Nikon D4 at CES

Nikon's booth at CES was all about video this time. Several D4 configurations were displayed:


Here is another setup where the camera was tethered to an external screen while filming different makeup sessions:

Nikon D4 guts:



For additional CES coverage, check

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  • z

    Why does the settings waste so much space?

    • Jabs

      So you can see them!

      • z

        Well, if I ever need to see them clearer, I’ll enlarge the font size and icons not the wasted black borders.

  • No photo related displays for the D4 or literally all aimed at video? Some more talk or info on image quality would be nice whilst we wait to get our hands on the camera ourselves. Seems Nikon really have concentrated hard on catching up with Canon video features though, that’s for sure!

    • Jabs

      Actually Nikon has now firmly surpassed Canon in DSLR Video!

      • Jeff

        Good luck with that, we will see I hope so, but please tell me because I’m on the fence about this , I currently have a canon 40d and some good canon lenses,originally I was going to buy the D300 , I’m interested in the 4d so my question is what is it about the Nikon systems that you are so passionater about?

        • Jeff

          Sorry I got mixed up the D4 and passionate

        • Jabs

          Jumping from a Canon 40D to a D4 – ouch – long jump.

          Maybe a D7000 would be more like it, unless you just have to have a FF sensored camera. Nikon D7000 also does 1080 HD and so does the D5100 all at 16 megs in a cropped body.

          I am passionate about great equipment that actually works better with discernible results.

          • Jeff

            Not ouch the 40d is a good camera for what it is, the problem I have is that I look at all of these pictures from high end Nikons and Canon and I don’t see a difference apart from the D3x each Nikon and Canon are equally matched down the line , some are better at this and others at that, so when you look at an average shot that you have taken what is it about that picture that says to you that Nikon is the way to go, and I really want to know , anyhow thanks I really appreciate your comments , also is there a place where I can view your work ?

            • Jabs


              I was weaned on slide film, specifically Fujichrome 50D Velvia and 64T Tungsten film using mainly F3’s and F4’s plus an FA. I had my film processed at Fuji’s Anaheim Labs in America for their consistent results that looked exactly like what I had photographed. I also used Kodachrome and Ektachrome but preferred Velvia Pro. I also shot a lot of B+W shots with green, orange and red filters plus polarizers.

              Therefore my eyes have been trained as a photographer of slide film using filters, tripods, monopods and lens hoods plus I always looked at the results through a high magnification loupe to check for focus accuracy, image blur and sharpness. That is my background.

              As to my choice of Nikon, well I compared all the various manufacturer’s around and found that Nikon had the best contrast and color accuracy of all and thus I stuck with them. Nikon also has for me a consistent color response no matter what lens I would use and having about 30+ Nikon lenses, then that was one more thing that I did not have to sweat about.

              In the digital world now, I see a big difference between cameras but not as much as in the film days, but the biggest problem for me now is color response which I find to be too Red biased on the newer Canon bodies, a fatal flaw to me and also a sort of ‘blotchiness’ in black or dark areas. The ‘blotchiness’ cannot e removed by me, so totally useless. I find that the older Canon 5D and 40D do not have this problem, looking at the files so perhaps the newest 1DX does not.

              Personal choices and preferences cause me to prefer Nikon’s layout and philosophy in their bodies as they continue a tradition from the original F bodies released decades ago and to me Nikon gets it like no one else. Right now, I shoot mainly Industrial Equipment (stainless steel) with onboard flash with a lowly L22 and still have my slides well preserved to one day perhaps do some Stock Photography when I have the time. I make up Still and Video Presentations, so nothing online now, as they are specific images for my Presentations to Clients or catalogs/montages of my work put together in Fotowall or such.

              What I see in Nikon’s today is a greater depth of color and finer graduations as all of Nikon bodies, except the new Nikon 1 are 14 bit and I do see a clear difference between 12bit, 14bit and 16bit images as I use 64bit Linux for my graphics works and the differences are clear to me. The new D4 blows away the D3 series except maybe the D3X, but I have to see more RAW images to be sure.

              If going from a Canon 40D, I would buy a Nikon D5100 or a D7000 as they all are cropped sensor cameras but the new Nikon’s have a color purity that is missing from the current Canon’s. I call them as I see them as not emotional about gear – it performs or NOT.

        • xophaser

          I think the D4 can do hdmi out uncompressed video, where the Canon doesn’t allow that to protect their video camera lineup. Nikon has none so they don’t care and you got the large sensor doing video uncompressed. But I don’t know too much about video, but i heard this is a great thing to have.

          • Idahojim

            All the fan boy BS aside, in my opinion it mostly comes down to how much money you already have invested in Canon glass & accessories and what your future needs are.

            If everything you have is consumer grade and you’re preparing to go pro, you’re in a great position to research and pick which ever brand best feels best to you. Neither is going to let you down, so feel and perception is mostly what it’s going to be about for you. EX. Which makes you feel better black lens with a gold ring or a grey one with Red ring? A rotating dial or a D-pad?

            If on the other hand you have thousands of dollars invested in L series lenses for your 40D, buy a new Canon body. There’s nothing about the Nikon brand that is going to magically make you a better or more productive photographer. It’s Ford vs. Chevy or in the case of the D4 it’s probably closer to say Ferrari vs. Lamborghini. Which ever you choose, the only thing that will prevent anyone from creating world class images and/or video with either, is the nut behind the view finder.

            • Jeff

              Thank you

      • Simon

        In what way?

        • Jabs

          Clean HDMI output without the overlay of the controls and functions visibly present – Broadcast ready output (first in any DSLR) – 3D face recognition and AF in both Video and stills – Built-in Web server accessed from any Web Browser to remote control the camera in both stills and video and many more.

          You can basically use a D4 like Web Cam or a Pro Video Camera plus daisy chain them and then hook them up with clean output to a multi-input device for Live Broadcasting with say a NewTek Tri-Caster unit.

      • B.DeKid

        Please – go check out the Specs again.

        Nikon getting better but thats it for now.
        If HDMI means 1080i without writing on Card than that is not the goal!

