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Nikon D4s vs Canon 1D X


Nikon D4s is not a true successor of Nikon D4 DSLR, its just a speedy version of Nikon D4 camera that may fit easily more with sports shooters and photojournalist.

Now take a look at the specification comparison review of both the camera, does Nikon new Expeed 4 image processor is faster than Canon Dual Digic 5+ ?, find out your answer below…


Sensor: The Nikon D4s features 16.2 megapixels Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) CMOS Sensor same as of Nikon D4 DSLR, the increased ISO range in D4 is due to  (standard upto 25600 and expandable upto 409600) the new Expeed 4 image processor, the Canon 1DX on the other hand features 18.1 megapixels Full frame (36 x 24 mm) CMOS Sensor  1-stop more standard ISO range and 1-stop less expandable ISO range when compared to Nikon D4 DSLR.

ISO performance:

Nikon D4s Canon 1D X
ISO Standard 100-25600 100-51,200
ISO Expandable 50- 409600 50 – 204,800


Auto Focus

Nikon D4s Canon 1DX
Autofocus Number of focus points  51 Number of focus points 61
Cross-Type Points 15 41 (5 diagonal)
AF Sensor compatible with Apertures f/8 f/8
AF Engine Multi-CAM 3500FX (same as D3) DIGIC IV
Predictive tracking Yes Yes

Nikon D4s AF System

Nikon D4s features same (old) AF engine used in D3, D4 DSLR  – Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor handles 51 AF points,  aligns its 15 cross-type sensors in the central viewfinder area to detect contrast in both vertical and horizontal lines for better AF performance.

Nikon AF system is old, but comes with a upgraded AF Algorithm that features Group area AF, When Group-area AF is selected, the camera uses one focus point selected by the user and one each above, below, to the right, and to the left of the selected focus point, for a total of five focus points used as single AF point. It helps to capture speedy subjects with greater certainty without focus shifting to the background.

Canon 1DX AF System

Auto focus Points: The number of AF points and Cross/Type points canon wins, the Canon 1D X features 41 AF cross type points and 5 of the center points are oriented diagonally for faster AF performance.

AF Engine: Canon 1D X AF system uses  dedicated Digic 4 processor , EOS-1D X’s comes with 61-point Area AF system that includes 41 cross-type sensors and 5 dual-cross type AF points for extra precision.

Canon 1D X offers six presets for different shooting situations, Each of these presets can be adjusted for ‘Tracking sensitivity’

For faster predictive focus measurements so that the EOS-1D X can begin predictive tracking as soon as a subject begins to move.

Canon EOS-1D X AF mode presets, defined by subject behavior:
1. Versatile multi purpose 4. Subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly
2. Continue shooting, ignore obstructions 5. Erratic Subject Movement
3. Instantly refocus suddenly with obstructions 6. Subjects that change speed and move erratically

Six preset Case studies

There are six AF ‘Case studies’ preset within the EOS-1D X

  • Case 1 is for general purpose shooting that provides accurate and fast focus across a wide range of shooting situations.
  • Case 2 is designed for situations where the subject may move away from the AF point momentarily.
  • Case 3 allows you to instantly focus on subjects that enter the AF point area.
  • Case 4 is designed for subjects that change speed or direction rapidly.
  • Case 5 is designed for use with automatic AF point selection, Zone AF and AF Point expansion and subjects that move erratically, up and down or left and right.
  • Case 6 is for subjects that change speed abruptly and move erratically. Like ‘Case 5’ it is used with Automatic AF point selection, Zone AF and AF Point Expansion.


Continuous shooting

Nikon D4s Canon 1D X

exposure and focusing is locked with the first frame

Continuous shooting 11 fps 14 fps

1DX that wins in the shooting speed, you get 3 extra frame per second in canon.


Video Shooting

Nikon D4s Canon 1D X
Video Shooting Format MPEG-4 / H.264 MPEG-4 / H.264
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps, 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)
Video ISO Range 200-204800 100-51200

Nikon gives you option to record your Fill HD videos @ 60fps frame rate however the Canon is limited to 30 fps frame rate at the Full HD mode, but not only that you get more extra benefit from Nikon D4s such as

  1. More Video ISO range in Nikon D4s DSLR.
  2. You can record 1,920 x 1,080/30p Full HD and HD movies in three formats that are FX-, DX-based and 1,920 x 1,080 crop movie format.

