Nikon® D4 review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
The Nikon D4 is the flagship model in Nikon’s professional DSLR lineup. It was released in early 2012 to replace the Nikon D3s. The D4 is one of the best DSLRs on the market right now. In this review we’ll take a look at some of the good and the bad about the D4 to help you decide if it’s the right camera for you.
Nikon D4 Advantages
The D4 is one of the most advanced cameras available, and we could spend all day going over the great features it has. We’re going to focus on three things we think will be important to photographers:
- XQD storage: The Nikon D4 is the first camera to incorporate a memory card slot that will work with XQD technology. XQD cards are expected to replace CompactFlash as the go-to for professional photographers because of the technology’s theoretical faster write speeds and increased storage. According to the CompactFlash Association, which created the card format, the card will be able to hold up to 2 terabytes (yes, you read that right) and transfer data at up to 500 MBps. Currently the D4 can shoot a burst of 100 RAW images, which is a feat all on it’s own. The ability to use XQD technology with the D4 is a huge advantage.
- Full HD video: The D4 shoots full HD video in 1080p, so videographers (budding or otherwise) will be able to put together some awesome clips. The camera can shoot at various frame rates, which gives you more control over your video creation. The camera has a 3.5-mm jack for an external mic as well, which makes it the all-around package for professional video creation.
- Better autofocus: One of the small but very useful improvements on the D4 is the improved autofocus function. It has a 51-point array and is rated to -2EV, which means you’ll have no trouble using it in low-light situations. This is a huge advantage for photographers who are shooting in low-light settings on a regular basis. If you shoot weddings or night-time subjects you’ll be impressed with the autofocus on the D4.
There are dozens of other features that make the Nikon D4 great, but we think these three were worth a mention. Read on to find out some of the downsides of the D4.
Nikon D4 Disadvantages
The D4 isn’t all gravy. You should consider these factors when deciding whether to purchase the D4:
- Cost: There’s no getting around it: The D4 is an expensive camera. You’re looking at spending $6,000 to get your hands on this body. There’s no denying that the D4 has a ton of high-end features, but there are cameras with similar (and in some cases, better) features that are a fraction of the price. The D4’s price means you’re paying a premium for a few features and specifications that will likely only matter to the professional shooter.
- Sensor: The D4 has a 16.2 megapixel full-frame sensor. The native ISO ranges from 100–12800, which is pretty impressive. The problem is that you can get more megapixels in the Nikon D800 (36.3 at ISO 100-6400) and more megapixels with better ISO with the Canon 5D Mark III (22.3 megapixels at ISO 100–25600). Both these cameras can be had for about half the cost of the D4, which is a huge difference when you’re talking about thousands of dollars. The D4 is definitely set up for a pro, but you may want to consider other options if these specifications matter more.
- Battery life: The D4 is rated at 2,600 shots per charge, while it’s predecessor the D3s is rated at 4,200 shots per charge. Obviously, this is a big difference that doesn’t make much sense. It turns out the reason for the poorer performance has to do with new battery regulations in Japan. Whatever the reason, the battery performance isn’t going to be as good with the D4.
The Nikon D4 is a great camera, but it does have some marks against it. If you’re a professional photographer who needs the specialized features available with the D4 then the price is definitely worth it. If you aren’t quite at that level yet you might want to consider one of the other cameras mentioned in this thread. The Nikon D4 is a feature-packed professional rig either way, and if you’re lucky enough to own one we think you’ll definitely love it.