Is This D4-Real? **Updated


Via Nikon Rumors comes this potential photo of the forthcoming Nikon D4. Is it Photoshop or Memorex?

Some groovy potential specs, too:

  • 16.2 MP
  • 11 fps
  • The ISO range is listed again as 100 to 102,400, expandable to 50 to 204,800.
  • CF + XQD memory card slots! That’s right, the Nikon D4 will have the new Compact Flash XQD memory card slot.
  • Compatible with the new Nikon WT-5 wireless transmitter
  • Integrated Ethernet in the camera
  • Face detection/recognition function that will be working in the viewfinder (maybe some type of a hybrid viewfinder? Nikon had several related patents)
  • Improved video, I have no other details on that but my guess is 1080p/30/25/24 and 720p/60/30/25/24 similar to the Nikon D800
  • Uncompressed video out through the HDMI port
  • Ability to assign the two buttons on the front of the camera to smooth aperture control during video recording
  • Improved 51 AF points
  • AF detection range will go down to EV-2.0 (the D3s went to EV -1)
  • Autofocus system: 9 cross-type sensors that are operational up to f/8
  • Suggested retail price: $6,000

On Air

Zoom Street Photo

As mentioned in last Friday’s post, I’m testing the Profoto D1 Air 500 Studio Kit, along with the optional Profoto Air Remote shown above.

As a quick initial test I mounted the remote on a Nikon D300s and took one of the two D1 Monolights (with umbrella & stand) out on the deck as the sun was going down.

Using only one light I didn’t have to set the channel on the remote, simply test fired the strobe from the camera to determine the level of power I wanted. Since the strobe packs 500 watts, I didn’t want much in order to blend the flash with the ambient light.

I called my wife out and promised I’d only take two quick snaps, which I did. Here’s one…

photo by Derek Pell

I like the highlights in the hair and the eye-light, although the portrait could have been improved with  some bounce fill off to the right. Unless you want a more dramatic image like this.  The quality of the monolight was just about right.

Very impressed with the kit working right out of the box—hassle-free wireless control.

Profoto Air Remote

More soon.

It Takes a Lickin’ & Keeps on Clickin’…


I’ve squeezed the shutter button on my trusty Nikon D90



Bet you’re wondering how I know this.

Well. it’s all thanks to a web site called My Shutter Count.

Upload a photo directly from your camera and the site calculates the total clicks.

Sweet, indeed. 

Considering the shutter life expectancy of the D90 is roughly 400,000 clicks, my camera is practically a newborn.


Thanks to Nikon Rumors for this tip.

Rank Items

Zoom Street Photo

The title is a red herring but I couldn’t resist when I found this photo in the archives. It’s the My Menu screen for the Nikon D90. This selection lets one change the order of the items in the camera’s customized list. As you can see I placed Battery info at the top as it’s something I check frequently—especially when shooting movies. This feature is also available on the Nikon D300s.

The video capability on the D300s is an improvement on the D90 which—need I remind readers—was the world’s first DSLR to include video capture. I’ve yet to try the Nikon D7000.


Since we’re talking movie mode here, Nikon’s 24 fps capture rate has a more filmic quality than standard 30 fps. Right off the bat you’ve got the soft quality of film. But that isn’t to say you’ll have the look your after. In this case you can reach for Magic Bullet Looks from Red Giant Software. It’s part of the new Magic Bullet Suite 11 mentioned in a previous post. (Watch for the review in Zoom Street’s August issue.)

Ostensibly a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, you can access it from within Photoshop, too. I find this enormously helpful since I often shoot stills in advance of a video project and can experiment with various looks. I can tweak the effects and when I’ve got what I’m looking for,  save the “look”  and, later, apply it directly to clips in Premiere Pro.

Here’s an example. While scouting locations I took this still in a nearby park. This was to be the locale for the title sequence.

original photo

The photo was too crisp and realist as I was looking for a more ethereal feeling. Using Magic Bullet’s “Black Diffusion” effect I had exactly the look I was after.

with Magic Bullet Look applied

I was also considering making the sequence black and white with the contrast kicked up a notch..

b/w version

Magic Bullet provides a great collection of tools for either post or preproduction.

In the end I decided to stick with color. Below is a frame from  the movie.

video still

More info here on Magic Bullet Suite.

The Dragon Has Landed

photo by Derek Pell

This shot explains why I’ll never switch from Nikon. To put it bluntly, it’s the optics, stupid. (Click on the image for a large view.)

I spied this dragonfly yesterday morning while having my first cuppa joe. I quickly grabbed my cam with a Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S mounted. Now every lens has a sweet spot and it pays to discover the magic number. This lens excels at f/8. (1/200 sec at f/8.0; 200mm; ISO: 200) That;’s why I tend to shoot in Aperture Priority mode. With plenty of light I can pretty much ignore the shutter speed.

The moral here is never cut corners when it comes to the glass.