D4 and D800E shootout.

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D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 00:51

Today I was attending a D4 and D800E demo at Art & Craft in Ghent(http://www.artencraft.be).

Image xxx Image xxx Image

Image Image

I'm actually sorting, resampling and more of several hundred of D4 files including NEFs.
I will post here during the weekend my impressions and some samples next to a summary of what I heard/learned from the Nikon reps and other things that took my attention.
My daughter Cindy did service as model for some portraits with D4. I was also shooting the D800E and I saw the results but I was not allowed to take those files on my own cards.
One with D4 at iso 6400 (no post processing out of resizing)
Image
And one with D4 at iso 12800. (no post processing out of resizing)
Image

In a first impression about noise at high iso I don't find D4 any better than D3s. But D4 has many other characteristics that please me better than D3s...

Will be continued...
kindest regards,

Stany
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D4 user review - introduction

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 14:21

As I said I was shooting with both D4 and D800E for approx 3 hours in total, and for this user review I have to start with one of them, I take D4 first...

The camera I was using during this demo was a pre-production or "sample" model. There have very probably been done some more firmware tweaks under while.
Nikon Capture NX2.3 does not handle D4 NEFs, PS CS5 neither... :( :!: Update: Nikon released CaptureNX2.3.1which handles D4 & D800 nef files) .
The lighting for the sample shots wasn’t too easy, too dark for handhold low iso shots. Further more the D4 NEF files can only be handled with Nikon ViewNX2.2.5 and not Capture NX2.3 or Photoshop CS5. So there wasn’t too much opportunities to correct the handheld shots. I know that Iliah Borg provides his own RAW software(http://www.libraw.org/) that can handle D4 NEF files but I did not have the time to learn to work with it and a question for assistance to Iliah remained unfortunately unanswered until now. He's very busy for sure.
:!: : The D4 test camera had its high iso noise reduction set to “high” what I didn’t like. As well for the test shots as for the real life shots with my daughter as occasional model it made the high iso shots look “soft”. While I cannot open the NEFs in Capture NX I have no way at hands to switch off the high iso noise reduction...

:!: : You can actually open the NEF files in Nikon ViewNX2.2.5(as I did and it's working fine) but I was told by the Nikon rep that this conversion software is not the final one from Nikon. There will be also for NikonViewNX a dedicated update with tweaks to get more out of it..
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D4 user review - Body and specifications

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:17

For detailed specification of a camera I prefer to go to the site of the one who made this camera:
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d4/
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D4 user review - Delayed date of availability

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:18

The Nikon rep during the demo day told me that the shipment of the D4 has been postponed because of insufficient availability of first shipment stock to forfill the pre-orders worldwide.
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D4 user review- Test shots at different iso (shot as jpgfine

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:19

Update 20120220: Due to a mistake in the test with pictures taken at shutter speeds faster than 1/60 sec in that particular light conditions and due to the fact that the D4 we used for our test was not a finalised product the test will be completely redone with a final camera and under appropriate light conditions.
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D4 user review - Real life pics at high isos with 100% crops

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:19

I personally prefer real life samples above brick wall shots so we made some pictures with my daughter as occasional model. While I think that a big % of the potential D4 owners go for D4 because of its high iso capacities I went for quite a challenge doing some portraiture at very high iso.

Two pictures of my daughter at iso 25600.
the first one is a little special because of my lens choise: My beloved prehistoric 28-105 F3.5-F4.5. No post processing at all. The original jpeg which you can download is untouched out of the camera.And BTW, the D4’ AF works very fast with this screw driven lens!
Image
You can download the original jpeg here: http://www.nikonuser.info/20120209-D4/iso25600.JPG

The second one is taken handhold with my 50mm F1.4 at F3.5 and 1/640 sec
Image
You can download the original jpeg here: http://www.nikonuser.info/20120209-D4/iso25600-2.JPG

For the pixel peepers I inserted also a 100% crop:
Image

Affiliated forum members can download the original NEF here: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1508
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D4 user review - AF performance

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:20

The AF performance of the D4 is simply incredible. While some might think “incredible” is an exaggeration, I did some extreme tests:
Perhaps you did read on the Nikon site that the D4’AF is made to operate with F8 lenses and lens/TC combos whereas the D3s only operated perfect until F5.6.
So I mounted a 300 AF-S 4 in combination with my 2xTCeIII and went outside. The result was fast and very accurate focusing with the center AF points as expected.
So I went inside the shop again and asked my daughter to go in the back of the shop in a relative dark spot.
:!: Please notice that the 300 AF-S F4 tele has no VR and that the shot was done handheld.
I cranked up my iso to 25600 again and this is the result:
Image
You can download the original file here:http://www.nikonuser.info//20120209-D4/300mm+2TC-iso25600.JPG

