It’s here, officially. Which I’m sure is bringing a smile to the face of many just as wide as Little Joe Lastie’s here in this picture. Shot in Preservation Hall, with the Nikon D4, 24-70mm lens, ISO 200, and several speed lights. We’ve been involved with the prep for this camera for several months, and been shooting with it for the last few weeks. And, man are we happy to be able to finally talk about it.
Whew! Done. It’s out. We can officially say that letter and numeral together. Out in the field, as a team, we just referred to our cameras as the Millennium Falcons, One and Two. It’s come through rain, wind, weather and all manner of natural calamities to be real, and here, on our doorstep. Here’s one of my first questions. What are those wonderful fellas over at Nikon Rumors gonna do now? I mean, how to fill up the time? They’ve been bulldogging this camera now for months. I suggest they all go out, have a nice meal, and get hammered. Their work is done. At least until the D5. Which is a helluva camera, by the way. I’ve been shooting the prototype.
I have no need of a D5. When the D3 came out, honestly, I thought I was done. Okay, I thought, this is the camera they gently fold my lifeless fingers around when they dress me in a nice suit and send me away for a long nap. There were plenty of pixels in that camera to keep me company, and they all seemed to behave quite well. I was raised on transparency film, and the D3 settled forever any nostalgic issues about going back to slides. But this camera makes the reverential memories of Kodachrome 25 fade like an old color print.
The D4 is an entirely new chapter in the history of the pixels. It arrived in a nondescript box. We all stared at it, like it was something that got sent from a sci-fi movie, and if we opened it, we would find the still beating heart of an alien life form.
We were, of course, expecting the box, having been involved in the discussion of the camera for over six months. We knew it was on the way. We knew it was gonna be cool. We just didn’t know how cool.
We hammered our prototypes, honestly. Showed them no reverence whatsoever. First stop was the swamps of Florida. About a day into that adventure, I told Drew that if I ever mentioned working in the swamps again, he could just go ahead and shoot meâ€”with a gun. First location we showed up at was highly desirable from a photo point of view. Less so after we noticed the large water moccasin curled up right about where I would have put a tripod. The ranger commented, “They’re pretty territorial, and aggressive. He probably thinks this is his location.”
I thought about giving the snake the camera and having him shoot the job, but, seeing as I’m the one with the opposable thumbs, and (theoretically) a larger brain, we continued our search.
We found our way to a picture, through the muck and the mud. And, right off the bat, I was impressed with the file. It was, in a word, smooth. I know that’s not a techy description, and there’s some folks out there right now counting every pixel, but I was impressed by the detail and the creaminess of the pictures. No sharpness of contrast, and harshly defined lines of demarcation between highlights and shadows. Smooth, in a word, and great skin tone.
We had a ball, quite frankly. We took the camera from the swamps of Jacksonville to the studios of New York, and back down again to a circus in Florida, and then to the music scene in New Orleans. Through it all, I was continuously impressed with:
File detail and forgiveness in the shadows.
Responsiveness of the camera in terms of intuitively good exposures and autofocus.
Video quality and new features. Wow. We’re in the final stages of post right now for what we shot. Check back sometime next week for the full scoop. It’s a game changer.
New rocker buttons for moving the auto-focus cursor.
Ease of shifting the auto-focus modes.
Size and clarity of the lcd.
The fact that I dropped one and it kept working.
Plus, none of us had tried to light an elephant with an SB-910 and a Lastolite tri-grip before.
Cora, our wonderful elephant, is 9600 pounds. Mike Grippi is back there trying to put a catch light in her eye. Awesome!
For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be reporting on field adventures with the D4. Stay tuned for stills, video and BTS stuff. For now, I think I’m going to get some sleep. More tk….
I have to admit I’m very impressed with what I’ve so far with the D4. I think I’ll have to start saving my $$$ and get one.
Tom deBruyn says
Doing great work yet again! Maybe the next flashbus tour you can give lessons on lighting elephants? (read: David Hobby) Awww snap, JK Mr. Strobist, no harm intended.
Mimimi mimimi mimi. Mi mi miiiiiii.
JÃ¡ vi melhores, DESDENHEI…. uÃ….
william Henderson says
Great stuff, be interested in what you think after you put it through the paces
Awesome! Thank you for sharing your experiences Joe! Appreciate it 🙂
Mike Lyons says
Thanks Joe, you lucky guy!
Michael LaPointe says
Must… have… camera…
Very very nice Mr McNally, looking forward to seeing more info and BTS stuff with this!
Did you have a chance at all to play around with this whole WT-5/iPad dealy? Do you know if that will that work through the D4’s LAN port to a regular router with the iPad on WiFi?
That was quick – all ready to go waiting for the embargo to lift? Please tell me a computer program posted this for you – you didn’t really sit up to post this did you Joe?
Ian Mckenzie says
Thank you Mr McNally.
As if for a minute we would believe that Nikon wouldn’t let you wrap your fingers around the new D4 early on. Who better to wring the most out of a 35mm style dslr. And of course a reviewer with street creds.
