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The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
It's been two years since Nikon introduced their flagship SLR, the D4. While that camera has undoubtedly stood the test of time, Nikon has decided that it's time for a refresh. That camera is the D4s which, on the surface, doesn't look much different than its predecessor. That's because, by and large, the major changes to the D4s are inside its magnesium alloy body.
The biggest changes on the D4s are its processor (now covered by the Expeed 4 standard), wider ISO range (topping out at 409,600), group area AF feature, and slightly faster burst speeds. Nikon has also reduced viewfinder blackout time, made transitions more 'smooth' when shooting time-lapse, and added 1080/60p video recording. Movie aficionados will also enjoy the ability to use Auto ISO when using manual exposure, audio range and level adjustment, and the ability to output uncompressed video over HDMI while simultaneously recording to a memory card.
In addition to those features, there are numerous small changes that have been made, with the Expeed 4 processor having a lot to do with it. Probably the biggest benefit of Expeed 4 is a wider ISO range, which now tops out at a whopping 409,600 (this is the Hi4 setting). The processing system has also increased the top burst rate to 11 fps (with AF). And speaking of increased speed, the D4s' mirror has a shorter travel distance, which reduces viewfinder blackout times.
There have been subtle changes to the camera's exposure system, starting with the ability to use face detection to determine metering while using the OVF. Exposure changes when using live view, interval shooting, or time-lapse movie are now less abrupt. Speaking of interval shooting, you can now take up to 9999 shots per sequence. The Active D-Lighting feature now has an 'Extra High 2' setting, though Nikon says that will look pretty 'artsy' at that point.
Another small change worth mentioning is the camera's ability to use the Auto ISO feature while in manual exposure mode. This allows you to choose a shutter speed and an aperture setting and let the camera decide on the necessary ISO. And, because the D4s has an Exposure Comp button as well as two control dials, you can apply exposure compensation so that you get your chosen image brightness, when working this way.
The D4s uses the new EN-EL18a battery for power, which allows for an incredible 3020 shots per charge (CIPA standard). Those who own EN-EL18 batteries can use them as well.
Below is a quick comparison of the major differences between the D4 and D4s:
16.2MP FX-format CMOS
|Processing||Expeed 3||Expeed 4|
|ISO range (standard)||100 - 12,800||100 - 25,600|
|ISO range (expanded)||50 - 204,800||50 - 409,600|
|Group AF area||No||Yes|
|Maintains focus point when changing orientation||No||Yes|
|Continuous shooting w/AF||10 fps||11 fps|
|Top Active D-Lighting option||Extra High||Extra High 2|
|Top movie resolution||1080/30p (24Mbps)||1080/60p (42 or 24Mbps)|
|Interval shooting limit||999 shots||9999 shots|
|Batteries used||EN-EL18||EN-EL18a, EN-EL18|
|Battery life (CIPA)||2600 shots||3020 shots*|
|* with EN-EL18a battery|
As you can see, everything on the D4s is an improvement to the D4 - at least on paper.
The biggest news, in terms of autofocus, is the D4s' ability to continuously focus at the camera's highest frame rate (a feature limited to 10fps on the D4). Another way of looking at the 'decreased viewfinder blackout' that Nikon is promoting is: 'having the mirror in the position that allows AF, for longer.' As such, we suspect the redesigned mirror mechanism plays more of a role in allowing the extra 1 frame per second focusing, as the camera's more powerful processor. What it certainly hasn't changed is the AF sensor itself, so it's mostly a case of making the most of what's already there, rather than radically overhauling the camera's capabilities.
Although it doesn't detail or quantify the changes, Nikon promises that the autofocus algorithms have been tweaked and improved - which could prove to be the most significant change. The only example of this given is that the AF lock-on is now slightly less easily distracted by objects crossing in front of the intended subject.
Beyond this, there are a couple of small feature additions, but no claims of any fundamental re-thinking. The D4s now includes a focus point mode in which the AF point will switch to the nearest comparable position, as you rotate the camera - jumping to the top left position in portrait orientation if you'd selected the top left point while the camera is in the landscape orientation, for instance.
