level.

          • Jeff Gauthier

            I have several Samsung products and they are all excellent representatives. Love my S3 phonte, plasma TV, 2 SSD’s. They just work well. The S3, yes feels cheaper than an Iphone or the G2, but Samsung just works better.

  • asdf


    • chubbs

      Because the moon is in alignment with the constellation Aquarius.

  • omar maged

    i want them to test the d800 out

    • Micah Goldstein

      Pop up flash means it’s automatically less rugged. That’s a bunch of plastic on top attached to higher voltage than anything in a pro body.

      I always believed this, but got proof a couple years ago when I killed my D700 in a gentle rinse.

      • D800 Breaker

        Yep, mine fell over on the tripod from 3+ ft, not a mark on camera and worked fine until later I tried to use the flash and it worked intermittently so I sent it to Nikon. After a week they sent it back with a broken piece taped to it saying there was body casting damage and is unrepairable. Good thing I purchased the damage warranty and now I’m getting a new camera sent to me.
        First time I ever dropped a camera and first time I ever purchased extra warranty on one. Lucky me. I should have purchased the warranty on my D4 but hopefully it’s as tough as this D3s.

        • Neopulse

          You still can purchase a warranty for it. Look online, try Mack or Nikon themselves. They even ask you when you register your camera if you purchased a certain kind of warranty for it.

    • Wes

      Mine cracked already…concrete kills 🙁

  • PabloNY

    Would my D800 be as strong as this one or nowhere near it?

    I take so much care of my camera that it would not matter but it will be nice to know (yes, i take care of it, i’m not a “pro” i’m an enthusiast)

    • RWO

      Doubt it. Recently had my D800 get hit by a wave in the Pacific. Wasn’t submerged completely. The salt water killed it (client’s photos were saved though). Fresh water might be a different story.

      • Scott M.

        My D300 and me were hit by a mighty pacific wave and it still works like new. The salt seeps on occasion, but no real harm. Hope D800 will be as good if it happens again someday.

    • trialcritic

      I fell down on a hike and dropped my D800 on a rock path (6ft). It fell and bounced a couple of times, but works fine.

  • mENOTyOU

    I love the “battery”! Crasy GUY1

  • Redstart

    anticipating a lot of OMG WHY JUST GIVE IT TO ME to follow

    • Pixelhunter


    • muhkuh


    • Sleeper


    • Parampreet Dhatt


    • Marco


      • Guest


    • chubbs


    • Micah Goldstein


    • JimAbels

      That’s what she said!

    • Jed


  • n11

    Good follow-up to DRTV’s 1DMII abuse vid!

    • delayedflight

      Fify “Good follow-up to DRTV’s 7D abuse vid!”

      • n11

        Woops, forgot which model.

  • Best camera ever. 😮

  • Eric Calabos

    Impressive. but now, a $700 Sony smartphone can survive 30 minutes 1 meter underwater

    • Micah Goldstein

      …and still doesn’t have anything like the photographic capabilities of a D3s, which is still the lord of darkness. (D4 is notch less sensitive)

      • chubbs

        Doesn’t have anything like the price of a D3s either, but that sure is one hell of a Nikon!

      • Eric Calabos

        Of course .. but I mean Sony showed water proof capability is not something that justify several thousand dollars higher price. Smartphone, just like D3s, has LCD, mic, speaker, battery, buttons, ports, … while has far less space to put thick plastic in gaps. Nikon is not even in gorilla glass club yet

  • paintitwhite

    Looks like just a normal day for my cameras…

  • kevin

    I feel so sorry for the camera.

  • JR

    Better yet, get Outex at so you don’t have to deal with all that…

    • RWO

      Just took a look. Thanks for the link 🙂

    • Micah Goldstein

      Excellent! Like the old vinyl bags, but better! Thanks for the link!

    • Spy Black

      Not sure I go for the Sponge Bob & Square Pants look on that camera & flash…

  • fjfjjj

    Let’s see a manual focusing test after the mirror box is filled with water and frozen. I would predict that the mirror would need adjustment after that. Too many thin metal pieces holding critical alignment. They are designed to take shock, but not extended bending.

  • PeterRef

    Well, if they’re that strong I most either be very abusive or be very unlucky since my cameras are visiting NPS a couple of times every year.

  • wrrrrr

    Stupid! Go and play with your child toys instead !!!

    • name


  • BenjaminJD

    Water? That’s contraindicated by the owner’s manual!

  • Pablo Ricasso returned

    If we chip in enough…

    Can we get him to set fire to a Canon?

    • Pablo Ricasso returned

      And also…

      Is the D3 for sale?

      No, wait. Changed my mind.

    • Spy Black

      Already done.

  • Micah Goldstein

    How much? All of it.

  • Marceloshak

    The Canon 7D can do it too:

  • Aldo

    give me that camera and I’ll let you torture me instead…

    • ACandelaPhoto

      do you want to go through all these elements for torture? 😉

  • Jon Ingram

    This makes me cringe, a lot. I think I see some dust spots on the top image, lol

  • PoorNikonOnwer

    Must be nice to be able to have a spare $6000 or so in case it did break due to those tests…

  • Remedy

    Two words: FKING IDIOTS!!!

  • Remedy

    Two words: FKING IDIOTS!!!!!

  • Flakes

    All this is fine, but will it blend?

    • Wayne

      I’m sure it will!

  • groovinista

    Nice to know that if I drown, burried in a mudslide, or spontaneously combust, my D3s will take it all in stride.