So now I knew this is working I wanted to try even something more extreme.
Since the 105 AF-S VR exists I changed manual focusing for macro to AF for about 80% of my macro shots. With my D4 and D800 this will probably go to 100%...
Here a sample why:
I mounted my 3 kenko extension rings between the D4 and my 105AF-S and of course with a very limited DOF but handhold the D4 was autofocusing without problems.
The setup of that I describe here above:
Image
And a result in a picture:
Take care: F14 handhold and iso 12800!!!
Image
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D4 user review- Continues shooting and buffer

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:21

I planned a little movie while the Nikon rep was pushing the button but while it took soo long before the buffer was filled that the movie was too big to upload. :?
With D4 there is no reason to say buffer has to be upgraded. :D
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D4 user review - Overall impression on D4

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:22

Back in 2007 I had a D3 which I sold when the D700 came out for reasons of weight, size and the lack of a pop up flash for my macro shooting. This beast changes the game while you barely will need a flash anymore for macro, just like D3s or perhaps even a little better...
The body feels a little lighter than D3 and less bulky in my hand. As a camera it’s extremely responsive and the buttons are exactly where they have to be. The new joystick in portraiture mode holding is a very big improvement over D3.
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D800 user review - introduction

Postby StanyB » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:23

Working on this, hope to be ready tomorrow night.
At least for myself, the D800 E is even more exciting than the D4, for several reasons...

Thanks for your attention.

Keep tuned! ;)

Kindest regards,
Stany
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby Steve Bingham » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:24

Hi Stany. Pretty daughter!

I ordered the D800e within minutes of it being offered by B&H Photo here in the USA. Then I down loaded every single Nikon image for the D800e that was on the Nikon site. I guess what impressed me the most was the incredible resolution. I resampled the images to 240 dpi and 2 meters in the longest dimension. Then I cropped a smaller section from this to print with my Epson 3880. Again, amazing detail!!!! It reminded me so much of the 4x5 Velvia images that I have! Even with resampling to these HUGE sizes, noise was not a factor. Wow. One image, the one with yellow flowers and a coastal sea cliff, appeared to have jpg artifacts that had been enhanced by sharpening (the resampled and cropped print). I am not sure what is up with this image. Even so, the print from the cropped section looked excellent - just not stunning.

Then a couple of PhDs in physics played around with the D800e in dpreview.com to test for DR at ISO 400. The preliminary results were that DR was better than any other Nikon DSLR camera - including the D4.

The D800e is a game changer! :shock:
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby pam.meier » Fri 10 Feb 2012 22:45

I´m planning to go for the D800 version. No E for me ;)
But since I have a 24 Mpix camera that I´m happy with for now, I will wait a few months, before I´ll buy.
Would be a great birthday present in early summer.
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Cliff Mautner has great D800 samples on his website

Postby StanyB » Sat 11 Feb 2012 00:02

Mentioned to me by Steve, the website of Cliff Mautner shows great D800 samples at low ànd high iso: http://cmphotography.com/blog.cfm
Other than me, he was autorized to put his CF card inside... :( :D

After my shoot with D800 yesterday I can only confirm that D800 at high iso looks as good than my D3 and D700 did, but with uncomparable more detail and latitude for PP and DR like D7000 but keeping up to higher isos.
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby Leen Koper » Sat 11 Feb 2012 09:45

I 'm in doubt. And I hate that.

I swore I would not buy any other camera within at least the first two years than my trusty D7000; I even sold my D700! Resolution was enough and the digital range would not improve considerably.
But now, with the introduction of the D800, I 'm not that certain any more. I wonder if you would notice any difference in print at a maximum size of 60x90 (in inches 24x36) that my printer allows me. I don't think so, but......
I think I will wait about half a year untill they become a little cheaper, then I will look if there is a reasonable difference and then I will probably decide what to do.
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby austinted » Sun 12 Feb 2012 16:35

Stany, Thanks for sharing this information. It's very helpful.

-Ted
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Learning a little more about the D4 sensor

Postby Marianne Oelund » Mon 13 Feb 2012 04:31

Moderator action: While this is an extremely interesting discussion about the tech characteristics of the D4 sensor, "Learning a little bit more about the D4 sensor" by Mme Marianne Oelund has been moved to a new topic :
http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1516&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=8ea8398cc7f056b164af41bd8133feb7
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Just updated my D4 read noise values...

