First Nikon D4s vs. D4 high ISO comparisons

The first Nikon D4s vs. D4 high ISO comparisons (and other D4s information) can be found at Clubsnap. There is also a short video demonstrating the Nikon D4s shutter burst:

See also this Nikon D4s vs. Nikon D4 specs comparison.


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  • EGGzz

    Amazing ! Trying to find an excuse to buy that thing…. 🙂

    • skaarj

      Just consider it an unexpected but important medical expense. (Like having a penis cut off and needing to be re-attached).That is how am going to justify it.

      • AM

        John Bobbitt, is that you?

  • Henri De Vreese

    Wow, that is pretty significant!
    That’s the difference between unusable and good! Looks like 2 stops better at that crazy high iso.

  • vFunct

    I’m still blown away about the fact that cameras can do 1600 ISO.. =^)

    • guest

      No kidding. My MP has lousy high ISO performance.

    • peterw

      Back in 1984 I (I was about 17) I photographed in a theater with Fuji 1600 asa film in a Canon AE-1 and Canon FD 50mm F1,8 from my father. Leaning on the stage and posts.

      Nice grainy and colourfull.

  • Peter

    Seems to be a big improvement!


    Come on people how here really uses the camera at that high ISO? I do wedding photography mostly LOW light.. and I’ll I care is about CLEAR pictures in NATIVE ISO… all that HI settings just publicity stunts..

    • GEOMET

      (spelling mistakes sorry) Come on people who here really uses the camera at that high ISO? I do
      wedding photography mostly LOW light.. and I’ll I care is about CLEAR
      pictures in NATIVE ISO… all that HI settings just publicity stunts..

      • I know this is very shocking to discover, but many people like to photograph stuff other than weddings. I’ve heard that many people spend less than half their time getting married.

        • Craig

          ++1 😉

        • humenbean

          So what do you do that will require you to shoot at 205000 ISO? I shoot Weddings, Nature, Studio, Etc. and I never need more than 3200, maybe 6400 in a pinch. And that’s in an all black room and I need to get depth of field.

          I understand it’s easy to say /smirk well some of us don’t shoot weddings… That’s great, but what do you do that honestly requires this ISO? I shoot with my D800 at 6400 and barely see any grain when I print. It honestly reminds me of film the way it resolves anyway.

          What I’m trying to get at is that it’s great that we all do different stuff, but I feel like they could be investing their research into better things than 200k ISO that is better than before, but still isn’t usable for almost anything. One of the areas that needs updating is FPS to MP ratio. We have so many extra cameras on the market just because of this issue. The second we have much higher write speeds half the cameras on the market would be useless. That’s just one of the area…

          • alexpetrenko

            I want to remind you about photojournalism. This activity involves lots of situation when you need high iso

          • Good performance at ISO 6400, say, implies decent performance at ISO 102,400, say. And there are plenty of people who can use excellent performance at ISO’s like that.

            I avoid flash. I like existing light. High ISO performance means being able to shoot high shutter speeds and possibly even small apertures in poor light, rather than being forced to compromise something.

            There are plenty of simple things that one might want to photograph at very high ISO. In my case it might be a child blowing out birthday candles, or a school play, or a nocturnal animal, or kids chasing fireflies.

          • RBR

            The current FPS leader is Canon’s 1DX at 14 FPS. Canon supposedly achieved that figure by optimizing the RAW file algorithm. It would be interesting to know just what slight of hand they used. The total “package” of sensor, analog to digital conversion, image processing and image file creation/transmission is a complex mechanism that must be well integrated. I have had a number of people remark about shutter sound after shooting an event along side a Canon. It is puzzling that Nikon have not made progress in this area.

            • If RAW processing is the thing holding up FPS then the camera makers are doing it wrong. Seems like the current FPS leader is RED which incidentally also is the IQ leader.

              I think the Nikon vs. Canon war is ultimately a sideshow. It’s a fight between buggy-whip manufacturers in a new world of automobiles.

              First of all, Nikon and Canon have this huge legacy in glass. But the future is lenses optimized with sensor and post-processing in mind (lenses as part of an image pipeline), which resets the legacy to zero. (And, in any event, SLRMagic and Rokinon show they can match Leica and Zeiss with conventional optics.) I also suspect the era of lens mount lock-in is nearing an end. The new guys build cameras that are lens mount agnostic (e.g. you can buy Black Magic Cinema bodies with EF or M43 mounts) — the only thing preventing a body-maker from supporting AF on suitable lenses is proprietary interfaces.

              At some point RED or Black Magic or someone we’ve never heard of will simply blindside these guys. It’s classic innovator’s dilemma — even if someone at Canon or Nikon has a clue, it would be easier for them to succeed OUTSIDE Canon or Nikon.

      • Zesty

        People that shoot stars etc without wanting trails, this would be pretty BadAss.

        • AM

          Why don’t they buy a good GEM and tripod? They’ll save $6K easily.