        Also check Out what the new Canon writes to Card (VideoCodec) and than check what Nikon writes on Card / or send to the HDMI Port

        And least but not last – Who uses HDMI Out – did u ever pull on such an HDMI Cabel ?

        So plz keep it true – Nikon done a nice Job but i guess it was not their Goal to beat Canon on the Video Sector.

        • Jabs

          So far we do not know what version of HDMI there is coming out of the D4 but we know that it is a clean output free from the Controls being overlaid on the Video signal. That in the professional ranks is a huge coup for Nikon and no one else has that in a DSLR.

          If they also include the digital audio signal along with the video, then that too would be a breakthrough. Perhaps you study more about Video output in the Pro ranks as to why this HDMI signal minus the Controls overlay is so significant, as most people are accustomed to only using HDMI for viewing and not recording, so perhaps why you are mixed up.

          HDMI means the video signal is now coming directly from the sensor via the D4’s Expeed 3 digital pipeline and does not go through an analog to digital (A/D) converter, so artifacts are not there anymore basically. How it is recorded on the card is another thing, but the pristine output via HDMI raises the bar considerably, hence my remarks.

          Pro Recorders can take as input, HDMI signals with multi-bit audio and then Record and/or compress it as they wish, hence Broadcast ready. HDMI signals are already digital and thus the reason for this Nikon D4’s leapfrog over the new Canon.

          Basically, if it already is digital, then there is no need to recode it.

          In the home HDMI is basically used for Content Protection via DRM or such between two devices to prevent you from recording or copying this pristine digital signal by intercepting it, but in the Pro ranks HDMI is used for digital connections which keep the signal digital from Creation to Editing or Acquisition and that is huge.
          There basically seems to be two types of Video Output from the D4 – pristine 8 bit digital via HDMI from the sensor and the Recorded digital that goes to your camera’s card and is compressed plus processed for Video distribution. The recorded one on your card seems to have a 29 minute limit and I don’t know what the limit, if any, there is on the one coming out via HDMI from the sensor. Expeed 3 being digital and multiple channel is what seems to allow this and Nikon seems to be the only Manufacturer to have a digital pipeline in the Nikon 1 and now D4 cameras.

          That seems to be what has stoked so many about the D4’s Video! People keep talking about compression while unaware of this unique Broadcast ready digital HDMI output. I wonder what the D800 will have?

          • B.DeKid

            It is an 1080i 4:2:2 Signal on the HDMI Output i guess cause the Sensor is made by Sony so far i know it s the same as on the SONY EX Cam . Which would mean 50 i in an 25 p package

            HDMI is never uncompressed by the way –

            But all this does not really matter
            As I said befor : Nikon done a great Job with the D4 and they build up the Video Function. That is very nice – but Nikon is and will never be a Game Changer in the Video World 🙂

            My written English is not that well to desribe now all the Facts about Video and Signals Codecs and so one – but i a sure you that i m familliar with Video and film 😉

            Even if Canon would bring an HDMI Output i would not jump in the Air and be happy — there are reasond why big Filmkameras are not using a HDMI Port to transfer Video to an external Recorder .

            Any way I wish you every thing good and hope you gone have Fun with the new Nikon Cams that will come .

            But beaware that there are more importen Things than an HDMI Output – ( as an Sample TC = TimeCode)

            And don t care to much about Audio , not ecven the new Red Scarlet has an Audio Feed at the moment and what i use / and see on sets no one is really using an Camera Intern Sound ( ok ENG People use it) we use Timecode based Sound recorder .

            Ok so long wish you some


            • Jabs

              OK – I understand you but the D4’s HDMI output is uncompressed and full HD.
              Look here from Nikon’s Press Release –

              Uncompressed output: simultaneous Live View – By using the camera’s HDMI port instead of the CF or XQD card, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera.

            • B.DeKid

              Q&A CES

              Question : “With an external recorder connected to the D4s HDMI port, what’s the pixel rez recorded in each frame of video, in the D4s 1080P/24 mode? Is it “PsF” (Progressive segmented-Frame), recorded in a 1080i/59.94 stream?”

              Nikon: “No, it’s a true 1080 progressive format.”

              So it seems like it is an 1080 p at the HDMI Port

              But still ” uncompressed” is not “uncompressed” but as I said that s too much now – let us just Say we get an 4:2:2 8bit Signal at HDMI Output 😉

              Have a nice Day.

    • broxibear

      Hi Richard Peters Photo,
      The only information about stills I’ve heard from Nikon regarding the D4 is this, from yesterday’s Imaging resource Q&A with Steve Heiner, Senior Technical Manager, Nikon Inc.
      Q. Is there any improvement over the D3s in terms of ISO in the range of 3200-12800?
      A. I can’t tell you quantitatively that it’s better by a given amount, but based on what I’ve seen from a pre-production camera it’s every bit as good as what we’ve seen from our D3S camera, and possibly even better. The processing in this camera is the most sophisticated we’ve had in a camera to date. Based on the input from the photographers who shot our brochure, they were really impressed with all aspects of the camera, including shooting in low light at high ISO.

      • Jabs


        The improvements of the D4 in still photography are in the overlooked technical details;
        D4 has a 16bit digital pipeline with multiple channels and processors versus the D3’s 14bit analog pipeline – significant upgrade in speed, throughput as we will probably see smoother tonal graduations from the upgraded bit structure plus much faster response too to input and output speed.

        D4 has a much better metering system plus an improved 51 point AF system and a much improved 3D tracking now linked to multiple person facial recognition plus improved bracketing and HDR too.

        AF now goes to F8.0 from F5.6.

        Low light performance goes from -1EV to -2EV plus ISO response is now extended to 50 ISO in the low end.

        These are also overlooked and very serious upgrades that will allow a D4 to outperform even a D3X in certain scenarios and possibly be the best still photography DSLR ever released.

        Lost in the details while people trumpet only the new Video features!

        • Gareth

          and liveview focussing has been made hugely faster.

          • Jabs

            Yep – forgot that – Thanks and a big deal too.

        • gallon

          14 bit analog pipeline?

