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Nikon Announce D4 - the Photo-Olympics starts here! - part 1 of 1 2 3

Published 01/02/2012

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A 'when' rather than 'if' announcement of the model to replace the Nikon D3S was made on 6 January. This completes the pre-Olympic preparations for both Canon and Nikon (assuming no more lenses appear at the last minute) and had been rumoured for some weeks. The thing that the rumour-mongers got wrong was that the D4 was announced on its own and not accompanied by a new D800; that matter remains to be resolved, the floods in Thailand and the Japanese tsunami are still influencing progress.

The headline for the D4 is that it is a quick machine capable of 11fps, a full frame chip with ISOs up to 12,800 and 204,800 on Hi settings. The autofocus keeps going to f8, (we understand there has been some bitching on the Canon forums that the EOS 1D X only gets to f5.6). Video is also available.

The D4 and the 1DX are therefore the blue riband photoevents of the Olympics and it is going to be interesting to see what is lined up at the end of the 100m final lanes, in London, when the time comes. It is to be hoped that nobody puts a D4 into the hammer thrower's circle (in-joke for Nikon Pro readers).

It is most unlikely that the arrival of either the D4 or the EOS 1DX will cause regular users to switch camps but because people like pouring over these things we have assembled a comparison table. There is little to choose really, although the price difference at the moment would enable the Nikon users to buy the new (announced at the same time) 85mm f1.8 Nikkor and still get out of the shop with more change in their pocket. In reality though the price variations will carry little weight with established users of either brand and what is being said in the pit lanes and pitch-side dugouts will carry more sway in the longer term.

Rather than grind out a listing we have taken the Nikon Press announcement, removed most of the hyperboles and included this below. We assume that the camera will be available at Focus on Imaging so the aficionados can have a fondle of it.


London, UK, 6th January 2012: Nikon today announces the launch of the D4, its new flagship D-SLR for photographers.

Designed to push the limits and realise every shooting opportunity, this new professional FX-format camera brings new levels of image quality, speed and precision to both still photography and video.

Equipped with a 16.2-megapixel FX-format sensor, high ISO and Nikon's EXPEED3 image processing engine, the new model offers uncompromised performance and versatility in extreme lighting and environmental conditions.

"The introduction of the Nikon D4 sets a new benchmark for photography," says Kentaro Kusakari, Product Planning Manager, Nikon UK. "We're proud to be launching a new flagship model that exceeds the capabilities of its world renowned predecessor, the Nikon D3. "

Uncompromised Image quality - Exceptional speed Engineered to deliver image integrity in the most diverse lighting conditions, the D4 offers fast fps performance and sets a new benchmark in low-noise performance. The 16.2 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor with fast channel readout delivers up to 11 fps-faster than any other Nikon DSLR camera.

Images of with low noise and wide dynamic range can be realised at high ISO sensitivities thanks to the optimised noise reduction design and 14-bit A/D signal processing built into the sensor. The ISO range sets a new benchmark of ISO12,800 and extends the range one EV further to make ISO 100 a standard. For more challenging conditions, equivalent ISO 50 and ISO 204,800 sensitivities make the D4 the camera of choice for photographers who typically face extreme lighting challenges.

Super-charged EXPEED3 image processing engine

Thanks to Nikon's next-generation EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, the D4 makes light work of multiple data-rich tasks without sacrificing the speed and quality that pros are accustomed to. High-speed 16-bit image processing follows the 14-bit A/D conversion to deliver submission-ready JPEGs straight out of the camera. Performance is never compromised,

even when undertaking the most data-intensive tasks. Images boast faithful, well-saturated colour and natural depth. Even when shooting in dim lighting at high ISO sensitivities, the camera's intelligent, performance-proven noise reduction lowers noise without degrading image sharpness.

Broadcast quality video

For professionals whose workflow demands video, the D4 offers all the flexibility required for a wide variety of movie applications. It's largeformat movie shooting at its best, with a comprehensive variety of frame rates.

Frame rates: Full HD (1080p) movies can be recorded in 30p, 25p and 24p, with 60p, 50p, 30p and 25p options at 720p. Movie clips can be close to 30 minutes long (approx. 29.59 min).

Multi-area mode: Full HD (1080p) recording is possible in both FX and DX based formats as well as in native Full HD (1920x1080) crop.

High-fidelity audio control: responding to feedback from the industry, the D4 introduces new possibilities for D-SLR audio recording that enable your movies to sound as good as they look. Aside from the external stereo microphone input, an audio out for external headphones lets you finetune audio in isolation.

Uncompressed HDMI output: for those who need the purest video output for professional quality editing, the D4 offers the possibility to output the uncompressed live view to external recorders and monitors. The first time this has been possible in an SLR camera, data is output at 1080i (Full HD) at the designated image size and frame rate. Data output can be scaled down if necessary and is clean of the information overlay that can be simultaneously displayed on the camera's TFT monitor.

Convenient custom controls: live view operation is enhanced thanks to convenient custom controls. Instead of rotating the command dial, power aperture enables smoother aperture control via assigned buttons on the


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1st Published 01/02/2012
last update 11/11/2019 12:43:11

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