Coming from a D700 to a D4...

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So, my D700 is nearing (my guess) about 127k clicks. Not bad, but I'm definitely going to need to upgrade/replace it soon. The D600 isn't enough (in many respects - 39-pt. AF is the main issue) and the D800 is not enough (FPS) for sports and too much in the megapixels department.

So, I'm looking at a D4. It's an investment for me, as this is my business. And with a shutter life that's double my D700 bodies, and performance that isn't to be trifled with, I assume that since my D700 lasted me almost 3 years, the D4 will handle at least 4-5 years of increased work load without any thought to replacement. Plus, I can sell my D700 and make up a small but decent portion of the cost.

ANYWAY, for those who have made a big leap from the amazing D700 to the D4, tell me more. Tell me what you thought about it, issues you had.

-Was the color rendition up to par with the D700 (arguably, in my opinion, the Nikon camera with the best color rendition)?
-Low-light performance? 1 full stop better? More than that?
-Button configuration. What was the learning curve coming from a pro-sumer body to a pro-level body?
-Did the XQD card thing bother you?
-Anything else?

Thanks guys!
 
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Hey Mike,

The D700 was my main body for almost 4 years. After that, I moved to the D600 (feels like toy, but a fun camera to use), the D800 (solid IQ, but 36MP is too much for me) then settled on the D4, which I think is the perfect do-everything camera just like the D700. I really love this body.

-Was the color rendition up to par with the D700 (arguably, in my opinion, the Nikon camera with the best color rendition)?
I would say better. Dxo rates the D4 at 24.7 bits color depth and 23.5 for the D700. Personally, I'm finding that I don't push my vibrance slider as much as I used to with the D4. There is something special about the D4 images.

-Low-light performance? 1 full stop better? More than that?
OMG yes. With the D700, I usually stop at 4000 and only shoot 6400 when I absolutely need to. That was once considered groundbreaking since my previous D300 gets noisy at 1600. On the D4, I shoot at 12,800-25,600 all the time and I won't hesitate to push it to 65K if needed. Even 102K is very workable. 204K is very noisy and I will only use it if I'm really really desperate to get the shot. What's amazing is that this thing will easily lock focus on a really dark room.

-Button configuration. What was the learning curve coming from a pro-sumer body to a pro-level body?
Way Better. To summarize -You will love the extra buttons. There are two joysticks to move the focus points and the button positions are very similar between landscape and vertical. It has a rubber stop so your thumb won't slip (unlike the D3s). Each little button is configurable and I love that.

-Did the XQD card thing bother you?
No, the XQD is awesome. It doesn't clog and it's very rugged.

-Anything else?
Yes.. reading the specs won't tell you much, but I own it and shoot it everyday, and I will tell you why it's worth the money (for me at least):

-First, the DR... it's phenomenal. Pretty much the same as D600/D800. I shoot landscapes with it and I can push the shadows cleanly and recover highlights nicely more than I ever could with the D700.

-16MP, I like that it's only 16MP. When I had the D800, the 70MB files choked my MBP and the storage. It's nice to have 15MB files again and still get fantastic DR. I don't shoot weddings but I can imagine how this will help speed up your workflow.

- High ISO, it's really good.

-Button placement and ergonomics - fantastic. The buttons light up and I can't even tell you how nice this feature is. The displays are illuminated with bluish light, not the regular yellow backlight, which is a nice touch. It's like indiglo gauges.

-What I really like is that you can program the REC button to change the ISO for a true one-hand operation on Manual mode. On most cameras (like the D800), you'll have to use your left hand to press the ISO button on the left while you turn the dials with your right hand. You cannot program the REC button on the D800 to change the ISO.. the D4 allows you to do that. Sure, you can use Easy ISO on the D800 (which the D4 doesn't have) but you can't use Easy ISO on Manual mode. On vertical mode, there is also an Fn button on top of the shutter release which you can also configure to change ISO while on Manual mode. It's these little things that make the D4 a joy to use.