        • Simon

          SLoad of BS. Same 14 bits, not 16 bits otherwise you are in medium format territory.
          Other improvement over the D3s are minor tweaks. Native high ISO is still 12,800. It is probably the best Nikon still dSLR ever.

          • Jabs

            Sorry but yes, the D4 has a 16bit digital pipeline plus multiple processors with a 14bit output via Expeed 3 and is also one reason that the Nikon 1 looks so great at so low a resolution.
            The D3s was 14bit analog.

            I have to look up the link and maybe it was here at NR, but clearly remember reading that but can’t find it now.

            • Jabs

              Proof of my Comments:
              From Nikon’s Press Release –

              1. All of this image data is funneled through a 16 bit pipeline and are written to dual card slots which have been optimized for the latest UDMA-7 Compact Flash™ cards, as well as the new XQD™ memory card. The D4 is the first professional camera to harness the capabilities of this new durable and compact format, which offers blazing fast write times and extended capacity essential for multimedia professionals shooting stills and video.

              2. Uncompressed output: simultaneous Live View – By using the camera’s HDMI port instead of the CF or XQD card, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera. This footage can be ported into an LCD display or appropriate external recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections.

              3. Multi-area Mode Full HD Video: FX/DX, and 2.7x crop mode at 1080p video modes – Whether shooting for depth of field in FX format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D4 allows videographers to retain full 1080P HD resolution no matter what mode they choose. With the 2.7x crop, users can experience ultra-telephoto benefits in full HD resolution all at 16:9 aspect ratio.

              4. Simultaneous live view output without display / simultaneous monitor – Shooters have the option to send the display signal directly to an attached monitor via the HDMI port. This signal can be viewed on the camera’s LCD screen and external monitor simultaneously. Additionally, the image data display can be cleared from the screen, to remove distracting data or when feeding a live signal.

              All posted here at Nikon Rumors too!

        • Shaun Tucker

          Hey, can you please point me to somewhere to help me understand the whole focusing at f8 thing? What situation would that happen in? What exactly does that mean? Thanks.

          • Jabs

            @Shaun – if this was aimed at me.

            The D3s had F5.6 or faster as the recommended aperture of the lens to guarantee proper AF nominally and that has been now raised to F8 in the D4 Series. The benefit is mainly when you use TC’s or teleconverters and/or slow zooms as if you used say a Nikon 200-400 F4.0 Zoom with a 2X TC, then the minimum aperture would now be F8 as in a 400-800 F8.0 Zoom.
            Many people say that the D3s focuses and AF’s with that 2X TC on that lens, but now Nikon
            guarantees that it will under more stringent conditions. Basically as the lens gets slower, AF gets harder to accomplish or pinpoint, so raising the aperture requirement to F8 from F5.6 is an improvement. Camera now focuses with slower lenses or lens combinations!

            Perhaps I look for a better explanation than mine and then post it – OK.

            • Shaun tucker

              Actually that explained exactly what I needed. Thanks!

      • Thank you, I hadn’t read that. I guess time will tell and I’ll be able to compare them side by side myself come 16th Feb! Using a camera in real situations is the only way any photographer can see how well any given camera will perform for them 🙂

        • My reply was at Broxi comment but it posted lower down. Thanks Broxi

        • Jabs

          YUP – go out and shoot with this new camera to see the abundant changes. Subtle but significant changes!

          • GeofFx

            The more Jabs posts, the more I’m convinced that he’s a professional poster.

            • Jabs


              Or maybe I understand what you don’t as Engineer here plus Consultant and photographer/Videographer.

              Over your head does not make me a professional poster, as how would I make money from that unless you are saying I am full of crap, then your problem?

              Maybe I understand what you don’t and just want to help in understanding here – maybe I have some time to kill and am stoked by the D4 – ever thought of that?

              Maybe many here cannot comprehend Nikon’s specs!!!

            • GeofFx

              My comment had nothing to do with your knowledge or my ability to understand it.

              I’ll resist the temptation to say anything beyond that.

            • Jabs

              Yeah – professional talker – that’s fine with me as big boy here and not easily hurt as raised children and family, plus been doing Professional Repairs for so long, and have probably been called everything in the book – as I get the job done – LOL.

              Why don’t you contribute here of your knowledge then???

              Afraid to be confronted or challenged?

      • There is a felling that Nikon representative not so sure about DR and IQ improvement

      • tifkat

        I thought I was a video showing histogram on-screen while in LiveView mode.

    • Jan

      because image quality is assured. the D3s/x beats everything on the market already, and probably the 1DX too. There is no doubt the D4 will be leaps ahead.
      people whinging about Nikon have always been 5D2 video lovers. That’s the only thing needing address.

      • James

        Wait and see. I would fully expect the D4 and 1DX to be indistinguishable in terms of high ISO performance.

        The d3s is good at high ISO but I really HATE the body. Used one for an evening and the controls are so awkward. I have so much love for my 5DII as everything is easy to access. Canon could provide more customization in the menus though.

        • Nitpicker

          Ha! 🙂 I would say EXACTLY the same thing the other way around! 🙂

          I use my D3s on a daily basis and can handle it blindfolded, I once used a 5D MkII for video work (two days) and found it very “plasticy” and awkward.

          But I really don’t think that means much either way, everyone just gets used to his/her daily routine.

    • Brian Darnell

      So much video info.
      It does take photos right???

  • Jabs


    Thanks for additional coverage on this groundbreaking Nikon D4 and yes this generation is evolutionary as well as revolutionary, as the D3s was the evolution in High ISO and low light performance and this D4 is the Video Revolution – icing on the cake then – lol.

    Also better still performance from Expeed 3 and probably better tonality and dynamic range too – WIN – win!

    • Art K.

      Sorry, I don’t get it. Why is HD video on the D4 such a revolution? It’s been around for years. Does not impress me at all.

      • John

        @Art K. : so… Uncompressed HD Out means nothing to you? This is the only DSLR to offer such a thing… For video shooters, this is HUGE!