Dave R. says
Hopefully my endeavors this year will afford me one, and a couple new flashes/lens’. Love the anaconda pic.
Katia Trudeau says
whaa! I was waiting for this post right after I saw your name under the photos on Nikons website! I’m so excited about this camera, glad that you were the first to play with it!
Hi, show us some ISO proofs versus same taken with D3s 🙂 thanks
Beautiful stuff.. as always. Were the skin tone examples edited or processed at all, or are those straight from the body?
Oh, it seems you had fun with that cam;-)
Looks like a very interesting beast, indeed!
Duane Hall says
When you are done with them, Joe, you can send one my way. I promise I will return it to Nikon. Honest!
Prick……….you always get to play with the new stuff…
Zachary Logn says
Wow so glad to see this post timed perfectly with the Nikon Rumors stuff (ok, sorry I can’t help but read up on it and now keep checking for D800 rumors).
You really shouldn’t have said this “Video quality and new features. Wow. We’re in the final stages of post right now for what we shot. Check back sometime next week for the full scoop. It’s a game changer.” Now I’ll be hitting refresh on my RSS feed every day awaiting this post. As both a Nikon and Canon user this is what interests me the most, to finally see Nikon’s real response to the DSLR video movement. From the spec list it sounds amazing so I’m dying to read about real-world usage on assignments!
lovely work Joe as always you are a true insperation and a kick up the rear I need to get out and start shooting. I WANT A NIKON D4 LOL
super pumped about this!
Chris Nemes says
Looking good! Bet you’ve been rubbing your hands impatiently waiting for the green light from Nikon to post this.
Louis Pang says
There goes my vacation budget for 2012. Joe I hate you!
Joe, you know very well what’s coming next – the D800 🙂
how i wish the next time I recieved a package from DHL – it would be a D4!… 🙂
I’ll surely try that swamp thing!… 🙂
thanks for sharing this Joe!…
Ahmed Sharif says
one word, WOW!! 🙂
Great info, love to know if the new D4 has quite mode included… can’t wait to here about the speed and fast AF & iso…. pleaseeee tell us more..
Ke Toney says
Joe, I can’t wait to get my hands on one!!!
Joe McNally and a D4, nuff said. You are the man that can take perfect photos with the throw away cameras left on the tables @ weddings in low light haha. Man the cam and the pics look great! So is this going to be the end of seeing you with a [email protected] photoshop world?
“We’re in the final stages of post right now for what we shot.”
Did you shoot a video as well then??
If so, I beg you to hurry up showing us 🙂
Dave Barnard says
I’ll admit it: envy. But so glad they picked you to test drive it. Thanks for your sharing. Great shots. Now to find a way to afford that. And I thought I was done with my little D700. It’s inspiring as usual Joe.
Robert Daniels says
Well done for keep the beast under wraps.
Danny Klimetz says
One word – Excited!
Thanks for posting this. And you’re right – great skin tones. Meaning the models, not your legs in the last frame. 🙂
Dan Arif says
Impressive Mr Mcnally.. Thanks for sharimg
Devon wedding photographer says
I can’t wait to get my hands on a D4.
Henry CK says
D4~Nice! D4 with Joe’s team.. Even Better..
Paul Anslow says
Look forward to an in depth review. Never thought of using a elephant to test out a new camera. 🙂
Nigel King says
Well done Joe. Had a close up look at the swamp photo on the hi-res brochure – Amazing!
No hybrid viewfinder? What was all the rumour about the patent then? Ah, gotta keep on following nikonrumours. Again.
You could’ve done all shots with a D3, couldn’t you? The only picture convincing me is the “Skin tone” one. The one with the snakelady (reminds me of Bladerunner somehow). Nice tonality range. And if you didn’t post to much on the skintone…. 😉
Hannes Uys says
Joe from this post I can safely say that Nikon has nailed it yet again. Thanks for all of this. ~H.
Joe Keum says
Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about from MASTER JOE!
BTW, I am just amazed by your story of swamp to studio to circus and all… WOW and COOL!
Impressive, but based on the relatively incremental upgrade from the D3S, do you think many pros ditch their D3S units right off the bat?
No matter whether it’s a D4 or a Coolpix: you rock Joe!
Yeah… D4 Just released today! can’t wait to get these! 🙂
Waaah… That sounds so great… Now I know what I’ll be dreaming of the next months!
Foto Frenzy says
Wow! What great images to test the D4 with. I can’t wait to see more images from this camera and to get my grubby little hands on one!
Thanks for sharing Joe.
Rob Byron says
Here goes another 6 g’s. Praise the Lord and pass me one-O-them new fangled super fast card thingies.
Nikon make me very happy 🙂
Nice introduction review Joe… But SB910 to light an elephant, that’s a classic 🙂
Ben Yew says
Great review, thanks!! 🙂
Great post again along with awesome shots (just as usual :-)) – the one with the lady in the boat is amazing! – and a nice new toy from Nikon!
