Print 31 comment(s) - last by adl.. on Jan 10 at 2:19 AM

Camera has nice features and HD video recording

Nikon fans have a new D-SLR to ogle courtesy of the new D4 that is aimed at the pro and high-end photographer. The camera has technology based on that of previous Nikon flagship D-SLR cameras.
The D4 has a resolution of 16.2-megapixels and can record full HD video. Nikon uses a 51-point autofocus system that has been tweaked to provide maximum speed. The camera is also capable of shooting at 10fps. The sensor inside the camera is a FX-format CMOS sensor and it is coupled with the EXPEED 23 image processing engine.
Nikon tweaked other areas of the camera for perfect low light shooting with a new 91,000-pixel 3D color matrix meter and a wide ISO range that runs from 100 to 204,800 for low light shooting. The native ISO range, however, is 100 to 12,800. For shooting photos on the fly, the camera was tweaked to be ready to use in 0.012 seconds. Face detection for up to 16 faces is supported on the LCD and through the viewfinder.
The photo and video files are stored to UDMA-7 CompactFlash cards and the camera can use the new XQD memory cards. The camera shoots two types of RAW files with normal NEF files and compressed RAW files.
HD video is recorded in 1080p with 30/24fps settings. If the resolution is dropped to 720p, the camera is good for 60fps.
One interesting feature for photographers with an external monitor nearby is that the live view image can be sent to the display live via the HDMI out port on the camera.
The camera will launch in late February 2012 and will sell for $5,999.95. 

Source: Nikon

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By bug77 on 1/6/2012 11:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
16MP! Can you see that? All those that can't help, but express their disappointment whenever a new smartphone is released with "only" 5MP.

RE: 16MP
By Kurz on 1/6/2012 12:27:14 PM , Rating: 5
There is a massive difference between the sensors that MP alone will not show.

RE: 16MP
By FITCamaro on 1/6/2012 1:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. High MP is worthless without a quality lens and sensor.

RE: 16MP
By Pneumothorax on 1/6/2012 2:05:56 PM , Rating: 3
An 8 year old 4MP D2H still takes better pics than any smartphone out there. Optics and size of sensor is key.

RE: 16MP
By bug77 on 1/6/2012 3:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but what can you do? Start learning the differences? Complaining that your phone only has 5MP while your friend's has 8 is so much easier.

RE: 16MP
By inperfectdarkness on 1/6/2012 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 1
16mp is pitifully low resolution for some types of applications (posters, billboards, etc). medium-format cameras have had 32+ MP censors for years now--and iirc, 40MP is starting to pop up from many vendors.

realistically, MP needs to increase until it carries a resolution greater than the grain-film it replaces. even then, resolution needs to be taken in the context of the image size that may be desired.

RE: 16MP
By mcnabney on 1/6/2012 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 3
I really hate to burst your bubble, but the effective resolution of 35mm film is about 8MP.

Anyway, $6k for a body only I sould expect 1080p60. I would also like to see how much noise there is at the wide ISO of 204,800 and the normal ISO of 12,800.

RE: 16MP
By bug77 on 1/6/2012 3:10:40 PM , Rating: 4
Another fallacy that won't go away: digital has actually surpassed film resolution a while ago.
See here

RE: 16MP
By phantom505 on 1/6/2012 3:35:10 PM , Rating: 4
You're so wrong it's pathetic. 6-8MP is sufficient for a poster. Every camera sold today is 2-3x that at least. Dynamic range and less noise will get you better pictures. Higher resolution is not all that necessary. This is the reason I prefer Nikon over Cannon. Cannon pictures to the "mor mp!" crowd and downplay noise and dynamic range. My measly D5100 gets gorgeous pictures with excellent color depth at relatively low light with f/1.8 lenses. I looked at the T3i and shook my head at how bad the shots in low light looked, comparatively, with similar lenses. For most they'll say they're close enough, but I can see a definitive quality difference.

If I could afford a D4, I'd be buying one. Sadly I'm in school and don't have the income to just toss $6k around right now.

