Nikon D4s
As of 2/2016 Nikon D4s is still Nikon’s flagship professional DSLR camera, but the new Nikon D5 is already announced and will be available around the spring of 2016.

Key Specifications

Here are the main specifications of Nikon D4s professional DSLR camera.

  • Effective Megapixels: 16.2
  • Sensor: 36.0mm x 23.9mm CMOS
  • Sensor Format: FX (Full Frame)
  • Maximum Continuous Shooting Speed at Full Resolution: 11 frames per second
  • ISO Sensitivity: 100-25,600 (Expandable from 50 to 409,600)
  • Monitor/Screen: 3.2″ TFT-LCD
  • Camera Weight (Body without accessories): 41.6oz. (1180g)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F bayonet mount
  • Card Slots: 1 CompactFlash© (CF) card and 1 XQD memory type card
  • Shutter Speed: 1/8000 to 30 sec. and Bulb
  • Movie Recording:
    Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 60 fps
    Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 50 fps
    Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps
    Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 25 fps
    Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps
    HD 1,280×720 / 50 fps
    VGA 640×424 / 30 fps
    VGA 640×424 / 25 fps

Nikon D4s

Nikon D4s Review

I’m here talking about my own experience with Nikon D4s which is a top of the line professional DSLR camera aimed at professional sports and action photographers as well as photo journalists who need to get the best possible pictures even in different circumstances (low light, very tight window of opportunity, etc.).

I’m not that kind of professional, but I wanted to try this camera and feel it, and it’s actually AWESOME! Of course, you need to know what you’re doing, otherwise you could easily end up with hundreds of useless photos in just a few seconds! I knew that before I got my hands on this camera. Luckily I have made some pretty great shots with it. You just need to use short bursts and know when to shoot, not by keeping the shutter release button down hoping to capture something useful. In this case you would end up with hundreds or even thousands of useless photos pretty fast.

Its body is made of magnesium alloy which makes it very durable, it can take falling, beating, all kinds of nasty weather condition, and still take wonderful pictures!

The main downside for me is its small resolution (16 megapixels). I would give up 50% of its speed if I could have 36 megapixels of the Nikon D810 in Nikon D4s body! I just love how the body fits in my hands, and it has illuminated buttons! Whoa! That’s something I really love! Extremely helpful in the dark. Also its smaller LCD’s have a nice blueish green backlight instead of pale green or yellow which didn’t make reading it as sharp as Nikon D4s’ LCD’s.

I once read a review by another photographer, and he was complaining that the Nikon D4s doesn’t still have an accurate screen colors, and it has color balance settings for its display. Well, in my opinion, he’s right about the first, but the color balance setting fixed it for me very well!
Nikon cameras tend to have a bit yellow-green displays, although D4s is greatly improved in this regard. For comparison, the LCD of Canon 5D Mark III has too purplish hue for me, and it’s not possible to adjust the color balance of its display.

The viewfinder of Nikon D4s is amazing! It is big and bright, and its focus points are not black squares with red glow thrown on top of them like on cheaper cameras — they are additive, they’re small and bright red squares on top of the image you see through the viewfinder, and they disappear when they’re not lit up. They don’t cover up anything which is great!

Shooting with Nikon D4s at 11 frames per second doesn’t make the viewfinder blind either, its mirror goes down very fast so you can always see where you’re aiming your camera, it’s just wonderful!

The autofocus is lightning fast and very accurate, its focus tracking works flawlessly. I mostly used mine with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens which is my favorite action and portrait lens because its autofocus is instantaneous and the image quality superb.

The battery life of Nikon D4s is heavy, I mean I could shoot over 3000 photos until I run out of juice. I have used it for video and often shot with Live View so I haven’t tested the battery only for regular still shooting. I can say that my Nikon D800 runs out of battery far quicker than my Nikon D4s.

Compared to Nikon D800, Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mark 3 this is a real beast surpassing them in every aspect but resolution. I would only have one camera — Nikon D4s — if it had, say, 24 megapixels (7 fps) or 36 megapixels (5-6 fps). I personally shoot landscapes, nature, studio, etc. and rarely some action.
Nevertheless, It handles so great, its low light performance is better than any other DSLR camera as of 2/2016, and you’ll never miss a shot with this if you know how to use it. It can shoot 200 frames in 18 seconds until its buffer is full! Beat that!

There’s one thing to keep in mind: don’t get too excited about ISO 409,600, because it’s rather useless, mostly because it’s not a native ISO, it’s a 4-stop BOOST which is crazy. It’s added there only for marketing purposes. Anything above ISO 100k (2-stop boost) is generally useless.
You can compare Boost ISO with Digital Zoom if you like, it’s the same principle. Native ISO is like Optical Zoom (good) and Boost ISO is like Digital Zoom (bad).

I understand that this review was not really technical, I only wrote down my thoughts and impressions about using my Nikon D4s.

Nikon D4s


1 Comment

I disagree with Ken Rockwell - STARGATE MAX · May 3, 2016 at 6:10 PM

[…] I personally find 20 megapixels barely enough, anything less than that would be crappy. I own a Nikon D4S and a Sony a7S II, they have 16 and 12 megapixels respectively, and the only bright side is their […]

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