Wildlife video recording with D4

Started Dec 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bruce Bracken
Bruce Bracken Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: D800 for FX, D4 for CX

No, not DX. As it turns out, DX mode on both the D4 and D800 are truly horrid, and in my opinion, unusable (at least for anything that I would expect to get paid for).

The D800 comes with FX and DX modes for video, while the D4 comes with FX, DX, and CX video modes. The CX is a 2.7x crop, and is true 1080 HD. In your Movie Settings menu, the CX modes should be the last three options at the bottom of the list.

If I were you, I'd try out this CX mode with your long lenses to see how it fares with your birding and other wildlife video.

I'm a little sketchy on telephoto with this CX mode though - I ran some initial tests when I first got my D4 using a 70-200+1.7TC, shooting on a tripod on a lakeside dock, taking footage of landscapes/objects across the lake. The footage I captured had these weird waves passing through it (best way to explain it would be the wavy visuals one would see when looking across a tarmac or black paved road on an extremely hot day). I sent the footage to Nikon Support, who passed me on to David Dentry (their senior spin doctor) who just claimed it was all fine, within spec, etc. I need to run more tests, but just haven't had time. If you test out CX mode with your longer lenses, please let us know how it turns out with sample footage. I'd really be interested to hear about your experiences.

If people in the film industry are claiming the D4 has better video quality than the D800, then they must be comparing the D4's CX mode to the D800's FX mode, because a straight FX mode comparison between the two bodies results in the D800 being the clear-cut, hands-down winner, with the D4 FX being noticeably softer.

I ran some tests this past summer that you can check out. Not great tests, but should help you get a better idea between the two.


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