        • Simon

          Unfortuantely the bitrate is only 24mbps which is only half of what the Canon 1DX can do, this means softer details. There is report that it uses sub sampling which means lower video resolution. It only does uncompressed video at 30fps which alienate many filmmakers.

          • James

            The Panasonic GH2 only does 24mbps but it’s video quality and sharpness blows away any Canon DSLR (With the possible exception of the 1DX).

        • Ed

          If I want to shoot video……I’d get a video camera. I WANT to take pictures! Why can’t we have a camera like the D4 that takes just pictures? That would probably shave $2000.00 off this camera, which I’m eager to get but….. $6000.00? Guess I’m gonna have to wait a little longer……….if I can……….which sucks!

          • James

            Then buy the Nikon D3 or D3X! Every new Nikon camera will have video so get used to the idea, video is here to stay, you are in a small minority not wanting a video mode. Also I’m sure $2000 of the price isn’t because of the video mode.

          • ennan

            Because Nikon doesn’t make cameras based on what YOU want. They are trying to cater for as many people as possible. I for one want video. It’s the one thing I wish my D3 did.
            You don’t want video – fine. But you can’t blame Nikon for trying to make the most versatile professional camera they can.

            • Ed

              Hi ennan……I don’t expect Nikon to build a camera I want……I also don’t blame Nikon for making versatile cameras to suit the needs of most…….I own many Nikon cameras,most of which are film cameras and will remain loyal to Nikon. I’m simply saying that its a shame that , I…..I……should have to spend $6000.00 on a camera that I so badly want but being pushed out of the market because video is in such high demand on cameras now…( So I hear)……that its sad to have to sit by and look at specs I wish I could have, but w/ no video …..and have to suck it up. Will I spend the $6000.00? I’m sure I will if they leave me no other choice. I guess I’m just thinking out loud. But thanks for your response and I’m sure we’ll enjoy our Nikon’s for many years to come.

          • Jabs

            Actually in skilled hands, a D4 will outshoot a lot of semi-Pro or even Pro Video gear as it has a bigger and better sensor and access to better lenses plus a wider ISO range.

            At 1920X1080, it will probably kill most of them and it is above 2K that the expensive stuff (4K models) kills it.

            Check out the prices of dedicated PRO Video gear compared to a D4???

          • SK

            I agree with Ed. If anyone wants a video camera they can buy really professional video camera not D4. I do not know majority of pro photographer makes a decision based on a digital camera’s video ability. I wonder why any pro videographer consider D4 !

            • Jabs


              Have you checked the prices and capabilities of real PRO Video camera or Camcorders lately – not the semi-Pro gear, but the real Pro gear, as the D4 can basically outshoot almost all of the semi-Pro gear and so can the Canon 5D MK2 and even a D7000/D5100!

              That’s why so many people have jumped on the Video bandwagon – better images and shallower depth of field plus now Nikon has included 16:9 Ratio in three formats FX, DX and CX – a first in the Industry – yeah.

              Photographers need to get up to speed on Movie Making as your Clients will be asking you for that capability!

          • わからない

            The market for nikon’s flagship cameras – F4, F5, D1, D2, D3 – has always been news/sports pros. Though rich nonpros buy a good number of these cameras, they would do so regardless of the specs and so they of course a not the raison d’entre for the camera. In fact, I’d imagine these pros buy several flagship cameras over the lifetime of the model, replacing them after 100,000 actuations (or a year’s worth of use)

            If you were to go cover the 2012 Olympics – in a cutthroat environment where your bosses wanted this minutes’ news yesterday – would you really handicap yourself by not giving your bosses video? If you don’t believe me, come down to DC and attend a few Congressional hearings, and watch how people use their D3s’s.

  • Jon

    Does anyone know a good place to get those panning rigs for time lapse?

  • T.I.M

    So, no D800 at the PMA ?

    • Zorro

      And still no D40S!

    • Zorro

      And still no D40S.

      • Anonymous

        YoU TroLL

    • James

      It has been leaked over all the rumor sites so the announcement should be very soon. It is rumored to be announced next month. A lot of people are whinging about it having 36MP saying things like “It will have too much noise” & “current lenses wont be sharp enough” B.S. It is only the same pixel density as a 15MP APS-C sensor so it will have low noise . Also lenses can resolve all the detail from the Sony 24MP APS-C sensor so full frame lenses will have no problem resolving all the detail of the much less dense 36MP FF sensor.

      • T.I.M

        Yes, and with 36MP you can use your 14mm as a shift lens by shooting strait level and then croping the image at the top side (yes, I know I’m very smart).

        Also having original 36MP file make it easier if you need to prove that you are the owner of the picture.

  • conan_leno

    The D4 is an amazing piece of machinery. And I’ll even go so far as to say that when Canon innovates, Nikon perfects. But I just can’t get past the feeling that everything Nikon does is just a step behind. Amateur videographers have already joined the Canon camp. Sure, Nikon was the first to have HD video with the introduction of the D90. But what crowd did they capture with that? There wasn’t an influx of aspiring Nikon videographers throwing their work online for the world to see.

    Conan Leno

    • Komalkumar

      Do you think there are no more amateur videographers ? every year there are hundreds of them starting and Nikon or Canon they dont only make equipment for those who already have equipment…its a growing market and they innovate for the growing trends…..only time will tell if Nikons move is profitable to them or not

  • ennan

    I want one! Could put that video to good use. As for stills – I’m satisfied with the D3 – the D4 is even better. This is my dream camera.

  • Mr Kotku

    Why do they make the pentaprizm out of glass? Why not optical plastic? It has no bearing on the image quality and plastic might be like 1 pound lighter. I have had plastic lenses in my eyeglasses for about 25 years and no problems. I guess it doesn’t matter, the D5 will have some holographic thingy that beams a miniature replica of the subject into your cranium.

    • Jabs

      Two answers perhpas:

      The refractory Index of glass is higher

      Optical glass has a higher contrast ratio than plastic so far and thus better for a pentaprism

  • broxibear

    Hi DJ Shell,
    When you handled the D4 did you think it felt better in your hands compared to the D3 series cameras, especially with the two added joysticks and angled front dial ?
    I haven’t had the chance to play with one yet.

