D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
KennethKwok
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D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
8 months ago

I use D700 for family photos.

I regret that I did not buy the D800 due to the initial bugs. That's despite that I don't use the left outermost AF all the time. Now, D800 is about 2 years, and it seems a bit late to get it.

Work has been fine, and I wanted to award myself. I always wonder about the D3, D4 series.
A lot say Professional is different. A lot says D3 is a different beast to D700 in terms of AF, etc. They say I bought a DATSUN (D700), and thought it was a Ferrari (D3). In a way, people pay so much more for D3. There should be reasons.

Some say D700 and D3 AF are the same.

What I do not accept is no built in flash in D3 / D4.

A D3 user said he has a SB-400 permanently attached.

I thought about that....  But that makes a big D4s bigger. And I think a D700 with built in flash

is more sturdy than a SB400 on D3. And need to take the SB400 on and off the D3.... unless

the camera bag is so huge to accommodate the D3 + SB400 + Lens.

That's when my mobile phone has a useful LED Flash (for torch, and for photos)

How can I tell myself that this HIGH END professional camera D4s has less than Samsung Mobile phone? Fill flash is so important!

What do D3, D4 owners think? Are there no such times, that a little fill flash may help?

Does the built in flash really compromise the "Professional" image of the D3, D4 so much?
My D700 built in flash has not died yet...

I admit I am not a professional photojournalist. But doesn't a big SB910 pull on the hot shoe if

they are violently banged towards each other? Can't the hotshoe be damaged?

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jopezu
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

hard to imagine a d4 purchaser using an on-axis popup flash for anything other than absolute emergencies. i think the lack of a built-in IR sensor a bigger puzzle.

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Hibiki Rush
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to jopezu, 8 months ago

D4 in my opinion is meant for demanding professional use, for important photos where you need the most capable equipment. In such circumstances, I imagine that a D4 user would not be using an on-board flash. They should rely on a speedlight + backup.

On-board flash also introduces the problem of possibly easier damage to the camera body/flash unit (accidental opening of flash, bumping of pop-up flash etc causing issues) and also the chance of inferior sealing from weather elements.

Why I do occasionally find the D800's on-board flash handy for candid shots when I would need to use flash in a pinch, I don't miss it on my D4 which is my main work camera. I always use my SB-910 or SB-800.

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larrywilson
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

The d4 is constructed for rugged professional use.  The pop up flash introduces a more chance of weather leakage and more moving parts to break.

Larry

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LD_50
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I've owned the D700 and D4. I never missed the on-board flash on the D4, other than to use it as a flash commander.

Instead I would prefer Nikon implement a built in radio controlled flash command setup for the Dx line along with built in GPS and Wi-Fi and IR control, as well as a few other items.

The built-in flash on the D700 and my mobile phone and every other camera I've owned has been so inferior to dedicated flash units that I've never found them useful. Having the most features doesn't make a "professional" camera. Typically the point and shoots and definitely mobile phones will have more features, but they won't meet the demands of the target audience for the Dx series for the type of work those cameras are designed for.

I don't understand your concern with the Dx series if it clearly doesn't meet your needs as well as the D700. Your Ferrari analogy is equally perplexing in that people don't cross shop Ferraris and Datsuns because they are designed and priced for different uses.

Why not buy a D800? How can it be too late? It's as good today as it was yesterday and as good tomorrow as well. If it meets your needs, buy it and use it.

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whoosh1
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Real men don't need pop up flash attitude
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

Shouldn't hurt to have it - even if its rarely used. However most D* owners seem to have the attitude that having it will make this a less pro camera - hence Nikon does not include it I guess. Instead of wanting to not have it - the D* owners should really be asking for a more useable version of a pop-up flash (may be adjustable angle when raised). But since users don't complain Nikon will never put it.

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KennethKwok
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Re: Real men don't need pop up flash attitude
In reply to whoosh1, 8 months ago

whoosh1 wrote:

Shouldn't hurt to have it - even if its rarely used. However most D* owners seem to have the attitude that having it will make this a less pro camera - hence Nikon does not include it I guess. Instead of wanting to not have it - the D* owners should really be asking for a more useable version of a pop-up flash (may be adjustable angle when raised). But since users don't complain Nikon will never put it.

Thanks.

Your one line said what I wanted to say.

"Real men don't need pop up flash" attitude.

