Possible Nikon D4 sighting at a hockey game

A reader sent me those two pictures of an unidentified Nikon camera and lens taken at a recent NHL game:

The camera looks like a D3/D3x/D3s. The body and the lens are both covered up, but the shape of the pentaprism is what got me interested:

For comparisons, here are some press photos of the Nikon D3s pentaprism:

One possibility is a some kind of a Nikon D3/x/s body armor like this one here:

What do you guys think?

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  • Looks as though the lens is probably the 70-200 VRII with a soft hood and lens coat on it. As for the camera its a tough one, doesn’t look like its got a camera armour on it, although it could. Also I know for sports I wouldn’t be lugging around anything more than I would need to and the camera armour would just get in the way.

  • Paul

    This guy doesnt look like Chase Jarvis so I guess it’s not a Nikon D4:)

    • Chase is only testing the semi-pro bodies (so far) like the D90 & the D7000
      For D4 testing, look for the pro sport photographers 🙂
      It seems the body has no armor! This could be real I guess, and hope.

      • I hope the D4 is not going to be yet another overweight, bulky iteration of the D1 body design. Knowing Nikon it probably will. They just keep ignoring the pro who’s willing to spend the buck, but wants small and lightweight gear.

        • PHB

          Like the people who buy the D300 and D700?

      • Paul

        It seems obvious to me the camera body is wearing armor.
        Nothing new here.

        • 100% definitely body armor.

          • Fred

            100% agree with Ron.

      • SZRimaging

        Chase is a pro sports photographer 😉

    • Steve

      “This guy doesnt look like Chase Jarvis so I guess it’s not a Nikon D4:)”

      LMAO, funny stuff

    • broxibear

      No, that is Chase, he’s just wearing body armor lol.

  • Chris P

    Never mind the camera, could the lens be the long awaited 80-400 replacement?

    • are you serious? look at the picture and screams “I’m a 70-200 vr2”

    • jack

      “Never mind the camera, could the lens be the long awaited 80-400 replacement?”

      Shooting NHL with a 4.5-5.6 lens, are you f*cking kidding?

      • Where’s my…

        With the noise free ISO204800 sensitivity of the D4 magic quantum sensor, who would want to still carry around heavy large aperture lenses…

        • Max


  • Robert Bromfield

    It would have been great it the pic wasn’t grainy and lacked detail.

    • Rob

      if only the person taking the pic was using a D4…!

    • KT

      hate it when people go cheap and use their cell phone camera like that

  • dudemanppl

    Obviously some of that stupid camera armor crap.

    • GlobalGuy

      Totally armor, imo.

    • Karlosak

      Agreed, look at the front picture, around the shutter release button – there is a visible seam of the rubber coating.

      • PHB

        If it was a real D4 I would expect it to be disguised. There is this site called Nikon Rumors…

        So its going to be difficult to know for sure!

      • Akira

        Yeah, the seam around the shutter release makes me pretty confident it’s armor. I mean, it could still be a disguised D4, but I don’t see any real reason to believe so.

    • Richard

      I think so. Take a look at the LCD display on top of the body. The depth that it is set down from whatever the outer surface is suggests to me that it is an armor cover. The pentaprism also looks very much like the one in the armor picture. Lastly, all the covers on the lens seem, to me, to be something which would attract more attention than a lens which simply lacked markings identifying it which suggests that it is NOT a test unit.

    • jonnyapple

      I agree–body armor.

    • TaoTeJared


  • Ohh… good call on the glass, but the penta prism looks different too.

    I’ll wait to upgrade….. Cause it’s gotta be a D3X with more megapixels, higher ISO and LOWER base ISO, right? RIGHT?

  • It all depens on WHO was the photographer using the camera … a wellknow or ust a noone ?!? It will give us moree … credibility

  • Francis

    Lets all cover our camera up and by tomorrow there are rumors of the long awaited D4, D4s, D4x, D400 and not to forget the really really long awaited D800

  • dudemanppl

    And a 70-200VR II, they don’t have one for the 80-200 AF-S, 70-200 VRI is too narrow to be this.

