Nikon D4s Used – Bargain or Not? [2020 Guide]

Nikon D4s DSLR Camera [New and Used 2020]

(D4s Prices = refurbished $3,999 or used from $1,650)

The Nikon D4s is one of the Flagship camera’s from Nikon. It’s simply the best of the best. It is superseded by the D5 and D6 but it offers extreme performance at a lower price tag. The Nikon D4s has been described as “Thrilling”. It allows professionals to perform at his/her peak in creativity.

Nikon engineers worked very closely with professionals in the field to improve the ergo design which makes the D4s more comfortable and easier for different size hands to hold for long periods of time. The grip of the D4 was reshaped and an anti-slip pattern to the joy stick control plus a larger compact flash card slot cover. The D4s is significantly easier to hold for extended periods of time… like 3-4 hours.

Used Nikon D4s DSLR

Nikon D4s Specifications

  • Improved 16.2 MegaPixel FX-format CMOS image sensor
  • EXPEED 4 image processing engine
  • 51 Point Auto Focus system
  • 3D Color Matrix metering III with 91,000 pixel RGB sensor
  • Enhanced Picture Control
  • Group Area Auto Focus
  • Face Detection viewfinder setting
  • ISO Range 100 – 25,600 extendable to 409,600
  • 11 fps in AE and AF modes
  • 3,020 images per battery charge
  • 1080/60p video capture
  • Compact Flash and XQD card slots
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Shutter tested to 400,000 cycles

Nikon D4s Comments [Buy at Amazon.com]

Picking up a Nikon D4s for the first time can make one feel overwhelmed, AND you should be. It’s quite the complex machine.

The D4s is a sophisticated (enormous number of buttons and knobs) and very capable DSLR however its advanced technology enables even the beginner to shoot like a Pro. There are a myriad of settings and functions but Auto Focus and Auto Exposure will take the work out of shooting and let the novice enjoy his/her creativity.

The Nikon D4s is a dream to hold. The composite/plastic dressed magnesium alloy body, if you can call it plastic, is something engineered by SpaceX (not really). It looks and feels solid and tight. Composites or plastics have come a long way. The D4s is neither heavy nor light in weight. It feels just right. The knob/button/controls are well designed and easy to operate. The LCD screen is large and clear as 4K. The menu system is intuitive but massive with options.

Nikon D4 vs D4s

Let’s compare the D4 to the D4s and see the differences. The D4 came out in 2012 while the D4s came out in 2014. The D4s is newer but the differences are not that great.

Specifications Comparison [D4 vs D4s]

FX-Format Full Frame CMOS Sensor:  16 Mp vs 16 MP
EXPEED 4 Image Processing Sensor on both
51 Point Auto Focus System on both
ISO: 100-12,800 vs 100-25,600
Nikon F Mount on both
3.2″ LCD screen on both
Optical Viewfinder same on both
Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080 video resolution
Face Detection Focus: No vs Yes
Battery Life:  2600 shots vs 3020
Dynamic Range: 13.1 vs 13.3
Low Light ISO: 2965 vs 3074
Shutter Life Expectancy: 400,000 on both

The D4 and the D4s are very close in features and performance. It would be hard to choose between the two. If you are buying one, choose the one that is cheaper and/or in better condition if used.

Nikon D4s vs D5

You could opt for the D5 and spend $6,000 but the D4S will challenge the D5’s capabilities closely. However, the D5 will outshine the D4S when the conditions become challenging though.

