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Nikon D4s First Impressions Review

February 2014 | By Jeff Keller, Rishi Sanyal
Buy on GearShop$6,496.95


Preview based on a pre-production Nikon D4s

It's been two years since Nikon introduced their flagship SLR, the D4. While that camera has undoubtedly stood the test of time, Nikon has decided that it's time for a refresh. That camera is the D4s which, on the surface, doesn't look much different than its predecessor. That's because, by and large, the major changes to the D4s are inside its magnesium alloy body.

The biggest changes on the D4s are its processor (now covered by the Expeed 4 standard), wider ISO range (topping out at 409,600), group area AF feature, and slightly faster burst speeds. Nikon has also reduced viewfinder blackout time, made transitions more 'smooth' when shooting time-lapse, and added 1080/60p video recording. Movie aficionados will also enjoy the ability to use Auto ISO when using manual exposure, audio range and level adjustment, and the ability to output uncompressed video over HDMI while simultaneously recording to a memory card.

Nikon D4s key features

  • 'Newly designed' 16 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Expeed 4 processing
  • ISO 100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 50 - 409,600 equiv)
  • 51-point autofocus system (same as D4)
  • Group Area AF allows for more accurate subject tracking with less 'distraction'
  • 11 fps continuous shooting with continuous AE/AF
  • New 'small' Raw size (approx. 8 megapixel)
  • 1080/60p video for up to 10 mins at 42Mbps or 20 mins at 24Mbps
  • Smoother transitions when shooting interval or time-lapse stills/movies
  • CompactFlash and XQD card slots
  • Gigabit Ethernet port, in addition to support for WT-5A wireless transmitter
  • EN-EL18a battery provides 3020 shots per charge (CIPA)

In addition to those features, there are numerous small changes that have been made, with the Expeed 4 processor having a lot to do with it. Probably the biggest benefit of Expeed 4 is a wider ISO range, which now tops out at a whopping 409,600 (this is the Hi4 setting). The processing system has also increased the top burst rate to 11 fps (with AF). And speaking of increased speed, the D4s' mirror has a shorter travel distance, which reduces viewfinder blackout times.

There have been subtle changes to the camera's exposure system, starting with the ability to use face detection to determine metering while using the OVF. Exposure changes when using live view, interval shooting, or time-lapse movie are now less abrupt. Speaking of interval shooting, you can now take up to 9999 shots per sequence. The Active D-Lighting feature now has an 'Extra High 2' setting, though Nikon says that will look pretty 'artsy' at that point.

Another small change worth mentioning is the camera's ability to use the Auto ISO feature while in manual exposure mode. This allows you to choose a shutter speed and an aperture setting and let the camera decide on the necessary ISO. And, because the D4s has an Exposure Comp button as well as two control dials, you can apply exposure compensation so that you get your chosen image brightness, when working this way.

The D4s uses the new EN-EL18a battery for power, which allows for an incredible 3020 shots per charge (CIPA standard). Those who own EN-EL18 batteries can use them as well.

Compared to D4

Below is a quick comparison of the major differences between the D4 and D4s:

 
Nikon D4
Nikon D4s
Sensor
16.2MP FX-format CMOS
Processing Expeed 3 Expeed 4
ISO range (standard) 100 - 12,800 100 - 25,600
ISO range (expanded) 50 - 204,800 50 - 409,600
Group AF area No Yes
Maintains focus point when changing orientation No Yes
Continuous shooting w/AF 10 fps 11 fps
Top Active D-Lighting option Extra High Extra High 2
Top movie resolution 1080/30p (24Mbps) 1080/60p (42 or 24Mbps)
Interval shooting limit 999 shots 9999 shots
Ethernet 100Mbps 1000Mbps
Memory cards
CompactFlash, XQD
Batteries used EN-EL18 EN-EL18a, EN-EL18
Battery life (CIPA) 2600 shots 3020 shots*
* with EN-EL18a battery

As you can see, everything on the D4s is an improvement to the D4 - at least on paper.

Autofocus

The biggest news, in terms of autofocus, is the D4s' ability to continuously focus at the camera's highest frame rate (a feature limited to 10fps on the D4). Another way of looking at the 'decreased viewfinder blackout' that Nikon is promoting is: 'having the mirror in the position that allows AF, for longer.' As such, we suspect the redesigned mirror mechanism plays more of a role in allowing the extra 1 frame per second focusing, as the camera's more powerful processor. What it certainly hasn't changed is the AF sensor itself, so it's mostly a case of making the most of what's already there, rather than radically overhauling the camera's capabilities.

Although it doesn't detail or quantify the changes, Nikon promises that the autofocus algorithms have been tweaked and improved - which could prove to be the most significant change. The only example of this given is that the AF lock-on is now slightly less easily distracted by objects crossing in front of the intended subject.

Beyond this, there are a couple of small feature additions, but no claims of any fundamental re-thinking. The D4s now includes a focus point mode in which the AF point will switch to the nearest comparable position, as you rotate the camera - jumping to the top left position in portrait orientation if you'd selected the top left point while the camera is in the landscape orientation, for instance.

There's also a Group AF mode, in which the user can specify a cluster of five points to focus on, rather than having to choose a single point. The existing system did allow you to specify the number of surrounding points that the AF system would consider, but the new mode gives much greater weight to the four points adjacent to the selected AF target. As with many of the AF behavior tuning options in cameras at this level, we suspect the benefit of this feature will be specific to a certain shooting situation, and its value will only be revealed when applied to that situation.

Movies

Perhaps the biggest surprise to us is how little the D4s has gained in terms of movie functions. The headline change is that the D4s can now shoot 1080 video at frame rates of 60p and 50p (at bitrates of around 48Mbps), but beyond that, there's not much that's changed. There's been no improvement in whatever limited the D4 to 20 minutes of video recording: the D4s hits a similar limit, with high bitrate 60p restricting the camera to just 10 minutes of footage capture.

The D4s can now adjust audio volume as it records, but there are no additional features to support movie capture: no focus peaking or zebra, and no additional high bitrate settings for the frame rates already offered by the D4. Unlike existing Nikons, the D4s can now simultaneously output uncompressed video over HDMI and record to internal memory cards.

Overall, though while the D4s makes sense as a camera head - buried in a rig with external monitors and recorders bolstering its capabilities - it's hasn't taken any big steps towards being the modern photojournalist's stills and movies all-rounder. This isn't to say the D4s isn't a credible camera for using video; just that, after years of manufacturers insisting on the importance of video as a tool for working photojournalists, we're surprised to see so few changes or additions have been made.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 1047
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Tactical Falcon
By Tactical Falcon (4 weeks ago)

One of my dream cameras. Only thing is this one big camera like a Canon 1D family. Pros' love these cameras. I am certainly not a pro, but can appreciate these great cameras all the same.

0 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (2 months ago)

D4s looks to have nicer neutral colour for jpegs.

More detail can be seen in ISO25600 from the D4s pic. You can still read 'Yellow' from the colour wheel.

Lower noise as well.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
WisEd
By WisEd (2 months ago)

Since dp review is taking so long. I'll attempt to do a quick review from the viewpoint of an owner. Lets start with the bottom line, there is simply no better camera in the market right now. If you own a chest of Nikons this is it. I own a D800 and can confidently report that this camera is superior in all respects except one resolution and its inherent ability to crop. Personally snapping ten pictures a second is a stat for sports photographer the amazing thing is that the D4s will take 200 pictures at that speed from a subject that is in movement with almost all the pictures in perfect focus. Furthermore, it can focus with a 200-400 plus a 2x converter at F8 under any condition, lighting fast and with razor sharp fidelity, a tough test which the D800 can do about, at best 50% of the time at best. Its operation with the SB910 is flawless, simply perfect exposure every time. I keep my D800 at a max of 1600 on the 4s I'm getting the same results at 16000. No Nikon camera comes close.

5 upvotes
morganb
By morganb (3 months ago)

Is it recommended to turn off ADL while shooting RAW? i read that on here once.

0 upvotes
Vegasus
By Vegasus (3 months ago)

This is a super heavy duty camera.. * wishlist *

0 upvotes
guiri
By guiri (4 months ago)

Does anyone know if the full review will have picture comparison with the older versions (D3 and D3s) or have they updated the pics/scene so it's not doable?

That would be very interesting to see how far the low light shooting quality has come.

George

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

The D3 to D3s was a big step forward in lowlight above ISO 6400 shooting. The D4 was a step back from the performance of the D3s. Then came the D4s and Df which both do better lowlight+high ISO shooting than the D3s.

Sorry I can't point to test scenes of exactly the same scene.

With higher ISOs optically better lenses (Zeiss) help a lot.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
guiri
By guiri (4 months ago)

Thanks

0 upvotes
jerrywielo
By jerrywielo (5 days ago)

well, according to dxo labs Sony A7S is new king of low light, than Df, than old D3S and D4s is on 4-th place;
http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Ratings/Sports

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

seriously are they just lazy and actually need so much time to do a full review? geez...

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Was there a full review of the D4, or the Canon 1DX?

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

ya.. what do the staff do all day? browse the web and consolidate news updates?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

ngtszhodavid:

Was there a full review of the D4, or the Canon 1DX?

When was the Samsung NX30 announced and when fully reviewed here?

The print magazine Popular Photography reviewed the D4s, no samples one can download though.

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

i'm just confused as to what the staff here does. takes forever if ever to review or do testings? or just spend time maintaining the site /forum monitoring/sorting challenges/consolidating news etc instead of spending time reviewing cameras. i don't mean they need to rush it through for the sake of publishing something. but seriously it seems to take so long if ever for them to finish up something.. or they don't have the funding to support enough staff to do so?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

ngtszhodavid:

Was there a full review of the D4, or the Canon 1DX?

When was the Samsung NX30 announced and when fully reviewed here?

