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Updated Nikon D4S looks set to disappoint pros for hybrid video


Andrew Reid
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M43 not good enough?

 

If you cant get stunning images out of the upcoming GH4 then it is YOU that is not good enough. I have seen fantastic documentaries and films shot on 2/3" cameras. Shallow DOF can (and is) used a lot predominantly to mask lazy camera work.

 

M43 is a economic/technological compromise that makes many wonderful things possible, but Its not likely to be considered a real alternative to full frame professional still-cameras in quite a while. What me and I think many others want is a solid performer like the 5d or D800 that has an equally professional approach to video as the GH4 has. That camera is the future for journalists.

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It's nonsense and you only need to open your eyes to see that. GH3 sensor was labeled "Sony", no crippling in that, it was better than Sony's own interchangeable lens video camera (NEX-VG series) for heavens sake!

 

Gh3 is m43, different market, so less direct competition with the Sony's prime-time lineup.

 

And I'm not saying Sony is preventing their licensees from having great video features, i'm just saying they'll make them pay for them. In other words, Nikon can probably get Sony sensors cheaper if they agree to strings attached.

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This product launch is good example what is wrong in this milking system allso called capitalism. Every iteration and as little as possible changed will be sold as a sepperate product. The problem with such model is the huge amounts of waste it creates.

 

If it had usb3, latest SD card slots or 1 new and one old. It would be much more future proof.

heatsink (extra cost 2 dollars)

 

Then again this is the worst form factor of the availble DSLR's to be the basis for a videocamera platform.

 

For a photographic use it might be well performing tool. For some one with lots of Nikon Glass and real need for one and hasnt made upgrades in a long while.

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This product launch is good example what is wrong in this milking system allso called capitalism. 

 

I'm sorry if I sound blunt, but that's just plain bollocks. 

 

Like it or not, but capitalism (in its original form) is the very thing that makes it possible for us to have a choice. It makes it possible for us to choose another brand and have nothing to do with one particular milking system.  So go choose another dairy. Choose a purple cow.

 

It's not the fault of (traditional) capitalism if the masses still keep behaving like lemmings and buying the same old stuff from Canikon year after year, even though there are other alternatives around. Even though they're free to choose otherwise.

 

If we were living in a global communism and Nikon was the official camera maker approved by the People's Politbureau and owned by the state, the Nikon products would be the only choice you have, and you wouldn't even know about anything better, let alone have a chance to get it.

 

So if you are one of the people who keep on buying those products, blame yourself, not some alleged milking system. If you want something to change, vote with your wallet and choose another product from a manufacturer with a different milking policy.

 

Oh and about the Nikon D4s, it's is a niche product rather than a mass market product. There are no doubt plenty of people to whom the new model is just fine, more or less everything they hoped for. Nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of different models to choose from. Even within the Nikon line.

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D400 with the same specs but in APS-C would have made great sports,wildlife and cinema lineup for the next years to come, only surpassed by double exposure sensors.

Please don't start. I've already given up on *that* dream.

 

 

You can't generalize. It depends on the bargaining power.  In this case Nikon doesn't really have a video market (to protect), and Sony does. 

Sony the consumer electronics company and Sony the electronics fabrication plant are two distinct groups with their own management and KPIs. I'm more likely to believe (and do believe) that Nikon just aren't very interested in winning the video war.

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This product launch is good example what is wrong in this milking system allso called capitalism.

What kind of weird statement is this?  Without capitalism, you wouldn't even have a camera, let alone a computer to edit with, software, monitors, nothing, even if you were born into corrupt government wealth and had the money.

 

Capitalism means small companies and startups can compete with large companies that are too slow to move in the market.  Examples:  Black Magic Design, Magic Lantern, GoPro, etc.

 

Regarding the D4, Andrew is right.  10 minutes of recording time is ridiculous.  A few test shots, and the camera is already overheated.    How long do you have to wait to use it again?  Talk about crippled for video!  I think the D4 would require a complete overhaul to fix the thermal issues, and Nikon didn't want to do that yet.  It was just a refresh.

