Is the Nikon D4S Worth It?
Last week Nikon released an updated version of their flagship camera, the D4. The new camera, the D4S, comes with a few updates that will be wonderful features for some photographers. Wondering whether or not it’s worth it to put off rent and spend $6500 to have the latest and greatest from Nikon? Check out this overview to help you decide!
Photo licensed via Creative Commons by Flickr member Henry Söderlund
Nikon D4S updated features
16.2 megapixel sensor
This sensor is the same as the Nikon D4, so nothing much has changed in this department. Nevertheless, this is still a good sensor, producing high-quality results.
EXPEED 4 image processor
The D4S has a new image processor, which Nikon claims to be about 30% faster than before. The faster burst rate at 11 frames per second, over the previous version’s 10, demonstrates this improved speed. At this rate, you could shoot up to 200 JPEGs or 104 RAW images.
If you do any video shooting, frame rate and external recording are major updates. The new camera has the ability to capture 60 frames per second in full 1080p HD. Previously, you could only get 30 fps. Now, you can also use an external recorder, via HDMI, to record video files. This gives the added flexibility of not having to use expensive, and sometimes limiting, CF cards.
The autofocus system also gets an update. It still has 51 points, just like the previous version, but now allows you to select a group of autofocus points, instead of one at a time. This is nice if you only know the general, not exact, location of your subject. The system uses five points to find focus, all at one time.
ISO expandable to 409600
Nikon’s D4 has always been a low-light powerhouse, performing very well in difficult conditions with a respectably low level of noise. The D4S takes it one step further with another stop of ISO—now expandable to 409,600—allowing you to capture images with little to no light. Across the range of ISO, there is less overall noise when compared to the previous version.
1000 Base-T wired LAN support
If your photography requires you to shoot tethered, this is a welcome addition. The speed has jumped dramatically from a 100 Base-T connection to a Gigabit Ethernet connection. The exact increase in speed depends on a few other factors, including your computer, but this is a nice feature when you are shooting many RAW files in a row and sending them straight to your computer.
More powerful battery
This is not exactly a camera feature, but the new D4s is shipping with an upgraded battery. You should be able to get about 3200 shots out of a single charge, 400 more than the last version.
So, is it better than Canon 1D-X?
Canon’s competitor has been out for a couple years. Nikon’s update is catching up to Canon and, in some ways, exceeding Canon’s specs. Canon has a 18.1 Megapixel sensor compared to Nikon’s 16.2. Canon shoots 12fps with Nikon at 11fps. Canon’s ISO goes up to 204,800 while Nikon doubled those numbers with 409,600. The autofocus specs are hard to compare since they are different systems, but Nikon generally has a better reputation for AF speed and accuracy. Nikon wins in video frame rate and video options such as the HDMI out. Wired connectivity speed is the same.
So there you have it. If these specs leave you drooling and you have the money to spend, check out the new D4S.