Patrik Lindgren says
I´m excited, mostly because i sold my trusty old D3 and i need the replacement.
But more than that i´m glad that You where one of them that got one of this to your disposal, as always you deliver epic stuff and being a true inspirer.
I´m seeing some similarities to your good colleague Drew Gardner and his series The Forest (http://drewgardner.co.uk/stillsgallery.asp?cat=3538&inp=3540&pd=4).
Looking forward to see the following posts.
Awesome work Joe! Can’t wait to see more.
oohhh D4 🙂
Question to commenters. What does the “more tk” at the end of each story mean?
Darren Cornwell says
Thanks so much for this post, what an amazing camera. Not sure it has enough bells and whistles to replace a D3S, but then it’s the photographer who takes the picture and not the body (although it helps!). Can’t wait to see a more in depth view. 🙂
WFT?!?? I THOUGHT ASHTON KUTCHER WAS GONNA REVIEW IT!!!
Cesar Palima says
Wow! Awesome! I can’t wait to touch it!
I had a 5D2 and 5 cannon lens, but i’m considering to jump to Nikon now!!
Joe you could shoot with an old Instamatic. You don’t need the D4, send it here 😉
Thanks for taking the time for this – a lot of us have been chompin’ at the bit here. You said “game changer” – it will be interesting to hear what you actually mean by that. Coming from you, I’m curious.
NME Photographie says
Thanks for sharing this Joe. An other camera I will never get but that was fun to read 😉
John Havord says
Happy days. Must look out for the next episode of Scott Kelby’s “The Grid”, surely they’ll be giving one away 🙂
Darren Cornwell says
Joe – How did you find the lack of AE-Lock button, what with it being removed from the rear of the camera now – how is this function now accessed?
Mark J. Terrill says
Pretty cool Joe! You got to work with the D4 and Cora (The elephant from Smokey and the Bandit ll). It doesn’t get any better than that.
Thanks for your sharing Mr. McNally! Great shots!
Raymond Hoffmann says
… looking forward 🙂 Thank you for your experiences Mr Joe McNally! bless from Iceland, Ray
This is what [NR] will be doing next:
I know you will not aprove my comment, but at least you got my message 🙂
Peter Solano says
Where do I sign to be able to get my hands on one and really give it a good test shoot?
Very exciting news.
Tom Bricket says
Time to upgrade from my D200!
Ooooooh, have fun with that one.
A lot of rumors in the last days and now she’s here. On the specs it is looking impressive. I am waiting for the first Low-Light D4vsD3s tests.
Well, now for me there will be something on the used market I think……a D3 when prices drop….:D
PS: Smart that you didn’t give the D4 to the swamp moccasin. She may have been running away with it and old the prototype on ebay 😉
Stephanie McGehee says
This is the reason we are called ‘poor photographers!’. Just when we started getting comfortable they bring out an irresistible camera. Great stuff. I always feel superior to the canon owners when Nikon brings a new model out!
But I will never afford one 🙁
Mike Burton says
Nice Blog guys, as if my credit card wasn’t already in trouble, it will be now!
Skin tone. Good. That’s the one area I was I was sometimes disappointed with on the D3. Nice to see the focus on something other than shooting by starlight. I’d love to see a full size version of the snake woman too.
You had me at, “It’s here..”….. mannnnnnn I can’t wait to get to B&H to get my hands on one!
Jan Oscarsson says
This looks really sweet! One thing though, I would appreciate it if you could publish a photo taken under low light conditions at ISO 12800. And I don’t regard images shot at f4 @500th/s low light 😉 I would like to see something like a portrait and an environmental shot (without the help of flash) in a dark church or similar that requires ISO 12800, f1,4 @60th/s to be properly exposed… can you give us that, Pretty please 🙂
Well… you’re one lucky b……!
I just hope some of this greatness will trickle down to the D300s successor.
One thing I’m wondering though, did you guys supply any feedback that was actually taken aboard by Nikon?
Dr gp says
How does it compare to the D3S?
Allan Schober says
Mr. McNally, really, he’s just Joe to me. In any event, great new Camera, almost good enough for me to trade in all my Canon gear! But I think I’ll wait for some more detailed 1DX .vs. D4 comparisons to be published first,;)
Hadari photographer says
Ihave now D3 +D3s to sell and I was thinking
of having the D3s for ever.
Just ordered 1 and probably I will ne the 1st
here in Israel to get it. :-). now will be able also
to offer video servises, at least a simple ones
Photographer Janne Miettinen says
I’m not very impressed so far. There doesn’t seem to be anything special in the D4 according to your post, aside from the video. Hope to see some more info about the dynamic range.
David Clark says
When you need an 18% grey would a card not be more convenient than an elephant?
One strange thing – looking in the D4 brochure I saw yours and two other images full page – strange after inventing a metering system that has 91,000 points all three examples were taken with manual metering! 😉
is the ethernet port really only 100mb/s ?
