Nikons D4 is a 162MP ISO 204800 6000 answer to Canons 1D

first_imgAfter Canon’s recent release of the EOS-1D X there was little question that Nikon would follow suit and have their own new flagship to unveil. Waiting until the week before CES 2012, despite mounting rumors and a number of leaks, Nikon has just unveiled their newest top-of-the-line camera, the D4 DSLR. The D4 takes up where the revered D3S (which was announced in October 2009) leaves off. It’s been designed not just to compete with the other $5000+ cameras on the market, but to allow Nikon to make a huge step forward in the video department. As far as the vitals go, the Nikon D4 will sell for $5999.95. It will have a 16.2 megapixel sensor, be the first camera powered by Nikon’s Expeed III processing engine, and shoot video at 1080p30 and 720p60. It has a 3.2-inch LCD, an FX-format, can shoot up to 10 images a second, and has a 51 point AF. And the number everyone wants to know when an new DSLR comes out — the ISO — is an incredible 204,800. Of course that’s in the extended mode, the normal ISO mode goes up to 12,800 before you see a serious degradation in image quality. The camera weighs 2 pounds and 15 ounces with the battery and a memory card in ito. There is also a new silent mode, is only only works in LiveView, but it is completely silent as the shutter is not activated. Using this mode the camera basically takes 2MP video frame grabs and it can do this at up to 24 frames per second. Also, the camera is compatible with the new XQD card format that we heard about recently, in addition to UDMA-7 CF cards. It has built-in ethernet and webserver so it can operate remotely, say hanging from the rafters of a stadium.The key with the D4 is that the coolness doesn’t even get close to stopping with the back-of-the-box features. The camera is packed with useful stuff that pro shooters will appreciate, like back-illuminated buttons, facial detection for up to 16 people, easy to get at LiveView mode, two joysticks on the back for better ergonomics when shooting in portrait, and IPTC support for photo metadata. Some other perks include that the AF can work with lenses as slow as f/8 and there is a built-in time-lapse function and will piece together stills and output a 1080p video. Video was a top priority with the D4, as you would probably expect after the runaway success of Canon’s 5D MK II. A lot of this was handled through hardware features, like improved audio recording, a built-in headphone jack, and a front-mounted 10-pin port that will work with all your old audio gear. The camera can also record video over HDMI without any compression, so people using advanced setups can connect directly with the camera. Also the D4, when taking video, is able to shoot in FX mode (full sensor), DX mode (cropped), or a 2.7x crop which will give the user a 1080p video with no work in post production. At the end of the day the D4 is a large (full grip in both portrait and landscape), high-end SLR. It’s cheaper than Canon’s 1D X’s $6800 and, more importantly, reflect some really smart thinking on Nikon’s part. It packs most the features pro photographers are looking for and should be enough for Nikon to bridge the video gap that was created over the past 2 or so years. The camera will be available in February.Sal’s ThoughtsI was able to get some hands-on time with the D4 a few weeks ago, along with Nikon’s new 85mm, and I have to say that it was a great experience. It pretty much goes without saying that any camera at this price level is going to be incredible to shoot with (especially for someone used to shooting with cameras that cost a tenth as much) but it was clear that Nikon upped their game for the D4. A lot of the features, like the 2.7x crop mode and 10-pin connection, don’t apply to the work I do, but it was immediately clear how important they could be to the right person. It must be remembered that by the time a professional is considering a D4 (or D3S, D3X, or 1D) what they are really looking for a solution to some extremely difficult problems. These include remote shooting, photographing in near darkness, use in battlefield conditions, and so forth, so some advanced tools are needed. I wasn’t able to test many of these, but Nikon obviously has a great track record so it really comes down to this: what could the company do to top the excellent D3S? Based on what I’ve seen so far they’ve introduced some exciting features, like silent mode, brought in some reasonable tweaks to the formula, and kept the technology exciting. Only time will tell how it performs but it’s reasonable to have very high hopes for Nikon’s D4.Nikon D4 – UXD and CF slotsNikon D4 – UXD and CF slotsNikon AFS 85mm 1.8 GNikon D4 – back – 001Nikon D4 – 50mm 1.4 – frontNikon D4 – 50mm 1.4 – front leftNikon D4 – 50mm 1.4 – toplast_img read more

Beginning their Southern Africa odyssey in the Cho

first_imgBeginning their Southern Africa odyssey in the Chobe area, nine agents, hosted by Bench Africa, recently experienced everything from wildlife and waterfalls to champagne and canoeing on a 10-day educational trip to the region.Host Maria Tropiano from Bench Africa said “It was wonderful to show this part of the world to such great agents and they got the chance to experience why we choose to focus exclusively on Africa!”The agents spent 5 days exploring the wildlife from both the Botswana and Namibian sides of the park, witnessing the sunset from a guide boat with a celebratory champagne in hand, and making the short trip to nearby Zimbabwe, home of the mighty Victoria Falls. One of the wonders of the natural world, this time of the year sees the waterfall in full high water flood and each agent got a drenching from the billowing spray, as well as spectacular photos! The trip was rounded out with a few days exploring the wonders of Hwange National Park, where the brave were offered the opportunity for a game walk amongst the wild animals. To calm the nerves and toast the trip, more champagne was also on hand. On the final morning the group canoed down the mighty Zambezi River, before boarding their international flights home.IMAGE: At Victoria FallsLeft: Ann McKinnon (MTA Travel), David Hull (Travel Managers), Helen Mercer (My Adventure Travel Little Bourke) Back: Joshua Irvine (Flight Centre Kalamunda), Lacey Stark (O’Sullivan & Turner Travel Associates), Maria Tropiano (Bench Africa)Right: Jill Cable (Travel & Cruise Belrose), Brittany Gellard (Cathie Rice Travel), Eleanor Gibson (Peninsula Travel), Roslyn Nielsen (Helloworld Mackay) agentsBench AfricaChobefamilSouthern Africalast_img read more