Nikon D4s to be Nikon’s Next Flagship Camera

Today Nikon announced that it will preview its next “professional flagship D-SLR”, the D4s, at this week’s CES show.  How much will be previewed at the show remains to be seen since today’s announcement was thin on details. In fact, it only said that the D4s is “currently in development” and one could interpret that to mean that final specs are subject to change. Nikon did give a little insight to what the new model will offer over the existing D4. First they state the new pro body will feature “improved image quality with the adoption of a new image-processing engine” and second, the press release promises more advanced autofocus performance. That is about all Nikon revealed with this “currently in development” announcement.

Nikon D4s

Nikon will be showing the camera at their booth (#14916, Central Hall) at the 2014 International CES show from January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  What exactly they will be showing will be interesting since we don’t know at what stage of production the camera is currently in.  We assume that since it is a D4s and not the D5, that it will be very similar on the exterior to the D4. If you happen to be at the show this week, please send us pics of it!

The D4 is a solid camera so what might the improvements be? It’s all pure speculation at this point, which isn’t so bad since pure photography is also popular at this time (come on, it’s just a joke so don’t get all upset). Advanced autofocus could mean a brand new AF system module with more cross-type focus sensors for improved AF performance. The improved processing engine might lead to an additional frame(s) per second to go with the purported improved image quality. We wouldn’t expect more megapixels in a new sensor at this time, but it could occur. What about the XQD card that was introduced with the D4 but hasn’t seen adoption with other cameras? Will Nikon go full commitment to the XQD and replace the existing compact flash slot with another XQD slot? Or will they maintain the hybrid slot system that is currently used in the D4?  Will the new processing engine be energy efficient and extend battery life or will it drain the battery faster? The answers remain to be seen as does the cost for this new and improved flagship camera. Stay tuned and we will pass along more info on the new D4s as we get it.

Nikon will provide more details such as the official announcement, pricing and availability in the near future.

Here is the official Nikon Press Release:

Nikon’s Next Generation Professional Flagship D-SLR to be Shown at 2014 CES Prior to Official Announcement. Designed to Meet the Needs of Professional Photographers, The Nikon D4S is Currently in Development

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Nikon Corporation is preparing for the release of its next-generation flagship model, and has announced the development of the Nikon D4S HD-SLR.  The camera will be on display, before its official release, at the Nikon booth (#14916, Central Hall) at the 2014 International CES show from January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As Nikon’s new flagship model, the D4S will offer advances over the Nikon D4 HD-SLR camera, including enhanced image quality enabled with adoption of a new image-processing engine. The new HD-SLR will also feature more advanced autofocusing performance, further solidifying it as the choice for professional sports, nature and event photographers as well as photojournalists.

The D4S represents a concentration of Nikon’s advanced camera development technologies and legacy as a leader in imaging. The D4S will further expand the possibilities for professional photographers who demand the best possible performance and image quality in challenging environments. The Nikon D4S will build upon the success of the acclaimed Nikon D4, a camera highly regarded for its speed, unrivaled low-light ability and amazing image quality that made it the choice of professionals and advanced amateurs around the world.

Further details regarding the Nikon D4S, including announcement date, availability and suggested retail price will be announced at a later date.


  1. 1) Peter
    January 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    – 20-24MP
    – dual EXPEED4 processor
    – dual XQD slots
    – USB slot
    – wireless-N capability
    – new and improved multicam with points spread a bit more and maybe 4-8 additional cross focus points
    – up to 14-16 FPS with 30% more (higher FPS) buffer than D4

    at $6,999

    • 1.1) Peter
      January 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Meant USB4 slot. =)

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 1.2) Tom Redd
      January 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Peter, that sounds nice and I would love it if your dreams came true on this one, but I don’t think this will be that much of a jump from the D4. It’s still fun to speculate and dream! :)

  2. 2) wfp
    January 7, 2014 at 12:21 am

    – Dump XQD and bring back dual CFs. That point alone killed my purchase of the original D4. They are nearly impossible to buy in Asia. I can just see me on assignment somewhere trying to find a XQD seller in Thailand or the Philippines. Not going to happen.
    – A quiet mode that works. Working with a D3 at the Philharmonic, church or art gallery can be embarrassing
    -Selectable resolution. 36MP, 24, and 12MP would be nice. We had selectable RAW resolution 10 years ago in the Kodak DCS-14n. Even the 5Dmk3 has something like this. It is VERY useful for wedding photographer. Portraits full rez, everything else in 12 or 24.

