Nikon announces D4 dSLR, successor to D3S pro shooter (CES 2012)

Nikon officially announces the long-rumored D4 professional dSLR, which will hit the market earlier and at a lower price than the Canon EOS-1D X.

It's an announcement Nikon followers have been predicting forever, so it's no huge surprise, but the Nikon D4 has offically arrived, adding a big-name dSLR to the growing pre-CES 2012 camera release lineup. Nikon Rumors reports that sold out of Nikon D4 pre-orders in under an hour, a testament to how little of a secret the announcement was.

Though the D4's most direct competitor, the Canon EOS-1D X, was announced in October, Nikon's flagship professional dSLR looks to just beat the Canon to market, and will sell for about $800 less, listing at $5,999.95 when it ships in late February. The18-megapixel 1D X does out-spec the 16-megapixel D4 slightly; the D4 offers a slower maximum continuous shooting speed of 11fps (vs. 14fps for the 1D X), a slighly lower resolution 3.2-inch LCD, and fewer autofocus points, but it does bring the Nikon line up to date on all fronts, including a significantly beefed up video recording mode compared to its predecessor, the Nikon D3S. In fact, somewhat like the Canon 1D X is a cross between the higher-end 1Ds Mark III and 1D Mark IV, the D4 sits between the D3S and the higher-end D3X. As the newest camera, the D4 benefits from the latest technology, of course, and is the first dSLR to support the new high-performance QXD memory card format (based on PCI Express) from the CompactFlash Association.

Here's a quick comparison of basic specs with the Canon EOS-1D X:

Nikon D4 Canon EOS-1D X
Price $5999.95 (body only), shipping in late February $6,800 (body only), shipping in March
Sensor 16.2 megapixels, 36x23.9 mm CMOS 18.1 megapixels, 36x24mm CMOS
Continuous Shooting Speed 11 fps 14 fps
LCD 3.2-inch, 920,000-dot 3.2-inch, 1.04 million-dot
Autofocus 51-point 61-point
Sensitivity ISO 100-12,800 (50-204,800 expanded) ISO 100-51,200 (50-204,800 expanded)
Storage Media 2 Compact Flash (Type I, QXD) 2 CompactFlash (Type I/II)
Movie Mode 1920×1080 (30/24 fps)/1280 × 720 (60/30 fps) 1920x1080 (30/25/24 fps)/1280x720 (60/50 fps)/640x480 (30/25 fps)
Dimensions 6.3x6.2x3.6 inches 6.2x6.4x3.3 inches
Weight 41.6 oz (body) Not available
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