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Nikon's original key technology

16.2 megapixel resolution and full-frame FX format: a perfect balance [NEW]

Seeking to offer uncompromised performance in both video and still photography, the D4 is a brand new camera fitted with a new 16.2-megapixel FX-format sensor of unprecedented speed, size, resolution and sensitivity. Despite a 33% increase in effective pixels over its predecessor, the D3S, the D4 delivers and processes data faster than any Nikon camera before it, providing photographers with up to 11-fps performance in FX format. Close examination of a D4 image reveals 16.2 megapixels of stunning depth and detail that ensure flexibility in post-production, from magazine-quality prints to web publishing. Image quality this versatile is a direct result of Nikon's sophisticated approach to sensor design. The internal design of the sensor is carefully engineered to collect the maximum amount of light and render the highest possible image quality in the most diverse and difficult lighting conditions. At high ISO sensitivities, incredibly clear, smoothly graded results are maintained thanks to an optimized noise-reduction design and 14-bit A/D conversion incorporated within the sensor. Unique to Nikon, the D4 expands your still image shooting possibilities with four image area options: FX format (36.0 x 23.9 mm), 5:4 crop (29.9 x 23.9 mm), 1.2x crop (29.9 x 19.9 mm) and DX format (23.4 x 15.5 mm). The camera also offers three image area options for Full HD video thereby tripling its potential for moviemaking. All these creative options are supported by a vast array of NIKKOR FX and DX lenses.

Standard ISO 100 to 12800, expandable from ISO 50 to ISO 204800 equivalent

Nikon flagship digital SLRs have long been recognized by professionals for their clean performance at high sensitivity settings, and the new 16.2-megapixel D4 offers low-noise performance at ISO 12800. It also extends the range one EV further, compared with that of the D3S, making ISO 100 standard; a welcome addition that allows the use of slow shutter speeds in bright sunlight. For more challenging conditions, equivalent sensitivities of ISO 50 and ISO 204800 are also available. The D4 is confidently capable of shooting still images and video* in nearly any light – even in places where the human eye has difficulty in recognizing details. Photographers are able to work in the harsh glare of the midday sun and the low-key light of dawn, and can capture images in the soft shadows of a dimly lit interior or a moonlit forest at midnight. In these situations, the camera's superb ISO sensitivity range offers photographers great flexibility in their approach to the subject matter.

  • *D-Movie standard ISO sensitivity from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, with higher sensitivity options up to Hi 4.
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 12800

Optimum use of light: Nikon's proprietary image sensor technology

Such exceptional image integrity across such a wide ISO sensitivity range is made possible through Nikon's proprietary and exclusive sensor technologies. The pixels are spaced at a pitch of 7.3 µm while gapless micro-lenses are employed, and anti-reflective coating is used on various parts – all of which results in minimized ghost and flare. This detailed design gives the D4 an unprecedented ability to channel all available light efficiently and directly into the sensor. The advantage is maintained through improved sensor quantum efficiency, ensuring optimum conversion of light into electric signals, and delivering digital files at ISO 100 to 12800 with a wide dynamic range and an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio. The benefit of a high-efficiency sensor is enhanced by an integrated approach to noise reduction. The layout of electronics within the sensor has been carefully configured to minimize noise. Despite operating at the amazing speed required to realize approx. 11 fps, the D4's image sensor consumes less power, contributing to extended battery life.

Nikon's Integrated Dust Reduction System with Image Sensor Cleaning function

Any dust that reaches the image sensor results in unattractive spots on your images. To prevent this, the D4 employs Nikon's Integrated Dust Reduction System, which includes a self-cleaning sensor unit with four different resonance frequencies to vibrate the optical low-pass filter and shake dust away from the sensor. This function can be set to operate automatically when the camera is turned on or off, or to manual.

EXPEED 3: fast, intelligent and powerful 16-bit image processing [NEW]

The EXPEED 3 is the latest embodiment of Nikon imaging expertise in miniature, a sophisticated system that is designed to analyze and process images at blindingly fast speeds with uncompromised precision. The EXPEED 3 imaging-processing engine, optimized for D-SLRs, delivers faithful, well-saturated color, natural depth and subtle, nuanced tones from pitch black all the way to snow white. In dim lighting at high ISO settings, the camera's intelligent noise reduction lowers noise without degrading image sharpness. High-speed 16-bit image processing delivers smooth gradation with abundant tone and detail that can be applied to image integrity for a diverse range of uses. Even JPEGs straight out of the camera maintain the accuracy required when directly submiting to a magazine, newspaper or web publication. The EXPEED 3 has been optimized for video as well. Movie is rendered with suppressed moiré, reduced false colors and minimized "jaggies". Noise reduction technology specifically designed for video preserves clarity and sharp edges – even in low light. The powerful EXPEED 3 is fast, accurate and exceptionally energy efficient, prolonging the camera's ability to endure extended assignments.

