The 16.2-million-pixel D4 professional DSLR is Nikon’s attempt to improve upon its own D3S, one of the best cameras we have ever reviewed
Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
As you would expect from a professional DSLR, the viewfinder of the D4 is very large, bright and offers a 100% view. The eyepiece is also interchangeable, allowing angle finders and magnifiers to be attached for more specialised uses.
When shooting video, or for very precise manual focusing, the rear monitor will be used for composition. The LCD screen retains the 921,000-dot resolution of the last generation of Nikon enthusiast and pro DSLRs. However, at 3.2in, it is slightly larger.
The new screen also has improved colour and contrast, with a colour gamut that almost matches the sRGB colour space. Usefully, the camera can also alter the brightness, contrast colour saturation and gamma of the screen, depending on the level of ambient light. This helps to ensure that the colours and contrast are a good representation of the image, regardless of the lighting. However, I found that reviewing the images on the rear screen was still difficult in very strong sunlight.
Although Nikon introduced the first DSLR with video capture, Canon has since somewhat stolen the limelight in this area. However, Nikon has evidently spent much time working on this technology and the D4 has some excellent new features. These include a live sound meter, as well as a headphone-out socket for audio monitoring.
There is also the facility to take a live video feed from the camera through the HDMI socket. This feed contains no overlays, meaning that it is the raw footage being captured by the camera. This live raw feed can then be recorded to a separate device so it can be edited at the best possible quality. This is a very high-end feature that should appeal to many professional videographers.
Video can also be recorded in full HD in either FX or DX crop, although this obviously changes the field of view: a 50mm lens at full frame, for example, becomes the equivalent of a 75mm lens when recording in DX crop. This is extremely versatile for filmmakers, however, as it doubles the usefulness of each lens.
When the video capture is combined with the time lapse video option, and the extremely wide video capture sensitivity of ISO 200-204,800, the Nikon D4 should offer some good competition to the latest video-enabled Canon professional DSLRs.