  • Kevin

    I am waiting for all those trolls who whined and cried about useless video features from way back in the D90 days. Come out from under the bridge now, trolls, and behold the clear future of dSLRs. The only reason why people couldn’t pursue videography seriously back in the days was the fact that videocams back then sucked (at least in the artistic/professional perspective) and there was a dearth of video editing software.

    That’s not the case any more, clearly.

    • vinman

      They’re still there – just a little less incensed now that video has indeed become a standard accompaniment. I never understood the hostility some have for the feature – it’s not like we’re forced to shoot video and then extract stills from it (though that’s now possible and will only improve over time).

      I’m personally looking forward to my first DSLR with video. I don’t have a computer that will allow me to edit, but I can watch, shoot, and learn until I get a powerhouse desktop. It won’t affect my live of still photography, it’ll just give me more creative tools and options. Can’t understand how that is a bad thing…

      • toad

        I’m not hostile to video. But, like some others here, I don’t use it and would like to be able to buy a high-end still camera without paying whatever the amount is extra for video.

        Maybe the D4 market really wants video. That seems to be Nikon’s opinion, anyway, and they know more about it than I do. But I still have the right to complain.

        • Zeke

          You’re not paying any extra.

          That’s what’s so absurd about the idea of disabling video. A DSLR already has every optical and mechanical component required to be an excellent video camera.

          With a modern DSLR, a journalist travels all the way to wherever the action is, to bear witness to history, and brings with him an instrument capable of taking superb stills _and_ video. If you lobotomized the thing so that video didn’t work, the camera would still look and feel and cost the same. That’s a lousy trade-off.

          • Mike

            Physical components aside, it still costs money to develop such a feature (they do pay their staff, right?). The cost of development is passed onto the customer. I could do without video as well, but I’m not in the market for a $6000 body at the moment either. I’m not upset it’s there.

            • Zeke

              No! R&D that results in increased sales pays for itself. The D4 requires video to be competitive. It would cost Nikon MORE to have left video out.

              Inexpensive products often have the biggest R&D budgets. It costs a fortune to figure out how to make something at a lower unit cost.

            • toad

              I’m not disputing the fact that Nikon expects the R&D costs to be recovered. That’s not the issue.

              But that doesn’t mean a lower-priced model without video wouldn’t also have been profitable, just that the extra R&D pays for itself, and more. This is especially so since the results are used in several models, not just the D4.

              That’s all fine. I don’t question Nikon’s knowledge of its own costs or market. You are quite likely right that the D4 would be less profitable for Nikon without video. But that doesn’t mean the price couldn’t have been lower.

              Again, I don’t question Nikon’s judgment that including video makes the D4 more profitable. I’m just saying I’d like to see a high-end camera where all the effort is devoted to still photography. Maybe that’s economically impractical.

              Nonetheless, it does seem that Nikon is really emphasizing video rather than stills here. Over the long run that means less effort and R&D going to still photography.

          • toad

            Hard to believe there’s no extra cost involved, though I can accept that, as far as the camera equipment goes it’s not huge.

            Still, there may be other issues as well. Photdog noted R&D resources, which translates to capability. Another way to think about it is to ask what a $6000 camera would look like without video capabilities.

            You seem to be saying it would look be the same camera from a still photography POV. I’m not technically knowledgeable enough to argue, but that’s hardly intuitively obvious. Video must use some resources, after all.

    • Jabs

      Actually Video Editing Software has been abundant for decades:

      Newtek’s Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D
      Adobe Premiere
      Sony Vegas

      and others!

      The problem has always been COST, as digital Pro Video gear used to cost more than a house price and now they have dropped substantially.

      DSLR’s bring several important things to the mix:
      Better lenses plus a wider selection of focal lengths
      Better viewing systems in the Pro DSLR’s due to 100% image viewing
      Better low-light and High ISO performance
      Smaller bodies

      The high end of Cinema is still above the DSLR but now with the lower pricing and multimedia capabilities of the newer DSLR’s, one can now shoot stills and Movies plus edit on better and faster computers, a boon for Independent Producers indeed.
      The high end is still RED’s territory as they approach 8K with 4K standard and DSLR’s are now almost 2K, so way behind but lots cheaper.

      Digital changed everything!!!

    • photdog

      wait a minute, there are some things to it:
      Even one is an outstanding photographer (and I did not mean to claim to be outstanding) that doesn’t mean one can do videography on a pro level as well. Then video apparently demands a lot of extra gear: even a simple pan can hardly be made without a special video head on your otherwise high quality tripod. I assume to buy all that riggs and microphones, monitors and what have you makes you spend another times the value of a D4, isn’t that right?
      Third, I think a lot of people turn against video cause they don’t need it but figure the train is going into the wrong direct. And this feeling is well fueled by presentations like on the CES right now, cause watching it, concerning the D4 it seems to be all about video – a top of the line machine which can also do stills as a kind of incentive. I know it isn’t like that but the presentation could easily leave you with this impression.
      However, you must be blindfolded if you think all this video capabilities come for free. Not only that they most likely took a large part of the R&D resources that have been planed for this camera but it certainly have its share on the price side too. Thus a lot of those, who do not need video, probably think that they are forced to pay a lot for what they don’t need.

      • Jabs

        Yes, some of the breakthrough features of the D4 are in Video and that is the current hot commodity with all DSLR’s.

        Nikon has basically upped the whole game of DSLR Video shooting and yes, like you alleged, Photography is a totally different discipline from Videography.

        You tell stories in a continuous mix of scenes and small takes with Videography and people pan and zoom too much, hence they get jerky or non-cohesive footage. With Video, you need to plan ahead as you can’t often edit out miscues or fix them like you do in PhotoShop or such with still images.

        Lighting is different and the need for Matte-Boxes and Gels or such are greater in Video plus you might need a Steady-Cam or such for fluid movement, as Photography is a bunch of single shots while Video is a bunch of shots strung together and abrupt movements make for a ‘jerky’ story.

        Many people ‘gun and run’ with digital photography which often is disastrous in Video or Movie work, so time for us all to learn new ways and then SLOW down plus think more as in pre-visualising shots, angles and lighting effects before pressing the Shutter button all the way.