          • saywhatuwill

            But the ground would be all streaky and stuff.

          • humenbean

            The justification department of photographers is pretty strong. It’s less about what do I need for the job and more of, can I cook a pancake with my camera? Because if I can I’ll gladly spend an extra $1,000 on a pancake adapter.

        • jon

          exactly, want to mount it on my APO Takahashi!!!!

      • D700guy

        I have a D4, and I rarely shoot above ISO 1600
        If you can get exposure any other way than bumping up the ISO, you will always get a cleaner image.

    • vFunct

      The NATIVE ISO goes up to 25600 now.

      This sensor is 1 stop better then the D4, which is amazing.

    • Mike

      Extending the upper limit is an indication of how good the native range is. Higher ISOs mean the native range gets cleaner. In a dark church where one used to use a tripod means you can get 1/400 hand held now. And be cleaner than when you used to use a tripod.

    • RC

      Well, for starters, I might want to shoot at an F-stop other than wide open.

    • I shoot in bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues, which are almost always challenging in terms of light. If you want the native atmosphere for these events, high ISOs are vital.

      • RBR

        Oh, yes. I have a D7100 which is “challenged” to say the least in such circumstances and have used other people’s D4 bodies on occasion. Going beyond ISO 6,400 frees you up to do so much more. Getting the ISO capability up there so that you don’t spend endless hours in post processing makes all the difference in the world.

    • saywhatuwill

      I usually use 1600 – 6400 quite often. The only reason why I stopped at 6400 was because quality just falls apart after that. If my sensor looked good higher up, I’d use that.

  • Joseph Li

    wow that 20.4k ISO of the D4s on the model is just amazing
    in low light u can shoot anything with that ISO
    even for D4 I hardly go above it appears the D4s is at least a stop cleaner

    • guest

      I’m having trouble finding ASA 204800 on my Luna Pro…

    • Eric Duminil

      204.8k ISO 😀

  • Mato34

    In that thread, you can compare JPG of the D4s beside on of the D4 one step below (say, ISO 25600 of the D4 just above the ISO 51200 of the D4s), and the ones of the D4s look better.

    Let’s wait the RAWs, but in JPG it looks more than one step better

  • wonderingpi

    Marketing marketing!!! Gona get you all. Buy better glass you’ll be better served.

    • n11

      Exactly. Your new D3300 will serve you just fine at weddings : )

      • wonderingPI

        @n11 no I bought a d3s with 20k clicks for 2800 cash and a 300 2.8 vr2 for 4800 cash… almost a year ago now.
        d3300? please…. go have fun with that..
        I see your point Peter but how much of this is marketing vrs ACTUAL gains in the field.
        Once we get more real life comparisons I may change my mind.
        Just seems the gains here are like Apple upgrades…

        • RBR

          One thing that seems real in the same images is the lack of green cast which should be welcome.

          • wonderingpi

            No green cast.on the d3s 🙂 but I tend to.use custom.wb settings.

            • RBR

              Yea, that’s how many people deal with it, but, if Nikon actually got it out of the image file to start with, it’s an improvement.

    • Peter

      This is a camera for people who already have top-notch glass and still need more. There is also this thing called depth of field. An f0.95 lens is not going to help you in the slightest if you need to shoot f16.

  • Peter

    That is incredible! Good to see that in the days of the D800 lowlight performance is still being improved. As someone who always has to shoot in extremely low light, this is great to see (dance in dimly lit theaters with long lenses handheld challenges even today’s greates cameras, even more so when shooting backstage stuff where often all you have is a bit of bounce from the stage that is quite far away and barely lit in the first place).

    And for all those who say they will never use ISO this high: It means that ISO settings like 1600 will also look a lot cleaner, which means you may be able to save on flash power and thus rent less, travel lighter with fewer power packs and so on in many instances.

    Still, as someone who will never use the high FPS and other features like that, I’m still hoping for a D700 replacement with similarly good high-ISO performance (or at least D4-level) and a silent shutter mode like on the 5D Mk III. I’m quite disappointed that Nikon chose to cater to rich amateurs in the $2k price segment instead so far and hope that now the D4s is out maybe at least the D4 sensor will make it into a smaller body. The additional cost for a single-digit model is just not worth the price tag for people like me. In fact, save for high ISO and the usual Nikon advantages like ergonomics, a D4 offers nothing a 5D III wouldn’t give me. I’d hate having to switch to Canon or even Sony because Nikon stopped to make cameras that fit the needs of people like me.

    I seriously wonder if Nikon’s plan is to force professionals that used D300s/D700-type cameras to the D800 and D4(s) type models to make way for higher-priced fullframe amateur bodies like the Df and the D600, which I would very much regret.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      “Rich amateurs”?? Who in the hell do you think you are? Since there’s only one Nikon in the $2k price segment, I guess you’re talking about me. I’m not rich and I get paid so I guess you don’t know what you’re talking about. As for, what sounds like wedding photography, there are some really good ones and then…a whole lot of others. Which kind are you??

