January 6, 2012

World's First Video Shot on the Brand New Nikon D4

So the just-announced Nikon D4 features an uncompressed HDMI output. This means you can take a wonderfully capable still camera, hook it up to an external recorder, and now you have an uncrippled video camera with a full-frame sensor. Pretty damn appealing! I found this 7-minute video on YouTube and haven't seen any other information about it, so I'm not sure if external recorders were used, but go ahead and click "1080p" and enjoy the first Nikon D4 video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZZMIo7Zfys

Some of it looks herky-jerky, but I would chalk that up to high shutter speeds. And the highlights are sometimes blown-out, which makes me wonder about flatter picture profiles... but that's getting ahead of ourselves. The first thing many of us want to do when getting our hands on a DSLR to shoot video is to turn down the sharpness and contrast. But even without being able to do that (yet), one thing's for sure: viewing it at 1080p, I couldn't spot any aliasing problems anywhere, even on a shot with horizontal lines like this:

What about you guys -- initial reactions?

Your Comment

45 Comments

I like the color

January 6, 2012 at 3:35AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

I agree the colour is nice. http://www.indiegogo.com/bad-Seed

January 9, 2012 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

Kayaking looks siiiiick.

January 6, 2012 at 3:39AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

3
Reply
Pablo Cortez

Thanks, it's promising!
It's not the first video, I saw one last week in France shot by a French DP.
Great website, thx a lot!!

January 6, 2012 at 3:42AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

I might be naive, but I wonder if is all D4.
Some shots are tipical gopro shots (flyby helicopter, underwater, etc.)
As a first impression is very "videoish" as it is shot, I would not be able to say too much about the camera from it.

January 6, 2012 at 3:45AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

9
Reply

Looks great, colors look superb also. Nicely shot video

January 6, 2012 at 6:26AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

3
Reply

Nice video, really hard to tell from a youtube video but resolution wise i think its similar to the 5D, which is a big disappointment if so, does it line skip?! The GH2 really shouldnt beat this but i think it does. Although the 1dx doesnt have a headphone jack or uncompressed hdmi it doesnt line skip and may out-resolve this. would love to be wrong about this

January 6, 2012 at 7:25AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

2
Reply

If you watch this video on a large screen (I watched on a 27" screen) you can tell when they switch between the 720p 60fps and 1080p 30fps... If this camera or the rumored d800 were to offer 1080p at 60p it could have been a game changer for filming action sequences. But still really impressive for a Nikon. I am worried that no discussion of the camera's Moire handling capabilities... A point Canon clearly improved on with the 1dx.

January 6, 2012 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Lev

Really nice picture, but still, good question, what about price?

January 6, 2012 at 10:35AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Iggy

i've found it: http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/5/2684092/nikon-d4-specs-release-date-pri...

don't u think it's little bit too much?

January 6, 2012 at 10:38AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

4
Reply
Iggy

1DX is 8k, so they priced it competitively. Both are too much for my liking.

January 6, 2012 at 10:41AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
moebius22

good point

January 6, 2012 at 10:48AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

8
Reply
Iggy

looks like canon is getting price cut across the board

January 6, 2012 at 11:09AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

4
Reply
Ryan

looks like it will get the job done, but as mentioned, not for $6000 unless 50mbit 4:2:2 is a MUST... The Canon DSLR cameras entered into the video market when the world was totally different. Now with FS100, AF100, F3, cheaper solutions like the insane GH2, NEX5N, I have a hard time believing anything about $2500 that produces "similar" results will make any real headway. Of course, I'm the same guy that thought the 5Dmk3 would be out in October. :)

January 6, 2012 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

I think this video is pretty inconclusive and nowhere near as informative as the ones for the 1Dx, but two HUGE questions need to be answered - if the HDMI IS clean and uncompressed, has anyone shot that yet, and if not, why not?
And given that this camera takes the new XQ cards I bet it will shoot up to 100mbs internal, what I would call the minimum for broadcast. Why have Nikon not talked about that yet?

In fact, why has Nikon not played up the video side of this camera? A £5k camera that with a £1k add-on shoots broadcast?? That's going to be 50% of your market if it works.

January 6, 2012 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
mark london

This is better than the Scarlet and c300! Camera of the decade?! No! Camera of the century!

