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Just Posted: Nikon D4 Studio Test Samples

By dpreview staff on Mar 3, 2012 at 02:04 GMT
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We've just published images of our standard test scene taken with Nikon's latest professional DSLR, the 16MP D4. These have been shot using a production-standard D4 and, as usual, include both Raw and JPEG images with all original files available for download. Added them to our comparison tool means they can be called-upon from other reviews or the standalone comparison tool. For this test we used the recently-announced Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and we'll be publishing 'real world' galleries from both the D4 and 85mm in the coming days.

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Nikon D4

Comments

Total comments: 331
123
Peter Sills
By Peter Sills (Mar 3, 2012)

Seems to be about 1/2 - 1 stop better than the last generation of the Canon cameras, and not quite as good as the last iteration of the Nikon (D3s).

Can't wait to see this alongside the 5DMIII and 1Dx.

Will be interesting.

0 upvotes
hyperthreading
By hyperthreading (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

The 85 f/1.8 is sharper than the 85 f/1.4, according to Nikon MTF charts.

4 upvotes
Bookie
By Bookie (Mar 3, 2012)

The Nikon 85 f1.8 is renowned for its sharpness at all apertures. With the Nikon 85 f1.4 you are paying all that extra money for its faster speed (and possible better build). In terms of optical quality there really is no difference between the lenses. dpreview could have tested the D4 with the 50mm f1.8 which costs £100, another fine quality lens renowned for is optics. Price of the lenses isn’t the issue here.

4 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 3, 2012)

IMO, given the ISO capabilities of today's cameras, especially the D4, there is really no reason to shell out $1700 more for the 85 1.4 unless you shoot in conditions where the nano coating would be helpful. And since the 50 1.4 doesn't even have the nano coating there is no reason at all to buy it over the 50 1.8 The only exception is if you want/need the slightly shallower DOF for some reason.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 3, 2012)

+1 above. It is not only the price, lens making is a compromise of many factors. If you have a 1.4 glass, more likely, it is designed for apertures near that which has a very limited depth of field. On the D4, they used f11 for more DOF which, IMO, is better with the 1.8.There is a 85mm macro lens but only for the DX.

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 3, 2012)

it's not only about how expensive, how wide the aperture or HOW MANY MP...

0 upvotes
Dr GP
By Dr GP (Mar 3, 2012)

agree re "test with best lenses"

On the 1.4 vs 1.8 -- not clear yet it makes a differences (look at early testers eg kenrockwell) -- difference may be bookeh wide open, but at f7 ...may not be very different.

0 upvotes
Dr GP
By Dr GP (Mar 3, 2012)

@ Bookie -- I think they tested this with the new lense that came out about 1-2 weeks ago, not the old 1.8. So the new one is not yet "known for its sharpness" although its hard to see why the new one would be worse than the old one...

BTW I have that new lense, and tested it against the 70-200mm F2.8 at 85mm. I did not find any discernible differences in IQ so far (obviously 1.8 gives a bit different possibilities, but you can get even better bookeeh at 2.8 if you zoom to 200mm i.m. humble opinion). The main benefit vs. the 70-200 is weight/size

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 4, 2012)

@jwalker019
You're right, but the Nikon MTF chart for each lens is based on the value at the maximum aperture of the lens.
At f/11 Nikon 85/1.8 G lens has nearly 3200 resolution value,
Nikon 85/1.4 G lens has nearly 3450 resolution value.
I would prefer 85/1.4 G (less vignett. and chr. aberr.).

0 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Mar 4, 2012)

Why would anyone get the 1.4? Maybe because its bokeh is better at all apertures (not just wide open)? In these samples posted, the point-source lights don't appear round. Maybe they'd be round with the 1.4? http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1030&message=40778958

0 upvotes
atamola
By atamola (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 3, 2012)

The D4 is also showing more detail and acutance at the higher ISOs. Perhaps Nikon sacrificed a bit of noise to achieve more resolving power.

2 upvotes
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

1 upvote
five5pho
By five5pho (Mar 3, 2012)

ha ha, that is so funny!!!
You guys sound EXACTLY like the canon forum ! Nobody is satisfied :) !
What Im I doing here as a canon user? just checking out the new beast! Nice camera!!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

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" :/

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

jwalker019:

Thank you, as I specified, I was commenting on the trialware version of Capture NX2 (Windows 7 64 bit and checked for updates).