0 upvotes
donmcvee
By donmcvee (4 months ago)

I don't know how you can complain about a free service. Have you ever compared the thoroughness of the reviews here with any other reviews? If you did you might be able to figure out why it takes a long time.

1 upvote
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (3 months ago)

A lot of things on the internet are free to users (not reality as people need to make money one way or another or hoping to for those that operate at a loss) and I'm not sure why I couldn't express my own complaint if it is free. My comment above is free too and yet you complain about me :) . No sites necessarily last forever either and without such feedback they might not improve or new competitor site might outperform them in the future.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (3 months ago)

ngtszhodavid:

Was there a full review of the D4, or the Canon 1DX?

When was the Samsung NX30 announced and when fully reviewed here?

Not everything is free on the internet, I know someone who makes a good living copy editing various subscription only websites.

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (3 months ago)

Yea that's common sense. Who doesn't know not everything is free. I just said a lot, not all.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (22 hours ago)

>how you can complain about a free service

Good on them for the free revs. But we have yet to enjoy a free rev of the D4S. So let's complain. WHEEE!

Sorry to be butting in with this drivel. The D4S holds no attraction for me. I personally won't be using a camera the size of a manhole cover. Which needs flash units as big as beer coolers. Just joshing! In truth, I admire the D4S as an awesome piece of engineering.

0 upvotes
Annom
By Annom (4 months ago)

A question for you all - I am going to buy a Full Frame for the first time. I was looking originally at a D800e but have now decided to skip the middle step and either get a second hand Nikon D3s or wait 18 months for a D4. I shooting a lot of sport, some weddings and landscapes.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

The D4+D3s are more sports cameras than landscape cameras.

As for weddings, I guess it depends on the reproductions commonly asked for. Do the wedded ask for prints at nearly poster size? If yes, the D800/E is probably a better bet.

Both the D3s (not cheap used) and the D4 have quite audible shutters, and if the wedding, or even the reception, is indoors some may find that shutter noise irksome.

There's also the Canon 5DIII which isn't as loud as the D4/D3s.

And the Canon can do bigger prints than a D4 and is probably better at higher ISOs than the D800--neither the D800 nor 5DIII are as sharp as the D800E.

Of course you'll need Canon mount lenses if you use a 5DIII.

The Canon 6D is really quite and nearly as good at high ISOs as the Nikon D4, not the D4s, Df or D3s though. And the Canon 6D isn't for sports exactly.

Can you rent something for a try out? (Usually takes putting the replacement value on a credit card for the rental period or purchasing insurance.)

1 upvote
Howard Prendergast
By Howard Prendergast (4 months ago)

If you shoot a lot of sports Annom, I would think that the D3s or the D4 would be your best bet. Speed and focus ability are what you need for sports. It would be also excellent for weddings and will make eye-popping enlargements. (the D800e has more resolution and will enlarge better but you are not looking to shoot commercial images so it will not be a significant advantage.)

The D800e will be better for landscapes also but if your main focus is sports, then the D3s and D4 are the best choices for your camera and you will still be able to get pretty good landscapes.

With the D3s or the D4, your concerns will be the cost and the extra weight of the camera you need to carry around. As the other fellow replied, it is a good thing too take one out on a trial run and see if you like it. Good shooting.

2 upvotes
Annom
By Annom (4 months ago)

Thanks for your replies guys. I did consider changing to either Sony or Canon but the problem is I have a Nikon D300s and I have some pretty good lenses so that would mean more expense. I do a lot of sport, getting into weddings and landscapes are my hobby, which I blow up to 150cm by 50cm. Currently they look OK. Im also moving into parties ( for kids or engagements). Usually 8 by 10 inch is the max I enlarge. Sounds like I need 2 eventually - which is why I thought the D3s may be a good compromise but I' m hearing the D3s for sports and when I can afford it the D800e for my hobby. I have played with both but will head back to check the sound. With cameras out now at 24 and 36mp I'm wondering how anyone survived at 12mp, which is all any professional has had available until recently. Is there a "gimmick" element to it all?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Annom:

Um, surviving 12MP and printing up to 12"X18" is easy with a good lens and the sensor from the D3s.

Unless you really crop forever or do mostly posters, the more MPs being better is a bit of a myth, or the "'gimmick'" to which you refer.

However a D3s is not cheap, and is very loud. If you can afford one, a D4s can be set to shoot much more quietly than either a D3s or D4.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
LucaPCP
By LucaPCP (4 months ago)

Old cameras had big lenses, and relatively small bodies around them (because film did the trick). This D4s is ugly: a tiny lens attached to a huge black brick that contains the circuitry. It's starting not to make sense. I wish they gave me a light lens+sensor combo, tethered to the rest of the computer that I could keep in my backpack. It's like taking a photo while handholding a desktop computer.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

The f/1.4 85mm lens is not a small lens for the Nikon system.

This camera body takes bigger and smaller lenses. The manual focus Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 is smallish.

You really couldn't use color film at ISO3200.

The Nikon Df's body is a good bit smaller. The f/1.8 kit lens for that body isn't huge.

One of the reasons for bigger pro dslr bodies is to be able to leverage big telephotos. This camera is designed for sporting events and able to capture photos nearly impossible with gear from 10 years ago, example: Tennis ball leaving racket after being hit for return.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (4 months ago)

The reason for the large body is not because of needed space for the circuitry. It is because of what customer expect from a camera that costs this much. Much of the bulk is due to the built-in vertical hand grip that allows easier holding of the camera when shooting vertically. Also allows more batteries to be put inside the camera for longer shooting before running out of juice.

2 upvotes
kk123
By kk123 (4 months ago)

The body is too big, too heavy. Why on earth can't they make this camera smaller and more handy? The battery is not the full explanation. In any case, to little to upgrade for from D3s.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

kk123:

It's called the Df or the D800.

Big heavy bodies are useful for using big telephotos lenses and having lots of extra battery space.

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (4 months ago)

Some of you need to realize that *many* people who make a living behind the camera prefer the larger pro bodies. I (like many) prefer the traditional "brick-like" pro bodies because I not only find it easier to hold, but it balances larger lenses nicely, it's less "wobbly" when panning due to its heft, and feels far more solid in my hand than my "toy" feeling Canon 5d2, which after all these years has been a work-horse camera for me, but I still prefer shooting Nikon (or Canon) pro bodies much better. Going from a pro body, to the smaller bodies for me was a let down in many respects.

All said and done, I'll take the heavier traditional "pro" body when given the choice if all else is equal. What's too large for you is just right for many other photographers.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Mr Filipe
By Mr Filipe (4 months ago)

It looks great but I don't think its worth upgrading from my D3s.

1 upvote
Wubslin
By Wubslin (4 months ago)

Another overblown, overdone, oversized, overweight, overpriced failure from Nikon then?

Time to stick a fork in it.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Huh?

So you've not used a D3s or D4?

3 upvotes
Scott Birch
By Scott Birch (4 months ago)

Some people are quite active on forums. That makes them experts.

2 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (4 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW: Why would I do any such thing? Do you think I have the inclination to waste my money on camera gear?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Wubslin:

So you can't rent or try, or don't care about really good image quality at ISO 6400 and above?

I didn't say anything about you spending money on either body. But there are serious reasons people would seek out both bodies.

If they're not for you fine. But don't act like you know anything about them without trying them.

1 upvote
Wubslin
By Wubslin (4 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW: I'm not really sure why I should care to continue this discussion.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

W:

Well you chose to post a silly comment. And got called out on your disinterest in very good camera bodies.

You could have skipped the earlier post or today's.

2 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (4 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW: You're starting to sound like a Nikon fanboy with a statement like that. '...very good camera bodies.'

Really?

There is nothing to justify spending any money on these tired and derivative products.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

W:

There you go again, opining on things you haven't used. Making my point for me.

Now no, there's no need to rush out and get the D4s if you have D4, but if you have a D3 certainly.

So still wrong.

2 upvotes
mongoose777
By mongoose777 (4 months ago)

@wubslin
First of all, what qualifies you and what credentials do you have in knowing why the D4s is not a good camera?
I am a professional sports photog and make a very good living doing what I do. I have been published with numerous major sporting magazines and billboards throughout the country as well as globally.
I have two D3s bodies and 3 D3 bodies with just about every lens Nikon makes for sports.
In fact I will be in LA this weekend covering the NFL PA Rookie Premiere.
I bought the D4s about 2 weeks ago and I can say there is a major difference over the D3s in auto focus, speed, higher rated ISO & most importantly the 4 meg is highly warranted bc if I need to high crop, it will still yield a very strong image.
Please do not continue to bash something unless you have real world experience in using this great camera.
BTW, I was a canon shooter for 15 year before switching to the D3 about 7 yrs ago bc of the crappy MK III sub mirror issue.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (4 months ago)

Its an excellent camera,one of the best money can buy!

1 upvote
Wubslin
By Wubslin (4 months ago)

@Mongoose777: Thanks for coming on here to defend your sponsor, I'm sure they appreciate it.

But you have to realise that I will never buy a digital camera, so while your arguments may work with other people, they will have no effect on me.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Wubslin:

If you’ll never own/use/rent a digital camera (and I bet you have a cell phone) why are you involving yourself in these comments?

And why start with the top of the line Nikon sports camera body for your complaints?

35mm film is great, but really only through ISO 400. And you have to process that film. 35mm film also runs out after 36 exposures or so in a still camera, and you can’t go from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 on the same roll of film. Manual typewriters and linotype machines are sort of interesting but times have changed.

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (10 hours ago)

>35mm film is great, but really only through ISO 400.

That is precisely the rub about film -- the limited speeds. I shot film for decades, and was glad to put it aside and take up digital. I make an exception for medium and large format film -- these can be used to make images that can be scanned to many megapixels. That's why I kept my Fujifilm 690.

