Nikon D4 and D400 Due Next Month

In what could be the biggest camera launch of the year, one of Nikon Rumors’ sources has tipped the launch of the Nikon D4 and D400 for August.

Given the coming Sony A77 with a 24MP sensor, it is most likely that the D400 will sport the same 24MP APS-C sensor but labeled with the ubiquitous “Developed by Nikon” asterisk seen in recent Nikon pro-DSLR specs.  The D400 will almost certainly feature 1080p video to follow the recent trend of Nikon DSLRs.  Hopefully, the D400 will avoid the cumbersome aperture adjustment problem that made the Nikon D7000 more frustrating for video capture.

As for the Nikon D4, there haven’t been any solid indicators as to what kind of sensors Sony has planned for its next full-frame cameras.  However, if Nikon could make use of the 24.6MP sensor found in the D3x and Sony A900/A850, while putting it to buffer-crunching speeds offered by the Nikon D3s, I don’t think too many Nikon shooters would be complaining.

But don’t let me speak for you…. Would the love-child of the D3x and D3s give you enough speed and resolution, or would you still beg for more.  If so, what?

And for those of you looking for the nostalgic history of Nikon’s recent pro cameras, consider the following.

The Nikon D3 was announced on August 23, 2007 alongside the D300. The dynamic duo were refreshed two years later by the Nikon D3s and D300s on October 14, 2009, both of which added 720p HD video capture, while the D3s scored some serious improvements in high-ISO noise control.

So, what’s on your Nikon D4 and D400 wish list?

Sound off in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. says

    I don’t think the D400 will be announced next month if the Sony a77 hasn’t been announced yet if its using the same 24mp sensor. Probably September.

  2. hasi says

    I couldn’t care less about video. I won’t pay extra for it. I have a D700 and it would take an awfully major change in camera architecture to get me to upgrade. Megapixels are still just megapixels. Cram them closer together, regardless of the technology used, and there is going to be more signal interference. Sure noise reduction is improving, it has to. But why spend the money on this new generation of sensors when in about 5 years or so totally radically new technology will be revolutionizing digital photography anyway. Skip a generation, people. You won’t die because you don’t have the latest.

    • Bruce Gordon says

      amen to that. A D4/400 with a couple of additional stops of acceptable noise, even better low light AF and a bit higher frame rate is all I’d need. In camera HDR capability would be wonderful too. Video, bah! If not, I’d stay with the wonderful D700.

    • robosolo says

      I couldn’t agree with your assessment more. The charm of the D700 (and D3) is in its ability to produce high ISO/low noise photos. More densely packed pixels (D3X) spells greater resolution but comes at the price of increased noise under current technology. The noise situation is just exasperated when using any camera with a smaller than FX sensor. With the D700 I am able to capture amazingly low noise images in extremely low-light conditions shooting at very high ISO. Photoshop and Lightroom do a good job of eliminating or reducing that noise and NIK’s Define 2 plug-in does an even better job of it. Although I’ll eventually purchase a higher resolution body, I’ll still keep the D700 for use in low light conditions.
      Your comment re video in an expensive still camera is also right on the mark. If I want to shoot video, I just grab a shirt-pocket sized HD video camera to meet my needs.

    • Alain says

      hello Hasi
      yes agree 100% l’ve a D700 and not it.s few Mega pixels more that is going to change anything,too many people believe that pixels sound for better performance,wrong futhermore if you shoot RAW as l do .You don’t even use camera engine<expeed 2.the raw file goes directly to the memory card ,capture NX2 then converts into an image.
      yes why spend the money for more pixels .Well it is all about marketing.

      cheers

  3. didaskalos says

    I would like to see all that is prognosticated for the D400. Having a D7000, I’d like a repositioning of the ISO button. Add to that at least 5 (7 would be better) bracketing frames. I would like to see video — 1080p — at 60 or 120 fps. Imagine the slow-mo vids that we could make to accompany our stills in a presentation. Of course more sensitivity on the sensor–and a 50 ISO selection, too.
    Well, there it is.

    • says

      I agree with Didaskalos: I wanna see 1080P HD video with 60 AND 120 fps. And PLEASE fix the glitch, oversight or intentional dumbness of not being able to control and change the aperture in live view mode.

      Increased ISO/low noise is always welcomed. I also wanna see HDR built-in as a feature, and finally wi-fi built into the camera so images can be sent to a tablet, laptop or desktop PC (if indoors) as opposed to having to buy an extra wireless accessory and hooking yet another device to the camera.

