Nikon D4 Review

Nikon hopes that this summer’s Olympic Games will be covered by professional sports photographers and photojournalists using the Nikon D4.

As a result, it is made to be an all-purpose camera that can be used anywhere and photograph anything, with increased low-light shooting capabilities and upgraded video technology.

The 24MP Nikon D3X continues to be the brand’s flagship camera, even though the Nikon D800 now has more pixels than it does, replacing the Nikon D3S in Nikon’s DSLR lineup.


While there are many reasons to be enthusiastic about the Nikon D4, the number of pixels may not be one of them. Although the Nikon D4’s full-frame (36 x 23.9mm or FX-format) CMOS sensor has “only” 16.2 million effective pixels, it should produce quite clear photographs at high sensitivity levels.

This is fortunate because it has extension settings that can reach the equivalent of ISO 204,800 and a maximum native sensitivity setting of ISO 12800.

On the other hand, owners of Nikon D3s cameras might be a little more thrilled with the Nikon D4’s pixel count because it represents a significant increase from 12.1MP to 16.2MP.

Despite the increase in sensor resolution, the Nikon D4 can shoot continuously at ten frames per second with full focusing functionality because of its EXPEED 3 image processing engine. However, only nine frames per second (fps) at full resolution or 11 fps in DX mode are possible with the D3s.

The full-resolution continuous shooting rate of the Nikon D4 may also be increased to 11fps if you’re willing to give up AF and exposure control.

Additionally, the EXPEED 3 engine supports 16-bit processing and 14-bit A/D conversion for more accurate colors and gradations in tone.

The switch from a 1,005-pixel metering system to a 91,000-pixel system is another significant improvement over the D3s. As before, this is connected to Nikon’s Advanced Scene Recognition System to guide the AF, flash exposure, white balance, and face detection systems.

Nikon has maintained the Multi-CAM3500FX AF system, which debuted in the D3 and was carried over into the D3s, but it has given it a bit of an upgrade for the Nikon D4.

The center 15 cross-type AF points are sensitive down to f/8, but there are still 51 AF points overall. This means that long telephoto lens and teleconverter combinations with a maximum effective aperture of f/8 will continue to be compatible with the AF system of the Nikon D4.

This is fantastic news for wildlife photographers because it makes it possible to utilize more accessible and lightweight lenses. Additionally, the Canon EOS-1DX cannot compete with it.


Compared to the D3s, Nikon has improved the video system of the D4. Movies in Full HD (1080p) can be captured in FX, DX, or native Full HD (1920 x 1080) with a 2.7x crop factor.

A full-resolution, uncompressed HDMI feed to other devices is also an option.

iPad command

The Live View image can be viewed on an iPad when the Nikon D4 is connected to the new Nikon WT-5 Wi-Fi transmitter that is included. Additionally, the shooting mode, AF point, and shutter release can all be managed via the iPad.

Wildlife photographers who may prefer to sit away from their cameras may also find this appealing.

In conclusion, the Nikon D4 offers everything a freelance photojournalist and sports photographer might want. Nikon reportedly chose a 16MP sensor because it provides a solid compromise between a large pixel count, which allows for more effective cropping or shooting in DX format and good high-sensitivity performance.

The Nikon D4 cost slightly less than the D3S when it was first released, with a UK pricing of about £5,290 and a US price of $5,999.95.

Design & Handling

In many ways, the Nikon D4 feels incredibly sturdy and would probably stop a bullet if necessary. However, a tiny movement in the lid covering the memory card compartment detracts from the sample’s overall feeling of quality.

When holding the camera for use, this door rests under the fleshy base of the right thumb, and it feels as though the hinge might be moving. Even if it’s a minor fault, it is unsettling in a camera that costs about £5,000/$6,000.

The door and its seal are identical to those on the Nikon D3S, although our Nikon D4 sample’s door was prone to the little movement, while the door on the D3S sample we have is stationary. Nikon has been notified of this problem, but we have seen and used additional pieces that don’t share the same problem, suggesting that this might be an isolated incident.

In keeping with the criticism of the memory card slot region, the door lock cover also seems a touch thin and might be easily ripped off by overly zealous use.

Updated controls

The Nikon D4 boasts two mini-joystick controls for choosing the AF point, which significantly improves the D3S. In addition, when the camera is held for shooting in landscape or portrait format, one or the other is placed to be easily accessible to the right thumb.

Each controller is connected to an AF-on button to activate the AF system without using the shutter release button. The vertical shooting shutter release button also has a configurable function button next to it, eliminating the need to remove the camera from your eye or flip it over while using it.

Another excellent feature is the ability to dimly illuminate the camera’s buttons on the top, back, and sides. Average daylight doesn’t show this; however, the button icons are bright enough to be seen at night. Given the Nikon D4’s low-light capabilities, it makes shooting in the dark considerably more straightforward and is sure to be a well-liked feature.

Prospective Nikon D4 purchasers are far more likely to prioritize video recording capabilities. Therefore the new camera includes a discrete Stills/Video switch next to the Live View button on the back. As a result, switching between still and moving image recording is rapid and straightforward.

