As Nikon's new flagship model, the D4S offers advances over its predecessor, with revisions to a number of features and functions, including autofocusing performance, image quality, workflow and operation, and movie recording, adopted after listening carefully to the needs of professional photographers who sometimes find themselves working under demanding conditions.
The D4S brings together Nikon's advanced camera development technologies and underlines its legacy as a leader in imaging. This expertise means that this camera expands the possibilities for professional photographers who demand the best performance and image quality in challenging environments.
In addition to the four time-tested modes available with the D4 (namely Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, and Auto-area AF), the D4S offers a fifth AF-area mode known as Group-area AF (which uses 5 focus points: one specified by the user, as well as one each above, below, to the left, and to the right of the selected focus point). This mode enables not only smoother autofocusing, but also a faster workflow with continuous shooting at approximately 11 fps1 with AF and AE tracking.
The new EXPEED 4 image-processing engine, together with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor, and an effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels enable photographers to capture images with stunning sharpness, enhanced depth, and natural skin tones.
A range of standard sensitivities from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 produces images with sharper edges and smoother, richer colours. The D4S also supports extended sensitivities as low as the equivalent of ISO 50 and as high as the equivalent of ISO 409,600. In addition, the accuracy of the auto white balance has been increased for clear colour reproduction, even when shooting under difficult artificial lighting.
A number of other improvements have been adopted to meet the advanced demands of professional photographers.
Among these are improved viewfinder visibilities with a more stable viewfinder image during continuous shooting and a shorter viewfinder blackout time, as well as smoother operation with less stress from a redesigned grip and refined layout of operational buttons and controls.
Communication speed has also been increased with 1000BASE-T support for wired LAN communication, making it possible to have extremely fast image transfer. A RAW S Small (12-bit uncompressed RAW) setting has also been added for faster post-capture editing on a computer.
The D4S supports movie recording at a frame size of 1920 × 1080 with a frame rate of 50p or 60p. The EXPEED 4 image-processing engine also enables rich tone reproduction with minimal noise throughout the entire range of standard sensitivities (ISO 200 – 25,600).
Movies recorded at a 1920 × 1080 crop setting exhibit especially sharp and clear picture quality. Changes in exposure are also better controlled for smoother transition between frames with recording of scenes in which brightness changes greatly, even with time-lapse movies.
Nikon's flagship D4 camera, released in February 2012, expanded the possibilities for professional photographers, especially in the fields of sports, press, and nature photography. The D4 offered a number of features that not only responded to the demands of professional photographers, but also enabled capture of images of decisive moments that moved those who saw the images.
Among these were excellent performance over a broad range of sensitivities for superior image quality under difficult lighting conditions, fast and accurate AF capable of capturing the intended subject, the Advanced Scene Recognition System, which provided more advanced automatic control that allowed photographers to concentrate more fully on shooting itself, and support for the superior rendering characteristics of NIKKOR lenses developed with optical technologies only Nikon can offer. Moreover, the D4 also contributed to cultivating new possibilities for imaging expression with the ability to express shallow depths of field and maximise the characteristics of excellent performance at high sensitivities with movie recording.
Developed as the next-generation flagship successor to the D4, D4S functions, features, and performance were thoroughly examined and analysed from a variety of angles, resulting in a digital SLR camera that responds more completely to the demands of professional photographers. With this background, the D4S was developed to embody Nikon's response to the demands of professionals, upon which we place great importance, with functions and performance that support shooting in even the most difficult environments, and are able to respond to a variety of subjects and situations, as well as various lighting conditions.
D4S Primary Features
1． Advanced AF performance that responds to the strict demands of professional photographers
- High-performance AF that more accurately acquires and tracks the intended subject, even under extreme conditions
Reflection of ideas from professional photographers and repeated simulation of various advanced techniques they often use has resulted in the very precise subject acquisition and tracking performance that these photographers require, and upon which they can rely, under the most extreme conditions. Very precise adjustment of AF algorithms based on the Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module enables certain acquisition of even erratically moving subjects and those exhibiting little in the way of contrast. The D4S’ improved autofocus keeps the acquired subject in focus, even when it is coming closer, or moving away, at high speed. What's more, the D4S offers better balanced AF control with more precise focusing on the intended subject, and more accurate tracking of that subject, even when photographing team sports, such as soccer and rugby, when action may temporarily obstruct the intended subject.
- 5 AF-area modes for flexible focusing
In addition to the four time-tested modes built into the D4—Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF (9-, 21-, 51-point), 3D-tracking, Auto-area AF—the D4S is equipped with a new Group-area AF AF-area mode for more powerful and versatile autofocusing. When Group-area AF is selected, the camera uses one focus point selected by the user and one each above, below, to the right, and to the left of the selected focus point, for a total of five focus points, for focusing. By capturing the subject within the five-point group, even if it is small and moving quickly and erratically as is often the case when photographing athletes and animals, the intended scene can be captured with greater certainty without focus shifting to the background.
In addition, an AF-area mode can be assigned to the AF activation button on super-telephoto NIKKOR lenses. When this is done, the specified AF-area mode is enabled while the AF activation button is held down. This enables strategic switching between the AF-area mode selected with the camera and a different AF-area mode assigned to the AF activation button, allowing users to switch back and forth between vital modes instantly, without ever taking their eye off the subject, when photographing a variety of scenes that change drastically. This allows users to better maximize AF performance between bursts of high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 11 fps1 with AF and AE tracking.
