What would you do? D800 + 24-70 vs. D4 (nature/wild life)

D300userD300user Posts: 15Member
edited March 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hi everyone,

Ok so here it goes (please bear with me ^_^). I have about 5000 euro's to spend on my next camera (for reference purposes the D4 costs 5000 Euro's here). I'm doubting which way to go. What would you do if you were a nature photographer (all subjects):

Options (don't suggest any other camera's please :p):
1. D800 + Nikon grip + 24-70mm (for landscape) (no D4 battery)
2. Nikon D4
Don't mind the prices of both.. plays no role here.

I want to use it for the following (I'm a nature/wild life photographer):
- General landscape stuff (24mm is good for me, will buy wider later on).
- macro
- birding
- general wildlife

I currently own a D300. What I need right now (for the new Spring/Summer seasons) is a D400, but hey, that's nowhere to be seen. I need a PRO type body as I often need to change settings quickly and the camera will come into contact with snow, dirt etc. More pixels (cropping room), better noise handling, and large enough buffer are essential. AF of D300 is ok but want something snappier..

My lenses:
- Nikon 500mm F4 VR
- Nikon 300mm F4
- Sigma 150mm macro
- Nikon 85mm F1.8
- 2 wide angle DX lenses.

D7100 is no option for me. I'm not blown away by its noise handling and especially the lack of a good buffer. Hoping a (possible) D400 would solve this for me.

I'm leaning towards D800 + lens because I still believe Nikon will come with a D400 which I will buy when it arrives. 16 MP D4 is awesome but seeing that I often need the extra DX range is not enough to put my D300 aside for most of the time. 16MP DX would be fine though. The D800 would give me the needed cropping space..

What would you do? Has anyone been in the same position as I am right now?

Thanks for your thoughts!!
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Comments

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    That question really depends on three things;
    1) Your need to be able to shoot in bad lighting conditions (high ISO key) (D4)
    2) If you need rapid fire shooting style (D4)
    3) Amount of resolution. (D800)

    The D800 has the resolution but a small buffer (same size as the D4 but the files are twice the size) which is better suited for General landscape and macro and quite a bit of wildlife. Birding (if capturing in flight) would be a change from your D300 and you would notice the slower FPS but with use it is not a huge hang up but the D4 would be better here.

    I moved from a D300 to the D800 and absolutely love it. The only thing that has changed my shooting style is the FPS as it is slower and you have to pick your moments more. After you get use to it, it isn't that big of a deal to get use too. The trade-off of additional resolution to crop has more than made that up for me. But I don't shoot fast moving wildlife all the time. If I did, the D4 certainly comes into the picture.


    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...
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    It looks like you mostly shoot wildlife, based on your current lenses, so I think the D4 would be a better investment.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • D300userD300user Posts: 15Member
    edited March 2013
    Thanks for your input! I would see the D800 and its massive MP's as an intermediate camera that would help me to replace the D300 as wildlife camera (+macro+landscape) up until the D400 is announced. If I need fps, I'll use the D300 at 8fps. High ISO and fps are not my main reasons to buy a new camera. I hope the D400 will address that. If not, I'll buy a D4 or D4s later on. I just think 16MP is not enough for an FX camera because, 12MP DX is often not enough for me at the moment...
    So in the end, I will use the D300 and D800 side by side and switch depending on the desired characteristics. I think I just answered by initial post for myself here :p. Thanks for contributing to the thought process . ;)
    Post edited by D300user on
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    D300 User, Welcome to the Club There's must be a lot of photographers in the same position including myself.
    Both cameras offer incredible opportunities to take superb images to suit different styles of photography

    The D3/4 when put together with a lens is a lot heaver than what you are used to, something else to consider

    I would try each camera out for a week and see which one meets your criteria


    I use a D3X so I decided to wait for the next generation

    i wish you luck in your choice , but i think only you can make it.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    Sounds like he is using the D300 with a grip. If you put the right batteries in the D300+ grip to get 8FPS, it is the same size and weight as the full pro body.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2013
    I have a D800 for landscapes is it the bees knees

    if you do not need high ISO or fps then I think I would go for a D800

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I have the D4 and for birds shoot at 10 FPS. This is also useful for other interesting shots...like catching the muzzle blast of a musket, birds in flight, wildlife as they move.

    I do not think the difference in resolution of D800 to D4 will be noticeable until very large prints are made.

    Lanscapes may be better on the D800 as there is more information for color. Macro can need high ISO, so the D4 is possibly better here.

    Now, one idea might be to get a D800 plus a new lens....
    Msmoto, mod
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I shoot a lot of wildlife, and your longest lens is often not long enough (keeping a respectful distance from ma grizzly and her cubs .. priceless).

    D800 at 4 fps (5 in DX mode, 6 DX with grip) is plenty fast enough for anything but pro sports. The fastest flash cards you can get will help with buffering.

    My normal 'kit' for birding (mostly eagles) is D800 w/ 200-400 f4 where the bottom function button is programmed to switch between FX and DX mode.

    I have often found that the DX finder on the D800 which lets me see outside the frame is also helpful, particularly for fast moving wildlife.

    I am considering a D4, but for theater shooting where my lenses fill the frame, 16mp is plenty, and I often am not allowed to augment the stage lighting.

    I hope this helps .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • D300userD300user Posts: 15Member
    Thanks all! I think I just made up my mind to buy the D800. Now double check that the 24-70 is really what I need (as opposed to the primes within that range). I hardly ever need more than 16mm DX so I'll be fine starting at 24mm FX.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    If you really like 24mm for landscapes, the 24mm TS is best in that area. The 24-70mm has a lot of barrel distortion at 24mm, so a lens where 24mm is closer to middle of the zoom range (16-35mm) will be better in that regard.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    I have the D800 myself and it's a truely magnificent camera for landscape work.
    The resolution allows for large prints or a lot of cropping.
    The dynamic range of the sensor is unsurpassed.
    And the high iso performance is also quite good
    I would definately suggest the D800 unless you need:
    - the 10 frames per second
    - extreme high iso
    Then you need the D4.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Thanks all! I think I just made up my mind to buy the D800. Now double check that the 24-70 is really what I need (as opposed to the primes within that range). I hardly ever need more than 16mm DX so I'll be fine starting at 24mm FX.
    You have an 85mm already so that hits the portrait lens. Personally I'm going to get the 24-120 f/4, I have rented it 3 times now, and find it a great walk around lens that can double easily for almost anything where you don't need f2.8. It is sharp wide open and is comparable to the 24-70 at f/4. I love the VR and the extra reach especially for going light where DOF is more important than needing f/2.8. Might be an option to consider.

    24mm on either is not bad, but not the greatest either. I have a Tokina 16-28 f2.8 for my UWA and love it. At f4 it is just as sharp as the Nikkor 14-24 and has almost no distortion.

    B&H has a sale where the 24-120vr is just under $1,000 and the Tokina 16-28 is around $780. Put together you have the whole range covered for just about the same price as the 24-70.
    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...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    D4 or D800? After reading your post, neither - wait for the D400. It isn't like you need to buy a camera right now because yours is busted or stolen, and you said you would continue to use your D300. :-?
    Always learning.
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