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D3s vs D4
  
 
ohsnaphappy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · D3s vs D4


Hey sports photographers! I thought I'd hop over here and ask you guys for some input on the D3s vs D4. I'm a wedding photographer and I shoot 30-40 weddings a year. I'm about to request an evaluation from NPS and want to know which I should start with.

My main questions are:

1) Does either have a better keeper rate when shooting wide open? If you've shot both does one have an AF advantage?

2) Does the D4 have a noticeable advantage in DR? Please don't refer to DXO. I'm just wondering if you've shot both if you've noticed the DR difference. White wedding gown, black tux, needless to DR is pretty important for me.

3) My last question concerns resolution. I already know the answer. But when I'm looking at the D4 I see the opportunity for more croppability. Which is appealing. What about fine detail? The D4 have a noticeable advantage? I don't pixel peep. I guess I mean noticeable to a client who receives a 20x30 print/canvas.

I really appreciate any insight you guys/gals can offer. A lot of info I'm finding on the internet comes from people who have not shot both bodies. Lots of test charts and stuff like that - useless to me.




Mar 12, 2014 at 06:08 PM
Widgic
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · D3s vs D4


I'll try to answer before the moderator shoots this post down (as he's done with my previous gear related post as this is a no-no on this forum...):

I had 2 D3s's that I replaced with a pair of D4's. To answer your questions:

1) I personally don't see any improvement in the AF in the D4 over the D3s, I was actually disappointed in the results I got with all the hype around the D4 improved AF. Where I have the most problems (not applicable for weddings) is when I have a subject fast moving toward me and I shoot a high frame rate (10fps). The keeper rate is abysmal, to a point where now I shoot 3 frames, wait a bit for the AF to catch up, shoot another 3 frames, etc... No improvement compared to my D3s's there!

I've been messing around with the settings recently and I am getting a little better results, but nothing to write home about honestly.

2) DR? Nor sure what you mean there...

3) I really appreciate the extra pixels, which let me crop a little tighter and maybe save some shots that would have been lost on a D3s. Is that a big advantage? For us sport shooters where you might be stuck in a game were all the action happens that particular day at the other end of the field, that can really if not save the day, make it a little less disastrous! But you'll definitively need to have the lenses to go with it (i.e. all pro level lenses).

Other things to consider when looking at the D4 vs the D3s:


  1. Improved ergonomics: when you are going to shoot 1000's of frames per day, this will make a difference. This is still not perfect (i.e. the positioning of some of the buttons aren't exactly the same in landscape vs portrait orientation), but it is better than on the D3s.
  2. XQD card - Honestly it's a pain. There is very limited supply and prices are really expensive when compared to CF cards. You can decide to shoot on the CF cards and get some big fat ones... but then you loose the backup... and neither Sony nor Nikon offer a dual mode reader (so you have to carry two different readers now!
  3. Low light / high ISO performance: it is hard to compare because of the difference in resolution, but my impression is that at equal noise level, the D4 will allow you to crop tighter because of the increased pixel count.
  4. Battery life: I personally don't see any difference. I have yet to run out of battery on an event on either the D3s or D4... But the fact that the batteries and chargers are different where a pain for a while when I used both cameras!
  5. Connectivity: if you do some studio work and want to shoot tethered, the D4 has a huge advantage there... The Ethernet and built in web server on the D4 are great. Too bad that ounce per ouce Nikon WiFi dongle for the D4 is more expensive than gold! Even as a sport photographer I would have some uses for it.
  6. Face recognition: This might be something useful for wedding / group shooting. I am not sure how it works exactly, but in Live View mode, the D4 is able to find faces in the frame and focus specifically on these (and might even in P mode be able to select focus distance / ISO / Shutter speed / Aperture to try to get them all in focus. Never tried tho!


Hope this helps.

Denis
www.widgic.com



Mar 12, 2014 at 08:41 PM
mkchang
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · D3s vs D4


I just got 2 d4s' from NPS for a conf championship this weekend. I'll try to compare those with my D3s'




Mar 12, 2014 at 08:48 PM
Graham Crowthe
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · D3s vs D4


Just last week been using some D4S's, seriously guys check them out :0. Kind regards Graham.