January 6, 2012 at 12:46PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

1
Reply
Tomas

Ha!

January 6, 2012 at 1:31PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Yeah right... that is so funny.
I have one question I am wondering if these companies don't have the technology the resource to give us what we are looking for or they just don't listen to filmmakers ???

I should say SALUT to RED because so far it is the only Camera company that made something that is changing the industry. RED cameras are not perfect but the are definitely the "game changer ".

January 6, 2012 at 2:19PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Panasonic AF300...

If Canon can deliver 4K to the masses (without going into loads of debt), that will be a game changer.

January 6, 2012 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

2
Reply
moebius22

their track record is not pointing in that direction, not with the c300 an 1dx, neither of those cameras are fully featured even in an increasing competitive market place, I think they're just going to rely on brand name to justify premium pricing

January 6, 2012 at 5:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Ryan

@Ryan Very true.

January 6, 2012 at 5:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Rev. Benjamin

What the hell do you need 4K for? Really now? This is a Pro level full frame DSLR to compete with the 1dx not a video camera. Video is secondary and always will be. So go get your $500 T2i and go shoot your straight to web videos of your family or friends crappy band and then complain about 4k or uncompressed HDMI on a pro level photography camera.
Feature wise this may be the best DSLR in existence. The price is in line for what a pro body cost.
Also you don't have an external recorder and will most likely never buy one so Go back to your T2i and quit whining.

"Wow! A stills camera that can finally do what the 5D has been doing for 3 years and the GH2 for over a year. Remarkable." WTF ...feature wise this is superior to even the new 1d. This is a pro level photo camera not an FS100.

Nothing is free.

January 9, 2012 at 6:46AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

10
Reply
JEF

The slo-mo stuff looked good, especially the kayak drop in...that shot was gorgeous!

I thought there was a lot of rolling shutter though. Like, a lot!

However, one thing I don't see many people talking about is the crop factor recording. You can select to shoot your 1920x1080 at full sensor, 1.5 or 2.7 crop factor. This is essentially turning each of your lenses into a 2 step zoom. So if you invest in a nice Zeiss or Leice lens, you essential get 3 focal length you can use out of that one piece of glass.

You're 35 is also a 50 and a 100!! (roughly speaking) All just as sharp and with the same max aperture!!

that feature is REALLY a step up from what anyone else provides. Since Nikon has a patent on that process (electronically cropping input form sense) we won't be seeing in on any other camera for a long while. It's funny, because when Nikon first rolled this out, I didn't see that much benefit...because it was in the still photo world. Now however, it's worked out to be pure genius!

Add naked 8bit 422 HDMI output and it's $1000 less than Canon....BOOM. That's a sweet camera and a serious competitor.

January 6, 2012 at 1:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
sean

I wouldn't say your 35 could ever be a 100 - you've got a cropped 35mm image is what you got. You could make the same argument with still photos. Why not shoot with a 35mm, and then crop what you need? Still won't get that 'telephoto look', or the same depth of field you get on a telephoto.

January 6, 2012 at 3:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Clayton Arnall

Well, you don't do it in photo because you need resolution. Here you get the same 1080p in all modes, so resolution is not an issue. If you have soft lenses, then you'll get softer image at 2.7 crop vs. image without crop. Also, you'll get bigger depth of field at 2.7 crop compared to longer lens without crop (but, actually, this is not so important at such a telephoto length). A good thing about 2.7 crop is that you get a straight image from sensor - no line skipping/no downsampling, no moire, no aliasing — just a "pure" image, the same thing you get from RED or any other professional camera (ALEXA, F3 etc...)

January 11, 2012 at 3:53PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

10
Reply
Andrey

If it turns out that the video looks good, this could fill so many of the items on the dslr shooter wish list. You can monitor and adjust audio while shooting with an external mic. I think I saw that it has a smooth aperture option. 30-minute recording. There's clean hdmi (but is it 1080p and available for all framerates). And the 1.5 and 2.7 crop look very interesting. For run & gun videography you can use a 24-100mm lens and it turns into a 24-240mm. Buy 2 of these for the price of 1 c300 :)

January 6, 2012 at 2:45PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Tom

the video looks great, not as much DR as the C300 but it has a nice rounded curve of exposure, DOF is used nicely, the flesh tones are good to me.