There's also a Group AF mode, in which the user can specify a cluster of five points to focus on, rather than having to choose a single point. The existing system did allow you to specify the number of surrounding points that the AF system would consider, but the new mode gives much greater weight to the four points adjacent to the selected AF target. As with many of the AF behavior tuning options in cameras at this level, we suspect the benefit of this feature will be specific to a certain shooting situation, and its value will only be revealed when applied to that situation.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to us is how little the D4s has gained in terms of movie functions. The headline change is that the D4s can now shoot 1080 video at frame rates of 60p and 50p (at bitrates of around 48Mbps), but beyond that, there's not much that's changed. There's been no improvement in whatever limited the D4 to 20 minutes of video recording: the D4s hits a similar limit, with high bitrate 60p restricting the camera to just 10 minutes of footage capture.
The D4s can now adjust audio volume as it records, but there are no additional features to support movie capture: no focus peaking or zebra, and no additional high bitrate settings for the frame rates already offered by the D4. Unlike existing Nikons, the D4s can now simultaneously output uncompressed video over HDMI and record to internal memory cards.
Overall, though while the D4s makes sense as a camera head - buried in a rig with external monitors and recorders bolstering its capabilities - it's hasn't taken any big steps towards being the modern photojournalist's stills and movies all-rounder. This isn't to say the D4s isn't a credible camera for using video; just that, after years of manufacturers insisting on the importance of video as a tool for working photojournalists, we're surprised to see so few changes or additions have been made.
Nikon has released firmware updates for its D750 and D4S DSLRs, providing both with a new external recording control option for use with external recorders using Atomos Open Protocol. At the end of a list of bug fixes, Nikon also mentions that the D750's firmware version 1.10 introduces 'optimal vibration reduction' with vibration reduction lenses. Read more
Nikon has issued updated firmware for its D4s professional DSLR, altering the way numerous features operate on the camera. Changes include removing the limitation on the number of images that can be captured in a single continuous burst in the manual and shutter priority exposure modes. Firmware version 1.20 replaces versions 1.00 and 1.10, and appears to fix quite a range of glitches as well as adding functionality to the camera's operation. Read more
Nikon has announced that it will release new firmware for three of its DSLRs, improving their ability to communicate with the Atomos Shogun and Ninja-2 external video recording devices. The cameras concerned are the Nikon D4S, the D810 and the D750 and the update is slated to arrive this summer. Read more
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," says wildlife and nature photographer Marsel van Oosten. A talented landscape and wildlife photographer, his imagery has been featured in a number of publications like National Geographic. Check out more of his work and peek inside his camera bag. See gallery
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both speed and focus for capturing fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
If you're looking for the perfect drone for yourself, or to gift someone special, we've gone through all of the options and selected our favorites.
Most modern cameras will shoot video to one degree or another, but these are the ones we’d look at if you plan to shoot some video alongside your photos. We’ve chosen cameras that can take great photos and make it easy to get great looking video, rather than being the ones you’d choose as a committed videographer.
Although a lot of people only upload images to Instagram from their smartphones, the app is much more than just a mobile photography platform. In this guide we've chosen a selection of cameras that make it easy to shoot compelling lifestyle images, ideal for sharing on social media.
|Lumière croisée by AM91210|
from My Best Photo of the Fortnight
|Reina by Great Bustard|
from in the style of a Large Format Portrait
|_SDI2370bw by rick decker|
from Crashing Wave
Neither company has specified camera announcements during the events, but their dates align with rumored a7R V and OM-5 camera launch dates for Sony and OMDS, respectively.
Copy That for Mac features integrated checksum verification, detailed reporting, presets, thumbnail support, file renaming and automated error detection.
The winners and finalists have been announced for the Siena Drone Photo Awards. We've rounded them up into a photo gallery for your viewing pleasure.
The $150 lens is fully manual and is available for Canon EOS-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount camera systems.
