First Impressions: Using the Nikon D4
1 First Impressions: Using the Nikon D4
The Nikon D4 is a serious photographic tool at a serious price. At $6000 the D4 is twice the cost of the recently-released D800, and offers just under half of its pixel count. But it's what the D4 does with its pixels - and how quickly and reliably it does it - which makes it so potentially attractive to working professionals. The D4 is built for speed and versatility. It might not offer the highest resolution on the market, but it is designed to deliver its 16MP images at a rate of 11 per second in all winds and weathers.
A few days ago we took delivery of a factory-fresh production D4 in our Seattle offices and it's hardly been turned off since. We've already published a detailed overview of the D4, and we've also asked a group of professional photographers what they think, but in this article, I'll be explaining what the D4 is actually like to use, as we move forward towards a full, in-depth review.
Full disclosure here, I use a D3S regularly, and outside of my day to day shooting for dpreview, much of my personal and professional photography over the past five years has been shot using either the D3 or D3S. Like all camera reviewers I swap between different systems constantly, but I happen to know the D3 and D3S very well.
That said, bear in mind that this article is not a review. That's in the pipeline. Also, I don't pretend to speak for all photographers, so if you think I've got something wrong, or I haven't mentioned something that you really like (or don't like) in this article feel free to leave a comment. You'll find four pages in this article, the first three comprise a quick overview of my early impressions of the camera, both good and bad, and page four is reserved for samples - studio, real-world and video clips.
The D4 is a heavy, chunky camera, just like the D3S which it replaces. But whereas the D3S inherited the 2007-vintage D3 chassis, the D4 brings new ergonomics as well as an updated specification. Cosmetically, the D4 is curvier and more streamlined than its predecessors, and slightly lighter, too. The D4's battery is new, and is not compatible with the older type used in the D3 and D3S. The same applies to the D4's battery compartment door, which looks like it might be interchangeable with that from the older models, but is actually a slightly different size.
Although most of its controls are in basically the same places compared to the D3 and D3S the D4 feels subtly different in use thanks in part to the redesigned hand grip and the steeper angle of the main shutter release.
- 16.2 effective megapixel, full-frame sensor (16.6MP total)
- 10fps shooting with AF and AE, 11fps with focus and exposure locked, 24fps 2.5MP grabs
- 91,000 pixel sensor for metering, white balance, flash exposure, face detection and active d-lighting
- ISO Range 100-12,800 (extendable from 50 – 204,800)
- MultiCAM 3500FX Autofocus sensor works in lower light and with smaller apertures
- Two sub-selector joystick/buttons for shooting orientation
- 1080p30 HD video at up to 24Mbps with uncompressed video output
- New EN-EL18 battery (21.6Wh capacity, CIPA-rated at 2600 shots)
- Twin card slots - one Compact Flash and one XQD
The Chinese manufacturer has published a list of improvements it wants to make after a videography-focused feedback session with its users.
Autel has confirmed to DPReview that its EVO II series drones won't hit shelves until March 2020 after discovering a bug that ‘could limit flight performance under normal operation.’
Chinese company Xiaomi has so far (as far as we know) worked without the help of a big name in the camera business, but it appears this could be about to change.
DNP Photo is back with another dye sublimation photo printer. The QW410 is relatively compact and includes wireless support for mobile users.
Photographer Pye Jirsa is teaching photographers how to pose couples as part of a new educational video series from Adorama.
Award-winning French photographer Florian Ledoux has captured photos of the arctic from both a drone's perspective and the ground.
Photographer and filmmaker Mark Holtze shares his top five reasons why vintage lenses are still relevant in 2020.
What if astrophotography was as simple as using an app? The Stellina smart telescope promises to make this a reality, allowing anyone to channel their own inner Galileo while capturing images of the night sky.
The Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 prime lens has the same optical formula as the company's XF 35mm F2 WR prime but costs half as much. How can this be? Chris and Jordan explain the differences.
In the latest episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan compared the new, inexpensive Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 with the more durable XF version that's twice the price. See some of the photos they took side-by-side in this sample gallery.
The 2019 winners and finalists of the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards have been revealed.
PBS recently gave viewers a look at MIT Museum's new The Polaroid Project instant photography exhibition.
Researchers with IBM and MIT have published a new demonstration tool that allows anyone to 'paint' new elements into existing digital images.
Venus Optics says the lens is the first Laowa macro lens specifically designed for APS-C mirrorless camera systems.
The updates mostly address only a single issue for each lens, but it continues to show Sigma's continued dedication to addressing various issues, even small ones, across its lens lineup.
Spider Holster has launched four new products, including two updated versions of existing gear, that make life easier for photographers.
While nearly all of Tokina's F-mount lenses will work without issue on Nikon Z-series mirrorless cameras, there are a select few that can't use autofocus.
The X-T200 is arguably the company's most compelling entry-level option yet. Take a closer look in our detailed hands-on article.
Last year, DJI announced they will be adding ADS-B sensors to their commercial-grade drones weighing over 250 grams. Now, it is rumored that 3 new drone models will be released this year.
The Fujifilm X-T200 is what we wish the X-T100 had been, offering a solid AF system, proper 4K video and a more responsive interface. Click through to see what else is new and improved.
Fujifilm just announced its newest camera, the X-T200. In this hands-on preview, Chris and Jordan explain how it fits into Fujifilm's lineup and why they like it.
Fujifilm will add the weather-sealed GF 45-100mm F4 to its medium format lens lineup in February. The approximately 35-80mm equivalent zoom will cost around $2300.
Two new primes are hitting the roadmap for Fujifilm's GF system: the 24mm equiv. 30mm F3.5 R WR and an ultra-fast 80mm F1.7.
The 'XC' variant uses the same optical design as the existing XF 35mm F2, but has no aperture ring and a plastic mount to lower the cost.
Fujifilm has refreshed its entry-level series with the X-T200, adding a giant touchscreen, proper 4K/30p video recording and shaving off 80g of weight compared to its X-T100 predecessor.
The telephoto zoom features a constant F4 aperture across its 70-210mm focal length range, uses Pentax's supersonic direct-drive motor (SDM), and weighs 859g (1.89lbs).
DynaLite, the photographic lighting company founded in the 1970s, has been forced to file for bankruptcy and permanently shutter its service.
Flickr increased its Pro plan subscription price this week, but existing customers are given the option of staying at their current lower rate.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting recounts one of his most memorable shoots—the time he photographed late New England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez, no more than 24 hours after committing murder.
Lace up your dancing shoes for a trip to Seattle's Emerald City Soul Club, where we put the Panasonic S1H's impressive video capabilities to the test.