  • DonD

    I was recently lost in the mountains of PA over night and the next day until 1:00 pm. D800 w/ Grip mounted on a BH-55 on tripod. No case, no cover, no plastic. Nada. It rained off and on all night and pretty much on all day the next day. Both batteries died about 4:30 am because I was using the monitor as a flashlight (not a very good one) Brought it home. Let to sit in dry house (after I was rescued) for 24 hours. Fresh batteries, new cards, worked like a champ!

    • john

      You should use the autofocus assist illuminator as a flashlight instead, FWIW 🙂

    • Wow, this story is worthy of its own blog post!

  • fixit

    The title should be “What my wife did to my D3s when she saw photos of me and her best friend in bed” (not that it happened to me — )

  • nawab

    Even if I had all the money in the world to put a Nikon D3s through this, I doubt if I would still have the heart……………………..probably never.
    But any Nikon mirorless……definitely!

    • Calibrator

      > But any Nikon mirorless……definitely!

      Not than anyone would need or wanted to know about their durability…

  • lorenzo

    There are a lot of sick people in this world!

  • Fraucha

    I like the crash test. The camera has no complaints and works fine. But when I leave my baby on the roof of a car and take off, he falls down he cries and stuff….what a sissy he is.

  • Ronald


  • mikeswitz

    What’s with the lighting in this video? Doesn’t rise to the level of a 60’s Godard film and that’s not a very high level. And this guy can’t figure out how to insert a CF card, but he is certainly invited to my next bar-b-que.

  • Alex

    Good to see it is rock solid indeed. But why those bloody french have to make this video so long where you can show the same in 2min with a bit of music rather than this beat/noise in background??

  • Tomo Bagaric

    I wonder if we can go through the same test, but with this french guy as an object of testing now…

  • suspicious mind

    Why can´t we see the serial number of the camera before and after each test? There´s a lot of breaks in this video, who can tell us it´s the same camera

    • Gord

      Yeah, cause I’m sure nikon is paying them its a conspiracy where is the birth certificate Alex jones.

  • Jessy Miles

    The next question is : Will it blend ?

  • Luke Lee The Photographer

    I don’t have my trust with this post. I had D3s with me in a snow storm. Killed my D3s. Lens (afs24-70mm N) survived, but D3s died and was sent away for repair. It came back and the store clerk said it’s practically new as boards inside the camera had to be all replaced for water damage. Cost me NZD 2K.

    • Nico

      I don’t know in NZ, but in China i found Nikon service to be quite prone to replace everything whatever. I found that cool when the camera was under warranty, a bit less so when i had to pay. Each time i brought a camera (D700), they changed like a dozen things (not even sure why since it’s a bit too much technical for my chinese level).
      Also had lens repaired for free (just took them 2 minutes to open the lens and tighten some elements and restore the AF, but that was nice to do it like that)

  • 103david

    Looks like something coming from a Canon fanboy site.

  • caneshooter

    Yet would NPS claim “Impact Damage” if sent in for repair?

  • itsmyname

    Surely you don’t believe everything you read on the Internet DO YOU ?

  • whmitty

    I tested my D7000 the same way. Now I have my trusty NO-SPECKS D600 and am very happy. No wise cracks either!

  • j45

    This is the dumbest thing i have seen yet. If the camera failed do you think they would publish it? I can’t believe anyone, myself included, bothered to watch this! 🙂

    what makes anyone think that the top canon wouldn’t survive the same? DigRev did a torture test a few years ago with a canon and nikon they both “survived” so it’s been done. Kai he is not. Who took the loss on the D3 for this dumbassed video? Anyone check this guy’s insurance company for fraud? LOL

    I can’t believe i was dumb enough to watch it all the way through. In French no less. And he was dumb enough to burn his fingers on the camera instead of waiting till it cooled down no less. Won’t invite him to my BBQ – If i do I’d better up my homeowners insurance!

    I hope the Canon guys don’t drift over here and see this item and thread. 78 responses Gee we all fell for it. Does this send a message that Nikon guys are really dumb? :-0

    Wonder how the guy’s fingers are. What a hero and dedicated Nikon guy!

    (come to think of it, it IS impressive that the camera survived 🙂 )

    • puarrr

      The original post didn’t mention the word “Canon” at all…

      Too deep into your war maybe?

      • j45

        just havin some fun not deep in any war i have as much respect for Canon as i do Nikon I am on my fourth Canon and only second Nikon (currently D90) Haven’t had any experience with high end Canon (just Powershots and a Canon F1n and AE-1 program in the day) Actually I am very intrigued about the idea of my next DSLR being a Canon no war Just respect for all …. but that doesnt mean i cant have a little fun …. couldn’t wait to have some fun with this latest torture video 🙂

        and REALLY wondering why anyone would deliberately seriously trash a $5000 camera for a video and with what means.

  • paparotz

    Don’t ask me why, but I know the D4 is a newer and “better” camera. but I still like the D3S the best for some reason. Can’t kill a Tank!

  • G0nzo

    Recently my mamiya 645 fell from about 1 meter on stone, stills works, luckily. Just the lens got a scar, but still works 😐 but now the cam looks old and used…although i bought it used but in very mind condition…now i can’t tell that 🙁

  • Neopulse

    Nikon D3s, I regret never having held you before 🙁 guess will have to stick to the D4.

  • Matt

    Don’t you just want to do the same to him?

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