D4 vs d4s

Started 2 months ago | Questions
Jeep_Joseph
Jeep_Joseph Regular Member • Posts: 374
D4 vs d4s

So, i know there is really not a big difference between the d4 and the d4s. The only differences i know of are: mirror balancer, processors, and the joystick.  Am i missing anything? I recently drowned my d4 and it would cost the same amount of money to salvage my d4 as it would to replace it with a d4s. If you were in my position, would you get a d4s or turn the d4 into a d4s?  Sorry, wasn't sure what thread to put this in but i figured since its a d4 this was a good place to start

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ANSWER:
Nikon D4 Nikon D4S
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Wahrsager
Wahrsager Senior Member • Posts: 2,745
Re: D4 vs d4s

Jeep_Joseph wrote:

So, i know there is really not a big difference between the d4 and the d4s. The only differences i know of are: mirror balancer, processors, and the joystick. Am i missing anything? I recently drowned my d4 and it would cost the same amount of money to salvage my d4 as it would to replace it with a d4s. If you were in my position, would you get a d4s or turn the d4 into a d4s? Sorry, wasn't sure what thread to put this in but i figured since its a d4 this was a good place to start

https://photographylife.com/nikon-d4s-vs-d4

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Jeep_Joseph
OP Jeep_Joseph Regular Member • Posts: 374
Re: D4 vs d4s

Thanks, yeah that was my checklist just wanted to make sure that they and i didn't miss anything

 Jeep_Joseph's gear list:Jeep_Joseph's gear list
Nikon D3S Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH5 +15 more
Micheal Hall Senior Member • Posts: 1,126
Re: D4 vs d4s
1

One other thing to consider is that the D4s is about two years newer, which also means two years longer guaranteed replacement parts (7 years from the date of the end of manufacture, I believe).

I never used a D4 (I went from D3s to D4s), but I think this summary on Photography Life is a good one:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d4s/6

I'd also consider moving up to a used D5, if you could make the stretch. I've now moved all of my primary sports photography to 3 D5 bodies and my two D4s bodies will be moving to my staff photographers.

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Micheal

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Jeep_Joseph
OP Jeep_Joseph Regular Member • Posts: 374
Re: D4 vs d4s
2

Thanks, nikon just sent me away today. Luckily i can still get the parts off of ebay. I might be able to strech to a d5, but i hate fearing depreciation. My d4 also has a lot of sentimental value since it was my first really nice camera that took me months to buy (im still just a kid in highschool)

 Jeep_Joseph's gear list:Jeep_Joseph's gear list
Nikon D3S Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH5 +15 more
patricksmith32
patricksmith32 Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: D4 vs d4s
2

Jeep_Joseph wrote:

Thanks, nikon just sent me away today. Luckily i can still get the parts off of ebay. I might be able to strech to a d5, but i hate fearing depreciation. My d4 also has a lot of sentimental value since it was my first really nice camera that took me months to buy (im still just a kid in highschool)

If you can swing the extra cash and or find a good deal on a D5, definitely do that. The only issue at all with the D4s, is the price. It’s too close in price to a used D5, and usually about $800 more than a similar D4. I only think at max the D4s is worth about $400-$500 more than a comparable D4. However there are more changes that you might need find in that photography life review. I found, and others found that the D4s produces sharper images than the D4, and much sharper video. I can post a couple reviews where the author says they also found that to be true. However I’m speaking as a professional photojournalist whose put about a million shutter acuations on D4’s and D4s’! Until 2019 I shot a pair of D4s bodies, before that D4’s and now a D5/D6/D850. The D4s has slightly better colors at high ISO and definitely better JPEGs at high ISO as well, but most people shoot RAW, so it is not too important. The D4s of course offers 11fps on E-type lenses or G-type lenses that are shot wide open, otherwise they both do 10fps! The mirror mechanism is definitely better as you mentioned and that translates to a better viewfinder experience, especially when paired to any lens with Sport VR!

Other than that and the obvious other upgrades, I really liked how Nikon added the ability to program AF area modes to a lens function button, which I use a lot. That way I could program Single point AF to lens function buttons on my 70-200FL, 300mm f/2.8 VR and 500mm FL lenses. However not everyone has lenses with those, so might not matter to you. Overall though the biggest improvement is autofocus and I agree with photography life in this regard and would happily put the 30% improvement over the D4 on that! So the higher end! Plus the D4s added Group AF, and that alone was worth the $500 upgrade cost.

However the differences in autofocus between the D5 and D4s vs D4/D4s are much bigger. I could on and on and on, about why you should spring for the D5, but I think I’ll hold off until you say that’s for sure an option. Don’t want to get you too worked up over it. I was a hold out, I actually believed some of the hype that the D5 wasn’t much of an upgrade and that the D4s offered better dynamic range at low ISO over the D5, etc. However once I finally got a D5, I couldn’t wait to get a second one and move on from the D4s! But having said that, the D4s is an awesome camera and you wouldn’t be disappointed either way. I use Group AF all of the time, maybe 70-80% of the time, so that feature alone was worth the upgrade. If I absolutely had to put numbers on hit rates, I’d rate the D4 at about 85%, the D4s at about 89% and the D5 at about 95% or better. That’s would good/solid technique and fast/capable lenses. I rarely if ever miss shots due to autofocus on my D5, and when I do, which again is very rarely, it’s user error. Not only that but the D5 always seems to grab focus and nail focus on the first shot in a burst, which I can’t say about the D4/D4s! That is often the difference maker for getting the shot in a lot of what I do, especially sports and definitely baseball!

