On the fence about a move to D4 from D7000

ALThomasALThomas Posts: 6Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hey all. Been watching Nikon Rumors like a hawk for the past month hoping to see some kind of announcement of the rumored d4x. But lately I have been dipping a bit into the forums and today I thought maybe the experts could give me a bit of advice and help get me off this fence I'm sitting on.

I'm a sports photographer for a number of small town newspapers, its more of a hobby and not my full time job. Over the years I have slowly built up my collection of photo gear and I'm currently carrying a d7000, 70-200mm 2.8 VRII, and 24-70mm 2.8G ED. I'm working almost entirely in low/poorly/oddly lit gyms aside from a few football games and none of the indoors allow flash photography. The following link has a few of my better photos (unedited with EXIF data but in JPEG format) from the previous school year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62282623@N07/

I have been seriously considering an upgrade to the d4 because all of the wonderful things I hear about its low-light and action prowess. I guess I'm trying to get a feel for how much more the d4 could do in place of my d7000. Currently, I'm probably standing at around 30-40% of shots getting tossed thanks to poor focus and then maybe 10-20% of the remainder having 'perfect' focus. My d7000's AF seems to have problems tracking subjects during bursts as well. I'll rarely push the camera above 3200 ISO, preferring a step or two lower which keeps me around 1/250 in the shutter speed.

Thanks to anyone that can impart any worldly advice.
Post edited by ALThomas on


  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    DX -> FX -> lose some reach on the lenses you have, but the lenses you have will still be excellent.

    As for the D4, it is the pro sport shooter camera of choice and should blow your D7000 out of the water in terms of performance.

    While there are many here with a D4, I am not sure we have a lot of dedicated non-auto sports shooters who post... hopefully I'll be proved wrong. :D
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 517Member
    edited August 2013
    The AF is definitely superior, so you should get out more sharp shots. The same holds true for the low light performance. (Flash is more or less useless anyway with these distances). Since it is a serious investment I would rent it for a week and check how much it does for you.

    In terms of the focus tracking: I don't have a d7000, so I can only point you in a direction: some cameras have a delay between focussing and re-focussing if you press the shutter half way, this way you can pan a shot. I have dialed this delay down to zero and focus only while pressing AF on (not: shutter button), this way the camera is always in focus if you press AF on.
    Post edited by Benji2505 on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    Even if it does come, out I don't see a D4x being a big advantage for you. the existing D4 is designed specifically for you needs: rapid focusing in low light, with a high fps and capable at working at high ISO values . You seem to be able to get pretty close to the action, so "reach" should not be an issue, but you might find yourself using the 70 -200 more than the 24 -70
    here at NRF we love spending other peoples money GO FOR IT and enjoy

    ( I don't have a D4, I use a D800 less than 3% of shots are lost due to focus issues.
    I borrowed a friends D700 at low light event and had a similar failure rate to you)

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    edited August 2013
    If I were you I would hold out for the D400. Should have the capabilities of the D4 that you need, cost around 40% of a D4 and will still be DX. Depends on if you can wait an as yet indeterminate amount of time!

    Edited to add that you need to consider if the extra money you are spending would be worth it and if you ever get it back. What next if you get the FX D4? New 80-400? 200-400? If that is not making you flinch then go for it but otherwise, the D400 should get you there if/when it happens.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    the D4 is THE sports shooters camera. really there is nothing better by a long shot !
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    .... What next if you get the FX D4? New 80-400? 200-400? .
    If you look the samples Thomas has posted must of his stuff is taken with a 24 -70

    He does not need the 80-400 or 200-400

    He needs a D4

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    The AF of the D4/D800 is just plain nuts in it's ability to grab focus. After a year with my D800 I'm still blown away how it can grab a lock quickly in very low light. The D7000's AF is similar to my D300 and it is noticeable vs the D800.

    That said the D3/s could be an option as well. The AF is great in it as well and the 12mp is more than enough for newsprint. Might save some money.

    If a D400 is ever released, and it has the AF sensor of the D4/D800 (historically that body always has had the same AF as the pro bodies) it could be a real option as well. High ISO performance will be the decider there.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    ..... I would hold out for the D400. Should have the capabilities of the D4 that you need, cost around 40% of a D4 .....
    Yes we would all love a camera with features and capability of the D4 that cost less than a D800

    Are we going to get one ?????

    Is Great Britain going to win the Americas cup ??//

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    Just look at the OP @Sevencrossing: The D400 would be sufficiently new that the low light performance probably would be enough for ALThomas to get the results he needs for the sports he is shooting with the lenses he has. If he goes D4 those lenses could end up too short hence my response above before you made me your project.

    I said "Should have the capabilities of the D4 that you need, cost around 40% of a D4 etc" I never said that it is a D4.

    All you have left is your theory that the D400 will not be made so why not trot that one out now? 8-|
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    Just look at the OP @Sevencrossing: If he goes D4 those lenses could end up too short


    Being the sports photographer for small town newspapers, he seems to be able to get pretty close to the action
    If you look a the EXIF data most shots are taken at about 60mm
    this one
    is at only 160mm

    His 70 -200 will be absolutely fine on a D4

    The D400 has one very very big disadvantage IT DOES NOT EXIST

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited August 2013
    First, I would say your images are very nice. When shooting indoor sports one expects to see only a 10% keeper rate, primarily as a result of trying to find the exact moment one wants to capture.

