The Nikon D4 Is Your New Dream Camera
Nikon has announced the D4 digital SLR, a camera that's causing quite a stir despite relatively moderate changes to its still-photo features. Perhaps one reason for the buzz is the fact that the previous model, the D3S, was announced way back in the fall of 2009. Since then, the biggest shift in the photo community has been the rise in importance and popularity of video shot with SLR cameras. The D4 addresses this with significant improvements to its video capabilities.
The D4 can shoot full HD 1080p video at various frame rates, up to and including for broadcast-quality footage. Available formats are MPEG-4 and H.264. Nikon says that the sensor can read image data at "astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion". You have complete manual control of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO while recording.
Although the built-in microphone and speaker are mono, you can connect a microphone via a stereo mic jack and adjust sensitivity on the D4's LCD as you shoot. (It's a big LCD, too: 3.2 inches and 921K dots. You can zoom in up to 46x, very handy when checking focus for video and for stills.) The D4's time lapse shooting combines a selected frame rate and shooting interval in a dedicated menu, and playback speeds can range from 24x to 36,000x.
The new model's full-frame CMOS sensor can capture up to 16.2 megapixels. The normal ISO range is from 100 to 12,800, but you can extend that to 50 to an amazing 204,800.
Changes to the D4's body make it easier to hold and operate in portrait orientation as well as landscape. And no matter how you're holding the camera, you're likely to appreciate the new illuminated buttons when the available light is low.
The D4 also has a removable WiFi transmitter. Using it, you can connect to your camera from a Web browser on a laptop or even a smartphone and control the camera while watching a live feed. Pretty slick!
If you're lucky enough to have the $6,000 that the Nikon D4 costs, you can have it in your hands as early as February 2012.