RE: 16MP
By phantom505 on 1/6/2012 3:38:09 PM , Rating: 4
and I fail at re-reading..... Cannon... at least it reads cooler than Canon. Picture = pitches.

RE: 16MP
By artemicion on 1/6/2012 3:54:02 PM , Rating: 3
yes because everybody who buys this camera will also buy billboard space to feature their pictures. thx for the memo.

RE: 16MP
By spread on 1/8/2012 10:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
16mp is pitifully low resolution for some types of applications (posters, billboards, etc). medium-format cameras have had 32+ MP censors for years now--and iirc, 40MP is starting to pop up from many vendors.

It doesn't matter. 16mp is plenty for this camera. It will have super clean pictures since they prioritized image quality and color accuracy (and Dynamic Range of course) instead of pure resolution for the sake of resolution.

People who take billboard shots are using medium format cameras or larger anyways.

You go buy that 50MP camera and try to use it at ISO 1600. Tell me if you have crystal clear shots. Of course you won't.

If this camera is anywhere near what the D3 was I expect the ISO noise to show up at around ISO 6400 or 12,800 and get progressively worse from there.

This is definitely a worthy successor to the D3 and I can't wait to read the reviews.

RE: 16MP
By adl on 1/9/2012 5:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
I remember reading somewhere on teh interwebs about why digital backs and camera's used by certain professionals use 25 + MP sensors. It basically boils down to the lower resolutions causing Moire patterns:

Pix of clothes, buildings, geometric patterns don't look too good with all the optical distortion messing them up.

RE: 16MP
By bug77 on 1/9/2012 7:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
That's more of a theoretical issue. Have you seen 16MP images exhibiting the moire pattern?
Raw converters can and will compensate for this anyway.

RE: 16MP
By adl on 1/10/2012 2:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
no clue. just something i remember reading a while back. the article did have photos of a model wearing clothes with some very fine detailing on it as an example, as well as pictures of a building with a grid pattern on the facade. maybe this is discussed in more detail at ?

i also quickly looked up moire pattern removal, and all the filters and descreening methods are lossy. the methods also suggest using 2x the required resolution and then descreening, which works out to 4x the megapixels.

you are also supposed to "use your eyes as the final judge", which would seem like a minor quibble to most of us, but i'm sure is worth a million dollar lawsuit to an international fashion house, designer, or architect.

basically, it boils down to how much fine detail you're willing to loose, and how much you might need to crop an image thereafter.

and also, how much many man hours you're willing to spend on post processing thousands of photos.

Nice suite of features
By SurreDeth on 1/6/2012 11:36:07 AM , Rating: 3
I hope all DSLRs from now on are full frame.

RE: Nice suite of features
By GulWestfale on 1/6/2012 11:42:17 AM , Rating: 3
that's not going to happen, due to the massive manufacturing costs of the sensor.

here is a comparison of sensor sizes, and remember, they are manufactured in fabs not unlike CPUs, so the price goes up a lot faster than the size. i'm happy with my APS-C alpha 35, it does 16mp/7fps with very good image quality for around 600 dollars... 10 times less than this nikon.

of course i'd be happy to have something even better, but for 6k i'd rather buy a motorcycle.

RE: Nice suite of features
By GulWestfale on 1/6/2012 11:43:46 AM , Rating: 2
oh, the really small ones at the bottom are what you typically find in point and shoot cameras and in cellphones.

RE: Nice suite of features
By nafhan on 1/6/2012 12:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
Also, they should issue photographer licenses to those who have completed a 6 year photography school, and anyone without a license shouldn't be allowed to take pictures. </sarcasm>

Seriously though, larger sensors are generally going to be better than the same generation of small sensors, but smaller sensors (as well as larger ones) are going to continue to get better over time. The glass (i.e. lenses) is the part that will be more difficult to completely replace, and even that will eventually get displaced by things like multiple sensor cameras utilizing interferometry or something.

RE: Nice suite of features
By MrTeal on 1/6/2012 1:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Also, they should issue photographer licenses to those who have completed a 6 year photography school, and anyone without a license shouldn't be allowed to take pictures. </sarcasm>

Hey, if it would get rid of duckface pictures, I'd be all for it.

