What’s this? Another 2012 International CES-bound camera leaked ahead of time by Wells Fargo? Great! This time, it’s Nikon’s D4 ($6,000), the company’s new flagship DSLR. Of course image quality is improved over the previous generation D3 unit, but there’s a whole lot more going on under the hood than just that—this is a full-frame camera with plenty of new features, and will be available before Canon’s powerhouse 1DX, to boot. This time, Nikon’s added a bunch of video-friendly features that sound fantastic on paper, plus welcome little tweaks such as illuminated function buttons and a lighter weight.
D4’s megapixel count has been bumped up from to 16.2 from the 12.1 of its predecessor, which isn’t a shabby upgrade. Even more importantly though, the sensitivity has been greatly improved, with an ISO ranging from 50 to 204,800 in expanded mode, or 100 to 102,400 in standard mode. Color metering is boosted with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor, and for video recording, contrast detect autofocus and smooth aperture shifting have been added, features that should really aid in the fidelity, sharpness, and depth of field-changing departments. This camera is also the first to use the XQD card format, which is meant to be a replacement for CompactFlash. Nikon’s not leaving legacy users in the cold, however, as there is still a slot for the older media as well. We imagine that there are a whole bunch of professional photographers who are going to be very happy when it ships in February.