But...  I never owned a D4. So, I appreciate LD_50's comment that he does not miss the

built-in flash on D4.

@LarryWilson, I agree. No built in flash, no water leakage there....

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romfordbluenose
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Re: Real men don't need pop up flash attitude
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I think its Nikon's only answer to getting rid of the flash rattle. I wouldn't want to buy a D4 that rattled.

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Robin Casady
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Re: Real men don't need pop up flash attitude
In reply to whoosh1, 8 months ago

whoosh1 wrote:

Shouldn't hurt to have it - even if its rarely used.

Yes it does hurt. It adds bulk which interferes with bellows, and some tilt-shift lenses. I hate having a pop-up flash on the D800E. It has caused me problems with a number of macro setups.

A pop-up flash is also rather fragile. Top-end Nikons are made to be rugged for heavy professional use. They get hauled through the Amazon jungle, jostled along the sidelines of a football field, carried through war zones, etc. There is no way that an active pro would want a toy flash that would easily break off.

Aesthetically, on camera flash is about the worst lighting you can use for people. It is just about useless as a light source to a serious pro.

However most D* owners seem to have the attitude that having it will make this a less pro camera - hence Nikon does not include it I guess. Instead of wanting to not have it - the D* owners should really be asking for a more useable version of a pop-up flash (may be adjustable angle when raised). But since users don't complain Nikon will never put it.

You seem to have quite an attitude about it. You think because you want it for family snapshots that it should be on pro cameras, and other's are snobs because they find it worse than useless. Maybe they aren't the ones who are snobs.

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Shotcents
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Re: Real men don't need pop up flash attitude
In reply to Robin Casady, 8 months ago

Robin Casady wrote:

whoosh1 wrote:

Shouldn't hurt to have it - even if its rarely used.

Yes it does hurt. It adds bulk which interferes with bellows, and some tilt-shift lenses. I hate having a pop-up flash on the D800E. It has caused me problems with a number of macro setups.

A pop-up flash is also rather fragile. Top-end Nikons are made to be rugged for heavy professional use. They get hauled through the Amazon jungle, jostled along the sidelines of a football field, carried through war zones, etc. There is no way that an active pro would want a toy flash that would easily break off.

Aesthetically, on camera flash is about the worst lighting you can use for people. It is just about useless as a light source to a serious pro.

However most D* owners seem to have the attitude that having it will make this a less pro camera - hence Nikon does not include it I guess. Instead of wanting to not have it - the D* owners should really be asking for a more useable version of a pop-up flash (may be adjustable angle when raised). But since users don't complain Nikon will never put it.

You seem to have quite an attitude about it. You think because you want it for family snapshots that it should be on pro cameras, and other's are snobs because they find it worse than useless. Maybe they aren't the ones who are snobs.

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Robin Casady
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Have to agree with Robin here.

Built in flash on my D800 has been used always with big regrets. It's awful. An emergency unit at best.

I've got a SB400 for those family situations. It's HUGELY superior to the built-in and very small.

I own the Df and the flash would have only added weight, bulk for no good reason at all. At this point I feel that a pro camera should not have built in flash. But it's easier to say that when you have at least one body that does.

Robert

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coronawithlime
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I certainly don't have any access to Nikon's design decisions, but I would rather suspect that there is no popup flash for the same reason there is no little dial with pictures of a flower, a person, a beach, a mountain, or similar graphics used to designate preset scene settings that may be found on cameras not expected to be purchased by serious amateurs or professionals.

Not that there's anything wrong with those settings, it's just that perhaps somebody made the design decision not to include features that would, in their estimation, not be of interest to the targeted market.

Also doesn't necessarily mean the decision was correct, that was just the direction that was decided upon.

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brianric
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I find the pop up flash useless. First thing I did on my D700 & D800s is to tape the pop up flash down. Last thing I need when shooting in the rain is to have the flash pop up open.

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marcio_napoli
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to brianric, 8 months ago

First, pop-up flash produces an awful, P&S like lighting, that anyone shooting with a D4 would avoid anyway.

But forget that for a minute, and I'll provide you a real world reason why it's useless.

I've shot many times with my D700 pop-up flash as a commander.

Too many times, as I have burnt it... it doens't work anymore.

Hmm... that leaves me with a camera with a 95% viewfinder, a weak spot on an overall sturdy camera, and that useless burnt flash that won't fire anymore.

