So Why No D4X??? A Pro-Level, High Megapixel Camera for Studio/Fashion/Advertising Photographers

danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
edited February 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I am blessed/cursed with any early, low-numbered D3X which is now pushing 440,000+ actuations. I still rely on it as my primary camera for fashion catalog and magazine editorial production. I bought the D3X with my NPS priority purchase invitation and got it on one of the first deliveries. At the time it was introduced it was standing way ahead of any other DSLR and was really instrumental in helping me get back to DSLR from MFDB (Leaf/Hasselblad) for catalog and magazine production. I'm not saying that it was the perfect studio camera, but it has served me well for many years now. Unfortunately it is on its 3rd mirror assembly--both failures were on lengthy location trip assignments.

I'm starting to get a little worried about the life span of the body. I keep mining the rumor mills for word of a new pro-level camera with at least the same sensor size as the existing D3X. I have a D800, but it doesn't take much handling to realize that it was not created with the same robust build-quality as the D3 and now D4 series cameras. It is simply not a replacement for the D3X for a number of reasons. While I can see the D4/D4s as an advance and update for the D3/D3s, I don't understand the interval in updating the D3X. Neither the D4 or the D4S are, in my opinion, geared for the fashion/catalog/advertising shooter. I've been away from photojournalism too long to give an opinion about how they are suited for newspaper work, but I know people who love them for that.

It does seem natural that they would create a D4X with at least the sensor size of the D800/810 (if not the Sony 46MP sensor) in a pro build body before they would do a D5 or a D900, right? I'm feeling left out...
D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
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Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    My guess is that you will not see a D4x or D5x. Two D810s with MB-D12s don't work for you? I can appreciate the better focus and build of the D4 over the D800s, but what is so important that you can't compromise?
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    -In it's still-brief life the D800 is currently visiting the NPS repair shop for the 2nd time
    -I still don't see having a combo of SD and CF slots as the most professional work flow
    -The connection between body and MB-D12 has never been as secure as it should--especially if you are securing the whole thing to a tripod with a heavier lens for slower shutter speed work (lenses without collar mounts)
    -a Pop-Up flash....really?
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    edited February 2015
    I can understand your frustration Danhowl coming from a D3X myself. I waited for a D4X but sadly it never happened, I Bought the D4 and could not believe how the technology had improved. So I now use the D4 for speed and low Light and the D810 for large resolution images. I would be tempted to wait to see what Nikon's answer is to the Canon 50mp camera. They have stated they intend to make high megapixel cameras, so if you have the patience to wait, keep using what you have got. I have not experienced any movement with D810 and the MB-D12 Not sure if there is any difference between the D800/E and the D810 fastening, but it is solid with my combo.
    Post edited by paulr on
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    When Nikon has a 54mp FX sensor ready I do hope they put it in a D4x body this fall as well as putting it in a D810x body. However, they could have created a D4x with the 36mp sensor in the D800, D800e and D810 but they didn't so perhaps Nikon has abandoned the D3x line. I hope not. Maybe will will know this fall.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited February 2015
    I think the reason there is no D4x, is the same as there is no D400

    They are both specialist cameras and whilst there is definitely a demand for both. That demand is limited.
    Nikon may feel they will not sell enough units to justify the R&D, the initial production and marketing cost

    Some good news I think Nikon have a patent for an interchangeable sensor

    That would allow you to choose a 24mp high ISO Fx sensor
    or a 54 mp sensor with limited high ISO Fx performance
    and even a 24mp dx sensor
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member
    This was well written:
    http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-shows-up-empty-handed.html

    It describes the frustration of many of you.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    That would certainly be nice to have, interchangeable sensors. At an astro sensor to that now.

    I have often thought that the build quality of a D4 with a 36 megapixel sensor would be nice to have. But I am sure that I will buy a D820 and then a D830 or 840, so I don't need the build quality.

    I will see how the product line shakes out over five years before I make a $7,000 commitment to the build quality.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    This was well written:
    http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-shows-up-empty-handed.html

    It describes the frustration of many of you.
    "It’s a sad day in Nikonland" - Thom Hogan
    :((
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited February 2015
    Ironheart
    It describes the frustration of many of you.

