This is the first major revision of the basic Zorki body by KMZ. Produced between 1951 and 1956, it preceded the Zorki 2 and was concurrent with the Zorki 1c and 1d models. The most prominent features are :
- A large combined viewfinder and rangefinder window.
- A new top speed of 1/1000th of a second.
- A new set of slow speeds of 1s, 1/2s, 1/5s, 1/10s selected by a separate knob on the front of the camera.
- A removable back similar to the Contax/Kiev bodies, no more bottom loading hassle.
- A diopter adjuster under the rewind knob.
- Strap lugs allowing the use of a neck strap.
- Vertical rangefinder adjustment not possible without at least partial disassembly of the top deck.
The shutter mechanism is basically the same as the Zorki 1 shutter.
Further improvement of the Zorki 3 resulted in the 3M in 1954. The slow speed knob on the front is now gone with slow and fast speeds now on the top speed selector. This new designed shutter speed mechanism is used in the successors: 3S, 4, and 4K.