Wow jealous you got to play with that beast! I’d gladly take one of theose D3’s off your hands!
i hope the video is great, however at the price. i think i rather get 5dmk2 for videography
Alessandro Rosa says
Really nice work and congrats to the folks at Nikon for remaining in the race against Canon; a little competition is always a good thing to keep things fresh.
Speaking for those of us who are Ophidiophobes though, a few less snaps of our no-legged, uhm… friends, unless of course their name happens to be Monty, would be much obliged. God do I hate Richard Avedon for popularizing that particular accessory. I never saw the need to ruin (harsh word, but very visceral response) the picture of a beautiful woman in that way, Eve in the Garden myth aside.
Adrien Bisson says
Great stuff, as always! I too am looking forward to seeing more images and hearing about ultra high ISO performance.
Newcastle wedding photographer says
I’m glad they didn’t go nuts with the megapixels. Going to be great for low light work!
Well, I Have been waiting for a 700 replacement for so long now my budget I set aside for a body grew enough I can consider the D4. The 800 is not what I need so…
Man my hands are looking for it at my hip even as I think about it.
Alice G Patterson says
Very exciting. They couldn’t have picked a better collaborator to test the goods. Now, how about a Nikon sponsored Joe McNally D4 give away post? 🙂
Nikola Ovcharski says
The uncompressed video feature looks nice
Brian Powell says
Forget the D4, that shoot in the swamp is PERFECT.
Inspiring as usual,
Thou lord has arrived.. Salut….
Howard Pitkow says
HA! I read the Nikon press release this morning and knew right away that you were A, involved in this project and B, have been using one for a few weeks already. Damn this camera looks amazing. This is the Nikon product that actually could push me over the edge and sell my Canon equipment. But I have so much invested that it would be near impossible for me to start over. It’s hard to imagine but I’m thinking that even your photos are about to get better! Congratulations Joe and enjoy! BTW, I’m really enjoying reading your latest book on my iPad! Way to go!!
Cindy Dyer says
Oh, Joe, why do ya hafta be so cruel? You know that I can’t afford this camera, but your glowing, amazing, teasing review has made me lust after it now. You missed your calling. You shoulda been a salesman! 🙂
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When I grow up, I want Joe McNally’s talent and career. Seriously.
Rick Bern says
As always, laughing out loud as I read. Can’t wait for mine to arrive!
I didn’t realize that Charlie from LOST was one of your assistants.
Greg Lepera says
Love the cottonmouth, they were everywhere this year in NE Florida. Keep the snakes coming! (Sorry Alessandro!).
I do hope that I’m not at least partially responsible for your aversion to swamps, Joe. I still can’t believe those gators chomped up your light stands!
James - NYC Wedding Photographer says
Looks like a great camera. So happy that I am a Nikon shooter.
Chicago Photographer says
Being thats it’s only a leap of 3 megapixels on the sensor, I wonder if it’s really going to be worth the 6000.00 to upgrade from the D3s. If you shoot video, without a doubt, but I think the D3s is so good its going to be hard justify 6000.00. I want to see a side by side image comparison of the two.
Aberdeen wedding photographer says
Typical! Just when I am thinking I need to stop buying equipment – one great reason to buy more…
Thanks for all the inspiration in your work by the way.
Michelle Feeney says
Awesome! Loved this post. Thanks for sharing. We’re all giddy over here. Lots of ooo’s and ahh’s 🙂
Matti Vaittinen says
I really like the final swamp photo. Nice surreal feeling and the model looks beautiful 🙂 Would be nice to try the D4 some day myself!
TiÃªn Giang says
I LIKE D4 VERY MUCH!
To answer Chicago Photogs comment, it’s really more like 4MP above the D3s.
To answer your question Joe, what are the Nikon Rumours guys going to do now? They’ll just pick up where they left off in speculating incessantly about the “D800” or whatever that alleged 36MP shooter with 1080p or better video will be called. Will it be the D4X instead? I suspect you know, but won’t be telling us for another several months. All those Nikon Rumor fanboys with no life will be snooping around your studio & examining your garbage outside until then.
Rick Weaver says
Joe, the models you used – were they with or without the AA filters? Just curious because you stated the images were so yummy.
Joe Masucci says
Thanks Joe. Looking forward to more info on the D4.
Alexander The XV says
It sure looks tasty!
Thanks Joe for an excellent post!
andy c says
What about the D4’s chip? Is it new technology?
Many thanks for your generous spirit.
Chicago Photographer says
Marshal, you are correct it’s 12.1 for the D3s and 16.2 on the D4.
Como hacer una pelÃcula…
north carolina wedding photographer says
Can’t wait to see the video it puts out. Maybe finally I can have one camera that does both great.
Paramount Focus Photography says
It’s already sold out after being on the market for only few hours. The photos look amazing.
Mr Kotku says
Yuck! I hate snakes. Sorry can’t even look at that photo.
Rey Cuba says
Please send more photos, is really so nice to read about Nikon and it´s D4. Thanks for sharing it.
