Saturday, 29 September 2012

Nikon D4 review

Nikon D4 review


16 MP FX (24 x 36mm) CMOS.
4,928 x 3,280 pixels (16 MP) native LARGE.
3,696 x 2,456 (9 MP) MEDIUM.
2,464 x 1,640 (4 MP) SMALL.
Also crops of 1.2x (20 x 30mm), 1.5x DX (16 x 24mm) and 5:4 professional (24 x 30mm) from the above.

ISO 100 - 12,800 in in full, half or third stops.
ISO 50 to ISO 204,800 available in stupid modes.

White Balance
Auto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 4 different settings can be saved and recalled), 2,500 K to 10,000 K in 10K intervals; all with fine-tuning!

Frame Rates
10 FPS with full metering and autofocus for each frame.
(11 FPS with locked focus and exposure).

CAM3500FX sensor.
51 AF points (15 are cross-type sensors).
Works with auto- and manual-focus lenses f/5.6 and faster.
11 of these sensors will work with lenses as slow as f/8.
AF range is rated down to LV-2 with any lens. (SLR AF systems have never used the full speed of lenses; they look through anulii equivalent to about f/8 regardless of lens speed.)

100% coverage.
0.7x magnification (50mm at infinity).
18mm eyepoint.
-3 to +1 diopters.
Live-View LCD.

Nikon invented the Matrix Meter, the color meter and the 3D meter, which is what really matters.
For the first time, Nikon is wasting their time by upping the resolution of the meter sensor for marketing purposes to 91,000 RGB pixels.
It also measures flash at this resolution.

Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite, rated 400,000 shots.
1/8,000 - 30 seconds in full, half or third stops.
X 250 flash sync.
"Silent" mode.

1/250 flash sync.
i-TTL flash control using the 91,000 pixel RGB sensor with the SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600 and SB-400.
Won't meter flash with other flash guns.

Lens Compatibility
Built-in motor and AI coupling feeler, so all AF lenses work, as well as classic AI, AI-s and AI-P manual-focus lenses all work as well as they do on all of Nikon's better DSLRs.

File Formats
NEF 12 or 14 bit, uncompressed, or lossy or lossless compressed.
Video: H.264/MPEG4 stored in .MOV files.

Storage and Data
One CF slot (UDMA 7), and one XQD slot. (NOT two CF slots).
XQD cards are bogus — Lexar doesn't make them, and I don't know about SanDisk. Therefore, the XQD slot is largely useless. I'll only use Lexar and SanDisk cards. Got a XQD reader? I didn't think so.
HDMI (mini-C).
RJ-45 Ethernet.

WT-4 or WT-5A/B/C/D.
All of these variations have two different file size (quality) options:
1,920 × 1,080 (full or cropped) at 29.97p, 25p and 23.976p.
1,280 × 720 at 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p and 25p.
640 × 424 at 29.97p and 25p.
H.264/MPEG4 stored in .MOV files.
24–36,000x time-lapse mode.

Mono internal mic.
3.5mm jack for external stereo mic, with power.
Auto and manual level control.
Linear PCM recording.
3.5mm stereo output jack.
3.2" (8cm) LCD.
921,000 dots.
Auto brightness control.
Live View.

EN-EL18 battery.
MH-26 charger.
Optional EH-6b AC adapter and EP-6 connector.
CR1616 lithium coin cell for the clock, rated 2 years. This is new for Nikon; Nikon used to use a more expensive internal, permanent rechargeable battery that never needed to be changed.
6.3 × 6.2 × 3.6 inches.
160 × 156.5 × 90.5 millimeters.

47.165 oz. (1,337.2 g), actual measured with battery and card and lugs, but no strap or lens.
Nikon specifies 47.3 ounces (1,340 g or 2 pounds, 15.3 oz.) with battery and XQD memory card.
Nikon specifies 41.6 ounces (1,180 g or 2 pounds, 9.6 oz.), stripped naked.

Serial Number
Laser-engraved on plate on bottom.

USA Version
Delineated with a yellow Nikon USA sticker inside battery chamber.

0 ~ 40ºC (32 ~ 104ºF), operating.
85% RH or less, non condensing.

D4 body
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL18
Battery Charger MH-26
USB Cable UC-E15
Camera Strap AN-DC7
Body Cap BF-1B
Accessory Shoe Cover BS-2
Eyepiece DK-17
Battery Chamber Cover BL-6
USB Cable Clip

The Nikon D4 is one of the fastest cameras and one would have had the pleasure of shooting with, though it falls short of perfection. It powers on, focuses, and shoots almost instantaneously -- definitely faster than our ability to measure it confidently. It seems to perform every operation in our tests in about 0.2 second: time to focus and shoot in both bright and dim conditions, as well as two sequential shots in raw, JPEG, and even TIFF. We clocked continuous shooting at 9.8 frames per second for JPEGs, but in practice that held as well for long bursts of raw+JPEG, too.
The D4's autofocus system is mostly excellent, locking quickly and usually accurately in both single and burst shooting, for fixed subjects as well as while panning. The dynamic and tracking focus options still tend to get a little distracted by the background, but unlike some cameras the D4 maintains the display of the center point (when that's the setting) during continuous AF, which really helps. However, despite gaining a stop of sensitivity in low light, centerpoint autofocus at f2.8 remains more frustrating than I expect for a camera in this price range and with these specs -- especially one of which the single most important distinguishing characteristic should be speed. (The variations of AF point sensitivities are too complex to go into here. For a complete description, check out pages 75-76 of the PDF manual.) Also, the sluggish Live View autofocus just makes me sad.
One of the nice aspects of cameras in this class is the dual card slots; in the case of the D4, one CompactFlash and one XQD, a new technology that thus far has no other camera adopters. I've got mixed thoughts about its inclusion here. On the upside, it's fast -- a lot faster than SD at this point. But so is the 100MBps CF, and as far as I can tell you gain no in-camera performance improvements over that from it, and you lose compatibility. However, when using a USB 3.0 XQD reader the downloads are very fast.

No comments:

Post a Comment