Nikon D4 firmware update A 1.03, B 1.02 released

New firmware update A 1.03, B 1.02 for Nikon D4 is now available on Nikon Europe support site (Nikon USA link). The firmware update has only one modification: "Increased focus accuracy is achieved when a lens and teleconverter with a combined maximum aperture of f/8 are used".

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  • OMG – they are gonna leave the D800 in the wind arent they…

    • Neil

      Not necessarily. They may have finishing touches to do on D800 firmware or don’t think that there is enough of a problem to address. It’s too bad that Nikon doesn’t do wholesale major updates to their firmware, though. It would be nice to see new features added to current and even recent products to enhance the value of the brand. Not going to happen but it would be nice.

    • john

      I just hope that they will do someting about the manual focus problem with the d800(e). Right now using the viewfinder is total crap. What I see through the finder is not what I get on my image. And with the huge resolution of the d800, focus NEEDS to be spot on. Please Nikon do something about it, make manual focus snappy and precise. I want to keep using my Zeiss lenses and shoot handheld! Live view and tripod kills my workflow

      • Interesting comment, I had no idea, I have two D800s and use my Zeiss for manual focusing and its spot on even at dusk or a dimly lit room. Wanted to get an “E” but there was no availability at the time…

        • john

          Michael, do u use you d800 + Zeiss handheld while manual focussing? Because in my case it is almost impossible to get good results. Testing shows that when I use live view on a tripod and focus manually, the results are good. If I shoot using the viewfinder, they are most of the times off. Unworkable. And JB, you are right on both account: Our eyes getting older does not help 🙂 But the manual focussing with digital is indeed a lot harder. It has to do with the sensor, which is unforgiving, but also with the lack of attention to good, bright and accurate/workble finders these day. All is optimised for autofucus, not manual focussing.

      • JB

        I guess I don’t have this problem either. My 800e focus is exactly the same as my D4. For manual focus, I really miss the old split viewfinder….I find it much harder to focus any digital that my film cameras….then again could be my eyes are 20 years older too….

        • desmo

          would be nice to have user swapable focusing screens like the “F”
          so you can adapt the screen to the mission
          split prism for critical focussing
          and bright matte for general

  • Michael Zaritheny

    I wish there would be a video firmware update for the D4. The sharpness at full frame could be improved. I think the softness in video fx, and dx is a combination of software and hardware.

    • apollo

      I don’t think that the softness is cause by hardware, because the camera can produce awesome video with 2.7x crop factor. I think that the processing of the video is too harsh, way too much aliasing. I wish Team Magic Lantern could hack D4!

      • Michael Zaritheny

        The 2.7 crop looks awesome no doubt. The reason why the 2.7 crop is sharp is because on the 16MP sensor the crop is a 2MP image, which makes the image a true native HD picture. I uses it sometimes for run and gun filming because at that crop factor and you lens set to f16 or higher, it allows you to film broadcast/HDCAM like footage with better video autofocus.
        But when you go to the FX or DX mode its a bigger image, so all DSLR at that point don’t have the processing power to handle a big image size like that for video. They will cut the size down by going with every other line in the image, and then shrink the image down quickly to HD. Thats when you run in the common DSLR video compression issues. (aliasing, moire, loss sharpness, eta.) Performance and image processing on how well it does this job from camera to camera, and D4 doesn’t do as well compared to Canon.

        I have a theory about the D800. From what we have seen the D800 produces much sharper footage, but I think it actually suffers from the same processing same issue like D4. But with the D800’s 36MP sensor it captures more image data that allows the processor to retain more detail, resulting in a sharper image that makes up for the loss.

        Cinematographer Philip Blooms has a good video test review of D4, D800 vs. Canon 5D Mk3.

        In the review Bloom also notes the D800 has a much sharper image then even the Mk3, but with Canon’s new H.264 processing he found that with post sharpening (which you really shouldn’t do in camera and or post with DSLR video) that the Mk3 is the sharpest and I think looks almost as sharper then the D4 native crop. This shows that Canon still has that slight edge in video.

        I’ve done my own test using the clean HDMI into a 52″ HDTV and found that in FX that when you zoom in to check focus. The second to last zoom position the image gets tack sharp. Then when you zoom out it soft again, and it is dramatic when comparing.

