The following Nikon D3S battery life numbers (how many photos can be taken before power from the Nikon EN-EL4a 11.1V, 2500mAh Lithium Ion battery pack runs out) is extracted from the Nikon D3S Manual and the Nikon D3S Specifications page.
Nikon provides two sets of battery life figures, one based on the CIPA standard, and the other on their in-house, Nikon standard.
Only a single power supply condition is tested:
- One fully-charged Nikon EN-EL4a battery pack in the camera’s battery chamber.
Figures calculated based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) testing standards (see the section titled “Standard Procedure for Measuring Digital Still Camera Battery Consumption” for more information) are obtained in the following manner (quoted from the Nikon D3S Manual):
Measured at 23°C / 73.4°F (±2°C/3.6°F) with an AF-S NIKKOR 24–70mm f/2.8G ED lens under the following test conditions: lens cycled from infinity to minimum range and one photograph taken at default settings once every 30 s. Live view not used.
Nikon D3S battery life, CIPA standard:
- One EN-EL4a battery (in the camera): Approximately 4200 shots
Figures calculated based on the Nikon standard are obtained in the following manner (quoted from the Nikon D3S Manual):
Measured at 20°C / 68°F with an AF-S VR 70–200mm f/2.8G ED lens under the following test conditions: image quality set to JPEG normal, image size set to L (large), shutter speed 1/250 s, shutter-release button pressed halfway for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times; six shots are then taken in succession and monitor turned on for five seconds and then turned off; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off.
Nikon D3S battery life, Nikon standard:
- One EN-EL4a battery (in the camera): Approximately 4700 shots
Unlike Canon, unfortunately, Nikon does not provide separate battery life figures for movie and Live View shooting, and photography at 0°C / 32°F / freezing temperature.
Other Battery Life Factors
In the D3S Manual, Nikon advised that the following will lead to a reduction in battery life and number of shots:
- Using the LCD monitor.
- The shutter-release button is kept pressed halfway.
- Autofocus operation is repeatedly performed.
- Shooting NEF (RAW) or TIFF (RGB) instead of JPEG images.
- Slow shutter speeds.
- Using the WT-4 wireless transmitter (applies to WT-4A / B / C / D / E — designation depends on country / region).
- Using the GP-1 GPS unit.
- VR (vibration reduction) mode on VR lenses is activated.
Some lenses draw more power from the camera’s battery during operation due to their physical (heavy lens elements that need more power to move) and electronic (type and technology of the VR employed) properties.
Nikon D3S – Main page