Nikon D4s with More shooting modes: With Canon 1D X you can use Canon EF lenses only, but with  Nikon D4s you can use DX and FX lenses, Nikon D4s offers four image area options: FX format (36.0 x 23.9 mm), 5:4 crop (29.9 x 23.9 mm), 1.2x crop (29.9 x 19.9 mm) and DX format (23.4 x 15.5 mm). The camera also offers three image area options for Full HD video thereby tripling its potential for moviemaking.

Storage: 1DX coming with two slots of high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash cards,  D4s also comes with two slots one for  UDMA 7 and the other slot for the new XDC card format.

Conclusion: I think Nikon need a “Nikon D5” DSLR to beat the core specification of 1 year old Canon 1DX DSLR, The AF system of Canon 1DX is still advance and on the other hand Nikon features better video mode and expandable ISO range is 1 stop more than Canon 1DX (although the standard ISO range remains 1-Stop less than Canon 1DX)

For latest Price and Pre-order Nikon D4s visit AmazonB&H and Adorama
Buy Canon 1D X from Amazon

9 comments to Nikon D4s vs Canon 1D X

  • Canon wins. Though 14 frames per second only works with fully charged battery and also only in jpeg mode. in raw it can only shoot 11 fps. which is also better than Nikon due to more megapixels and iso sensitivity. it’s great that Nikon expanded iso to 400 00 but nobody will use it ever. it is said to be unusable. and yet Canon gives you 100-51,200 in standart iso mode when nikon only has 100-25600.
    Canon, you are the king and the queen. Nikon is a princess, ok.

  • René

    I think Canon sucks, looses the market slowly because of always awful dynamic range and looks like if it’s still 80’s. Better say, a crippled king

  • René

    i remember the old day when Nikon lost the battle because of autofocus, but now Canon is losing the battle because of sensor reasons. Not up to date, watch DXO sensor ratings ( first canon on place nr 25 ) You said Canon King and Queen?

  • At this level of quality is there a need of a winner ? sounds a bit ridiculous, they are both excellent, these are killer machines in good hands. I appreciate the 60f/s in 1920p from the Nikon.

  • Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen

    Boys with their toys. I imagine that anyone even comparing the two on a website is likely a hobbyist rather than a pro. These are both top ranked cameras and will have more functionality than *most* photos reasonably need. In any case, all else considered, the most important dictator of image quality is actually located about 4 inches behind the eyepiece during the shot.


    I am both user of Nikon and Canon,I bought and upgrade to the Nikon D3 when it was released after two months with the excellent user of the Nikon D200. I have shifted to Canon recently for reason as I find the realistic colour of the portraits shots taken with my Canon 5DII and 1DX.I have used other manufacturers Cameras but I find Canon and Nikon were suited for me.I think both of these companies have in the past manufacture excellent cameras and it it all depends on the models of these Cameras that really suited for the jobs.Under certain lighting conditions I find that the Canon 1DX struggles to focus but the sensor which was made from Sony for my Nikon D3 which was an older model focus much better.

  • People rarely stick to the facts.I use both, canon and nikon. The nikon D4s has 11 fps with full AF between shots (14 bit) the canon 12, period, just one more. The 14fps of canon 1Dx is only for jpeg and “mirror up” with NO Autofocus, simply useless and should not even be mentioned !! I get more sharp shots with the D4s at 11 fps than with the canon at 12fps.
    The D4s has better image quality in every aspect: Color depth 24.4 vs 23.8, dynamic range 13.3 vs 11.8 (that’s a lot, Low Light ISO 3078 vs 2786 (DxO)I get clean images at 12800 ISO with the D4s than with the 1Dx: The D4s buffer gives me 82 shots (14 bit lossless,) 200 (jpeg) in one burst (CF Lexar 1066x)a lot more than the canon 1Ds) Now the Nikon camera is much newer, the canon camera is very good for its age but – and I use it too, but less every time. One main reason is also the battery of Nikon here, which gives me 3x more shots (3000 vs 1000 aprox.) than the Canon.

  • admin

    @ Rainer Lehmann

    Thanks for your valuable input.

  • admin

    Thanks for the update

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