Love bird photography.
I was excited about it until Apple launched iPhoto for the new iPad and the retina display. Now a blow out app would be for Wacom to issue an app for the iPad that allows these to control Photoshop. It just doesn't make sense to buy their lower quality tablet and have to carry two tablets while traveling.
My 64 GB 4G retina Pad arrives March 16th. Finally a product useful for the traveling photog. I have a Mac Pro station at home and a laptop would be a heavy machine that would just be used for trips. We mainly use an iPad 2 for email, surfing,etc. The new iPad allows one to review photos out in the field, do basic editing on some of your best all for 1.4 pounds. You still cannot use it for backup for someone who shoots thousands of wildlife shots. But that is what inexpensive SD cards in your second memory slot are for.
Dr GP: The Imaging Resource has a more comprehensive set of D4 sample pics out there.Worth comparing. (and they use more consistent lense/F data than was the case in the DPR sample)
After you look at it you find the same we saw here, but in a wider variety of sample shots
1. No difference in IQ AT all2. The picture quality when you zoom in and make objects the same size on a canvas of equal size is IDENTICAL - i.e. there is no higher resolution/quality from a crop with the 16mp sensor. (disappointment!)
So, whatever the benefits are, they appear to be limited to much better video and a bunch of refinements like back lit buttons, slightly improved ergonomics and so on.
Fair enough. But I think many of the upgrades are valuable to the outdoor photographer with fast moving subjects. Upgrades if available for the D3s many of us would gladly send our cameras in for.
Photogaz: I'm confused. You're all saying the D4 looks better but in my view on RAW mode the D3 looks better. I've checked about 4 different places and the D4 has so much more colour noise.
I don't understand the debate. It's like asking any breakthrough product to have another breakthrough when it gets upgraded. It doesn't happen that way. The D4 is evolutionary at roughly equivalent IQ to the D3S. A decision was made clearly to have the output have more detail with slightly more noise at ISO 6400.
You get one of these because you need a full frame, integrated grip camera either for the new video feature or you are a photog with fast moving subjects and you shoot outdoors a lot. The upgrades in buffer, frame rates, weather sealing, etc. are nice.
As for Canon vs. Nikon, the issue is whose system are you already invests in.
The D4 advantages for photographers (assumes you want an integrated grip 100% of the time you need full frame):
1. You won't be able to buy a D3S except used. So if this is your first FF camera with integrated grip...2. Higher MP, especially useful for cropping. You must crop? A crooked hand held shot. Extra room for distortion management for a lens or to tilt a building up straight. A critter that is too hard to approach closely.3. 10 fps for 10 seconds. Shoot anything that moves quickly? Sports. Wildlife.4. Improved weather sealing for the outdoor shooter.5. An XQD card with faster write speeds (eventually).6. Weight savings vs. the D3S.7. Under realistic shooting conditions, more shots per battery charge (5500 Nikon test vs. 2600 CIPA).8. A chance to have a good video recorder around for special trips. Maybe not a reason to buy this, but it will come in handy.
Dr GP: I spend 1 hour "pixel peeping"
My net conclusion: I am disappointed. The core IQ has essentially NOT improved over D3S
1. Comparison of raw file at ISO 100Across the frame, the IQ is virtually the same. Some truly marginal differences, though:- D4 has a tiny bit higher resolution, but it seems to depend on color of object whether this is visible. The reds seem cripser- However, D3S seems to have slightly more saturated colors.- D4 resolves text marginally higher, but you really have to look closely at a 300% magnification to say "I think there is a small difference"
2. At ISO 6400 -- which is the upper limit I am shooting atIn the center of the image, there are NO, absolutely no differences.At the margin, towards edges , D4 resolves letters a bit clearer Likely, that this is not a sensor issue but a result of shooting D4 at F11 and D3S at F8.
The Plus of D4 : A bunch of new features & video -- some of which will only be useful for a small subset of pros.