  4. says

    Eric, The thing I think is most important to remember is why the D3 and D3s were/are so popular (and it has nothing to do with 720 video). It’s all about speed, ISO and image size. This camera is a staple for tons of press and sports photographers. Their concerns are having enough noiseless ISO to shoot in crappy light with frame rates that can keep up with the action. The D3x was never in the same league as the D3s in those respects. It caps out at a lowly 6400 ISO, which is just where the D3s starts to look a tiny bit noisey. Also, those huge file sizes don’t do anyone a lick of good when you need to move your images through a fast post processing workflow to satisfy the needs of today’s highly connected news media outlets. It’s all about getting the images out there first and having to crunch huge, 23MP files is counter-productive to a fast and efficient workflow.

    I’m sure that there will be a release of some new professional camera from Nikon because it’s just the nature of the beast. I just hope that, in the process, they don’t forget what made their flagship cameras so popular.

    • says

      Thanks for adding to the discussion Jeff.

      I couldn’t agree more about what made the D3s so popular. I think the AF and ISO performance on the D3s make it the best all-around DSLR to date. However, I can’t imagine that Nikon won’t add 1080p video to the D4. I’m not saying it should or shouldn’t, I just think it’s an expected feature.

      As for image size, do you think that’s a universal concern for press and sports photographers? If you’ve got the buffer to handle 24MP (or whatever higher resolution), is the back-end of the workflow going to suffer so much more? Are 12MP files the sweet spot? I didn’t notice much, if any, difference working with 1D Mark IV and D3s files side by side (which is still a smaller resolution difference than we’re speculating about the D4). Is it a bandwidth issue for getting the files out of the pressroom and onto the web? I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

      My thoughts on the resolution upgrade stem from the fact that Nikon has been dependent on Sony for its image sensors. And we’ve seen several Nikon DSLR counterparts using the same sensors as Sony DSLRs – hence, the D3x/A900 comparison. Of course, Nikon gracefully bowed out of the resolution war with the D3s, using a 12.3MP sensor for which there was no Sony full frame DSLR counterpart. So, it’s certainly possible to see a smaller jump to something like 16MP for a Nikon-only sensor, while Sony pushes into the resolution stratosphere on its own full frame DSLRs. However, I think we would all be surprised (but not necessarily unhappy) if the D4 stuck to 12MP.

      Again, I’m not saying a 24MP (or 16MP) D4 is better than a 12MP D4. For me, the D3s is about as perfect of a DSLR that we’ve had to date. Time will tell if the D4 lives up to the performance of its predecessor.

  5. Lulz says

    If it comes out with a Sony Ericsson sensor I will sell off all my glass and start over with canon.

    • Dave says

      I thought Nikon have been using Sony (not Ericsson) sensors for some time. It’s not just the sensor that counts but the processor too. So why change?

  6. Allan says

    I don’t care about the specs. I just want an updated model of D300s. I will buy D400 when it comes out. Nikon hurry up and release D400!

  7. Patrik says

    Just give me a D700x (D3x + D700). I know what my friends A900 can do, and know my glass can give more on my D700. The rest can remain the same and I would snap it up in a second! Video, not interested! Higher ISO than D3x? Not that important to me. Details, and less Bayer artifacts. That’s what I want (and will vote for with my wallet!).

  8. David says

    I’m going to hold out for the D700 upgrade. I’m also not interested in video. Would like to see an articulating screen with live view for easier high and low angle shots. More megapixels would be good but the main thing I would be looking for is the fx format with very low noise. Easier bracketing for HDR and easier access to the strobe commander would also be appreciated.

  9. says

    More pixels? Couldn’t care less.
    Video? Not interested, and would jump at chance to not have it included in body, with commensurate price reduction of course.
    3D and make-you-a-cup-of-coffee-while-you-wait? Tempting, but ultimately, NO.

    For me, it’s all about ISO performance.

    ISO performance at least equal to D3s/D700 is the starting point, though of itself not enough to move to new model. Marked improvement in ISO performance over D3s/D700 may be enough, but it would need to be marked improvement.

    I may not be changing camera bodies for a little while . . . . .

  10. says

    i’m (and many more, i’m sure) hoping that there’ll be a significant upgrade such as;

    more than 18 mp resolution
    no less than 25’600 iso boost
    no less than 8 fps
    100% viewfinder

    • Eric S says

      Amen
      Take a D3S boost it to 20 MP and give me two more stops of equivalent ISO performance and I’m sold.
      I regularly print at 30 x 40 (inches) and my D3S does a nice job. If I could get the same noise at 25,600 as I do at 6400 with 20MP, I would be rendered speechless, again.

