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Nikon D4 Video Hands-on: Seriously Powerful, Shockingly Fast

LAS VEGAS-- Sleek, slim, svelte-- none of these words apply to Nikon’s new flagship DSLR, the D4, but it doesn’t matter. We just got our hands on this new 16.2MP camera and while it doesn’t break any new design ground, every button and dial is precisely arranged for near instant, don’t-have-to-think about it access.

 As soon as we gripped the camera, our index finger naturally fell on to the shutter button. Nikon has made some subtle changes to the vertical and horizontal battery grips that make them more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Next to the 921k pixel 3.2-inch HD screen, there’s the familiar circular directional pad, but now there’s also a small joystick just above it for navigating through menus more quickly. Along the left side you’ll find a port for a screw-in Wi-Fi dongle, a mini USB port, headphone and mic jacks, and ethernet and HDMI ports.

Nikon says the D4 goes from zero to shooting in 0.012 seconds and it certainly seemed that way to us. The instant we flipped the power switch and hit the shutter, the D4 was shooting. It has a 51-point autofocus system with 15 cross-type sensors for precision focus. Combine that with the 91,000-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix metering system and you’ve got a recipe for perfect images. The D4 packs in all this technology, all to make the simple click of the shutter button dead simple. Of course, this is pro-level camera and there’s full manual mode and customizable user preset modes, too.

The D4 is loaded with features filmmakers will appreciate, including continuous shooting at 10 frames per second, full 1080p video capture at 24/30 fps or 720p capture at 60 fps. The D4 also outputs uncompressed HDMI for using an external recording device and/or monitor.

The Nikon D4 will be available at the end of February for $5999. Check out our video and gallery below till then.