I'm going to look at a D4 tomorrow as a higher frame rate camera than my D800e. What's brought this about? Well, I've started taking racehorse pictures for a few trainers around and about Lambourn, Berkshire, and more and more, I'm being asked for series photographs of a few of them galloping. The D800e is okay for a few frames and then I hit the buffer, whether it's jpeg(better) or raw(I mainly shoot raw but have been using jpeg to get a few more images together, not ideal) I've been looking at the D4, but I'm concerned with the 16mp over the D800e 36mp and this is a concern as I've had to have some images printed at A1 size, and with the D800e they still look absolutely stunning, but at 16mp? That's the question, I know how great the D4 is, but with increasing rumours of a possible D5 or D4x with almost certainly a higher megapixel sensor, do I wait or bite the bullet?
>Get the D4, As a wildlife photographer, the higher frame >rate is super. BTW I have a D800 also but need more FPS.
Damn glad to hear I'm not the only one in a frame rate boat. Do you notice any quality issues between the two different cameras? I'm not into pixel peeping but I do occasionally blow up a part of a frame and would still like the sharpness that I get in bucket loads from the D800e.
A 12mp file captured with good glass and good technique can easily make an A1 print (for those still using old money, that's about 23x33"). You should be able to do an A0 or B1 from a D800 without much trouble.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I shoot quarter horses at a local track. The D4 tracks fast, focuses fast and so far I haven't hit the buffer limit shooting at 14 bit RAW. There will always be a better camera with higher resolution, faster processor, better low light...etc. Right now, you are at the limit of your equipment. Another alternative is the new D300s replacement. It is supposed to be announced in September. If you are looking for a FX Pro body for action, D4 is it.
On the other hand - you seem to have a narrowly focused problem that could possibly be solved without spending $6000.
What memory card are you using in your D800e?
I am getting pretty respectable buffer depth using a Lexar 1000x CF card in my D800. When I need speed (I shoot wildlife) I set the camera to 1.2 crop mode (24 mega pixel) and shoot 12 bit lossless compressed RAW – this gives me 5 FPS and over 30 images (that’s a 5-6 second burst – I don’t remember the exact number of images) before the buffer fills. Setting the camera to DX crop mode (15 mega-pixels) the camera will shoot a full 100 images at 5 FPS.
If you are using a slower memory card - it may be worth trying out one of these fast Lexar Professional 1000X cards. They aren’t cheap but they cost a lot less than a D4 and will significantly improve your buffer depth.
Of course, if you need more than 5 FPS and an endless buffer then the D4 cannot be beat.
Many thanks for all your replies guys, I went and bought one and whilst there saw the 85mm F1.4G. Had to have that too Went to the gallops this morning (very early!) and managed a run of 36 raw images and no buffering! Amazing piece of kit. Was in love with the D800e, but now, she's my second love and the D4 my first and true...... Can't seem to upload a photo of my new girl, guess I need to buy membership?
I have both a D4 and a D800e. I really can't pick one as my favorite. They both have different uses. I use the D4 for sports and portraits and the D800e for landscape and nature. I don't want give up the mpix of the D800e when it comes to making large prints.
BTW you only filled the buffer to about half with your 36 frames at 10fps.
Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera. D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome) YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery
>I have both a D4 and a D800e. I really can't pick one as my >favorite. They both have different uses. I use the D4 for >sports and portraits and the D800e for landscape and nature. >I don't want give up the mpix of the D800e when it comes to >making large prints. > >BTW you only filled the buffer to about half with your 36 >frames at 10fps.
Many thanks for that, still going to use the D800e for landscape. Going back to the gallops tomorrow for some more images. Lets see what the buffer will do. If I discover how to do it, I'll post up some images.
I wouldn't worry about it as I too have printed 30 x 40 inch prints from my 12 MPX D300's. They turned out very well. Of course, there was no cropping involved and the images were shot at ISO 500 and below.
A friend adjusted the direction of the video camera while I was shooting one of two D300 bodies a couple of years ago. You can hear me clicking away in the background. I had to use two bodies, set up side by side on two tripods because the buffer filled after about 12-14 shots. One usually had a 200-400 and the other had a 70-200 on it. I'd go back and forth to the two bodies as one filled.
I still photograph the running horses, but use a D4 now. The run takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes on average and I fill the buffer even on a D4! That's about 90 14-bit images in RAW. I have a 64 gig Sony XQD series S card in the main slot and a 32 gig Lexar 1000x in the other.
Even though I fill the buffer on the D4, it empties quickly with the S Series XQD cards. I usually come home with about 250-300 photos with the D4 and another 40-60 on a D800 set up beside me with a 70-200 and a remote. At 10 FPS on the D4, I can pick clusters of horses and then do a burst of about 10 shots, then pick another cluster and keep shooting throughout the entire run.
I couldn't agree with you more. The D4 is a remarkable camera.
