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Alex_Mustard

Nikon D4 Underwater Testing

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Only got one dive today as we had to travel north. And only have one tomorrow. So not much more to report. Shot the Sigma 15mm today, rather than Nikon 16mm. Not downloaded the images yet.

 

Also I will have a Compact Flash card reader tomorrow - so will be able to download some of the movies (the stills were on the XQD card).

 

As great as is these images are, it's hard to tell if they are any better say than your D7000. Any plans to take both underwater at the same time for comparisons?

 

Yeah, when the pictures are down rezzed to 650 pixels they always look good.

 

I had the D7000 with me in Iceland last year and didn't want to use it then! Silfra is much, much darker than it looks in the photos. Ideally, I won't take the D7000 over ISO 400. By the same criteria I won't take the D700 past ISO 800 and the D4 past 3200. When I used the D800 back in January I figure it was almost identical to the D700 for ISO performance at a pixel level (but I didn't want to post anything at the time because I couldn't believe it). And what I didn't consider at the time, its that when it is down rezzed to the same resolution it D700 it exceeds it.

 

Of course, you'd get the same compositions with any camera - but getting the shots with sufficient depth of field and corner performance (especially with rectilinear) really benefits from ISO performance. I'll compare the cameras more in the review and I'd like to shoot the D4 more underwater before I do that.

 

I was waiting D800 review :P

 

Wetpixel are working on it! But like this review we'll keep it pretty quiet until we are actually using it. What this space (website).

 

Alex

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Still unsure of which AF modes I prefer - as they all just work. These were shot on AUTO area!

I've been surprised at how well AUTO area works

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Here are some topsides from today. I can't share all my UW shots or I won't have anything left for the review. These were all taken with D7000:

 

The D4 housing is very big (like those for D2 and D3), but still smaller than a big dome, such as my Zen 230. It looks about twice the size of the D7000 housing. I'll photograph them together tomorrow.

post-713-1334360815.jpg

 

Cheer up Alex - you've got the world's only D4 housing! In my defence, my face was still frozen in this position after an hour in the very cold water. The housing doesn't look so big with me for scale!

post-713-1334360854.jpg

 

Spent the afternoon heading north. Weather looks good, but v. cold.

post-713-1334360882.jpg

 

Alex

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Hi Alex, great as ever! What about HDR?

 

The in camera HDR is JPG only. :-(

 

I tried it on the pre-prod D800 back in January and it works - but as JPG only I think I'd rather do it long-hand and have RAW files.

 

More later - in the middle of shooting.

 

Alex

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Here are some topsides from today. I can't share all my UW shots or I won't have anything left for the review. These were all taken with D7000:

 

The D4 housing is very big (like those for D2 and D3), but still smaller than a big dome, such as my Zen 230. It looks about twice the size of the D7000 housing. I'll photograph them together tomorrow.

post-630-1334415809.png

 

Looks like dome is half full of water, Alex.

 

Just KIDDING (although the reflection did make it look like that at first glance), and I'm knocking on wood such a thing never happens to any of us :P

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I hope so too!

 

Today was a day of extremes. In the morning diving around the hydrothermal chimney (this fjord has the world's only hydrothermal chimney in dive able depths). There are many places hot water from volcanoes comes into the ocean, but this is full on hydrothermal water, super-saturated with minerals which precipitate out when the hot water cools on contact with the cold water - and has made a chimney more than 60m tall. This is from the very top, the diver (Nina) is obscured by the waters not mixing because of the different temps (I want to save the other shots for the review):

 

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Then in the afternoon I went out to shoot splits in rivers and in the sea, including in this bay filled with sea ice, which was pretty funky. Camera and housing performed perfectly.

 

post-713-1334435598.jpg

 

Tomorrow it will be even colder. One of the guys today told me that last time he was there his video wouldn't focus because of all the ice particles in the water. Lovely. I'll not have internet for the next few days as we are at sea. But I'll try and post a few more before we go and then some new stuff when I am next online.

 

Alex

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Here are a few more pictures from today, from the north of Iceland.

 

Diver exploring the side of the big chimney.

 

post-713-1334444611.jpg

 

Life colonises the chimney.

 

post-713-1334444729.jpg

 

Ton on safety stop. The lower frame is me taking the shot (see the dome reflection). My fingers were too cold to turn off my Inons - it was easier to point them out to the side.

 

post-713-1334444766.jpg

 

River split level.

 

post-713-1334444815.jpg

 

New problem for me and splits. Not droplets on the port, but ice on the port (licking the dome didn't help!).

 

post-713-1334444879.jpg

 

Alex

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Hi Alex,

 

I really admire your extreme effort and courage travelling to this bizarre part of the earth and bringing to us these stunning images. You are surely pushing the camera and our housing to their limit. I never would dream of diving in such conditions.

 

Edward

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Thanks Howard! :P

The lanyard and ball mounts is a standard Nauticam part - I have the same on my D7000. Easy to carry even with strobes mounted. Great for passing your housing to someone who is not accustomed to carrying such things. And I fix my focus light to one of the additional ball mounts.

 

http://nauticam.com.au/products/light-moun...em/accessories/

 

 

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Edward or Alex,

 

Does Nauticam support the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens? Are there currently zoom gears, focus and extension ring solutions for this lens? Will there be a HDMI out option?

 

Thanks!

 

Espen.

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Yes 16-35 is supported.