 

Michael

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I'm sorry if I sound blunt, but that's just plain bollocks.

Like it or not, but capitalism (in its original form) is the very thing that makes it possible for us to have a choice. It makes it possible for us to choose another brand and have nothing to do with one particular milking system. So go choose another dairy. Choose a purple cow.

It's not the fault of (traditional) capitalism if the masses still keep behaving like lemmings and buying the same old stuff from Canikon year after year, even though there are other alternatives around. Even though they're free to choose otherwise.

If we were living in a global communism and Nikon was the official camera maker approved by the Politbyro and owned by the state, the Nikon products would be the only choice you have, and you wouldn't even know about anything better, let alone have a chance to get it.

So if you are one of the people who keep on buying those products, blame yourself, not some alleged milking system. If you want something to change, vote with your wallet and choose another product from a manufacturer with a different milking policy.

Oh and about the Nikon D4s, it's is a niche product rather than a mass market product. There are no doubt plenty of people to whom the new model is just fine, more or less everything they hoped for. Nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of different models to choose from. Even within the Nikon line.


Quirky, you have come on here beating your chest and belittling Andrew for his expectations that this camera has professional video features.

It's true that not every stills camera has to cater to professional video users but when a company markets their camera as having "professional video features" then I would hope that this is true. Andrew is being fair to question where Nikon is coming from with the marketing of this camera.
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M43 is a economic/technological compromise that makes many wonderful things possible, but Its not likely to be considered a real alternative to full frame professional still-cameras in quite a while. What me and I think many others want is a solid performer like the 5d or D800 that has an equally professional approach to video as the GH4 has. That camera is the future for journalists.


Not sure if you understand the intentions of this site but we are video shooters here. APC-C is considered full frame in cine terms and MFT is not too much of a compromise to APS-C.

I can't think if too many instances where I want my subjects eyes in focus and their nose completely out of focus. That's where full frame excels.

People have been making wonderful films with S16mm for years (smaller than MFT), 2/3" (Smaller than MFT) and not too many people are complaining about the capabilities of BlackMagics cameras (smaller than MFT). If you can only make good looking images with a stills FF sized sensor, you're doing something wrong.
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Quirky, you have come on here beating your chest and belittling Andrew for his expectations that this camera has professional video features.

It's true that not every stills camera has to cater to professional video users but when a company markets their camera as having "professional video features" then I would hope that this is true. Andrew is being fair to question where Nikon is coming from with the marketing of this camera.

 

The chest beating and belittling are merely products of your own imagination. You also seem to be responding to a comment aimed at the use of the term capitalism, a comment that has nothing whatsoever to do with Andrew Reid. Apparently you either haven't even read the entire comments you are criticising, or you haven't quite understood them. But you are of course entitled to your opinion, and feel free to skip my comments if you don't like or understand them.

 

As for Mr. Reid needing your defending his "honour," don't worry. He has proven to be verbally talented and witty enough to give me a proper reply, or even block me, in case he actually felt somehow belittled by me. Which is unlikely. I also believe that he's both thick skinned and smart enough to see (unlike you, apparently) the actual point of my first comment. It wasn't really about him, it was about Nikon, and the over-inflated image and market inertia the brand still seem to be enjoying, for some reason. 

 

Many of us here are more or less frustrated with the fact that some cameras have one or two nice features for the filmmakers and video enthusiasts, but none of the camera makers are offering all the essential features inside the same enclosure, and for a reasonable price. Time and again Nikon have proven to be the least likely to offer that proverbial holy grail to us. The latest case in point, the D4s. 

 

As for using words like "professional features" in their marketing copy, oh please. From paper tissue to camera manufacturers, every mainstream company are using those buzzwords and then some. Nikon are no exception. Most of the likely buyers of the D4s are smart enough to take those buzzwords with a grain of salt. Being overly pedantic is not good for one's health.

 

My point, in case it's still unclear to someone, was to make the argument that being angry or frustrated with Nikon because of (missing) video features is energy wasted. You'll be banging your head against the brick wall for a good while longer.