Great! I knew that your blog would be a reliable source to get detailed information about the new D4 in action! Thanks!
question! I’ve seen the official images made by you. How much noise reduction was used in the 6400 ISO shot? (the two wrestlers)I can’t see any fine detail in this image.
Karen Tate says
Anyone wanna used D3s? I’ll throw in my 3rd-born. 🙂 Nahhhh, as great as I’m sure the D4 is, I really really really looooove my D3s and its 12.1 glorious and large MPs and rockin ISO capabilities. Thanks for the great pre-review Joe, looking forward to hearing more. (Cool images from the shoots!)
No USB3, no Gigabyte-Ethernet – but a very nice Upgrade – and with the upcoming D4x the ultimate matching pair!
Are they still using soney sensor s ?
Bernardo Vaghi says
Excellent post. But when i see the 100% image from Nikon site the image looks backfocused like my D7000 body does in wide-angle shots. The D3 and the D700 have almost perfect focus.
Maybe this sensor 16 mp from Sony have a problem?
David Ford says
Always respect your insights Joe.
Thank you for this review. I’m fortunate to be first on the list for the D4 in my area and am quite excited. My D3S will now be back up and used for high volume events and the D4 for portraits – studio and location.
Kevin Steele says
Been waiting for this 🙂 With the D3 as my main body for 3 1/2 years I held off on the D3s, renting it when needing the low light performance and using the D7000 for backup. Just pre-ordered the D4. Can’t wait to create…
Great photos. I’m looking forward to seeing the video you mentioned, especially after what Paul D said about the D4 on his blog:
Sounds like an amazing camera. If only I had a need for one other than just the desire to own it.
Can you tell us where it is manufactured?
Oscar Trevino says
Wow!! Truly amazing camera!
Aaron @ Become A Photographer says
Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us! Sounds like an incredible camera.
Loved the last photograph with the boa. Awesome.
Take care, Aaron
manny cahn says
This camera will last forever …..no need to upgrade !
jimmy brown says
I will take two please :>)
Well, it does have ethernet, so I’m not missing USB. Loving the low light focus. Meter with more pixels than my first pro digital…
Royal Oak Weddings says
Wow….your shoots look amazing. I was having a hard time reading the article….especially the elephant shot!
Nikki Baxendale says
wow I just waited so long to get the D3s and finally this comes out so typical, however I still adore my D3s what an awesome camera!! I kind of want the D4 though is that beyond greedy!
Love the swamp shots Joe, you are braver than me!
Marty Fox says
Great post Joe! Looking forward to the story as it unfolds. I too just bought a D3s, So I won’t be upgrading any time soon. Still, it’s fun to dream.:)
What about the D800? 🙂
Btw, just finished reading LIGHT IT, SHOOT IT, RETOUCH IT. It is one of the best photography books I’ve read it my 55 years. Congrats on a job well done.
Iden Ford says
Just got the new book and it is really great. The first chapter is a reiteration of many ideas you’ve presented about small flash at workshops I have attended of yours. what is so great about the new book is it focuses the many techniques and ideas in a way that makes them easy to understand and employ in my own photography. It really is your best book of teaching skills to the reader that I have read, and I have all three.
The photos in this post are out of this world, but I shall keep my D3s for now, I have $$$$ in lenses and it all seems to work for me. Thanx Joe
Peter B. Kaplan says
Looks like a great camera Nikon does it again – too bad we didn’t have this equipment back in John’s class at ICP
HAppy New Year
Ivan Boden says
Wow! The D4 sounds amazing. I just read on the “strobist” blog that David Hobby is going for a Phase One instead of the D4. Just curious what you think of David’s decision.
Been shooting digital for 18 years, boy has it come along way and thank god because the first DSLR I used kind of stank, the NC2000. I am really looking forward to the D4, especially if I can do remote focus pulls via an iPad, the idea of moonlit aerials for conservation issues, oil and gas fields with my 35 1.4G, amazing, imagine the possibilities.
But the Kodachrome 25 reference…?…was it really needed? I shot over 300 rolls of the stuff from 2009-2010 for my book project, some in an Xpan, some 35,000 frames of it as I took the entire year off to have a blast with an incredible medium. You see Joe, I am like the other Nat Geo shooters you work among, too busy shooting to blog, gush over a camera that is utterly useless without a talented eye driving it. I shoot tons of digital and tons of film, I shot both for the New York Times last year, great pictures out of both. Why put down a medium that set the stage for NGS to be respected in color? Why when one of the prints on your wall by Maisel was shot with it….well before half of the groupies that follow this site could even get their exposures right pre-digital?
Nothing irks me more than all gear, all the time hype, gear is not photography Joe, the way an individual decides to frame the world he sees is and always will be….
If you lose sight of that, you have lost the only vision that will ever matter as a photographer.
Nice work. I have always enjoyed your photography, whether it’s with a D4 or not. Enjoy the new camera!
Jordan Cart says
Dan give it a rest.
