[Video] How To Shoot Video With The Nikon D4

The Nikon D4 may not be a huge improvement over the D3S in terms of image quality but as a video camera there is no comparison. The most important updates include audio controls that allow you to dial in silky smooth sounding audio from an external mic as well as an audio out jack for headphone monitoring. The camera can also shoot at 1080P in standard full frame, 1.5 crop, or 2.7 crop meaning that you now can get almost a 200mm reach from a 24-70mm lens without losing quality. In this video I'll show you how to manage these new features.

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Nice review! in the case of zooming, if the D4 menus are the same as most nikons, when you're at the top you can just press up to get to the bottom if you understand what I'm saying.
Also, does the D4 have the custom menu like the D7000? you could use that if its available.
Just ideas.

Lee Morris's picture

You are correct about that, for the sake of the video I went all the way down as to not confuse people. What drives me crazy is that Nikon didn't make these 2 zoom options available as buttons! If I'm in live view I would love to simple hit a button once to zoom in 1.5 and then again to zoom in 2.7. Of course Nikon couldn't make it that simple. 

Could you assign one of the crop options to the Fn. button and the Pv button on the front of the camera? I know you could assign the Fn. button to one crop mode, but not sure you can change the Pv button?

I saw this video for the D7000 to be able to assign something from the custom menu to the Fn button. I figure it'll be something similar on the D4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdRrv6tn_D8

i do not now how it goes on d800 but on mine d700 i put all i need to change quick in mine own menu (custom menu) and i do not have to go through all menus if i want to change something quick ...
searching the internet for manual ;-)..... Yes it is there ...look at page 366

What would be the issue with "pushing-in" after the fact to get the "zoom effect rather than messing with the menus for crop effect. 

Lee Morris's picture

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking but if you press the "zoom" buttons while in live view it will zoom into the image (this is good for focusing) but it's not actually changing the frame. You need to go into the menu to zoom the frame for shooting. 

Sorry. I am talking about cropping the full size image in post. 

icie's picture

I think the function on the camera is preferable because the D4 will output true 1080p at those crop modes. All that happens in the crop modes is that the D4 takes the information from the central part of the sensor as opposed to the whole of the sensor. Due to the resolution of the sensor, it can still output full 1080p resolution video. Cropping in post, especially if the file is already at 1080p, means you end up with a significantly lower resolution output.

 I think you mean cropping the image after you shoot? the reason you would use the in camera zoom is so that you keep the 1080p resolution.

Great stuff Lee, I will need this video because I am getting the D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III in for review in a few days to compare both and since I am not a Nikon guy I will need all the help I can get with the menus.

Would you be able to program the two front buttons for this? like the upper one would be x1,5 and the lower would be x2,7 and make like a video pre-set?

Lee Morris's picture

I tried for an hour to figure that out and I couldn't, it may be possible though. 

looks like it'll be a really nice video camera.  i'll be interested in how those crop modes work out-- for instance, if you're in 2.7x mode with a 24-70 lens, would the image quality be the same as normal mode with a 70-200 lens at an equivalent local length?  i know the resolution will be the same, but is the rest of the image quality?  if so, then thats a really great feature.  a quick test of this would probably interest a lot of people.

Lee Morris's picture

I assume it will be the same but the depth of field will be deeper the farther you crop in. 

Hey Lee,

I'm pretty sure I can change f-stop on my D3100 while in Live View mode. Will have to verify later tonight, but I'm about 95% sure on that.

I can also adjust the aperture on my D7000 in Live View, but not while recording video - as is the case with the 3100 I assume. That would be pretty awesome if it does! 

Lee Morris's picture

I believe you can change fstop number but it doesn't do anything until you drop out of live view or take a picture.

Another advantage of older lenses with the aperture ring: relinquish control of aperture to the ring and not the dial, and boom: control in video/live view.

Also, completely eliminates flicker in timelapses. Non-G ftw.

Or you can you know, shoot in aperture priority or full manual....

Now that I think of it, it could be that I was using my 50mm 1.4 AIS when I recalled changing aperture. Nothing like those old lenses with aperture rings and smooth focusing ring.

Anyone else having audio sync issues on the video??

Your audio appears to be slightly out of sync.


That'll be the "we just use a separate recorder &  sync it up in post after" at 2min30 - haha

I never knew until now that Nikon's semi-pros HDSLR can't change the aperture within live view! Now i'm actually glad I went with Canon for video HDSLR. Amazing what the 5DMKII did for the video industry. If I had went with the D7000, I think i would have regretted it.

Sync Problem? "we just use a separate recorder &  sync it up in post after" at 2min30 - haha

I was waiting for Lee to exclaim "I'm a Pro now!" towards the end, since it is his first "pro camera" :D enjoy and make great work Lee!