 

Thanks Alex, all of the above? I have not seen this listed at Nauticam.com

 

Espen

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Hey Alex,

As always your pictures are totally unreal!

It is more than wonderful to have outcome like this from underwater specialist like you. Now I like much more my D4 and I can't wait to get my SUBAL housing!

Good luck on Iceland for the rest of your trip!

I am really looking forward for more fantastic pictures from there!

All the best,

Predrag Vuckovic

www.extreme-photographer.com

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Thanks Alex, all of the above? I have not seen this listed at Nauticam.com

 

Espen

 

All the new DSLR and M4/3 housings will be HDMI compatible now as far as I'm aware. The 16-35 is supported by a zoom gear, not a focus gear. Optimum port extensions/combinations are being worked out as we speak.

 

Alex

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All the new DSLR and M4/3 housings will be HDMI compatible now as far as I'm aware. The 16-35 is supported by a zoom gear, not a focus gear. Optimum port extensions/combinations are being worked out as we speak.

 

Alex

 

Thanks Alex! Great news :-)

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Sorry for the lack of updates. I have been at sea for the last few days. One of the things I wanted to do with this review was to throw the camera into a tough assignment - as ultimately that is what D4 cameras will be used for. I felt this would be a more revealing test than just trying various function while enjoying normal dives. It was certainly a tough examination - snow build up on the housing between dives:

 

post-713-1334786438.jpg

 

One aim of my trip to Iceland was to work on a story on cod. Yes, I know cod don't sound all that exciting. But they are a fish that most people will have heard of - but few could actually recognise - as the world is not exactly awash with photos of them in the wild. As a fisheries species they also link with people on many levels, as a source of food and also income for communities (or lack of income when stocks are over-fished). Plus I think that they are attractive fish and when full grown are seriously impressive beasts! Iceland has famously vigorously protected its cod fisheries, so we headed to the north coast to try and find some underwater... I should add that I am not going to share any UW photos of cod here - as I wish to save them for publication!

 

Fisherman with cod in Husavik, Iceland.

post-713-1334785856.jpg

 

Our home was the beautiful Hildur Schooner from the North Sailing fleet.

 

post-713-1334786021.jpg

 

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Finding the cod was not straight forward. There are lots of cod, but locating some underwater meant a fair amount of searching in chilly waters and with sonar

 

No cod...

post-713-1334786056.jpg

 

Is that a cod?

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We explored between Husavik and Thorshofn in NE Iceland.

post-713-1334786181.jpg

 

Gisli piloting the RIB.

post-713-1334786418.jpg

 

Tough conditions lead to extreme measures. With our lips feeling a little sore from the cold, salty water, Gisli and I were "forced" to borrow some of Nina's coloured lip moisturiser! Luckily this is a before photo.

post-713-1334786295.jpg

 

I am not going to show any of my cod pix at this time. But there was plentiful marine life, such as this large flatfish and wolf fish.

post-713-1334786228.jpg

 

Alex

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The 16-35 is supported by a zoom gear, not a focus gear. Optimum port extensions/combinations are being worked out as we speak.

 

Yes, I have been using the 16-35mm. We didn't have a chance to test for the optimum port extension before the trip. Partly complicated because I was using my Subal 4 fit - Zen 230 dome with a Subal to Nauticam port converter. I have been using this with 70mm of port extensions (2x 20mm and 1x 30mm).

 

Here are some shots from our "kit washing" dive in Nes Canyon today taken with the 16-35mm and D4 (using dome setup described above). Joking aside, this is one of my favourite dives in Iceland. Thanks to Nina for posing for the images.

 

post-713-1334787296.jpg

 

post-713-1334787152.jpg

 

post-713-1334787258.jpg

 

post-713-1334787328.jpg

 

Alex

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Great stuff Alex. 16-35 appears to have behaved splendidly behind the 230 Zen. What ISO / f-stop were these?

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Alex, shoot video!!! :) ISO 12800 if possible :)

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I am not going to show any of my cod pix at this time.

Alex

 

I read that as cod piece at first...

Excellent thread Alex :)

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Great stuff Alex. 16-35 appears to have behaved splendidly behind the 230 Zen. What ISO / f-stop were these?

 

I agree - I am quite happy with 70mm extension. I will be interested to see what the official testing finds as I have not tried any other combo.

 

These were mostly f/13-f/14 - which is where I like to have the 16-35mm. Although it was overcast (and snowing) the light levels were OK as it was shallow. So ISO 800-1000.

 

When I took the D7000 in with 10-17mm and mini-dome the sun came out and I shot at f/8-f/10 on ISO 200 (pictures not shared here).

 

Alex

 

 

 

Alex, shoot video!!! :) ISO 12800 if possible :)

 

I have been shooting lots of video - will make sure I try some that high. Although it is still in the camera - as I forgot my CF card reader! I will copy them across to the XQD card and download when I have a moment.

 

Alex

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Amazing underwater photography with the D4 - thanks for sharing.

 

I was under the impression that underwater housing for new camera bodies lagged (up to) several years behind the release of the camera body because it took a long time to design. If I recall correctly this was the case for the D3.

 

But its seems like Nauticam has already come out with its D4 housing and the D4 has barely been released!

 

Does Nikon share specs with the underwater housing manufacturers? How did the D4 housing get developed get developed so quickly? (I'm assuming the buttons moved from the D3...it looks like it from the photos I have seen).

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