Nikon D4 Review

4.5
May 1, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth |

Your Comments

15 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Hakan

For a camera like D4, I would expect some sample images that shows low light and action capabilities of the camera.

2:26 pm - Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#2 Zoltan Arva-Toth

Hakan,

Pictures #2-7 were all taken in low light, hence the high ISO speeds (from ISO 1600 all the way up to ISO 12800).

3:49 pm - Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#3 Baby Elph

The Canon 5D Mark III is better in high ISO performance… especially in JPEG…

When it comes to RAW both the 5D III & D4 get somewhat equalized… but the detail retention & textures appear better rendered on the Canon… And this is a massive achievement on the part of Canon considering the 5D III sensor has 6 million more pixels on it…

Nikon’s days as “high ISO king” are long gone… now just about every major camera manufacturer has caught up or in certain cases surpassed Nikon in low light performance…

1:01 pm - Thursday, May 3, 2012

#4 Bill

Not a single camera in your main rivals list is a competitor for the D4. (Fan boys relax and think about this.) A Fuji XPro 1 and Leica M8 really? REALLY? How do you mount a 300 2.8 to a Fuji? Leica at 1.5 fps is a rival?

Olympus does not even offer a serious line up of lenses and a 4/3 sensor is a rival for the most advanced full frame sports camera on the market. REALLY?

I enjoyed your review right up until the end. A Sony A850? Boggles the mind where you get the idea you can compare those cameras. The 5D MkIII maybe. The D3x not at all.

4:17 am - Saturday, May 5, 2012

#5 JOE PRETE

Sorry Zoltan, I think you barely touched on this cameras capabilities in this review. You haven’t read my review that I sent to Mark. The only camera that compares with the Nikon D4 is the Canon EOS 1 DX. This Nikon Breaks new ground with the use of the new (Sony) XQD Storage Media. It was quite a risk using the XQD on the Flagship model, but as you can see already, it is the superior memory card, sized in between the CF and the SDHC, it is capable of storing much more memory than both of the others, it stores it safer and much, much faster and is also more secure, is has a much stronger case and all the contacts are protected inside the case. No contacts are exposed!

The Nikon D4 is a system Camera, in that using the WT-5a ($1000.00) transmitter and it’s Ethernet port it’s not just a wireless transmitter, but also a secure on line Web Device that an IP address can be assigned to, along with the Ethernet on line transmission this camera can shoot, display (on a monitor & lcd), transmit, store, receive & copy to and from each Media card all at the same time. It also utilizes high speed USB (I am still in discussion with Nikon trying to determine if it’s 2.0 or 3.0 USB) This camera can also be controlled remotely by wireless control & by I Phone (ie. Smart Phone).

From the beginning, when I was following both cameras, from the Build Sheets they seemed to match function by function, they looked very much like the same camera. I admit that since about that point, and since I shoot Nikon, I watched the Canon, but I studied the Nikon. I can say that with the limited space that you have used here, you would barely be able to touch on this cameras capabilities, and my review would take at least twice the room that you have used, so I give you credit for what you’ve done, but I’m sure that you’ve seen from the start that the review of this camera would easily need double the space.

My suggestion for anyone considering this camera is to first determine if you need all of these functions, and that you can expect to pay at least two thousand dollars more, to obtain the additional components needed to make use of this camera as it’s design was intended. I can’t speak for the development of the Canon EOS 1 DX, but I’m sure it would have to be similar.

I know of three, and I’ve heard of many more Photographers that returned the D4 and went back to the D3S, and I have heard of people that instead of the D4, decided to buy the D800
I have quite a bit of the informational articles and comments along with build sheet and the Full manual along with the 32 page D4 colour brochure and Colour photographs, and I urge anyone who is planning on this kind of investment, to be sure that they will be committed to learning the functions of this camera (and not just for the expense) for this camera may hinder your Photographic abilities rather than help them.

My comments on this camera can be found on many sites, and if one is so motivated, my email can be found as well.
Good Luck People, and please do not take this in any way as an intention to disparidge the EOS 1D X or the Canon Corporation.

One other note: Despite it’s weight & strength, it’s Extremely Comfortable to hold and to shoot!
Joe Prete

6:53 am - Sunday, May 6, 2012

#6 Oleh

D4 is for sure good camera,
but my choice is much cheaper D800 !

5:05 pm - Monday, May 7, 2012

#7 Oldmn

thanks a lot for good review !

5:06 pm - Monday, May 7, 2012

#8 Joe44

Pity that Zoltan does not find subjects that would demonstrate the image quality of this high end camera. People can’t judge the photo if it shows eggs, cucumbers, fog, water and sand. What about the Parliament building across the Duna river, or the busy Vaci utca? There are lots of bright subjects outside of Budapest as well! I take better photos with my $600 Panasonic camera in New Zealand.

