Yes, I pre-ordered a Nikon D4!

Usually when something big in tech or photography happens my friends start asking me "did you order one?" This time the big news is the newly announced Nikon D4 DSLR camera. Let me start by saying that I've always had Nikon D3 envy, but just couldn't justify the price. I don't need the high speed because I don't shoot sports. My D700 has served me quite well and I really have no complaints with it. My desire to replace it only stems from the desire of having a full-frame camera that also does video. I have a Nikon D7000 for travel and currently a D5100 in studio for doing video. However, I find that I don't shoot much video with it because what I realized is that the times I want to shoot video is usually while I'm shooting stills. This would mean putting down my D700 and walking over to my D5100 and shooting video. In reality the moment would then be lost that I wanted to capture on video. What I want is one camera that does both. I've been waiting for the D700 replacement (the rumored D800). However, there's one problem with the D800 and that is according to ALL the rumors it will be a 38MP camera! While I'm assuming that Nikon will allow you to "turn down" the megapixel setting to a lesser resolution, it would mean that for me 99.9% of the time I would be shooting at that lower resolution as I have no desire/need to process or house 38MP RAW files. Since the D4 is here (shipping in February) I started looking at it as the answer to my quest. 

 

I don't need a $6,000 body!

Let me be the first to say/admit that I DON'T NEED A $6,000 CAMERA BODY! Nope, not on any level. It won't in any way positively affect my photography enough to offset the cost. The rumored D800 will likely be half the price and more in line with the D700 pricing that I'm used to. With that said, I'm going through with it and have ordered a D4 anyway. Another thing besides all the D4 goodness and video capabilities that intrigues me is the New Nikon WT5 Wireless Transmitter. Not only do I have a desire for a full-frame Nikon 1080p video capable DSLR, but I definitely have a strong desire for getting fast wireless tethered shooting! This video really got my attention and it's probably what pushed me over the edge:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0DnEoqm-wc

 

I'm doing it anyway! – FAQ

Q. Couldn't you just wait and see what the D800 really has to offer and make your decision then?

A. Asking me that question shows you don't really know me. I rarely wait to see what's coming if there is something in front of me that does everything I want.

 

Q. Will the D4 make you better photographer?

A. Nope

 

Q. Is video really that important to you? 

A. Hmmm… yep.

 

Q. Are you going to sell your D700

A. Normally that would be the plan, but I've decided at least for now to keep the D700 as my backup body in studio. I may change my mind down the road. However, since I won't have any need for the D5100 anymore my buddy has already called dibs on it.

 

Q. Don't you get all your gear for free anyway?

A. LOL, you don't really think that do you? Um no! I wish!

 

Q. You're not even a full-time photographer. Isn't this overkill.

A. Yep and your point?

 

Q. I thought photography was just your hobby and you do it for fun.

A. It is and I like to have a LOT of fun.

 

Q. Couldn't you find a better use for that money?

A. Yep. Life is short, might as well get what you want when you can.

 

Q. I don't really see how you can justify a D4 given that you don't make your living as a photographer.

A. I know, right?

 

Q. If you couldn't justify a D3 then how can you justify a D4?

A. Good question. The D3 never offered enough features over the D700 that I would use to justify the difference in price. The D4 does against the not yet announced D800.

 

Q. There's no reasoning with you on this purchase is there?

A. Not really.

 

Q. Where did you pre-order it from?

A. Right here at B&H Photo.

  • Terry,

    LOVE the F.A.Q.! seriously. I’m on the Canon side and contemplated the new 1DX… I know a few people pre-ordering that one, though not for the “right” reasons.. but more for perception. Hey it’s their money.. Me? Sure.. If I won the lottery.. and I do like some of the features.. but will be just fine with the 5DMII that I’m saving for. Full frame and video for a third of the price.

    Here is to getting what you want vs need and knowing the difference!

    -Adam

  • I love an honest man! No justification required, just do it because you want it.

  • Stan Burman

    Thanks for your great post that included neat FAQs. I hope you’ll (I know, you will) share with us your first impressions when you get the camera in hand. I like to photograph birds and wildlife, and I’m thinking the D4 would really let you pump up the ISO without serious noise problems. Looking forward to your opinion.

  • Mikael

    Hi Terry,

    I´m much like you, i can´t either give practical reasons why I have to buy a new body or lens, sometimes I can but most of the time it´s just.

    Do you really need that fixed 400/4 for shooting 10 animals?,,,

    hmm no but i want the lens, i might do more wildlife if I have it

    Good luck with the D4

  • Wanda Doerner

    Hi Terry,

    I love reading your Q & A … frankly you don’t need to justify any desire to buy a new piece of delicious technology. The fact that you WANT it is all the reason you need to pursue this great acquisition. The way I see it — being a media professional means using ALL kinds of tools. Our products now involve all kinds of media utilizing stills/graphics/video and good audio for the projects that we work on. This Nikon D4 sounds like another fantastic TOOL that will enable you to do even more excellent work showcasing your vast knowledge and creativity. I look forward to your feedback on this newest acquisition once you start clicking away.