RE: Nice suite of features
By SPOOFE on 1/7/2012 4:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
A full frame sensor costs several hundred dollars to make. A DX/APS sensor costs a few dozen dollars to make.

Nikon stuck on 16Mpixels
By aguilpa1 on 1/6/2012 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, I would have thought they would have bumped it up to at least 18Mp or more, perhaps 21 or 24. I would infer Nikon is having issue sustaining high bandwidth transfer rates above 16Mp at 10fps, unless they implemented different MP capture modes at different speeds something I would have liked at a 6K price point.

RE: Nikon stuck on 16Mpixels
By kraeper on 1/6/2012 6:38:43 PM , Rating: 3
Pixel pitch is the new Megapixel. Actually, High-ISO was the new Megapixel, so Pixel-pitch is really the new High-ISO.

None of which make for better cat photos.

RE: Nikon stuck on 16Mpixels
By SPOOFE on 1/7/2012 4:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Expect the D4X, or maybe the D800, to fill in for High Resolution (north of 30mp, according to rumors). The D4 appeals to Nikon's core audience that demands really good quality, but more importantly, STUPID FAST shooting speed.

RE: Nikon stuck on 16Mpixels
By bug77 on 1/7/2012 8:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
He's obviously just trolling.
Nikon always released a top-tier camera and followed with two additional models later: a speed-demon with lower resolution and highest ISO support (their H/S line) and a highest-resolution with lower ISO (their X line). It's been this way since D1.
In the meantime, I'll keep dreaming of the day some camera I can afford will offer ISO6400 as clean as this D4.

By GulWestfale on 1/6/2012 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
very nice, but 6k... ouch. for professionals, it's worth it though, but i'm sticking with my alpha 35.

RE: nice
By ksherman on 1/6/2012 12:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to own a 1D-X! Be a nice step up from the 5D Mark II and 1D Mark III combo. It's like they took both cameras and smashed them together at Fermi Lab.

RE: nice
By B3an on 1/6/2012 1:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for the 5D Mark III before i upgrade from the Mark II. Plus the 1D X is actually a downgrade in megapixels, which i need for my work. The Mark III should be 30+ MP's.

By anactoraaron on 1/6/2012 1:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
That would be EXPEED 3. The difference between EXPEED 1 and 2 was DRASTIC (in clarity and color) and I can only hope this improvement trend will continue.

One interesting feature for photographers with an external monitor nearby is that the live view image can be sent to the display live via the HDMI out port on the camera.

Uh that has been on Nikon cameras for quite some time. I know my D7000 does this, and am pretty sure my D300s has this also.

Can't wait to see this expeed 3 on say a D700s/D7000s or whatever for about $2k.

By Pneumothorax on 1/6/2012 2:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
I wish the D700 successor was $2K. Given Nikon's recent price increases, I wouldn't be surprised if it debuted at $3600. The only way they could make it cheaper than the D700 is to make it Thailand.

By anactoraaron on 1/7/2012 11:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
(talking about what could be the lower end D4 here) It could happen if Nikon were to cut a few corners here and there and keep enough in it they could make it a great value option for UNDER $2k. I actually am selling the D300s I own and am sticking with just the D7000. The clarity is better, low light performance better (compared to the D7000 my D300s photos in low light look really soft), color accuracy better (talking about blues and purples- the weakness of Nikon), and with how fast SD cards are now CF cards/slots don't really matter anymore. My 8gb SDHC Class 10 Sandisk extremes (the good ones) can get off 100 shots on my D7000 in 19 seconds - Fine Large jpeg 1/800 sec f/2.8 ISO 1600 (jpeg compression set to size priority). With SD cards that fast I could go without the CF slot from the D4/D700/etc. (2 SD slots are just fine) and 'live with' not having full frame. Reduce shutter burst to say... 7-8 fps... and price it at 1699 (right where the D300s is now). It would clearly be superior to the D7000 (and D300s), but without a full frame sensor (among other things) it would not encroach on the D700. I even have a name for it... the D400.

I know, wishful thinking, but still... one can dream (it could happen).

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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