      • Peter

        Sorry Patrick, I didn’t mean to come off as condescending.

        My point is that Nikon is now trying to sell cameras that have ridiculous things like a retouch button on the D600 or cosmetic nonsense like the DF while intentionally crippling the cameras with respect to AF point positioning, ergonomics, flash sync speed, card format and so on to make them less suitable for every day professional use. Shortcomings people who know close to nothing about photography, but were told that full frame is the best and have enough money to spend on a rather expensive camera will not mind, and that is exactly who Nikon is trying to catch.

        I’m not saying the people buying these cameras while choosing to live with their shortcomings are idiots or unprofessional. In fact, many people I respect and look up to use a D600 and do great work with them. I’m saying that that Nikon is not aiming at or catering to these people with these cameras.

        I am lamenting the fact that for certain applications, some of the limitations are deal breakers (like for me the AF) and that that an intentionally crippled type of camera that is designed and optimized for at a different kind of user with different needs, seems to replace the D300/D700/Canon 5D competitor line for Nikon, which was aimed at people who are technically knowledgable about photography and use them professionally (i.e. close to every day use vs. occasional holiday and family events).

        With $2k segment I was referring to the whole Df/D600 type products, which is also roughly where the D700 was before it was discontinued. I’m not too familiar with the pricing in the US, so all that was a rough guess based on international prices. Sorry if that was misleading.

        Getting paid has nothing to do with anything. If I need a D700-type camera that suits my needs and other manufacturers offer that for around 2000€, I’m not going to go with a D4, whether I am making money with it or not. It is not about making back the investment. You could also justify one of the horrible Hasselblad Sony mods by that logic. My point is that a lot of people who know close to nothing about photography but have a disproportionately high budget for a camera are targeted with these models and thus spend a lot more on a camera than would be reasonable. I’m not implying that anyone who buys such a camera is rich or unable to make an informed buying decision.

        Since I can’t be alone with my needs and would prefer not to change my system, I am hoping for Nikon to come out with a product tailored to us, somewhere in a price range between the Df and the D800.

        Again, I’m sorry if you felt personally attacked by my comment.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          In that case, I’m sorry for overreacting. There’re just so many people on these forums who are more than willing to dismiss every camera or lens they don’t need and anyone who uses them.

          As for your points, while I agree with them as far as the net effect, I recognize that Nikon is NOT in the business of making me happy or even making a camera specifically for me. They are in the business of making as much money as they can. Just like me. If someone will pay me more for less, fine.

          • IamSpeechless

            This noob always jumps the gun. Do not ever say sorry…just do not type any words without wise thoughts. You are arrogant and please act your age or do not get on Nikon rumors. What kind of noob are you? Thank you.

          • Peter

            No offense taken. I probably should have phrased things less ambiguously.

            I disagree about Nikon not being in the business of making us happy. They make the most money with lower-end DSLRs and (used to) with P&S, and the only reason why the can sell them for more than, say, Pentax, is that „it’s what the Pros use“.

            If they don’t keep the highend part of the market happy, those people are going to move on, and the low end will follow their example after a certain lag. The growing adoption of the Fuji X-System among the professional community is testament to the fact that making the things that customers want and need is a successful strategy. I think they even outsold Nikon on lenses in the last quarter, though rebates factor into that, but still.

            Nikon is resting on their past laurels right now. And they are taking it out on the lower-end pro segment and I am both personally frustrated as one of the people affected and worried because I fear it will come back to haunt them (not to mention the disservice they did themselves with the QC issues on the D600 and the generally bad reviews of the Df, no matter how well it sold). I certainly hope that I am wrong with that impression.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I guess I don’t put that much thought into it. I view companies, countries, etc. like animals. What I mean is: if a tiger eats someone, you can’t blame it, it’s a tiger.
              On the other hand, I think too much about individuals: I jump to the wrong conclusions, I’m too quick to assume the worst, etc..
              I try to avoid reading comments here for that reason, but I’m always hoping to learn something.

            • Matt_XVI

              Good that you can recognize and admit that about yourself. Shows some strength of character.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I don’t know about the “strength” part but everyone says I’m quite a character! 😉

            • Cuculain

              Well I totally agree with you Peter and consider your statements well thouht through and put.
              After all there was a statistic about how many cameras are used in NR some days ago. There are as many people still photographing with the D700 as with the D4…and they are not taken care of by Nikons product line.
              I´m not expecting Nikons purpose to be making me happy…but if they want my money, I expect them to fit my needs.

              Btw I always wonder why this discussion about the D700/D300 replacements always have to get so emotional…

              These two cameras are just perfect for certain needs and I´m not going to purchase any camera who will not be an improvement to those for a reasonable price.