    Enjoy the ride, Wanda

  • Congrats on your purchase! I think you made the right decision based on what you do. I’m a big concerned about the 38 Mb D800 rumours as well. I don’t really want to deal with huge files, and if Im buying a $3-4000 camera, I will not be tweaking the settings to shoot smaller files, so since I’m on a budget and has no need for a D4 whatsoever, I’ll probably be looking for a D700 instead.

  • Phil Bee

    Terry:

    I’m with you. I pre-ordered mine and although I shoot for a magazine it is not my primary employment. There is something about the D4 that transcends the hype. I shoot portraits and the D800 might serve my purposes but hey, what’s a few megapickles amongst friends? Good shooting!

    P

  • I really hope the rumor of the D800 being 38 MP is wrong.. and I wish I had the money for a D4, and yes I can justify it if I did.. LOL

  • I understand only too well the inherent desire or is lust for certain products. It doesn’t add up to a viable option on a spreadsheet but then creativity is something that just can’t me measured.

    There are certain new features or performance specs that will help us but in the end it is about that wonderful feeling you get when you own something wonderful. Way more than just jewelry or a high-end car. It’s an object that we can use and it almost feels like a superman suit as now we can do the impossible, which often leads us to doing more and being way more creative.

    Enjoy and I hope it doesn’t hurt to much with that huge smile that will be plastered on your face.

    Niels Henriksen

  • Jack Larson

    You helped me solidify my decision to stick with my D700. Right now I am not interested in video. Thanks.

  • Thanks for the honest answers, Terry. It’s nice to see no justifications. Too many times we are made to feel guilty about getting new gear when there isn’t a specific need, just a want :-). I totally agree about life being short and doing things now. Good on ya! Hope you enjoy it.

  • Joe

    Love the post but to be honest you don’t need to justify your purchases to anyone other than yourself. You earned the cash and the right to spend it any way you see fit. No different than purchasing a maxed out car like a lot of people do just for the extras when another one will get you to the same place. None of those are professional drivers! 🙂 Enjoy that camera man.

  • As you previously demo’d & detailed using Eye-fi SD card with your D7000, how does the D4 connection compare. With the eye-fi card can connect with my IPAD2 directly thru deicated IP address or over the wireless network. Does the D4 improve on this as I tink it needs a special add on for wireless connection

    derek

    • You’ll need the Nikon WT5 as shown in the video in my post.

  • How do the two compare? D7000 & eye-fi vs D4 & WT5(Both going to IPAD2)?

  • Hey Terry, Did I tell you about the nightmare I had the other night? Yeah I fell off your wallet. Oh man that was good oh how I crack myself up. How much is that body? Never mind, I’m a Canon shooter. Have fun with it. Your friend,
    Mike

  • dannyrich

    Good review

    I am pretty much in the same camp as you, I have a D90 & D700 curently, I dont really need it so to speak, but would like it. I think the 16MP is sufficient and is a managable data/file capacity.

    Im not big on video but seem to be doing more and more sports.

    My time will be split maily studio and fashion based but also some pro sport.

    Glad I preordered and glad you backed up my senseless decision to buy something I dont need 🙂

  • That’s right Terry, go for it! I entirely agree with you that life is short and personally I would hate to be lying on my death bed wondering what the D4 and WT-5 were like…. so I have pre-ordered both, even though I have a D3 and D300!

    John (66 and counting)

  • Don

    Hi Terry,

    Have to say that this was one of the best and most honest reviews, posts, blogs, whatever that I have read in a long time. Your reasons are exactly the same as mine. I am buying a D4 simply because I can afford one and I want one. It is that simple. However I did try to give my D3S to my daughter but she does not want it. She decided to stick with her D700. Right on dude. Enjoy your D4.

  • Thanks Terry, for writing down my thoughts about this decision.

  • Good for you, Terry! People always ask how I get the $$ for my expensive cameras (canon 5D MarkII & 7D + lots-o-light) and I always reply that my gear doesn’t even come close to the difference between the cost of their fancy cars & my cheapo Honda, plus I’ve made the cost back in my photo side business.
    I really enjoy your informative videos. -Ben

  • Jan Gemeinhardt

    Terry, I love your Q&A that’s how I justify buying anything for myself particularly photography stuff. Unfortunately I won’t be buying the D4, I do own a D700 and a D300 so far very happy and that’s OK because reading your way of reasoning has made my day. Now if only my husband agreed! Thank You, Jan

  • Steve W

    Love the FAQ and couldn’t agree more. Pre-order in and D300 listed on Craig’s list.

  • Neo

    You go man! I really, really want one too before I get too old to hold and shoot with a camera of this size. While not perfect, the specs look just about right for me to keep me happy for a long time. I already sold my D7000 and started my savings toward getting one.