    • 2.1) greytan
      January 7, 2014 at 12:46 am

      I have a D4 and while I agree mismatched slots are not ideal, XQD cards should stay. Preferably as matched slots. XQD cards are significantly faster and that would be required for the flagship camera that the D4/D4S is. Regarding availability, just buy enough XQD cards so that you don’t have to buy 1 on location? I’d be more concerned if the card reader broke. That’ll be a pita to replace.

      D4’s quiet mode is amazing considering what a beast it is. I used the D700 before I upgraded, be prepared to be blown away. Just don’t expect 5D mk3 level of quiet.

      Selectable resolution would be nice but there are IQ penalties to be paid when down resizing in camera. Better would be to shoot at 12bit RAW and run it through macros in photoshop/ACR/LR to down resize it as a DNG before processing.

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 2.2) Tom Redd
      January 7, 2014 at 7:33 am

      WFP, they might dump the XQD card, especially when you see Sony not using it in their a7 or a7R cameras. If the manufacturer of the XQD card doesn’t use it in their own cameras (other than their video cams) then it doesn’t bode well long term.

      Personally, I like the XQD cards, they’re fast and I have had no problems with them, but then again, I liked Betamax, too! :)

  3. 3) Peter G
    January 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Agree with your comment about XQD cards.

    I already have a D3S and a D3. Stupid idea of Nikon to put the two different cards in the D4. That put me off purchasing a D4.

  4. 4) Sergio
    January 7, 2014 at 2:24 am

    I fully expect to be underwhelmed. Nikon (and other manufacturers too I suppose) has an annoying habit of not living up to its full potential.

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 4.1) Tom Redd
      January 7, 2014 at 7:36 am

      Sergio, based on recent performance, I fear you might be correct.

  5. 5) Jorge Balarin
    January 7, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I must play the lotto : )

    • Profile photo of Tom Redd 5.1) Tom Redd
      January 7, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Jorge, let us know when you win the lotto, because I think you might be my long lost uncle if you do! :)

      • 5.1.1) Jorge Balarin
        January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        It’s ok, I would buy a D4s also for you : )

  6. 6) Don
    January 7, 2014 at 4:45 am

    I can understand the idea of XQD cards being new, a pain to sometimes find but to put off the purchase of a camera for one seems nit-picky. On the other hand I wish Nikon would decide to go full CF cards or make a major push to get the XQD standard adopted. I have a few XQD cards and it hasn’t been a problem finding more if I need them.

  7. January 7, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Improvements that I would suggest/like:

    1) Global shutter. This would allow for a real quiet mode (only mirror slap, so have reduced half the noise). For DSLRs there is no need for a physical shutter.

    2) Dual CF cards, dual SD cards, dual XQD cards; just so along as they are both the same.

    3) A minimum of 24 MP. This would be more that Canons’ EOS-1DX, and would match the D600/610.

    4) More focus points, spread across more of the screen. Personally 90% of my shots are done with just the single middle point, however there are times when it would be nice to have the ability to focus and then not have to recompose.

    5) USB 3 (for those who read cards from their cameras).

    I believe the above are realistic.


  8. 8) Randall
    January 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Does this upgrade to the D4s clear the way for the D710? There is still a huge hole in Nikons lineup. Fingers crossed.

  9. January 10, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I do for an upgrade and I am waiting for this to be released. I sold all my stuff and waiting now. I have a feeling that right after Nikon will release the D4s they will also announce D400. This happened before with D3s, following by D700 and that’s what worries me. I would be much happier of course to buy D400 and upgrade my lenses, then spending all the cash on D4s. Also Nikon took out of production D3, D700, and I believe D300s (May be I am wrong about the last one) leaving us with no choice but pay heavily for the fast camera and that’s what I don’t like. I found some companies in Hong Kong that still sell D3 and D3s and even D700. Do you think it’s safe to buy it from these countries? It’s been a wile now that we wait for D400 and honestly I am considering dropping the brand and switching to two new bodies made by Sony, Alpha A99/A7R format. Not perfect but works and for the less money.

  10. 10) Peter G
    January 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Its safe to purchase from online suppliers in Hong Kong. Just do some homework.

    Its natural for a company when they introduce a new model to stop production of the old model. That’s business :-)
    Why would you consider ” Dropping the brand ” ?

    I have a D3S, D3 and D2Xs and no way I would consider switching to Sony to save money. Sony doesn’t have the range of product, anyway .

    I may consider a D4s, but, my only objection to the D4 is the stupid 2 different card system.

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