Edge-to-edge sharpness: lateral chromatic aberration reduction

High-megapixel sensors can really test the quality of a lens, but the combination of brilliant NIKKOR lenses and Nikon's intelligent processing measures will significantly reduce the risk of lateral chromatic aberration, or color fringing, to give you incredibly natural-looking results. Unlike other correction methods that simply eliminate chromatic aberration, Nikon's method compensates for these color differences in a resolving index for each color, making it particularly effective in producing images with stunning edge-to-edge sharpness. Moreover, because these corrections are made regardless of the NIKKOR lens used, this feature contributes substantially to the sharpest images possible.

A new level of accuracy in auto operation with a 91K-pixel RGB sensor [NEW]

With Nikon's original Advanced Scene Recognition System, the D4 achieves new standards of accurate autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash, Active D-Lighting and auto white balance results. At the heart of the system is a precise RGB sensor that meticulously reads each scene via 91K-pixels. With unprecedented precision, the data that has been collected pixel-by-pixel is then used to meter and analyze the scene's color information and brightness levels. The system also recognizes human faces when shooting with the optical viewfinder. This rigorously analyzed pixel data then automatically triggers a variety of in-camera controls that help the image files appear more natural and appealing. Advanced Scene Recognition System delivers incredibly high accuracy for various auto controls by flawlessly calculating vast amounts of scene information – even at up to 10 frames per second.

The Advanced Scene Recognition System

Accurate subject detection: application for AF

First introduced in the legendary D3 camera series, Nikon's auto-area AF and 3D-tracking are AF-area modes that use the color and brightness information from the subject to determine correct focus. The D4 is equipped with the latest subject recognition algorithms for both AF-area modes, which can be advantageous when taking high-quality still images. In auto-area AF mode, the camera can accurately recognize and target focus on human faces – useful when faces are a priority and time to choose the focus point is not available. It focuses on a subject's body when the face is out of the AF area. In 3D-tracking mode, the 91K-pixel RGB sensor's high-precision data combines with a specifically optimized AF algorithm that recognizes detailed patterns in order to realize exceptional subject-tracking precision.

3D color matrix metering III: application for AE

Thanks to the 91K-pixel RGB sensor, the D4 has incredibly detailed scene information at its disposal – including data on prominent human faces in the viewfinder. This data helps Nikon's 3D color matrix metering III to deliver more desirable auto exposures, especially when there are human faces present. In situations where exposure compensation is required, such as a dark face against a bright background or conversely, a bright face against a dark background, the D4 can now determine exposure balanced with the background considering the size of the face relative to a frame and its brightness. Accurate metering is possible in low-lit scenes as low as -1 EV with 3D color matrix metering III and center-weighted metering.

Application for i-TTL balanced fill-flash and Active D-Lighting

With the D4's enhanced i-TTL balanced fill-flash paired to either a hot shoe or wired Nikon Speedlight(s), human faces can be illuminated in relation to their surroundings with outstanding precision. Moreover, face detection, when paired with Active D-Lighting, delivers images that retain highlights and shadows in high-contrast scenarios, making faces look as they are seen, whether in sunlight or shade.

Auto white balance

Incorporating years of research into ambient lighting, the unique Nikon auto white balance technologies in the D4 are capable of identifying and compensating for a broad range of artificial and natural light sources. Using data from the image sensor and 91K-pixel RGB sensor, the camera can automatically render white as white with supreme accuracy, or can incorporate the warmth of ambient, incandescent lighting as required.

Contribution to D-Movie shooting

The D4's Advanced Scene Recognition System enhances not only still image shooting but also various controls used in movie shooting. It identifies light sources and human faces finely, utilizing the high resolution of the image sensor to deliver accurate auto white balance and exposure control during movie shooting, and improves the precision of subject-tracking AF.