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New Nikon D4 Camera - Possible Release Date & Most Wanted Improvements

Updated on March 18, 2011

Rumours predict a 2011 launch for Nikon’s new flagship camera

Using Nikon’s previous history of launching its professional digital camera, we should be expecting to see and hear of the Nikon’s new D4 sometime during the summer 2011. The Nikon D1 was launched in 1999, the D2H was four years later in 2003, while the current Nikon professional digital camera D3 arrived further four years later in 2007.

In theory, this makes 2011, the Year of the Nikon D4. However, to compete with newer professional digital cameras from Canon for example, what will you be expecting on the Nikon new flagship, when the D4 does eventually arrive? Nikon’s F4 film camera is legendary, and many are expecting the D4 to be a digital legend in its on right. We will have to wait and see.

The All Important Sensor Size :

Getting the size of the sensor right is vitally important. You don’t really want a new sensor smaller than your main rival, nor do you want one that’s just bigger than its predecessor the Nikon D3, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth upgrading. Anything over 50MP sensor, and you are into to the medium frame film camera market. An 36MP sensor would be nice, but it’s quite a leap. However, most people are expecting something between an 18MP and a 25MP sensor. Canon’s current high end camera, the EOS-1Ds Mark III, is a 21 MP, so to stay ahead of the megapixel race, the Nikon D4 needs to be 25MP. Nikon’s latest semi-professional release, the D7000 boasts a FX high resolution 16.2 sensor, and could be a taste of things to come in the Nikon D4.

Nikon's First Mirror-less Camera?

Will Nikon cross over to the latest mirror-less trend for their new flagship camera or is this a step too far for the traditionalists? Many see the noisy mirror as a throw back from the 35mm camera days, which causes vibrations when in use. Most high end cameras have a mirror lock up function to prevent this problem, but more recently mirror-less DSLRs have started to appear on the market, especially those that have the video function. Nikon can't continue to ignore mirror-less for much long though.

Recent possible leaked picture of the Nikon D4
Recent possible leaked picture of the Nikon D4 | Source

Integrated GPS?

The new Nikon D4 could feature an integrated GPS module that provides a device that adds geographic codes to the images and video at the time of capture. Other features could include a GPS track log, a GPS lock that could record the position of an object instead of the actual position of the photographer, and the ability to send images wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi.

Virtual Horizon Indicator : Improved and More Features

A feature on the Nikon D3 that could be vastly improved on with recent advances in modern technology, and perhaps in conjunction with GPS, altitude and temperature readings too(the later is critical for your batteries if you are using the camera in sub-zero conditions).

Triple SD Card Slots?

The Nikon D3 and new D7000 features Twin SD Card Slots with SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card compatibility for your separate NEF (RAW), JPEG and video movie files. But, will the Nikon D4 include three slots as memory usage increases?

Other Possible Improvements

Expected is a completely new AF system and better metering system, possibly an upgraded from D7000. Another expected addition is full 1080p video features with a external stereo microphone jack and USB 3.

Nikon have to make their D4 something special, and not just another DSLR with more pixels, to regain the top slot in the professional digital camera market. Camera technology has took huge leaps since the release of the Nikon D3 four years ago, which some now feature in the recently launched D7000, but the question is how much more is Nikon going to include in the D4?

© David Lloyd-Jones 2010

The Nikon F4 35mm was a legendary camera - Will the D4 be the same?
The Nikon F4 35mm was a legendary camera - Will the D4 be the same?

Nikon D4 Sensor Size Poll :

What size high resolution sensor should Nikon go for in their new D4?

See results


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    • Midnight Oil profile imageAUTHOR

      Midnight Oil 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man UK

      Nikon have to make their D4 something special, and not just another DSLR with more pixels, to regain the top slot in the professional digital camera market.

    • Jason Jorgensen profile image

      Jason Jorgensen 

      6 years ago from Washington, District of Columbia

      I'm another person that is for keeping the megapixel size low and the ISO sky high. I'm tired of seeing articles like this that talk about megapixels like they are end all factor for quality pictures. I bought my D700 over a 5dmkII for it's low light capability. I have a D4 ordered expecting it to be at least on par with the D3s. If they start going for megapixel count over sensitivity, I'd no longer have a reason to be a Nikon buyer. I can sell my lenses for most of what I paid for them, so nothing is stopping me from going Canon for my next body. Photographers and companies w/ $$$ to spend don't care about brand loyalty... they care about getting the job done.

    • profile image

      richard t boone 

      6 years ago

      i love to see it

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      CF not sd card slots genius

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      PLEASE just keep giving me better and better low noice /high ISO !!! I love my D3 but will buy a D4 the day it comes out if it performs better at high ISO (like 6400+)

      Megapixels are irrelevant. 25 would be just fine, and I could care less about video.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd like the D4 even better if it was a 12MP ultra-clean sensor that would do 4K QHD raw video at 120FPS.

    • profile image

      Mike K 

      7 years ago

      I don't care what Nikon call their D300S replacement as long as it makes the previously mentioned camera look like a toy and insults Canon with it for the next 5 years, at least.

    • alexhd57 profile image


      7 years ago

      Re the all important sensor size; I think Nikon have already demonstrated with recent releases they aren't playing megapixel oneupmanship anymore. The new D5100 betters Canons 600D despite having a smaller sensor. Nikon have also trumped Canon for low light performance partly by not cramming too many pixels onto their sensors. Photographers looking at these cameras generally know enough to understand more often isn't better when it comes to megapixels!


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