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Live Q&A with Nikon reveals D4 video shortcomings


Andrew Reid
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[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilhsfnSCQYE#ws]Nikon D4: Movie (Cinematic Look Short Film) - 1080p Video[/url]

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(Above: new 1080p D4 footage shot in Germany – view full screen in 1080p mode – still looks pretty soft though)

[url="http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/nikon-d4/nikon-d4A.HTM#live-qa"]Comprehensive technical information and preview of the Nikon D4 at ImagingResource, source of the Q&A[/url]

Nikon have answered in depth a huge range of video related questions for the new Nikon D4. EOSHD gives you the good, the bad and the ugly…

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/6757/live-qa-with-nikon-reveals-nikon-d4-video-shortcomings/"]Read full article[/url]

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It seems that the negatives aren't that big of a deal if you intend to use the uncompressed HDMI output.  While it would be nice to have the security of the in camera recording as well, it's not a total deal breaker if the image quality is high.  It all depends on the real world results, but it's very intriguing.

I'm more interested in how the tech translates down the line for cheaper cameras.
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Makes me excited to see what the GH3 brings us - it seems Canon and nikon are only catching up to what the GH2 already does, or not even that.

And what's with the GH2 being the only camera that can record unlimited amounts of time? 12 minutes on the Canon and now 30 minutes on the Nikon. I regularly use my GH2s for event recordings that run 1 - 2 hours.

So glad I invested in the GH2s and Micro 4/3rds.
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The definitive proof will come from what the new canons will bring in terms on video quality if even canon will offer just a slightly better resolution that the previous line it's clear that the only way to go video is with Panasonic and I've always felt like canon will not bring anything new (except fro the 4k camera of course)
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[quote author=wanderer63 link=topic=157.msg1195#msg1195 date=1326245862]
Hi Andrew
The footage shot by Corey Rich and team "Why" looks awesome don't you think? [url=http://vimeo.com/34666308]WHY - Nikon D4 Release Video[/url]
Cheers
Paul
[/quote]

It doesn't look awesome (relatively of course)  :)
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[quote author=wanderer63 link=topic=157.msg1195#msg1195 date=1326245862]
Hi Andrew
The footage shot by Corey Rich and team "Why" looks awesome don't you think
Cheers
Paul
[/quote]

Nicely shot but very soft resolution... Could have been done on 5DMkII anyway.
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Here is some of the Nikon D4 Q/A's

@IR_Lab Nikon D4 Question: Minimum increments of aperture change during video recording?

(Steve Heiner) - For video, this is where the D4 will really impress. When recording to the internal memory cards, the same option to change aperture exists, changing the aperture in 1/3 stop increments. We've added a new feature called Power Aperture, in Live View mode, though: Using the Preview and Fn buttons on the front of the camera, you can smoothly and steplessly open and close the aperture in Live View mode (prior to recording). If you're recording to an outboard recorder via the HDMI port, you can do this smooth aperture change during recording. (Note that Power Aperture only works during Live View mode.)

Is there any improvement over the D3s in terms of ISO in the range of 3200-12800?

(SH & Lindsay Silverman, Nikon) - I can't tell you quantitatively that it's better by a given amount, but based on what I've seen from a pre-production camera it's every bit as good as what we've seen from our D3S camera, and possibly even better. The processing in this camera is the most sophisticated we've had in a camera to date. Based on the input from the photographers who shot our brochure, they were really impressed with all aspects of the camera, including shooting in low light at high ISO.

@IR_Lab Why is the new D4 battery rated to so few shots compared to D3, D3s, D700, etc ... via @nikonrumors

(SH) On the battery, I don't know the specifics, but do know that regulations in Japan have changed, so the maximum amount of energy that can be stored in a camera battery is less than was once allowed. The D4 is very energy efficient, though. My own experience is that the D4 performs really well in battery efficiency; I haven't felt at all limited by it.

Can you have a histogram up in live mode?

(LS) Yes there's a histogram in both live view for stills and live view for video and it's easily selected using the info button.

From Pyriphlegethon: Every video enthusiast is wanting to know: How is the scale of FX video to 1080p accomplished? Is any line-skipping involved? Noticeable quality drop from the direct-pixel for pixel crop? Only an 8-bit HDMI out?

(SH): The exact details of what we do the distilling down from FX to 1080 is proprietary at this point. I can tell you that there is also a new mode that crops the sensor to give 1080 video using actual sensor pixels. (It's about a 2.7xcrop factor, so you also get a nice "digital tele" effect; potentially handy for sports and nature photography.) (SH) Another comment on video quality is that with the EXPEED 3 processing, we're using real-time noise reduction during video recording (a first for Nikon), and we're also employing "B-frames" in the H.264 codec to improve video quality overall. This applies to all modes and crop factors.

