New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday
My personal Chief Financial Officer (wife) gave the ok for me to purchase a new D4 and I brought it home yesterday from my local Nikon Dealer near my home. Now I am reading all the technical stuff and setting up the camera/computer. Will "play" with the new toy starting tomorrow. And Thanksgiving will really get the test. I greatly appreciate all the commentary about the D4 and the D600 which was the alternative. And my D200 begins its quiet retirement years.
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#1. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 0
#3. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 0
Congratulations. The only drawback is that coming from a D200 (assuming your profile is up to date) you have a lot of learning to do. That's not a bad thing, since it encourages you to go out and take pictures. Not only that, it gives you an excuse to avoid housework while you master your new tool.
I got mine under similar circumstances. The CFO now gets some new furniture for Christmas.
As part of my study regimen, I made a spreadsheet containing all the menu items (at least as far as I could figure them out). That took about 2 days going through the manual with the camera and laptop to check things out. I recommend that as an exercise, but if you don't want to do that you can look at mine at http://small-farm.org/D4-spreadsheet.xls . It's password protected to avoid accidental modification, but you can open it read-only or use the password which is D4. PS: it's a work in progress.
When I used a D200 I would go up to ISO 400, maybe 800 with some noise reduction. Rarely above that. On the D4 I'll probably use 800 as the normal sensitivity (except maybe outdoors). Playing around over the last couple weeks I get good clean images at 3200, 6400 needs a touch of noise reduction, 12800 is quite usable with noise reduction (I use Lightroom). ISO 50K is OK with significant noise reduction. I wasn't expecting much from ISO 200K, but it will take pictures when the light is so low I can't see much through the viewfinder. At that point you need noise reduction and downsampling to get usable stuff, but you can get something from it.
Live view has a quiet mode which is just a bit less noisy than the shutter+mirror. However, it also has a silent mode, where nothing moves. When I tried it out the camera took about 25 shots before I realized it was working. The only thing that told me it was taking pictures was the green light started to flash. No clicks, no beeps, no sound at all.
A word of warning: If you don't have a good filing system for your photos so you can find what you want quickly after 3-4 years, get one in place now. The D4 is so much fun to use you will be taking 1000 pix a month or more. Pretty soon you will be buried in image files unless you develop a habit of deleting the stuff you'll never look at again. I like Lightroom for its Digital Asset Management capacity. Putting tags on all my photos is essential to me. I also have a program to download pix from the card and give them meaningful names. A month from now you will not remember what DSC_1348 is a picture of, but if it's something like "Suzie's Birthday Party 2012 006", at least you have a clue. Lightroom can change the name for you, but since I got the program before I found out that Lightroom can do that, I've stuck with it.
Before this post gets so long you won't read it, let me conclude with another congratulations and have fun with it. Put some pix in your gallery and don't forget to update your profile.
#4. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 3Mon 19-Nov-12 07:12 PM
Hi Dwight, Many thanks for your words of encouragement. My work flow consists of downloading the images from the card to a primary file on my iMAC 24. Then after viewing the files I will move them over to iPhoto and play with them. I am still "learning about" Aperture that is installed on my MAC. The D4 will probably prompt me to learn faster. I have a library of images from digital, 35mm slides, 35mm negatives, and color and B&W photos in my primary file. I am looking forward to using the D4 both for family holiday images, and taking pics of the grandkids at their respective sportiing events; golf, baseball, and soccer. I do periodic photo work for the church and golf season photos for the high school golf team which my oldest grandson plays on.
I like your thought on creating a spreadsheet of the settings on the D4. The complexity certainly will tax just the mental memory process so I will get it down on a spreadsheet. The D4 is set up based upon a full two days of reading the manual. I will take some pics later today and see how they turn out, including the image file sizes. Want to understand the differential between my D200 and the D4. I currently have the ISO set at Auto and from 100 to 12,800. Based upon your comments and others I think I will adjust that down to 6400 and try it out.
As I get some experience under my belt with the D4 I will update my profile. I am thinking about establishing a SmugMug account and then put a link to it here in Nikonian. I need to get past the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
I believe that big tractor in the barn is the famous "John Deere Green" - nice rig.
