PMA Q&A with Nikon today on the D4, send your questions in

Imaging-Resource is one of my favorite sites for post-announcement coverage of new products. For today (Monday, January 9th, 2012) they have scheduled a live Q&A session with Steve Heiner, Senior Technical Manager at Nikon on the new D4 camera at 6:15 PM PST.

You can send your questions to IR prior to the interview via Twitter. For readers that don't have Twitter account, please leave your question as a comment to this post.

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  • There are a couple of D4 specifications that I haven’t seen answered in any of the published specs that I have read.

    1) What is the maximum memory card size for the CF and XQD cards that the D4 will support? Will it support a 64GB or 128GB CF card? What is the largest XQD card that will be supported and available?

    2) Right now there is a maximum number of 999 photo files in each folder on the D3S and D300. Is this limit still the same, or will the D4 support more photo files per folder?

    3) The current Nikon file naming convention is XXX-1234, where the 1234 is incremented sequentially with each photo and rolls over at 9999 to 0001. Will the file naming convention on the D4 change to allow a higher number, such as 99999, before roll over?

    4) I would like to see additional information on the two programmable buttons and what they can be programmed for. Can they be set to preprogram shutter or aperature priority settings and to toggle between two different presets?

    • alex

      Very good pointed!

    • informer

      Answering your item 1, the above Nikon link indicates

      – sandisk CF up to 128GB

      XQD – approved up to 32GB. i think that is the largest XQD available to date.

      hope this answers your question.

      • WoutK89

        XQD will be available pretty soon in 64GB for sure as well. So I can guess 128GB is usable as well. Maybe there isn’t even a limit for XQD to use in the D4.

  • Ben

    Why does it use the smaller weaker mini hdmi connection rather than a standard size?
    A slight pull off center using the mini hdmi size on my D3S will destroy the connector.

    If you were serious about audio why didn’t you use a xlr or mini xlr plug rather than a stereo min plug?

  • tirmite

    1) does the D4 have sensor cleaning? Assuming so, but don’t recall seeing this mentioned.
    2) what is to become of D3 models? Are they being phased out or will both the D3s and D3x continue to be sold alongside the D4?
    3) any solution for time-code embedding?
    4) agree with another comment about wanting focus points further out to the edge of frame. this is critical when shooting head shots and fashion to focus on the eyes of a model.

    • WoutK89

      2) D3x will probably exist till the D800 is released. D4 succeeds the D3s.

      4) what is the question you ask?

      • Jake

        I believe the D4 is the D3 successor. Are you saying a D4S will not be released in years to come?

        • WoutK89

          Are you saying the S camera is a complete different line of cameras?
          If so, you are not correct. When the D3s was released the D3 disappeared and the D3s took over. The same will happen now, the D3s disappears and D4 takes over. S is minor update to an existing camera to keep it up to date with newer tech.

          • Jake

            You just agreed with me and didn’t realize it. No, I’m not saying the S line is a completely different line of cameras.

            The single digit D line is Nikon’s pro digital body lineup. There are 4 of them: D1, D2, D3, and now D4. Each model goes through some technical modifications/upgrades between it’s release date and being taken out of production. HENCE, this is the D3 successor.

            The X, H, and S variants are just that, variants of the base model.

    • Tony

      In response to question (1), from the D4 brochure: “Dust-reduction system Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX 2 software)”

      • alex

        BIG dislike!

        • informer

          The nikon link indicates under “dust -reduction”

          “image sensor cleaning”, “image dust off reference data (requires optional NX2”.

          I think some people haven’t seen the comma. So it appears there is sensor cleaning, which i think makes sense as D3s has it.

          Hope that helps

  • Smoothly whether changes video exposure in auto mode? In D7000 and D5100 it changes abruptly.
    P.S. Sorry if there are errors ))))

  • William Soragna

    Is there any improvement in the high ISO setting and noise processing compared to the D3S, or is it just the same as the D3S?

    • Jade

      The Nikon D4 offers a standard ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 12,800 equivalents, unchanged at the top end from the D3S’ maximum sensitivity, but returning to the ISO 100 base sensitivity of the original D3. It’s also possible to extend the ISO sensitivity range to an impressively wide ISO 50 – 204,800 equivalents. ISO sensitivity step sizes of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV are available across the entire range from 50 to 25,600 equivalents, with 1 EV steps above this point.