0 upvotes
luka3rd
By luka3rd (4 months ago)

As far as technicalities go: "only changes are related to how you hold and operate the camera" really? Only?

0 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (4 months ago)

Those comments from OMD-EMx users who says than the Oly's cameras trumps the D4S in dynamic range are getting pretty ridiculous...

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Just to play the devil's advocate: Some Olympus out of camera jpegs are excellent--and the claims about the D4s are based on jpegs.

Also the best Olympus lenses are a good bit optically better than anything from Nikon.

So within limits it may be possible for jpegs.

1 upvote
hamad ar alowais
By hamad ar alowais (4 months ago)

optically better than anything from nikon...? LOL....

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

hamad,

Yep. Even the optically best Canikon lenses just aren't very good. They're only decent, when compared to well done Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, Schneider and Samsung lenses. Then there are two other names.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TWIZEEL
By TWIZEEL (4 months ago)

just wonder if I'm alone here who dont care those curves ? Make shooting guys, stop to be addicted those beauty S : )))

1 upvote
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

quite true. ever since i picked up photography a couple years ago, i used to be amazed and impressed by all these analysis and jargons people talk about and all....assuming they must be great photographers..

later on i realize that most of them actually just get technical with their wordings...while in reality don't take nice photos at all... or perhaps should have spent more time enjoying the camera and go out and take some photos ....

disclaimer: i'm sure most people here in this forum have tecnical knowledge plus can take great photos. . i'm just referring to the ppl i come across in my daily life :)

6 upvotes
xpatUSA
By xpatUSA (4 months ago)

. . . and here we go again playing the 'Real Word' card and implying that those with technical knowledge can't take good pictures because they're too busy learning about their cameras. Sad.

1 upvote
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

that's only your sad interpretation.
there's definitely no correlation there.
some or most ppl probably are techinical and can take good pics
i was just referring to my own experience, and encourage my friends to go out and take more pictures instead of getting upset about certain camera comparisons and analysis.

0 upvotes
Under The Sun
By Under The Sun (4 months ago)

The "Real World" card may be cliché by now but does not mean it is less true. I agree with David, my experience resonates with his.

0 upvotes
thefstop
By thefstop (4 months ago)

EV and dynamic range bull is maddening.
I know there are limitations and that is why I buy more expensive equipment, since in idea light, I can shoot an iPhone and get the shot, every time. Say what you want about the phone, I am making a point...

DXO shows the D600 to have significantly more range from white to black than the Canon 5diii.

In Dp review dynamic range above, it seems the opposite.

What the hell is the correct measure. I never had these stupid problems in film as I could change the sensitivity of my sensor each time I put in a new roll. Even mid roll if I wanted to measure and cut..

So does the 5dii have greater dynamic range than the d600 or D4? If so, what the hell is DXO going on about. Forget that sensor output argument, they do not take the camera apart, they pull an image like the rest of us.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

DPReview has scored the JPEG dynamic range. Not the DR of raws.

Do you only shoot jpegs? If yes, then the number is important, though not as important as an optically good lens.

DXO sensor scoring is kind of a joke--doesn't account for lenses. And may not even account for the computer in the camera--there's ambiguity in the phrasing on the DXOMark website.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Let's not be hasty. EV and dynamic range are not 'bull' or 'maddening' as long as you understand what's being tested in each test. Perhaps we could be better about not only explaining what our test is but also what it isn't.

Our test is a test of the tone curves applied to real world scene content, and the extent of the scene tones that are captured in the (processed) JPEG file.

Our test isn't a test of the real-world DR the sensor is capable of recording. That's what DXO tests (with their own set of cutoffs to define the final DR number which, incidentally, differ from our cutoffs).

This is why you notice the "discrepancy" between our results and DXO's results. In fact, it's not a discrepancy at all - we're just testing different things.

So, again, our tone curve/DR test only shows you the real-world DR mapped to usable tones in the JPEG file. This is typically more a representation of the manufacturer's rendering intent, and less the capability of the sensor.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Rishi:

With you until you brought up DXO sensor scoring.

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (4 months ago)

Dear DPR - JPEG "dynamic range" is not dynamic range. It's a post RAW applied tone curve. It is actually quite irrelevant.

Please, don't keep calling it "dynamic range" because it isn't unless it's shot in RAW and opened in a non-profiled RAW converter.

6 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

We don't feel that JPEG DR is irrelevant to those shooting JPEG. Furthermore, our tests show you the range of real-world tones that are mapped to usable values in the JPEG file. So it is giving you an idea of the real-world DR contained in the JPEG.

We do hope to start testing RAW DR - representing the DR of the sensor - in the future.

2 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

thanks. great. how soon is that future?

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (4 months ago)

I don't understand this either. How can you compare? There are a ton of things you can (or the manufacturer) do in-camera, lower the contrast, use the Active D-Lighting, etc.

It seems like you're comparing the two camera design teams' taste.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Exactly. Because that's relevant to the JPEG shooter who hasn't made significant changes to the camera's default rendering.

We do include the effects of Active D-Lighting under the section titled 'Active D-Lighting'.

Those who shoot RAW (myself included) need an entirely different set of data/results. Which is why I/we are working on it. :)

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (4 months ago)

I have no problem if you call it JPEG contrast range, but dynamic range has a specific definition which you have (sort) of explained in your own glossary. The problem with JPEG contrast range is it is a poor indication of the recovery potential of a shot you have deliberately underexposed to maintain highlights - something that RAW shooters do as a matter of course.

I am not saying it isn't useful (for JPEG shooters such as sports photographers and quite a lot of wedding/event shooters) but it is applying the incorrect definition to the measurement you are actually making. This in turn makes the conclusion quite confusing because most cameras expand JPEG latitude by boosting ISO and underexposing... which actually reduces real DR.

A RAW measurement would be great, but again it is not DR unless you establish the actual noise floor.

2 upvotes
JoeAmateur
By JoeAmateur (4 months ago)

It's cool how we can compare the flagships models from other manufacturers. Oh wait, DP never reviews anything from other manufacturers. I guess they're waiting for Sony and Canon models to age and mellow a bit before they're reviewed. It's probably nearly impossible to get your hands on anything but Nikon within the first two years after release, especially if you have to get them through Nikon. Nice first impression review on the Nikon though. Any word from Nikon as to when they'll release the Canon 1DX for review?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Newtune3
By Newtune3 (4 months ago)

You took the words right out of my mouth. I have both the 5Diii and the 1DX and the 1DX is slightly more capable in all regards to the 5DIII but you have not seen it here. I have nothing against Nikon as they are extremely capable cameras. I disappointed to the point of not coming here for information anymore when the new top Nikon gets all the space and the 1DX gets nothing. This site is all about Nikon and compares Nikon's top of the line beast with the #2 Canon. I do not need DPReview to tell me the 1DX is a great camera but unbiased reporting is so rare yet valuable these days. Come on DPReview could you be more blatant?

1 upvote
Vamp898
By Vamp898 (4 months ago)

Is everyone of you really not able to read?

"JPEG Tone Curves / Dynamic Range"

They are testing the Dynamic Range of the JPEG and so in fact testing the JPEG Engine.

They are testing the JPEG Software on the Firmware of the Camera.

This test have absolutely nothing to do with the Dynamic Range of the sensor.

So the D4s have worse JPEG Engine than the OMD-EM1 have, that _doesnt_ mean the D4s have less Dynamic Range at all!

But it should be mentioned that the Toshiba Sensors in Nikon Cameras have less DR than the Sony Sensors have, thats why the D800 have more DR than the D4(s), even if it produces more noise.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

The D800 has more dynamic range (in raw) than the D4?

No, except maybe when both bodies are shooting at base ISO.

Above base ISO the DR of the D4(s)+Df vastly surpasses that of the D800.

0 upvotes
breivogel
By breivogel (4 months ago)

Actually, the D800 is better below Iso 800. And the difference above is not vast - 1 stop at 6400. See DXO.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

breivogel,

More like "better below ISO 200".

Don't quote DXO scores, they're nearly useless. Use raws for making those judgments--and in this case use raws shot with the exact same lens.

It's really easy to see the problems with DR in the D800.

0 upvotes
MPA1
By MPA1 (4 months ago)

Unless I read it wrong (operator error always possible...!) an Olympus OMD EM-1 has better dynamic range...

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

I assume you're referring to Olympus jpegs v Nikon jpegs?

That's a different number than the overall dynamic range of a camera body. Also excellent Olympus lenses help.

0 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (4 months ago)

Am I reading this correctly? The 5D3 beats the D800 in the dark end.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

In JPEG, it's roughly within our margin of error. All that says is that the manufacturers are mapping similar real-world ranges of tones to the JPEG. Our results in these particular tests say nothing about the DR the sensors are capable of.

The D800 sensor has significantly more DR than the 5D3. You'll benefit from this if you shoot RAW.

1 upvote
Vermeero
By Vermeero (4 months ago)

The dynamic range from the D4s is nice for a today's DSLR.
But how easily I can overexpose stops with a decent negative film from Kodak.
Capturing dynamic range isn't hard with those films, you just have to scan them properly to get the results (not get them printed by a lab).
You need some time to scan the negatives but this works for me... and I'm glad I stopped using my DSLR because the colour rendition, way of taking pictures and the dynamic range. Exposing negative film is easy, just set the exposure right for the shadows... it will take care of the highlights.
I understand it would be not so much of an option for professionals who need to deliver their work in a small amount of time.

0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (4 months ago)

Here's something I don't understand at all. Metering on modern cameras can break the frame down into thousands of segments for complex metering calculations...but nobody can seem to make a metering system that prevents highlight clipping. No way at all to reduce the exposure if the highlights are clipping? Really? In 2014 we can't make that happen? The system can analyze 91,000 segments of the frame, but can't tell if one of them is clipping?

2 upvotes
Reality Check
By Reality Check (4 months ago)

Sure they can, and already do, it just depends on what you wish to sacrifice in the image itself..

