Ryu: I am a D4, damn it.

It’s 6:54AM in France time and the beast is out of its cage. Not like a revolutionarily world beating beast, but rather an evolutionary demure one. But for the likes of me who passed on the D3s, this is going to be an amazing camera to shoot sports in, especially in low light situations. I thought I go back to my prediction back in August of 2011 and see if I could possibly muster a future career as an Asian Nostradamus.

Click here for my premature D4 release.

Official specs here.

> Don’t call it D4
Did it happen?
Well, it’s called a D4 and I said it will be called a D4. Here comes ancient ancestral bad luck. I can’t wait for Nikon to announce Nikon D49.  I win.

> 18MP
Did it happen?
Unfortunately no. It is a 16.2MP FX CMOS sensor. I was off by 1.8MP. For some reason 18MP made it to Canon 1Dx, but not the D4.  So I lose

> You now have cat vision
Did it happen?
I predicated no, but there is a slight bump from D3s and ISO is now expandable from 50 to 204800 and native 100 to 12800.  I win again.

> 24FPS
I said 12 fps and it’s 10 fps. I expected a bit more, but obviously Nikon didn’t listen to me. What a shame.  I lose again and I’m tied with myself at this juncture.

> … shoot video instead
Did it happen?
Of course it did. Why else would you buy a 6 grand DSLR these days if you can’t shoot video in full HD? 1920 x 1080. Hooray for me. I win.

>Geo tagging, built in SU800, built in wireless tethering, and super sports photographer mode.
Did it happen?
Of course not. I will be forced to use the almost decade old SU800, forced to buy the new Wireless Transmitter WT-5, and rely on my human skills and hair products to become a super sports photographer. Damn it, I lose.

> Super autofocus
Did it happen?
Kind of. We do have a new autofocus system, but it’s again an evolutionary system and not a revolutionary one as I have hoped. Improved 51 AF points with full cross-tupe focusing compatible with all Nikon lenses, even when paired with a teleconverter (thanks Engadget). I win.

My tally comes down to 4 wins and 3 losses for me. Which isn’t bad for an Asian Nostradamus.

Other notables are improved 91k-pixe RGB 3D Color Matrix Meter III, compared to 1005 pixel meter in D3s (thanks again Engadget). 921k-dot 3.2 inch LCD. But I thought the real sneaky one here was the inclusion of the XQD CF card. I think this camera was aimed to fully embrace the video craze as XQD will offer higher transfer rate, which should be good for video. Me thinks.  It’s also good for shooting lots of RAW stuff continuously for about 6 minutes.

Will do a thorough review once I get my hands on it (or them), which should be according to the Japanese calendar, February 16th.

Now, back to bed.


Update: Pricing as follows
Japan ¥583,200
UK £4,799.99
Europe €5,658
USA $5,999.95

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4 thoughts on “Ryu: I am a D4, damn it.

  1. The D4 looks like a great sports camera. It’s pretty cool that shooting video and stills can be controlled through an iPhone or iPad. I kind of wish they would have just gone ahead and put 2 XQD slots in instead of mixing formats. It’s not a huge deal really, but if things are moving to XQD anyway then I guess it would be better to fully embrace it. I’m guessing the D4s will have 2 XQD slots whenever that comes out (probably 2 years).

    I really like that with the XQD card it can shoot close to 100 RAW shots before the buffer fills up. That will make a huge difference in those chaotic moments like end of game celebrations where a lot of things are happening at once.

  2. Well, it looks like it’ll do 11 FPS if you give up AF and AE for each subsequent shot. Hard to imagine giving those up since 10 FPS is not much different, though.

  3. Ben,

    Never thought of double XQD slots. You are right that the D4s will have double of these slots, but I’m assuming NIkon wanted to play safe with just having one. I will wait for Lexar, Sandisk, and others to come out with one before I jump on that bandwagon. I also didn’t know that you can control it with your iphone/ipad. So many things I don’t know about this thing… But if they can do that, they couldn’t give us SU800 in the camera?


    I have no idea why they even added this ridiculous thing. In what circumstance are you going to give up AF and AE on every other shot? Can’t with sports and can’t with wildlife and certainly can’t with paparazzis. Weird choice by N.

  4. They add the “feature” of 11 fps without AE/AF simply for the spec sheet to brag basically. I agree, I can’t think of why anyone would need that.

    Sandisk/Lexar should be coming out with XQD cards next month when the camera is officially released I imagine. Sandisk for sure was part of the panel or committee that approved the new standard. Sony was simply the one that developed the technology from what I understand. I have to say I was surprised at how reasonably priced the XQD cards are. They are basically the same price as Sandisk’s Extreme Pro CF cards. I guess one of the benefits of the XQD format is cheaper production costs.

    If I heard correclty, controlling the camera remotely (with the wireless transmitter) is done simply through a web browser. So it should work on other smart phones besides Apple. That will be a huge benefit for setting up remote cameras. You can also download the images remotely as it takes them. So go ahead a stick a camera up in the rafters if you want and you’ll still be able to set focus and transmit on deadline all from your position down on the field.

    I’ll be curious to know how well the AF works now that it says it can work at f/8. Imagine using the 200-400mm f/4 with the TC-20e III teleconverter. That would make it a 400-800mm f/8 zoom, which would quite a power combination in certain situations if AF really works.

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