Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon D4S
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Nikon D4S are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2013 and February 2014. The X-A1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D4S is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-A1) and a full frame (D4S) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 16.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)||ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 409,600)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||3.2 LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5.6 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|350 shots per battery charge||3020 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 67 x 39 mm, 330 g||160 x 157 x 91 mm, 1350 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Nikon D4S? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Nikon D4S is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), while the D4S is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D4S is considerably larger (220 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. Moreover, the D4S is substantially heavier (309 percent) than the X-A1. It is noteworthy in this context that the D4S is splash and dust-proof, while the X-A1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A1) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D4S). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-A1, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-A1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the D4S can take 3020 images on a single charge of its EN-EL18a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D4S has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Fujifilm X-A1||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|Nikon D4S||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.6 oz||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499|
|Fujifilm X-A5||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.6 in||12.7 oz||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|Fujifilm X-A3||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.0 oz||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|Fujifilm X-A10||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.7 oz||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|Fujifilm X-E2S||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|Fujifilm X-A2||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.3 oz||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|Fujifilm X-T10||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.4 oz||350||n||May 2015||799|
|Fujifilm X-E2||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|Fujifilm X-M1||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X-E1||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1||5.5 in||3.2 in||1.7 in||15.9 oz||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Nikon D5||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D750||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||26.5 oz||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Nikon D810||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||34.6 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon Df||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|Nikon D4||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.3 oz||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X-A1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 94 percent) than the D4S, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-A1 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D4S a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D4S is 133 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 16.2MP, the D4S offers a higher resolution than the X-A1 (16MP), but the D4S nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.29μm versus 4.80μm for the X-A1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D4S is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Fujifilm X-A1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D4S are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-409600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Nikon D750||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D4S provides a faster frame rate than the X-A1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D4S has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Nikon D4S along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A1 has one, while the D4S does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A1 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D4S does not have a selfie-screen.
The Nikon D4S has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-A1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D4S uses Compact Flash or XQD cards. The D4S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-A1 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Nikon D4S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the X-A1 offers wifi support, while the D4S does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D4S (unlike the X-A1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X-A1 and the D4S have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-A1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A2, while the D4S was followed by the Nikon D5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Fujifilm X-A1 better than the Nikon D4S or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 160x157mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1020g or 76 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2013).
Advantages of the Nikon D4S:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3020 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D4S is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Nikon D4S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-A1 or the D4S perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|Nikon D4S||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499|
|Fujifilm X-A5||+||..||4/5||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|Fujifilm X-A3||..||74/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|Fujifilm X-E2S||..||77/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|Fujifilm X-A2||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|Fujifilm X-T10||+ +||80/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|Fujifilm X-E2||..||80/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|Fujifilm X-M1||+||77/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X-E1||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Nikon D5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D750||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Nikon D810||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon Df||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|Nikon D4||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D X vs Nikon D4S
- Canon 4000D vs Nikon D4S
- Canon G16 vs Nikon D4S
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Nikon D4S
- Canon M50 vs Nikon D4S
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon Z7
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Panasonic FZ1000
- Nikon D4S vs Olympus E-3
- Nikon D4S vs Olympus E-620
- Nikon D4S vs Panasonic GX9
- Nikon D4S vs Sony NEX-C3
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon D4S
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 6,499|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||16.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||4928 x 3280 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||7.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||1.88 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||50 - 409,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||EXPEED 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||89|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3074|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF or XQD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Nikon D4S|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||3020 shots per charge|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
160 x 157 x 91 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||1350 g (47.6 oz)|
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