              And no D800 will not do, though a wonder ful camera, DF wouldn´t do, either, D4/D4s a little bit over the top pricewise for many semipros and amateurs.
              And yes, you can take wonderful picutures with any of them or even a D3300. Still if Nikon wants the money of their second biggest user family (according to NR-Statistics) they better meet our needs 🙂
              And yes, of course they don´t have to…:-)

          • Michiel953

            But wouldn’t it be wonderful if, just like with cars or racing bicycles, you could choose add-on options from a basic chassis? Now that would be truly innovative, and certainly not impossible. Look at how far the car industry has gone in that respect.

          • RBR

            The question in my mind is how long Nikon can continue down this path. At some point the company will reach a point of no return at which point further development may not be practicable. Canon have already taken a decision to exit the low end P&S market. Things change.

        • Matt_XVI

          For what it’s worth I think you are spot on.

      • Matt_XVI

        Whoa! Patrick! A little overreacting don’t you think? I also know very talented working professionals with Df(s), but for the majority of Df owners I think he got it spot on. Nikon doesn’t really offer an ideal camera for wedding photographers anymore whereas Canon does. I find it quite sad. I’m now on my fourth D700 because the filesizes of the D800 are way too big for my need and the autofocus on the D600/610/Df hunts way too much for what I’m used to. I have a D3S as well but with two of us shooting with 4 bodies at all times for 12 hours straight it gets quite heavy both on the shoulders and on the wallet. BTW I’d like to consider myself in the former category of wedding photographers you mentioned, but I guess photography is subjective.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          The Df isn’t a 2K camera. The 600/610 (same camera for all purposes) is the ONLY 2K camera Nikon makes. In either case, I don’t think it appropriate to negatively characterize people for their choice of camera, or any product for that matter.
          The only reason I mentioned wedding photographers is I was kinda pissed and his post indicated that might be his area of use. I’ve seen some wonderful wedding photos and some, well…not so wonderful. Of course that applies to all photography.
          I do agree that it would be great to have an updated D700 but it ain’t here yet and may never come. For my purposes, fast autofocus isn’t that important but high ISO performance and overall IQ are, so…D600.

          • Peter

            Just to put into perspective where my criticism comes from: I don’t shoot weddings, I specialize in dance and ballet, which is even more challenging for a camera than weddings (I assume at least). I need to be able to freeze quick motion in extremely low light, and the AF needs to not only be spot on (DOF with a 300mm lens wide open can be tough), it also needs to be fast enough for me to catch a precise moment for jumps and poses. The D700 can do that, but a D600/Df wouldn’t be anywhere near reliable enough. Trouble is, I need a camera that is as quiet as possible, which neither the D700 nor the D600 nor the D800 (nor the D4s for that matter) are. I am also hitting resolution limits with the 12 megapixels when high-ISO images need to be cropped in post and then printed on posters, especially since I often need to shoot slightly lose when I don’t know how high someone will jump.

            That’s why I am looking for something on par with a 5D Mk III or Sony A99 for my next body purchase, feature- and pricewise. With the D4s announcement, their top model is now a step ahead again, so I was hoping that Nikon might now finally be free to release something like a silent D800 with a lower resolution sensor that performs as well at high ISO as the D4.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Sounds like the Sony A7/A7r is the way for you to go. I wouldn’t wait for Nikon to come out with something similar.
              I couldn’t imagine trying to shoot dancers. You have more patience than me (obviously).

            • clifflwms

              Well, if he needs a quiet camera, that leaves the A7’s out, those shutters sound like a lion munching on gazelle bones.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Really? I thought one of the benefits of mirrorless was quiet shutters!? I don’t really know since I have no interest in them.

            • Steve Hapke

              The Sony A7R has a shutter vibration that you can see in the pictures and good luck getting Sony to admit it is there or fix it-check Digilloyd for examples

            • Lester

              Hi Peter et al. regarding Dance photography, I have some considerable experience over 7 years in this with D90 D100, D300, D700, D3 and currently D3s and D600. ( 70-200 f2.8 vrII and 300mm f 2.8). D700 was the first camera that really shone for me in this field and the D3 and D3s were fantastic but too loud, but after using the D600 my D3s sits as a spare body in the dance hall. As I never use motor drive for dance, taking well timed (mostly 🙂 ) single shots I very rarely have any focus issues at all. The low light sensitivity is fantastic, colours are great and the added resolution allows for shooting a wider angle for the leaps and cropping later. And it is much quieter that the D3s. Though not a pro body, it outshines the others in this field for me. Different story shooting athletics where the 9fps with perfect focus of the D3s with fast moving subjects is what I need.