- Powerful AF with a variety of combinations of NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters
The D4S is equipped with 51 focus points capable of acquiring the intended subject throughout the frame. 15 cross-type focus points at the center of the frame use phase-detection AF to detect the subject horizontally and vertically, and as all 51 focus points support a maximum aperture of f/5.6, the performance of line sensors and cross-type sensors is fully utilized with all AF NIKKOR lenses. In addition, the 15 focus points (9 at the center of the frame, and three each to the left and right of these 9)2 support maximum apertures faster than f/8, and 11 focus points (9 running horizontally at the center of the frame and 1 each above and below)3 support maximum apertures of f/8. This results in stress-free focusing, even when using 1.4× or 1.7× teleconverters, and certain autofocusing capability when a 2.0× teleconverter is used with super-telephoto NIKKOR lenses for a combined maximum aperture of f/8.
2． Superior image quality with stunning sharpness and enhanced depth that responds more completely to the demands of professional photographers and supports the speed press photographers require.
- Beautiful image quality straight out of the camera
Press photographers working on-site demand not only certain capture of decisive moments, but also the ability to quickly transmit their photos as soon as they are taken. Understanding this need, the D4S captures JPEG images with stunning sharpness, enhanced depth, and natural skin tones that enables the use of these images straight out of the camera. Less noise with shooting at high sensitivities and a range of standard sensitivities from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 enables images exhibiting sharper edges and smoother, more beautiful colors throughout the entire range (sensitivity can also be reduced to the equivalent of ISO 50 (Lo 1), or increased up to the equivalent of ISO 409600 (Hi 4) as shooting conditions demand).
Images captured with the D4S also exhibit little significant loss in resolution, even when cropped for use in newspapers, magazines, or online. An effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels, and the new EXPEED 4 image-processing engine and Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor, both developed by Nikon with meticulous research and repeated simulations, contribute greatly to these capabilities.
- Accurate white balance for healthy skin tones and textures
Auto white balance achieves healthier, more vivid skin tones under a variety of lighting conditions. Adoption of a new image analysis system enables more accurate extraction and identification of white portions within the frame. In addition, as white balance can be fine-tuned in smaller steps than ever before, more precise settings can be specified. The D4S is also equipped with a spot white balance option that allows users to manually measure white balance data beforehand from even a very small white or gray portion of the frame.
When the D4S is unable to accurately or satisfactorily measure preset white balance data, simply changing the area from which data is measured as many times as needed eliminates the need for repeating the process from the beginning. This helps to increase shooting efficiency for professional photographers who must work quickly when on-site.
3． Exclusive Nikon technologies and functions for more convenient and smoother workflow
- A high-performance viewfinder with greater visibility achieved with suppression of viewfinder image shake during continuous shooting
Improvements to components such as the mirror bouncer with the D4S suppress shake caused by mirror bound movement for more stable display of the viewfinder image. Viewfinder visibility with continuous shooting has also been improved with a shorter viewfinder blackout time and continuous display of the active focus point, even when the shutter is released.
- RAW S Small (12-bit uncompressed) image size option
A new RAW S Small option4 that records images using 1/4 the number of pixels used for full-sized RAW images has been added. This makes editing images on a computer after they have been taken faster and more convenient (file size is approximately 1/2 that of 12-bit uncompressed RAW L Large images).
4 Editing functions built into the camera and available from the Retouch menu, such as NEF (RAW)
Processing and Image Overlay, cannot be applied to images captured at this setting.
- 1000BASE-T support
The D4S is equipped with an Ethernet connector (compatible with the 1000BASE-T standard) that enables smooth transfer of high-quality image data, regardless of the format in which it was recorded (JPEG, NEF, TIFF), after capture.
- LCD monitor with function for customizing colours
The D4S is equipped with a 3.2-inch, approximately 921k-dot wide viewing angle TFT LCD monitor with which the protective glass and LCD panel have been integrated to suppress internal reflections. Display characteristics have been carefully adjusted for more faithful colour reproduction. In addition, the camera is equipped with a function that allows users to customize colours to suit their individual preferences.
- A form and layout for operational controls that make the camera easier to hold and operate
The shape of the grip has been optimized to make holding the camera more comfortable, even for those with small hands. What's more, thorough examination of the shape of the rear of the camera, and design and materials used for the sub-selector have resulted in a camera that offers a better hold and more reliable operation.
4． D-Movie function for recording Full-HD 1920 × 1080 60p/50p movies
Movies recorded at a frame rate of 60p exhibit smooth subject movement and changes in exposure, even when the brightness of the scene changes greatly. Noise is effectively suppressed throughout the full range of standard sensitivities (ISO 200–25600) for rich expression of tones and stunning sharpness that preserves details. The D4S offers selection from three image area5 options that respond to imaging intent—FX-based movie format, DX-based movie format, and 1920 × 1080 crop. With recording at a setting of 1920 × 1080 crop, 1920 × 1080p Full-HD movies are generated without resizing for stunningly sharp movies that are rich in detail.
In addition, uncompressed movies can be recorded directly to an external HDMI device connected to the camera's HDMI connector in movie live view mode. A dedicated HDMI cable clip is supplied with the D4S. When used with the optional HC-E1 HDMI cable, this clip prevents accidental disconnection of the HDMI cable from the camera. In addition, movie recording with the D4S is even more convenient as movies can be recorded to an external HDMI device and a memory card inserted in the camera at the same time.
The D4S responds to demands for movie recording with a variety of other capabilities as well, including the ability to change the image area in movie live view, and to enable Auto ISO Control for automatic adjustment of ISO sensitivity at a fixed shutter speed and aperture value.
The D4S also offers a new exposure smoothing function for time-lapse movie recording. This function smooths exposure between frames for fewer flickers in resulting movies.