Is it worth selling my D3 for a D4?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,607
Things I noticed going from a D3 to 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?




First a disclaimer: I am not a pixel peeper or qualified DSLR tester.

I'm an advanced amateur. So the following are just my own impressions. Some may be wrong, others out of proportion, etc.

I bought the D3 on the first day of its general availability in November 2007, and the D4 about a month after it was released.

Some things that I like about the D4 over the D3:

1. High ISO Performance. Well everyone else has mentioned this, so I will too. I find that ISO 6400 on the D4 is better than ISO 3200 on the D3. This can be huge. And ISO 12,800  seems about equal to ISO 5000 on the D3.

2. Dynamic range. I really notice this when trying to pull details out of the shadows. the D4 is significantly better

3. Focusing. I was naive enough to have thought that I didn't need anything to focus better than my D3. But the D4's focusing, particularly in low light, Is significantly better than the D3. And I can (very occasionally) put a 2x TC on my 500VR and it focuses pretty decently. On the D3, that combination could focus OK on static subjects that had enough contrast, but moving subjects like birds in flight, forget it. The D4 can actually track on moving subjects decently.

4. Vertical Shooting. The D4 is much better designed for vertical (portrait) shooting

5. Sensor Cleaning. Well, it might seem like a "newbie issue, but I don't like to clean sensors! The D4 is much better than the D3 in keeping its sensor clean

6. Video. When I first got the D4, I thought, "OK, it has video, but I'm not going to use it when I can do better with a camcorder that costs a tenth the price". But I've warmed up to the D4's video capabilities. It wa neat being able to grab a video clip of Wild-beasts walloping in theeir great migration and hearing all the bleating sounds! And for those that find minimal advantages of the D4 over the D3s, they are not talking about the video capabilities o f the latter.

7. Time Lapse function. Another thing that it took me a while to notice. But the D4 can do this pretty well, and allowed me to sit in my warm car during a meteor shower while my camera clicked away for hours!

8. Quiet shutter The D3's shutter is not the quietest! The D4 has quiet mode, including a completely silent mode (video capture)

9. Backlit Buttons Again, call we a newbie, but I often had trouble remembering which buttons were which when using my D3 in dark conditions. I really like the D4's backlit buttons!

10. Buffer I don't tend to be one who routinely blasts zillions of rapid frames.BUt when you need it, it's there. For my uses, the D4's buffer seems endless

11. Resolution. Most of the time, I don't need it, but there are other times where it's appreciated and noticeable.

12. Color. Theoretically, since I typically shoot RAW, this shouldn't be much of an issue. But I find the color accuracy of the D4 more consistently than the D3, resulting in sometimes having to do less correction in post processing. And the skin tones in particular seem to come out more consistently with the D4,

D4 Possible Negatives Compared to D3:

1. Batteries and charger. Incompatible with D4

2. XQD and CF cards. The XQD cards work well!. However, I'm a bit concerned that the XQD cards are not appearing on more high end DSLR's and/or camcorders. I hope they won't be orphaned and become a digital version of Betamax....

3. Different body shapes Overall, I prefer the ergonomics of the D4. But My D3 RRS L-Bracket didn't quite firt on the D4, so I had to cough up $180 for a new bracket.

4.Focus Selector button On the D4, it's on the frot, below the lens release button. I prefer it when using lighter lenses, but still fint a bit awkward with heavier lenses like the 200VR and 500VR.

Some of the above might be more or less important to you than it was to me. But I hope that these impressions help.

Best Regards,


 RBFresno's gear list:RBFresno's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D4 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +14 more
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