  • mshi

    No, I can tell you it’s NOT a D4 because I have seen the prototype.

    • you mean those prototypes 🙂


      • mshi

        No, not those.

      • Danny
        • mshi

          is that what they allow you to shoot with in some peep shows?

    • James

      So the D4 looks quite a bit different to the D3?

    • Just A Thought

      I believe mshi is correct.

      Also, Nikon would not permit putting a Body Armor on a D4 prototype unless Nikon made the body armor.

    • You reject these images as proof of the possible camera because you’ve seen the D4. That confirms the D4.

      Taken that you truly have seen it.

      • Char

        He never said that there was no D4 coming or that this was not a proof. Of course, if this is not a D4 (which I think it is not, cause it totally looks like a body armor), then it is not a proof for the D4. And also, as you say, if he has truly seen the D4 prototype, then this is a proof that a D4 is in development (not that it will hit the market, though).

        On the other hand, this speculation is totally useless. We all know that there will be a D4, I guess noone has any doubts about that. The only questions are: “When will it appear?”, “What will the specifications be?” and “How will it perform?”.

        • Just A Thought

          “What will the specifications be?” and “How will it perform?”.

          Much like a D7K but with a full frame sensor and a couple of stops of better low light performance and a much larger buffer and a way more robust body. Say a D3S with an improved higher res sensor and a Led screen.

          The revolution will come when they switch to black silicon wafers for consumer sensors – probably another couple of generations into the future aka 2015.

      • NikonJoe

        Who needs a confirmation for the D4? Of course there’s a D4 being worked on, and of course there’s a D4 going to be released at some point. That is, unless Nikon is going bankrupt, or skips straight to the D5…

    • Observer

      Yah, and I’ve seen the D5 prototype

  • Mock Kenwell

    D3s with camera armor. Move along. Nothing more to see here.

    • James


    • Jay

      Totally agree
      We want to see so much a D4, that we only see that !

    • LoneBear


  • Ben

    I would disagree with above posters, I think there is an armor around it. Look at the second pic and the ridge around the shutter button….

  • Bruce

    I just got my D3S. New Years Eve. If it was a D4 it would be November before they were readily for us peasants. I’ll wait for the X/S model release while I use my new ride.

  • Mike

    OMG u guys actually think it does not have body armour on?! ARE YOU MYOPIC?? IN BOTH PICS U CAN SEE THE GAP OF THE BODY ARMOUR NEAR THE SHUTTER BUTTON!!

  • if it is body armor, it is not the one listed on B&H site

    • Lola

      Just because it’s not listed on B&H doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist ?

      • this is the exact same body armor listed at B&H, my point is that the body armor on the camera in question is not the same

        • Lola

          Can you help us and point out what the differences are as I’m having trouble seeing them ?

          • To me the edge on the top of the pentaprism has a lower profile. Look aslo at edge to the right of the top LCD screen and shutter release and compare it to the picture of the body armor – the edge again has a lower profile, it is almost flat.

            • Lola

              I think thats due to usage, wear and tear and pulling as you remove the armor.
              Somebody put out a BOLO on that photographer and we can ask him.

        • ZoetMB

          That may be true, but it still looks like body armour to me. If you look at the metering selector on the prism, it looks like the control is coming through a cutout, which has to be the armour.

          Besides, I would hope that Nikon would take a little more radical design approach to the D4.

  • Well, it sure looks like camera armor to me. Take a close look at the top of the pentaprism in the top right photo and the image of the armor. That is definitely a cut out for the meter switch. That doesn’t mean it is not hiding a D4 under it. That would be a good way to disguise one.

    I can’t figure out the lens though. What is all that wrapping for??