    I was satisfied and with my D800 before CP+ trade show
    And I still am


    WestEndFoto I will see how the product line shakes out over five years before I make a $7,000 commitment to the build quality.

    I see no reason not be contented with my D800 in 5 years time
    although by then, it will probably have replaced my D700 as my spare camera

    I do realise it is politically incorrect to praise Nikon on a Nikon form but I have been content with Nikon products for 50 years. I think today they have a superb range of camera and lenses, far greater than when I bought my first Nikon F in the 60s

    Enjoy what you have and stop being frustrated about what you dont



    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    Ironheart

    Enjoy what you have and stop being frustrated about what you dont



    I think if you re-read my original post, you'll agree that I have been enjoying the hell out of my D3X. As a professional, I just worry about taking 6+ yr old camera with 400,000+ actuations into the field for an extended or international trip. My frustration is with the lack of replacement options that non-sports/photojournalism professionals have. I think both are valid positions.

    I'm not sure that the referenced article exactly speaks to this issue. I think Nikon took bold steps with both the D3X and the D800 in terms of quality and file size. I just feel like the D4/D4S does not address my needs. I would love to see them take another bold step with a D4X or a D5 that is not a step backwards in resolution.
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    Ironheart
    It describes the frustration of many of you.
    I was satisfied and with my D800 before CP+ trade show
    And I still am


    WestEndFoto I will see how the product line shakes out over five years before I make a $7,000 commitment to the build quality.

    I see no reason not be contented with my D800 in 5 years time
    although by then, it will probably have replaced my D700 as my spare camera

    I do realise it is politically incorrect to praise Nikon on a Nikon form but I have been content with Nikon products for 50 years. I think today they have a superb range of camera and lenses, far greater than when I bought my first Nikon F in the 60s

    Enjoy what you have and stop being frustrated about what you dont





    I intend on handing my D800 to my son in five years - he is 9 now, but I have not told him. So my D820 will be my backup/second body and my primary body? I will see what is available.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Yes, danhowl. You are in a different class (440,000 shutter actuations on a D3x - I seriously doubt anyone here can top that count on one body). You truly are one who can profit from the more rugged build of the D_ body. Hopefully, Nikon will produce a product for your needs. Until they do perhaps you can consider picking up a second used D3x body so you are sure to have two along on each assignment in case one breaks? While they originally were very expensive, I think that huge $8,000 premium price has largely evaporated on the used camera market today. There is one on e-bay now for $3,499 with just 3 shutter actuations. Or you could consider using a D810 (about the same price when you add the battery grip) for a backup. Or you could purchase two D810s (for the same price as one D4s) and surely they would last long enough for any D4x to arrive, if one will.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    To appreciate the OP's original query one must understand who is doing the asking. And, Dan is one of the top photogs in New York today, so his demands on equipment may be much more critical than many of us on NRF. Look here to see who the OP is:
    http://www.bridalfashionphotography.com

    And, the possibility of a D4x....or whatever, does not seem so difficult. The current pixel density of a D7100 is the equivalent of a full frame of about 54 MP. So, it does seem like a fairly easy production process. Or at least for someone like me who is uninformed...LOL

    Msmoto, mod
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,191Member
    edited February 2015
    How about sending your D3x bodies to Nikon for servicing and buying a D610 or D750 in the interim (if you can't work without them)? You get the best of both worlds- the'll replace the shutter for you, you'll get them back in factory condition, ready for another 400,000+ or so shutter actuations and you'd get a lighter backup body with the same resolution you had on the D3x and probably a bit better performance? Plus it's cheaper than buying a used D3x body from some stranger.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    If Nikon can supply the limited market for a D810a surely they could supply the limited market for a D4x. Nikon has a good sensor from the D810 which they could use and it seems they will soon have a 50+ mp FX sensor. However, it seems the time may have passed for the D4x model. If D5 prototype bodies are being tested now (as one knowledgeable person has stated) and if the D5 will be announced this fall and released next spring and if availability of the 50+ mp FX sensor is on about the same timeline, it might be better for Nikon to release both a 20-24mp F5 and a 50+ mp F5x at the same time so those purchasing a D_x body can benefit from the latest technology which will be built into the D5 body. With the D5 and a 50+ mp sensor soon to be here, releasing a D4x with the current 36mp sensor would saddle those purchasers with relatively "old" technology over the expected life span of the body.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    That sounds pretty reasonable, and it will keep our distanguished OP happy.

