Hard to believe that the Nikon D4 has been out now for more than a year. It feels like just yesterday that I took my first frame with it. As of this week, I have taken 145,573 images with my D4. I really love this camera. It is the most responsive camera I have ever shot and the low light ability is exactly what I need. There are some things that really stand out to me about this camera, some that I expected and one that I didn’t. I’ll get to the surprise later. Lets start with the things i have noticed in real life. Now, understand, these are the things that I have found with my camera and my shooting style. Your mileage may differ.
- Battery Life. The battery life is really good. I have three batteries for this camera and always carry a spare with me, but have never needed it. A full battery has lasted me for days. I know that the specs say the battery is lowered powered etc… but in my world, it lasts a really long time.
- XQD cards. The Nikon D4 is the only camera to use these cards. They rock. Right now there are only two manufacturers of XQD cards; Sony and Lexar. I have only used the Sony cards and only the slower type H cards and not the faster S cards, but they are still faster than anything else I have ever used. The fact that I can shoot 10 frames per second for over 70 frames is just awesome. It’s not like I want to shoot like that all the time but for certain sequences when shooting sports or drummers it really is liberating not have to worry the frame count. I hope to get my hands on a few of the Lexar cards in the near future to see how they compare.
- Ergonomics. The reason I bought my first Nikon was the way it felt in my hand. All the Nikons I have owned feel great in my hand, but the D4 especially so. The only thing that I still have an issue with is using the small joysticks to control the focus points. I still tend to use the multi selector unless I am really thinking about it.
- ISO. The reason I wanted this camera was for the low light ability and it has performed exactly the way I expected. I have no problem shooting at 1600 or 3200 ISO with this camera. The images look amazingly noise free.
- Time Lapse. This one was a surprise to me. The D4 can create time-lapse movies in the camera. That has been a huge time savings for me since I have been shooting a lot of behind the scenes time-lapse.
Alicia Keys shot from the FOH with the D4 and the 300mm f/4 at ISO 1250.
The Who shot at ISO 1000 using the D4 and the 70-200mm f/2.8
The Black Keys shot at ISO 1600 with the Nikon D4 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
If you have any questions, drop me a line… I’ll be happy to answer them if I can.
With the current options in the market, what would be the best second body/option for the D4 (besides the D3) for you?
My second body is a Nikon D700. If I had to buy a second body it would be another D4. If I had to get a second body at a lower price, I would look at the D600. The D800 files are just too big for me right now.
Thanks a lot Alan! What about DX bodies, do you recommend any?
Amazing as always.
Excellent. Really found your comments useful and the images were great.
Thank yo for the write up and I am amazed at how many images the camera has captured in a year. Has there been any servicing yet other than sensor filter cleaning?
Great real world review of the D4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts after taking so many frames with it, as opposed to sharing just the marketing numbers as most sites do. Your images are amazing and I’m a bit jealous that you’ve seen the Black Keys live 🙂
Great review, great images amizing what this camera can do at high ISO. Thank you also for offering to provide help. I am an amature photograper and this camera has overwhelmed me iwth its menu options and knowing what is best for the conditions I may be faced with. I have searched the interned but not found information that would be instructional on all the capabilities of the camera and how to use it’s features. Do you have a suggestion?