Good to be assured that at least the version one purchases and then successfully updates will open D4 NEF files.

Are you using Windows or Mac?

I guess I could go out and buy the disc tomorrow, install the software and update it, but that seems silly since I own Photoshop CS and it will get updated, soon I'd bet. So I don't really need Capture NX v2 for my purposes.

Though I wish that Nikon USA would add 2.3.1 as the trialware option. I checked and the trialware is version 2.3.0.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (Mar 3, 2012)

The 2.31 update has been available on the site for more than a week now, once you have the 2.3.0 trial version installed, you just install the update in addition to that. http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/61

As for all these people who think the D3s is better, if you either just shoot Jpeg, or can't figure out how to get the most out of RAW, by all means keep thinking it's better and don't buy the D4, it will cut down on the waiting list. It's pretty damn clear that you can get more out of the D4 files in NX2.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dr GP
By Dr GP (Mar 3, 2012)

i have full version and updated to latest Codecs. that did the trick. Oddly, my prior version which was also 2.3 did not open D4 Raw files but after update it does.

http://nikonimglib.com/nefcodec/
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17660/kw/Capture%20NX%202.3.1

cheers

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

Fearless_Photog:

That's an idea, thank you for the link. I check it out. I tried update from within version 2.3.0 and got the message that there were no updates.

Dr GP:

Also thanks for the link.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 3, 2012)

For those that still think D3s is better, check the shadows behavior at base ISO (CNX2):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=40792708

0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

That's pretty dramatic :)

0 upvotes
Hoddo
By Hoddo (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

Te JPEGS have EXIF info, I assume the RAW files do also.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 3, 2012)

To those that are seeing the D3s better, check these larger crops side-by-side, including colors and detail:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=40792170

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Mar 3, 2012)

ISO800-1600 isn't really the area you can see any major difference between these cameras (D3, D3s, D4, 1D Mk IV), etc). Where you really want to have better output is at higher sensitivity, particularly at ISO 6400. Do the comparison there and you'll see how good the D3s is.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 3, 2012)

It's there, 800-25K, check the subposts. The D3s is having problems already at ISO800 in the reds, check the fluffy balls, things get worse as ISO goes up.

0 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Mar 3, 2012)

Yes, reds will become problematic always at higher ISO. Partly the reason that I can see for it in your comparison is the fact that all D3s shots are much more saturated than D4 shots (you can see it clearly if you look at them side by side.

But what I was pointing out, was not blown up highlights, but noise in general. If you, again, compare your D3s and D4 screenshots side by side at ISO 6400 and ISO12800, you will easily see how much cleaner (less noisy) the D3s shots are.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 3, 2012)

Are you looking at full res (16x12MP) or normalized (12x12MP)? That's why I posted both. Un-normalized you'd expect to see better noise from D3s, but at same print sizes the D4 is better. It's not saturation at play, the D3s shows provlems in reds details. Re colors, see also base ISO shadows behavior:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=40792708

2 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

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 ;)

1 upvote
ashwins
By ashwins (Mar 3, 2012)

At base ISO these cameras are (and have to be) very similar, but more interesting is to see the range of ISO3200-6400. For example, at ISO6400/RAW, when you move the zoom point to different areas, you'll see that D3s is still the king. D4 has a bit more noise, then comes 1d Mark IV and 5D Mark II (in this sequence). Canons have quite a bit more chroma noise at ISO6400.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 3, 2012)

Interesting. The Nikon D4 is the obvious winner at high, yet down to earth, ISO sensitivities (up to 3200). At least with JPEG. It's the one that preserves sharpness, contrast and resolution the best. The Canon Mark II has the steepest noise filter of all cameras, and while it does a good job at suppressing noise, it is achieved at the expense of sharpness. But then again, it is an unfair comparison as it ranks one step below all three other cameras.
At low ISO, I see no night-to-day differences between D4, D3 and 1D. The choice will come down to brand loyalty.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 3, 2012)

well when i look on iso 100-200-400 i see more sharpness in the 5D MK2 images-.. just look at the text on the globe.

you can hardly read "seychelles" on the D4 pictures.....

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (Mar 3, 2012)

I think the legibility is a result of the size of the image. The MkII image is a closer crop than the D4, with Seychelles appearing larger.

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 3, 2012)

It seems obvious that a longer focal length has been chosen for the MkII.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 3, 2012)

any more excuses?

it´s and 1:1 image and the MK2 image is bigger because it has more megapixel.
why do you look at the test when you don´t know how they do it?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (Mar 3, 2012)

Actually they're all taken at a focal length of 85mm except the 1D MKIV.