Nikon has completely given in to the whims of customers in protecting shadows (because we all know the importance of exposing shadows to the point that they are no longer shadows) but that sacrifices highlights at the other end of the spectrum.
Canon focuses on just the opposite, but according to the masses they do not capture as much shadow detail in giving you that greater range in highlights.

Technically, in the scope of capturing light, once the upper end of the spectrum is blown - it is gone - and therefore should be the end protected the most. However the average photographer (aptitude or numerical demographic) has been made to believe that broad dynamic range in the areas of a photo that you were not intended to see (shadows) is the most important part of photography.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
dahod
By dahod (4 months ago)

Whether Olympus takes this anywhere is another question but the following DPR article from March 2014 indicates they're pursuing "selective exposure". I wish them all the best and hope they can finally address the sudden clipping of blown highlights with digital sensors and more closely model the smoother transition that we saw with film.

Here's the link
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/03/15/olympus-patent-hints-at-selective-exposure-in-live-time-mode?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=news-list&utm_medium=text&ref=title_54

0 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (4 months ago)

if one studies shadows carefully, most cameras render them too dark. Nikon cameras render shadows less dark than Canon cameras i.e. more realistically. I compared the two systems in controlled conditions with settings designed to produce optimum exposures (I don't like the under-expose by 3 stops on purpose testing) and the results validated what I had been seeing during normal shooting. I agree that the key is to render the shadows realistically, not remove them altogether via HDR or high ISO abuse.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (4 months ago)

Back on my old OM-4T there were spot-metering selections to expose for shadows or expose for highlights, but it was just exposure compensation. It overexposed by 2 stops based on the thing you put the spot meter on or underexposed by 2 2/3 stops for the shadow compensation.

Most of the digital camera metering options seem to work in similar fashion. Canon's "Highlight Protection" doesn't prevent blown highlights. It just seems to involve some exposure compensation.

This really seems like the kind of thing that processing should be able to handle. If one of those 91,000 segments of metering is blown out then you pull that exposure back. I'm not saying it always has to be engaged, but I'd like the option.

0 upvotes
Fri13
By Fri13 (4 months ago)

You have had possibility to that for years with Olympus bodies, probably from early 2000. You can choose the EV metering type to preserve either end or then use a middle value what typically is wanted. I use middle one, what gives me that in typical hars shooting environment I only get blown out sun circle on the sky, all shadows possibility to recover to expected values as exposure range is so wide and dynamic range stay very wide in each ISO step.

But I do hate it because every photo taken requires strong contrast adjustment to get them look good. But when to generate a HDR isnt required on day times, it does show that when it comes to nautical sunset/sunraise it can be requires to get two shots with EV 5 difference to pull everything.

0 upvotes
kk123
By kk123 (4 months ago)

The active lighting in Nikon is inserted before the AC/DC conversion and means a correction of measurements of the low and high end. The dynamic range is thereby decreased in 0 and 255 areas. (Forced picture underexposure and increased selection of lightest areas in the darkest part of the picture.) A smart. but not always very efficient method. A more direct change to a more appropriate ISO in parts of the picture seems better. I.e. adapted exposures of each segment of metering.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
webrunner5
By webrunner5 (4 months ago)

What this review shows is that we are pretty much unable to see much difference between cameras anymore.

Just spend your money on a camera you feel comparable with and have a bunch of lenses with it and have a good time. End of story.

9 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (4 months ago)

It's not just about "seeing" the difference and that's what many don't realize, but rather it's about how much latitude you have to get the shot in the first place. If you're shooting with a 500mm lens with a 1.4x attached, at dusk, do you have enough shutter speed to take a clean shot with the lens barrel resting on a bean bag over a rock? No? Then do you have the latitude to raise the iso to 6400 and still get a relatively clean result? Can you pop off 10 shots before the person, people, or animals turn their head? That's real world stuff. It's not just about sports, but rather speed and high iso prowess. If you've never had the need for such a camera, then you might not think of the situations where you'd benefit from what it offers.

If you've shot fast pro bodies before… you won't have to use your imagination on how the D4s can offer a myriad of benefits over other bodies new or old. The difference *can* be large in the capability to "get" the shot.

4 upvotes
Trin56
By Trin56 (4 months ago)

I completely agree with Teila. The most challenging photography I do is of deer, at dusk, at long range, and every little improvement in ISO performance makes a huge difference to me.

2 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (4 months ago)

I agree, webrunner5.

I altered the graphs above to include my camera - the ageing E-P3, with its 6-year-old Micro Four Thirds sensor. According to preview, the dynamic range was almost identical to the big full-frame cameras.

S

0 upvotes
Fri13
By Fri13 (4 months ago)

@Teila

And when it comes to speed and quick situations, you can't use large and heavy bodies, long lenses and camera function layouts what doesn't allow you direct access to ISO, SS, A, WB and place them under two fingers without you loosing your grip or move shutter finger too much.

You need to be capable to change everything in camera to another kind shooting just rotating a knob or pushing a button.
The exposure range on manufacturers top lines are already identical in real world shooting, dynamic range differences has got dimished that there really isn't such difference what ISO you use.

A large, heavy and long combo is just a deal breaker today and smaller lighter combos offer speed benefits to capture the scenery faster and more accurately as you see it.

Sure we could debate the dynamic range quality between each ISO value when photographer is allowed to spend minute or two to position the D4 camera and take few sample shots. But it isn't anymore about fast situation.

0 upvotes
rw111
By rw111 (4 months ago)

After all this, I still don't know what the dynamic range is - in RAW, I don't care about the jpg

1 upvote
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (4 months ago)

Sorry - but what normal photographer shoots at 3000 ISO plus and if it takes that to start to see a visible difference… bit like saying if I blow the image up to 30 foot by 60 foot the 4DS is the winner….crazy !

And how does any of this translate to real world PRINT quailty - I'm ALWAYS shocked at how much of the image quailty is gone when I have photos printed.

In the getting ever shorter term NONE of this matters as smart phones continue to kill off camera sales….

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

All sorts of people have started to use ISO 6400 and above as the tech has improved over the last 10 years.

Such capacity allows for better, in focus, indoor sporting event shots, for example.

If ISO 12,800 isn't something you'd use there are other camera body options.

7 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (4 months ago)

It's true. This thing sells on High ISO, fast shutter, large buffer, fast focusing, action tracking, burst mode. Everything else is secondary.

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (4 months ago)

You're "what NORMAL photographer shoots at 3000 ISO plus…" comment would make sense years ago, but today many photographers routinely shoot at 3200 ISO for paid professional work that's going to be printed on canvas… especially black/white prints. 3200 ISO doesn't give you that much latitude when you're shooting at dusk with a 300mm lens or longer, trying to coax as much shutter speed as you can possibly get from the camera.

Smart phones are great for the average Joe who just wants to post shots to the internet, but smart phones aren't even close to being a solution for photographers like me (although they are good enough to be professional tools for certain aspects of real estate, etc.. which I think is great!)

I'm more concerned about highlights, but the bottom line is that I can print from 3200 ISO files where years ago I couldn't get the same results from such a high iso. Soon 12,500 ISO will be good enough for routine professional prints (canvas).

Yes, this stuff matters.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (4 months ago)

Sad Joe, I rarely use ISO 400 and have never ever taken a photograph above ISO1600.
But my needs are not everybody elses, particularly when someone is doing this for a living.

0 upvotes
Mr Filipe
By Mr Filipe (4 months ago)

I have a D3s and have shot above 3000 in low light conditions and the results are clean. I guess it depends on what youre shooting. I rarely use high ISO settings but know its there when I need to use it and am comfortable in knowing that the results are great.

Also, what is a Normal Photographer? Im yet to meet one.

0 upvotes
Carsten Pauer 2
By Carsten Pauer 2 (4 months ago)

Is there a Reason why the fresh Nikon D4S has less DR as a 6 Years old FinePix S5 Pro ?

1 upvote
Luke Kaven
By Luke Kaven (4 months ago)

It doesn't. Go see DxOmark for RAW DR.

1 upvote
Carsten Pauer 2
By Carsten Pauer 2 (4 months ago)

Look here @ www.dpreview.com ;-)

0 upvotes
Reality Check
By Reality Check (4 months ago)

@Luke
The problem with throwing around DxO tests as evidence of this or that, is you have to understand what they test first. Their tests are performed at the sensor level, before ASIC processing, which means at a level YOU do not have access to and cannot get out of the camera. YOU get what happens after ASIC after data is written to storage. It is like bragging that you have a Formula One class motor in your Dodge Neon.. It sounds good, specs well - but it still handles, brakes, and corners like a Dodge Neon. The motor, in the end, is of little significance when the overall performance is no better in use than anything else.

If you enable the max dynamic range setting of the D4s and the 400% DR setting of the S5Pro, then compare the data written to the storage card (the usable data) the Fuji has greater dynamic range, by a slight margin.

@Carsten
The S5 Pro was released in 2006 (going on 8-years) but that just makes your 'point' even more - pointed... =)

3 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (4 months ago)

Dxo is using the same raw files as you and me. So, as long as you shoot raw and not JPEG, what matters is what DxO measures. Only if you shoot JPEG with auto exposure do all these things mentioned here matter. They just illustrate how different companies, naturally working with different sensors, choose to process high contrast scenes.