 

All that energy could be used for something more constructive instead. Like concentrating more positive energy to those who deserve it, whilst ignoring those who don't. Concentrating on the ones who seem to be less phlegmatic and who at least make an attempt to deliver us the goodies we want, even if they're not quite there yet. Like Panasonic, Sony, Blackmagic, Digital Bolex and even Olympus.

 

Apparently the most effective way to get the message through to the Nikon board is to start ignoring them. Attention deprivation. If/when enough people started simply ignoring them, they would have to react eventually, or become obsolete within certain market segments. After all, we do have the choice, and so do they.

 

But I'm sure all this was quite obvious to most readers the first time around, so surely this is enough repeating the same talking points over and over again. By all means embrace, love and use your beloved Nikon for anything you wish, and just ignore my comments. I won't mind, nor will anyone else.

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The chest beating and belittling are merely products of your own imagination. You also seem to be responding to a comment aimed at the use of the term capitalism, a comment that has nothing whatsoever to do with Andrew Reid. Apparently you either haven't even read the entire comments you are criticising, or you haven't quite understood them. But you are of course entitled to your opinion, and feel free to skip my comments if you don't like or understand them.

 

As for Mr. Reid needing your defending his "honour," don't worry. He has proven to be verbally talented and witty enough to give me a proper reply, or even block me, in case he actually felt somehow belittled by me. Which is unlikely. I also believe that he's both thick skinned and smart enough to see (unlike you, apparently) the actual point of my first comment. It wasn't really about him, it was about Nikon, and the over-inflated image and market inertia the brand still seem to be enjoying, for some reason. 

 

Many of us here are more or less frustrated with the fact that some cameras have one or two nice features for the filmmakers and video enthusiasts, but none of the camera makers are offering all the essential features inside the same enclosure, and for a reasonable price. Time and again Nikon have proven to be the least likely to offer that proverbial holy grail to us. The latest case in point, the D4s. 

 

As for using words like "professional features" in their marketing copy, oh please. From paper tissue to camera manufacturers, every mainstream company are using those buzzwords and then some. Nikon are no exception. Most of the likely buyers of the D4s are smart enough to take those buzzwords with a grain of salt. Being overly pedantic is not good for one's health.

 

My point, in case it's still unclear to someone, was to make the argument that being angry or frustrated with Nikon because of (missing) video features is energy wasted. You'll be banging your head against the brick wall for a good while longer.

 

All that energy could be used for something more constructive instead. Like concentrating more positive energy to those who deserve it, whilst ignoring those who don't. Concentrating on the ones who seem to be less phlegmatic and who at least make an attempt to deliver us the goodies we want, even if they're not quite there yet. Like Panasonic, Sony, Blackmagic, Digital Bolex and even Olympus.

 

Apparently the most effective way to get the message through to the Nikon board is to start ignoring them. Attention deprivation. If/when enough people started simply ignoring them, they would have to react eventually, or become obsolete within certain market segments. After all, we do have the choice, and so do they.

 

But I'm sure all this was quite obvious to most readers the first time around, so surely this is enough repeating the same talking points over and over again. By all means embrace, love and use your beloved Nikon for anything you wish, and just ignore my comments. I won't mind, nor will anyone else.

I was quoting you in general. Your tone rather than the references to capitalism itself.

 

If you don't think that Andrew should be complaining, don't read his posts. I don't feel the need to defend Andrew, but his argument is based on the fact that Nikon are touting this as a camera with video professionals in mind when this is far from the truth. He is right to have a go at Nikon for these claims and so would I. Either way, I don't care. Nikon can die as a manufacturer for all I care. My first two DSLR's where both Nikons and I loved them but they have failed to evolve and keep up. Now remember, I am talking as a stills AND video shooter which is what this site is about so take my views in that context.

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I was quoting you in general. Your tone rather than the references to capitalism itself.