    Amateurs need to think about reliability too. I am at 150,000 actuations on my D800 that I have had for 18 months.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Bridal fantasy album #1 #4 and #9 are the types of photos I want to accomplish. Great work @danhowl
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,407Moderator
    I am surprised and disappointed that nobody has noticed that they are composites...... @-)
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My guess is that when shooting multiple models....the easier way to get the results is to have individual shots, then combine them. As they are primarily in the advertising/commercial arena, I cannot see how this would make any difference.

    But, Dan, give us some thoughts about what you are hearing....please.

    Thanks
    Msmoto, mod
  • I am surprised and disappointed that nobody has noticed that they are composites...... @-)
    No one has remarked that they are. Who'd consider these 'real'?
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    First of all, Spraynpray, I did not ever bring my work into this discussion for evaluation. Secondly I haven't made any statements about my work process other than the number of actuation I have on one camera. I don't know if it was your intent to imply that all of the work on my website is the result of composite images--it isn't. However, I am not hiding from from the fact that I have one gallery of images on the referenced website which are composites. This particular body of work came about for numerous reasons. I don't think that the responsibility of making a defense of composite work in advertising falls on my shoulders. To make a brief point of reference, part of my inspiration was the Disney Dreams portraits campaign shot by Annie Liebowitz.

    Your use of the word 'disappointed' leads me to believe that you feel that there is something inferior in the work or that I was trying to cover up the fact that they are the result of composite work and not ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY if there is such a thing. I'm not sure that you bothered to take a discerning look before making that statement. Clearly two of the images are model shots which I captured in the studio which were placed on illustrations (not photos) by a digital artist under my supervision. The others are studio shots incorporated into separate background photographs. I can't see how anyone would come to the conclusion that I am attempting to hide the fact that they are composites, especially considering that I have them in their own distinct gallery called Fantasy!

    I have invested a great deal of time and thought is planning my marketing via my websites. Yes, I have more than one. My work is in three distinct areas of emphasis: Bridal Fashion, Kids and Casual Fashion, and Editorial Portraits. I have three separate websites for this work. The composite gallery contains 15 images on a website that displays over 120 images. Each of my websites contain about that many images, yet you seem to criticize me for the 15 which I didn't even to bring into this discussion.

    To Msmoto, I believe the composite work that people were referencing was from that particular gallery. To clear up any confusion, that is the only place where I show composite work. I believe that the rest of the images shown on the site are a result of single-capture photos with the possible exception of a few instances where there was a problem with a particular garment that needed to be solved by multiple-captures. You are free to poke around and look at the breadth of my work on the following sites:

    www.bridalfashionphotography.com
    www.danhowellphotography.com
    www.danhowell.photography
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,407Moderator
    Hmm things sure do get misunderstood on these forums don't they? I noticed instantly the only gallery I looked at was mainly composites and was shocked and surprised that other members hadn't already as we have some keen eyes here. I would have expected them to have complimented you on your pretty good PS skills. I have no idea why you are getting blotchy over me pointing it out? I certainly never did or intend to insinuate that you were trying to hide anything. I have absolutely no idea what the heck you are talking about. Perhaps you need to take a breath and re-read my post again. It was a gentle poke at my fellow member on NR.

    Peace!
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited February 2015
    :-) lol @spraynpray ... we are all spoilt here on NR. It being a friendly place whereas most other forums are flamewarzones :-) and if we are naughty we have mamamoto to smack us. :-)
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    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.

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    edited February 2015
    danhowl: your work is GREAT and your composites are GREAT. No one here would suggest otherwise. spraynpray's comment wasn't intended to be any criticism of you or your work. I read his comment to be that he was surprised no one on NR started a discussion about those images.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,407Moderator
    'mamamoto' - I like that hearty! ;)
    Always learning.
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