One of the new things with the D4 is that it uses a brand new battery. That’s right, a brand spanking new battery which means that the older batteries used in the D3 and the battery grip of the D700 won’t work in the D4. The new battery is also less powerful than the older battery and there are many websites out there that will give you all the numbers info if you want. For me it all comes down if the battery will last through the shoot or not.
BATTERY INFO & LIFE
Now, I always start with a fresh battery when I leave for a shoot and I always pack an extra battery for each camera. For my previous setup when I was shooting with the D3 and D700 (with the optional battery grip) , that meant packing two EN-EL4 batteries. Now I need to pack one EN-El4 for the D700 (with the optional battery grip) and one EN-EL18 for the D4, not a big deal except that the batteries are really similar to each other with only one small (and important) change between them; the new EN-EL18 has the power connectors on the opposite side of the battery from the EN-EL4. That means that the new D4 battery (EN-EL18) does not work in the older charger and will not work in the older cameras.
All this means is that if running out of power at a shoot, just make sure that you grab the proper battery. Now for the downside, since the older batteries don’t work and the older chargers won’t work, you have to take two chargers with you when on the road, and at $170 per battery, a couple of extras can set you back quite a bit of cash. I have a shelf in my office that has the battery charges plugged in and when I get back from a shoot, the old battery comes out of the camera and goes into the charger and a fresh battery goes in. I then double-check the battery when I pack my camera bag for the next shoot.
Now for the real tests… how did the new (supposedly underpowered) battery actually hold up in real world situations. The short answer is GREAT.
I have shot three very different events with the D4 and not once did I need to change batteries. The first shoot was the Kelly Clarkson (Matt Nathanson opening) show at the Valley View Casino Center, the second show was shoot Steel Pulse all night at the Belly Up Tavern and the third was the Rise Against show with A Day To Remember opening at the Viejas Arena. When I started shooting these shows it was with a fully charged battery but instead of my normal shooting style, I cut loose a little and shot some very extended sequences for the explicit purposes of testing the battery and the camera buffer.
For the Kelly Clarkson show, I shot a total of 1013 frames which included shots of the venue, Matt Nathanson and Kelly Clarkson. The D4 took 858 of those frames and the battery was still at 3/4 power. For the Steel Pulse show, I used just the D4 and shot 1555 frames and the battery showed 3/4 full. Now when it came to the Rise Against show I started with the same battery as I used for Steel Pulse and right now the battery information is as follows….
- Charge 53%
- No. of shots 2515