    • Just a guess on my part, but since it was taken at an NHL game, the lens “sweater” just might be to keep temperature changes — and therefore condensation — to a minimum.

  • Nick

    Call me crazy but it looks like a D700 with a grip and some body armour.

    • Discontinued

      You are crazy.

    • Patrick McKay

      Uhmm, ok,…you crazy! Let’s have a look for those reading glasses of yours. When has a D700 ever had the meter selection dial, on the side of the pentaprism???

  • jon

    Pix interesting – but – a lot of NHL / NBA shooters cover/black out parts of their cameras & lenses to help prevent reflections when shooting through the glass. Do hope in the near future we do see a D4.

  • zzddrr

    To me it looks like a baby elephant 🙂

  • zzddrr

    This is nasty! On the first picture the dude seems to humping that camera, no wonder it needs a body armor! Gosh, that’s worse that Gaga! 🙂

  • David

    Looks like body armor for sure. Also, keep in mind that hockey photographers shoot through a small hole in the glass. I’m not a hockey photog, but that alone would want me to put armor on my D3S, not to mention the possibility of a player skating by that I didn’t see coming with my lens sticking out of the hole.

  • SGN

    +1 for 70-200 VR II, the body pattern is exactly the same. Pity, I was reallyy eager for a 80 400 AF-S …..

  • Isn’t it logical that if it is a new body, a camera armor would be the easiest way to disguise it?

    I think Admin is correct. It is not a D3 body armor!

    It may be that Nikon may be launching FX bodies soon given the spate of FX lenses launches last year.

    • Nick

      No, that makes no logical sense. You are saying that if it’s armor, then it has to be a d4.

      • Nick,

        The statements are not connected.

        I meant that if a new body (unreleased) was being used – the ideal way would be to use an armor to cover it.

        Secondly, the B&H D3 armor is different to the one shown.

        Thirdly, people are free to make their own conclusions!


  • Why didn’t whoever take these pictures just go up and ask the guy that was using it?

  • Hmmm the grooves at the side of the viewfinder look similar to those on the armour 🙁

  • David Tala

    You see what you want to see 🙂

    It’s a body armor for sure and I think it’ll be D3 / D3s – the guy is just using armour and covers for his gear.

  • Funduro

    Darn spy photo was shot on a Canon, no wonder it’s quality is so bad.

  • Bonetti

    We all Want to think that this is the D4.
    But it just a D3/s/x with a Body Armor.

  • Chuck

    Definitely body armor. Besides, at a hockey game, a camera’s bound to get pretty cold especially if it’s made of metal. That’s why both the lens and the camera are covered in rubber armor.

  • DanH

    Looking at the cropped “hand shot” you can clearly see a line coming of the top of the lcd display and round in front of the hot shoe which is exactly the same as the one shown in this image


    As for the lens my guess would be the already suggested 70-200 vrII with some form of coating

  • If they’d taken the shot with a Nikon instead of a Canon, we might be able to tell what it is.

  • It looks like a fake thumb.

  • sean s.

    I do think it is a pro body with body armor. there are some lines that looks raised like the rubber armor is sitting on the body. But… I don’t recall any current nikon bodies having chrome shutter buttons though.

  • xavier

    It looks to me it is a rubber protection

    • Patrick McKay

      Using a rubber? He was just being responsible, and was shooting in “safe” mode. ;~)

  • F Master


  • Thomas Nielsen

    With all the crevices around the controls, covered logo, no red mark and general ugliness, this must be armor. The crevices spring to mind because having them on the body itself would mean crud collecting around controls and annoying edges that irritate cold fingers. The ridges along the pentaprism are there to reinforce the armor and keep it taught.

  • My 70-200 has a lenscoat on and it looks exactly like that.
    Why lenscoat? because I keep bumping my lens into things when shooting news assignment.