It looks to me that the D4 is sharper. Henry M. Hertz Check out the numbers on the greyscale chart above the globe. Any improvement in clarity could be attributed to the extra detail/resolution in the Mk2. Not the same as sharpness though.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 3, 2012)

I'm still not convinced about the focal length issue, Damo83 (maybe because I'm too ignorant, as Mr Hertz implies), but you're right about the D4 being sharper. Check the queen of hearts at ISO 6400. The D4 preserves colour accuracy and sharpness when all the others get smeared.

0 upvotes
Zyankarlo
By Zyankarlo (Mar 3, 2012)

It is clear, that Nikon has improved the JPG modus: the JPGs of the D4 are showing more detail and a bit less noise. BUT: The raw files of the D3s show less noise (even if you resize the D4 files to 12 MP).

For both cams 12800 ISO seems to be the limit if you want a clear detailed picture processed from raw. So for me this D4 would be only interesting if it would have come with 18 MP or more. 12 MP or 16 Mp? ...who cares...and the D3s has the better battery ;-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul

Better?

Do you try it??

0 upvotes
Zyankarlo
By Zyankarlo (Mar 3, 2012)

2.000mAh vs. 2.500mAh...what are you expecting? ;-)

And: EN-EL4a (D3) ca. 100 Euro
EN-EL18 (D4) ca. 160 Euro

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
io_bg
By io_bg (Mar 3, 2012)

D4's battery is better optimised and Nikon says it would last more than D3s' one.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 3, 2012)

No, see: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=40792170

0 upvotes
Dragonfire
By Dragonfire (Mar 3, 2012)

D3s is so goooood... would love to see the 5Dm3 comparison, all the JPGs seen from 5Dm3 looked like a properly cooked and sharpened 4mpx images blown up to 22mpx... poor JPG processing as usually, looks like plastic with powersot like shaprening...

imho D800 will be the best player under 4.000$, if I take a look at the D800 factory samples... WOW! and high iso samples are promising too...
5Dm3 will be a good allrounder, nice AF finaly!

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 3, 2012)

the few high iso samples from the D800 i have seen look shitty....

1 upvote
Dragonfire
By Dragonfire (Mar 3, 2012)

will see (from what I see is at least as good as D700 or better, that cannot be "shitty"), btw high iso samples from 5Dm3 are looking very very good (too much NR maybe), probably better on screen than D800. waiting for proper comparison.

0 upvotes
walnist
By walnist (Mar 3, 2012)

Wait for the reviews, but if you expect the D800 to have the same high ISO performance as the D700, with pixels which are 1/3 of the size, you're in for a major disappointment.
Well maybe that could happen for JPEG, the D800 being newer will have better noise reduction.
But which pro uses jpegs?
In RAW data, the D800 will be at least a couple stops worse in terms of high iso noise.

0 upvotes
Dragonfire
By Dragonfire (Mar 3, 2012)

count the 3 years of develpment in and the power downsampling images... even the 1,5 yo D7000 (with smaller pixel size than D800) is only 1-1,5 stop behind D700 only above 800 iso.
i am shooting with D700, based on early samples from D800 i would trade my camera in a second ;)

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Mar 3, 2012)

Looking forward to adding the D800 to this comparison ...

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Mar 3, 2012)

i rarely shoot above iso 3200.
and i must say that my old 5D MK2 holds up very well to the D4 on lower iso.

it seems that sensor improvement is only possible on higher then 3200 iso these days.

i mean..... from a new sensor i would expect more, compared to a 3 year old sensor.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Psycho_McCrazy
By Psycho_McCrazy (Mar 3, 2012)

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!

4 upvotes
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
walnist
By walnist (Mar 3, 2012)

People have unrealistic expectations.
They think that everything which is made of silicon will have to double performance every two years, like PCs do.

But silicon technology for photo-sites has already reached a level of maturity, and SNR is now largely dominated by photon noise.
Unless a technological break-through happens, sensors will have to get larger to increase resolution and SNR and high ISO performance.
Oh wait that already exists and its called medium format.. :)

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Fehrum
By Fehrum (Mar 3, 2012)

To be honest, the ISO performance of the D4 is not that awesome. Unfortunately the D700 could not be chosen for comparison. Would have been interesting ...

