Nikon Unveils New D4 Flagship D-SLR



In the days leading up to International CES, Nikon unveiled its long-awaited new flagship d-SLR the D4, offering a substantially lighter body.

The Nikon D4, which is slated for February availability at a $6,000 suggested retail, will offer a full-frame 16.2-megapixel full-format CMOS image sensor that will shoot full-resolution images at up to a 10 fps rate.

The camera is also one of the first to support the new XQD Compact Flash memory card format, and will also offer a second card for more conventional CF cards.

The Nikon D4 has improved low-light performance, with an ISO range from 100 to 102,400 which can be expanded to 50 to 204,800 for both movies and stills.

The D4 also improves on the D3’s color matrix metering system with a third-generation 91,000-pixel RGB metering sensor.

The unit takes the AF mode select switch from the D7000 and uses improved 51-point AF points with 9 cross-type sensor and a beefed up AF module allowing focus with an f/8 lens and faster (up from f/5.6). The AF detection range is now down to EV-2.0

The viewfinder features a full pentaprism with a 100 percent field of view.

The video section will record pixel-for-pixel Full- HD 1080p resolution with selections for 30p and 24p frame rates in this iteration, and 720p at up to 60p for slow-motion work. The camera now includes support for the H.264 B frame compression scheme.

The camera uses contrast detect AF in movie recording and features a low-pass filter optimized to maximize sharpness of HD video, meaning greater noise reduction when shooting full-frame movies.

Function buttons are illuminated this year, and a dedicated video button (user re-assignable) is added near the shutter button.

The D4 supports WTSA wireless control using the optional Nikon WT-5 wireless transmitter, and features an integrated Ethernet port and HDMI output enabling output of uncompressed video. The D4 also introduces face detection/recognition into the flagship series

Another new feature is smooth aperture control for use while shooting video.

At the same time, the company introduced the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G FX format lens ($500 suggested retail).

The company said the D4 is not being produced in Thailand will not have production issues from the recent flooding situation there. But whether the company will have enough supply to meet the expected demand from Nikon-aligned professional photographers and converts remains to be seen.


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