Nikon D4S review

April 16, 2014

Overall Rating:


Nikon D4S

  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
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  • Autofocus:



Price as Reviewed:


It’s the pinnacle of Nikon’s DSLR range, but what does the 16.2-million-pixel Nikon D4S add to its predecessor, and what might that mean for you? While we test it, professional sports photographer Mark Pain gives his opinion

Nikon D4S review – Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video

The 0.70x magnification and 100% coverage of the D4S’s viewfinder is the same as its predecessor. It is large enough to really allow the eye to look around the scene, and bright enough to manually focus, especially with the focus indicator in the bottom of the viewfinder window.

For those who like to take long-exposure images, the viewfinder also has a useful shutter that prevents any light from entering the camera through the viewfinder during extremely long exposures.

As for the rear LCD screen, it is the same 3.2in, 921,000-dot screen as used on the D4, but as well as featuring an automatic brightness adjustment, the D4S now offers the ability to fine tune the colour of the screen. This has no doubt been added after reports that some original D4 cameras showed a slight green tint on the LCD.

One of the big features of the D4 was its video capability, but now, a few years on, the competition has more than caught up. The new D4S has therefore added the much needed 1920×1080-pixel-resolution video with 60p/50p frame rate. This builds upon the 24p/25p/30p rates that the D4 is capable of shooting.

As with the D4, the D4S has a stereo microphone socket that has the option of adjusting the recording sensitivity level. However, unlike the D4, the volume can be altered during recording, whereas before it was fixed when shooting. Uncompressed footage can be output from the camera’s HDMI socket to an external recording device, while also being able to record the compressed footage simultaneously to the camera’s memory card.

  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
  • White Balance: 2 auto, 6 presets (with fine-tuning), plus 3 custom and Kelvin adjustment settings
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Output Size: 4928 x 3280 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • Memory Card: 1x CompactFlash slot compatible with UDMA 7, 1x XQD slot
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane
  • LCD: 3.2in TFT with 921,000 dots
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • AF Points: 51 points, selectable manually, automatically or grouped
  • White Balance Bracket: 2-9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
  • Sensor: FX-format (full-frame) CMOS device with 16.2 million effective pixels
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x (1.5x in DX-format crop mode)
  • Exposure Modes: PASM
  • Weight: 1,180g (without battery or card/s)
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (supplied)
  • File Format: NEF (raw), JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously, raw small
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3 steps, plus B
  • Drive Mode: Single, continuous (Hi/Lo selectable) up to 11fps with AF + metering; self-timer
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG, 3-stage NEF
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3, 1/2 or 1EV steps
  • RRP: £5,199.99 (body only)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • ISO: ISO 100-25,600 in 1/3EV steps and Hi1, 2, 3, 4 (ISO 409,600)
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, continuous AF with AF fine-tuning
  • Dimensions: 160 x 156.5 x 90.5mm
  • Metering System: 91,000-pixel RGB 3D matrix metering, centreweighted (adjustable), spot (1.5%)
  • Tested as: Professional DSLR

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