D4 or D800E for birds?

Started May 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
A Owens Veteran Member • Posts: 3,159
Re: D4 or D800E for birds?

jamesg28 wrote:

Hi all

A question for the bird photographers amongst us.
If money is no object and you needed/wanted a second body for birding (primarily), would the D4 ot D800 be your choice? And why?
I have and continue to heavily weigh up the obvious pros and cons of each.y conclusion is that both are awesome in their own way, and both require compromises in some areas.

As background: I currently shoot D7100 and 500vr. I love this body for its pixels on subject.
But I've always wanted a FX body to use side by side. The D800 appeals with its resolution. less of a compromise compared to dropping back to 16mp on fx with a D4. But the speed of the D4 is obviously highly appealing. Approx 50-70% of my shooting is BIF.

The D4 fps and buffer would be sensational (especially as the d7100 is also limited there).
The D800(e) resolution etc is also very appealing on the other hand. IQ is very important for me.

Is the D4 worth an extra $3000?

What would you do? All opinions gratefully received

I do quite a lot of small bird photography and do not feel that the pixel density of the D4 is enough to get sufficient pixels over the subject. Different story for larger mammals (humanoid included).

I use an 800e with a 600mm/F4 and 70-200/F4 and find this to be a very good (though heavy) combo. The pixel density of the 800e seems to be in the sweet spot for decent high ISO and I find the AF to be superb. See the crop of the gannet below and then see the further crop of the eye/beak area for AF accuracy. The North Island Robin in the next photo was shot at ISO 6400 and the wee Bellbird, Tui and Dotterel are various crops at mid ISO's.

I am considering picking up a D7100 as a second body and the only thing that is stopping me is the high ISO performance. But they are great value as a good light camera and I have seen some very good IQ from them at lower ISO's. I hope the 800s comes out soon as ideally I would rather pick up another 800e used. Good luck with your decision!

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