3:32 am - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

#9 Brian Satoer

Hi to all,

Just thought I would share my opinion on the D4 and D800. It might help some of you guys out.

I owned a D3s and D300 and now use the D4 and D800 for weddings, model shoots and urban photography.

First I would like to state that the D4 is just the best camera I ever owned. It is really superb. I also shot with Canon (5D mkII) but the Nikon models just feel better when holding them. When it comes to overall image quality I would just as easily use a Canon camera. Just to point out I am not one of those guys who loves to bash the other brand :) Nikon or Canon are both great camera manufactures but I just prefer Nikon.

On all camera’s I use a 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. So there was no difference regarding lenses.
The picture quality of the D800 and D4 are in my opinion pretty much the same. The higher resolution of the D800 makes reducing noise somewhat easier and brings out a little more detail.
The D4 however is much better build. I find the D800 more plastic and it feels somewhat cheap.
But when it comes to model shoots the higher resolution is just great to have.

During a wedding I use the D4 for the make-up shots, ceremony, diner and party. But for the bridal shoot I use the D800 for 90% off the time. When I need higher ISO’s I drop the D800 and go back to my D4.

The D4 is fast while focussing and has a better ISO performance than the D3s. Most say that the ISO performance of the D3s and D4 are the same but that is not true. I can go up to ISO 10000 on my D4 and get the same quality as when I shot at ISO 6400 on my D3s. For my D800 and Canon 5D MKII I won’t go higher than ISO 3200. And on my D300 I really didn’t go any higher than ISO 1200. Just to point out that I am really picky when it comes to noise.

The battery life of the D4 is also better than some say. I shoot around 1700 images during a wedding (starting at 8:00 AM till 1:00 AM) and still have 3 bars left.

I don’t do video so I can’t say if Canon does a better job on this part.

In my opinion the D4 is the best camera to have.
If you can afford it, go for it. I sold my D3s and paid a lot extra for the D4 and find the better focus (in the dark), higher resolution (for cropping) and better ISO performance are worth the money. For all types of photography in which you need a fast focussing monster camera this would be the one.
When doing solely model shoots or urban photography the D800 would be the best choice because of the higher resolution.
For nature photography go for the D800E.

If you don’t need the higher resolution and don’t have the cash for a D4, then buy a second hand D3s. You can buy one for around 3000 euro’s which is the same price as a D800. But the D3s is much better build. And the ISO performance of a D3s is so much better than on a D800.

Hope this will help some of you decide.
You can find my work on pixed.nl

1:58 pm - Monday, June 4, 2012

#10 JOE PRETE

Yeah Brian,
We kinda figured they were good cameras. Thanks for the D3s tip, we never woulda thought about that. Tell us when the shower is and where you’re registered and we’ll all buy you guys some filters and lens cleaner as gifts. Oh, if you’re taking 1700 shots at a wedding, maybe we should include a book or video on how to compose a photograph. Gee the film companies must really miss you. Give us a shout in a month or two, when you sort through the 1700 frames. Good Luck, I hope you three are happy with each other. ....

7:34 pm - Monday, June 4, 2012

#11 Jon Siddall

I am fortunate enough to now own a D4.
Its an Awesome camera,

here’s my review of it:

Build:
Camera body feels very comfy to hold and every button is well placed.
Have shot on the camera for over 6 hours non stop and no aching hands.
Weather proofing is excellent, took it out in the rain and no problems.
Extremely solid build.

Layout:
Every option and setting you are likely to need is on the body.
Very quick to make changes to autofocus, bracketing, iso, quality, fstop, shutter speed, focal point, white balance.

Pictures:
Iso Range is incredible, used it for indoor equine events in low light where no
flash is allowed. You can rock at iso 6400 1/250-/400 f5.6 no problem, hard to see any noise at all.
Camera noise is noticeable at iso 128000 !!
When auto iso is enabled it nails it about 98% of the time, which is impressive when shooting
in very changeable light conditions.
Tested auto iso out in Manual mode at an outdoor equine event and was Hugely impressed.

AutoFocus is super fast and highly accurate.
Simple to use, hold the button in on the left and you get all the options you will ever need.
afc 9 points is perfect for sports with predictive movents.
It locks on faster than you can blink !
In large burst shots the focus is perfect on each image.
afc 21 is good for birds with un predictable motion
afs does an amazing job for portraits, products and landscapes.
It is easy to change mode and clearly displayed in the eyepiece.
Moving the focal point is easy peasy with the 2 joysticks.

Image Quality is excellent in Jpeg fine and even better in uncompressed RAW.
The level of detail is fantastic.
Accurate colors, tones and highlights look spot on.
Even with some major pixel peeping the detail is awesome.
HDR in RAW is mindblowingly good. Not tried the automatic HDR.
Auto white balance does a great job in most situations.
Color settings are impressive, Portrait does make skin tones look fantastic.
Landscape gives you nice skies and greens.
Monochrome is beautifull black and white.

