Initial reactions to the forthcoming Nikon D4S

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Apparently CES 2014 wasn’t the premier showcase for groundbreaking digital imaging products it has been in other years. Instead a huge array of 4K + televisions took centre stage. That wasn’t to say cameras were entirely void of the world’s biggest annual consumer technology event. Typically Nikon’s unmissable bold black letters against a yellow background swung conspicuously in the air, enticing photographers and enthusiasts to check out Nikon’s latest wares.

Right on the eve of this year’s CES, Nikon announced it was preparing for the release of it next-generation flagship model, the Nikon D4S DSLR. The camera is designed for the world’s top photographers. According to Nikon’s press release the new flagship model offers advances over the Nikon D4, such as better image quality, advanced autofocusing performance and a new image-processing engine.

But how has the D4S been perceived by the scrutinising eye of the tech press?

In its round up of cameras and digital imaging at CES 2014, Engadget gave the D4S a mention. Avoiding talking about its capabilities and guts, Engadget fleetingly touched upon the fact Nikon was the only manufacturer to “albeit quietly” launch a flagship. Although it did refer to Nikon’s new model as the “latest and greatest DSLR”.

“The D4S isn’t shipping to photographers any time soon, but it will début on the sidelines at the 2014 Winter Olympics next month, as select pros cover the Games with the latest and greatest DSLR.”

Photography Life also picked up on “thin” description of the its professional flagship D-SLR. According to Photography Life, Nikon had announced the D4S is “currently in development”, and this could mean the final specs are subject to change. Admitting any report of the D4S is “speculation”, Photography Life’s write up talked of how the D4S’s advanced autofocus could mean a brand new AF system model 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, states Photography Life.

Pocket-Lint also noted that since nobody has had a hands-on, details are scarce about the Nikon D4S. Pocket-Lint admitted that its summary of the D4S stemmed from the pictures taken by Engadget in Hong Kong.

“We can deduce that Nikon is sticking with its usual control layout,” writes Pocket-Lint. “On the inside Nikon promises to pack in a new image engine with faster autofocus. The sensor hasn’t been mentioned but we’d hope for an uprated one since the D4 is now two years old.”

Pocket-Lint even speculated about the price, expecting the D4S to cost around the same as its predecessor at £5,289 for the body only.

Tech Radar also revealed its disappointment of Nikon’s “thin” D4S specifications. But admits that professional photographers are likely to be excited by the prospect of the new camera.

So Nikon’s somewhat teasing snapshot of its new flagship professional D-SLR has taunted the tech press somewhat. As for a more in-depth analysis, we’ll have to wait until Nikon let us get our hands on the D4 sibling. One thing is more concrete, with the Winter Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games all taking place in 2014, Nikon has picked the right year to launch its new pro model.