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Nikon D4 Video Quality = Awful

I think I’ll make some shot video clips of the D4, D800, D800E, Canon 5D Mark III.

Because the D4 video quality is AWFUL. Highest quality video looks blurred, like DVD quality, not HD quality.

Set aside the high-contrast lighting below— this is the D4 with the superlative Coastal Optics 60/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro— on a tripod precisely focused and at f/8. It is pin sharp as a still image (and at far higher resolution).

I’m no video expert, but I have eyes, and this looks like crap to me. I’ve asked around and looked around, and apparently the D4 is just “soft”. Soft, hell. It’s a blurry mess.

Nikon D4 + Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro @ f/8 (precisely focused
Crop from video shot at maximum quality

Here is is with a massive dose of sharpening from Topaz InFocus, twenty (20) times as much as I usually apply after resampling an image (this is as-is not resampled). Still looks like bad.

Nikon D4 + Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro @ f/8 (precisely focused
Crop from video shot at maximum quality

Donald C writes:

The miracle is that the pig sings at all - it seems churlish to complain that it's off-key. The D4 processing chain is probably something like:

- Bayer mask decode to RGB
- Low-pass filter and decimate from capture resolution down to video resolution
-Color-space convert from RGB to YCrCb
- Low-pass filter and decimate down from 4:4:4 to 4:2:0 (Could be 4:2:2 but I doubt it)

If you don't have use uncompressed HDMI out and are recording the output on a flash card:

- Cosine transform tiles of pixels (anywhere from 4 x 4 to 128 x 128) for each component of YCrCb.
- Throw out the spatial high-frequency components for each tile until the data rate is low enough (35 Mb/second?)

So for recording that's three major low pass filtering steps beyond what's used for stills. I agree it would be interesting to audition each of the pigs in turn to see if any of them can carry a tune.

DIGLLOYD: Hard to say which step is the issue, but certainly the compression required for 30 fps does not leave a lot of room for quality— unless interframe compression is used (not just intraframe).

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