0 upvotes
Howard Prendergast
By Howard Prendergast (4 months ago)

Carsten, the D4S is a far superior camera to the S5 which was a pretty good camera in it's own right. High ISO performance, speed, continuous shooting, built like a tank, focus ability, battery life. Get off your high horse and see that the cameras are built to serve different purposes.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

@noirdesir: Thank you for perfectly stating what I was about to write :)

1 upvote
Reality Check
By Reality Check (4 months ago)

@noirdesir (and Rishi for that matter) You need to visit DxO's website again and read how they test. They themselves state that the data they use is the raw file directly off the sensor before any in-camera processing. When shooting raw the only 'in-camera' processing is what takes place during/after analog to digital processing. That is where manufacturers apply base noise reduction, color correction, pixel mapping, etc. If they were simply using the raw file that gets written to storage there would be no need for them to explain how their test data is attained, they would just say 'we use the raw file produced by the camera'. However in attempting to assert the empirical'ness' of their tests results they go to length to state the nature of the data. It is also the reason they do not retest a camera as firmware updates come out - because their data off the sensor, before manufacturers manipulation, would not be affected by anything a manufacturer does down the road via processing..

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (4 months ago)

And so what? Overall there is only a small percentage of cameras for which DxO discovers NR applied to the raw data, and almost exclusively only for part of the ISO range. Thus the error in their backcalculation of the data before that NR is pretty small.

DxO is not accessing data the normal user doesn't have access to. They start with exactly the same raw files as you and me. They compare the data before NR is applied (which for a small set of cameras is taking a state as a reference that is not accessible) but for the higher ISO values where this is done, basically every user would apply some NR her- or himself. They don't compare how good an image looks with NR applied but the quality of data being fed into the NR process.

In a sense this is comparing the properties of raw vegetables even if most people will eat them cooked. This is best way because cooking cannot add nutrients and thus the vegetable that is better raw, will be better cooked (for the same cooking).

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (3 months ago)

@Reality Check: We don't need to visit their site, we communicate directly with them :) Out of curiosity, how exactly do you imagine they access the RAW data before the RAW file is written?

What you can fault them for is not applying the automatic corrections that most/all RAW converters apply... e.g. lens distortion corrections for lenses including software-based correction as part and parcel of the lens' design. These are distortion corrections you can't even undo in ACR (b/c ACR honors them), only by using dcraw... so there's some merit to desiring DxO to include these corrections in their tests. But it's up for debate.

As for some of the noise stuff - note that different RAW converters will introduce/reduce less/more noise in the de-Bayering & conversion process. This is difficult to control for, & so is kept out of the equation as much as possible.

If there's a specific, egregious, misleading result from DxO you'd like to point out to me, I'd be happy to investigate.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Reality Check
By Reality Check (3 months ago)

My comment was simply that the DxO scoring and ranking is not something one can just point to as the definitive measure by which all cameras should be judged.. and that was because (by their own explanation) the data/method they test is not quite the same. If their testing methods have changed over the years then that is great, all the better for consumers to accurately interpret their testing results.
However that still leaves the rather narrow scope of their testing and ranking. Where scores are not given on the bases of how a camera performs within its designed operating parameters, but merely what is achievable in one special circumstance - even if said camera performs poorly across the remainder of its operating range.
That is something I have commended DPR for, in contrast to DxO, where DPR evaluates a camera on the basis of its performance across all preset parameters; ISO range, at the pixel level, print/downsample, etc.. that would make DxO's test results actually relevant.

1 upvote
noirdesir
By noirdesir (3 months ago)

Well, DxO aren't journalists, they are a company that measures cameras and lenses to generate the data they need to provide the best raw conversion and lens corrections in their raw converter. As a promotion of their product (and a service to the community) they present the results of their measurements for free.

They don't test cameras and lenses to provide lens and camera reviews. DPreview generates its revenue from ads along their articles and the forums. DxO generates its revenue selling its raw converter (and selling their expertise to other companies).

If an airline company published weather data collected by their aircraft, would you criticise them for being a poor weather service?

1 upvote
Reality Check
By Reality Check (3 months ago)

LOL..
If they attempted to forecast the weather for the whole world based on data from a local commuter flight, like DxO does ranking a camera based on the performance derived from one operating setting - YES.. =)

2 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (3 months ago)

That is the slanderous insinuation everybody criticising DxO is using. Somebody publishes a list of cameras sorted by their read noise and you bluster: How dare they publish a measured property. I guess you would also be opposed to somebody publishing a list of cameras sorted by their sensor resolution or by their sensor size.

1 upvote
Reality Check
By Reality Check (3 months ago)

You missed it completely.. no worries though. =)

0 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (3 months ago)

DxO does not attempt to rank cameras based on the performance derived from one (or three) measured properties, the only rank sensors (if we include A/D converters and things like power supply).
But they cannot stop people wanting to denigrate them (for their own satisfaction) from pretending that DxO's list of camera names shows the intention of DxO to pass of sensor rankings as camera rankings.

Let me ask you, how do you list a ranking of sensors without using the camera names? How do you ensure that others do not wilfully misrepresent you?

0 upvotes
Lux Painter
By Lux Painter (4 months ago)

Considering the price of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 it really kicks butt in the dynamic range.

1 upvote
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (4 months ago)

Yeah of course, cool story bro'.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (4 months ago)

So the D4s is slighly better than a 3 year old Canon 5d3 which sells for well under 1/2 price - wow - must change all my kit - NOT. Guys don't be suckered - BOTH Canon & Nikon could bring out VASTLY better cameras for the same or less money - but won't as they wish to DRIP FEED us improvements and get us to keep updating our kit. Only fools with money to burn follow their lead - and don't give me the 'pros update all the time to stay ahead'. Rubbish - real - I have to make money - pro's are VERY careful about spending money….

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

The D4s is readily useable at ISO 30,000, when shooting raw. The 5DIII is nowhere near so.

1 upvote
jackspra
By jackspra (4 months ago)

Anybody out there's that uses ISO 30,000, 15,000 etc. not my style but would be interested to know.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

If you buy a D4s, you'll find a use for ISO 30,000.

4 upvotes
jsandjs
By jsandjs (4 months ago)

It should be the other way around: One finds a use for iso 30,000, then he buys a D4s.

3 upvotes
pfzt
By pfzt (4 months ago)

Nobody needs 30.000 ISO but everybody needs better IQ at 1600-6400 ISO. The better the extreme ISO performance, the better the performance in that particular range, i guess.

8 upvotes
badi
By badi (4 months ago)

Not necessary. Some cameras have very good high iso performance but sacrificed a bit for that the low iso performance.

Not yet (I think) in the super pro category, but the fuji X is a good example (and others) that start from iso200 instead of 100, and even at base iso (200) compared to other cameras (not pro, the usual mid canikon DSLRs) have softer or noisier images. But they are better at ISO 3200-6400.

0 upvotes
jackspra
By jackspra (4 months ago)

Thanks for replies. More into my studio work so my need is low ISO. Interesting though. I guess if I was in the Ukraine army it would be good for shots of the rusky's coming over in the dark of the night?

0 upvotes
Luke Kaven
By Luke Kaven (4 months ago)

Yes, I like to shoot in dark places where nobody else is able to shoot. The darker it is, the less people think you're actually taking pictures of any meaningful sort. You can get people in unguarded moments even when they know you're taking their picture. Try it. Every time Nikon improves their low light response, I find new things to do. Think I'll keep the D4 til the D5 comes out this time around.

I've done album covers at ISO25k. They look great. These are just shots

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

jackspra:

It's a problem that you're only now saying "studio work". This isn't exactly a studio camera. And you know that.

Also not good to repeat mainstream US news media propaganda as verified.

1 upvote
Teila Day
By Teila Day (4 months ago)

sad Joe:

The D4s is light years ahead of the 5d3 as far as I'm concerned. 18 or so raw shots and the buffer stalls, then it takes almost 5 seconds to clear the buffer? That's the buffer choking after only 3 seconds… so let's think real-world; you have 5 people in rapid succession coming across the finish line (you get the point).

Nikon/Canon don't make anyone upgrade. Though I've used every pro fast body Nikon since the D2H, I haven't purchased one since the D2hs. I buy what I need and I buy what will last me well into the future. I skipped the 5d3 and still shoot my 5d2 and would rather spend my money on a Canon pro body that offers far more resolution- corporations don't make decisions for me, I do.

Point blank- the D4s is worlds apart from the 5d3. Many of the features on my near 10 yr. old D2hs (Ferrari) make my 5d2 feel like a 1970's station wagon when it comes to cuts. wt balance, buffer, focusing, bracketing, and a host of other features that a pro body makes seamless!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (4 months ago)

After years of dealing with digital images I have come to the conclusion that dynamic range of the sensor might be the most important thing affecting IQ. It affects every lens you use.

Lacking DR makes life difficult. Number of megapixels/ sharpness and high ISO is good enough with most of the sensors/ and lenses. Of course color depth is important too, but when lacking it is not as obvious as lacking DR.

I love DR :)

:rJ

10 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

And the D4s has excellent DR.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

Certainly the greatest weakness in current cameras. Even Ken Rockwell has figured this out. ISO sensitivity at 400,000 is enough for most folks; sharpness is already on a level with medium format film. But dynamic range that makes HDR, layers and multiple exposures unnecessary, ideally with localized capability; whoever gets there first will have real breakthrough.

1 upvote
ShaoLynx
By ShaoLynx (4 months ago)

Well, what do you know?
People are finally starting to realise the final IQ characteristic that is in need to be vastly improved -- DR. For all the good reasons.
Well then: time to bring on techniques like slog, well done Sony, for being the first to make a quantum leap here.

0 upvotes
Mike Gerstner
By Mike Gerstner (4 months ago)

I agree for the most part, but I'd really like to see some one tame the harsh clipping in blown highlights. A smooth roll off like film when shooting a sunrise or sunset is something that is severely missing with modern sensors, even medium format. The "nuclear explosion" mayhem with digital cameras in those situations is abysmal. Most who don't know the difference have accepted it as normal, which I find unfortunate.

2 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (4 months ago)

This is not measuring DR - it is measuring the tone curve with some choice of the parameters.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

It's not measuring RAW DR. It is, however, measuring JPEG DR, as well as tone curve. If we're showing you the range of real-world tones represented - within a usable range - in the final JPEG, how is that not a measure of DR (in JPEG)?