Mar 12, 2014 at 09:20 PM
ohsnaphappy
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · D3s vs D4


mkchang wrote:
I just got 2 d4s' from NPS for a conf championship this weekend. I'll try to compare those with my D3s'



I would appreciate it so much! Thank you!



Mar 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM
ohsnaphappy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · D3s vs D4


Widgic wrote:
I'll try to answer before the moderator shoots this post down (as he's done with my previous gear related post as this is a no-no on this forum...):

I had 2 D3s's that I replaced with a pair of D4's. To answer your questions:

1) I personally don't see any improvement in the AF in the D4 over the D3s, I was actually disappointed in the results I got with all the hype around the D4 improved AF. Where I have the most problems (not applicable for weddings) is when I have a subject fast moving toward me and I shoot a
...Show more

Hey Denis. Thanks so much for the feedback! DR is dynamic range. The D800 has this incredible ability to retain perfect detail in a white wedding dress and a black tux simultaneously. It's also nice when you want to lift the shadows a bit, there's lots of info in the RAW file and the shadows look fantastic.

The way I understand it, The D4 has slightly better dynamic range. But I wanted to hear this from someone who has shot both. I think the reputation of the D4 in DR is largely based on DXO junk. Did you notice more detail in blacks or in highlights when working with the D4 files? Thanks again!



Mar 12, 2014 at 10:10 PM
 

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ohsnaphappy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · D3s vs D4


Graham Crowthe wrote:
Just last week been using some D4S's, seriously guys check them out :0. Kind regards Graham.


Just simply out of my price range. I'm looking to pickup the D3s or D4 used



Mar 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM
Widgic
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · D3s vs D4


I haven't really seen any difference in dynamic range between the D3s and D4, but honestly this is not something I (and most sports shooters I would assume) really worry about.

Most shooting conditions for sports shooters are crappy at best, and horrendous most of the time: from dark enclosed arenas where you are struggling to maintain good shutter speed and low noise, to bright outdoors open areas where the contrast between full sun and shadows is such that it is going to blow through the dynamic range of pretty much everything that's out there... and that's not even mentioning the rainy nights... I personally set my exposure so that I don't blow too much of the highlights and lowlights on my histogram and try to do what I can in post. But you also have to consider that for sports photogs, it is to some extent a numbers game: you are trying to get a few hundreds good enough shots out of an event, and you aren't going to optimize all of them (very few actually). So most of the time you need it "just good enough".

Most sports photogs I know (the serious one making good money) have a D800 too (there cheap!) that I guess they use for the type of work where pixel peeping and extended dynamic range are needed.

You are probably better asking to portraits or commercial shooters on this one.

Denis
www.widgic.com



Mar 12, 2014 at 10:28 PM
Josh Jones
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · D3s vs D4


I've noticed a small amount of difference in a D3S to a D4, the colors are especially deeper with the D4. I've been extremely happy with mine and have over 170k from 60+ weddings on it. Killer camera!


Mar 14, 2014 at 01:19 AM
ohsnaphappy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · D3s vs D4


I know you guys are sports shooters so you probably won't care, ha! But today I did a whole newborn shoot with my D700 in AF-S single point my SB-910 offering focus assist when necessary. Mostly shot with my 35 1.4 Art. My D700 is a backup for my D800, so I've never used it for a session like this before. I shot the whole session at 1.8 - something that's proven disastrous with my D800. My D700 had a keeper rate today somewhere around 90%, just estimating, but goodness it hit almost every time. The D800, at 1.8, maybe has a keeper rate of 30%.

The detail of the D800 is superior for sure, but you can throw that out the window when shooting wide open, because the AF is so inconsistent.

In any case, NPS shipped a D3s my way today. I'll evaluate it and then request the D4. Selling the D800 haha



Mar 15, 2014 at 02:13 AM
mkchang
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · D3s vs D4


http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=477032065&EditorialProduct=Sport

All shot with D4s last night.



Mar 15, 2014 at 05:40 PM





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