I hope Nikon puts this into their semi pro bodies soon so Canon will respond with a 5dmkIII!

PS: do not just climb a steep rock face like that, you are so CRAZY! WOW

January 6, 2012 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

1
Reply

The hell with the footage, he doesn't have any support climbing that rock... Who just does that?

January 6, 2012 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

That's what I was thinking... Gonzo.

January 6, 2012 at 7:28PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

"Oh hey, Nikon! Hey yeah welcome to the party, FINALLY, about time!. Uh... there isn't much beer left. Canon and Panasonic drank it all. Sony's over there being all hipster though- maybe go chat him up for some whiskey? And don't mind RED and Alexxa... they're pretty much in their own click. Though it seems to be ticking Canon off - rumor has it he's going over to pick a fight with RED soon. Like watching a tractor fight a freight train... they can both pull, but only one's on track - OH!"

January 6, 2012 at 6:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Rev. Benjamin

Just me or 1:35 minutes after the plane closed shoe, there is a patch or unusual behavior in the rock in the lower right corner !!???, is like a vertically elongated rectangular patch.

I wonder what want to cover?!? Moiré perhaps ???

January 6, 2012 at 6:42PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

Wow! A stills camera that can finally do what the 5D has been doing for 3 years and the GH2 for over a year. Remarkable.

January 6, 2012 at 7:12PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
ras

I get a feeling some of you are going to be disappointed with the Mark III.

January 6, 2012 at 7:24PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

5
Reply
moebius22

January 6, 2012 at 11:16PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Gurung

Was this all shot on the D4? It seems to me that the kayak going over the waterfall was much slower than 60p.

January 7, 2012 at 9:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply
Justin

They jacked the shutter speed and slowed it with twixtor, no doubt.

January 8, 2012 at 5:57AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

3
Reply

I was reading that the 1080p30 limitation was due to heat. Scarlet/Epic can do it because of sinks on the body. Seems strange that Nikon didn't engineer better heat management... then again, they sell the SB-900/910 which is *severely* handicapped by heat. Maybe someone will hack the firmware? Or, we will get it in future firmware updates from Nikon? 1080p24 is so 2010.
Preordered, but a little disappointed.

January 8, 2012 at 5:43AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

17
Reply

^ above comment in regards to missing 1080p60, if it wasn't clear...

January 8, 2012 at 5:45AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

actually i think the 60p isn't a standard and that sony and co. made a joint dev effort to code up a 60p hack for it.. the 60p isn't official specs is it ? does anyone know for sure?

January 13, 2012 at 2:02AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

3
Reply

Great Blog. Here's a new Sci-Fi/Horror DSLR short of mine shot with the Nikon D7000.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2189H7DXrM

January 8, 2012 at 6:48AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

Nikon D4 low-light video test and features overview
http://theonlinefilmschool.com/?p=487

January 8, 2012 at 10:31AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

2
Reply

I would love to know how they digitized it to get it on youtube with such clarity. What size did they use. Did they upload the original or did they use an intermediate codec to interface with Youtube. Any thoughts anyone?

January 12, 2012 at 7:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply

Youtube will transcode anything its given so there will be a hit on quality... Well done NIKON Canon have company now..

January 13, 2012 at 12:39PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

1
Reply

The timelapses of the night sky looked really good. I've been trying this with my 7D now once or twice and it's really hard to get clean footage with high-iso and long exposures. Although it can be done with the 7D and other Canons, too.

January 16, 2012 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

8
Reply
Heiko

first impression, and this is coming from a heavy canon dslr user, i like the look. i do have to say that many cameras have options for hdmi outputs, but the uncompressed 1080P out is way cool. and the audio adjustability, for field shooting, is great. although, most professionals will have to do what i and many others do for audio, hook up an external field mixer and use good mics then run into the camera analog...a dslr with digital audio input would be nice...but kind of a high end feature thats really not neccissary. built in itervalometer, nice. less aliasing, nice. i just wonder how much latitude it can handle...look forward to seeing more from it before i jump out and buy one

January 21, 2012 at 4:04AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

0
Reply