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Thread: D4 vs D800

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    D4 vs D800

    I currently have a D700 and I'm looking at an upgrade to a D4 or D800. With the D4S coming onto the market, I've noticed some decent low count D4's coming up so the cost differential between the D800 (new with battery grip as I prefer the grip on) and the D4 becomes negligible.

    At this point I'm in two minds. I shoot a mix of kids and sports (not professionally) and I like the idea of a slightly faster focus system but I also like the idea of the 36MP although the thought of processing the files is a little scary.

    I figure I can probably keep my D700 (if I need the higher frame rate) and have the D800 so I have the best of both worlds. The D4 also sounds great but I always have concerns about second hand gear.

    Is anyone shooting much sports stuff with the D800? How do you find it?
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji X-E3, Fuji X100T, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Fujinon 60 f/2.4 Macro, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T, Mefoto Q00
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  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Haven't shot real sports stuff, but I've shot speedy karts moving along at a cracking pace(well when you're only 2meters away, they looks pretty speedy!).

    Never had an issue with focusing, and that was with the old Tammy 70-200/2.8(non VC) which is regarded as the slowest focusing 70-200 in this range.
    Your quicker focusing Nikon version will do fine.
    As for frame rates ... I'd be nice to have 8fps .. but my experience is that I went from the D300's 6fps to the D800's 4fps, and to be honest I didn't really notice much difference.
    17 shot buffer is also quite OK(remembering I only shoot raw) .. same/similar to the D300.

    As I'm not a pro and don't shoot or work like a pro, I tend to sift through a ton of raw files through my viewer, rate them and then only process the ones I really like.
    It's the sifting part that I hate tho .. tedious stuff. Looking at the image at 100% to rate it's usability, then going back through them all again looking at the entire frame to see if one version of the same image is slightly better and sub rating those images too(note I use Nikon's star/number system for rating.

    So even tho I may have two perfectly sharp shots, and both rate high for acuity/detail, one may then have a better moment, or overall frame or whatever and rate higher on the cub rating.

    What's my point! .. having all these images as an amateur is basically a waste. of time, resources and effort.
    Shooting at quicker frame rates only exacerbates the situation .. so I've taken the conscious decision to not try to shoot more .. try to shoot smarter(if I can).

    I may miss a shot here or there because of this, but as I'm not a pro reliant on the money shot .. I'm not really losing out.

    What would be nice in having the D4 tho(or even a Df if it were a decent camera!) is that who cares what ISO is used attitude. Get exposure OK and ISO 104K still looks acceptable for most display purposes.

    I can't say that going from the D300(25-30Mb files) to the D800E(75-100Mb files) has really slowed down my PC all that much.
    Some software may bog down under the extra data .. I haven't really noticed it with CaptureNX2, ViewNX2 or even Lightroom4.4 all that much.
    Not saying that it doesn't slow down, it does! ... but not by the amount you may think it may.
    The only exception to this software experience is CaptureNX-D .. massively slow on D800 files compared to D300 files .. but of course this is beta software and comes with possible issues.

    I'd say get the D800E. Cheaper by a good mile and a bit(even new compared to most lightly used D4's). I couldn't imagine having to put up with the added bulk of the D4 when not needed, although I do have a grip for the D800E when it's appropriate.
    Having the on board flash for CLS use is handy to have .. where the D4 misses out(if this is something you use).

    if you do go with the D800(E or not) I bet your initial self reflecting comments will be something along the lines of:
    * ... why is it not sharp
    * ... damn that's a lot of detail.

    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  3. #3
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    Thanks. On the issue of the grip, I've always preferred the grip on as I find it's more balanced. Even if I want to reduce weight, I'd rather take out the battery from the grip and leave it on or swap to the D700 battery in the grip (as opposed to the AA's which are damn heavy)

    It's a valid point about the pre-processing and it's probably something I'll need to consider if I go down the path of the D800. At the moment, I go through everything in lightroom so perhaps the option to get take RAW and JPG (basic) and then store the JPG's on a separate card so I can go through and clean out the crap without processing large files initially. My machine isn't a terrible spec, I have a macbook air i7 with 8GB and a solid state but my guess on where the problems will start is on processing raw files. How has your experience been with processing large files in photoshop with TIFF vs PSD?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I don't use PS, and (basically)don't use Lr on my D800 images. On the very few images I have opened in Lr, I sort of remember it to be about the same speed as it operates on any other files.
    I mainly use Lr to view non Nikon raw files, and occasionally to help others in editing posted images(ie. jpgs).

    But, CaptureNX2 has to render a large TIFF file for viewing purposes as you edit the NEF file.(NEF is basically a hotted up tif file anyhow)
    The tif file used in temporary storage is about 200 or more Megs on a standard 75-90Meg D800 NEF.

    Like I said, CNX2 doesn't feel all that much slower in editing D800 files compared to D300 files. Although D70s files do operate much faster, and it's more obvious when doing NR edits anyhow.
    Noise reduction editing in CNX2 is just slow(always has been), and spins up the CPU more than any other edit type in CNX2. That's really the only slow down I've experienced.

    I suspect if you do go down the D800 path and the rate at which you capture images doesn't slow down, storage space may be something you will want to look into.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 28-03-2014 at 4:54pm.

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    Thanks. I haven't used NX much in the past due to the slow speeds I experienced with it when I tested it. I recently downloaded the NX-D beta and it's slow enough with the D700 files, so I'd be a little scared to look at D800 files. As you mentioned, the slowest speeds seem to be with the noise reduction aspect, which is one of the primary reasons why I have used the Define 2.0 tool for noise reduction. The disk space is less of a concern for me, disk is cheap these days and I generally convert my TIF's to DNG if I don't feel I will be doing any future edits so the size is less of an issue over a period of time.

    Either way, I have no doubt that a change to the D800 is going to result in changes in which the way I process.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Lots of people say that about NX!
    I find very interesting, as my experience is completely polarised with respect to NX'es and Adobe's software.

    Maybe it's because I use AMD CPUs or something ... but I remember setting up Andrew's(I@M) PC once and I'm sure CNX or VNX was pretty quick.

    on the other hand, maybe Adobe's software is really slow on AMD cpus!

    anyhow not too far off topic.

    CNX-D is still not past beta, and is painfully slow .. no matter the camera raw file used .. even D70s files.
    It's good if compared to VNX2 for the tools available, but the pain associated with watching an image render after a simple tweak is only bearable because I drink lots of tea and coffee
    (between edits )

    If I'm getting the feeling that you're leaning towards the D800, I'm fairly sure you'll be pleasantly amazed just as most folks are going from an older Nikon.

    ps. I have to say I was very skeptical in the 36Mp specs of the D800 .. would have preferred D4 like 16ish Mp with super high quality sensor ability, ISO high or low.

    But I have come around to it now. That is, it's not the problem I thought it would be. I'd like cleaner ISO6400 files tho .. but this is incidental at web resolutions/presentations it's still quite good.

    Although, even tho many have talked about the problem of high mp capture and not so secure technique .. you only understand the problem when you get it for yourself.

    optical stabilization is my new best friend!

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    Yeah. D800 is the probably choice, whilst there is still a little devil on my shoulder saying the D4S is the logic choice, despite the fact that I don't need anything close to that. Then again, that's the same devil that thinks I need a lot of other things I don't need I might be able fight it for this one

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    My view,
    unless you want to print high quality images that require the full 36 mega pickles of the D800 you will be far better off with a D4.
    Then, dump lightroom it is slower than NX2 and NX2 does a better job easier from my point of view and it is truly a pity that it is now dead.

    DON'T even be tempted to download the rebadged version of sillypix that Nikon is now giving away.
    Andrew
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    For kids' activities and sports in general, the D800 is a very capable camera. But for indoor sports and low light actions, the D3s/D4/D4s is the way to go...

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    Thanks everyone. I'll keep an eye out on the used market. If I see a D4 with low mileage and a decent price, I may put in an offer or I may just get a D800.

    The D4S is in the affordability range, but I would rather use the extra funds for a 105 f/2.8 and some other odds and ends

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Regular livio's Avatar
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    Mission Man for what it's worth I would say go with the D4 I have been fortunate to get one and I simply love it. It is fast, it is clear and it has so many options. I particularly like the low light and high ISO it does make a difference and it also has a very high burst rate. I know the 4S is out now or about to be but I'll be staying with the D4

    Kind Regards

    Livio

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mission Man for what it's worth I would say go with the D4 I have been fortunate to get one and I simply love it. It is fast, it is clear and it has so many options. I particularly like the low light and high ISO it does make a difference and it also has a very high burst rate. I know the 4S is out now or about to be but I'll be staying with the D4

    Kind Regards

    Livio

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