            • Peter

              Thanks Lester, that’s quite interesting to hear. I never use motor drive either, so that’s not an issue at all. I’m mostly worried about rehearsal pictures where dancers are very close and a few inches in focus make a huge difference. I don’t like to go wide angle up close for ballet whenever I can avoid it since proportions are distorted too much, 50mm is kind of the limit where I still feel comfortable. Another problem area are the super avant garde performances where there is close to no light at all, making it hard to focus with any camera, even manually. When I tried the D600 at a trade fair, the AF didn’t impress me at all, but based on what you say, I might actually rent one and give it another try. The quality control issues don’t make me particularly comfortable about the longevity and reliability though.

              In general, I’m a bit reluctant to further invest in a system that may or may not offer me an upgrade path in the future. And I just feel bad buying a product that gives me less than what it could be and what the competition offers, just because Nikon decided to design it with Uncle Bob in mind.

        • RBR

          Thom Hogan had an interesting insight on the Df Pro vs. Amateur argument. Amateur cameras are historically shipped as a kit for the most part initially. Not so with Pro cameras.

          • Peter

            On some international websites, the Df and D600 have “/consumer” in their URL, and D800 etc. have “/pro” or “/professional” or something like that. Should give us a pretty good clue how Nikon’s marketing department thinks of these cameras. By the way, Fuji for instance offer their pro-level cameras (like that new X-T1) with optional kit lenses as well. Canon offered the 5D II as a kit with the 24–105 f4. I think there was a similar deal for the D700, forgot which lens it was.

            • RBR

              The difference is that they “offer” kit lenses for their pro bodies. Nikon normally ship kit packages first and bodies only later with their consumer products.

  • Eric Calabros

    What I see is the Best Color Noise Reduction Algorithm of the imaging industry

    • Henri De Vreese

      No, currently RED and NOKIA have that honor. (red for super high-end and time-consuming and nokia for instant and fairly cheap)

      • guest

        There’s a vast sales space between those two extremes. You do know that, don’t you? I’ll bet Nikon does.

    • kassim

      My thought exactly. Algorithm things are better done in post process.

    • Spy Black

      Actually, that honor goes to the Fuji X-Trans sensor. It’s design allows for virtually non-existent chroma noise. Have a look at the RAW output of the APS-C-sized (!) X-Trans sensor against a few FF Nikon bodies below. And just think, it appears like they’re going to release a FF version of it.

      • Eric Calabros

        noise reduction in raw file is not new, even Pentax has been doing that. However, you should consider the algorithm for their non-bayern pattern, which costs resolution loss as you see. in demosaicing, sometimes there is a trade off between color accuracy and resolution. (any error in color prediction leads to color noise). so they prefered the first. in pixel density, a 16mp APS-C sensor is equal to 36mp FF, so naturaly in this test, Fuji’s image should be sharper (as we know most of fuji lenses are above average in resolving power), but look how soft it is. of course many dont care, they want clean images, even softer.

        • jon

          “Bayern pattern”?? The german version of it… ahahh 😉

          • Rudi

            “Bayer” is also German!

          • Eric Calabros

            Fixed, thanks

        • Spy Black

          I’m not so sure the lack chroma noise is a process of NR in post process so much as a by-product of having the green sensors ganged together.

          What you’re perceiving as detail in the Nikon sensors is actually an illusion created by the noise and contrast. If you look closely you’ll see there’s no real loss of detail in the Fuji sensor.

          • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

            There’s loss in detail. These samples are also from dpreview. x-pro 1 looks fine to me. But something like a D4 just looks alot better. x-pro 1 is just as close to fullframe performance as any other aps-c camera, like D7100, which looks fairly close to the x-pro 1.

            • Spy Black

              I’ll assume that’s raw unprocessed. Strangely enough however, while there’s obviously advantages to the larger sensor, if you apply some sharpening to the Fuji samples, which I did from your screen grab, you not only have fairly similar detail, but also fairly similar luma noise. However the Fuji still has superior chroma noise. Have a look at my hack here:

            • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

              Here are both RAW run through LR. Only corrected white balance and added sharpness to them both.

              Although X-pro 1’s detail looks very close to the D4, The D4 is still ahead, and that’s only because of less noise tearing in the details. (most visible on the left darker side of the hair)

              Don’t get me wrong here, X-pro 1 is one of the best APS-C cameras out there, but just as any other APS-C camera, it doesn’t rival fullframe in overall IQ, which was my original point.

              If X-pro 1 had raw 12800-25600 ISOs I think the difference would just increase.
              And if we compare jpegs, we are just comparing how the image processors handle the images, and thats one of x-pro 1’s strongest point, and one of the weakest of the D4.

            • Spy Black

              Yeah the Fuji is still a remarkable sensor. Mind you, we’re looking at the first generation X-Trans sensor and data processor. The XT-1 will have the X-Trans II sensor and a new processing engine. It will be very interesting to see what kind of IQ that combo will yield. As I mentioned earlier, there’s also been talk of a FF X-Trans sensor as well. We’ll have to wait and see about both.

            • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

              Very interesting indeed. There’s been alot of strong competition in these recent years. The “best camera” seems to be switching brand every couple of months.
              Even lens makers like Sigma have started to be more aggressive with their product releases.
              Exciting future it seems.

