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Price being no object, and landscape / wildlife photography being what you enjoy most. What would you buy?
Nikon D4 Duh! 16%  16%  [ 3 ]
The D800 with suit you just fine. 63%  63%  [ 12 ]
Neither. 16%  16%  [ 3 ]
Did I really just read all this? 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 19
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:34 am 
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Location: Seattle, Washington
So try not to laugh me out of the room here.

I've got a dilemma. Like many I've got a decent day-job but day-dream about the day I can leave it all behind and focus more time and energy on this industry. My wife and I have been doing some printing and placing them for sale at local retail "mom and pops"... I've done a limited amount of product photography for local artists. The kicker is that I've outgrown my D300.

My most recent lens purchases were a 14-24mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and I'm dying to mount them on a full-framed body.

I'm especially passionate about my Landscape photography so the 36MP sensor has a ton of appeal. After the D4 was announced I was praying it'd support the WT-5a because I'm that guy who puts his camera on a monopod, shoots it out the sunroof on auto bracket and interval shooting.

So I'm lucky enough to have the ability to afford the D4 or D800... Yet I'm torn on which to purchase. I haven't gone "Pro" just yet. Is the D4 worth the price of admission and worth giving up the ability to very liberally crop?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:31 am 
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Well I'd recommend trying out a D700 rental, stick your 14-24 on it and see how you go! The step up from the D90/D300 sensor is well worth the admission, even though it's a lowly 12Mp.

I'm shooting all sorts at the moment and 4fps is a bit of a killer for me right now. The D700 is a great allrounder and you're not paying for video which you may well not be using.

So having said that, in an ideal world I'd go for the D4, keeping the D700 as a second body. Then after a couple of years possibly upgrading to a D800. Printing at A3+ on a D700 is stunning - no worries about a 'low' pixel count.

I suppose it depends if your "mom and pops" shots require serious resolution for wall sized photos, or if you may miss the shot you want that 4fps won't get you.


Last edited by dubaiphil on Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:44 am 
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Sounds like the D800 is ideal for landscapes and wildlife. With a pixel density comparable to the D7000, you can crop it to DX size if needed for reach without sacrificing the resolution relative to another crop body. 4fps is adequate, assuming reach is the bigger issue. It does of course depend on what wildlife you do, but to me, extra crop reach would be far more important than insane shooting rates. This assumes you already have something longer than a 70-200, or use that with teleconverters.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:49 am 
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Hi welcome aboard, I maybe out of line here, but I want to change the question a bit. Only because they are two different cameras.

You say you have outgrown the D300, so in which areas in particular does it not meet your expectation and based on that which one of the new bodies will more likely meet that need.

Or are you picking the D4 only because of WT-5, it appears the D800 doesn`t offer it?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm with Max here, what exactly do you feel your D300 is lacking?

And be aware that on full frame, all your lenses will behave differently!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:48 pm 
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As mentioned above, changing to an FX is going to be more costly than just a body purchase.
I would wait a while and scrutinize some in-dept reviews before making any rush decision.
The 36 mp sensor is no doubt very impressive, but you may have to be into astrophysics or printing wall sized murals to actually get it's full benefit.
The way Nikon is bringing out the latest and greatest cameras on a monthly basis, I would wait for what may be the best "jack of all trades" body the D400.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Location: Seattle, Washington
My current glass consists of:
AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D
AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

The D800 would keep my 35mm and 18-200mm from becoming obsolete but I'm prepared to loose them. The 18-200mm especially has been so slow that I rarely pack it. I figure without the DX crop my 50mm f/1.8 will be about the equivalent to my 35mm DX.

As far as what I'm missing? I'm missing the low light performance, color quality, and the wider angles.

I guess when I refer to a liberal crop I'm really thinking more about landscape shots that have little time for composition... Say from a moving vehicle or from a small aircraft. If shooting at say 1/2000 from and aircraft or 1/1000 from an SUV, the ability to compose an image post-process and liberally crop it down clearly would be amazing. The con would be the considerable investment I'd need to make in more storage space. As it stands now I have a little under 100k raw images and 4TB of storage. I have a feeling a 12TB setup is going to be a much needed "accessory".

On the flip side I could easily see myself suspending a D4 from a crane to get shots from under a bridge or to get around an obstacle that many of the Pacific Northwest's more iconic spots are plagued with.

Both bodies will give me better ISO performance, which I'll definitely appreciate. The better the performance the more I'm sure I'll appreciate it. What I really need is a body that will give me the most creative control in as many situations as possible. I shoot indoors a lot, just not for anything commercial, I shoot outdoors a lot good weather or bad, I have continuing opportunities to shoot aerial photos, I'm asked frequently if I do family shots, real estate, weddings, or events. I guess the possibilities for the future run the gamut.

I’m having trouble answering the question: “What will give me the widest range of shooting options in the future: ISO Performance, Creative Composition “Post-Process”, or “Pure Creative Composition “. I think that’s what this post really comes down to for me…

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Hello RogersGlobal, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
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I've voted for the D800, naturally :wink: What with my pre-order posted and all...
The D4 is only for you, if you desperately need the fast shooting speed of more than 4-5 fps. And absolutely need the WT5.
Otherwise there is NO reason to favor the D4 over the D800.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:38 pm 
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You will "lose" those two lenses with either system, as both are full frame.

However, the 35mm F/1.8 is actually pretty decent on full frame, the vignetting isn't that bad.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Yep, 1.2x crop is almost vignette free with the DX 35/1.8G!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Well, my pre-order for the D800 is in!
Thanks for all the input everyone.

I do have one question thought based on my assumptions about pixel density and sensor size. I've assumed that "liberally cropping" an image the size a D800 could produce would in theory allow me to use a very small portion of sharp image to still produce clear images up to 20x30. This could be another discussion entirely for the most part do you think this is true?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Congratulation on your new purchase, RogersGlobal!
As to your Q "use a very small portion of sharp image to still produce clear images up to 20x30." Wiht you coming from the US I can safely assume that 20x30 is in inches, which would be a larger than A2 (=16"5 x 23"4 or 42x59cm). From my own experience with printing 12MP images on A2 for an exhibition I can say that the results from perfectly sharp images were very satisfying. So 12-16 MP crops from a D800 should give you nice prints.
If "very small portion" means going beyond 12 MP crops you should definitely start seeing IQ impacted on 20" x 30" prints.

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