The Lumix S family of full-frame primes keeps growing. The 18mm F1.8 is the newest member of Panasonic's lens lineup. Check our our sample gallery to see what it's capable of.
Peep some pixels from the hefty 100 megapixel files created by the new Hasselblad X2D 100C, as we prepare our DPReview TV review of the camera.
About 95% of Earth's oceans haven't been observed. Researchers at MIT have built a battery-free, wireless underwater camera that may help scientists explore more of the oceans.
Drone manufacturer DJI has moved its staff into an innovative and masterfully-designed new building in Shenzhen, China. Here is a first look.
We (metaphorically) sat down with Brandon Faith of Baggen Photos to ask him a few questions about what it's like to photograph motorsports events with his Crown Graphic large format camera.
Sony's new 320GB and 640GB 'Tough' CFexpress Type A cards are due out next month and while the 640GB card will offer the most storage of any Type A card to date, it doesn't come cheap.
Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere Elements apps make editing photos and videos easy for users of all skill levels. The latest versions add more editing tools, more AI features and improved performance.
The Sony FX30 is an explicitly video-focused camera, but could its technology herald a refresh of the company's APS-C stills line-up? We have a look at what that might mean.
The lens offers a constant F2.8 aperture through a rather unique focal length range for full-frame camera systems. It’s expected to be available starting October 27, 2022 for $699.
Can AI overcome the physical limitations of smartphone sensors and lenses? A Qualcomm executive thinks so, thanks in large part to improvements in processing power, hardware and artificial intelligence.
We're starting to see cameras offering 'open gate' video recording, so what is this tool and when is it useful?
The Sony FX30 is a 4K/120p-capable Super35 / APS-C cinema camera that wants to take the battle to the likes of Panasonic's GH series.
Sony's FX30 Super35/APS-C Cinema Line camera is effectively a crop-sensor version of the company's full-frame FX3 camera with sensor-based image stabilization, oversampled 4K/60p capture and '16-bit' Raw output and more.
If you've ever wanted to become an action figure, Hasbro is providing you the opportunity with its new 3D-printed Selfie Series action figures.
When you store photos on the cloud, you expect them to remain safe for a long time. However, some Google Photos users were scared over the weekend when they realized that their photo libraries had become corrupted.
DALL-E's Outpainting feature uses AI to expand existing images and artwork. Ad agency Ogilvy Paris has used Outpainting to expand Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, 'The Milkmaid.'
iOS 16.0.2 addresses, amongst other bug fixes, a problem wherein the second-generation sensor-shift image stabilization tech was causing camera shake issues in some third-party apps.
For the past eight years, the Library of Congress has been working on figuring out the subjects in a large collection of film, TV and music photos. Many of the mysteries have been solved. However, 17 photos have eluded the LC's best efforts, and the public's help is needed to help put names to the final unknown faces.
After having to pull the initial firmware update last month due to an issue that caused some units to stop working, Sony has re-released firmware version 1.1 for its a7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera.
Sigma's latest wide Art-badged prime for full frame is capable of some stunning landscapes. Check out a new batch of sample photos in the gallery.
Winners for this year's annual Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been announced.
While visiting the team in Seattle, Chris and Jordan attempt to eat some chowder. It's difficult. Also, this week they are puppets.
Meike has released its first adapter for Nikon Z cameras. The new MK-EFTZ-B adapter allows Nikon Z users to attach Canon EF and EF-S lenses to their cameras, complete with autofocus and automatic exposure functionality.
The Canon 5D Mark II was released in November 2008. Since then, a photographer used theirs to capture nearly 2.3 million images, which is an average of about 450 photos per day if they shot every single day. The camera is still going strong for its new owner.
Capture One for iPad users cvan now connect their camera, wired or wirelessly, to their iPad for quick image transfers without the need for memory cards and readers.
Digital film scanners can be pricey, so Lomo's latest scanners let shooters do it themselves. Whether you have a digital camera, or simply a smartphone, there's a DigitaLIZA that'll work with your kit. But are the results any good? Let's find out.