Nikon Says BBC Approves D4 & D800 DSLR Cameras, But Is That Right?

Nikon have boldly announced that their flagship DSLR cameras the D4 and D800 have been tested by Alan Roberts the former BBC tech big wig and they have been deemed broadcast approved, but are they? While Alan Roberts did appear to rate the Nikon D4 saying “The results were encouraging” and “Exposure range is, potentially, as high as 13 stops.” Alan’s conclusion of the Nikon D800 clearly states “This camera cannot be recommended for serious programme-making.”

Here is the Nikon Press Kit announcing the EBU tests for the D4 and D800 cameras:

Nikon’s pro range reaches new heights this week as the D4 and D800 have opened an important door into the professional video broadcasting market. Both models have become the first DSLR cameras to pass the very elaborate European Broadcasting Union (EBU) test, commonly referred to as the BBC Test.

These tests were conducted by Alan Roberts, who spent most of his career in research and development at the BBC and wrote the new EBU guidelines and testing procedures. Alan commented that both the D4 and D800 exhibited the lowest amount of rolling shutter he has ever seen in a CMOS equipped camera. He also commented that the exposure latitudes of the D4 were truly remarkable at around 13 stops; a figure only bettered by top grade LS rated cameras.

It seems both the Nikon D4 & D800 are on a winning streak, with the duo recently picking up awards such as TIPA Best Expert DSLR 2012, GP2012 Camera of the Year & European Camera of the Year 2012. This further showcases the strength of Nikon’s superior technology across both photography and film.

Alan Roberts on the Nikon D4 camera:
The results were encouraging.
Video performance is quite good at 1080p, much less so at 720p. However, even though the sensor has 16.8 million photo-sites, it achieves only about 1,355×764, only a little better than 1,280×720.
Noise levels are very low, and the camera could be acceptable with ISO settings up to 6,400.
Coloured spatial aliasing is present, and is clearly visible even on the camera’s LCD display (921k pixels, about 1,176×784).

Alan Roberts on the Nikon D800 camera:
The results were mixed.
Video performance is not really acceptable at 1080p, much less so at 720p. Even though the sensor has 36.8 million photo-sites, it achieves only about 1,355×764, little better than 1,280×720.
Exposure range is, potentially, as high as 12 stops, although this will be limited by the acceptability of the noise levels near black.

Read the full EBU report (BBC Test) on the Nikon D4 DSLR camera HERE.
Read the full EBU report (BBC Test) on the Nikon D800 DSLR camera HERE.
See B&H for their latest prices for the Nikon D4 camera and the Nikon D800 DSLR cameras.
Seek out Nikon for more on their D4 and D800 DSLR cameras.

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