Category Archives: Gear

The Sony XQD Memory Cards: Mac Owners Beware

The Sony XQD card and reader (left) compared to Compact Flash

My Nikon D4 included a free 16GB Sony XQD card and reader. The new XQD standard promises very fast data throughput. Sony’s spec states 125MB/s transfer rates are possible. CF cards currently top out at 90MB/s. In my testing with the XQD card I was able to shoot 83 14-bit lossless compressed NEFs in the D4 before the buffer filled and shooting speed dropped. That’s a lot of frames! Of course, most photographers don’t find themselves ripping off 80 frames at 10fps most of the time. You may as well shoot video if you want to do that. Continue reading The Sony XQD Memory Cards: Mac Owners Beware

Nikon D4 Hands-on First Impressions

My new Nikon D4 is a wonderful camera. Read my hands-on first impressions.

I took delivery of a Nikon D4 earlier this week, and although I’m still putting it through its paces, I figured I’d jot down some of my immediate thoughts and impressions that I’ve gotten so far. I’ll also talk about some of the new features that discriminate the D4 from the D3/D3s cameras it replaces. I’ll try to answer the burning question: Should you upgrade to the D4?

Continue reading Nikon D4 Hands-on First Impressions

Look through the viewfinder of the Nikon D4 (video)

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Hey friends, here’s a quick video I put together that shows you what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a Nikon D4. I used my little Nikon 1 V1 camera to capture video right through the viewfinder of my D4.

In the viewfinder, you have the option of enabling gridlines. In the D3, you had to buy a separate viewfinder screen. So that’s another welcome improvement. In the video, you’ll see the full viewfinder display readouts, including Metering Mode, Exposure Mode, Shutter Speed, Aperture ISO, and frame counter. You can also see the light meter readout on the right side of the viewfinder window.

The AF system is Nikon’s Multi Cam 3500 FX phase-detection module, with 51 AF points. Each point lights up in red as you activate it.

The D4 is capable of shooting single shots, and at a variety of continuous frame rates. The default rate for Continuous Low (CL) is 6 fps and in Continuous High (CH) you get a whopping 10 frames per second! The D4 will shoot faster than that, but you lose some exposure and focus capability.

The viewfinder blackout in the Nikon D4 is practically nil, meaning you can easily track a moving subject while firing 10 fps bursts.

You can also put the D4 into a “quiet” mode. In this mode, the mirror raises and the camera fires when you press the shutter release, but the mirror won’t drop back down until you release your finger from the shutter button. When it drops down, it does so slowly.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Check out Jason’s comprehensive guide to the Nikon 1 System, available now via instant download.


Nikon D4 Virtual Horizon in the Viewfinder

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I took delivery of a new Nikon D4 yesterday. Wow! It’s an awesome camera. Right now, I’m still learning about it, so I’ll have a more detailed hands-on review soon. Until then, I thought I’d share one of those “hidden” features that is an improvement from the Nikon D3s: the viewfinder implementation of virtual horizon.

The virtual horizon was a new feature in the Nikon D3, and it works really well on a tripod with the rear LCD. However, you can use the VH in the viewfinder, too. On the D3, the metering scale was co-opted to show a level indicator, but it was kind of tricky to use in practice. The biggest drawback of the viewfinder VH was that you had to take your eye off the scene while using it.

Enter the Nikon D4, which now uses the AF points in the viewfinder to accomplish the same function. When you engage the VH in the viewfinder, you’ll see some dots appear along with the center AF point. As the camera is tilted, the AF points start lighting up in the opposite direction of the tilt. So, if the camera is tilted to the right, the squares light up on the left side of the viewfinder. This tells me to tilt the camera back to the left to level it. The more the camera is tilted, the more squares light up. Cool!

This is just one of many “nice touches” that the D4 has that make it Nikon’s new flagship DSLR body.

Introducing the Nikon 1 System Resource Page

Since I’ve been writing lots of articles in my blog that pertain to the Nikon 1 System, I figured I’d compile all the various links and articles in one nice spot. As such, I’m proud to announce the Luminescence of Nature Nikon 1 System Resource Page.

Here, you’ll find articles, links, reviews, and more to help you with your Nikon 1 camera.

Enjoy and spread the word!