      • Jabs

        Second Comment:
        There is only $800 difference between a D3s and a D4, so that talk about escalating the price from Video inclusion is basically nonsense to me.

        If the D4 was $7500, then maybe we could talk, but with all the newer features and the improvements, the D4 is actually cheaper than a D3s and the new Canon Pro body set up similarly (if you could), as it can do what they cannot do or may need external equipment to now do.

        That’s my perspective!

        • photdog

          Sometimes it seems it is hard to discuss with you but I take it as your enthusiasm for this new camera. ( I did not discuss the price difference of a D3s and a D4 e.g.)
          However, I was just pointing out, if the best news of the new D4 would be in the field of video, one have to be aware that videography takes you into a whole new arena of working with a DSLR. In other words, just to own this certainly outstanding camera means nothing, since video –at least on an elevated level- need a whole new set of skills which hardly can be derived from one’s skills in Photography and second it needs a lot more of specific and costly equipment. For instance, what can you do with this clean HDMI output if you don’t buy a specific recorder and/or accordingly monitor? Then you mentioned Steady-Cam which to my knowledge isn’t that what I’d call cheap either. Then a rigg and all the other stuff you need and get familiar with.
          As for me, I have invested in Nikon gear to have a pro level output on the gear side for Photography. At the same time I work to improve my skills further. The result is, that I’m contend with my images in many (not all) of the cases whereby I think it’s most of the time me, if I’m not content.
          That said, I’m asking myself if it would be the right thing to attempt for me, to go for video as well cause I would certainly have the same level of expectations of gear and of myself and have to start as a novice again.

          After all I still hang on the idea, that a dedicated video body with a F-mount would be the better solution! And so far, nobody could tell me, why one would need the latest 16 MP FF sensor for getting a hardly 2 MP video output. Even a 6 MP FF sensor should give you the possibility of 1.5 or 2.7 crop factor but be much cheaper to produce and comes with larger and thus less noise sensitive pixels.

          • Jabs


            We live in a new Era wherein Nikon aptly named the new D4 a Multimedia Tool, basically. The body does multiple functions and accessories add to its capability or allow it to even function – like lenses and flashes.

            As you and I both know, Photography and Videography are two diverging disciplines and require often different accessories and working methods or even different crews. The problem is, do photographers need to learn Video and do they need a D4? The D4 is clearly aimed at a specific market and the new reality is that Video is a requirement there as we have this Multimedia Web craving for content.

            You ask if Nikon should make an F-mount Video camera and I say NO. The same objections as many make today has happened in the past when Nikon went to AF in the F3AF and also introduced electronic cameras that now required batteries for use while the previous models were neither electronic but somewhat semi-electronic and mostly manual in everything. The fuss then was can a human focus faster than an AF camera and can an electronic camera give better exposures plus more precision generally than a manual camera. Both items have been answered and addressed in the passing years as Technology has moved on. Video is a new frontier and thus add that to the new capabilities and thus it would not make any sense to make a Video only F-Mount body, as stills and Video are now intertwined.

            BTW, the D4 has an ability to make 2meg stills while shooting video, so maybe that sort of answers you. I mentioned the costs as the difference would not make the effort to not include the function in the body in the first place and then the camera would not sell in the Pro ranks. Too many people ask for a digital FM2 and when I had the chance to buy one of the original FM2-n years ago, I chose the F3HP and FA over it, two electronic cameras that could do what no FM2-n could. So that is why I answered that way. You want to turn back the hands of time for your personal choices when the majority in the D4’s intended market want otherwise, so you need to shop elsewhere then.

            Compared to a dedicated Pro Video camera, the D4 is cheap while accessories are even more expensive just like in still photography wherein a collection of lenses is more expensive than bodies. Buy a D700 if you want a stills only body as they are a dying breed from the past. I really don’t see Nikon making a video only body, as that is not their Market and RED makes digital Video cameras that can use both Nikon and Canon lens mount. Often simplicity costs more than electronically designed gear with multiple functions – ask Leica and now Fuji.

            Smaller quantities of a specific gear costs more because the costs are spread out to a very small group via lower per unit sales and thus what you ask for would clearly kill Nikon.

      • Ed

        Good Job photdog!!!

  • krz

    Yesterday I have ordered my D4 🙂 I can’t wait 🙂


    I am selling my D3S and was wondering where would be the best place to list. It has 16,900 shutter actuations and is in MINT condition with original MINT box paperwork, manual , all original accessories and 2 batteries. Any suggestions…I have my D4 ordered…..


      and a RRS L bracket.

    • Fangman

      yeah, simple…just contact one of us and it’s sold….

    • How does one own a D3S and only have 16,900 shots on it? You often see this on Ebay – buy a D2Xs with only 13,500 shots! I’ll shoot 2600 frames in one wedding, or one hockey tournament. I’ve shot 13,000 at a water polo weekend, and 17,000 at a dance festival. How on earth does a pro body like a D3S end up with so few frames?


  • Video on a DSLR is kind of outside my area of skills, but it does seem to be the hot item.

  • broxibear

    ‘Booth babes’ stir controversy at 2012 CES…
    “Some women at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas have expressed their frustration at the scantily-clad “booth babes” hired by some companies to promote their stalls.
    The BBC’s Matt Danzico investigates whether this practice is an effective marketing strategy, or merely a reflection on gender relations in technology.”

    • mikils

      Cannot say how much a scantily clad girl can help to sell Consumer electronics, but as for photographic gear the policy to provide girl as models for test pictures is pretty much unexceptionable in my most humble opinion, unless somebody is really really sensitive (touchy?) on gender discrimination…

    • Ric

      Is that a 70-200 or are you just glad to see me?

      I’ts VEGAS for pete’s sake!

  • Aaron

    ‘D4 For Perfectionists’ who don’t mind the dodgy memory card formats that aren’t the same…

    • What’s dodgy about a next-generation memory card format?

  • John Richardson

    Well I gotta say photography has come a long way since my 8×10 Deardorff days.

