It looks like Nikon is finally fully on board with video with the introduction of the new powerhouse Nikon D4. For many video shooters it was a mystery why Nikon ceded the video market to Canon for so long, but they have been steadily improving their video offerings and finally brought it all together in the new D4. The D4 replaces the Nikon D3s and Nikon D3, see our comparison of the Nikon D4 vs D3s.
Built around a 16-megapixel full frame sensor Nikon really pushed the low light performance with an extended ISO range out to a nearly unbelievable ISO 204,800. The D4 delivers 1080 video at 24 or 30p, and 720 HD at 60p, with 20-level audio meters. Though the D4 delivers uncompressed video via HDMI
, the output is limited to 720p. there is some question whether it’s full 1080p or limited to 720p.
Nikon also included a low pass video filter which should help prevent moire and aliasing, a constant problem for DSLR video shooters. How they did it without impacting the quality of still images remains a mystery, details that I’m sure will emerge when the D4 hits the streets.
Other than the video features the differences between the D4 and D3 are incremental rather than generational. The D4 can pop through 10 frames a second with AF and AE and 11 fps with focus and exposure locked.
Nikon managed to squeeze in a 91,000 pixel sensor for metering white balance, flash exposure, and face detection, which also functions through the viewfinder.
The ergonomics of the Nikon D4 have also been improved for portrait orientation, a feature Canon included on the 1DX. Nikon added an additional rubberized lump and an additional function button next to the vertical shutter release.
With the new high cap battery Nikon is claiming you can get up to 2,600 images on a single charge, so no worries about your battery dying in the middle of a shoot.
The Nikon D4 includes a new carbon fiber shutter that’s rated for an eye-popping 400,000 snaps, so you can look forward to getting a lot of years out of your D4, which will help ease the sting of the $6,000 price tag. The D4 is already sold out on Amazon, but I am sure more will be available soon.
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