Nikon D5 Specifications

  • 20.8 MP FX-format CMOS image sensor
  • EXPEED 5 image processing engine
  • 153 Point Multi-CAM 4K Auto Focus system with 99 cross-type sensors
  • 3D Color Matrix metering III with 91,000 pixel RGB sensor
  • Enhanced Picture Control
  • Group Area Auto Focus
  • Face Detection viewfinder setting
  • ISO Range 100 – 102,400 extendable to 50 – 3,280,000
  • 12 fps in AE and AF modes
  • 3,780 images per battery charge
  • 4K UHD video capture
  • 3.2 inch LCD screen
  • 2 XQD card slots
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Shutter tested to 400,000 cycles

D4s vs D5 Specification Comparisons

Sensor (same D4s vs D5)
D4s: 36.0 x 23.9 9mm CMOS
D5: 35.9 x 23.9 9mm CMOS

Resolution (D5 has an edge)
D4s: 16.2 Megapixel FX-Format CMOS sensor
D5: 20.8 Megapixel FX-Format CMOS sensor

Image Processing Engine (D5 is better)
D4s: EXPEED 4
D5: EXPEED 5 with new noise reduction system and energy efficiency

ISO Sensitivity Range (D5 slightly better)
D4s: 100 to 25,600
D5: 100 to 102,400

File Format (same)
D4s: 12 or 14 bit NEF, 12-bit lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed, small RAW, TIFF, JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG (L/M/S)
D5: 12 or 14 bit NEF, 12-bit lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed, small RAW, TIFF, JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG (L/M/S)

3-D Color Matrix Metering (D5 is better)
D4s: 91,000 pixel RGB sensor
D5: 180,000 pixel RGB sensor

Advanced Scene Recognition System (same)
D4s: YES
D5: YES with face detection menu and watch area menus

White Balance: Keep White (D5 is more advanced)
D4s: NO
D5: Auto 0: Keep White added – more natural color with EXPEED 5 and auto white balance

Frame Advance Rate (D5 faster)
D4s: 11 fps
D5: 12 fps with AF/AE, 14 fps with fixed focus and exposure

Buffer Capacity (D5 has more)
D4s: 133 shots
D5: 200 shots

AF Sensor (D5 has the edge here)
D4s: Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX Phase Detect AF, 51 AF Points and 15 Cross Type AF Sensors
D5: Multi-CAM 20K Phase Detect AF, 153 AF Points, 99 Cross Type Sensors and 15 AF Sensors to f/8

Dedicated AF Processor (D5 has the edge)
D4s: NO
D5: YES

Battery Life [D5 has 22% more]
D4s: 3080 shots
D5: 3780 shots

Price New and Used
D4s: Refurbished $3,999 Used $1500+
D5: New $6,500 Used $3,800+ Refurbished $4,900

Comments

The D4s is a professional grade DSLR from Nikon and can do stills and video exceptionally well but if you need an edge in image quality and video quality then the D5 will provide that and then some. The D5 replaced the D4 and is much more advanced then its predecessor. It has a ridiculous amount of features and can process a ton of functions extremely fast. It’s AF system is incredible and has its own dedicated processor.

Nikon D4s vs D810

The Nikon D810 is at the top along with the D850 of the consumer grade Nikon cameras. The D4s is the professional grade and there is quite a difference. Professional grade cameras are tested to 400,000 shutter cycles while consumer grades are only tested to 100,000 shutter cycles.

The D4s is a $4,000 camera whereas the D810 is a $2,700 when new. The D810 is simply amazing to shoot. It’s super quiet and smooth as silk.

Nikon D810 Specs

  • Full Frame FX Format
  • 36.3 MP CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • ISO 64-12,800
  • 5-7 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Shutter Speed 30 – 1/8000 sec
  • 51 Point AF System
  • Viewfinder 100% coverage
  • 3D Color Matrix III with 91K pixels
  • 1080p Video
  • Built in Stereo Microphone
  • 3.2″ 1.229M dot LCD
  • CF Card [UDMA-7 and SDXC]
  • Battery Life 1200 shots
  • Weight 965.15 grams or 34 ounces.
  • Release Date July 2014
  • Retail Price New $2,797.00  Used $1,100