  • match

    Will it blend?

    • Jade

      In the sensor’s native 3:2 aspect ratio, the Nikon D4 outputs images at resolutions up to 4,928 x 3,280 pixels. There are also two cropped 3:2 aspect ratio modes which yield an effective 1.2x or 1.5x focal length crop, and a 5:4 aspect ratio mode which uses the full height of the image sensor, but trims the sides. In all modes, there are three resolution options available.

    • Yup, it will take two exposures for you and blend them together into an HDR.

      • brody

        hdr stands for Holycrap Didyou Reallythinkthatlooksgood?

    • David

      YES IT WILL 😉

  • Reffi

    1. As others have asked. I would also like to know the low light capabilities, ISO wise, compared to the D3s

    2. They mentioned, improved systems the fix some of the rolling shutter problems. What is the corner to corner delay on the D4 vs D3s. In real life does it look better then on the D3s?



  • Dweeb

    Like Canon they’re out defending the low pixel count.

    • Andrew

      Not true. Low pixel count is a feature, not a limitation. It is preferred for high ISO, but still gives you exceptional image quality in the D4. High pixel count can be obtained in the Nikon D800. Nikon offers class in photography if you need more technical help.

  • David_CH

    Does the D4 show black AF-fields in the viewfinder?

    In the D700 you can see in the viewfinder the active AF-field in black. If you push the button, the AF-field get’s also red illuminated.
    In the D3s/3Dx it’s only red.

    Why my question? I can’t see the red fields in some conditions…
    regards David

  • Daryl

    Why the emphasis, from a still camera company that last made a movie camera back in the Super 8 days, on video. Why so little change to a pro oriented still camera in it’s still capabilities? Nikon has all but ignored landscape shooters, the D3s is almost as big as medium format, and now they are ignoring stills for video. Nikon does many things so well, this is not one of them.

    • WoutK89

      Maybe you should wait for the next cameras before drawing conclusions.

      And funny to see now Nikon finally bowed down to all the video geeks, the complaints are there isnt enough stills improvement.

      This website makes me laugh each time Nikon finally releases a camera.

    • Zeke

      This vague complaint comes up time and again, always without justification as to why video improvements are bad, or any mention of what huge still-camera improvements Nikon ignored (in the near-eternity of two years since the release of the D3S).

      I see scores of improvements to its capability as a sports/PJ still camera, some of which are by-products of video – such as remote control with a live preview, or the ability to shoot in total silence.

      • ob1

        It has a silent shutter?

        • Zeke

          Thom Hogan mentions stills from live video without the mechanical shutter, so it sounds like you can take 1920×1080 stills (at least) in total silence. Not huge resolution to be sure, but if you need to be silent and you don’t have a blimp then your only other option is to miss the shot.

          This might be a good question for the Q&A.

          • WoutK89

            Doesn’t it say in the specs you can take full res stills in MOVIE LIVE VIEW which means stills without mirror or shutter movement?

  • On the fence

    The NUMBER ONE question on everyone’s mind is:

    How does the high-ISO performance of the D4 ***quantitatively*** compare with that of the D3/D700 and the D3s? Is it approximately even, 1/3 stop, 1 stop, 2 stops, etc.?


  • Paul

    Will we ever see another highly innovative product from Nikon again?

    • Jade

      You will: D800 at CES and D400 at Photokina. stay tuned

      • ob1

        so there’s more innovation in a d800 than Nikon’s flagship camera? Doesn’t make sense…

        • WoutK89

          it has different innovations. If the specs remain true, the D800 is a different type of camera, where different innovations may work that don’t work in a D4 type camera.

        • Andrew

          A 36 MP sensor is an innovation, though some may prefer a 16.2 MP sensor.

  • JJP

    I do not have a D4-specific question, but I do have a question pertaining to Nikon’s current DSLR lineup.

    Specifically, when can we expect to see a successor to the D7000 that will both (a) have 1080p capabilities at 30 fps _and_ sport a swivel screen similar to the D5100? I have been wanting to upgrade my D90, but have been waiting for a Canon 60D-killer for a while. I also understand the floods in Thailand late last year have altered Nikon’s DSLR production patterns, but still the wait has been long.

    Thank you in advance for your response to this inquiry.

    • WoutK89

      what??? The wait for a D7000 successor was long?