4 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (4 months ago)

Since I might have your attention, shouldn't we expect that the camera not only customises exposure but also the tone curve based on the individual image content (as metering already has a six-digit number of pixels of the scene) and that what you measure in the lab might vary a lot as to what you might place below and above the wedge (if the programmers didn't even built in a stepper detection algorithm to let you merely find whatever the want you to find)?

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

To our knowledge, localized tone curves are only applied by manufacturers in dynamic range enhancing modes. Therefore, our measurements should be quite valid for non-DR-enhancing modes.

Furthermore, our results for DR-enhancing modes (ADL, DRO, etc.) should still be representative of the global tone curve applied in those modes, despite the fact that they are applied in a content-aware manner.

We feel it's very difficult to design a standardized test that'd show local, scene-dependent, tone curves, and we also feel it'd be of very limited actual value to the readers (since we can't ever test all possible scenes).

0 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (4 months ago)

Trying to test the localised tone curve adaptions in a meaningful way is difficult, I agree. I was more concerned with whether the global tone curve was also scene-dependent. The (global) exposure chosen by the camera is certainly scene-dependent (but for your tests that doesn't matter because you are interested in the shape of the curve, not its precise location on the horizontal axis), so, I am wondering whether the the global tone curve could also be scene dependent (if one goes to the trouble of doing local adjustments, as the in-camera processing does, a seasoned HDR image editor, as in human editor, will certainly adjust global and local tone curves depending on the scene).

And it should be relatively easy to test for the existence of such a dependence.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

@noirdesir: I'm having trouble seeing how testing this would be 'relatively easy' - would love to hear your thoughts.

I believe we'd essentially need to place a wedge (or some other easily quantifiable test chart) with tones covering the entire DR of the sensor in the scene itself, for various scenes. Then measure the tone curves. But that's practically impossible - you'd have a heck of a time shielding the chart from ambient light in the scene.

I can think of one other very convoluted way of doing it - which is in fact an idea we've tossed around here at DPR. There's some possibility we'll try it down the road if we think it shows meaningful differences from scene-to-scene.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (4 months ago)

The dynamic range page here is one of the best pieces of technical analysis DPR's done. Nicely done guys!

6 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (4 months ago)

These are measurements of JPEG dynamic range, and so are largely irrelevant for RAW performance which is much much more interesting.

Nikon D4S, D800 and Sony A7/7R beat the heck out of 5D mkIII in RAW dynamic range as reported by DXOMark. By more than 2 stops.

This is easily confirmed by field tests while shooting high contrast scenes.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Correct. Perhaps even more than 2 stops, depending on your lowest acceptable SNR, fixed pattern noise (in)tolerance, etc.

Trust me we recognize the importance of RAW DR, and are diligently working to design a test that is both accurate and relevant to photographers.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

And thanks, mosc!

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (4 months ago)

I don't shoot RAW much (certainly don't own a full size DSLR though). I think the JPG DR analysis is valuable for other types of cameras. I'm glad to see the approach and I'm looking forward to it being applied to more reasonably priced cameras.

0 upvotes
The Maze400
By The Maze400 (4 months ago)

JPEG Tone Curves / Dynamic Range
The D600 vs. D610 same everything why would the D600 have a wider Dynamic Range?

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

For JPEG dynamic range, it's not just about the hardware. It's about the processing of the RAW data before it's written as a JPEG file Arguably, it's even more about this processing step than the actual hardware - which is why, in JPEG, the Canon 5D Mark III appears to have roughly the same DR as the Nikon D800 (which is absolutely untrue in RAW).

Manufacturers often choose, at the cost of DR, to clip to black (which, in our tests, we define as RGB = 5,5,5 or SNR=2) well before the noise floor simply to render a JPEG with more 'pop' on typical low DR output devices (monitors/prints). Of course this is not always the case, especially for cameras with very high noise floors.

The take home message here is that, generally, if you want to utilize the full dynamic range available to your sensor, shoot RAW.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Incidentally, in ADL Extra High 2, the Nikon D4S digs all the way to the bottom (darkest value) of the RAW file and maps that to approx. RGB=5,5,5 in the JPEG. So you could still shoot JPEG on the D4S and retain most of the data available on the low end of the RAW in the JPEG (just make sure, though, that you're not unnecessarily underexposing the image below whatever is needed to avoid clipping highlights).

However, our tests show that some highlight detail in the RAW is thrown away in the JPEG (approx. 2/3 EV). Also, an 8-bit JPEG has lower processing latitude due to limited availability of tones - especially down in the dark regions. So, all in all, if you're going to post-process your photos anyway, you'd still be better off shooting RAW - particularly for scenes with high DR.

2 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (4 months ago)

Nice work! Thank you.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (4 months ago)

Mr. Sanyal, that's quite an education! Thanks.

1 upvote
ShaoLynx
By ShaoLynx (4 months ago)

Go tell this to mr. Biological Viewfinder and the people who like his post so much. Darn 8-bit JPEG lovers.
And that's putting it politely.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

I forgot to mention - even though ADL Extra High 2 digs down to a RAW value of ~1 and maps that to 5,5,5 in the JPEG, the SNR at a RAW value of 1 was ~0.8. Meaning, that's unusable stuff that sitting in the noise floor of the sensor.

Still, some may prefer a JPEG that retains almost all the data in the RAW (although the D4S does, again, throw out some of the highlight data available in the RAW file when it processes for JPEG).

Whether or not that comes at the cost of tonality, well, you be the judge. :)

0 upvotes
Mike921
By Mike921 (4 months ago)

So, the D4S main competitor, the Canon 1DX, isn't available comparison???

MASSIVE, MASSIVE, MASSIVE FAIL DPR!!!!!!!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
11 upvotes
km25
By km25 (4 months ago)

True, they should give equal time to Canon, the 1DX should have it's day. But I do not think it is a "MASSIVE FAIL(FAILURE)".

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
jackspra
By jackspra (4 months ago)

That would have been the camera to compare to.

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (4 months ago)

How important is +1/3 EV here, -1/3 EV there? Nobody buys a camera like the D4S because these trifles. Who buys a D4S wants a rugged camera for action. Everything else is secondary.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Have you looked hight ISO raws from the D4 and then compared them to high ISO raws from the D4s?

The D4s is a good bit more than 1/3 of a stop better.

And the Df+D3s are also a good bit better at high ISOs than the D4.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (4 months ago)

I was talking about JPEG Tone Curves / Dynamic Range, and not about high ISO performance.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (4 months ago)

I kind of agree. Who considers buying a D4s cares much about any of this? The camera's target market is F-mount lens owning people looking for a rugged body, particularly one that can handle large telephoto lenses in a controllable fashion.

That said, I enjoy the technical discussion much more than the product itself. I don't need a D4s but I think the technology involved in creating it is fascinating. After all, this is a website that is for reading about cameras and that very much goes to the point. Purchasing decisions aside...

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Looks like somebody finally gathered some courage to make a review of a pro camera... Awww... :)

Next time, maybe you can get to properly (objectively, numerically) evaluate autofocus instead of the JPEG curves? People gotta dream, right?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (4 months ago)

Why don't you start your own review site

5 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

To our knowledge, there's no accepted standard for 'objectively, numerically' evaluating autofocus. But it is something we're interested in and are looking into.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"Why don't you start your own review site"

I already have a job - and it is not a review site.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"To our knowledge, there's no accepted standard for 'objectively, numerically' evaluating autofocus. "

Make your own standard.
1) Rent a warehouse (the type gymnastic competitions etc are being performed)
2) Put a motorized carousel in it (with open top)
3) Put a mannequin (with black pupils - use a sharpie if you must) on one of the horses
4) place a resolution table (measuring vertical resolution) on the mannequin's chest, flush with the pupils

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

5) Place a tripod at the distance so the face and the resolution table would cover 80% of the height of the frame in portrait orientation at 70mm-equivalent at the closest point of the carousel's rotation. 70-mm equivalent because that is the point closest to shared by most interesting lenses to test for tracking - a) kit zoom; b) cheap tele zoom (70-300/4-5.6, 50-200/4.5-6, 40-150/4-5.6 etc - the kind most people will use for shooting their children's sports, school plays etc); c) 24-70/2.8 kind of premium zoom d) 70-200/2.8 premium tele "sports" zoom
6) Duct-tape a rechargeable/wireless shaver to the ballhead to emulate handshake (this is a really important point, please don't use absolutely immovable tripod as AF performance can be affected by handshake).

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

7) Turn on the carousel (making sure it accelerated to constant speed) and shaver and shoot away from the farthest point (focusing on the face) to the closest with AF-C with tracking in fastest sequential speed tracking is supported, for 10 revolutions of the carousel.
8) Put the resolution numbers from each frame (of course adjusting for the apparent size of the resolution table) into a database
9) Make a widget that will show how many useful shots (with resolution over preferably user chosen lines per picture height, but you can hardcode 1000 for a first iteration) the camera/lens combo can make in a second (use 10*time-of-half-revolution-of-the-carousel as your denominator). Here is your score.

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (4 months ago)

@Rishi.
So establish the standard! :)

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Ha! Currently busy establishing other standards with potentially higher ROI. :)

1 upvote
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (4 months ago)

and my trusty old fuji x10 blows them all away.

1 upvote
dougster1979
By dougster1979 (4 months ago)

Keep telling yourself that!!!

10 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (4 months ago)

That old Fuji can't clean up noisy shadows. But it surely can tame blown highlights in wide-DR scenes when light is plenty.

0 upvotes
hifimacianer
By hifimacianer (4 months ago)

The shadows don't have to be noisy if you make a correct exposure. The Fujis are different to other DR-Systems like ADL etc. With the Fujis you have to expose to the shadows, and the camera will keep the highlights with the different DR-steps.

