Lately I sold my Nikon D3s and D800 and acquired a D800E and at the moment I am borrowing a D4 from NPS. Having shot all four cameras there is something to be said for the critique of the new line of Nikon cameras and their ‘ability’ to produce color noise. There is definitely a difference between the D700/D3/D3s which primarily produced luminance noise all the way up to ISO 6400 (for the D3s even up to ISO 12800) and the D4, D800 and D800E where you even at ISO 800 on the D800’s and ISO 1600 on the D4 can see real color noise (and lots of it) especially in the shadows. Even when you downsample the images. The ability to crop a D3s picture and still get clean shots at ISO 12800 is spectacular.
Ok, the Nikon D4 really did get a boost in the AF sensitivity but I am not entirely convinced that this is enough to get it over a D3s. For my part I think I am going to keep the D800E for the detail in good light and get a refurbished D3s later on for its incredible ability to make clean shots at ISO 12800. Here is a shot taken with the D3s at ISO 12800.