      • Ola

        Pha! Those images are note even the same size. What a stupid comparsion.

    • Robert

      If the color noise reduction algorithm is indeed as improved as it looks in these sooc jpegs and Nikon chooses to use this algorithm for coming models (especially the D800 successor) I would really appreciate it. I find that some grain from high iso luminance noise can even add to certain pictures, color noise however most certainly not so.

  • Sebastian

    I doubt that drastic improvements in jpgs at 200k ISO translate into similar improvements at much lower ISO, especially not in raw. The improvement in ultra-high ISO comes from lower read noise (not much) and better in-camera processing (most of it) that is possible with faster processors. Neither of these helps closer to base ISO, where sensor are limited by photon noise, which can only be improved by higher quantum efficiency, QE. And while QE is still improving, it’s not much, and certainly not one stop (i.e., doubling). More like a few percent per generation.
    That being said, better 200k ISO shots may be a valuable thing when you need to get that shot no matter how dark, and you get paid for it.

  • n11

    That’s awesome, huge improvement! I’ll look forward to seeing comparisons betwen the d4s/d4/d800/MKIII/1DX/D40

    • Henri De Vreese

      Hmm, I was following you 100% until the last 3 symbols… 😀
      D40? Lmao (for a comparison at least, fine camera)

      • Arthur Nazarian

        Haha, me too! Excellent hidden joke.

      • Polygon

        it’s a KR joke ;D

    • wonderingpi


      You sure it’s not your trusty d3300 you’ve been using.

    • Rob

      Very happy with the quality of D40 images, personally I think that is a great camera to use as a baseline.

    • Polygon

      You SO won this thread.

  • Mansgame

    both are pretty unusable at that ISO.

    • iamlucky13

      Depends how bad of a lighting situation you’re stuck in. Definitely not producing magazine covers with that, but if you’re shooting something newsworthy in really bad light, and you get indentifiable results, you gained something.

      Enough to be worth upgrading if you have a D4 or a D3S? Probably not.

      Actually, it looks like no improvement in overall graininess and only a slight improvement in chroma noise, but the main difference in the samples is just the better white balance in the D4S example.

    • blitz

      Not exactly the point, you know. No one shoots that high. This is an extreme case.

  • fjfjjj

    Now the Df looks even worse.

    • Arthur Nazarian

      What? They changed the look of the Df alongside the revealing of the D4s?!

  • Pios

    I want to see a comparison at ISO 6400 and 12800

  • Wu

    I am just totally blown away, blown away. I never go above 12800 on D4 but this may change it all. looking forward to see ISO25600 D4Svs Hi1D4(25600 equivalent) comparison

  • John

    That is truly incredible. There are times it is useful, like surveillance.

    • wonderingpi

      Yes for surveillance it’s good, Video still be useless for spin, good camcorder with auto focus and zoom > also good luck showing a rolling timestamp on the d4s video once you put it on another medium, for court purposes(and you can’t edit video or alter it) Would love to know the response time on the d4s.
      D4 is actually a slower camera then the d3s when turning on from cold and shooting. Talking about machine startup time not fps.

  • vipmediastar

    what lens is on the above video

    • Ray

      looks like 200mm f2

    • Albert Lim

      The lens on the D4s in the video is 400/2.8

    • Alex Ortega

      if i remember correctly it was a 400 f2.8

  • jake

    I want to see the comparison @ ISO 12,800.

    I bet it will be like b the D4/Df @ 6400.

  • Don McPhee

    K is it me or is the D4s soft in comparison to the D4 in ALL the examples??

    • Yes

      Seems claimed high iso -improvement is only because the noise reduction is turned up. yes the d4 look a lot more detailed, the d4s are smudged by NR too much

    • UA

      The ISO1600 pic of D4s is clearly either OOF or motion blurred. Compare to D4s’ ISO3200 which is better (still that is also OOF compared to D4). Crappy pictures make crappy comparison. Cannot really say nothing about those.

      • UA

        Also, check the ISO6400-25600 pics that are not in the comparison. They are very sharp.

    • Arthur Nazarian

      Misfocus unfortunately.

      So comparing is a bit difficult, but the difference in chroma noise is evident, and amazing.

    • Chris Gullett

      Yes, the tester admits the D4 was using more sharpening. So not a good comparison.

    • Glynn

      The photographer who took these images has commented that in hast to get the comparisons done his D4 was set to a sharpening setting of +7 – two sharpening settings higher then the D4S.

      Add to this that noise can make an image appear on first sight slightly more detailed than an image without.

    • Albert Lim

      Just to clarify.

      1. Both cameras are set to High ISO NR Normal.

      2. The 24-70 lenses used are not the same lens. The 24-70 mounted on the
      D4s belongs to Nikon Singapore, while the one mounted on the D4 is my
      personal property. No focus checking/tuning was done on the D4s, while
      my D4 and 24-70 has been my bread and butter combo for a while now.

