Nikon D4 Pro DSLR Camera: Nikon is again pushing the limits with the 16.2-million-pixel D4 Professional DSLR which is causing a bit of stir since its launch back in January of 2012, Nikon attempts to improve upon its own D3S, one of the best cameras ever made and reviewed across the world since January 2010, So if Nikon has managed to take the D4 to the next level its going to be the camera choice for professional sports photographers. At first glance, the Nikon D4 bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor the Nikon D3- give or take some ergonomic tweaks to enhance shooting comfort. But it’s internal updates that have really made the photography world sit up and take notice.
The previous Nikon D3S was capable of producing images of superb quality made it a firm favourite with professional photographers across the world. Its emphasis on a fast shooting rate and great image quality in low light made the D3S the preferred camera of many sports, event, wildlife and press photographers. Wisely with the D4, Nikon has opted for the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy. The new professional D4 has evolved from the D3S but with some significant tweaks and improvements, the most important being the new 16.2-million-pixel FX CMOS sensor and improved sensitivity range of ISO 50- 204,800: an increase of 1EV at either end of the sensitivity range. The AutoFocus and metering system has been upgraded. Nikon quotes more than 45 improvements over its predecessor, all of which has improved both the handling and image quality of the new high-end professional DSLR.
Nikon D4 Pro DSLR Camera
Nikon D4 Features
As already mentioned the Nikon D4 has a 16.2-megapixel FX CMOS sensor with Expeed 3 processor which makes the D4 noticeably faster than the D3S with 11fps without AF and 10fps with AF making it no problem keeping up with the subject you are capturing, and with a breathtaking expanded ISO range of 50- 204,800 makes this a superb working tool, the Nikon also has backlit controls, The Multi-Cam 3500FX autofocus module that has been much improved, offering 51 focus points and much better focusing in dark conditions. Nikon D4 advanced scene recognition which comes from the new 91k-pixel RGB sensor. Constant communication is maintained between the sensor, metering and focus systems with automatic face detection picking out faces to make sure they get properly exposed. Ethernet port allowing you to hook straight up to your media centre and IPTC information that can be added in camera, and with the added WT-5 Wireless transmitter, you ‘ll get HTTP and FTP access, and with two memory slots on offer, a standard CF slot, and a slotfor the new XQD format memory card means data will arrive quicker than Usain Bolt.
Noise, Resolution and senitivity
For low-light situations, the D3S is one of the best DSLR’s. The quantum efficiency of the sensor is very high for a full-frame camera, which allows the D3S to use high equivalent ISO sensitivities with low levels of image noise. The Nikon D4 resolution is 4 million pixels higher then that of the D3S, although this is a fairly conservative increase, it does mean the noise can be well controlled.
Nikon’s 1,005-pixel metering system, which has been used in a number of cameras over the past few years, has been dramatically upgraded for the D4, It now features 91,000 pixels, the new sensor does more than just meter the light, Nikon uses a scene-based metering system that is capable of recognizing elements in front of the lens, such as faces and then picking a suitable exposure. The new 91,000-pixel RGB metering sensor also helps provide the auto white balance settings for the camera.
Same system, but different. In resent years the Multi-CAM3500 FX system has been intensively proven in the field across a variety of full frame FX-format cameras, and has been a fundamental reason behind so many professionals deciding to change brands, the latest incarnation was implemented in the D3S, with refined algorithms to increase accuracy in low light.
Experience the speed needed to keep fast-moving subjects in focus. With the introduction of the Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module, AF performance reaches new heights. Like its predecessor, the D4’s sensor module utilizes 51 strategically placed AF points that are designed to capture the subject in a variety of ways: by working together like a net to capture moving subjects or for pinpoint accuracy, by using a single AF point to home in on the exact place on the chosen subject. All 51 AF points of the D4 are usable with every AF NIKKOR lens of f/5.6 or faster. The D4 delivers high performance even in extremely low-lit situations. AF detection is fast and accurate down to an impressive -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F), which is approximately the physical limit of human visibility through an optical viewfinder. Consistent, reliable performance can be expected at night stadium assignments, in poorly lit indoor arenas, theaters and any other low-lit venue. You can also choose to shoot with Nikon’s classic 11 focus points for quicker focus-point selection.
Dynamic-area AF allows you to choose from 9, 21 or 51 points. The selected AF point and the surrounding points cover a wide area to keep your subject in sharp focus, combining with continuous-servo autofocus (AF-C) of autofocus mode. The camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points if the subject briefly leaves the selected point. Also, the D4 enables display of focus points that assist focus operation (including 3D-tracking mode)
Other D4 functions and features
- Extremely durable shutter that has passed testing for 400,000 cycles
- Magnesium alloy adopted for the very strong, durably body that is very resistant to dust and water
- Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System with Image Sensor Cleaning function
- Effective sealing using O rings and packing make the camera more resistant to dust and water
- Silent shutter-release mode for live view photography that almost completely eliminates the sounds of the mirror and shutter operation
- A time-lapse photography feature, with which the camera automatically takes photos at selected intervals to record a time-lapse movie, which can be played back at 24–36,000x normal playback speed
- Operation optimized for both horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) shooting
- Button backlights (illuminators) for increased visibility when working in dimly lit or dark situations
- High-performance viewfinder, utilizing a glass pentaprism, with a frame coverage of approximately 100% (FX format) and magnification of approximately 0.7x
- Four image area options for still shooting—FX (36 x 24), 5:4 (30 x 24), 1.2x (30 x 20), DX (24 x 16)—with viewfinder indicator that identifies the current image area
- A 3.2-inch, approximately 921k-dot LCD monitor with reinforced glass and wide viewing angle; integration of the glass and panel reduce internal reflections
- A virtual horizon that shows the degree to which the camera is tilted sideways (roll), forward or backward (pitch) with display in the monitor and viewfinder
- White balance that can be adjusted in units of 10 K; white balance can be specified separately for shooting (white balance applied to images) and monitor display with still-image shooting in live view mode
- Capture NX 2 Ver. 2.3 for significantly faster processing
Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie [NEW]
Image sensor size plays a major role in the artistic look of video: larger sensors deliver a shallower depth of field (DOF), while smaller sizes extend the depth. Using its full-frame FX format and 16.2 megapixels, the D4 offers three formats for Full HD video, recording in either FX-based, DX-based or 1,920 x 1,080 crop movie format. The FX-based format renders exquisitely shallow depth of field with beautiful bokeh effects and offers the fullest use of wide-angle lenses. It ensures beautiful movies even at high ISO sensitivity with minimal noise. When a DX lens is attached, DX-based format is automatically selected. This format is useful when it is impossible to get close enough with an existing lens. For extreme telephoto effects, the 1,920 x 1,080 crop format gives an approx. 2.7x increase to the focal length. Furthermore, this crop format delivers outstanding video quality and detail, obtaining 1080p Full HD. This versatility of multiple image formats, combined with the comprehensive selection of NIKKOR lenses makes the D4 a highly creative video capture tool.
Contribution to D-Movie shooting
The D4’s Advanced Scene Recognition System enhances not only still image shooting but also various controls used in movie shooting. It identifies light sources and human faces finely, utilizing the high resolution of the image sensor to deliver accurate auto white balance and exposure control during movie shooting, and improves the precision of subject-tracking AF.
Video recorded with the Nikon D4 by Corey Rich
For more information and prices please go to the official Nikon site: www.nikon.com