D4s vs D810 Specs Comparison

Nikon D4s Nikon D810 Difference
FX CMOS 16.2 MP FX CMOS 36.3 MP D810 +
30 to 1/8000s shutter speeds 30 to 1/8000s shutter speeds Same
EXPEED 4 Image Processor EXPEED 4 Image Processor Same
ISO 100 – 25,600 ISO 64 – 12,800 D4s +
11 fps cont shooting 5-7 fps cont shooting D4s +
3.0″ LCD Screen 3.0″ LCD Screen Same
Optical Viewfinder 95% Optical Viewfinder 100% D810 +
Battery Life 3020 shots Battery Life 1200 shots D4s +
Full HD Video 1080p Full HD Video 1920 x 1080 Same
Weight 1180 grams [body only] 965 grams D810+
51 Auto Focus Points 51 Auto Focus Points Same
Multi-CAM 3500FX AF Sensor Multi-CAM 3500FX AF sensor Same

Nikon D4s vs D850

The D4s is a professional grade Nikon while the D850 is the top of the line consumer grade. There is a definite difference even though the D4s is much older than the D850. It is still a top of the line model and will perform extremely well in all lighting situations. It produces breath-taking images and video. Many professional photographers still use the D4s.

Nikon D850 Specs

  • Full Frame FX Format
  • 45.7 MP CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • ISO 64-25,600
  • 7-9 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Shutter Speed 30 – 1/8000 sec
  • Multi-CAM 20K auto focus sensor
  • 153 Point AF System
  • Dedicated AF processor
  • Dust Reduction System
  • Viewfinder 100% coverage
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering III with 180K pixels
  • 4K Video
  • Built in Stereo Microphone
  • 3.2″ tilting TFT touch sensitive LCD
  • 2 CF Card Slots [XQD and SD]
  • Built in Wireless connectivity
  • Battery Life 1840 shots
  • Weight 915 grams or 32 ounces.
  • Release Date July 2014
  • Retail Price New $2,797.00  Used $1,100

Nikon D4s vs D850 Specs Comparison

Nikon D4s Nikon D850 Difference
FX CMOS 16.2 MP FX CMOS 45.7 MP D850 +
30 to 1/8000s shutter speeds 30 to 1/8000s shutter speeds Same
EXPEED 4 Image Processor EXPEED 5 Image Processor D850 +
ISO 100 – 25,600 ISO 64 – 25,600 D850 +
11 fps cont shooting 7-9 fps cont shooting D4s +
3.0″ LCD Screen 3.0″ LCD Screen Same
Optical Viewfinder 95% Optical Viewfinder 100% D810 +
Battery Life 3020 shots Battery Life 1840 shots D4s +
Full HD Video 1080p 4K Video D850 +
Weight 1180 grams [body only] 915 grams D850+
51 Auto Focus Points 153 Auto Focus Points D850 +
Multi-CAM 3500 FX AF Sensor Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor D850 +

 Comments

The D4s gives the D850 a run for the money in terms of features but where it will outshine the D850 is the ergo body design and controls. The D4s was designed to be comfortable for many size hands and to be held for long periods of time, in both portrait and landscape geometries. It just does not fatigue your hands like other designs.

The Nikon D850 is an amazing piece of technology that can make things happen in any situation whether low light, no light, high speed action or high contrast color. It gets the job done right. It can make a beginner look like a Pro. And it helps a Pro take home a large paycheck.

Nikon D750 Review

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Nikon D4 and D4s? Here are the differences between the D4s and D4.

  • Increased light sensitivity ISO 100-25,600
  • Face Detection Focus
  • 3020 shots per battery charge vs 2965
  • Dynamic Range: 13.3 vs 13.1
  • Low Light ISO: 3074 vs 2965
  • Redesigned body grip and controls/buttons

What is the Best Nikon camera? The best Nikon camera as of 2020 is the Nikon D6.

Is the Nikon D4 full frame? Yes, the Nikon D4 has a FX-format CMOS sensor. The FX-format CMOS sensor is full frame or equivalent to 35 mm.