      3. The SD picture style was used in both cameras, but the sharpening in
      my D4 is set 2 notches higher (at 7). I missed this one setting before
      starting the quick test shots.

      4. We found that both cameras are returning slightly different shutter
      speeds in some situations. So we decided to use Aperture priority mode
      instead. If anyone is interested, the D4s returned a slightly longer
      shutter speed than the D4 at some ISOs. We have no idea if this is due
      to a difference in metering, or due to the different angle.

      Hope this helps!

    • neversink

      They used two different 24-70 mm lenses on each camera. The one on the D4 was the photographer’s personal lens and the one on the D47 was a demo – probably had been knocked around. They certainly didn’t check the focusing on the D4s photos. They look slightly out-of-focus.
      It does appear that the a lot of noise is eliminated with the D4s that is apparent in the D4. i would like to see more.
      I’m still not purchasing a D4s as I rarely even shoot at 6400, let alone 3200. But this camera’s low light capabilities is making me lust after it. I will wait to replace my D4 with a D5 or maybe even a D6.
      I would like to see better comparisons.

  • Guest

    My D800 is made obsolete by this.

    • Henri De Vreese


    • Bob

      No problem! Just send it to:

      Bob Schlier
      430 NW Excelsior Blvd
      Charleston, SC

      And thanks!

      • Guest

        Ok, no problem, please send a $3000 check to:

        4546 Main St., Edmonton, Alberta

        After I cashed the check, the camera will be on its way to you!! Happy shooting!

        btw, being obsolete doesn’t mean I don’t want it, but if you would like to sponsor half of my future D4s, I’d gladly take it!

        • DuncanM

          $3000 for a used D800!?! Are you guys smoking that maple syrup up there?

          • AM

            Those freezing temperatures truly damage brains.

  • Reele

    I canon look has finally come throughout the D4S.

    • Aldo

      red hue instead of green… I saw it too

  • Jay

    The colour look like that of the D3, at last a true replacement to the D3.

  • Not quite fair comparison D4s NR is switched ON and the softness in images is very visible compare to D4 sharper ones… but That 12-25K ISO looks sick good for some crazy low light weddings IMO 🙂

  • Rob

    Yes you will get beautiful colours and amazing photos of black cats in coal cellars. I am impressed with cameras that can pull ultra high ISOs and make it look good, though I agree that for most people this is a feature that won’t be used. Cameras that can get clean shots at around 1600 to 3200 should cover most situations. Clean ISO 400 with a fast lens will let you take nice shoots in a gloomy room any darker and I have to ask what is it that people want to photograph? Amateur astronomers will rejoice I’m sure.

    • Jeff Hunter

      I’ve used my D800 to photograph Mardi Gras parades at night. The maximum ISO setting of 25600 was indispensable for a shutter speed of 1/250 that was necessary to stop motion. Noise reduction applied in Lightroom resulted in surprisingly good photos. My point is, there are a lot of situations where extremely high ISOs are a very beneficial feature have.

    • MFF

      How about wildlife-in-motion, 400mm at 1/1000 second (or faster) at prime-time dawn and dusk – ISO 400?… methinks not.

    • JXVo

      Wildlife pics (especially birds) with a 500mm lens in gloomy or overcast lighting – I want a shutter speed of 1/1000 or faster at apertures from f4 to f8. ISO 400 does not nearly cut it but clean shots in the range from ISO 3200 to 6400 would be great.

  • Chris gullett

    Looking at the pics in the thread, there are a couple clicks more sharpening on the D4. I am not sure what effect that has at a crazy high ISO. It is very noticeable at 1600 to 12,800

  • MFF

    I dunno… take a look at the eye detail in the comparison shots from ISO 1600-12800. It looks to me like the low noise comes at the expense of a very significant loss of resolution. Better in raw? I sure hope so.

  • kassim

    RAW level noise reduction at work.

  • Aaron Shepard

    In the comments, it says sharpening was accidentally set 2 steps higher on the D4. That seems to be the source of most of the difference below the highest ISOs. The sharpening is causing more artifacts.

  • RC

    This is a HUGE improvement! It’s funny to see those trying to downplay this advance. They must be trying to justify their current setup, and/or they’re just plain jealous =)

    • lord eels

      of course there is an improvement, numbskull. but this test has issues, so how much of an improvement can’t really be determined here. those looking for the d2x-to-d3 level of improvement will never be happy again with any camera nikon releases. buy the full updates and skip the S updates, or vice versa, few d4 owners will make the jump with their own set ups. nikon knows this.

      • grant torres

        You know this Lord? Numbskull?

      • RC

        What are you like 5?

  • HotDuckZ

    It’s made me imagine for D4X with 2.7x 4k video crop at 1:1, high speed burst for short time at 11 fps (3-5 photos is ok), 11 fps with RAW size S.

