Hands-On Review: Nikon D4


The D4 is Nikon's top-of-the-line professional DSLR. With a 16.1 MP sensor, this full-frame-equipped camera has large photosites that enable great low-light performance. In addition, the camera's native ISO range goes from 100 to 12800. Vaunted for its speedy performance, the D4 delivers full-resolution 16.1MP images at 10 fps, for those moments when you need to get the shot, no matter what. Sports and nature photographers will want to give some serious consideration to the D4.

Kelby Media's Larry Becker does just that, discovering that the D4 offers maximum programmability, impressive pro video features and, as expected, strong speed-related features. The camera offers nearly the same button configuration whether it's held in landscape or portrait orientation. For video, the D4 has a clean HDMI output that facilitates outboard recording at high bit rates. Professional photographers, especially in high-action environments, here's a camera for you.

Camera TypeDigital SLR with Interchangeable lenses
Lens MountNikon F
Camera FormatFull-Frame
PixelsActual: 16.6 Megapixel
Effective: 16.2 Megapixel
Maximum Resolution16.1MP: 4928 x 3280 @ 3:2
Other Resolutions13.4MP: 3280 x 4096 @ 4:5
11.1MP: 4096 x 2720
9.1MP: 3696 x 2456 @ 3:2
7.5MP: 2456 x 3072 @ 4:5
6.8MP: 3200 x 2128 @ 3:2
6.3MP: 3072 x 2040
4.0MP: 2464 x 1640 @ 3:2
3.8MP: 2400 x 1592 @ 3:2
3.4MP: 1640 x 2048 @ 4:5
2.8MP: 2048 x 1360
1.7MP: 1600 x 1064 @ 3:2
Aspect Ratio3:2, 4:5
Sensor Type / SizeCMOS, 36 x 23.9mm
File FormatsStill Images: JPEG, RAW, TIFF
Movies: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MOV
Audio: Linear PCM
Noise ReductionYes
Memory Card TypeXQD, CompactFlash
Focus TypeAuto & Manual
Focus ModeSingle-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M)
Autofocus Points51
Viewfinder TypePentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage100%
Viewfinder MagnificationApprox. 0.70x
Diopter Adjustment- 3 to +1 m
Display Screen3.2" Rear Screen   LCD (921000)
Screen Coverage100%
Angle of View170°
Live ViewYes
ISO Sensitivity100-12800 (Extended Mode: 50-204800)
ShutterType: Electronic
Speed: 30 - 1/8000 sec
Remote ControlML-3, MC-21A, 22, 22A, 23A, 25A, 30, 30A, 36 & 36A (Optional)
Mirror Lock-UpYes
Metering Method3D Color Matrix Metering, Center-weighted average metering, Spot metering
Exposure ModesModes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV (in 0.33 EV steps)
White Balance ModesAuto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Natural White), Fluorescent (White), Fluorescent H, Incandescent, Kelvin, Preset Manual, Shade
Flash Modes1st Curtain Sync
Red-eye Reduction
Second-Curtain Sync
Slow Sync
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Built-in FlashNo
Maximum Sync Speed1/250 / 1/8000 sec
Flash Compensation-3 EV to +1 EV (in 0.33 or 0.5 EV steps)
Continuous ShootingUp to 10 fps
Dedicated Flash SystemiTTL Remote Firing
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe, PC Terminal, Wireless
Video RecordingYes, NTSC/PAL
File Size1920 x 1080p (Full HD)
1280 x 720p (HD)
Frame Rate@ 1920 x 1080: 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
@ 1280 x 720: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps
@ 640 x 424: 30 fps, 25 fps
Exposure ControlAuto: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
Manual: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
ISO SensitivityAuto, 200 - 12800, Expandable to 204800
Exposure Compensation-5 EV to +5 EV (in 1/31 EV steps) 1
FocusAuto, Manual and Continuous Auto
Continuous Shooting Time1920 x 1080 - 20 min.
1280 x 720 - 29 min.
640 x 424 - 29 min.
Audio RecordingWith Video, Mono, Via Optional External Mic
In-Camera Image EditingColor Balance, Color Outline, D-Lighting, Distortion Control, Edit Movie, Filter Effects, Fisheye, Image Overlay, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, NEF (RAW) Processing, Perspective Control, Quick Retouch, Red-eye Correction, Straighten, Trim
Self-Timer2 sec., 5 sec., 10 sec., 20 sec.
Connectivity1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0
Wi-Fi Capable (With Optional Transmitter)Yes
Battery1x EN-EL18  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 10.8VDC, 2000 mAh
AC Power AdapterEH-6b (Optional)
Operating/Storage Temperature32 to 104° F (0 to 40° C)
Dimensions (WxHxD)6.3 x 6.2 x 3.6" / 16.00 x 15.75 x 9.14 cm
Weight2.95 lb / 1.34  kg With battery and memory card


1 Comment

I own the Nikon D4 Camera as my lead camera. I love the solid feel and the outstanding results I've obtained with it. I have excellent results in tracking sports action using the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.4-5.6 G AF-s VR lens (This is my most used Nikon combination).  I have obtained consistent publication using this combination of Nikon photographic equipment. Richard.