Is it worth selling my D3 for a D4?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
apaflo
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Re: Is it worth selling my D3 for a D4?
In reply to ken6217, Mar 30, 2013

ken6217 wrote:

I mainly use for sports. I'm not interested in a a used camera = D3s.

So basically the question still is a D4 a significant upgrade over a D3?

Is the autofocus much better btw?

Ken

You will greatly appreciate the D4.  It is, for your purposes, a significant step up from the D3S, and that was a significant step up from the D3.

The D4 has better AF, and it will work with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8. That means that something like an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens can be used with a 1.4x TC.

The D4 is about the same at high ISOs as the D3S, which is significantly better than the D3.  That will show up very clearly with low light work where you can commonly use 12,800 ISO with confidence.  It makes shoot sports in dimmly illuminated gymnasiums a lot easier.

The difference between 12MP and 16MP is also often at least a little help.

But the big issue with sports is what happens when you shoot at a faster frame rate.  It isn't the exact rate that is an issue, but the buffer.  With a D3 or D3S you get something less than 20 RAW shots before things slow down while the buffer is written to the memory card.  The D3S has a slightly larger buffer and a slightly faster write speed, so it is just noticeably faster  to work with.

The D4 is simply astounding.  At the maximum frame rate you can hold the shutter release button down and it will shoot something like 50 exposures before it so much as hicups.  It will continue from that point on with a slightly slower frame rate!

The effect is that in practice it is very easy to overrun the buffer with either a D3 or a D3S, and then you are dead in the water for a bit.  It is necessary to be careful to save up some buffer space for a needed burst, and not managing it right will result in lost shots at a critical moment.  That just does not happen with the D4.

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