Joe’s comment was valid. Reread what he wrote and relax a bit.
Dafydd Hughes says
I’m seeing less and less reasons to stay with Canon 🙂
@ Dan: I believe it was more of a compliment to the D4 than a put down to film. Since you spend your time reading and posting on other peoples blogs it’s hard to believe you would be too busy to post on your own blog about gear that you enjoy shooting with. I mean after all you were here reading the review just like the rest of us gushing “groupies” not to mention having one of the longest posts! 🙂
Thanks Joe, much appreciated!
I also got the clue what you’re talking about smoothness and skin tone in comparison to Kodachrom 25 (I also shoot some in my pre-digital live, hopefully even exposed right). Anyway, would love to have a D4 (I love my Nikon gear…)
Somehow my D3s still feels adequate. Really adequate. Really, really, really adequate 🙂
I’m curious. At what point and who said: “So we’ll go in a swamp, bring a blue boat, have a girl in a white dress stand in in with a lantern, get a smoke machine, and a wind machine, and we’ll take this photo…
Someone has a creative mind and access to lots of stuff.
John Armstrong-Millar says
Looks great. I always preferred Nikon ergonomics. Now they have a sensible file size I wonder if they have improved the dust on the sensor issue? There seems to be no mention of it in the press release so we can assume that it’s the same as the D3
Thanks for the great write-up, Joe! I don’t think this has been asked, and you’re one of the very few qualified to answer the question:
What’s up with the lightning bolt button on the top next to the BKT button?
It looks like the icon Nikon uses for controlling flash output – but this body doesn’t have a pop-up flash. If anybody has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. Commence speculation!
Hanns Timm says
@Dan: yes, I think you are completly right! Not the eyuipment will make the excellent photo…but the eye or better the inner eye of the photographer behind the camera!
I was using the D1x before, now D3 and think the new D4 is even better again…but: see before…
Yesterday I ordered a D4 here in old Germany 😉 ))
Give us raw files instead of blogging!
Sounds like a great camera, but not worth upgrading fm my D3S. I will wait for the D4X or a higher megapixel count D800 if such is available.
Doug Sturgeon says
Great images as always Joe & yes you are living the dream! I am so glad I switched from Canon to Nikon last year & have never looked back.
[email protected] says
There is so much about this camera that makes me want to sell a limb to ensure I have one.
Mike T says
Joe, I have come to believe that your shots would look great even if you were using your iPhone but I am sure the D4 is a fine camera.
Nikon D4 says
Checkout the Facebook Page of Nikon D4
hi,i have been toying with upgradeing to a d3s from my d2x now the d4 is here what to do?? i photograph equine events,wich one to go for??
Must acquire $6K. Sell kidney? Nope. Take pictures of weddings? Never done it have one camera, nope. Sell every board that has never been nailed together with THIS particular board on eBay and make 1/3 cent for each one… likely.
Seriously, how am I suppose to find that kind of money when I work for the county? Love illuminated buttons, love native ISO, not so wild about yet another type of storage media, love high eye-point, love ergonomics, love what is likely 10fps at 14bit depth, wishing for a printer that can do more than 300dpi…why not. It turns out that Beggars Can Be Choosers.
David Hancock says
Very nice pics Joe……but really I’m sick of “gear-nut” stuff too!
John Hall says
No reason to switch from Canon to Nikon they are nothing with the new 1Dx besides they can’t produce my dream, my dream lens is 50 & 85mm 1.2 they are awesome when i tried them 🙂
is there any product shoot with this camera
@ Simon. If you lived in the UK, you’d need to have both of those kidneys on EBay. 😮
Seriously, the snake and elephant shots?? Avedon is turning over in his grave dude.
6k for 16megapixels?? especially for post-prod is totally unacceptable. in PS we need all the pixels we can get our hands on and this is a camera meant for serious work?? perhaps poster quality???
clearly Nikon is doing a money grab on this one dude. this is a 2-3k camera, nikon must be expecting to make up for losses from the thai floods by charging premium for me-too technology! shameful yo…
Earlier this year my goal to have the D4 among the earliest in this country after satisfied with the D3 and D3S.
Jacquelyn Martin says
Thanks for the review. Most camera files look great at ISO 200. I’d like to know how it performs pushed to high ISO’s 3200 and higher.
Where is the D800?
David G. says
Awesome Joe! Can’t wait to see the rest!
Nikonrumors can now focus on the D800. And I still don’t get why people want to “wait for a camera with a higher number of pixels”…are we still thinking more pixels on a 35mm frame is better? If you want more pixels just buy an Hasselblad H4D 50. Nikon has a D3x with 24mp which gets the job done, I am actually happy they didn’t come out with a 35mp monstrosity…16mp is great.
I can wait to try this new camera, it’s big advance in low light focusing!
Whaoh, I’ll be looking forward to your next posts, it will be interesting to see how the D4 compares with the D3s…and whose better then Joe to inform us on how the new model performs on the field;).
I count on you for the hands on review!