0 upvotes
Psycho_McCrazy
By Psycho_McCrazy (Mar 3, 2012)

D700 output is exactly the same as D3 which can be selected from the drop down menus!

2 upvotes
danieljp
By danieljp (Mar 3, 2012)

I think this ISO comparison tool is outstanding.

I also think that I may pick up another D3S before they go away.

3 upvotes
pfzt
By pfzt (Mar 3, 2012)

Yes and yes. The 3Ds has an amazing high iso performance. I never would have thought that. I knew they were good but not that good.

0 upvotes
Ilkka Nissilä
By Ilkka Nissilä (Mar 3, 2012)

Superb quality at ISO 6400 (the detail reproduction is much better than on the D3s). This is much better than I expected.

1 upvote
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Mar 3, 2012)

Indeed, I think at above 6400 details much better hold up. In my case I seldom photograph above 6400. I personally find the image quality differences till on 3200 in comparison with a D3S marginal. Ill keep the D3S.

1 upvote
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Mar 3, 2012)

D4 images look a bit darker then D3s ones, it's penalizing for D4 especially when they are so close in noise performance,
PS maybe D4 is cheating a bit on ISO values

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Mar 3, 2012)

According to the gallery compare the D5100 DX 16MP with the D4 FX and it is difficult to call! There is no indication of the lenses used; DX or FX and the focal length. The Focal length appears to change in these comparisons. If we are to test the sensors then a studio camera with adapters for each SLR could be used, one Schneider lens so that this is the constant for all manufacturers cameras.

Or are we looking at the fixed 50mm lens of each manufacturer for FX and DX respectively?

Thanks

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Mar 3, 2012)

For APS-C (DX) they are using 55 mm or something like that while for FF 85 mm so you get for the same focal range

0 upvotes
Psycho_McCrazy
By Psycho_McCrazy (Mar 3, 2012)

for lens and shooting settings information, hover mouse over the small gear cog at the bottom right of the crops! All details are there.

Also, they use 85mm for full frames, and 50mm for crops. Slightly different effective lengths, but then maybe they move the tripod to achieve the same framing.

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Mar 3, 2012)

Thanks, will check the cog information. Knew it would have been given somewhere.

0 upvotes
sempervivum
By sempervivum (Mar 3, 2012)

At mid-high ISO-s D3s still beats all the bunch, including D4. But D4 certainly beats both older Canons. I think this is a very nice performance.

BUT... The dream is over about the D800 36Mpx mid-high ISO miracle. I still do not doubt its ISO 100-400 extreme resolution (good for studio photographers), but for real life wedding photography... You'll get an APS-C high ISO quality (a'la D7000, which is still fine, but nothing close to wonderful on FF...)

I remember Canon did the same with the 14Mpx G11. Up to ISO 100 it was a resolution king among compacts, but even at ISO 400... So G12 went down to 10 Mpx, making Canon G fans happy.

I can't wait for EOS 5D Mark III RAW samples. I reckon, we'll have the new wedding photography dream camera.

3 upvotes
Frank C.
By Frank C. (Mar 3, 2012)

exactly, if the d4 suffered because of a tiny resolution increase now imagine a 12M to 36M rez increase ! ouch

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Mar 3, 2012)

It will match the 5D2 and D700 for ISO. And with its resolution, it will be fine at weddings.

0 upvotes
cooldragon
By cooldragon (Mar 3, 2012)

Select ISO 3200 and RAW on the top for D4 and compare with D3S,D4 appears miles worse than D3S. WTF Nikon is doing. ISO 3200 is the most useful high ISO.

4 upvotes
elefteriadis alexandros
By elefteriadis alexandros (Mar 3, 2012)

Until iso 1600 the D4 is superior but after that i prefer D3. Canon its to noise over 800 asa. BUT PLEASE FUJI GIVE US YOUR SPECIAL SENSOR OF S3 IN FUUL FRAME NIKON BODY..

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Mar 3, 2012)

@Henry: Do you approach complete strangers and give them comments like that irl too, or is it just on the internet? And yes, I saw the smiley, but you still come across as a bully.

2 upvotes
KGP
By KGP (Mar 3, 2012)

Oh Henry you 're so kind... so yes, buy for me a D4 & 14-24, 24-70, 700-200.

A broke Greek who's not hating anyone.

p.s. close your TV...

