Is it worth selling my D3 for a D4?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,626
Re: Is it worth selling my D3 for a D4?

ken6217 wrote:

I have had my D3 since the first month they were released. I was curious is the D4 that much of an upgrade if I don't care about video?

Besides the additional 4mp, is the D4 and huge upgrade?



Yes and no.

I don't shoot for profit, just for my own enjoyment and documentation of things around the farm (and production of my own advertising stuff).

I had a D3. It disappeared one day last summer. When the insurance check came in I got a D4. Since I don't have both, comparisons are based on my aging memory.

I passed up the D3S upgrade when it came around. I really considered it but decided my D3 was good enough. My photostream is eclectic. I do a lot of photojournalistic stuff which involves indoor work so I depend on the high ISO capability. I occasionally missed having the extra stop of sensitivity that I would have had with the D3S, but the occasions were few so it didn't really bother me. When the D4 came out I looked at the specs and decided I could live with my D3, maybe I'd check out the D4S or the D5.

Since I was forced into the D4, I think the move was worth it for me. I'd say the biggest improvement was the autofocus. My keeper rate in low light situations has doubled, based on focus (but not on composition). The downside to that is that my postprocessing takes longer because there aren't as many shots to just delete out of hand.

I regularly shoot at ISO 5000-10000. It takes a bit of noise reduction in post, but Lightroom does just fine. With the D3 I shot 3200-6400.

The D3 did not have a silent mode but I understand the D3S did. I tried it out a couple times on the D4 and was not greatly pleased, but it is useful in noise-sensitive situations. The limitations are: (1) jpg only; (2) small jpg only; (3) the autofocus in live view doesn't really work all that well for me. It hunts a lot and is much slower than in regular mode. I really miss having RAW available for that.

The D4 has video. I tried it 3-4 times. I'm not a video guy.

I've heard that the skin tones are better on the D4. I don't see a difference. Maybe that's just me.

I don't do sports, so I rarely use the camera on fast-moving stuff. But for low light situations the autofocus is a big improvement. I mostly use 10fps for bracketing, but occasionally when photographing someone speaking I use bursts of shots. When people are speaking their faces can get contorted into the strangest views. It's nice having options to choose from.

Overall, if I had not been forced into it I would still be shooting a D3. Now that I have a D4 I can see the improvement, but if I had forseen what the actual difference would have been I would probably not have shelled out the cash. The D4 is an improvement over the D3 but the difference is not large enough for me to justify moving to it if I had had to pay the entire bill. And I probably would have kept my D3 for backup.

PS: I have a 14-24, 24-70, 70-200. The lens on the camera 2/3 of the time is the 28-300. That disappeared with the D3. I got another. It's flexible, but for the critical shots I use the 14-24-70-200.

PPS: My biggest complaint is the mixed card system. I would have preferred a dual XQD system (or even a dual CF system). I'm waiting for someone to build a combo XQD/CF card reader. Until then I'm shooting CF. I don't want to have two separate card readers because my USB slots are maxed out and I'd have to add usb hubs through my usb hubs.  The video goes to XQD and I download through the camera's USB port. I have an old CF reader so stills go through that. Since I rarely bump up against buffer limits I don't really need the XQD speed and CF is fine for me.

 dwight3's gear list:dwight3's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
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