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Nikon D4 officially announced, to replace D3S

Camera fanatics will be pleased to hear that Nikon’s new top of the range D4 should be released in the near future. There were rumours circulating about this camera months ago and now Nikon have officially announced, with some detailed information.

According to a magazine overview the new camera will have better durability, higher overall performance and improved autofocus. The video capabilities have also received some tweaks. Latest information leaked appears to point to a February release, for $6,000. There is a full list of technical specifications on CNET, who are at CES. Resolution is up from 12.1 to 16.2 megapixels – which is still short of the ultra high resolution D3X specifications @ 24.5 megapixels.

They add “Though it retains the same number of autofocus points, according to Réponses Photo, Nikon supposedly has simplified the process of using the various AF options, which had become a seriously confusing system, and the camera gaines a stop of AF sensitivity in low light, which is always welcome and brings it into parity with Canon.

Nikon is reportedly also beefing up the video capabilities significantly. In addition to a full set of essential frame rates, it will use the Live View contrast-detection autofocus for AF in video capture, have headphone and mic jacks with audio level controls, and support uncompressed video output through the HDMI port. It uses H.264 B-frame compression, though that’s not nearly as interesting as Canon’s support of I-frames; bi-predictive compression reduces file sizes, but intraframe-only compression delivers better quality. It supports 1.5x and 2.7x crop modes in movie capture, for extended zoom with a given lens, though it doesn’t seem to have a direct 1920 x 1080 mode for pixel-for-pixel video capture. Nikon also claims the faster sensor (it’s listed as 16-bit processing in the press release, but that could mean 16-channel readout) produces less rolling shutter.

The sensor has 7.3-micron pixels compared to the 1D X’s 6.95-micron, which may aid in producing better low-light video, where noise reduction can be trickier than for stills.”

High speed shooting was a strong point of the D3S, and the new D4 seems equally strong, able to handle 10fps at full resolution, full autofocus. 12fps will be possible at 8 megapixels resolution.

Kitguru says: surely set to be a professionals favourite on release.

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