Nikon Finally Pulls Back the Curtain on the D4s: A Less Noisy, Faster Version of the D4


We’ve had teasers, we’ve had spec leaks, we’ve had image leaks and we’ve had more (ultimately inaccurate) spec leaks. And now, finally, we have an official announcement: the Nikon D4s has arrived.

Being that this is the D4s and not the D5, it’s not a complete overhaul by any means. But the improvements between the D4 and its successor are significant.

Inside you’ll find a new 16.2-megapixel sensor that is more capable in low-light (quite a claim given that the D4 was already a low-light powerhouse), an EXPEED 4 processor that is supposedly 30% faster and a revamped autofocus system that should make it difficult NOT to capture a crisp picture. The camera can also now shoot 1080p video at 60fps.


As mentioned above, the main improvements here have to do with low-light ability and speed.

The sensor can now deliver 12bit uncompressed images from ISO 100 all the way up to 25,600. When you crank the ISO up to 11 (aka. Hi4) the camera can produce images at a lets-turn-night-into-day ISO setting of 409,600. And it does all of this with less noise than the D4 — supposedly generating images at ISO 1600 with the same amount of noise as the D4 at ISO 800.

In addition to that 30% increase in overall speed the new processor allegedly delivers, Nikon has also upgraded the AF system for both photos and video. A new Group AF setting can track five points simultaneously to make sure that a moving subject stays in focus at all times, while the AF algorithms themselves have been “thoroughly recalibrated” to ensure that no matter how abruptly that cheetah or sports star changes directions at a full sprint, they’ll stay in focus.

Here’s a closer look at the camera from all angles:






That’s really it when it comes to substantial improvements. The only other thing worth mentioning is that the camera now packs a more powerful battery, which adds a negligible amount of weight and, hopefully, not negligible amount of battery life. Expect to get 3,200 shots in single shot mode or 5,960 in continuous.

The D4s will make landfall on March 6th for the hefty-but-expected price of $6,500 (pre-order here). If you’d like to learn more, head over to Nikon’s Press Room by clicking here.

  • Felipe Yang

    Cue the negative comments by people who are obviously not the target for this camera…

  • Luke

    What is happening in that first picture? A D4s being tossed across the room?

  • Glen Berry

    I’m fascinated by the 409,600 ISO. With a 50mm f1.4 lens, is that enough speed to shoot handheld with nothing but moonlight?

    Also, how high does the ISO have to be, to allow shooting with nothing but starlight?

  • Photoguy

    As a full-time pro Nikon guy from back in the film days until now in the digital age, also as full-time pro, the D4 strikes me as kind of a boat anchor, kind of like the F4(which I hated). I loved the F5, though. Many of my friends have had the same impression of the D4. So I’ll be waiting for the D5.

  • Jørgen Udvang

    D4s is 1,350g with battery, F5 is 1,445g with batteries, F4 (with MB-20) is 1,201g with 4 batteries.

  • Daz

    pfft you can get a 41mp nokia lumia 1020 why would anyone spend 6500$ for 16mp massive brick

  • Paved Rahman

    Are you stupid?

  • Tomi van Cafferata

    nice sarcasm.

  • Teun

    Are you? Your sarcasm detector is obviously broken.

  • Syuaip

    you can’t do a proper selfie with a D4s..

  • Marius Viken

    I’m looking forward to the day when ISO 490,600 is actually an ISO stop you can use (or anything above ISO 6400 for that matter)

  • Genkakuzai

    The new ISO king, period.

  • Sky

    I doubt there’s any difference between this and DF.

  • Genkakuzai

    Quite certain there will be. Time will tell.

  • Jigsaw

    Screw that! I am a Canon user and my budget is nowhere near sufficient to get a camera like that, but, boy, do I want that baby!

  • mamana


  • w33w3r

    what a BOOOOOOOORING update.
    this camera does not even beat the 1D X from 2012.

  • Kawuuumm

    who here really thinks that ISO 409,600 is usefull for him?
    honestly you guys getting excited about a feature that will be useless for most.
    everything over iso 12800 looks just crap today.
    and how many here shoot editorial stuff for newspapers?
    it´s a mini update.
    as mentioned it does not even beat the older 1D X in speed or resolution.