2 upvotes
elefteriadis alexandros
By elefteriadis alexandros (Mar 3, 2012)

No Henry i don't buy expensive gear even i am a professional photographer, that's why i have my Fuji s3 until now and until they died, only i tell my opinion because i like the DR and colour from fuji sensor and maybe some day i buy as a second hand if they exist. As for here in Greece you have right.. but the same happen in all the rich country's as they take the natural resources from poor ones.. (the word war tell you something?) Many people in this website its amateur but spent a lot money to buy a new ''toy'', you think this is right when the same time people died for starvation?..

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 3, 2012)

at iso100 the 5D MK2 looks better.. more details.... what a let down for a new camera.

3 upvotes
pacogwapo
By pacogwapo (Mar 3, 2012)

troll!

3 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 3, 2012)

The D4's high ISO capabilities are passé at best... Heck, the D3s files look far superior to the D4 at every setting... I can't put my finger on exactly what Nikon have done wrong here... but it seems to be a combination of excessive noise reduction... causing smudging... along with disproportionate amounts of sharpenning... The D3s represented the perfect combination of detail retention & NR ... this D4 seems to have botched up big time... From ISO 6400 onwards... the brush looks horribly over sharpened... the thread rolls & furry balls look pasty and lack any real detail... and the colour chart seems to distort the levels of saturation...

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

NR in raw? Or do you mean jpeg?

0 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Mar 3, 2012)

D3s is clearly better - even if you resize the D4 file to 12MP... It's easy to see at ISO 6400.

0 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (Mar 3, 2012)

I'm perplexed as to why the details on the woman's and man's face are so good on the Lumix GH2, G3 and GX1 compared to these FF cameras.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

What ISO are you using for viewing?

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 3, 2012)

Well, you haven't seen the one from Canon G1 X. Anyways, it's the strong AA filter, my friend.

0 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Mar 3, 2012)

It seems that the D3s has better high ISO performance then D4.....

2 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Mar 3, 2012)

Considering more MP, it looks the same.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

Debankur Mukherjee:

Did you look at the 25600ASA pictures, raws?

0 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Mar 3, 2012)

Fuji X-Pro1 vs D3S, D4 will be an interesting high iso comparison.

1 upvote
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (Mar 3, 2012)

Not very relevant to someone who actually needs an action camera though, the Fuji targets a totally different kind of photography.

5 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Mar 3, 2012)

Relevant to anyone who shoots high iso.
Dpr tests should be an indicator.

0 upvotes
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (Mar 3, 2012)

I wish DPR could manage to do a comparison in which all the variables are eliminated. The D4 ISO 25600 shot is at f/11, while the D3s one is at 7.1. Never the less, thanks for the RAW files. If anyone is doubting the D4's improvement over the D3s, open up both ISO 25600 NEF files in NX2, use the default noise reduction on "Better Quality", and compare them side by side, the grain is smaller and less blotchy on the D4 even when both are viewed at 100%, and some areas show significantly more detail.

For my own shooting, what I can get out of the RAW files is all I care about, and they definitely deliver.

5 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Mar 3, 2012)

Very good NR at high ISO.
Look forward to having the comparison with the new Canon 5D Mark 3 to see which one is better.

2 upvotes
aarif
By aarif (Mar 3, 2012)

D3s is king so no D4 for me

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

You have a D4 and raw extraction software for testing?

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Mar 3, 2012)

HowaboutRAW, there are RAW samples...

0 upvotes
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (Mar 3, 2012)

Yeah, the D4 definitely shows an advantage in RAW, the D3s certainly isn't far behind, but it's not ahead.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

tkpenalty:

The question was about extraction software (Capture NX 2 appears to have been updated, have not confirmed).

You also missed the part of the question where I asked if arrif has used a D4.

I did not ask about downloading these DPReview raw files.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Mar 3, 2012)

D4 fares poorly for fine details as it hits ISO 1600 and beyond:

@ISO1600
D4 vs PowerShot G1X vs Sony NEX-7 vs 645D
http://tinyurl.com/87eod5r

in exchange, as D3/D3s, before it, because of less details to worry that NR will smooth out (gets it mushy), it can afford to do very nice NR until way up in the higher ISO ranges

it would be expected for any system where coarse details left intact are more important than fine details intact; so the lo-res clean hi-ISO for minimal noise at the expense of such fine details is a well understood tradeoff

it all depends on your objective when capturing a subject

going up to higher ISO 6400, is where Nikon has fared much better for clean NR with least noise, albeit at even less fine details retained

at ISO 6400, the 645D sample wasn't available from DPR, so i replaced it with the D3s, which did well before

@ISO6400
D4 vs PowerShot G1X vs Sony NEX-7 vs D3s
http://tinyurl.com/7mfkaea

higher Mp offers more details and more noise even if NR used

4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

You have D4 raws and the extraction software?