1 upvote
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (4 months ago)

Why not use RAW instead of JPEG?

2 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (4 months ago)

To measure/analyse curve used by Nikon I suppose. With raw, you apply your own curve.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (4 months ago)

RAW dynamic range is something we're really focusing on trying to test in a meaningful way - hopefully we'll have something to show you soon.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

As new boyz stated, the JPEG tone curves show you the effects of the manufacturers' processing (in JPEG).

And as Barney stated - RAW dynamic range measurements are immensely useful, we agree. We're working on developing methodologies that can accurately measure it and also produce meaningful visualizations of it.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (4 months ago)

Now THAT would be interesting. RAW DR in different ISOs... Way to go, guys.

2 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (4 months ago)

Thanks @Barney Britton and Rashi Sanyal.

I asked the same thing pretty much. If you can provie both JPG and RAW that would be awesome.

Did you use to publish ACR/Lightroom results in the past?

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

By the way, while we're working on our own in-house methods, DXOMark remains a reasonable resource for RAW dynamic range comparisons.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

Kiril - we use ACR for RAW conversions in the studio scene. Whether or not we use it for RAW dynamic range measurements - as opposed to making measurements off individual color channels of the un-demosaiced file - is something we're currently debating.

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (4 months ago)

I hope DPR will be able to report RAW DR values for older cameras, if possible.

And I'll spend some time on the DXOMark site (and also Sensorgen.info).

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

Nikon and the other FF makers have hit a brick wall. The only way to jump it is to go bigger with the sensor, like the Leica S2 and the Pentax 645

5 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (4 months ago)

Why would that be?

Nikon and Sony have very diverse cameras with full frame sensor. Low res high sensitivity, great balanced 24mp offerings and hiRes 36mp models.

I see lots of opportunity for amateur photographer to move to full frame at decent price and enjoy much higher IQ. I am very happy with A7 and was happy with D600 and would have kept the Nikon had there not been the oil spill disaster

3 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (4 months ago)

Yeah I agreed. I have Sony Nex 7 and A7 and I am happy with these. I do not need bigger sensor really. These resolution are plenty enough for enlargement. Even great example of larger than A3 print successfully done with my Canon old 10D even only 6mp and not even a pixelate at all thanks to old AGFA lab used the higher resolution output than Fuji was back in 2004. Fuji caught up later though with higher dpi to 400 dpi. Those photo lab are clever can interpolate so well with much more expensive software than on photoshop with rather basic interpolation.

0 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (4 months ago)

Not exactly, they can use multiple pixels per color photosite where each pixel has a dynamically adjustable ISO for better DR. And large sensors still have not taken advantage of BSI+Stacked sensor tech. Something they have been saving up for later. Opaque photosite walls, like Samsung's Isocell tech can also help IQ. Right now, these tech are on small sensor cameras.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Nuk:

BSI is unlikely to come to FF sensors. It's not impossible to build a BSI FF sensor, just not that useful.

EG: Sony and Samsung aren't getting much better high ISO performance out of 1 inch sensors with BSI than Aptina gets out of normally built 1 inch sensors.

Also the walls between sensor sites already exist on non-BSI sensors, because those walls are the wires supplying power to and taking readings from the sensors.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal
By Rishi Sanyal (4 months ago)

@Nukunukoo - just to clarify: dynamically adjusting ISO on current generation, high-performance sensors will not yield significantly higher base-ISO DR. Many sensors these days show very little noise injection between the imaging sensor and the digital conversion & output. This means there's very little benefit to 'ISO amplification' prior to digitization. We're working on a series of articles that will help clarify this subtle issue.

Dynamically adjusting ISO will help with certain sensors though, such as those we see in Canon DSLRs currently. Which is why such a benefit is seen with Magic Lantern's Dual ISO feature. Put that feature on a Sony RX100 or NEX-7 or a Nikon D7000, though, and you'll barely see any benefit.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
saralecaire
By saralecaire (4 months ago)

So they're trying to convince us with this article that the D4s is different from the D4 sensor?

0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (4 months ago)

This is comparing JPG images and not necessarily the sensors of the cameras.

5 upvotes
xt1isdabomb
By xt1isdabomb (4 months ago)

I'll stick with my iPhone 5s, thank you.

2 upvotes
AndreaV
By AndreaV (4 months ago)

Uhm... can you explain me the meaning of this comment? I guess you're not a pro photographer and you've never used a professional camera, right?

6 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

good that more testings are done. closer to a full camera review at least?

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (4 months ago)

The D4s is an improvement, the Df is a small ways behind. I love that my X-T1 does well, about a F stop away. Next is the Sony A7S.

0 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (4 months ago)

The A7S will come out on top of every high ISO and dynamic range chart.

3 upvotes
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (4 months ago)

I love the look of DR400% on the Fuji cameras.

1 upvote
Gilmar
By Gilmar (4 months ago)

Maquina poderosa , mas comparar a canon 1dx (2011) com nikon d4s (2014).ta faltando bom senso.

0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (4 months ago)

DPREVIEW guys do you think many D4s users shoot JPEG? Can you compare RAW files e.g. d4 vs d4s? Also is 5d mk3 and A7 in same league at all? How about 1Dx? Best will be test against A7s which seems to be closest in terms of sensor to D4s

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
16 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (4 months ago)

I bet you that I could take a D4s JPEG+RAW photo and post-process the JPEG to be a more appealing photograph than you could create with the RAW, and that people would choose my photo over yours by a wide margin.

You *THINK* that you understand photography because you've read about RAW and it's supposedly better attributes. But the reality is that it's merely popular opinion and not necessarily true. If it were actually true, then JPEG would not even exist in DSLR cameras today; not only does it exist, but companies spend a great deal of time and money perfecting a certain look for their brand. Fuji and Olympus are widely regarded as having photographs that require the least post-processing. That's because creating a JPEG in the camera is an engineer's artwork. And good art is always worth money.

I can probably post-process JPEGs almost twice as fast as a RAW. And believe me, almost no one would even know or care that it was JPEG.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
27 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (4 months ago)

Well, congratulations on buying someone else's talent.

11 upvotes
Spiridakis Michael
By Spiridakis Michael (4 months ago)

You are running too fast in these statements and this is a clear sign of ignorance... Firstly agree that FUJI/OLYMPUS produce fine jpegs with the best by far color signatures... I wish I could own both systems...
But... RAW files are not the RAW files that was 6-8 years ago... they are pre - baked and follows the color signature of the jpeg unless you mean as jpeg these artistic filters of various scene modes...
But most of all as you say how good you are in jpeg manipulation that nobody would ever realize that is a jpeg and not RAW then let me say the same way..... Give me a 7 RAW frames bracketing and I will fix you an HDR picture that a jpeg of yours will never even come close... EVER.. I swear... So imagine this sensor monster what can do in this field...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
14 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (4 months ago)

Lots of pro sports shooters shoot in JPEG, and this camera is aimed towards sports and wildlife photography. So the answer to your first question is yes.

The reason for JPEG is that turn around time matters in pro sports and JPEG is much more compact and faster to transmit to the publisher.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

But NOT necessarily BETTER, just faster & easily understood why.

But NE1 stating in ABSOLUTE terms that a JPEG is EVER better than a RAW post processed by a very skilled individual is showing a fair amount of ignorance of the Raw process and the Artistic and creative art of Raw processing.

Once again, a JPEG is cooked, Raw is an unfinished product which has no limits today and into the future and Raw will ALWAYS have the ultimate potential NOT JPEG - that has to be obvious is it not? Great JPEG OOC or not?

7 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (4 months ago)

Your correct, Tony, and the D4s is designed for Action Photogs (News and Sports) and Wildflife photographers with similar subject matter as you have in your gallery :). Most, if not all the PJ's, I know in North America shoot jpegs for the exact reasons you mention, looming deadlines :) That's not to say, for their own personal projects they may decide to RAW or RAW+ jpeg :)

JJ, what you state is great and true in the theory of Digital photography but, sadly, for a lot of photogs, jpegs are the reality of some photography :)

Cheers,

Jack

2 upvotes
AD in KC
By AD in KC (4 months ago)

"That's because creating a JPEG in the camera is an engineer's artwork. "

That's why all the best photographers are engineers. Artists suck! I'm not going to take another picture until I can buy a camera engineered to know what I want photos of. How do I know what a good photo is? Ask an engineer!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (4 months ago)

Wow lots of reaction. I am familiar with wedding photogs and fashion guys they seem to use only RAW. There are some advantages to RAW e.g. Pulling detail out of shadows and bright skies. Also when significant exposure change is to be made jpg produces often posterization artifacts.

The first reply is very ignorant and I find it somewhat offensive. Good in camera JPG is for me a nice feature but not a priority when looking for a camera. So Fuji and Olympus or other brand have to win me with other things - lenses, sensor size etc.

Anyway thanks for the other replies. So it seems D4s and alike find fair use of its JPG when time is of essence.

4 upvotes
ShaoLynx
By ShaoLynx (4 months ago)

Well, mr. Bio-View, if some-one were to provide me with a D4s, I would take that challenge. I would take the RAW+JPEG and the bet would be on.
The moment JPEG uses Uncompressed 12bit files (they're actually working on that) and the sensors stop using Bayer patterns, and the computing power of cameras equals that of computers, and the camera SW is as powerful as Ps,... my opinion would start to change me :-)

1 upvote
George Christofi
By George Christofi (4 months ago)

You need 7 RAW frames bracketing an HDR to have better photos
than JPEG? φενεται να αστιευεσαι δεν ειναι?

0 upvotes
Wanchese
By Wanchese (4 months ago)

I used to say "Friends don't let friends shoot JPEG. The I got a D4S. Given the MASSIVE time and resource savings, I am shooting JPEG with this body almost exclusively. If the need arises for a more demanding situation, RAW is but a button press/command dial spin away. The JPEG results have been extremely satisfactory. I did lose color though on a shot which I'd overexposed by two stops.