Memory
XQD is very fast, downloading images via USB3 is such a time saver.
CF you do have to use the reccomended cards, i tried a none recommend card that is fast and it showed
error. The Extreme pro worked perfect.
Buffer on this camera is extreme, never had a camera shoot so many shots so fast.

LCD Screen detail is very good, works well in bright sunshine.
Resolution is amazing.
The Expeed 3 Processor is rapid, reviewing images is super fast.
It flies through the menus with ease.
You press a button and get an immediate responce, no lag at all.
MY menu option is usefull and simple to customise.

DX lenses work well in DX crop mode, trade off is you loose some of the sensor size
Image Quality is still excellent.
Battery life is very good, shooting from 9am to 7pm at a show jumping event, no flash
3-5 shot bursts, reviewing and deleting images. Lasted the whole day with plenty of power to spare.
You get about 2 days of shooting on a full charge.

Video:
Tested with XQD card, High quality, 70-200mm f2.8 and 35mm prime f1.8 lenses
on f5.6
Full Frame is dissapointing. 1920x1080 30p
Even on a prime lens the video looks soft

2.7 Crop, Video looks sharp and smooth.
The autofocus for moving subjects often goes out of focus
This is most dissapointing if you are going to use this camera for filming work.
While filming sport i often ended up going to manual focus and the camera lost focus.
Not good enough for the money.
I hope Nikon will fix this soon with a firmware update !
For locked off shots the video in Crop is very good.

Overall
This is a fanstastic stills camera, one of the best.
The video needs improvement. looks great on 2.7 crop.
Very glad i bought this for pro photography
Its fantastic.

12:07 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#12 Simon

@JOE PRETE

Lol. The one thing you’re never short of in discussions between photographers online is a bit of hyper-defensive snarky vitriol. How about we each have a workflow which works for us, and we shouldn’t feel so threatened by those who do it differently? There are a variety of different ways to shoot a wedding, ranging from “portraiture on the go” to photo-journalism. Those who lean towards the latter end of the spectrum are obviously going to capture more frames on the day. But apart from that, your comment is woefully ignorant of the benefits of burst capture, and indeed the technique associated with it. Quite apart from your implication that the tog simply spins around on the spot, firing off shots continuously and hoping some are nicely composed, bursting groups of people chatting candidly is the best way to guarantee a good shot of the moment. I.e. it is not to compensate for poor composition. I regularly capture between 5 and 8 thousand pictures for a full day wedding, where there might be between 5 and 10 “versions” of the same shot, taken continuously at 8fps (i also shoot a d3s). One of those shots will likely stand out above the rest for 1) no movement blur, 2) no one caught in the midst of any strange faces. Some can blink or pull a face far quicker than you can react and shoot, so the idea that this is an issue of technique is a misnoma. In practice this process doesn’t add too much time to post workflow, since it is trivial to choose between these various shots.

Anyway, I’m not justifying this workflow to anyone, because i don’t have to, merely highlighting an error in your reasoning. I recognise that there a million and one ways to approach wedding photography, or indeed any sort of photography, and most of the time it doesn’t come down to right or wrong, just “right for you”.

5:09 pm - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#13 Talung Tue

Nicely said Simon, If left to me I would have just very unprofessionally shredded Joe pretty boy Prete…...

7:07 am - Thursday, June 28, 2012

#14 brian tan

I jumped from Nikon D600 to D4. I am a pro photographer. I want to share my opinion in using this camera. I am very impressed with the image quality generated by this camera. Great camera in low lighting something I need more than anything. I think spot metering in low lighting works much better than matrix for color rendering and overall exposure work. The focusing is very fast and in low light situation it works great. Love it.

The unit has an incredible dynamic range. The ergonomics are excellent, and weight is less than my D600 with a Power Grip. I have shot images at 12,800 ISO with little or negligible noise, and at 50 ISO images need only minor post. I especially like the ability to Auto bracket at up to 3EV. This is great for HDR’s.

I recommend this camera for professional photographer. I mean that Nikon has created a camera that does all the things a camera in this category should at this point in time with no glaring omissions. It is definitely a new benchmark for Nikon.

I chose amazon for this purchase because of the great customer service I have gotten in the past, and this was certainly the case this time. http://amzn.to/RXF3Qh

12:01 pm - Thursday, October 25, 2012

#15 Cynthia McIntyre

Great info! I love my D3 and am waiting for the D4S to come out before I upgrade.

3:08 am - Saturday, March 22, 2014

Entry Tags

review, 16 megapixel, nikon, DSLR, digital SLR, professional, sports, pro, SLR, olympics, d4, nikon d4, Nikon D4 Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry