Field test Nikon D4 with sample shots

first_imgNikon’s new pro-level D4 is out in the wild and I was able to get my hands on one for a short shooting session. The D4 was paired with the company’s 24-70mm f/2.8, making for a very nice rig, especially when combined with a beautiful spring day here in NYC. The two components came together to become a $7800, 4.8-pound shoulder-destroying, pedestrian-frightening super camera, but they sure were fun to use.My time with the D4 was limited, so I’ll keep my thoughts brief for now. After all this is camera built for just a select group of demanding professionals.First of all, the D4 is quite conspicuous, especially when paired with the lengthy 24-70mm lens and a hood. If people didn’t notice the huge camera setup, you’re sure to get their attention when you start shooting at 10 frames per second in their general direction.With some tinkering I was able to find the camera’s shutter-free Silent Mode, which takes 1920×1080 shots in high speeds bursts. This mode is great if you don’t want to interrupt a press conference or party and you still want top-notch image quality. The biggest problem here is that when you press the shutter button nothing really happens on the camera. Aside from a green light blinking, it’s not clear if you are even taking pictures! Furthermore, the image counter doesn’t increase, you just see a countdown timer, so the mode feels quite disconnected from the normal experience. After holding the trigger for a bit you might check your memory card and realize that you were taking 2MP shots at 24 fps… and you have a lot of images that need to be edited.To enable Silent Mode you need to go into the settings and change the Live View image mode from Quiet to Silent (yes, it’s confusing). The camera has to be in Live View to shoot in this mode.Handling and ergonomics with the camera are both quite good. Obviously the D4 is a monster and the 2-pound lens doesn’t help, but the controls are well-placed. If you’re a Nikon shooter you’ll free right at home, especially if you are coming from a high-end model. Non-Nikon regulars will hit some controls issues — for example it wasn’t clear to me how to switch from FX to DX modes, let alone CX — but this is an complicated product so it’s not shocking that there is a learning curve.I only took about 400 shots and lighting conditions were pretty much ideal, so I can’t say much about the image quality. I was happy with the shots I took and, while it’s not my favorite, the 24-70mm is known to be a great lens. You can check out a few images below and report back with your thoughts.Nikon’s D4 is quite good. Given its price and how fantastic the D3s is though, it should come as no surprise that the camera doesn’t disappoint. The complaints I logged yesterday were minor (and at times unavoidable): the D4 is hefty, the Silent Mode needs some sort of feedback (haptics maybe?), and I don’t have an XQD reader so I had to shoot on boring old CF.On the product level, my concern is that the D4 isn’t hugely different — to me — from the D3s. That sad, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the target buyer, and that the high-end video options (like unprocesssed 1080p out through HDMI) and an ethernet jack aren’t what I need in a DSLR. As for day-to-day shooting, the autofocus didn’t feel drastically upgraded to me and the still image capturing tools aren’t that different from those of its predecessor. Serious videographers will surely take the D4 over anything else Nikon offers today, but the rest of us will have to determine if it’s worth the extra money over a D3s or D800.Note: These are unedited 4928×3280 and 1920×1080 (Silent Mode) shots so they might take a while to download.Nikon D4 sample shot 004- Sal Cangeloso – / full resolutionNikon D4 sample shot 004- Sal Cangeloso – / full resolutionNikon D4 sample shot 003 – Sal Cangeloso – / full resolutionNikon D4 sample shot 002 – Sal Cangeloso – / full resolutionNikon D4 sample shot – Sal Cangeloso – / full resolutionNikon D4 field test – Sal Cangeloso / – Silent mode 002Nikon D4 field test – Sal Cangeloso / – Silent modeNikon D4last_img read more