0 upvotes
Fri13
By Fri13 (4 months ago)

In many situations JPEG is better than RAW. Why? You, can get exactly the final print required quality easily and don't waste time for RAW. Time is money, delivering a photo to get money can be counted in seconds difference between you and dozen of others in same location.

Sure you can tweak and tweak RAW as much you like, but if you are not knowing when to shoot RAW and when not, you are wasting your time and quality. OVF is obsolete in this, too much trouble testing exposure before actually shooting, why EVF has won so many professionals over as you can see what you get and nail the shot in the first one.

Binding a JPEG / RAW+JPEG switching to button for very quick access is one of the best things you can ever do! Shoot JPEG by default and when you learn to see scenery you can spot situations when you need more than 8-bit and it is behind a single button press.

Shooting RAW only is so so ignorant habit unless you are having camera 1-2 generations behind current models.

0 upvotes
ecube
By ecube (4 months ago)

I wonder how many users who posted comment have D3 or D800. Of those who have at least one or the other, how many have master all the features and properly used those features. How many are dissatisfied with the quality of the photos they have taken. How many believe Nikon D5 or D5S will improve their photos?

How many use Nikkor lens exclusively? How many use the so called "Pro Series" Nikkors? How many use the Schnieder, Zeiss, Leica, or Swarovki lens? How many use the photos direct from the camera WITHOUT post processing (except perhaps for removing effect of dust specs or straightening)?

What good is buying and using the latest and greatest camera if you still have to rely of post-processing?

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

And I wonder how many mastered every feature of Windows XP before switching over to Windows 7, well not.

Neither the D800 nor the D3 comes anywhere near the high ISO performance of the D3s or D4s.

And above base ISO the D800 has dynamic range problems.

There are Swarovski 35mm camera lenses? There are Leica lenses for this Nikon system?

Post processing is important and changes depending on what you plan for the photo. In the film era it was called film development and then printing.

If you mean: "How many simply shoot out of camera jpeg", then ask that.

9 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (4 months ago)

@ecube:
This is a typical 'tool' camera bought by news/sports reporters or reportage photographers like me who need their tools to create income. Similar as a carpenter or a mechanic has to trust and to depend on their tools.

I still use a D3S at almost a daily basis, in total almost 380.000 images taken with it since that I bought it. Once a year it's serviced by Nikon Osaka and it's stil working like since the day I bought it. After all those years do I use all the features and functionality of this camera? No of course not. Give this camera what I need, absolutely.

Will I need all the features of the D4S when I replace it this year for my D3S? No of course not. But I know it will give me the same trust and quality under all kinds of (environmental and urban) conditions as what I'm used of Nikon in the past.

11 upvotes
ecube
By ecube (2 months ago)

For those who depends on the better or best tools for their living, then buying D3S or D4 and the best lenses on the market maybe the best move for them. However, the average Joe who buys the latest and greatest camera body because the "Pros use them" are kidding themselves.

If you need post post processing to improve the pictures, then why waste time and money paying for the latest and greatest camera body and lenses. I now take photos for my enjoyment, not for publication nor for money. I used to contribute to a magazine that no longer exist. Does Life sound familiar?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

ecube:

And some hobby shooting types like to push into really high ISOs and maintain good colour and dynamic range. That rules out many cameras, though not the D4s or Df (or D3s), irony that quest is where Nikon lenses start to have trouble.

The D4s can also be set to shoot significantly more quietly than the D4, D3s, D3.

I don't think the average joe will buy this D4s, partly because of cost, but also weight.

0 upvotes
ecube
By ecube (2 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW:
High ISO is just a gimmick. I took several shots in practically total darkness inside the subterranean river using a Pocket Panasonic Lumix. Max ISO of that Lumix is 3,200. The peanut built-in flash was insufficient to light the subject which were at least 30 feet away. I use the very inexpensive (FREE) Picasa to produce prints that looks very normal.

As for for Dynamic Range, it seems to me that you are confusing Dynamic Range and High ISO. High ISO comes into play on extremely high contrast situation (i.e. shadows, backlights). Your mention D3 & D4 and stated ruling out other camera, illustrates my point of "wannabes" relying on the gadget to do the heavy lifting for them. My D5100, D600 and D800 have "Quite Mode". Again proving your not taking time to know your camera.

As for Leica, Swarovski lenses for Nikon . . . the only European lens for Nikon is made by Zeiss, unless of course it is custom made.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (1 month ago)

ecube:

A flash? Are you joking?

No, I'm not confusing high ISOs and dynamic range. But...

The Nikon D600 most certainly does NOT have a quiet mode, the Df and D610, and D4s do. (I don't know about the D5100, but it is reasonably quiet, like the D800.)

You appear to have confused the D3s and the D3, they are significantly different cameras. Until the Df released, the D3s was the great high ISO body--not limiting this comment to Nikon bodies alone.

I don't believe your claims about the Panasonic, flash or no. Also "Lumix" is a general Panasonic camera term and says nothing about the model or sensor size.

Please use a serious high ISO camera, not any by Panasonic, before commenting. Also ISO 3200 is no longer considered high ISO. Try above 20,000. ISO 3200 would have been considered high for a DSLR (the Nikon D2Hs) in 2005.

Schneider (European) makes lenses for Nikon bodies. You may have B+W filters by Schneider.

So many things for you to look at and learn about.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ecube
By ecube (1 month ago)

Is D800 not a serious enough camera for you? I have D5100, D600, and D800. I have used ALL the features of each. Is it safe to assume you have D3, D3s, D4, DF, D610 & D800 and your "expertise" comes from having used all the features of each?
Your problem for doubting the subterranean photos, not mine.

Yes, you are right about the Schneider. Actually it is Schneider-Kreuznach. They supply the lenses use in Kodak cameras.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (1 month ago)

ecube:

The D800 is not a serious high ISO camera. Please quote me accurately.

No I don't claim to have used every feature of every Nikon. And never claimed that.

However I've shot with the D3s, D4, and D700 and have shot test shots (raws) with the D4s, Df, D610, D810, and D600 and various Nikon APSC bodies. And then done a tiny bit of street shooting with the Nikon D800 separately. (Note the D3 is not on that list.)

Therefore I'm quite sure the D600 doesn't have a quiet setting. The introduction of a quiet mode with the D610 was big deal, so too with the Df, and then came the louder quiet mode with the D4s.

I more than doubt your claims about any Panasonic shooting at ISO 3200, see in the year 2014 there are only 2 Panasonics which can easily shoot at that ISO: The GH4 and the G7X.

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

Seriously is Dpreview gonna actually post a full review on this. How much longer do we have to wait.

0 upvotes
Reservoir_Dog
By Reservoir_Dog (4 months ago)

Dont wait, they are NOT going to make a full review from this cam.

0 upvotes
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

Yea I doubt they will.....got mine last week..was just curious on their view.. Anyways most reviews out there pretty much has the same view and conclusion

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (4 months ago)

Shouldn't be too hard to do a full review, just do a search and replace on the D4 review ("D4" replace with "D4s") update a few product images and review completed.

0 upvotes
pitaw
By pitaw (4 months ago)

Nice, but I'm still waiting for a small body version (D700/D800 size), with D4s' bells & whistles that I can easily stroll around all day with my lightweight 24-120 f4. Sigh.

2 upvotes
Baggena
By Baggena (5 months ago)

A great Nikon D4S in the field review by Award-winning professional Wildlife Photographer Aaron Baggenstos. Aaron demonstrates some of the camera's exciting new features and shares wldlife images, video, and time lapses he has taken with the D4s.

http://vimeo.com/wildlifephotographytours/nikond4sreview

1 upvote
BrendaM
By BrendaM (5 months ago)

I feel stupid for for even looking at these foolish ISO settings, which are more useful as a marketing setting, not a photographer's setting.

In the left-center scale, in the highest settings, I don't see lines until 18, and at lower ISOs they read much higher.

Aside from the noise, what remains is a few hundred pixels of image information, little more than entire-view image issued by comparison tool, shown in the browser.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

Try shooting indoors in lowlight, then you'll find a reason for ISO 20,000.

Realistically this body is useable at ISO 30,000, then there start to be problems. (All to be expected given the rule of subtracting 3 stops from the highest ISO allowed on a Canikon DSLR. )

2 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (4 months ago)

"BrendaM (2 weeks ago)

I feel stupid for for even looking at these foolish ISO settings, which are more useful as a marketing setting, not a photographer's setting."

Photographers would disagree

3 upvotes
sierranvin
By sierranvin (5 months ago)

How interesting, Nikon. @ $400/MP, this fab D4s is equivalent to the Sony a7R being priced at $14,400! Except the a7R only costs $2,300, or $63/MP!
Who's your friend?

(And thanks in advance to everybody who is about to tell me MP don't matter...)

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

MPs do matter, too many get in the way of decent image quality at anything but ISO 50. Perhaps you had a different meaning in mind, like more MPs are better as general rule.

Somehow, I'm sure the AF on the D4s is a good bit better and faster than on this Sony. Then there's the frame rate thing.

But hey, since I don't care about AF speed or frame rate I'll be glad when I get to see serious raws from this A7s. (Too bad about the likely raw compression.)

1 upvote
ngtszhodavid
By ngtszhodavid (4 months ago)

Funny if that is the metric that actually matters

0 upvotes
Dismayed
By Dismayed (4 months ago)

Sounds as if you'd be happiest with a cell phone camera. You'll minimize your $/MP.

4 upvotes
jjnik
By jjnik (4 months ago)

I have both the D4s and D800E. The D800E is great at lower ISO's (phenomenal at ISO 100), but the D4s leaves it behind at higher ISO's, esp. above ISO 6400 (and is still awesome at base ISO too) and is an all around better camera handling-wise, imho.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
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