 

Quite. That is indeed one of the easiest and surest way to multiply the page count of a given thread in no time. Concentrating on the irrelevant, picking on the messenger and bickering about metadata, and so on. Apparently that is what some people enjoy doing.

 

I won't apologise for my deliberately un-PC tone, as the comment wasn't even aimed at you, and blaming capitalism for Nikon's uninspiring product line is still bollocks. The main perp to blame is watching you from the mirror.

 

 

 

I don't feel the need to defend Andrew, but 

 

Of course you don't. You feel the need to defend your own view of the world, and you're just trying to use Andrew's name as a mental (authority) leverage. 

 

 

 

 

Nikon are touting this as a camera with video professionals in mind when this is far from the truth. 

 

Like said, everyone from kitchen sink manufacturers to Nikon are touting their products as tools for professionals. Nikon make no exception in that. Besides, the D4s is a photography tool aimed at the professionals. A pro photo camera with some video features added. Which in the usual marketing lingo turns into an asset, obviously. 

A pro photo camera + some video features = pro camera for photos and video. Basic advertisementspeak.

 

The curious thing is why have some aspiring photographers, video enthusiasts and filmmakers put Nikon on such a high pedestal, especially given their recent track record. The lemming force is still surprisingly strong with Nikon. One sure doesn't need to underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

 

 

 

He is right to have a go at Nikon for these claims and so would I. 

 

That's perfectly fine. No one has claimed otherwise. I have not suggested that Andrew was "wrong" in his latest rant. I mostly agreed with his usual arguments, and there really was no problem until you felt compelled to make one up.

 

What Nikon are doing is neither right nor wrong, either, they're just doing their thing. The meaning we give to these things is always subjective. Their (in)actions have no meaning per se. The meaning we give, and the way we react to that is up to us.

 

There's plenty of space for all sorts of meanings, opinions and tones in the world. It's not a right or wrong, either or, I/O kind of thing.

 

 

Either way, I don't care. 

 

 

Of course you don't.  ;)

Now, I believe this is enough clutter in this thread. Time to move on. 

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What Nikon does, is provide insanely good value and image quality for photographers. Their cameras all lead their respective classes in DXOmark. A D3300 body + a 35mm/1.8 DX lens delivers far superior quality for $580+$200=$780 to, for example, an Olympus OM-D EM-1 + Zuiko 25/1.8 for $1300+$500=$1800. If you take objective sensor and lens rating, and shoot raw, then it's also better than any high price APS-C mirrorless camera, including Fuji's. The D4s is also class-leading for a high speed, insanely low light-capable camera. The price tag won't be prohibitive for the pro photographers who'll buy this camera.

 

The real risk is that mirrorless might die for the mass consumer market because it's undercut in price and outdone in image quality by classical DSLRs like Nikon's.

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I can't think if too many instances where I want my subjects eyes in focus and their nose completely out of focus. That's where full frame excels.
 

 

Just shot a little zerobudget scifi flick. Raw 5d.

 

'>

 

Nose is out of focus, but beautifully. 200mm f2.8 fullframe. (That's a slightly unsharp still, moving shots are sharp as tack). There is just no way I could get the chair blurred with MFT systems.

 

Another one with the 200mm f2.8:

 

'>

 

I really love the cinematic, almost anamorphic dof look. (without the softness)

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This is what Cory Rich replied to someone on the comment below. If this is true that the full frame is also razor sharp then this is a very very good camera. The D4 was already measured at 13 stop Dynamic Range in the EBU (BBC) test and the low light was awesome. The only downside was the resolution. If it is fixed then it has very very good video.

