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on Feb 26, 2014 in Camera Tech

The D4s …To Buy, or Not To Buy

photo courtesy Nikon

photo courtesy Nikon

Every time Nikon announces a new camera body, I brace myself for the onslaught! At this moment, just shy of 800 emails have filled my email box asking about the D4s. “Should I buy it,” “Is it better than ….” and my favorite “Can I buy your D4.” And while these any many more questions are good questions and important to you, you have to understand I don’t even approach a new body asking these questions. I ask one simple question when I get a new body to test, “Does it solve problems the gear I shoot now doesn’t solve?” For example, if you follow the blog, you know that I’ve gone head for heals for the Nikon Df. My good friend Kevin after shooting this entire past week in Moab said, “Surprised you shot with the Df the entire time, must be good.” And for travel, portraits, hiding in the shadows and many other things, the Df is better than the D4. When it comes to critters, aviation air to air and action, the D4 is better and that’s why I have both in my bag. So now, for me the question is, “Where does the D4s fit in?”

Yes, the money matters but I didn’t get into photography to get rich (and that’s going as planned) so spending money for gear is a necessary evil to accomplish why I am in photography, storytelling. How will the D4s help with that, what will it do for ME and MY photography in that endeavor? I have ideas looking at the specs but until I have the body in my hand and can do my own real world shooting will I know. And that’s the point. Buying something just because it’s new (photographically speaking) just never made sense to me. Ya, I did it once and I ended up at times with gear I couldn’t use and a wallet that was not happy. That’s why I started to rent/borrow and try all gear before I buy. How can you do that with the D4s? You could join me on a workshop and try mine, but that’s a limited time. Better would to be call up the folks at and rent the D4s from them. Now with the sound of that 11fps and giant buffer alone is worth the price to me, it surely might not be for you so you need to try before you buy. I wish I had all the answers and while I have a lot, when it comes to your acquiring a D4s and being the best for you, I don’t. So, many of those emails asking me about the D4s are being returned with no real answers. B&H says they should be shipping the D4s 6 March, that’s next week so we’ll soon have more answers. Buy the tools that solve your photographic problems and you will have the right tool for you!