  • 4434master

    no wonder scott kelby switched to canon.
    canon shooters had those features 2 years ago.

  • Birdy

    gratulations nikon….after 2 years nikon has nothing that tops the 1D X for wildlife or sports photography.

  • Jacob Dole

    409,600 ISO… Trammell Hudson working on that for the 5D3

  • Leonardo Abreu


  • Masterbater

    does it come with “oil of nikon” ???

  • Jacob Dole

    No dude, it flies.

  • 1232323

    ….looks like a shite HDR then.

  • 342355

    can someone please show some ISO 102.400 images he LIKES?
    do you actually dare to show them online?
    so what is this ISO war good for?
    does iso 102.400 on the D4s looks like ISO 56.200 on the D4 ?
    i doubt it…..

  • Jacob Dole

    … well if that’s how you classify looking out your own eyes.

  • wqewqeqwe

    when i look at a sunset i don´t see much shadow detail.
    i say DR is quite good these days.
    was worse for the last 100 years…..


    yeah well enjoy your noisy ISO 400k images.
    i guess your shooting swinger orgys in a dungeon all days?

  • Genkakuzai

    That’s cute. Having similar noise at 1600 as the D4 has at 800 sounds pretty good to me.

  • 3r53r3w23


  • 11234234

    JPG with noise reduction or raw?

  • Motherbeimer

    why is nativ ISO still only 25600 then?

  • dsddsds

    nativ is is still only ISO 25600.
    nikon has not much trust in their claims as it seems.

  • Pedro

    12 bit? Really?

  • hady

    Still the 1Dx is better (51200 Native ISO).

  • Rob S

    16MP?? What?? Ive got a cell phone that has……

    30 years from now we might declare the introduction of the D4S as the end of the MP wars and the beginning of the ISO wars. Or maybe just a battle in the ISO wars and the beginning of the “bit” wars. 12 bit images does seem a ‘bit’ low.

  • Rob S

    How about that PacMan switch! Turn to eat up competition!

  • Graham Marley

    12 bit is an option, you can still shoot 14. I think the 12 bit would come in handy for foreign press work in areas where bandwidth isn’t exactly abundant, or you’ve got razor thin deadlines and you just need to cram the images home as fast as possible. If it can shave 20% off of upload time, then it’s worth it.

  • The Truth

    What is this ISO war about anyways? It’s almost like congress lying to the people all the time about how everything they do improves things. Everyone knows that ISO at 409K is stupid and useless. In fact…ISO over 6400 is pretty much useless. How about making ISO from 6400 down to 400 noiseless??? Yah, that would impress me and get me to pay $6500 for a camera. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to get people to buy more cameras in a market that is dying because the high-end DSLR’s are just too damn expensive already. It’s all about greed anymore, not quality. Open your eyes, people!

  • loppa

    hahahah… ahahaha

  • mamana

    haaahahaahaha even fuji xt1 is better than nikon and canon

  • Masa

    congrats canon ! after 10 year you use te same banding sensor in every model …yay!

  • Ca-non_any_more

    High Iso is not only for low light. It’s for higher-st speed in some good light. And by the way, Canon fans, it must be frustrating to live with so much hatred.

  • Jonathan Coetzee

    As an aside, I work at Nikon South Africa and the official word from HQ in Japan is that it’s stylised D4S, with the capital letter S, not lower case as is customary.

  • Graham Marley

    All of us? I don’t take my choice of tools, or anyone else’s, personally. I work hard on my images, I deal with my gear’s limitations until I need more.

    Technique is king. Always.

  • Ca-non_any_more


  • Alan Klughammer

    For all you haters out there, I am old enough to remember when ISO 800 film came out (not pushed tri-x). It was pretty mediocre. We also have way more dynamic range, less grain, and, in my opinion, much better image quality than we ever had with 35mm film.
    This may or may not be your ideal camera, but it is in a completely different universe that what we had not too long ago.

  • alealeale ale

    depends it sure is better than the 70d and d7100 but it ain’t no comparaison with the 1dx or d4/s

  • alealeale ale

    congrats nikon! you’ve just given a reason to canon not to update their 1dx before at least 3 years!!!