Nikon D4s DSLR: This Is What ISO 409,600 Looks Like

What happens when you crank Nikon's flagship DSLR to its maximum ISO?

Nikon D4s High ISO

Nikon D4s High ISO

Nikon D4s High ISOPhil Ryan

Nikon first announced their flagship D4s DSLR back at CES, but the announcement was lacking details. However, when the details finally hit, there was one thing on the spec sheet that really stood out. The ISO range is expandable to an absurd 409,600.

Technical editor, Phil Ryan is hard at work on the full camera test, but he took some time to fire off a few frames at the super-high ISO settings, just so we could give you a chance to see exactly what it's like to shoot at an ISO of almost half a million.

As you'd imagine, the noise is gnarly, but getting night shots at f/11 with a shutter speed of 1/640th of a second is pretty amazing.

Each photo was taken with the D4s in JPEG mode and posted without editing.

Nikon D4s Sample #1

Nikon D4s Sample #1

The following images are JPG's pulled straight from the camera. All of the images were shot using the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens and only ambient light, no flash, illuminated the scenes. This image is looking west down 32nd St. in NYC just west of Broadway. Getting a shutter speed of 1/640 sec. at f/11 in this situation used to be unheard of.
Tech Specs: ISO 409600, 1/640 sec, f/11.
Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #2

Nikon D4s Sample #2

This is one shot pulled from a burst of the train pulling out of the station. It might not seem that way though thanks to the fast shutter speed, despite the small aperture, enabled by such a high ISO. Tech Specs: ISO 409600, 1/1000 sec, f/11.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #3

Nikon D4s Sample #3

Tech Specs: ISO 102400, 1/1000 sec, f/8.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #4

Nikon D4s Sample #4

This is a shot of a tie store inside New York City's Penn Station. Note the darkness of the store interior through the doorway. Tech Specs: ISO 409600, 1/2500 sec, f/11.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #5

Nikon D4s Sample #5

This is the interior of the store shown in the previous image. It was shot with the lens pressed against the glass of the tie shop's door. Tech Specs: ISO 409600, 1/320 sec, f/11.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #6

Nikon D4s Sample #6

Tech Specs: ISO 102400, 1/160 sec, f/11.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #7

Nikon D4s Sample #7

This shot is again pulled from a burst of images. The train was entering the station and still going quite fast, but again, the shutter speed was able to freeze the action. Tech Specs: ISO 102400, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6.Phil Ryan
Nikon D4s Sample #8

Nikon D4s Sample #8

This restaurant on 32nd St. was closed for the evening even though it was only about 8:30pm when the image was shot. The camera lens was pressed against the window of the restaurant. The only light illuminating the scene was what you see in the image and whatever light managed to come in from the streetlights outside (aka, not very much). Tech Specs: ISO 409600, 1/40 sec, f/5.6.Phil Ryan