Another notable difference from the Nikon D3s is that the aperture/shutter speed lock button has been replaced with a button on the top plate, replacing the metering switch formerly located on the pentaprism.

Choosing the AF point

The Nikon D4 offers a variety of AF point selection modes, including single-point AF, auto-area AF, 9-, 21-, or 51-point dynamic-area AF, and 3D-tracking AF, similar to the Nikon D3s.

But the Nikon D4 adopts the same strategy as the D7000 and has a switch and button configuration next to the lens mount, unlike the D3s, which employs a switch on the back of the camera to select between the settings.

Using the switch, the Nikon D4 may be switched between auto and manual focus. When autofocus is chosen, switching between single and continuous AF mode is accomplished by pushing the central button while turning the rear command dial.

I pressed the button while turning the front command dial switches between the Single-point, Auto-area, 9-, 21-, and 51-point, and Dynamic-area AF modes in continuous AF mode.

It is simpler to make adjustments while maintaining eye contact with the camera.


Nikon filled the LCD screen’s space between the glass and crystal part with an optical gel to lessen reflections, enhance the viewing angle, and increase brightness. As a result, in most shooting situations, we discovered that the screen offers a clear vision, and reflections aren’t a significant problem, even in direct sunshine.

To capture the summer Olympics under the scorching sun, professional photographers must know this.

In conclusion, the Nikon D4’s construction is straightforward, sturdy, and built to handle heavy use. Each joint and control has a seal to protect it from the wear and tear that comes with being a tool for a professional photographer.


Images appear good out of the Nikon D4; when the general-purpose matrix metering system is employed, they are well exposed, and the colors and contrast look natural.

Images captured across the natural sensitivity range also display outstanding detail. However, as one may anticipate, at lower sensitivity settings, the 16MP Nikon D4 falls short of the 24MP Nikon D800 in terms of detail resolution.

Given that noise is very well controlled across the whole native sensitivity range, Nikon’s choice to cap the effective pixel count of the Nikon D4 to 16.2 million appears prudent. Even photos taken at ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 look fantastic when printed in A3 format.

Nikon D4 Specifications

Body typeLarge SLR
Max resolution4928 x 3280
Other resolutions4096 x 2720, 4096 x 3280, 3696 x 2456, 3200 x 2128, 3072 x 2456, 3072 x 2040, 2464 x 1640, 2400 x 1592, 2048 x 1360, 2048 x 1640, 1600 x 1064
Image ratio w h5:4, 3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 3
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (204800 with boost)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (4)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-area selective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousLive View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points51
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT color LCD with brightness control
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High-Speed Sync
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2-20 seconds, 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 seconds)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2-9 frames in steps 1, 2, or 3)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesCompactFlash, XQD
Storage includedNone
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Type C )
Wireless notesvia WT-5, WT-5A
Remote controlYes (via ten-pin remote terminal)
Environmentally sealedYes (Water and dust resistant)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion EN-EL18 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)1340 g (2.95 lb / 47.27 oz)
Dimensions160 x 157 x 91 mm (6.3 x 6.18 x 3.58″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (Playback speed 24x to 36000x )
GPS notesGP-1 or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional MC-35 GPS adapter cord and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)


Nikon has successfully expanded upon the D3s to provide a versatile camera that professional photographers can use in various settings.

Even while the Nikon D4 doesn’t have the greatest resolution, it boasts swift reactions, a very high maximum shooting rate, and the ability to capture astounding detail throughout a wide sensitivity range.

As the first of the recently announced high-end cameras to go through our testing process, the Nikon D4 prevents us from comparing it to its primary opponent, the Canon EOS-1DX, at this time. But we’ll start doing this as soon as we get a 1DX.

Nikon D4 Price

Nikon D4 FAQs

Is a Nikon D4 a professional camera?

The Nikon D4 is, without a doubt, a professional camera made with picky photographers in mind.

What is a Nikon D4 worth?

It is essential to examine online marketplaces to understand the going rate for a Nikon D4, as its worth depends on its condition and the current market.

Is Nikon D4 still good?

The Nikon D4 is still an excellent camera, especially for professionals who require both speedy performance and sturdiness in their equipment.

How old is a Nikon D4?

The Nikon D4 was first introduced in 2012, placing its age at around 11 years.

How long will a Nikon D4 last?

Getting many years of service out of a Nikon D4 with the right kind of care and maintenance is possible.

Is Nikon D4 discontinued?

Although the Nikon D4 has been phased out of production, it is still available on the used camera market.

Is Nikon D4 full frame?

The Nikon D4 is a full-frame camera; that much is true.

Is Nikon D4 mirrorless?

The Nikon D4 is not a standalone camera but a single-lens reflex camera (DSLR).

What is the burst rate of the Nikon D4?

The Nikon D4 has a burst rate equal to ten pictures per second. (fps).

Who made the Nikon D4 sensor?

Nikon developed the sensor for the D4, but in most cases, the manufacturer is not mentioned.

Is Nikon D4 Good for wildlife photography?

Due to the Nikon D4’s quickness, sturdiness, and autofocus capabilities, it is possible that the camera could be used for wildlife photography.

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