Nikon D4 & D800 are they game-changers? - part 5 of 1 2 3 4 5 6

by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2012


The printed matrix, created with an action, produces an A2 print at 360ppi and 'Maximum' print quality on an Epson 4900.

One thing that is a worry and that's every now and again the focusing is soft. Don't get me wrong on the D3 you would get one or two out of focus or soft images, but to only get two or three images that are sharp is a bit of a worry. I know there are always going to be teething problems when a new model is released, but when you pay thousands for one body, you expect it to work.

The focusing system control has changed which meant the user manual had to come out; I'm not one for reading manuals as I'm a typical bloke, but I did need to on this occasion to figure out how to change from 3D, Matrix or spot metering. The metering controls have been changed to the system used on the D7000; I suppose it's to save space on the back for the addition of some further controls and bigger screen.

The D4 is lighter than its older brothers the D3s and D3. For the wedding or event photographer it will make it a bit easier on the shoulders! The D4 ISO performance has impressed me compared with what I am getting from the D3, but the D3 image at high ISO is still very good and well useable. I've heard people mention the performance is not that different from the D3s. I can't agree or disagree as I would like to see images sideby-side to make that judgment.

The D4 comes with two memory slots, one Compact Flash and one XQD slot. I was a bit annoyed by this at first, thinking I needed to get a new card reader and new XQD memory cards; thankfully when the camera was delivered there was a free 16GB XQD card and reader with it. I am not sure that the free card and reader will be given out with every D4 sold, I would contact your supplier to confirm. After using the new card I have noticed that with a Sandisk Xtreme3 8GB CF card the playback is rather slow, it's only noticeable when I shoot with the XQD card; the play back and transfer of images from the buffer to the card is also a lot quicker, which is a good thing as seconds count for pitch-side transfers, especially for evening games when the news desks close about 30 minutes after the match kicks off.


The battery was another issue that I was a bit put off by. The contacts on the D4 battery are on the opposite side to the batteries for the D3s and D3, which means I now need to carry two chargers around with me, and these chargers are not small!

At the time of writing this article, Nikon have released a firmware update.

The update includes the following modifications in this version:

• When a still image was captured while viewing existing images in playback mode, the monitor turned off, the memory card access lamp glowed steadily, and, in some rare cases, the camera ceased to respond to operations. This issue has been resolved.

• When network functions were used with certain settings applied, RAW images were also transferred when Network>Send file was set to JPEG only. This issue has been resolved.

• When an option that utilised the main command dial was selected for Custom Setting f15: Playback zoom, and an image was zoomed in or out with playback with certain settings applied, shooting shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation settings were sometimes changed. This issue has been resolved.

Link to firmware update on the Nikon UK website (Editor's note: it seems very worthwhile to upgrade the firmware on both the D800 and D4, we have experienced lock-up on the D800 on several occasions when the only recourse was to remove the batteries to reset the camera.)

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1st Published 01/08/2012
last update 26/03/2020 16:04:55

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