I'm with you Josh. Those of us who need to crop benefit greatly. Bird photography for me. It is like we got a 25% zoom factor.
Gesture: Are we reaching a limit of what the modern lens, sensor and processing electronics can do, which is quite amazing if we think about it. Asking for 4 stops above 400 to be stellar?
Yes and no. Read a little about binning.
Nb41: I've got 2 of these on order and I have to confess that these test shots are making me think twice. From what I can make out, the images seem better on the D3s above 6400 (which is where I usually find myself). In real terms the D3s is truly excellent - I was expecting the D4 to be at least as good. Not sure what to do now as 2xD4 is a lot of money to waste!!
What's your application? I am getting more detail out of the D4 files at ISO 12800 vs. the D3s. Maybe not enough for real world. But I am getting no worse with 4 MP more. For my bird photography, the ability to crop more is huge. Also the D4 essential comes with an installed buffer upgrade for those of us who need high frame rates. 10 seconds of 10 fps shooting is huge.
atamola: The D3s is clearly better than this pre production D4. There is no question about that. It's amazing. Really amazing: only 4 extra MP and 2 years later and (according to this samples) Nikon haven't figured out how to improve over the D3s.
I think we are seeing Exspeed processor differences and software in the JPEGS, giving a lot more detail and slightly more noise in the D4. The JPEG workups in camera RAW give huge differences that will matter to a bird photographer. That said, until Adobe updates camera RAW, I cannot evaluate the RAW images.
Hoddo: Looking at the mini views it's immediately apparent that the D4 produces more of an improvement over the D3s than I expected. DPReview, are all the in-camera settings the same? I'm looking only at the raw files.
Te JPEGS have EXIF info, I assume the RAW files do also.
Psycho_McCrazy: Uh-Oh! The fanboys are going to be very unhappy! At least in the current conversion of the RAWs by the Beta ACR, the D4 doesn't really outshine the D3s, even at 1600 ~ 12800!
Maybe the D3s Sensor was Magic! I'm quite sad that it is going away!
I don't think it can based on sensor design. Getting the same performance with more megapixels along with the other upgrades is what defines this as the current flagship camera. But the D3s was the breakthrough. An owner of the D3s hold be very happy.
Ilkka Nissilä: Superb quality at ISO 6400 (the detail reproduction is much better than on the D3s). This is much better than I expected.
I am with you folks. Detail for me - bird feathers - is everything. ISO 6400 and sometimes 12,800 will be frequently used. Do that we get n increase in photo size and better detail retention is awesome. Based on all the comments I read, I suspect that the true ability to deliver native improved ISO handling is no different from the D3s but that the Expeed 3 processor can utilize more sophisticated algorithms on the fly.
Minnesota_Steve: To me the D4 is the king now by 1 step of ISO and still sharper. I am interested in wildlife. Shooting at high ISO and then performing noise reduction is essential. WIth the ISO 6400 & 12,800 D3S photos vs. the D4 12,800 photo, with the same noise reduction routine and sharpening, I can read the "Eastman Kodak Company. 1997" text clearly only on the D4. For feather detail on birds this is stupendous. A huge step forward.
HiRe, yes that is basically my situation:
1. ore detail with a little noise is preferred. Bird feathers look terrible if smeared.2. I am getting my first full frame camera with integrated grip largely for the huge buffer at 10 fps.
I didn't think of that. But I just checked the EXIF data and I am indeed comparing the D4 to the D3S with the same lens and camera parameters (f stop, etc.).
To me the D4 is the king now by 1 step of ISO and still sharper. I am interested in wildlife. Shooting at high ISO and then performing noise reduction is essential. WIth the ISO 6400 & 12,800 D3S photos vs. the D4 12,800 photo, with the same noise reduction routine and sharpening, I can read the "Eastman Kodak Company. 1997" text clearly only on the D4. For feather detail on birds this is stupendous. A huge step forward.
Just add fill light followed by increasing the blacks for contrast or use the shadows and darks sliders in the curves tab of camera RAW.
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