Following on from a few comments with my initial D4 announcement posts, I would like to pull out a few more aspects of handling that I think worth noting.

As many now know, on my training courses, no matter the prime subject, I try to provide not only the expected content, but talk and show real world picture taking tricks, and explain technical aspects not widely understood.

To go beyond instruction manuals and magazine reviews is a necessity if you are to help people get the most from their picture taking, once they have the basics.

Image © John Clements

One of the technical things I find people are at first shocked about, but then appreciative of the work around’s shown, is the fact that the image seen on a cameras LCD is a poor tool in many ways, unless you know how to use it properly.

But even though that is possible too a certain degree, modern technology as good as it is, falls short of ‘what you see is what you have got’ duplication. This is something many know I have highlighted over the years.

Therefore, one technical advance of the D4, is that it now incorporates a screen that is much closer too reproducing an sRGB colour space on playback than at present.

That is for most, a closer match to what they will see on their monitors back at home, in the office or studio. And for many, who will post on the web their images, or print out say on an ink jet, a much tighter integration of the viewing process from capture to use.

The screen itself has also grown slightly to 3.2 inches, and we can magnify up to 46x on playback. The rear screen is such an important tool that it is right to add these features.

In addition the D4 has a resin between the glass surface and the screen itself to help viewing at different angles.

Another tool that has been tweaked when it comes to viewing that I liked the look of is the ‘Virtual Horizon’ feature Nikon introduced with the D3.

This can be seen on the back, or with the exposure LED markers in the viewfinder, similar guidance on how the camera is currently positioned gleamed. That has been the state of play in Nikon’s recently and useful for some it certainly is.

Now however, you can be guided by AF markers as to the way to move the body to straighten the camera, while looking through the finder which should speed things up for hand held shooting in particular.

Image © Nikon Corporation

And for those shooting rapidly changing subject positions, Nikon have adjusted the button design and location so you can now make changes to the active AF detection area and it’s characteristics, without removing the eye from the finder. That feature alone for some should be a worthwhile improvement over previous cameras.

As for the menu system that remains typical Nikon, but I did see some nice additions to the overall options as ‘personalisation’ again increases in it’s potential. And on the outer buttons we now have a ‘Quick Access’ button to the Picture Control System.

Many may not notice a redesigned shutter release angle, but I am sure those shooting video will appreciate the quick access ‘Movie’ button near the cameras shutter release.

More later.

End. (09/01/12).