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The D4 enters the video world swinging for the fence, while still offering a plethora of small improvements in basic handling and still shooting. At the heart of the camera is a 16.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, and its standard ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable to 50-204,800) offers a one-stop improvement in low ISO. The 51-point AF system and 91K-pixel RGB metering sensor allow for fast AF and accurate exposure.
From a video standpoint, the D4 records 1080P at 24/30fps in H.264/MPEG-4 format in-camera, with the ability to record uncompressed 8-bit 4.2.2 footage via external recorder. The D4 has on-screen audio levels and a headphone jack for monitoring and adjusting audio levels in 20-step increments. The camera also offers full manual adjustments and adds a power aperture mode with 1/8th-stop adjustments allows for extreme exposure fine-tuning. The D4 also allows the user to start and stop video recording using the traditional 10-pin cable-release.
Physically, the body itself is slightly smaller than its predecessor, and through a shift in buttons, portrait shooting is finally setup to work the same as standard landscape shooting. Also, the addition of two multi-directional joysticks allow quick AF-point selection when shooting in both orientations. The rear LCD has also been upgraded.
However, there are a couple of changes that many users will not find as welcoming. With the D4 comes a battery that isn’t compatible with the D3 series battery. The D4 also replaces the 2nd CF slot with an XQD memory card slot. The XQD-format does indeed offer a substantial speed increase, but at the time of the D4 release, there is a very limited selection of manufacturers. The D4 still retains its UDMA-compatible CF slot as the primary slot, however.
Please Note: There is a known compatibility issue with this camera and many Kingston CF memory cards. We strongly recommend using another brand’s memory card until Nikon can offer a fix for this issue.