  11. Ryan Siemers says

    Video at 60 fps would be great.
    @1080p would be even better.

    I’d even take 720p @120 fps.

    +Greater dynamic range

  12. says

    I’m still using my 2 D3 bodies, so I’ll be looking to buy a new camera this year. I’m looking for better high ISO performance than the D3 and slightly high resolution. To be honest I’d be happy with 16MP.Very excited!

  13. Richard says

    JUST GIVE ME BETTER IMAGE QUALITY…with higher ISO and FORGET ABOUT THAT VIDEO…….who needs it.

  14. Gary Harris says

    I would go for the Lower ISO, more megapixals in a APS C sensor, don’t need it, 12 or 16 is plently, I purcahse an SLR to use it as an SLR, you want a Video camera then buy one that will do the proper job.

  15. Sean says

    Who buys a DSLR for the video? Love my D700 and do not expect to upgrade anytime soon. Like Hasi said, wait 5 yearsand see what new technology develops.

  16. John Jessup says

    Who would be a product planner with such divergent user inputs!

    What seems to be missing in the information so far is for what purpose the D4 is intended. Higher ISO than the D3s? Higher image resolution than the D3x? Sports/news or studio/landscape segment? If it’s a D3x with video then I’ll stay with my D3X until something really important changes. 30 mega pixels or more? If the D400 is a D300 with 24mp and video and reasonably priced, my D300 may find itself being replaced.

  17. ShaMar says

    I would be most interested in a full frame camera (FX). I have only used full frame since 2002 and will most likely not switch to FX. Also, I can care less what sony does, I’ve bought and used Nikon for almost 30 years and as far as I’m concerned there are no other cameras out there for me to consider. BTW, I don’t buy DSLR to shoot video. I buy video cameras for that…….Try shooting extended periods of time with a DSLR, then tell me how great is a DSLR for video (I bet you won’t have anything nice to say then)

  18. ShaMar says

    Sorry,
    that was supposed to read “will most likely not switch to non FX” in my comment above

  19. Leif Stryger says

    For mig er en fornuftig videofunktion absolut et must for at opgrade til D4.
    Jeg ser gerne et nyt Nikon D4 som et professionelt modstykke til Panasonic’s GH2, der vel er det bedste hybridkamera i dag.
    Gode stillbilleder kombineret med interessante videosekvenser, bliver sikkert fremtiden – og det er nemmere, hvis man kan anvende det samme kamera til begge formål.

  20. Dave says

    All I want from a new D400 is better image quality at MUCH HIGHER ISO than my D300 gives me. I don’t need and don’t even want video capability. I have video cameras for that. Slightly more megapixels would be OK, maybe 16 to 20, but the D300 is satisfactory for anything that I shoot.

  21. says

    I’ve been using a D300s for over a year now (coming up from F100s,D70s & Canon 60d) in a mixed production environment (video & still photography). Nikon needs to add the same controls for video shooting as there exists for still photography to the D400. 1080p and higher frame rates would also be a bonus. Regarding the value of having a still camera that shoots video question: what a boon to some of us image makers who need to shoot both stills & video – one piece of equipment to carry around that does an amazing job in both types of image capture. I’ve carried around a lot of heavy “professional” video equipment and welcome getting tremendous looking video from a Nikon SLR. Just ask any shooter who has to travel a lot and owns great Nikon glass which option they’d choose.

  22. David Garth says

    It puzzles me why some people want features eliminated just because they personally don’t need them. Case in point: video. Many, many newspapers and websites are using both video and still shots from spot news events and expect their staff photographers to provide both. If a camera has good video capability at high ISO, a news photographer can carry less equipment and switch from stills to video much faster. So just because you don’t need video doesn’t mean it’s a useless feature for everybody.

  23. Jorge Rousselin says

    Speaking as a D700 owner, I’m completely satisfied with the performance and excellent images I get with very little noise pollution. Can’t really justify the upgrade investment for the new body. I’ll be sitting this one out.

  24. Jos says

    Een videofunctie is het laatste wat ik zou willen. Koop een videocamera!!! Ik heb een nikon D-80 en twijfel tussen dx en fx. Wat belangrijk is voor mij zijn de specificaties tussen de twee opvolgers (D400 vs D800) en de prijs. Een lage iso en uitstekende ruisverhoudingen zijn een must. Omdat ik een fervent urbexfotograaf ben verwacht ik ook een uitgebreide bracketingfunctie!