  • photdog

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    These are the first complete stills (compared to the undefined cutouts on NR), that I’ve seen from the D4.
    My take on these: in the lighter part of the image even 6400 iso looks great. But shifting to the darker part (the plate with the bolts) after all the rumors about the highly improved iso, my expectations were a bit higher. Already at 1600 luminance noise becomes visible in 3200 and 6400 color noise too, whereby the darker parts in the image aren’t too dark anyway. Am exited to see how that works out as soon as Camera Raw will be available and how well noise can be corrected. (Lightroom 4 is reported to be good at it, but so far there is just the beta in the field)

    • WoutK89

      The cut outs were from the D800

  • im a nikon shooter and i have been waiting for some serious camera from nikon for years, to me the features that really won me are:

    -Uncompressed HDMI output, yeah you have to remove the internal memory but nothing that cant be fixed with firmware update

    -Headphone output, so you can hear what the mic is picking so is easier to make adjustments on the go and avoid surprises in PP

    -Video zoom, imagine being able to shoot with a 24mm f/1.4 and being able to turn it into a 36mm and 64.8mm. and not to mention having an amazing extra reach with the 85mm f/1.4 up to a 229.5mm f/1.4! Just that feature alone is enough to make me buy two D4 this year.

    In the ISO rank, the D3s had an amazing clean high ISO, so much that I shot an entire wedding at ISO 10,000 without a worry. And if Nikon claims this is 1 stop better I don’t see why you cant shoot video above ISO 6400 with a pretty clean output.

    Remember is not how far can the “native” ISO go, but the highest you can go and still have a clean image either in stills or video

    • I have the D7000 and even at 800 iso the image not look clean.

    • WoutK89

      Next step digital zoom in video, moving pixels (cropping) instead of zooming lenses.

    • DV

      Video zoom, imagine being able to shoot with a 24mm f/1.4 and being able to turn it into a 36mm and 64.8mm. and not to mention having an amazing extra reach with the 85mm f/1.4 up to a 229.5mm f/1.4! Just that feature alone is enough to make me buy two D4 this year.

      Slight correction: Video zoom would turn the 85 f/1.4 into an equivalent 229.5 f/3.8. A 229.5 f/1.4 equivalent would mean an aperture diameter of 164 mm, which is physically impossible for an 85 mm lens.

      • Jabs

        Perhaps you misunderstood the person’s post or point.

        In the new D4, there is a new feature wherein you can shoot at 16:9 resolution with your FX lens and then change the “zoom ratio” to DX and CX formats while keeping the same 16:9 Video ratio or format.

        Hence with a 24mm lens:
        24 x 1.5 = 36mm effective focal length as DX is 1.5 times FX
        24 x 2.7 = 64.8mm effective focal length as CX is 2.7 times FX

        F-stop does not change but focal length and 16:9 perspective stays the same basically.

        • DV

          Hence with a 24mm lens:
          24 x 1.5 = 36mm effective focal length as DX is 1.5 times FX
          24 x 2.7 = 64.8mm effective focal length as CX is 2.7 times FX

          This I agree with 100 %.
          F-stop does not change but focal length and 16:9 perspective stays the same basically.
          That is also correct. The focal length stays the same and f/stop also, thus the aperture diameter, measured in mm, will not change. In this case, 24 mm/1.4=17 mm aperture.

          What I was objecting to was the original poster speaking about an equivalent (effective) focal length. In this case the f-number must be adjusted accordingly. A 17 mm aperture on a 64.8 mm focal length corresponds to f/3.8. You can think of it as wasting all the light that falls outside of the cropped area.

          • Jabs

            Actually since it is the same lens mounted on the camera, only the image is magnified and thus no change in aperture. They change the area of the sensor included in the image and nothing happens to the lens itself.

  • Clemens

    Where is the D800, where the D400? The D4 is toooooo expensive and too heavy.

  • PeterO

    Rob Galbraith has an interesting piece on the new D4 battery. He also mentions that he’ll have more tidbits from his interview with Toshiaki Akagi.

  • Rodolphe

    The D4 can be the best of Nikon, but it is also the BEST of all? For me the D4 is to expensive and so I’m looking (but not waiting^;-) ) for the D400, but ….

  • adamski

    Can anyone please confirm if the D4 does video by line skipping (so has awful moire and all the related problems) or does it do video like the GH2 (seems to be the only camera that just downsizes each frame so there is no moire and line skipping).

    • Simon

      No point asking that because the fanboys here don’t understand what you are talking about with technical questions about video. All they do is hailing something about uncompressed video from Nikon they know nothing about.

      • enesunkie

        I don’t know but Jabs comes across as pretty well informed in my opinion. Maybe you could enlighten us with your knowledge on the subject.

  • zk

    Here’s a video of a D4 in tethered operation. The live view stream seems horribly slow and stutters often. I’m not sure if that’s a result of HTTP or the slow ethernet port they use. Why did Nikon choose to go with USB 2.0 and slow ethernet for a camera that will last until 2015 ? Probably to save a few dollars on a $6,000 camera. I still pre-ordered the D4 but these two ports really bother me as I do a lot of tethered shooting.

    • Bob

      On another website I just watched a gorgeous video of kayaks, mountain bikes and waterfalls shot with the D4. It is totally smooth video with no issues whatsoever.

  • nk

    what sort of Manfrotto Ballheads did they use?
    can anyone see it? probably a 494RC2 ?

  • logran

    D800 will come with 16.3 mp + o -like d4

    • Clemens

      I think so too. All the words about 36 mp have never been more than chatting, Admin’s fantasy. It makes no sence to give the profi-camera 16 mp and the semi-profi full 36 mp.
      By the way, it makes me saving a lot of money. I have the D300s with 12 mp. Four megapixels more are not a reason to spend some thousand Dollars or Euros. The better sensivity cannot be a reason.

      • Let’s just bookmark these comments, and we’ll revisit them in a wee bit.

      • toad

        It might make sense.

        A 36MP FX camera is about a 16MP DX camera.