By the way, you are a lucky man to be living in Jackson Hole. Grand Teton is my favorite national park. I return there as often as possible, in fact I will be heading there for a few days in September as part of a trip that will include northern Yellowstone, Glacier and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks.
George, After a lot of prodding, I finally added a blog at www.bestofthetetons.com. If you are coming here, you might want to check it out. I write it as a guide to both photographers and tourists visiting the area from the perspective of a long time resident (26 years). One of the recent posts was titled "If I Only Had One Day In The Tetons".
Obviously, GTNP is my favorite park, too! Hope you get a pile of winners while you are here.
Your website/blog is excellent and you are a very gifted photographer and artist.
I see from your blog that Schwabacher landing is closed to traffic - just my luck! Its one of my favorite photographic locations in the park. I understand that there is a lot of grizzly activity in the park right now, so I'm not sure I'll be comfortable taking a lonely hike down to the landing on foot. I'll have to decide when I get there.
George, Most of the grizzly activity associated with Schwabacher has always revolved around the Elk Reduction program (Elk Hunt). The hunters blasted away with their rifles, attracting the grizzlies to the gut piles. With no hunt down there this year, the grizzlies will likely follow the gun shots to the Gros Ventre river area. Lots of people park at the road at Schwabacher and hike down early in the morning for the sunrise. Some days, there are a dozen vehicles parked there, but more often, three or four. When I go down, I carry bear spray, but I am never too worried about them.
I am currently going through a process of self justification leading up to getting hold of a D4 hence reading this thread. That got me to your website and I just wanted to add to what has already been said , you have an exceptional talent and it is a pleasure to see you images. Cheers
Hi Ian, Hey thanks for the comments! I have both a D4 and a D800. Both are amazing for what they do best. I started adding shooting data to the shots on the blog so people can see when I use each camera. In the past week, I added a single blog with daily updates about weather, closure, animal sightings and a few personal notes about how things went that day. Even though I live in one of the most "target rich" spots in the US (Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park), there are days (like today) that just fall flat. The blog is written for both tourists and photographers that are thinking about visiting the area or just want to keep current with what is going on.
If I had to pick, D4 or D800, and if money wasn't the issue, I'd still go for the D4 first. Others might disagree, but I love the big buffer and fast shooting for some of the wildlife. I do a lot of walking around the river bottoms this time of the year and added a 28-300 mm to the mix just so I have something relatively light in my hands if I come around a corner and find a moose in a pool of water. A few days ago, I had it around my neck when a bull moose was doing just that—plus I had a full moon just over his head. The 28 mm gave an option I never had before. The D800 was on the tripod with the 200-400mm at the time and I used it for the closer shots, but there would have been no way to get the moon in the shot with the long zoom lens.
Bull moose, elk and deer are in the rut now. Foliage is at about 50% in lots of places here in the Tetons. A few more days and it will be even more noticeable. We had snow in the high country last night, too.
I just returned from a trip to Glacier, Roosevelt, Yellowstone and Grand Teton NPs. As you surely must know, the weather has been awful out west the last few weeks. From the time I arrived in Glacier on September 3rd and returned home from Grand Teton on September 16th, I was plagued with rain, heavily overcast skies, mist and fog. Glacier was a complete washout. My thinkTank Hydrophobia got a real workout as did the D4's robust construction. I cannot recall a trip that I've ever taken a trip out west that has had such prolonged poor weather. On the plus side, as you mention, the fall rut is in full swing, particularly in Yellowstone in the Madison (elk), Lamar & Hayden (pronghorn, bison) and Gardiner (bighorn) areas. The cool, damp weather seemed to bring the wildlife out even during midday. In retrospect, I wish I had pushed my trip out 1-2 weeks as the aspens in Grand Teton are just not there yet and I never got a full view of the Tetons which were continuously shrouded in mist, clouds and/or rain the entire time I was there. Despite it all, the trip was worth it.
Hi George, Thanks again for the compliments. I added a big page of moose from this year just today and am adding shooting data to the images as I write this note.
You might want to check the daily updates page for today. There was a cloud and fog bank in the valley today. I talked with a couple of people that parked along the highway and hiked to Schwabacher Landing where they never took a shot. The fog was too thick. I opted to go to the other side of the valley and shoot over the fog towards the Tetons. I also drove up Shadow Mountain and shot some more images over the top of the fog below. The sky was clear above the fog.
Fri 20-Sep-13 01:42 AM | edited Fri 20-Sep-13 01:43 AM by PSAGuy
Mike...Great stuff. I love the wildlife work. Wish I was better at it.
As a side note, I used to live in your area in the early 70's. I lived and worked in Teton Village back when ski-bums were all the rage. Lived in "the attic" at the Alpenhoff Lodge for 2 seasons. Always remember my days there fondly. Next summer I am planning a trip out for 4 days of great photography action. (first time since 1974 !!) May venture over towards Driggs Idaho as well.