Well, what can I say, Joe you wrote one heck of a blog post. Have considered working as a salesperson for Nikon?
Come on man write something using objective terms.
Rich Cave says
sorry over priced, how much of the functionality of the d3 could be improved with firmware. I have a suspicion that you are paying $5500 for better firmware and the rest of the cosmetic improvements costing around $500. Is this a case of the emporers new clothes?
I feel slightly reticent about this, especially when Nikon code has been hacked improving functionality…
Camera manafacturers, camera equipment have a exorbirant mark up
Hedley Jones says
The new age is finally here….and I still love my D3…..but I have to have one…but does anyone know what 16 bit pipeline means?
Fred Hoogervorst says
I am impressed, I work with the D2X for long and since last year also with the D300 S.
Can you tell me what about the (automatic) dust remover, is there any info about that?
Thanks, Fred, based in Trinidad, Caribbean
Andrew Krucko says
Nice copy Joe!
mmmmm shine new kit
JP Sevillano says
Thanks for sharing. I can’t believe it’s here. saw it at @MysticSeminars over the weekend. it’s a beauty.
Can’t wait to see the videos!!!
Is there anything on the D4 that you don’t like?
although, what’s not to like.
Louis Dallara says
I love the shot with the snake, it looks magical and mysterious.
I am usually a Canon-Guy, but this new Nikon Body seems too tempting. Will try it out, once it becomes widespread available
An iPhone would have died already when only SEEING the swamp, let alone being dropped in it …
The D4 has more than enough Megapixels, already the D3S did, but the other improvements over the D3’s it has are way more important.
I would be fine with a D3S already, but the D4 would be the right replacement for my right hand …
Hi Joe, guess you’ll have to update the “what’s in the bag” page then… 🙂
Dr gp says
Nice shots. Would you say the camera is noticeably better for still photos? Compared to d3s.
– image quality?
– autofocus ?
I read your ‘I likes..’ above but most of this would have also been my comments on d3s.
Tell as true – are you testing d800 now ? 🙂
Wow now if i only had a spare $6,000 around. Amazing photos of course, and great to hear that it exceeded your expectations.
Way Cool! I SHOOT WITH TWO D-3’s now I the $$ to pick one up Wow maybe I will pick one up, Nikon just turns me on I keep all my old cameras they take up so my room. What feels better then picking up one of these cameras and shooting. 40 Years ago I shooting film. They got me because life is short I Love cool cameras I pick it up then I buy it!! Hey Guys Thanks!!
Cindy Snyder says
Heh. Heh. Heh. What’s wrong with a little Florida swamp, Joe? Where’s your sense of adventure? It was only one water moccasin. Could’ve been a group of hungry alligators. 🙂 Ever met Clyde Butcher? He’s a big bear of a man who gets out of the little boat in the middle of the river with his really tall tripod and big box camera while being eyed by hungry alligators (and getting stuck in the muck as it turns dusk and feeding time). I know you’re a match for him! Love the snake and girl shot.
Kim HoumÃ¸ller says
My D3X is the best camera i have ever own. Make a D4X with 50 megapixel..perhaps! 🙂
Thanks Joe for convincing me to preorder D4 (I will put D700 on ebay after I get mine). i am still looking forward to your lighting workshop
Slo-motion Video available like on the Sony lower priced cameras?
Hochzeitsfotografin Irene says
I can’t wait to get my own D4.
Christopher Gray says
Thanks for the info Joe. Looking for more as the days go by.
What I am really looking for is my pre-ordered D4 to show up.
If I had that location and the amount of lighting equipment, I believe a D3000 could take that kind of photos just as well.
I am thinking of selling one of my kidneys for this Camera. What do you think Joe?
david walker says
Its ball breaking looking at the price of the D4 why is it so expensive. I just got the money together to buy the D3S now the D4comes out. Is t really that much better or as some one said is it better firm wear and a few faffy cosmetic upgrades I ask you.
Love you Joe your my hero Hot Shoe Diaries was wicked
PS bring the price down of your CD language of light
You still can get picture like that with nikon d3000 or even canon 300D, the diferent is in photographer skills, style & concept, and how you mastering set up light. Without that, even D4 output feels like entry DSLR…
Very intreresting post.
Gabriel Hadarean says
I’m a long time Nikon user and I love Nikon. But I have a big concern: when is Nikon going to address fake skin tones? People are orange when photographed with Nikon. How is it possible to compare full frame cameras with Nikon when the later renders people orange?
How did Nikon create such a great ISO increase with the D7000 and not to the same with the D4?
Teuvo Ropponen says
Gabriel, calibrate your orange display…;-)
Do any of the new features of the D4 enhance the CLS system?
Joe McNally says
Yes, absolutely. The in camera meter’s better, so that makes the flash perform better as it liaises with the camera. And….big thing to me…..it separates the components of flash and ambient exposure. You know how now if you program in minus 2 EV on the camera, it becomes a global command that influences the flash output as well? No more. You can separate the two values and work their math independently. Very helpful….best, Joe
Joe I am currently shooting with a D300 my only pro lens is the 24-70 2.8.