The D5 really is a very noticeable upgrade in my opinion, especially in the autofocus department and usability. You can customize the D5 so much, it feels better ergonomically in your hand and it just grabs focus and won’t let go. I set continuous AF to “release,” meaning release the shutter over focus priority and it still seems to almost always nail that first shot or two in a burst. Whereas the D4/D4s sometimes took a couple shots to acquire focus. In fact the D5 is so good, I initially returned my NPS priority D6. I returned the D6 and bought a second D5, and until recently I shot two D5’s most of the time. However after giving the D6 another go, and remembering the 14fps, I had to get another. But the only reason I ever returned the first D6, was I felt it was not worth anywhere near $3,000 more than a clean used D5.

However I was able to finally get a used D6 for a fair price, so that changed my mind. However you do need E-type lenses in order to enjoy the 14fps, and thankfully I have mostly E-type lenses. Or I tend to shoot the G-type lens wide open anyways, so it seems I’m getting 12/14fps on that too. Once you stop down though on older G/D type lenses you are limited to 10fps, even on the D4s/D5/D6. In all honesty if you don’t have any E-type lenses and you tend to stop down a lot, you maybe better off with a D4s. It just depends on what you shoot the most. If it’s mostly fast action, buy a D5, you won’t regret it. If it’s more still life and some action, the D4s is kind of the best of both worlds, sensor wise. The D4s is great at high ISO and low ISO dynamic range. Whereas the D5 is really good at both, especially great at high ISO, but lacking a little on the low ISO dynamic range. I sometimes bring or grab my D850 over my D5/D6 bodies, if I know I’m going to need to boost shadows. Or need the best dynamic range at low/base ISO, because at times the D5/D6 sensor falls apart when boosting the shadows. In most cases you don’t ever see that or need that, but once in awhile it will show it’s weakness! The D4s, however does not have that issue and you can easily push the shadows a good 5 stops at base ISO, whereas the D5 can only comfortably be pushed 2.5-3 stops in the shadows.

You can’t do wrong buying either camera, but if you can afford the D5, definitely get one. I was so mad at myself for doubting the D5, and I wish I had one in 2016 instead of 2019. Part of that is because the D4s was and is, so great. The other part though was stupidity and putting too much stock in reviews that bashed the D5 over the dynamic range issue. In real world usage you rarely ever see the dynamic range thing, and I held onto that false belief too long. Plus the D5 will probably be serviceable for a few years longer than the D4s, and it’s been getting harder to find parts for Nikon gear at third party repair places. So it’s definitely nice to be able to get service like you were saying, and third party repairs are so backed up it takes months right now. Hope this helps!

 patricksmith32's gear list:patricksmith32's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F4E FL ED VR Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Nikon D5 Nikon D850 +3 more
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Jeep_Joseph
OP Jeep_Joseph Regular Member • Posts: 374
Re: D4 vs d4s

Thanks, that actually helps a lot I may try parting out my d4, changing out the mirror mechanism, processors, motherboard, and casing on my d4 to make it a d4s. I got the d4 for about 600 bucks, so adding another 1400 into it at this point (it helps it has already paid its self off then some) for a d4s would make sense for me. I thought i saw a d5 that was 1800 bucks, but it seems that someone had picked it up. Luckily my family is loaning me money. Sadly, my d600 is also currently down due to a strap breaking and the top plate cracking to the pentaprism tunnel after it hit concrete. Currently, my only two cameras (besides a d3500) are a gh5 and a em1. I was hoping to wait for the z9 to come out, hopefully not get too attached to a few of my cameras, then get a d5 or a d6.  Random question, but the sensor of the d4s remained the same as the d4, right?  If i am not mistaken they both had the nikon SAR-107774?  Then the d5 was the Toshiba T4K54?

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Nikon D3S Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH5 +15 more
TheMerchantofVenice Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: D4 vs d4s
5

Jeep_Joseph wrote:

I may try parting out my d4, changing out the mirror mechanism, processors, motherboard, and casing on my d4 to make it a d4s.

I would really, seriously, urge you to reconsider this project

In my view your money would be better spent if directed to camera replacement.

patricksmith32
patricksmith32 Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: D4 vs d4s
1

TheMerchantofVenice wrote:

Jeep_Joseph wrote:

I may try parting out my d4, changing out the mirror mechanism, processors, motherboard, and casing on my d4 to make it a d4s.

I would really, seriously, urge you to reconsider this project

In my view your money would be better spent if directed to camera replacement.

Same, ditto! Don’t do that, that’s not smart. Also the cheapest D5 Ive ever seen was $2450 and it was a gray market, USA models are between $2900-$3900! I paid $3,800 for the last D5 that I bought, it was USA model like new and only 20k on the shutter and that was in early 2020. Anyways you can definitely get a D4s for around $1,800. Also according to Nikon the D4s does have a new sensor compared to the D4, however many believe that’s a stretch and from what I’ve gleaned over the years from reliable sources at NPS, a friend who is a Nikon Ambassador and others is that the D4s has a new micro-lens array and a less strong AA/OLPF filter and of course a new image processor! The D4s does produce sharper images than the D4 and much sharper video. So Nikon definitely did change something, but I’m not sure it’s a completely new sensor or what Nikon considers new. However Nikon recently did admit that the D6 and D5 do share the exact same sensor just with the D6 having a new image processor/engine. Whereas Nikon never admitted that with the D4s, they are sticking to their guns that the D4s has a new sensor. Their words, not mine, so don’t call me out, lol!

 patricksmith32's gear list:patricksmith32's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F4E FL ED VR Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Nikon D5 Nikon D850 +3 more
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