-10 fps, 11 fps with AF-L. A nice improvement from the D700's 8 fps.

-Better battery (compared to the en-el3e and en-el15)

-Deep buffer and fast transfer. You can fire at 10 fps and your buffer will not clog. The XQD clears fast too.

-400K expected shutter life

-Active AF points (and surrounding AF points) light up, hard to explain, but you'll notice this when you shoot one. A nice touch.

-Very rugged build

-Voice annotation (I use this to remind myself what waterfall or place I'm shooting because I will forget later on) You can use this when shooting formals to remind yourself what their names are, so if you do a book later, you will have the info.

-Remembers AF position on landscape and verticals. A good feature, and useful if you shoot events and change orientations frequently.

-Goes to "MyMenu" without going to "top item" in My Menu. D800 doesn't have this feature.

-Has video, shoots 1080/24/30/60, also allows live frame grab while recording. Helpful when doing video montages on wedding and you also need to capture images.

-Meter has been moved to the right. Coming from a prosumer body, this takes time to get used to, but you will eventually.

-Extended menu banks. D700 didn't have this.

-Network capability. Shoot and control your D4 wirelessly.

So is the D4 worth the money? If these features are important to you... absolutely!

Oh and one last note... when you get yours, make sure you update it to the latest firmware.
 
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Another capability to add to the list - Silent Mode. I find it very useful when camera noise would be a distraction. It is absolutely silent. The first couple of time I used it I had to chimp to make sure I was actually capturing images. It produces a jpeg (no NEF) that is 1920 x 1280 pixels which is about the size image my D1H produced.
 
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That joystick is so easy to move the AF points around no need to place your finger on the button and press it just push/pull, far better than on the canons I used to own, its "gripier" . Framing dancers at far left and then immediately far right is much easier. Only issue I find and it's really annoying, is that if the AF point is far left/right, it cant go up/down you must move one step to the center then go up or down.
 
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Wow. Thank you, guys! Especially you, Joseph. Seriously, man. You have really helped sway my decision!
 
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I currently own a D700, D800, D3, D3s and a D4. The D4 is simply the best camera I've owned in every aspect. Make the leap, it's wonderful!

Regards
George
 
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Got the approval from the wife yesterday.

BH has a deal right now that includes a few things I'd like (long-exposure timer and a 32GB Extreme card) and some things I don't care about (camera bag, etc.). I'd be picking up a 64GB XQD card to leave in camera while I swap out CF cards.

My wife is awesome.
 
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I currently own a D700, D800, D3, D3s and a D4. The D4 is simply the best camera I've owned in every aspect. Make the leap, it's wonderful!
I think you need to change your username to "D4fan" :wink:

Got the approval from the wife yesterday.

BH has a deal right now that includes a few things I'd like (long-exposure timer and a 32GB Extreme card) and some things I don't care about (camera bag, etc.). I'd be picking up a 64GB XQD card to leave in camera while I swap out CF cards.

My wife is awesome.
Congrats man.. now you need some extra EN-EL18's and XQD's.


She went shopping. I think we're good. Haha!
:biggrin:
 
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Congrats man.. now you need some extra EN-EL18's and XQD's.
:biggrin:
Do you burn through the battery that quick? On an average wedding, I might burn through 1 entire EN-El3 in my grip and maybe 20-30% of the battery in my camera. Wouldn't a single D4 battery get me well past that?:confused:
 
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Do you burn through the battery that quick? On an average wedding, I might burn through 1 entire EN-El3 in my grip and maybe 20-30% of the battery in my camera. Wouldn't a single D4 battery get me well past that?:confused:
I'm sure 1 batt is enough for an entire wedding, but an extra battery is always a good insurance. To give you an idea, I can shoot about 400 photos in one day, of which about 100 shots are long exposures (30 sec to a minute), lots of chimping and I only lose 1 bar on the D4's battery. I can probably make that 1 battery last on a 3-day shoot, but I always bring along an extra one just in case.

Congrats Mike!!

(and thank you Joseph)
You're welcome! :smile:
 

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