The Nikon D4 Straddles the Stills/Video Divide
An Ideal Camera for the Professional Photographer and Videographer
The Canon 5d markII set the standard for the professional photo/video camera. It is no surprise that Nikon’s response has upped the ante in both departments with one of the best digital SLR cameras available at the moment. However, instead of revolution, Nikon have chosen to improve incrimentally in many areas – the main changes in the stills department have been aimed at making the camera quicker and easier to use. A 16 mega-pixel file size is modest at this level, though 10 Frames per Second is useful, particularly with Autofocus. The improved sensor on the D4 gives better metering and Subject Tracking and extends face detection for the optical viewfinder. Extending the ISO range from 50 -204,800 is impressive, but surely would only appeal to specific niche – perhaps ill-lit night time sports or nature photography. The Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite shutter unit boasts a standard life cycle rating of 400,000 releases. There are some ergonomic improvements, making the camera easier to handle and the buttons easier to manage. The Nikon Wi-Fi transmitter allows you to see the Live View on an iPad, which can also control shooting mode and trigger the shutter, which might also be useful for the nature photographer. In a world of good cameras, this is the first amongst equals.
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The D4 is aimed at professional photographers and videographers who want the combination of top quality video and extensive lens flexibility. It will also appeal to specialist amateurs who shoot in very low-light and want to shoot remotely.
Of course, the main big change is in the video department. Nikon have seriously upgraded their video output to full HD (1080p), full native HD (1920 x 1080p) and even allows you to feed full, uncompressed video into external viewing devices. In other words, it offers full broadcast quality video and stereo sound. An Out Mic lets you set the sound levels before shooting. It can shoot 20 minutes at a time.
The Nikon D4 Features
16.2 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor
ISO 100–12800 ( can be pushed to 50- 204800)
Multi-area format D-Movie: records Full HD (1080p) movies in FX- and DX-format, as well as in native Full HD (1920×1080) crop. Offers uncompressed full-resolution HDMI output to external devices.
Newly developed, highly durable Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite shutter unit:standard life cycle rating of 400,000 releases, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 to 30s and flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.
Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system: individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings. Sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F).
EXPEED 3 image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
8 cm (3.2-in.), 922k-dot LCD monitor with auto brightness control. Anti-reflective with wide color reproduction.
3D Color Matrix Metering III: 91k pixel AE AF sensor with full-time face recognition.
100% viewfinder coverage and three Crop Modes: 5:4, 1.2x and DX-format. With viewfinder masking.
Movie frame rates: offers 30p, 25p and 24p and a max recording time of approx. 20 minutes.
High-fidelity audio control: features a stereo microphone input and an audio out for external headphones, which lets you fine tune audio in isolation both before and during recording. A line input setting for PCM linear recorders is also provided.
Storage media: two card slots. One for high-speed CF (UDMA 7) cards and one for high-speed, high-capacity XQD card slots.
Wireless LAN and Ethernet support via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4 or the newly designed compact Wireless Transmitter WT-5.