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#6. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 4Mon 19-Nov-12 09:03 PM | edited Mon 19-Nov-12 09:06 PM by dwight200
Don't let me discourage you from trying out the higher ISO levels. The D4 shutter is rated to 400K so you can take all sorts of test shots in the process of learning the camera. I've probably taken 300-400 in the three weeks I've had it.
I generally set things to generic settings and adjust in post if needed. That means I don't have to stand there searching through the menu to find an adjustment while the shot is evaporating in front of me. The exposure is generally pretty close and I shoot RAW only so most everything is adjustable.
My D4 is generally set to CL (5fps), so I can take one shot or several. CH is too fast for me to squeeze off one shot. For Thanksgiving you will probably want some group shots. In our family there are a couple of blinkers, so I do group shots in bursts. Set the ISO to 3200 or above, set the camera to CH, and take a burst of 3-4 shots. Generally the blinkers have recovered by the 3rd or 4th shot and you have one with everyone's eyes open. If you want to be in the shot too, you can set up the interval timer (shooting menu) to take a sequence of shots, maybe 5 seconds apart in groups of 3.
I did a test of burst shots with my SB800. ISO1600, flash bounced from the ceiling. Got 10 shots before the flash power dropped off. http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/2366646996/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/4505910462/ . They say you shouldn't do that to your flash but I've not had any problems doing it occasionally. I let the flash rest for half a minute before I do it again, but I've only used this technique maybe 5 times at events.
I have a flickr account as you can see above. Never tried Smugmug so I can't compare it. Flickr has a free account but you're limited to 200 pix in your photostream. I believe the pix over 200 are still there and if you buy a higher level account you'll see everything. Don't know what the Smugmug cost is but flickr is about $25/yr (or free for the limited account). It does make it easy to share photos if you have a URL you can point to. I also have the website for the farm, which costs a bit less than $100/year for the domain and the hosting. That includes a few hundred GBytes of storage so I could put a lot of pictures there, but I would have to do all the coding. I do that for a couple websites (using Dreamweaver) and that's one way I share photos from the events I cover, but it's work, and I frequently don't have the time. The canned sites are a lot easier.
The tractor is a JD3020. Nice one. Dates from around 1979. The whole lineup can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/8128999859/
#8. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 4SRFast Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2004Tue 20-Nov-12 07:04 PM
>I am thinking about establishing a SmugMug account and then put a link to it here in Nikonian.
I have a SmugMug "Power" account and find the service very easy to use and flexible. When I shoot an event, I create a gallery for my clients to view their images and to share with others. I also do the same for family related events/activities. Here's a link for a free 14 day SmugMug trial: https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=xBv29L3wGGKDA
Hope this helps....JL
45+ years of Nikon ownership and counting
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#9. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 0
Suggestion: Put the camera away for at least 1 hour before and until one hour after the meal, or the CFO might not let you buy the new accessories you will now want for it.
Enjoy, it's a great toy.... I mean tool... yes, useful necessary tool. Who said "toy"?
Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com
#11. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 0
I've had mine for about a month now, and it's just so much fun. The challenge is that it just may take me the rest of my life to figure out what everything does. There's just so much to learn.
The first important step I found was to set up the 4 shooting menus, and put your custom menu in place. Many have made some great lists for the menus and I used them.
Second is to try and figure out the many different focusing options. I'm still working on that.
In terms of high ISO, I question whether or not my camera is working right, because my images look awful at 12,800 and upwards. I can use some help with that for sure.
Oh and smugmug works great, although it clearly has it's limitations.
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#12. "RE: New D4 Arrived Home Yesterday" | In response to Reply # 11Tue 27-Nov-12 09:25 PM | edited Tue 27-Nov-12 09:26 PM by dwight200
>...In terms of high ISO, I question whether or not my camera is
>working right, because my images look awful at 12,800 and
>upwards. I can use some help with that for sure...
So how are you processing the images? Any noise reduction?
I shoot RAW only and use Lightroom, which includes some noise reduction. I can get useful pictures at 12800 and 25K with some noise reduction. At 50K and up it takes a lot of noise reduction and even some downsampling. PhotoShop might help out but I haven't had the camera long enough to try it out.
There are other noise reduction programs out there but I haven't tried any yet.