Live Q&A with Nikon reveals D4 video shortcomings


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

Comprehensive technical information and preview of the Nikon D4 at ImagingResource, source of the Q&A

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…

The good

Real-time noise reduction on the sensor channels during video recording.

Improved light metering, one of the worst things about the D7000 was no proper metering in live view and video mode. However on the D4 there is a live histogram and proper metering.

The bad

To activate 1080p HDMI at 8bit 4-2-2 you have to remove both cards from the camera. No simultaneous recording.

Nikon say that with cards inserted “HDMI is only suitable for monitoring purposes” – so no full HD 4-2-2 for monitoring?

No focus assist when connected to an HDMI monitor

Live view has proper exposure simulation in full manual mode but switches off after 60 minutes to cool the camera.

No dedicated flat / cinema picture profile.

The ugly

The downsampling of the sensor is similar to the Nikon J1, a $499 mirrorless camera. According to Nikon, “subsampling is only along each horizontal video line; there’s no sub-sampling between video lines.
” Frankly this is bloody ridiculous. I’ve seen the results of this on the J1 and it isn’t pretty – sheering on fine diagonal patterns and very soft detail. I expect better from a pro DSLR. With that in mind don’t expect resolution on the D4 to beat the GH2 or Canon 1DX with DIGIC 5.

A worse battery. Apparently regulation changes in Japan have forced a maximum capacity to batteries less than once allowed so the D4 has significantly less battery life than previous models. Expeed 3 is also far more power hungry.

Thanks to Nathan Pawluck for his summary video