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Nikon D4. The new king with uncompressed HDMI output.
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  • Hey there's a very nice preview of the D4 over at Dan Chung's site.

  • @sebben "Why would anyone buy a canon C300 for 20k now?"

    haha right? Both only offer 60fps in 720p mode. Both have uncompressed 8-bit out. The D4 actually stomps all over the C300 with the THREE different sensor modes, the primary one being glorious FF35 VistaVision goodness. Plus, the D4 will most likely have better low-light capture due to new state-of-the art noise reduction and processing... vs a 3 year old camcorder chip. It's pretty crazy.

    My real question is... why did Canon just slap a large sensor on old camcorder electronics instead of developing a real system with something cool like Nikon's sensor modes? Why not something new like "Canon vRAW" codec or prores recording? I mean seriously, the C300 IS a XF100, from a technological standpoint. They had 3 years to respond and that is all we get for $20k? What a load...

    Oh well, enter the D4... time to go back to the drawing board Canon. The next "cinema" camera we see from Sony, Panasonic, or Canon better be at least 2k RAW and up to 90fps.

  • Dan Chung seems to be the only high profile Canon user blogging about the D4. He was actually the one who did that interview about the 1DX where the Canon rep let it 'slip' that there is no clean HDMI out because of conflict with the video division. Good to see Dan keeping it real here. Can't wait to see more short film samples from D4. You would think that such a huge announcement would open the blogging floodgates.

  • @Vitaliy I'm pretty sure the 2 videos from 'Fenchel&Janisch' that you have posted are not genuine D4 videos. Those guys are posers, they have a history of always putting out videos when a new video DSLR gets announced, claiming the samples to be shot with that specific camera. They promote themselves on their website with the line: "Over 7 Million youtube hits!"

  • I'm curious how much of the raw IQ features of the D4 will float down to the lower cost cameras, cuz that thing is a BEAST! IMO Nikon needs to go all out on their DSLR's Video features cuz really that is their Pro Video dept. It's all good for us that they are pushing the other companies and they need to keep it going. 2012 is already shaping up to be a very interesting year.

  • @bwhitz All what you say + The D4 will be an amazing still image camera. What was canon thinking?

  • Here is all the ? about the Nikon D4 Video settings.

  • Well, I’m a little underwhelmed, to put it mildly. The HDMI output is 8-bit 4:2:2 but enabled only with all the cards removed, B-frame internal codec recording, 60-minute–max live-view mode due to the sensor overheating (what’s the cool-off time?) . . .

    Sounds like an oddball in the video department to me.

  • Hopefully someone at CES can find out what the cool time is? Here is a link to the guys who hosted the Nikon D4 Q/A.

  • 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.

  • I guess the key issue, more than cooling times and other minor nuisances, is:

    How the camera scales it's images to video resolution?

    And so far there seems to be no answer to that... EOSHD claims it does it in the same way as the J1, but I haven't seen any information to confirm that?

  • Sounds more than reasonable to me.

  • The Sony VG10 gave it's clean HDMI out in the same way. You had to take out the Cards. The promotional video I saw looked pretty good. I don't recall seeing any Aliasing or Moire. Color looked good. Resolution looked good, but again this is on the web.

  • lol, wtf ... cool down time? :)... how comes that GH2 does not need one?

    How can this be considered "pro" device when it turns off the recording to cool down?

    Epic fail...

  • @aria The VG10 is only 4:2:0 right?

  • Does it need to turn down when it is using an external recorder?

  • @jpbturbo, the Sony VG10 and VG20 are considered consumer Camcorders by Sony and to my knowledge they actually do 4:2:2 output, but some have complained that there's something weird about the HDMI output cuz they don't see much of an image improvement from the externally recorded footage. Plus there is some Aliasing and Moire, tho the Moire isn't that bad.

    From everything i've seen the VG20 has a good image. Not quite as high rez as the GH2, but not bad either. Very good Low Light and long recording time. You could do some very good films using the VG20 IMO.

    @danyyyel, from what I heard the Live View "times out" and the mirror flips back down, but you can restart the camera and continue. Not a definite on that, but that's what it appears the guy actually said.

  • The Live View mode flips down after 60min no matter what your doing. For example Recording, Not Recording or just hanging out live view mode.

  • Who leaves their camera on for sixty minutes straight without powering down for some reason? Changing cards, etc?

    As long as you can flip it right back up then it doesn't make a difference. But if you CAN'T and you have to wait.. different story.

  • Don't know why the Sony's are discussed, but I hear vg10 is better than it's successor (better sensor). Some moire, some aliasing but other than that it's very good video equipment.

    Re d4:

    From Dan Chung: "We are promised next to none of that nasty moire and aliasing"

    Well that is it, isn't it. If the Nikon scales and resolves as well as the gh2, then it will be a very popular camera indeed (even more so than what it gets from still capabilities alone). It seems like the "release of the year" is Nikon's to win - mind the products we have no idea about yet.

  • "Who leaves their camera on for sixty minutes straight without powering down for some reason? Changing cards, etc?"

    I leave my camera on for about an hour and a half at a time, but i film theater performances. So far the gh2 has yet to let me down except for clipped highlights in weird lighting situations.

  • The D4 like the C300 and 1DX are only the beginning of the story as there will be a filter down effect to the rest of the lines. That's what will really be interesting. How much of the image quality will be kept down the range? Will the 5Dmk3 have a similar look to that of the 1DX? Will a new D700 also have much of the D4 IQ?

    @RRRR, the VG20 has the same sensor as the NEX-5n. The image quality is exactly the same. Same resolution, same moire and aliasing as the NEX-5n. From what I can gather it's a better cam than the VG10 in many ways besides IQ.