  • Albert Lim

    RAW files for 3 images are now available for download. Pictures are shot at ISO 6400, 12800 and 25600.

    • Albert Lim

      I think you will need to download ACR v8.4 Release Candidate. I am running Lightroom so I am unable to open the RAW files.

    • neversink

      Pretty amazing. Would like to see several more. Not thrilled with the 25600 image, but it does look fairly clean considering the ISO. What are your conclusions, Albert? I’m sure you have taken more shots with the camera.

      • Albert Lim

        I have yet to open the NEF files at this point. I am very busy with work with several deliveries this week. I might have some bandwidth tonight, and if so, will download a trial copy of CC and ACR8.4RC and give it a go. One of our forum members used NX2 to open the files and this is his comments (quote):

        “I have downloaded the NEF files and opened it with NX2.

        The file ( DSC_0421.NEF) is very malleable, the colours are very smooth.
        After AWB and color correction, the skin color looks great to me. There
        is some luminance grain at the transition and shadow area (hair) but I
        cant see any chrominance noise.

        For a ISO25600 shot, this is marvellous,”

        • neversink

          Thanks for your reply.
          I will check back later for your comments.
          Enjoy your deliveries and your day!

        • Alex

          Shit then! if we still have to correct WB and do colour correction … Im not happy …

          • Albert Lim

            I think different people have different tastes and their own preferences in terms of how they want their photos to look. Some are happy with direct output, some like to add their own style. Many creative professionals also prefer files that are very flexible to work with, so it can be better integrated into their workflow and additional work added to the images for a final product.

            • Alex

              Agreed but does anybody really like the greenish tint of Nikon files in high iso and inappropriate if not “unaccurate” WB?

              But we knew it from the strap, Nikon makes yellow and Canon does red … silly me

  • Tony

    D4s sensor would make a great Security Camera!

  • OBOE Chung
    In this test, the sharpness which set up in the picture control is not the same. And I feel the D4s sample images are a little out focus.

  • Alex

    I am impressed with the WBalance and skin tones mainly! At once, we, nikon users, are gonna be able to use JPG format! + save time in post-processing on RAW + be happy with what you see on your rear LCD + stop being jealous of Canon in that respect. Iso improvement seems great.

    Although it looks like minor improvement, it is to me the first time that Nikon has nothing to envy to Canon + much better RAW capacity and DR. Now you choose between Canon faster autofocus lenses (hit or missed, like Sigma!) or Nikon more accurate autofocus lens/body combination + the ability to correct anything on RAW

    D4s – I am Happiness … but you are gonna need money

  • johnlsl

    Very impressive, and Looks like they have fix the green color shift issue in High ISO (From a Daily D4 User)

  • stephane

    D4s direct jpeg 12.800 ISO crop 100%

    D4s Raw (edited with AfterShot pro) 12.800 ISO crop 100%

    • Alex

      Impressive! I like the tones of the jpg better but it seems the quality of the raw file is great anyway

      • stephane

        D4s is not officially supported by AfterShot, so i have a fake colorimetry (So this raw it’s not representative of the capacity of the D4s).
        It was just to show the HEAVY noise reduction on the jpeg ^^

        • stephane

          * this raw is not …… ah my bad english lol

  • Genkakuzai

    Kicking ass and taking names.

  • Tondu

    AF, Speed and low light performance are awesome…exactly what I would need for animals (birds and others). But the price tag is much more than I can afford… 🙁

  • Marcel Speta

    Is there any other way how to open RAW files except using Photoshop CC and new Adobe Camera RAW?
    I tried to cheat Adobe LightRoom 5.3 just changing the the string “D4S” to “D4” in Hex Editor on RAW files and LR opened it, but completely covered by violet color 🙁 Seems there is different color mapping in the RAW file…

    • Albert Lim

      You can use Capture NX as well.

  • Benjamin Browning

    6400 on the D4s is what 12800 is like on the D4. I use my D3 at an absolute max of 10000, with respectful results. 25600 is just insane as a native range.

    • Pepe

      Or the contrary … 😉

    • wonderingpi


  • Mikael

    I basically see two different white balance settings. The parts the picture where the colours are similar (just around the eyes), D4s appear to be just as bad as the D4. Switching white balance settings between the two cameras would result in the same result in favour of D4.. In this picture the white balance default of D4s is better, for the majority of other pictures it might be the opposite..

  • D700guy

    The images that came from the D4 actually look better up to ISO 6400.
    I’d like to see a more controlled and scientific comparison.

  • philip

    For those who need the one stop> then you will get up and buy it for that the one stop difference – My d4 is awesome-the low light video is awesome – my d800 has an amazingly large file – each camera is for different use- akin to having different lenses – As of tomorrow i do not have the extreme need for a one stop difference – But as with all new tech the day isnt over yet so who knows — I preordered the D4 the day they announced – but i will wait on the D4s …

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