Looking at the raw comparison, D800 is better even at 100% starting with ISO 3200 (not to mention D4, which is a high ISO *monster*). Resized to the same output, the D800 tromps all over the 5D III.
To be clear, they're all amazing :)
I was thinking I was going to sit out this round - but now that I've seen the actual output and had a chance to play with it, I may actually go for the D800(E). Downsampled to 16MP (which I would want to do anyway, 'cause who needs those honkin' files!), the D800 has virtually identical noise characteristics to the D4 but much better detail retention. So you get the best of both worlds: great high ISO performance when needed, incredible detail when needed, even a good-sized DX crop mode. I like it.
Very nice. Especially instructive to take the raws and compare with D4 *at the same output size* (e.g., 16MP). In this scenario, D800 noise performance is virtually identical with the D4, but retains more detail. If I were buying, I"d get the D800(E), shoot raw, and downsample all my high ISO shots to 16 (or even 12) MP - best of both worlds.
lensberg: The Nikon D4 is essentially an overhyped camera... but i suppose that was to be expected considering the fact that it was propped up prematurely to assume the high ISO crown from the D3S.
Considering the fact that there is a 2½ year time span between the D3S & D4 ... Nikon seem to have made virtually no advances regarding ISO performance...
Just look at that furry patch that resembles tiger skin at ISO 6400 on the D4 and you'll notice severe ammounts of noise reduction at work... blurring out the fine textures & fibres completely... by contrast the D3 & Canon 1D Mark IV manage to preserve the textures whilst delivering a natural looking image...
The intricate pattern on the green & purple fabric is totally smeared out by the D4 though funnily the white cross fibres remain intact ... Now compare it to the D3s sample which is excellent... even the 1D IV manages to retain more detail...
You must be looking at the JPEGs, the NEFs tell a completely different story. The D4 retains quite a bit more detail and better color accuracy than the DS3, pretty much across the board, and is comparable in noise when viewed at the same resolution.
Looking at the 1D Mark IV, though, I'd say there's not much to choose between the D4 and 1D Mark IV, given appropriate noise reduction and sharpening, etc.
ivan1973: D4 is definitely no better than D3S despite having a larger sensor. Can't wait to see 1Dx performances.
HowaboutRAW, showing your ignorance of raw processing software? Nikon Capture NX 2 2.3.1 has been out for some time and, *yes* we do have the raws and have been working with them, thank you.
rhlpetrus: To those that are seeing the D3s better, check these larger crops side-by-side, including colors and detail:
Yes, D4 is virtually identical to D3s in the normalized versions, but with better color accuracy and detail retention. Nice little upgrade - not counting all the new features, which makes it a *big* upgrade ;)
rhlpetrus: For those that still think D3s is better, check the shadows behavior at base ISO (CNX2):
That's pretty dramatic :)
hyperthreading: I have a question.
Why were the tests made with the Nikon 85 f/1.8? They should be made with the Nikon 85 f/1.4.
If you are testing a Nikon high-end camera that costs $6000, should you not be testing it with the best Nikon lens which costs $2200? Why was it tested with a midrange lens which costs $500?
Cameras should be tested with the best lenses.
The 85 f/1.8 is sharper than the 85 f/1.4, according to Nikon MTF charts.
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.
Processed from raw, downsized to 12MP, D4 is identical to D3s (if not ever so slightly *smoother*). I think it's remarkable they managed to keep it that close with 1/3 more resolution.
HowaboutRAW: Interesting point about the trialware version of Nikon's Capture NX 2--yes fully updated:
The trialware version of Capture NX 2 does NOT open D4 raw files. Don't think that I want to pay Nikon for a capacity my copy of Photoshop CS5 will have in a few weeks, I hope.
Also makes me wonder about those claiming to have looked at these raw files with Capture NX2.
Hope someone from Nikon USA is reading this string of comments.
The latest version of Capture NX2 (2.3.1) absolutely *does* open and edit D4 files. I have it and used it to look at these NEFs.
Wonder why there's such a controversy about this? I've read several snide comments about whether or not people could actually view the raw files. The answer is, "yes" :/
HowaboutRAW: Question: Where are all of the people claiming to have downloaded and opened the D4 RAWs getting the software to extract these D4 RAWs?
Has Nikon updated its raw extraction software? Adobe hasn't.
(Yes, I know that some are commenting based on looking at the detail box of DPReview's posted image; this question is not addressed those taking that approach.)
Yes, Nikon released updated versions of its software a while back.
klopus: Much ado about nothing. There are zillion of apps like it on the App Store already and for a long time. Just check Camera+, Camera Pro, King Camera, etc. I'm sure there are analogues on Android market. Camera Awesome also seems to lack stabilizer which all of the mentioned apps (and others) have.
No, it has image stabilization. Click the little "up" arrow next to the shutter button, and it lets you choose between single-shot, stabilized single shot, touchscreen shutter release, burst mode etc.).
It's really cool. I like the separate focus and metering spots, the "Awesomizer" and the ability to share easily with many online communities (including Smugmug and Facebook, the two I use most often). Very nice :)
I think that would be Prince *William* kissing his new bride, not "Edward" ;)
Thanks for presenting these thoughts - nice to hear some pro opinions.
Antony John: Ok so Nikon now have:1. DX 5000 etc for beginners2. D7000 for more advanced beginners3. D800 for the wedding etc photogs4. D4 for the sports photogsWhat about the wildlife photographers?I think there are quite a few out there.From my viewpoint what is needed in a suitable camera are:1. DX format for reach2. High Iso/low noise for high shutter speeds with telephoto lenses - tripods are not always suitable for mobile 'hunting' but are useful to the larger predators as toothpicks.3. Min AF at f5.6 for telephoto plus TCs (non-pros cannot afford the exotic telephoto lenses).4. Improved/better DR
Please add additional requirements as deemed necessary - or disagree as is your want :-)
I'm not saying there won't be a D400 (probably later on this year), but how does getting both a 36MP full-frame and a 16MP DX for $3k not "make economical sense"? If I were in the market right now, the D800 would certainly be on my short list ;)
Did you miss the fact the D800 has DX mode? At 15.3MP? Ticks *all* your boxes. So basically you buy a D800 at 36MP and get a D7000 (with better noise performance, improved AF, etc.) for free. Can't beat that deal.
I think this graphically illustrates why Nikon chose a smaller sensor instead of the APS-C - the depth of the camera required for the lens / sensor combination makes the camera almost as big as a DSLR :/
Ergo607: Just when you thought memory card format war was over, everyone jumps at micro sd. Someone please give me a hint why they are doing this...
MicroSD is too small, especially if you ever plan on taking them out of the device :(
I have two of them I bought for mobile phones (which I've since replaced) a couple of years ago and they are so small, I'm just about to throw them away - can't keep track of them! Had one of them stuck to the bottom of my foot for a couple of hours before I noticed . . . ;)
I have an XZ-1 (too slow and noisy), NEX-5N (too slow and awkward ergonomics) and a D3 (pretty much perfect, but too big and heavy). V1 would be perfect for me *if* Nikon had put an APS-C sensor in there and cleaned up the ergonomics.
I see this as a dead end because of the one-off sensor. Maybe next round they'll switch to APS-C and add a few more buttons (fingers crossed)?
dark goob: Also: there is no way the image quality is "comparable" to FourThirds cameras. It doesn't even compare to the XZ-1, which isn't even an interchangeable lens camera! The Olympus E-PM1 can be had for $150 less than J1... and it kills it, quality wise.
You must have read a different review or not looked at the samples. Nikon is comparable to the m4/3s and wipes the floor with XZ-1.