      • Andrew

        With the Nikon 1 released (which involved a major development effort), and Nikon’s professional cameras (D4, D800, and D400) – all of which are about to be released, it is expected that Nikon – based upon its stated objective by a senior personnel – will accelerate the release of future products. So we are more likely to see yearly updates in their product lines, moving forward.

    • Andrew

      I am certain no one (in the general public) knows what features the D7100 will have, though 1080p at 30 fps will be very likely, as will an Expeed 3 processor. It is likely that it will also have a larger buffer for sports photography.

  • 700geek

    1. can these 2 Rocker switches in the back be programmed as AE/AF Lock Buttons?
    2. Will there be D4 light without the video gismos?

    • WoutK89

      answer to number 1. YES…. this has been answered in several places already

    • Joe

      Answer to #2: yes. The d400

      • WoutK89

        Can you explain, will your D400 be DX or FX, and what will it lack in the video compartment in your opinion?

  • Dan

    What product development path does Nikon expect to take with its in-camera HDR development?

  • Where is the D4 manufactured?

    • jade

      In Japan

  • paf

    Q: How can I justify this expenditure to my better half without spending a dime on her?

    (normally I’d get her a nice piece of jewelry and then slip in a line — oh and by the way I ordered (fill in the blank))

    • Andrew

      You can’t. But since as you said she is your better half, she deserves something better. But in the meantime, get her a Nikon 1, it will conveniently fit in her handbag. If you cannot afford the D4 and a Nikon 1 together, then get on your knees and beg her.

  • Ren Kockwell

    When exactly is it okay to begin taunting all the idiots who were obsessed with the number 4 and 8 and swore you would never include them in your product names?

    • WoutK89

      Please start now, I guess all those shouting out loud, suddenly crawled back under their stones.

  • Adamski

    The one burning question asked by all videographers – with all the nice things like headphone output, uncompressed clean HDMI output… the unanswered question remains: is the 1080p video obtained by downsampling the sensor (as in Panasonic GH2) or by line-skipping, causing terrible moire, artifacts and loss of detail (as in all DSLRs).

  • alvix

    how much delay in the remoting camera with wifi? in live view mode.. i mean..

  • GeofFx

    Add me to the list of people interested in knowing how the Dynamic Range of the D4 compares to other Nikon cameras.

    Other questions:

    1) Why wasn’t the functionality of the WT-5 transmitter incorporated into the body of the D4 rather than being an add on.

    2) Why doesn’t the D4 make use of RF (in body and flashes) for CLS rather than IR.

    3) Why was the AE-L button removed.

    4) Why does Nikon say that the D4 is significantly (I think that was the word they used?) lighter than the D3s when that is clearly not true?

    5) Is it possible to use both the mirror lock up and shutter release delay feature on the same exposure with the D4?

    • WoutK89

      1 and 2) because of radio frequency limits per country is what I understood.

      3) its now under the programmable rocker switch on the back.

      4) where in the press release is this stated? And without batteries it is still 60 grams lighter.

      “approx. 1,180 g/2 lb 9.6 oz (camera body only)” D4
      “Approx. 1,240 g (2 lb. 12 oz.) without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover” D3s

      • GeofFx

        1,2) I don’t know much about how radio frequency works, so perhaps it’s not possible. However, if it is just the actual frequency that needs to be changed for different areas/countries, then couldn’t you just select your location in the menu of the camera and then the camera could change the frequency accordingly? If a whole different antennae or something else is needed, I can understand, but if it’s just a change in frequency, surely that would be easy enough?

        Has anyone here used, or tried to use, their pocket wizards in two different continents?

        3) I don’t understand “under” the rocker switch. You press the rocker switch down? Wouldn’t it be easy to press the rocker switch to the side accidentally while trying to press down?

        4) I can’t remember where I read this, sorry. I may have been wrong that Nikon said this. Perhaps it was one of Peter’s tips/rumors? I’m aware of the 2.4 oz weight difference. I just wouldn’t call it significant or substantial.

        • WoutK89

          3) yep, my thoughts exactly. But yes it should be a press down.
          Hopefully Nikon has built-in a fail-safe.

