Nikon has are it official, the new flagship camera is the Nikon D4s with a price tag of $6496.95 and available on March 6. This camera is an upgrade to the D4 which was released back in 2012 and improves on the features most likely to appeal to photographers shooting in low light. For the record, I do not own a D4s, I have not shot with one, nor do I plan on buying one (unless I win the lottery). The simple truth is that I don’t need this camera. The Nikon D4 that I use now is still giving me all that I need in a camera.
Lets take a look at the specs and what they mean to me. I have no idea how you use your cameras and what is and isn’t important to you. So this is just a look at the specs and my needs as a concert shooter.
The sensor size and resolution is the same as the D4. Both cameras are full frame (FX) at 16.2 Megapixels. So no difference there.
The D4s has a top rate of 11 fps with full autofocus and exposure which is 1 frame up from the D4. Slight improvement but not worth the upgrade for concert shooting. I can’t think of a time when I need 11 fps instead of 10 fps. But if you are looking for a great sports camera then the fps is important.
The ISO range is 100-25,600 which is an improvement over the D4 which has a native ISO range of 100-12,800. There is also a much higher maximum ISO in the D4s, but lets look at this realistically, very few people ever need ISO over the 12,800. But what happened is the image quality at the lower ISOs improves. So, I expect that the quality of the images taken at ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400 will be better on the D4s than the D4, but how much better? Time will tell…
The D4s has a new image processing engine. I have no idea what this means in practical terms. This new engine supposedly allows for the higher ISO settings with lower noise and a slew of other technical stuff. I don’t really pay attention the processing engine in my camera now. It just does what it does and it does it well. There are also improvements in the auto focus system and a new group auto focus mode that looks really interesting.
Is any of this worth $6500 to upgrade from the D4? Not for me right now. Notice I didn’t say if it was worth upgrading from the D3 or D3s or D2 or D800 or any other camera out there. I don’t know the answer to that. I only know what I use and what I plan on doing.