The Nikon D4 is the latest in the company’s full-frame FX range and is the successor to the Nikon D3s and bests the older model in almost every department.
While a 36 megapixel sensor had been rumoured, Nikon has gone with a more sensible 16.2 megapixel full-frame FX sensor which is paired with the new EXPEED 3 processing engine – recently seen on Nikon's new compact system camera the Nikon J1.
The Nikon D4 promises to be one of the best low-light performers available with the camera able to deliver shots from ISO 100-12,800 as standard, or from ISO 50-204,800 extended. Also, thanks to the Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 system, the D4 is capable of shooting in conditions as dark as -2EV – which is essentially equivalent to moonlight.
The D4 is capable of shooting at 11fps which is impressive but not quite up to the 12fps which the new Canon 1DX is capable of - but it’s still very fast, none the less.
The new metering system in the D4 shows a huge improvement over the D3s with 91,000 pixels on offer compared to a paltry 1,005 pixels in the older model. As well as helping metering, you will get the added benefit of data being fed to the Advanced Recognition System in real time – helping the likes of face detection, backlighting and other tricky situations before you’ve even pressed the shutter button.
On the rear you’ll find a 3.2in, 921k dot LCD screen which has had a gel layer applied to it to limit reflections and an illumination detector adjusts the screen’s output dependent on the ambient light. Another nice touch is the presence of backlighting on the buttons on the rear to help when taking those moonlit shots. The EVF on the D4 is the same as the one found on the D3s.
Looking at the movie-making credentials of the D4, it has certainly gone all out to attract those interested in shooting film with a DSLR. The D4 can capture 1080p movies at 30/25/24fps using H.264 compression or 720p files at 60/50 fps. A 1920x1080 mode can also capture pixel-to-pixel shots with a 2.7x magnification.
What sets the D4 apart however is the inclusion of not only a microphone input (with 20 adjustment levels) but also a headphones output (30 adjustment levels) – a feature no other DSLR has. Nikon has also thrown in on-screen audio monitoring and the HDMI output can send an uncompressed live feed for real time previewing, when for example you are using a third-party monitor.
The D4’s design hasn’t changed hugely but Nikon has added some subtle changes. The button layout is more symmetrical meaning similar configurations whether shooting in landscape. The shutter button has also now been angled to 35 degrees for more comfortable prolonged shooting and a movie record button has been added.
The Nikon D4 is also aiming to do away for the need for a PC or laptop with a built-in Ethernet port allowing you to send files direct to clients, newsdesks etc. However, if you add the optional WT-5 wireless adapter a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you.
This will allow you to remotely control your device and while this has previously been available on laptops, Nikon has optimised its system to work with iPhones and iPads, giving you a lot more flexibility. You'll don't need to download an app as it is all browser based, giving you control over a wide range of functions including the ability to click on the screen to move the focus point, change the ISO sensitivity, focus type and numerous other settings.
Another interesting feature of the D4 is the inclusion of a slot for the new XQD card format (alongside the more traditional CF slot) – a first for DSLRs.
The Nikon D4 will be available in the UK on 16 February and will cost £4,799.99 body-only.