    A thought might be to obtain a used D3s, or refurb. The pros I have talked to say the difference in the D3s and D4 is simply not that great and some like the D3s better for low light.

    Or, wait for a D400. Here is one shot with a D4, and a little PP makes the background drop out very slightly...darken and desaturate.....
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    The outdoor shots were two at 150/160mm, so a D4 will need a longer FL, sevencrossing. Spraynpray's basically right in this point. Although I would not suggest to wait for a D400 which is a) not even announced, b) not guranteed to come without flaws or "issues" and c) might come at a price which comes close to a D3s.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    150 mm dx is equivalent to 225 mm FX

    Yes the longest lens the OP has is the 70 -200
    So yes, money no object, an second D4 and a 70- 400 would be nice;
    but looking at most his samples, an expensive luxury not a necessity
    or just set the D4 in dx mode
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    If you are getting paid to take sports photos then a D4 D3/s would be worth the investment. Check with your tax adviser if you can write it off as a business expense.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @ALThomas: Welcome to our forum. As a proud D7000 owner that purchased and moved to the wonderful world of FX, I much like yourself was on the "fence" on which body to go with. My decision to go with a D4 was made on a number of factors and I made the right choice.

    Given the type of photography you are doing currently, the D4 is suited perfectly for you. Should you get it in your hands and fire the shutter, you will be blown away with its performance, not to mentions it results. In fact, will question the wait.

    The recommendation others have offered with respect to the D400 is entirely mute...it is all "rumors" and speculation. Moreover, it will not touch the performance of the D4...given its intended shooter/usage. Case in point D4 vs D800. Note: Not going to make the comparison here and dilute the question being asked by you. Those of us that haven been here know all well the pro's and con's of each. But that is not the Topic here.

    The performance of the D4's AF system, FPS, high ISO capabilities, functionality, built quality and durability etc...etc...are OUTSTANDING. Is it a perfect body? No...but what body is? The D4 has allowed me to take pictured in setting that I never though were possible. Moreover, when I get home and begin to download the images and start my post processing, I'm at awe of what end up with....as you will when you see your finished product.

    Your D7000 will also come in handy. Mount the 24-70 (or get a prime: 85 1.8G) for those close action shots, and it will continue to serve you well.

    In closing, go with the D4 and don't look back.

    Happy shopping and shooting....cheers.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,117Member
    If you can afford the D4 and all the other required accessories such as lenses, XQD cards and weight then by all means go for it.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    I think you will get LOTS of information from the thread I started prior to purchasing my D4 back in January. I was in almost the exact same predicament as you (except I don't get paid for anything.) Definitely worth the read for you:
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • ALThomasALThomas Posts: 6Member

    Wow, everyone, thanks for all the great info. I really appreciate it. I'd say that with my d7000, I shoot the 70-200mm and the 24-70mm in pretty much equal numbers. I can pretty much stand court-side/field-side anywhere I want in these small towns so that really does help a lot. I almost never find myself using the far end of the 70-200mm unless I'm on the football field (4 games a year) or experimenting with taking pictures from very high up in some of the bigger gyms (rarely).
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    The recommendation to rent a D4 to try out is a good one, although I'm sure you will like it.

    With both cameras, be sure to set up the autofocus custom settings to the task at hand. If you haven't customized the settings, especially play around with setting a1: "AF-C Priority Selection" and setting a3: "Focus Tracking with Lock-On".

    These two settings have a big impact on your D7000's AF performance, and they will be the same on the D4 as well.
  • HallvardkHallvardk Posts: 19Member
    The previous posts have pretty much nailed it, but I would say that an upgrade to a D3s would be enough of an upgrade. Use the extra cash on lenses (save up for an old 300 2.8, or a 14-24). If you can do all of your assignments with the lenses you have, and don't feel a need to add anything else, by all means go for the D4. It's gonna blow your mind away.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    The problem with a S/H D3s is finding a good one
    most have had a very hard life

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    The problem with a S/H D3s is finding a good one
    most have had a very hard life

    6212 actuations - that took 10 seconds and there are plenty of others out there.
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Well, @spraynpray, you obviously ARE an experienced eBay researcher, I wasn't able to find any items close to it, so @sevencrossing post would look pretty much the same from me. Just saying, not everybody is as familiar with eBay as you are.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,200Moderator
    @JJ_SO - I think you do people a disservice by underestimating their abilites and over estimating my effort - I just typed in D3s to eBay and got lots of hits. I have absolutely NO idea what @sevencrossing would end up getting on the screen with all his typo's etc. :))
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I'm just estimating MY kind of skills in eBay research. I tried to use the search categories and got lots of D5000, D3200 and other stuff. And maybe I'm thinking what I've got when looking for a certain mobile phone: batteries, pouches, chargers, earphones, but no damn phone.
Sign In or Register to comment.