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| p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A little advice, opinions I've had a lot of loss here. |
Sorry about the double loss. I've never had a pet that long, but even after a couple years it was hard.
My D3 disappeared in August along with one lens and a couple cards. They didn't get the bag of other lenses anyway. It took about 2 months to get through the insurance claim process, during which time I relied on my old DX backup body. When the check came through I decided on the D4 rather than a D3/S, which is now old technology by a couple years.
I'm ISO driven rather than resolution driven, since I frequently do indoor events for which flash is not really an option. The D4 sounds great since it has ridiculously high ISO settings available.
After trying it out I find I like the D4, but I'd really call it a marginal improvement over something like a D3S. The only negative thing about it (to me) is the mix of cards. I decided to wait to see if they'd come out with a CF/XQD reader rather than use two separate readers. Since (AFAIK) the D4 is the only camera that uses an XQD card, I'll probably wait a while. Right now I read the XQD card (geez, that's hard to type, not being left-handed) through the camera with the USB cable.
The ergonomics is significantly different from the D3. More buttons, some of them moved, and more of them programmable. Some changes are good, some are just different. It took me a month or two (at my advanced age) to get used to the new locations of things. If you do primarily studio work on a tripod I wouldn't expect the ergonomics to be all that important, but you still have to learn the new locations of things.
I shot an event at ISO 6400-12800 and it did a great job. Some noise reduction needed in Lightroom, but not what I'd call excessive. Very usable. Experimented a bit with the ridiculously high ISO levels and found that up to 50K you can get pretty good results. At 200K I was able to get pretty good results only if I could have gotten pretty good results at 50K. Color rendition is awful way up there. It'll take a ton of PP and probably a lot of downsampling too. The camera will get images of things I can't see through the viewfinder, but I wouldn't really call them useful.
I can't compare directly, not having my D3 any more, but my impression is that the D4 autofocus is faster and maybe more accurate. My keeper rate has doubled (for focus, anyway, the camera hasn't improved my composition or timing "skills"). I'm not a video guy so I can't comment on that, but if you were using a D3X you had alternative methods of doing video, or else you're not a video guy either.
If you do events, the silent mode is a plus. First time I tried it the camera got about 25 shots before I realized it was taking pictures. The only indicator was the blinking green light. The downside is that it's jpg only. But if you're careful with exposure and white balance, it would be a great thing for weddings or theater where noise is frowned on.
I'd say the D4 is the one to get unless 16 MPixels is not enough for you. The difference from 24 to 16 is about 20% in linear resolution (square root of the ratio). IMHO, the advantage of the D4 over something like the D800 (with lots of pixels) is in the build quality and shutter rating. Frame rate shouldn't be that important. You'd be better off improving your timing skills than using spray and pray.
But it's going to take a while for the insurance wheels to turn, so you'll have lots of time to look into the alternatives.