        • Dormant

          1) It’s not just frequencies. Wi-fi is regulated for a number or “regdomains”. Each has it’s own regulations regarding frequencies, power and what have you. Manufacturers would get into big trouble if they made equipment that could be used illegally in the regdomain it is licenced for. So Nikon will have firmware in the WT-5A for the relevant regdomain.

  • Nikonuser

    Does the D4 LCD monitor have the slot for attaching an LCD cover for protection in extreme environments?

    • nik

      +10 000
      It will be very usefull !

  • How long can one use live view while doing remote control by the various methods at ~ 40 degrees F/ 5 degrees C? I am concerned about battery life given the new whimpy batteries. I do a lot of remote control underwater photography in Alaska. Power-on durations have been in excess of 12 hours.

  • Shane Timony

    When will Nikon bring out a proper camera without video?

    • WoutK89

      In the 50’s? I am afraid you have to learn to live with it, or buy the D3/D3x/D700/D300.

    • Zeke

      This is just complaining for the sake of complaining. Video makes the D4 a better still camera, not a worse one.

    • tonyc

      With you on that. Top quality sensor, smaller, lighter, no gizmo’s like Nikon’s take on the Leica m9. As a dslr not rangefinder of course. There seems to be a sort arms race at the top of the dslr market, how much junk can wedged in between the lens and the sensor.

    • Andrew

      You should request a firmware update to disable the video functionality.

  • Marcus

    All the the nikon brochures fail to mention the speed of the Ethernet connection.
    It has been stated elsewhere that it will be 100Base-T which is an old standard developed in the mid 90’s and very slow. Is this true or will it be gigabit which would be much better.
    I often shoot tethered, so gigabit or USB 3.0 would be a big plus…

  • Same sensor size + more pixels = less low light capabilities. Does Nikon d4 have better, same or less low light capabilities than d3s with fewer pixels same size sensor

    • WoutK89

      Better performance, because technology advances.
      Just look at D90/D300 (12mp) –> D7000 (16mp)

    • Andrew

      The D4 has better low light performance because the sensor is back-illuminated which allows it to collect significantly more light. One way this is accomplished is by moving the electronics from the surface of the sensor to beneath (or a level below) the sensor, so more light collects on the surface.

  • G. Wohlgy

    Just wondering if the D4 will be able to switch roles of the card slots so that the CF card slot will be able to be the primary slot rather than the XQD. This is important to us who have just invested a lot of money in large CF cards and don’t want to throw them out yet. We don’t mind (too much) getting a XQD card to use as the backup, but for a while anyway, it would be nice if the menus would provide the option to swap these. Thanks for considering this question.

    • WoutK89

      If there is no XQD card inserted, I assume the CF slot will become primary.

  • Jellybe

    With the D3s there was 2 CFS which allowed us to shoot in backup mode.

    With the Nikon D4 we have the XQD and CF. How does this affect performance?
    Will the camera record in the slower CF speed? Or is this independent?

  • I’m excited about the new ~FX 1080P video res, but not so excited about the omission of 60 fps mode. I have read that heat is the main issue. Is this going to be addressed in future firmware updates? I could deal with a solution in the form of a time limitation such as 15 or 30 second “bursts”. I don’t need 30 minutes of continuous 1080p60 capture.

    • Andrew

      As you know, the D4 will give you 60 fps at 720p, but 1080p is limited to 30 fps. Even the upcoming Canon is limited to 30 fps at 1080p. So this must be a technology issue with current DSLRs. But you still get very good image quality at 720p which is still considered as high definition. I have seen a lot of stunning image at YouTube at 720p – very sharp.

  • Anthony

    1) What can the function buttons be programmed as?

    2) To change between manual and auto ISO, do we still need to go through the menu (Or is it something like white balance where we just scroll the wheel through manual settings over to auto)

    • Brilliant! If that’s not how auto iso can be enabled/disabled, IT SHOULD BE. Rear dial: rotate past ISO 50 (lo) to Auto ISO. Front dial: choose your cutoff shutter speed.

    • Or… at bare minimum, use the unused front dial to move to ISO AUTO regardless of the current ISO value setting. Totally makes sense.

  • Does it work directly with iPad via WiFi through WT-5 Wireless Transmitter?
    Another words, can I have an instant preview (PHOTO) on an iPad screen as a reference monitor?