Postby bclaff » Tue 14 Feb 2012 16:33

Moderator action: While this is an extremely interesting discussion about the tech characteristics of the D4 sensor, "Just updated my D4 read noise values..." by bclaff has been moved to a new topic :
http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1516&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=8ea8398cc7f056b164af41bd8133feb7
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby shao » Thu 16 Feb 2012 15:13

Hi :)
Is there any chance for a short D800E review or for some nefs from it to download? :)
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby sandor » Thu 16 Feb 2012 22:31

I'm quite puzzeled with the results. I've used the D800 iso 25600 pictures from our russian friends, and I used Stany's D4 sample with his daughter. Resized the D800 to a 16 Mp resolution and than applied NR, sharpening, contrast and saturation to both. The D4 NEF file is easier to clean up for sure. But with a little effort on the D800 file I don't see much difference between the remaining noise patterns of the D4 and the D800 version. I would have expected something completely different! Actually, I'm very,very suprized by the options the D800 provides to reduce noise.
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby StanyB » Fri 17 Feb 2012 08:17

shao wrote:Hi :)
Is there any chance for a short D800E review or for some nefs from it to download? :)

Hallo Shao,
I will post my D800E "impressions" this weekend. Unfortunately I have no D800E NEFs to post here.
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby StanyB » Fri 17 Feb 2012 08:23

sandor wrote:I'm quite puzzeled with the results. I've used the D800 iso 25600 pictures from our russian friends, and I used Stany's D4 sample with his daughter. Resized the D800 to a 16 Mp resolution and than applied NR, sharpening, contrast and saturation to both. The D4 NEF file is easier to clean up for sure. But with a little effort on the D800 file I don't see much difference between the remaining noise patterns of the D4 and the D800 version. I would have expected something completely different! Actually, I'm very,very suprized by the options the D800 provides to reduce noise.

I'm in the same boat, -puzzled by the extraordinary results I have experienced with the D800E. Taking the magnifiaction into consideration of a 16Mp image against a 36Mp image I think that the same image both printed in A4 or A3 won't show much difference, I talk about high iso.
What I've seen from D800E on screen and on PC (pictures of my daugther by the Nikon rep during the demo) at iso 6400 was amazing. The myth that high picture density increases noise doesn't hold up anymore if you consider D700 vs D800. Sensor evolution...
Kindest regards, Stany
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby shao » Fri 17 Feb 2012 10:00

StanyB wrote:Hallo Shao, I will post my D800E "impressions" this weekend. Unfortunately I have no D800E NEFs to post here.

Thanks for the info :)
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby sandor » Fri 17 Feb 2012 12:51

Stany, there was a lot of blotchy, patchy stuff in the D4 jpgs, as you said yourself. But if I remember the Hi iso NR was set to high, wasn't it ?
If you take the iso 25600 NEF with your daughter and run it through NX2, how does it behave in terms of noise handling if you put the Hi so noise reduction at low? How much better does it get in the jpg?

I've only handled NEF files from a D3s in CS5 .You seem to know the D3s well. My gutt feeling tells me the D3s hi iso jpegs up to iso 25600 were cleaner and came out with better details.

lock

PS I can't check the NX2 effect myself because I decided against NX2 in favor of CS5
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby StanyB » Fri 17 Feb 2012 13:02

sandor wrote:Stany, there was a lot of blotchy, patchy stuff in the D4 jpgs, as you said yourself. But if I remember the Hi iso NR was set to high, wasn't it ?
If you take the iso 25600 NEF with your daughter and run it through NX2, how does it behave in terms of noise handling if you put the Hi so noise reduction at low? How much better does it get in the jpg? I've only handled NEF files from a D3s in CS5 .You seem to know the D3s well. My gutt feeling tells me the D3s hi iso jpegs up to iso 25600 were cleaner and came out with better details.lock PS I can't check the NX2 effect myself because I decided against NX2 in favor of CS5

The release of NX2.3.1 enabled to wok further on my D4 NEF files, but after staring for hours to D3s vs D4 100% crops of pictures that I took myself, TMHO D4 is very similar or equal to D3s about noise if you downsample the D4 picture to the D3s picture size. D4 has many advantages over D3s on other characteristics though like AF. D4 AF is nothing less than spectacular as you can see earlier in this topic.
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby sandor » Fri 17 Feb 2012 15:10

I take it that you can get decent jpegs through CNX ? So no smearing anymore ? I didn't like the hi iso jpg-examples you posted at all !
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Re: D4 and D800E shootout.

Postby StanyB » Fri 17 Feb 2012 15:36

sandor wrote:I take it that you can get decent jpegs through CNX ? So no smearing anymore ? I didn't like the hi iso jpg-examples you posted at all !

After I reworked the NEFs with NX2.3.1 I got a total different WB (way better) than what I got on the original images.
kindest regards,

Stany
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Where are the D800 sample pictures?

Postby ADeVos » Mon 12 Mar 2012 18:13

nt
Greetings from Belgium
Andre
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