1 upvote
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Mar 3, 2012)

Here are 3 top FF dSLRs along with the PowerShot G1X just as a reference to show how far one can go for what some like to refer to as a mere 'P&S':

I really wished DPR had D3x test shots available, as far as I've seen elsewhere, it always fared better than at least the Sony A900, and could barely keep up with the 5DMkII (image-resources examples show this)

@ISO6400
D4 vs PowerShot G1X vs Sony A900 vs 5DMkII
http://tinyurl.com/6ozu4c4

if Nikon or Sony could not do so well with their even higher 24Mp FF dSLRs, than the older 5DMkII, and who knows, about the just released 5DMkIII, which should fare better than the outgoing 5DMkII (and new PowerShot G1X!!!), will Nikon's D800/800E be able to do as well at ISO 6400 as it is expected to with surely more Mp fine details? I would hope so, but I am wary of that even being possible without massive NR distortion, that Sony already exhibits with its recently new NEX-7. If not, opting to stay closer to ISO 1600 like Pentax 645D makes more sense

2 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Mar 3, 2012)

Right now, everyone is interested in Nikon's JPEG in-camera engine capabilities

Opting for RAW is essentially choosing your own interpretation for JPEG output, in effect, the net effect is that you produce a 'Your-Own-Custom-JPEG', not a Nikon-JPEG per se. Even if you use Nikon's off-line JPEG generator from its RAW NEF files, you in effect bypass Nikon's own proprietary JPEG in-camera engine

A lot of RAW shooters still don't 'get' this. That once you bypass the camera mfr's in-camera JPEG engine, they are opting to do JPEGs 'their own way only'. The JPEG you produce 'your way' from ANY RAW, with RAW-JPEG conversion software becomes proprietary to 'JUST YOU', and no one else

This is why there can be any numerous offline software to help you handle any RAW NEFs or CRWs 'Your-Custom-JPEG-Way', assuming you can navigate doing so to produce optimally clean images with no details nullified by NR that YOU applied to the RAW file. The same applies for all third-party NR software as well

1 upvote
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Mar 3, 2012)

Scrutinizing the limits of a camera mfr's in-camera JPEG has great significance to users who want to know what is the best the mfr can do with their proprietary JPEG engine in-camera IN THE FIELD, so it can meet desired publishing criteria or not. This is done for maximum speed for some professionals and enthusiasts that want results sooner, like NOW, rather than later

If any delay matters, then, the better the in-camera JPEG image is, the more likely one is going to find it publishing worthy in the LEAST time, usually NOW, is better than later or too late

If any delay is inconsequential, than of course not

For many others, interest in photography extends out to satisfaction of doing 'their way', hopefully better, even if it takes more time. But that's a time such RAW shooters have as a luxury hobby for off-line post-shot custom JPEG processing

Older in-camera JPEG engines had their limits where the extra RAW processing can eek out a better JPEG

Such limits today are much lower

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

sdyue:

No, many who shoot RAW output to Tiff. So your whole premise is incorrect. And yes there is a big difference printing from Tiff instead of JPEG, you should learn about these things.

6 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Mar 3, 2012)

NR, resolution, distortion.... That's just a matter of taste. I am not really concern about that. I think the content of the photo is more important. If the photo has no spirit, even though you use a Linhof or a Hasselblad, it still generates garbage results.

2 upvotes
Ron Adair
By Ron Adair (Mar 3, 2012)

I had the same initial impression about the D4 being softer, but then realized the test is flawed.

The images LOOK soft because the focus is different between the D3s and the D4. Look at the items that are closer in the frame (like the paperclips, for instance): tack sharp in the D4 images, soft in the D3s images.

I don't care at all about in-camera JPEG, and I suspect most photographers owning the D3s/D4 are the same — they're shooting RAW for full control.

1 upvote
alxdava
By alxdava (Mar 3, 2012)

Canon watch DOG!