        For now when needed (and not crazy about doing this) is use sharpen in camera at to +2, +3 in full frame and add a little sharping to certain shots that could uses it in post. Compare to Canon (Mk3, T4i, 1d-x) this where you can’t go to far or you start to reveal more of the compression artifacts. Or I will film in the 2.7 mode, and avoid DX mode (soften increases). But it comes down to Nikon at least do a software fix, I really think that will help. After that the rest is hardware processing that potentially can’t be fixed, and it does kind of suck because the D4 has so much to offer. There is nothing like shooting full frame.

        But after all that I find that all just about all cameras have that digital look (sharper/cleaner with vibrant colors). But with the D4 it captures more of this kind of organic/analog look that film produces with noise that looks like film grain.

        I would love to see a test D4 vs. 1d-x and maybe Canons 1d-c and C300. To compare who produces the closest film look, shooting wide open 2.8-1.4 (1.2 canon).

        • desmo

          with uncompressed HDMI out you don’t need to rely on in camera compression

          go home canon troll

          • Michael Zaritheny

            umm….I shoot Nikon dude.
            Even with the uncompressed out the camera is still scaling the image down from what the sensor is picking up. It is a 4.2.2 1080p output that is less compressed which helps.

  • I worked in the software industry and firmwear up dates are top secret because of the competitive nature of the industry. Updates sometime contain bug fixes that they don’t want to acknowledge and undocumented enhancements that they don’t want the completion to know about. The usually acknowledge some fixes so as to get the users to update.
    Sometimes bugs fixes are only known to the software engineer, he doesn’t want his boss to know about his screw up.

    Usually the first product 1.00 is pushed out the door has unfinished code which will fixed in updates.

    • “Sometimes bugs fixes are only known to the software engineer, he doesn’t want his boss to know about his screw up.”

      • Neil

        Yep. All of us who have written code know this to be true…

    • Tom McGill

      Yes, the classic blanket statement of “various performance improvements.”

    • whmitty

      I agree completely. Also, depending upon the complexity of the code fragments being modified it can take some time to debug and release these fixes/enhancements while minimizing introduction of new collateral bugs. Such is the minefield of modern technology. The old Graflex cameras worked from day one and every day thereafter without “bug fixes”. But I digress….

  • We really need the “sRaw” option at least in the D47D600/d800 range.. I cant event think how “Normal” people with d5200/d3200 are coping with the insanely stupid large file sizes…

  • Jon

    Nobody has an issue with the AF-C mode when subject is slow moving? I do.. and Nikon Support staff just never replied to the problem!!

    • s.dunn

      What is this problem your having?

      • Jon

        When the subject (let say a deer) is not moving fast and you are shooting in AF-C (9 points, AF-ON OFF) then nearly 90% of the pics are not in focus. NIKON staff told me to switch to AF-Single because AF-C mode on D4 is very sensible (lol)…well then if the deer suddently runs i do what??!!

        I must mentioned that all lenses are fine calibrated.

        • s.dunn

          I have not encountered a similar problem, though I rarely use the 9 point group. Not “never use” just use 21, 51 and single more often. I find the AF on the D4 to be amazing, in a large burst I find I now throw more frames out for eyes being closed than auto-focus issues.

  • Marchellino

    When firmware update for Nikon D600? I’m really waiting for this
    Hope the aperture can be changed in live view…..

  • D800GuY

    Where is the D800 firmware upgrade? The AF on D800 is still woefully bad compared to the competition…even worse than its predecessor…

  • Jason

    The D4 really needs a live view boost mode similar to how the 600 and lower end cameras has. For studio stuff the live view is useless because it only shows what the camera thinks the exposure is going to be. I do product stuff on a tripod and it would be nice not to have to bend over. Nikon says turn to program to see the live view.

  • Alex

    Here is a response I got from nikon again dodging the problem. I’ve been back and fourth with multiple support teams on why the normal video modes are just plain crumby..

    “The reason is as follows: HD-SLR’s normally use methods of reducing the vast amount of data collected by the large 16MP sensor in the camera. In the D4’s “1920X1080 Movie Crop mode”, the sensor is cropped to exactly the dimensions of the output file (1920X1080) so that none of the normal file data reduction processes are required for output thus creating a very pristine image. For this reason, that image size appears sharper.”

    Sounds like a politician. Words like “Appear” “Usually”
    How about… give us a little more control over the in camera compression…

    13 months and a handful of a firmware updates and nothing to fix the one main problem that plagues this camera.. other than that.. I’m in love with the D4.

    Shooting movies on this camera is like liking shooting jpeg low vs nef raw.. No latitude in post production and you start off with a huge lack of detail.

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