Nikon D4s vs D4: 14 things you need to know about Nikon’s flagship DSLR

Nikon D4s vs D4: 14 things you need to know about Nikon's flagship DSLR

Nikon’s new flagship DSLR, the Nikon D4s offers a number of key improvements over its predecessor. Find out what they are in our Nikon D4s vs D4 comparison.

Nikon D4s vs D4: 14 things you need to know about Nikon's flagship DSLR

The Nikon D4s is Nikon’s new flagship pro DSLR. Its all-metal, weather-sealed body and 400,000-shot shutter are designed for professional sports, press and nature photographers and anyone else who needs absolute speed, low-light sensitivity and durability above all else.

We all knew it was coming, thanks to teaser videos and appearances behind glass at shows, but the specifications were secret right up until the moment it was officially announced.

And they have caused some controversy. Those expecting a new sensor will be disappointed. Anyone expecting a radical redesign or a breakthrough technology will have to wait.

Instead, the Nikon D4s is designed for working professionals, not technology-watchers. The list of improvements and enhancements over the Nikon D4 is long, and each one is aimed at photographers who use a camera like this for a living.

Each improvement represents an important percentage gain over the Nikon D4, and this can make the all the difference in a competitive professional environment.

Nikon D4s vs D4: 01 Sensor

Nikon D4s vs D4: 01 Sensor

The Nikon D4s uses a newly designed FX format full-frame 16.2MP CMOS sensor.

Many might have been expecting a 24-megapixel sensor or larger, but this would have compromised the Nikon D4’s continuous shooting speed and high ISO performance, both of which are key selling points.

Along with the sensor, the image processing system is also new, and this has an impact on both the sensitivity and image quality.

SEE MORE: Nikon D5300 vs D5100 vs D5200: 13 key differences you need to know about

Nikon D4s vs D4: 02 Image processor

The Nikon D4s uses Nikon’s latest Expeed 4 image processing system, where the Nikon D4 used the older Expeed 3 version.

Expeed 4 provides faster image processing and improved noise control, both of which play a part in two key advances in the D4s: faster continuous shooting and higher ISOs.

SEE MORE: Nikon Df vs D610 vs D800 – 12 things you need to know about Nikon’s full-frame cameras

Nikon D4s vs D4: 03 ISO range

What is ISO: understanding your camera's sensitivity settings (and the best ways to use them)

The Nikon D4 already offered an exceptional ISO range, but the Nikon D4s goes a full EV step further, with a standard ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable down to ISO 50 and right up to ISO 409,600.

This might seem excessive, but many high-speed sports take place in poor light or indoors, and this high-ISO capability allows the high shutter speeds needed to freeze the action even in these conditions.

And nature photographers often need to shoot at dawn or dusk or even after dark, in light levels where it can be difficult to see even with the naked eye.

To keep noise down and quality high, the Nikon D4s uses localised noise reduction, edge sharpening and tone control.

The high-ISO improvements apply to the movie mode too, which brings ‘3D’ noise reduction to reduce random noise and noise ‘flicker’.

PAGE 1 – Nikon D4s vs D4: Sensor, Image processor, ISO
PAGE 2 – Nikon D4s vs D4: Continuous shooting, Buffer capacity, RAW formats
PAGE 3 – Nikon D4s vs D4: AF system, Movies, Sound
PAGE 4 – Nikon D4s vs D4: Connectivity, Memory, Battery
PAGE 5 – Nikon D4s vs D4: Design and dimensions, Price
PAGE 6 – Nikon D4s vs D4: Our conclusion

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