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D4 a "nature" camera??!!


Lincoln, US
46 posts

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sigint17 Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2010
Tue 21-Aug-12 02:29 AM

When I first read about the D4 I thought, "Who needs it. Only 16 mp, when would I ever use 10 fps?" The more I read posts from those that bought a D4, the more I was convinced I should at least try one. Mine arrived this morning and as soon as the battery was charged I stuck my 300mm f4 w/TC-17E on the D4 and headed for the pond to photograph some Blue Dasher dragonflies. I know that when a Blue Dasher finds a place it likes to alight, it generally returns to the same spot even when scared away. So I focused on the spot I knew it would return to and when I saw it headed in that direction, I depressed the shutter and the D4 fired in a burst of ten frames per second. When I got home I observed that I had a blurred but interesting shot of the dragonfly approaching to land, a head in focus image the instant before it landed, and finally it sitting on its perch. See Nikonian's Wildlife photography gallery

I had set the D4 at ISO 6400, f13, and 1/5000th shutter speed. I found at 6400 ISO the image was effectively noise free, had plenty of resolution, and great color. I only shoot in RAW .

I have a D800 but must admit it can be problematical. When it's good, it's very, very good but it isn't always good . If someone asked me, I would say buy a D3X unless you are a pro shooting weddings or studio fashion where the 36mp comes into its own.

I intend to use the D4 on my upcoming trip to China, at next months rodeo, and perhaps on a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium is where the D4 should really shine because of its high ISO/ low noise capability. With the return of cooler weather, the sparrows will be back along with geese, Sandhill Cranes, numerous ducks and all the other "winter" birds I miss when the 100 plus heat here in Lincoln drives them off. Then I intend to really put the D4 through its paces.

I've also noted that more and more public performances now allow "flash free" photography. The D4 should eat that alive. I expect it will be great for poorly lit museum interiors, too.

I had a D3S and a D3X . The only way I could see a major step up for the D4 is with the 24mp capability of the D3X with the D4's low noise/high ISO features. The D4 is a rock solid body and the sensor's performance, especially at high ISOs, leaves the D3X in the dust.


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