I am awaiting delivery of a D4 and the 70-200 mm 2.8 fx lens. I am currently watching everything on you tube just can’t wait. In the response you gave re compensation are you saying when you switch from aperture priority to manual the -ev setting which wolud normally be ignored by the camera will now also be ignored by the flash. Picked this up from one of your books and it has become a bit engrained.
Love your work and everything I do with lighting has been learned from your books. Keep them coming.
When people get so conserved about megapixels. For most of my work I wolud not want to be creating such large file say a wedding no point. If the quality of the sensor and pixel size is as good as it is predicted then image quality will be wonderful from the D4. The D800 minus a grip etc etc. just does not come close to the specification simple. In a few years time everything will change but for now concentrate on what you are going to photograph and trust the camera to do its job.
Any chance of you coming to Australia in the near future to conduct workshops?
Hi, did you play a bit more with ISO on both side of the range? And what do you think about the new AF?
1- love these photos !
2- The D4’s sensor has been benchmarked and it seems that the D4 low-light performance has not improved over the D3s while DR and color depth did. (I have analyzed the test results of the d4 sensor review : http://www.photographydailynews.com/2012/03/nikon-d4-sensor-review/. Did you you notice that ?
3- I shot in December with a preprod D4. JPEGS looked about 1EV cleaner than the D3s ones. Do you agree ?
4- Re love these photos!
Gunnar Laak says
Really enjoyed Your presentation today at Kumu, Tallinn, Estonia.
Thanks for inspiration boost! 🙂
Best of luck!
Jose Sepulveda says
I recived my D4 and want to now If you can recomend If needed do some change of the settings that helps us to have the bests results from this new camera.
Any sugestions is welcome for me is a big change from working several years with my D2x and D200 for weddings and portraits but I new that I did the best desicion in pre-order this camera.
Nikon D3200 says
Fantastic images!!! Can I ask what the ISO levels are on this camera? After working with an older professional level DSLR (Fuji S2 Pro) and finding that images at ISO 1600 were just about unusable, I’m wondering how the D4 handles low level light?
Chas Manahan says
It looks to me like the eephant has a green tint rather than grey. Anyone else see this greenish tint? Even the fog behnd the elephant is a tad green.
michael anthony murphy says
for years i’ve been a canon shooter. when the d4 and 1dx were announced, i had to make a decision. i’ve always had a man crush on nikon although it seemed too late to jump ship, having so much canon gear. well, i made the big decision and decided, since i would be making a very large order that this would be the best time to make the move. i ordered the d4, not because of price, trust me, i had to invest in all new glass for this baby. i made the order back on january 20th, 2012, about a week or so after the announcement. i cried and cried, waiting for this new system to show up. day after day, week after week, nothing. i continued to call and harass the pro camera shop i ordered from. NPS members would receive theirs first. i had no chance of becoming a member since having a certain amount of pro nikon gear was a prerequisite. this would be my first nikon. just a couple days ago, on may 18th, 2012, the call came in. it was finally here. i’m sure you’ve all read every spec and detail about this camera but i’m not going there with all that crap. all i could say is that it is one badass, sexy animal! only been in my hands for a couple days and i’m in love, true love. the glass just as beautiful. some say people experience buyers remorse after large purchases. i too fall into that category. as for the d4 arrival, zero buyers remorse! zero! did i mention true love? this is a beast among beasts. king of the whatever. thanks nikon. thanks joe.
April Pinsonneault says
How do the D4 and D3x compare?
Da Durban Darren says
My 1st Digitail Nikon D-70 solid,than i got Nikon D-200 really good! than i got me the D-300 really really good! and now the D-4………………….The BEST EVER!! worth the wait!! High Speed Shutter!! ISO unreal, Full Frame, The Video is Boss…now i have to stop babying it and really push it the envelope…thank u Nikon much aloha
Leon H. Ritchie says
#1 If you were at a camera shop an a sales person said to you that the D3x, and D800 were not pro cameras, what would you say to that.
#2 What isyour professional openion of the new D800?
Joe, hos does this compare with the D800, which I believe was launched after the D4 but has better dynamic range? What about the new D4s, who do you recommend should go for that?
Angel Navarro says
I very much appreciate your talent as a photographer. Can you direct me to any information regarding the Nikon D4 and its tendency to skew skin tones toward orange? Or, perhaps share any thoughts. Yes, I have a calibrated monitor, I do perform a custom white balance using a reputable grey card and I have tried “Kelvinizing” the white balance. Still I have to spend unnecessary time color balancing. Is there a fix if one has acquired a bad copy?
Thank you Sir.
Thanks for test.
Pascal Wasinger says
I find the whole range and development very strong, meanwhile the Nikon D5 is available and I am still working with my D4s, which I would never sell. I love the look and image quality. Examples can be found at http://www.pascalwasinger.com