        It is not inconceivable to me that NIkon thinks the market for fairly high-end DX cameras – D300 type – will slowly disappear as more smaller cameras come out with APS-C or near APS-C sensors and better lenses to match.

        If so, they may decide that the D800 provides both FX and good DX capability. That line of thought suggests that the D400 might well be FX as well, priced in the $2000-2500 range. Just speculation on my part, but Nikon does have to think about what the NEX-7, etc. cameras are going to be capable of in a year or two.

    • Anonymous

      KeeP TrollinG

  • B ob

    I am waiting for an evaluation from a professional sports photographer on how the D4 acutally performs in the field under real life conditions. Does the AF really outperform the D3s? Is the camera’s processing really faster? What are the negatives? Are there things Nikon changed from the D3s they should have left alone. Specs and performance under controled conditions are one thing, but the real test comes out in the field.

  • Well, Nikon.
    We all believe it.
    D4 is high-definition-hollywood-hottest-fashion-supertool and for some old-fashioned freaks it can create some photographs. Every know, photos bores everyone to death…
    D5 will have dedicated Facebook button and led video light instead of the shutter release button.
    When will be fashionable drink coke from DSLR, Nikon will be first with special reservoir and replaceable hose (in different colors).
    Still stupid Bayern mask, still fixed low-pass filter, only 16 Mpix, more and more video controllers … btw., where is L – lock button? Oh yes, I know … this all is necessary only for that stupid and boring still images …
    Sorry for this post… But I’m totally disgusted.

    • Knoxy

      Way to go over the top! Why do people find it so difficult to grasp that this is a device that captures images. What is the difference between taking only one image or taking a series of image 24, 30, 50 and 60 times per second? Video on a 35mm sensor is a big deal to those who seek the aesthetic of film and it’s here to stay on DSLRs, get over it! You don’t want video and the stills functionality isn’t enough of an upgrade – buy a D3s.

      • I do not want hybrids. If I’ll want to create film, I’ll buy or rent highend video camera. I’m photographer. I don’t need video cam and video buttons on DSLR body. This is not professional way. Professional DSLRs are slowly transforming to the consumer cameras (but price not, haha). May be, I’ll sell my D3X in future and all lenses and accessories and buy medium format system. I don’t like compromises and D4 is compromis. And D800 will be too (now I am shure that pictures of D800 are real) and D4X, very probably, also.
        Sendai, Thailand and near-sighted management … bad times for Nikon and bad times for true photographers.

        • KnightPhoto

          Name a DSLR that has been released by any company at any level in their lineup that comes WITHOUT video 😉

        • enesunkie

          I just don’t see the compromise. What doesn’t the D3s or D4 do photographically that needs to be done? There have been tens of thousands of great images captured on cameras less capable than the D4. How could having a D4 limit your photography? There’s ONE extra button on the top to record video. Don’t push it!

        • わからない

          To repeat what I and others have said, this camera (and its previous equivalents) targets for news and sports pros, who these days need the video capability. Hopefully the D800 will address the studio/product folks who might be oerwise tempted to go medium format (vice rich hobbyists).

          BTW nice work on your website. 😉

  • PHOTOwebbz

    i don’t understand how we can still say that 16mp is low resolution. people have been printing from 6, 8, and 10mp before the 12, 18, and 34 cameras came out. 16 is low compared to 24, yes, but i think it’s a stretch to call it “such a low resolution.” not to mention lower resolution = greater ISO performance. unfortunately canon just now caught onto that making the 1dx a lower res than the 1Ds3. my $0.02

    • PHOTOwebbz

      *printing billboards from 6, 8, and 10mp…* sorry, lol.

      • With Bayern mask, 1/2 of photosensors is for green and the second 1/2 is divided between red and blue. 40 Mpix = 11 Mpix. Full resolution is interpolated. THIS IS why we need higher resolution. Billboards are at 20 – 30 dpi, no problem:)

        • PHOTOwebbz

          can we really call 16/18mp LOW though?

          • For web it’s far enough. For large format, fine textured prints it’s very low. Btw., this is camera for shooting wild birds and animals also, isn’t it? 😉

  • This is irrelevant but what camera does Admin use? D3s? It suddenly came to my attention as i see the BOKEHs on the photos lol!

  • 700 Geek

    I found some interesting samples for Photos and movies at this address:

    the results look superior to the D3S performance to me.

  • Pierre

    For years, people here complained that Nikon was failing them because they were not providing quality video on their professional line-up and now we get floods of complain because they do.
    Cmon guys, no one is forcing you to buy anything. If you do not want the video, just don’t push the button, simple. But the day you need it to film the once-in-a-life-time, it will be there.

  • ben

    It’s official Nikon D4 is a video camera that, as a bonus, can shoot stills.

  • Bob

    Here in Canada the D4 is being listed at $6299.99! A local dealer is now taking pre-orders at that price. Interestingly, at the same time they removed the D3s from their website! Not good news for some of us who are thinking of picking up a D3s before they disappear. Fortunately, other local Nikon dealers here are still listing the D3s – but for how long and how low on stock are they!

  • Bob

    Just because a still camera has video does not mean you are not forced to use it! The D4 is a fabulous still camera that no consumer camera can even come close to. It is a true professional camera in every sense of the word. If you just want to use it as a still camera then do so!! I don’t see what the problem is. Besides, because of its video capability you can use it as a completely silent still camera. Just get over it!

    • enesunkie

      It has over 30 buttons, dials and switches to make taking still photographs easier, but they can’t get over the 3 it has for video.

      • Bob Your Thing

        Excellent point.

        Trolls target anything and make useless complains with no real contribution.

        Shoot them all withthe D4 at ISO 12800.

  • bikerglen

    I’m waiting for the reviews and tests of the video mode. How is the downsampling performed? Any moire / aliasing? Some stills from videos of zone plates would be nice to see too.

  • David Campbell

    Why are we still waiting to see some objective tests on the capabilities of the D4 for still photographers?
    I can only assume that its performance in this area is little better than current models and possibly not up to the D3X?

  • Jabs

    Some Preliminary Read Noise and Dynamic Range figures from the D4:

    Looking good so far, if accurate!

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