  • hope it is armor only. if not, design of that camera has gone down…

  • Discontinued

    there we go:
    a rumor about body

    • Hmm… it might be interesting to produce cameras with bullet-armor. What about shot with 9 mm gun? Let one patent that. 🙂

  • Trixtors

    It’s quite obvious, it’s a D3 with body armor.

    • Z-B-A

      Agreed also, the colors between armor and body are visibly different. In addition manufacturing for these mouldings as a body moulding will somewhat difficult.

      Given that the photographer is attending a sports game probably with many other photographers where camera bashing is more likely to happen, the photographer is just looking after his gear.

      Although Nikon could be shipping body armor with the D4 🙂

    • Z-B-A

      I don’t think it is part of the D3 or D2 series either. Look at the diopter adjustment knob and immediate area around it

      • rogger


  • Shame they didn’t take a picture of his face cause then we could have just asked him.

    • renard

      it also had body armor

  • Roy

    Don’t you think that if Nikon wanted to test a camera without giving its true shape and identity away body armour would be an easy way of doing it.
    Reading all the post above it seems to work as everyone has a different idea about what the camera is

    • Ren Kockwell

      First of all, that would mean the D4 has the same body as the D3 in order for the armor to fit. I doubt Nikon would risk leaks by having special D4 armor made just for testing. They’re cheap.

      Secondly, do you honestly think CA is better than gaffer’s tape?

      Thirdly, we know the D4 is out there being tested right now. It had better be if we’re going to see one this year. So it’s not “is it out there?” it’s “can we get a decent shot of it in order to speculate about its new features?”

      • Max Archer

        If past Nikon products are any indicator, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the D4 is similar enough to the D3 that the same armor would work on both. Maybe a couple buttons would’ve changed location, but probably ones that a pro isn’t going to be using in the middle of shooting hockey. (INFO, video stuff, etc.)

        The lens is definitely a 70-200 with a lenscoat and a Mamiya 77mm rubber hood, same one that McNally and a bunch of other guys use. (And I’ll probably switch to one when I finally lose/break my factory petal hood.)

        • Max Archer

          Oops, take that back, just took another look and it’s not the Mamiya, the Mamiya doesn’t have a ribbed front. It’s probably a generic one, I think my local camera store sells the same ones.

      • Elton

        My impression is that Nikon doesn’t put new gear in the field to test. They pay attention to feedback from the field, mix that in with their own engineering wants, marketing desires, etc, and come up with a camera. The prototypes get tested in house and when they’re pretty much at the final production stage the marketing guys get a few samples into the hands of favored pros to get marketing shots with. Those are shot under pretty controlled conditions. I seem to remember a marketing shot of a hockey goal for the 14-24. There were two “players” on the ice. Not game action.

        • Craig

          Controlled conditions. . . like Jim Reed sprinting up to a tornado with a D700 in his hand?

  • Too bad this is not a D4 prototype, but obviously a D3 with body armor.
    I was really hoping things would start to leak out when we are closing in on a presumed D4 release this year.

  • Rivereagles

    Listen to all of us…we’re just a bunch of fanatics…so hungry for something to sink our teeth into…come on, Nikon….give us some satisfaction…bring on the D800, then D4 several weeks later. It’s been TOO LONG!

  • H Kallio

    Could just be armor prototype a D3/D3s or some other model with a battery grip. Still wishing that it was a d4, or at least something pro and new!!

  • Steve

    But is it D4 body armor!? lol

  • Nils

    Thats 100% a Nikon Armor. I have the same one.

    • D200

      +1 lmao

  • Oh well, so much for hoping.

  • Kevin

    Sigma 120-300 f2.8 lens?

  • DSLRMania

    It cannot be just a D3x. If it were that would mean he bought it with his money. Now that we all see how he treats the machine, letting it loose on a stool with a rubber on it just like his dick, I doubt he paid for it or it is just a P&S camera. Latter being impossible, it is a prototype of a new camera given him for free to test both functionality and durability 🙂 .

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