1 upvote
Jørns UNESCO
By Jørns UNESCO (Mar 3, 2012)

err, sdyue, look at the fine detail on the hairs.. in the bottom right..

i think youll find that the D4 is sharper than the A900, Nex7 (looks abismal by comparison) and the GX1 (fail by comparison)..

what are you talking about? youve bothered to whinge heaps before even looking at the results extensively.

you're totally wrong about being soft imho and its so easy to see its sharper across the majority of the frame than all of the cameras you listed..

what a waste of time i feel bad for you

1 upvote
Jørns UNESCO
By Jørns UNESCO (Mar 3, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUgqX6zxz50

time better spent

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 3, 2012)

OMG, I'm losing respect for you sdyue. If you want to be an internet expert here in DPR, you should be advised that there is something called the Anti-Aliasing Filter in digital cameras. The D4 might have a very strong AA filter, IMHO, to please the pros who will be printing and selling images coming from this type of camera. I doubt they have the time to remove moire. The G1 X which I highly regard has a very light AA filter which is why you see the blue specks on very detailed parts of the studio shot.
To start with, the G1 X is producing detail more than any camera that has a strong AA filter and it is not the high ISO or noise which weakens the D4. IMHO,based on DPR's test, the D4 is the best performer here on HIGH ISOs.

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Mar 3, 2012)

Sdyue is only here to talk up Canon product. Any regular visitor can see this. Her history shows she does two things:

1. Comment positively about any Canon product.
2. Post negatively about any non-Canon product.

Just sayin like. It is not an opinion, but a fact. Just look at her history. Either a cray Canon brand fangirl or a paid shill. But she has been found out ...

4 upvotes
ssh33
By ssh33 (Mar 3, 2012)

sdyue is on Canon's payroll. I fell for her BS once, but the pattern in her (? probably some old bold fat dude) posts is way too obvious.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

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.)

0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 3, 2012)

Yes, Nikon released updated versions of its software a while back.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 3, 2012)

jwalker019:

Good to know.

0 upvotes
raimaster
By raimaster (Mar 3, 2012)

cant imagine how poor D800 compared to D4/3s even D700?

1 upvote
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Mar 3, 2012)

That D3s is soo good. Overall, the D4 is, on RAW, a little better or the same as the D3s, while having 4 more MP.

The thing is, the 5Dmk2 is about 1 stop behind the D4 and D3s, and the newly announced 5Dmk3 seems to be at least 1 stop better than the 5Dmk2, from the video the guys from DigitalRevTV just released, this means that the mighty D4 wil probablyl be superseded by a 3500$ canon, luckily it has better video. My guess is that thins round goes to canon as far as noise levels go, though better DR, colors, patch free images/no noise in the shaddows at lowISO will probably still go to Nikon.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Mar 3, 2012)

On the 5D mk2 the black square with the white cross (in the center of the photo) is not even black even on the ISO 100 (in both raw and jpeg)

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Mar 3, 2012)

the canon 5D MK2 has clearly the better image quality on low iso.. much more details... only a blind or nikon fanboy would deny that.

1 upvote
Tubed_Jazz
By Tubed_Jazz (Mar 3, 2012)

Wow - the D4 looks good here. Noise appears about the same as the D3s which is a real achievement. Looking forward to other tests!

1 upvote
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HiRez
By HiRez (Mar 3, 2012)

I agree the D4 has a touch more detail, but I disagree it beats out the D3S by a stop. Switch to ISO 6400 RAW setting and take a look at the watch face, it's a lot smoother to me on the D3S. Also look at the dark areas such as the edge of the box with the thread in it, the grain on the D3S is smoother and more uniform than the D4.

Don't get me wrong, the D4 looks really good, but I don't see it as a huge leap over the D3S sensor, the D4 resolves more detail but does so at the expense of more and chunkier noise, which could come down to a preference of what you shoot and what bothers you more. If I were buying a new camera in this line, I'd take the D4 (especially with a minimal price difference), but I don't think I'd trade in a D3S for it.

0 upvotes
fergz
By fergz (Mar 3, 2012)

Just be careful when looking too far from the center of frame. Especially at that "Eastman Kodak Company. 1997" text. I think you might be comparing lenses more then cameras there: Different lenses at different f stops at the edge of frame....

1 upvote
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.).

0 upvotes
Minnesota_Steve
By Minnesota_Steve (Mar 3, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 3, 2012)

Different apertures, indeed. Read DPR's Barney Britton post at the bottom, they might update the D3s test using the same aperture as the D4.