Taking it to the repair shop is not an option (replacement price not worthy it).

There's a reason pro cameras do not have pop-up flash.

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Skytalker
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I do not need on-board flash on my D3/D4.

I have it on my D300 but used it very seldom since it is nearly useless.

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Dan_168
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

KennethKwok wrote:

What I do not accept is no built in flash in D3 / D4.

I am glad they didn't include the pop up flash in D4 so I don't have to use some tape to tape it up like what I did to my D800E so it doesn't pop up, the pop up flash to me is one of the most useless and annoying thing in my D800E, I wish I can pay $500 to have Nikon to replace that top plate with one without the flash, yeah, it's that bad I want to get rid of that.

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rgolub
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to Dan_168, 8 months ago

Send it to me - I will only charge you $250 (plus shipping and handling) to superglue the flash down and cover the seam with a pleasing bit of black tape.

Quality guaranteed.  May void warranty.

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polizonte
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

I find the pop-up flash of my D800 an occasional annoyance such as when it inadvertently pops up inside my camera bag - I wish the onboard flash would stay in place when the camera is not powered up like some other Nikon models.

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RonFrank
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to KennethKwok, 8 months ago

A tiny on-board flash that can not be used because it produces red-eye, creates shadows, is blocked by some lenses.... kinda worthless.  I use the built in flash in commander mode and powered off.  The SU800 is the solution for controlling flash on a D4 body, or the SB800 has a commander mode as well.

Having the flash on my DSLR is not really a problem and having the commander mode is handy, but I can appreciate why many do not like it. So IMO the commander mode is useful but the flash.... no.  If it was not included I would not miss it.  If I used my camera under harsher conditions I would resent having a flimsy flash and I am surprised more do not break.  From a pro perspective I can understand why a built in flash is a liability.

This is a funny topic to complain about.  If you have the money to get a pro level bulk monster like the D4 I would think durability would be a top priority which leaves the flimsy on camera flash behind.  I am kinda surprised I have never broken my built in flash and I use commander mode often.  My first DSLR was a D1x and I shot professionally and never missed a built in flash as I generally used the fine Sb800.

If you are a working pro buy a D4s/D3s.  If your a weekend warrior who feels a built in flash is necessary buy a D800,  or D600.  The D4s is a great tool, with a heavy, big, pro body made to take the abuse of daily use and blow through the shots when necessary.   I can think of a few gripes related to the D4 but lack of a built-in flash, LOL!

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golf1982
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to RonFrank, 8 months ago

RonFrank wrote:

A tiny on-board flash that can not be used because it produces red-eye, creates shadows, is blocked by some lenses.... kinda worthless. I use the built in flash in commander mode and powered off. The SU800 is the solution for controlling flash on a D4 body, or the SB800 has a commander mode as well.

Having the flash on my DSLR is not really a problem and having the commander mode is handy, but I can appreciate why many do not like it. So IMO the commander mode is useful but the flash.... no. If it was not included I would not miss it. If I used my camera under harsher conditions I would resent having a flimsy flash and I am surprised more do not break. From a pro perspective I can understand why a built in flash is a liability.

This is a funny topic to complain about. If you have the money to get a pro level bulk monster like the D4 I would think durability would be a top priority which leaves the flimsy on camera flash behind. I am kinda surprised I have never broken my built in flash and I use commander mode often. My first DSLR was a D1x and I shot professionally and never missed a built in flash as I generally used the fine Sb800.

If you are a working pro buy a D4s/D3s. If your a weekend warrior who feels a built in flash is necessary buy a D800, or D600. The D4s is a great tool, with a heavy, big, pro body made to take the abuse of daily use and blow through the shots when necessary. I can think of a few gripes related to the D4 but lack of a built-in flash, LOL!

I am always surprised that the d700 / d800 has it included. Cannon did not bother with the 5d. I would rather the weight and potential for failure is saved. i am not a fan of the cram every feature in irrespective of benefit (Also known as the samsung method)

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Dan_168
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Re: D700 amateur user wonders why D4s has no built in flash
In reply to rgolub, 8 months ago

rgolub wrote:

Send it to me - I will only charge you $250 (plus shipping and handling) to superglue the flash down and cover the seam with a pleasing bit of black tape.

Quality guaranteed. May void warranty.

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Thanks for the offer but I got a few rolls of free black tape so it's already taken care of.

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