Why the decision not to store the still images from the timelapse feature?

(SH) If you use the interval mode, you can save full-res images, then face a ton of post-production workflow. Intervalometer function speeds this up and automates it, but doesn't allow you to save the stills as well.?. (LS) D3 was a groundbreaking camera because subject tracking was used for the first time to track a subject's color using the 1,005 RGB sensor. D4 improves on this by using 91,000 RGB pixels to subject-track. Additionally, the 91K RGB sensor improves on auto-exposure, auto WB, and i-TTL Flash. According to the photographers who shot for our brochure, they thought the overall performance was improved.

Do you expect to offer more video codec options, such as intraframe-only compression and possibly even uncompressed video to the XQD cards?

(SH) - Sorry, can't speak to future products, but think that the option of offering uncompressed 4:2:2 is an important first step in placing the D4 in a professional filmmaking environment. This is an option not offered in any other HDSLR.

Can the D4 be powered by an external battery source, like AntonBauer or V-mount?

(SH) - You'd have to adapt it somehow, and we don't make a provision for that, so you'd have to ask those battery manufacturers. (We do provide an AC power supply that someone could probably hack something up around. - But that'd of course be an "unsupported" usage. :-)

The D4's HDMI is 4:2:2 8bit as stated by Nikon, -but what does "uncompressed" mean? Exactly how is 1080P output via HDMI port?

Uncompressed means that you're not using the in-camera H.264 compression, instead allowing the external device to record in the desired or supported format for editing. In order to get full 1080p output from the HDMI port for external recording, both memory cards must be removed from the camera. That's what triggers the full 1080p output from the HDMI port for recording. When recording to either of the two memory cards, the HDMI output for monitoring is only for monitoring purposes, not suitable for recording.
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[quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=157.msg1205#msg1205 date=1326295650]
[quote author=wanderer63 link=topic=157.msg1195#msg1195 date=1326245862]
Hi Andrew
The footage shot by Corey Rich and team "Why" looks awesome don't you think
Cheers
Paul
[/quote]

Nicely shot but very soft resolution... Could have been done on 5DMkII anyway.
[/quote]

from how they comment the video (the creators) it seems like they used the D4
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[quote author=sandro link=topic=157.msg1209#msg1209 date=1326313950]
[quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=157.msg1205#msg1205 date=1326295650]
[quote author=wanderer63 link=topic=157.msg1195#msg1195 date=1326245862]
Hi Andrew
The footage shot by Corey Rich and team "Why" looks awesome don't you think
Cheers
Paul
[/quote]

Nicely shot but very soft resolution... Could have been done on 5DMkII anyway.
[/quote]

from how they comment the video (the creators) it seems like they used the D4
[/quote]

I believe what Andrew meant was the 5DMkII is just as capable of producing the same quality video as the example done by the D4. In another word Andrew doesnt think this D4 sample video is particularly great for a high end camera in comparison to the 3 year old sensor of the 5dMkII.
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Hi Andrew,

Really like your blog !

I read the whole Nikon Q&A and I can find all the things you state in the answers of the Nikon employees except for the downsampling of the image. They only say it's proprietary, nothing more, no reference to the J1 or anything like that.

Did you get that from somewhere else? And if so, where did you get it from?
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it is f[quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=157.msg1205#msg1205 date=1326295650]
[quote author=wanderer63 link=topic=157.msg1195#msg1195 date=1326245862]
Hi Andrew
The footage shot by Corey Rich and team "Why" looks awesome don't you think
Cheers
Paul
[/quote]

Nicely shot but very soft resolution... Could have been done on 5DMkII anyway.
[/quote]


And people say it's a super video in that link, is funny, is dam soft image,the gh2 remain the king :-)
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Resolution aside - its the jello wobble effect that I can't stand seeing in DSLR movies.  Lots students I know are getting sick of the Canon 5D jello effect as well and are dumping their gear in favor of renting more expensive Alexa / Red / SI-2k equipment.

Im saving for a Ikonoskop personally. 
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If only we could judge which camera was best simply by how sharp it is. How about dynamic range, light sensitivity, colour rendition etc. Hacked high bit rate helps to capture available detail and make grading easier but it can only take the GH2 so far. The D4 may well be softer than the GH2, but in terms of image quality, sharpness and price may well be the only cards the GH2 can play against it. That WHY footage looked great in my opinion.
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Everyone should note that they are watching a video in the internet.  This was most likely compressed for viewing and so we really can't judge by the quality we see here.  I've seen much cleaner footage from the D4 then what this video shows anyway.  It looks very compressed to me and should not be judged too harshly.
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