Nikon D4 and D800

I’m a press guy, been using Nikon for over 25 years and I’m a member of Nikon Professional Services, NPS. They had a servicing day today in Glasgow and a presentation on the D4 and D800 whilst our gear was cleaned and serviced.

First impressions, well…. I’m mainly a stills guy with my DSLR’s and remember this is their prime purpose. Video is still very much a secondary function. I use ENG cameras for the video side of my business, but I’m always open to new kit. It’s just a tool, and you use the best tool for the job. I try not to get hung up on kit.

What struck me from the presentation was that the D4 did 1920×1080 pixel mapping, which means that you can crop 1920×1080 from the sensor. Ok, that involves a crop factor but means there are no lines discarded. Of course you can also crop full frame for the full benefit of your wide lenses. In fact you can crop about 5 different ways which is pretty clever. All the well publicised video features are impressive but it’s £4.8K and that’s a lot of money. Once my D3 bodies are retired I will replace with a D4 but it will have to earn it’s keep as a stills camera.

As for the D800, it throws away so many lines that I’m sure the moire will become an issue. It doesn’t do the 1920×1080 pixel mapping as you would just be using the very central part of the sensor. It’s a better price point, but not convinced. This body is aimed at studio use, and is on a par with medium format dig backs. From my playing with it, the stills quality is sooooo good.

Nikon were at pains to point out that they were behind in the DSLR video scene, and they see this as levelling the playing field.

Rycote were also there having a chat about general audio, and giving out free Micro Windjammers for your DSLR.

Overall, good to get my D3 bodies cleaned and checked, sensor clean and a new CF door, and free coffee and danish pastries. It’s a hard life… ;-)

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