Nikon D4

Nikon D4     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

When the Nikon D4 was released, it sold out on Amazon in an hour, and the adventure filmmakers I knew were all gushing. A little prematurely, I thought. Until I got my hands on one. Nikon paired a 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with a new ultra-efficient processor, allowing the device to fire off 10 full-resolution frames per second. That’s quick enough to pinpoint your buddy’s cliff-huck-into-rag-doll moment in rich colors and with razor clarity.

Rather film it? The four-pound (with lens) D4 captures 60 frames per second—powerful enough for slo-mo footage. A 3.2-inch LCD shows audio levels (a first for DSLRs), and an HDMI port lets you tether the camera to a hard drive.

But what really got me going was the water-resistant coating on the camera body—the interior was way less likely to fog up in humid environments—and the slick time-lapse feature, which not only does all the math for you but also stitches together an audience-ready sequence automatically. Need I say more?

Brand: Nikon $6,000

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