    • Grant

      good question +1

    • Tim R

      not sure if its ‘instant’ but you can now directly use the ipad and iphone control via the wt-5 transmitter… go to the youtube site and look up”Nikon D4 Guided Tour” part 1. They explain the ipad/phone and wt- 5 connectivity in the first 60 secs of the clip

  • I understand that the Continuous Server Focus knob needs to be pushed and stay pushed to maintain focus on moving objects. With the D300 and other Nikons you set it on C and forget it. Why was this done or do I not have my facts right?
    thank you

    • Ireed Toomuche


      You do not have to hold the button for AF-C to work. You set it and forget it, until you want to change it. It will work like the D7000. You set the auto focus mode (AF-C, AF-S, AF-A) by the button and the rear command dial. The button and the front command dial sets the auto focus area mode. FWIW, these two functions can now be pre-set.

  • Harry Richards

    I’m longing to see a D4 comparison shot at 12800 / 51000 & 204000 with the Canon 1Dx. If Canon claim they have an extra stop of light on their native range, let’s see what justification they have for marketing this specification against the ‘inferior’ D4. On paper, the Canon 1Dx beats Nikon on everything but price. How do they stand up to scrutiny?

    • WoutK89

      51,200 and 204,800 ISO.

  • ter

    D4 image quality compared to D3s and D700

  • ter

    Sounds like the D4 is a great camera..does the camera know what it is? Is it a video camera or a still camera?

  • sean

    Is there a Timecode Soultion for the D4 that Nikon is planning??

    • chris ni


  • CP

    I’d be interested to hear more about the ethernet port. Can you connect the camera directly to the computer just to copy files over, giving you a potentially faster transfer speed than most other options? Or is just for tethering / web-browser based tethering? If so does it need to be connected to a network (router) or can it be plugged directly into the computer? eg. Could you replace a USB cable with an ethernet cable to tether on location with no internet access available and use Lightroom 3 / Camera Control Pro to do so?

    • CajunCC

      I can’t answer the software questions, but the camera should have a straight network port on it, which means that you’ll be able to connect it to a router or hub on a network with a normal CAT5 ethernet cable OR use an ethernet crossover cable (same as a normal cable, except two of the data lines are swapped on one end) to connect it directly to a computer.

      • CP

        Hmm ok. I’d assumed there would be a way to get them to share data but it’s really a question of what you can do with it. I can’t find anything to suggest that you could even use it to copy photos off the camera, which (as fun as network based features are) seems like it would be one of the best use of such a high speed connection. Basically I just want to know if it (any kind of ethernet cable) could replace a USB cable in my workflow (in order to get faster transfer speeds).

  • Gav

    Any word on lens specific auto iso?

    • WoutK89

      Auto ISO can be set to link with 1/focal length.

  • Are there interchangeable focus screens. I seem to recall reading that there weren’t, but I have trouble believing that

  • Heiki

    How to IPTC info adding work on camera and what kind of info can add there?

  • What are the specs of the “uncompressed video output”? 10 bit or 8 bit? 4:2:2 or even 4:4:4?
    As soon as we receive our first D4, we will post video samples here:

  • EricT

    It would be good to know if the peripheral port used for the WT5 is going to be open to 3rd party developers. Is there going to be an SDK for it so other companies can develop other peripherals for it. Also what are the capabilities of this port besides WT5?

  • Alarch

    What is the video compression rate when recorded on an internal CF or XQD card
    Does it record in 8 or 10-bites and what color space 422 or 420 ?
    More important for the HDMI video out is it in 8 or 10-bites and 422 or 420 ?

  • RondoX

    With the release of the new flagship, will we see a rebate on glass? Please?

  • You will come across some tricky interview questions when it comes time to interview for a job. It may seem as though some job interview questions are designed to put you “on the spot.” To a certain extent they are.Peculiar and indiscriminate interview questions may not seem politically correct, but there is always an interviewer ready to throw one at you, and they expect an answer as well.

  • The shooting presets are overwritten each time you make a change. Will there be any way to lock these on the D4?

  • Andy

    Is there a “read the customer’s mind” button?

  • james

    Q. What is the time limit for one video clip before the camera stops recording?

  • JL

    Memory card recording mode – BACKUP-

    With the D3s there was 2 CFS which allowed us to shoot in backup mode.

    With the Nikon D4 we have the XQD and CF. How does this affect performance?
    Will the camera record in the slower CF speed? Or is this independent?

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