 

 

Hi Bruce,
Actually we (the entire crew) were blown away by the D4s video quality; it's MUCH improved over the D4! I hate to admit it but the shot at 0:11 was operator error (I just shot it out of focus on a 24mm f/1.4 lens... we were working fast :-) and in the rush to slam in a few clips from Ireland, our last location, the clip somehow made the edit. But the video footage in FX and 2.7 crop mode is RAZOR sharp! And the high iso is game changing. The motor-cross shots that we did at night are at 6400 iso - 60p and they look stunning in full hd. Anyhow, it's a badass camera. Ill be buying two!
Hope this helps.
Corey Rich

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Thanks for the article Andrew. I'd speculate that most Nikon consumers don't care too much about the intricacies of the video specifications; they just want a bit of half-decent video here and there, and in reality are just as likely to use the iPhone because it's far simpler. Most camera consumers will use iMovie or equivalent, if anything. Only a small minority will want the higher end video features you talk about. However, I wonder if Nikon is missing the power of reputation in driving lower end sales for video enthusiasts like me. If Nikon were renowned for high end video, this would influence a lot of low end buyers to choose Nikon based on reputation alone, even if they never actually used the high end features that came with the brand. On this point alone the average consumer currently interested in video would veer towards Canon or Panasonic. A Nikon user like me (from a stills background) is strongly tempted to keep the Nikon for stills (due to existing investment in bodies and lenses, and also because Nikon is very good for stills) but veer towards Panasonic as a second body for video, since the Nikon lenses can be used on that system too. Someone strongly interested in video from the outset will skip Nikon altogether. What a wasted opportunity for Nikon.

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Just a bit of input from someone Nikon are banking on buying the D4S.

 

I use a D4 professionally every day.

 

Well, in a professional capacity at least  ;)

 

And I'll be using it again this afternoon to shoot Premier League football, where I'll probably be sat alongside 7 or 8 other photographers using them (as well as the numerous D3/D3s bodies that we also still use).

 

If I had a survey of all of us about if any us have ever used the video features on any of them for anything other than testing, I would bet serious money on the answer being "No" from everyone.  If I remember correctly, I think I shot about a minute of video with the D3 to test it, probably similar with the D3S but have not shot a single frame with the D4.

 

The amount that I even use live view on them is limited to when I'm setting them up as a remote camera behind a goal or whatever.

 

The things that matter to the vast majority of Nikon D4 users about the evolution of the products are basically just related to advancing AF, low light performance (which was already good enough in the D3S that many including me couldn't be bothered with upgrading to the D4 for a while) and maybe increasing the fps.  Oh and ditching the daft QXD card and putting twin CF slots back.

 

To be honest, the camera that me and most of the people I'll be working alongside this afternoon wanted to see Nikon make was actually a pro-spec crop camera.  No one is really that excited about the D4S (other than it reducing the used price of the D3S and D4 to pick up as additional backup cameras) but over time I'm sure we'll all transition if only because our current cameras get such a battering that its inevitable due to natural wastage.

 

None of this is to say that me - or any of my colleagues - don't shoot video. 

 

We do, just not with the D4.

 

A lot of the time, the events we are doing wouldn't allow it even if we wanted to because of different rights issues but, really, trying to do both just isn't that viable.  I tried it when I was covering the Tour de France and abandoned it after two stages because trying to split myself between the two was producing mediocre results in both.

 

If I did want to shoot video when I was working on a stills job then the BMPCC and M43/Nikon Speedbooster is small enough to fit in the bag with the rest of the gear and is what I consider to be the £900 video option for Nikon pro DSLR shooters.

 

So, for me, I don't see anything sinister or even lack of adventure in what Nikon are up to. Its just them keeping the things that matter to their existing market (basically AF performance/low light/fps) as advanced as they can.

 

Boring answer from a boring old photographer but there it is.

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If I had a survey of all of us about if any us have ever used the video features on any of them for anything other than testing, I would bet serious money on the answer being "No" from everyone.  If I remember correctly, I think I shot about a minute of video with the D3 to test it, probably similar with the D3S but have not shot a single frame with the D4.

 

I think you meant D3S, which has a 720p mode. D3 doesn't even shoot video.

 

I agree when it comes to D4S range of cameras - most photographers wouldn't use beyond what the D4S or D4 offers today, if they would at all. So no point in adding more advanced video features in the D4S.

 

However, I think it'd make sense for Nikon to at least attempt make a video-focused camera, be it based on APS-C, full frame or Nikon 1 sensors. 

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