0 upvotes
kuklukklak
By kuklukklak (Mar 3, 2012)

Hahaha, poor Nikon folks, they must force themselves to "see" the D4 images any better than D3s at Jpeg and equal at raw.

The D3s is still the low light king honey. We'll see how 5D3 and 1Dx jump in.

1 upvote
kuklukklak
By kuklukklak (Mar 3, 2012)

And now they will shout: downsize the D4 to 12mp you will have lower noise than the D3s,. but wtf, you can do so with a cheap 5d2 too. LOL.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 3, 2012)

Aside from better sharpness, detail, increased resolution, it's not like the D4 didn't make a ton of other improvements from ISO 50 to ISO 204,800 to broadcast quality video features.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 3, 2012)

The 5Dmk2 gets eaten alive by the D3S, even when downsized to 12MP. Especially when looking at the shadows.

5 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Mar 3, 2012)

And I'll reply, Canon cameras have very good dynamic range, 2 stops lower than Nikon!

4 upvotes
sieem
By sieem (Mar 3, 2012)

It depends on how you look at it. If you look at noise itself, the D3s is as good as the D4. But if you look at contrast, then the D4 wins. Higher ISO changes two things: noise but also contrast. So I see this as a good result for the D4.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
kuklukklak
By kuklukklak (Mar 3, 2012)

Honestly I dont care much about noise cause I hardly shoot at over 3200 ISO. Its just that Nikon hasnt improve in noise since the D3s 2 years ago and Canon is catching up fast (check out the G1X, it have almost equal noise to 5d2)
But I have to agree that Sony sensors offer better DR than current Canon ones. Hope the 5d3 have better DR, its noise patter is already very pleasing.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Mar 3, 2012)

LOL
It's funny how people pretend they can actually tell anything from these "tests".

0 upvotes
Aaron MC
By Aaron MC (Mar 3, 2012)

The JPEG files are disappointing. They are very soft and do a poor job of capturing high-frequency data. Granted, that's hyper-critical pixel peeping.

Overall, I'm whelmed. The noise performance on a pixel level is slightly higher than the D3s, but the image-level noise is probably identical. Both of them are in a different league compared to the poor Mark II.

0 upvotes
zzapamiga
By zzapamiga (Mar 3, 2012)

Hmmm, if low noise is what you want then that is all the Nikon D4 offers. Detail is not sharp when viewed in RAW. The camera must have a very strong AA filter. Even the Panasonic GH2 is much sharper and captures more detail.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 3, 2012)

Very strong AA filter indeed which I think pros can't live without.

0 upvotes
healer81
By healer81 (Mar 3, 2012)

I think this camera looks great. Funny how people are whining about the 5D MIII being only 22mp when this one is just 16mp. Im actually pleased with the new 5DIII personally also.

2 upvotes
wisep01
By wisep01 (Mar 3, 2012)

Although I am pleased with the D4's performance, I am also somewhat disappointed. It's performance is merely equal to that of an essentially 2 1/2 yr old flagship model, the D3s.

And to think that some people were hoping that the successor to the D700 would have had the D3s sensor in smaller form factor.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Mar 3, 2012)

impressive. As good as the D3s for the most part but higher resolution and more detail.I think the D3s looks smoother, but it's really very close.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
calxn
By calxn (Mar 3, 2012)

Yeah, I'm shocked by how thoroughly the D3s trounces the others. The D4 did much better than last gen Canons, but the D3s still beats it in noise.

2 upvotes
calxn
By calxn (Mar 3, 2012)

D700s, anyone?

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 3, 2012)

Noise is not everything. The D4 is showing more detail and acutance at all ISO settings. In some places the difference is sharpness is dramatic like the "Eastman Kodak Company" lettering on the Kodak Grey Scale chart.

3 upvotes
Frank C.
By Frank C. (Mar 3, 2012)

wow the 3ds is still king

1 upvote
Cipher
By Cipher (Mar 3, 2012)

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the D3s goes toe to toe and in some cases beats the D4.

0 upvotes
Dannyboy292
By Dannyboy292 (Mar 3, 2012)

I would like to see how the canon 5DIII compares to this big boy....both look like pretty awsome cameras

1 upvote
treepop
By treepop (Mar 3, 2012)

Wonder how the 5D2 and 1DX will fair against the D4/D3S.

1 upvote
geoffire
By geoffire (Mar 3, 2012)

Yep, we certainly have a new high ISO king. I want to see what the DR is like!

2 upvotes
Total comments: 331
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