  25. belgiantaff says

    I disagree with David Garth. Video just adds cost – why bother if its not needed. Time taht Nikon started to kisten to the users.

  26. mphoto says

    “However, if Nikon could make use of the 24.6MP sensor found in the D3x”
    If that really was going to happen, it would be the end of Nikons excellent reputation, this article, like many other, focuses mainly on the pixel count. But for professionals who photograph sports or weddings the pixels are the least important things with these cameras, the D3 series is used because of it’s excellent ISO performance and dynamic range. While the D3x has the best dynamic range of all this is only possible due to a slow read out speed of the sensor limiting the camera to 2 frames a second in 14bit mode. And it’s ISO performance is a whole 3 stops worse than the D3s.
    While it is obvious that the D4 will come with more pixels, if they will be too much reducing it’s ISO performance / dynamic range not too many people will be happy about it.

  27. Grant says

    Thank to you all the input guys. Yes I would love to see the D400 soon WIth VIDEO !!
    That would stop me from taking another load of Video camera stuff.
    Even the TV stations are shooting with Canon 5D ! What are you guys talking about?
    And Yes! have the aperture adjustable while filming. Look at Vimeo.com They have made great clips and adverts on the Canon 5D.

    My worry would be the price as I’m on a budget. Can’t wait to have all my lenses on this new born baby. Love to see a mirror less Nikon M series !!! as good specs as the D400.
    Shutter noise is my concern and welcome to the bigger sensor for Low Light shooting!!!

  28. Tony says

    As a long time user of Nikon equipment, it’s always satisfying to see and test their new offerings.

    Well, it use to be in the great old film days, that each camera company would develop their own propriety models of camera, and only leave out the lens production and engineering to outside companies. Now with digital cameras and technology, the line between engineering and production is even more blurred.

    According to the latest product rumors, the new D4 will be using a Sony sensor (like most dslr cameras on the market today). No surprise here though, because Sony, as some may already know, has been at the forefront of pioneering with the CMOS sensor, as well as JPL/NASA, who invented APS, for decades. Apparently, the D4 will either have a 24MP, 32MP, or 36MP sensor, just like Sony’s new breed of mirror-less dslr cameras (such as the upcoming Full-Frame A920) slated to start rolling out in early 2012.

    Nikon has always tweaked the sensors they ordered manufactured from Sony, just as any other company does, and placed their own branded label and specialty packaging on that product. Its nothing new. Remember Pentax gets senors from Sony, such as in the K series, and that the Nikon D3x and Sony A900 (as far as the data shows) uses the same sensor; and the D90, D700 and Sony A580 uses the same Sensor too, according to dxo readings. To be fair, Nikon designed the sensors and added their own specialized tweak at the finale.

    Funny though, alot of people are forever convinced that they are wholly different sensors in each camera!

    Of note, that Sony has been in the photographic products production field since the early 1960’s, not the early 2000! They are no second-tier company with cameras. Historically, Nikon and Sony are two Japanese companies who has been partnering for many years on producing great photo products, and am sure they will continue to do just that for many more years to come.

    Today, I think its only natural to expect most camera companies to save on cost of not re-inventing the wheel, and just pay Sony and NASA and their brilliant engineers, for their long effort in RD for this essential piece of technology. Of course, some still swear by the CCD sensor (which data shows is superior for noise lower rendering), but due to high cost and lack of willingness of most companies in the field to continue to pursue this chip, CMOS and Sony is the default go-to guys.

    And, what of such new cutting-edge digital imaging players such as Aptina? What is their importance in toady’s CMOS technology and the ability of rendering exceptional images with dslr cameras? Well, the final product is what matters, right? And, who the heck cares who makes the chip!!

    Happily, Nikon, of course, will continue to put out great products, because they are totally committed to being number one in the global camera arena!

  29. Valentino Nielsen says

    Lower ISO – at least down to 25. I don´t care about filming so it doesn´t matter for me. Of course at least 24 MP as well. And 8-12 fps.
    A D700s or D700x whit the improvements above plus some better image quality.

  30. Andre Fernandes says

    Why people buy D3s ?
    most of the pro buy it for focusing speed, low-light, high fps, etc, so nikon, please, remove the video from D4, change it for something else, or, remove it for less price …