A few days ago I had the honour and the privilege of shooting with Nikon’s new latest and greatest – the Nikon D4 and Nikon D800. I met with Nikon representatives in Calgary Tuesday night, where they privately and proudly unveiled both cameras for me to test out. Well… the D4 and D800 simply ROCK and below are my comments on my first opportunity to shoot with each of them!!! Way to go Nikon for raising the bar with these amazing new releases and thank you for the personal attention and service you give to your pros, and for creating opportunities like this for us.
Shooting with the Nikon D4
I have been a Nikon shooter for over 30 years and these days I never leave home without my Nikon D3s and Nikon D3X in my camera bag. That being said, Nikon has continued to pay great attention to ergonomics, and in my hands the Nikon D4 feels like the best pro Nikon yet. I immediately noticed the deeper, easier to hold grip and new trigger button placement, portrait orientation thumb selector/joystick and new thumb grip, backlight buttons, and the same solid pro feel that I would expect from Nikon’s Flagship Pro Body.
The D3s is a true workhorse, I shot 80,000 images with it at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics alone. But the Nikon D4 boasts many improvements over the D3s like 1080p 30fps video, a 10% larger screen, in-camera HDR, and video autofocus with contrast detection. Nikon has also boosted the D4’s HI ISO to an incredible 204,800 ISO, with a higher 16.2 megapixel resolution, and faster shooting up to 11 fps with the exposure/focus locked, 10fps with autofocus. The camera also has a new 91,000-pixel sensor for metering and MultiCAM 3500FX autofocus that works amazingly in low light and with smaller apertures. This really works well, even in a dark room I was able to very quickly focus on anything I had my focus selection pointed at! The Advanced Scene Recognition System now has face detection, which sharply focuses on human faces even faster than I can choose a focus point.
With the new html interface you can remotely control the D4 with your iPhone, iPad or computer via the new WT-5 Compact Wireless Controller or built-in Ethernet connection. This means that technically you could control your Nikon D4 from anywhere on the planet! When shooting sports or multiple camera setups this is going to be a wicked tool.
Another feature I love is the new optical viewfinder with a visual grid line option. It’s a simple option but one that I find very useful for shooting landscapes and architecture.
Most of all I am really excited to be able to shoot 1080p 30fps video along with all of the other new audio and video controls built into the D4. I have found that shooting video is very complimentary to stills and many of my clients have been asking for this. The pro video features of the D4 with a good assortment of Nikon Lenses make this an remarkable tool for creating some exciting, cinematic looking video.
Nikon has clearly listened to its pros and has developed a camera that rivals all others in its class with the D4. I can’t wait to get mine!!!
Shooting with the Nikon D800
I love my Nikon D3X. There is nothing like shooting at 24.5 megapixels with huge detail and colour depth and printing your images BIG and seeing the magnificent nuances of your masterpiece on your living room wall…. Except maybe shooting at 36.3 megapixels with the even more detail offered on the new Nikon D800.
Wow am I excited about this camera! It seems that so is everyone else, and I have never heard so much excitement and talk coming from camera stores about a single camera. I am very happy for Nikon, as they seem to have hit a real home run on this one and have made a huge leap in megapixels and capabilities, yet have been able to maintain an affordable price offering of just over $3,000.
The D800 has truly leveled the photographic playing field for professionals and amateurs alike. You get an incredible medium format level of detail with the new 36.3 megapixel sensor, 1080p 30fps video, and the pro features of the new 91,000 pixel sensor for metering and MultiCAM 3500FX autofocus, face-detection, 3D Colour Matrix Metering III for more accurate exposures, in-camera HDR, 14-bit colour, 4fps in FX (full frame) and 6fps in DX format with the MB-D12 multi-power battery.
As much as I was hoping for a D4X announcement, I was pleasantly surprised by the solid pro feel and weight of the D800, Nikon ergonomics and a plethora of pro features. I will probably keep my D3X because I love it so much, but from what I have seen so far the D800 will easily replace it in my camera bag forevermore.
One of the most extraordinary new features of the D800 is that it has high ISO capabilities of ISO 100 to ISO 6400, expandable ISO range to ISO 50 to ISO 25600. When I was shooting with the camera, it blew me away to see how impressive the images were at such high ISO/low light. This is a huge advantage over the D3X. Nikon has truly achieved a superb image quality and an unparalleled combination of ISO and image detail. For this reason alone I have my D800E and MB-D12 vertical grip/multi-power battery pack on order!
“My Recommendation: Get your Nikon D4 and D800 on order if you haven’t already!”] The Nikon D4 is, in my opinion, the best fast action sports camera in the world today. If you are interested in capturing the energy of the moment or need High ISO capabilities to burn, cinematic quality video and a pro camera that will do it all, take a beating, handle anything you throw at it and not miss a frame, this is it!”
If you’re looking for a do-it-all supercamera with medium format image resolution and detail, full portability, excellent ISO range, cinematic quality video, and pro features at an affordable price, the Nikon D800 will rock your photography to a whole new level.
If you’re a pro like me you’ve probably got both on order and can’t wait to start shooting with them!
– KRISTIAN BOGNER