Fast, powerful and reassuringly huge, the D4s feels like a real thoroughbred – but it’s one that’s getting long in the tooth
£4450, $6000 (body only)
t’s Nikon’s flagship pro camera, simple as that. The D4s costs about twice as much as the D810 (the next camera down the price ladder), and is the only current Nikon to feature typical top-flight pro trappings. These include a built-in vertical grip for portrait-orientation shooting, complete with a duplicate set of command dials, control buttons and shutter release.
Build quality is rock-solid. Something of a brick of a camera, the D4s is relatively monstrous in size and a real heavyweight at 1.35 kilograms. It actually weighs more than the D750 body plus Nikon 24-85mm VR kit lens.
Despite the weight, handling is a dream, and the camera feels equally natural in landscape and
Iportrait orientations. As on the D810, there are buttons on the top panel for important shooting settings, but the D4s features a third LCD screen around the back, with a row of buttons for ISO, image quality and white balance settings. The upshot is that just about any creative adjustment is available, easily and immediately. At a pro level, this sort of thing makes the difference between getting the money shot and not. The D4s takes everything in its stride, from fashion shoots to action, thanks to its superfast 11 frames-per-second continuous drive rate. Unlike the preceding D4, the newer D4s makes this possible, while also delivering continuous autofocus and metering on a shot-to-shot basis. In other areas, however, the D4s doesn’t look particularly ‘new’.
The 16.2-megapixel sensor is starting to look low-rent when you consider that even Nikon’s D3200 and D3300 entry-level cameras have 24.2-megapixel sensors, and that the D750 manages to deliver low-noise images with a later-generation 24.3-megapixel sensor.