Well here we are once again, tumbling into a new year full of anticipation and optimism. As a wedding photographer the first few months of the year do sometimes leave me twiddling my thumbs somewhat. A dangerous thing as this gives me the time to start browsing new camera articles! Last years major investment for the business was my shiny new iMAC which was money well spent but what do I need this year to help improve my photography?
Everytime I upgrade or replace some piece of camera kit I am looking for it to provide me with some improvement in image quality or the ability to “get the shot”. My trusty D700 body has now racked up around 80,000 shutter actuations, which puts it at around half way through its shutter life span. It has worked faultlessly for me and never missed a beat and seeing how reliability is a massive requirement for me I would not be concerned by staying with another D700. I don’t really like buying new camera gear as they inevitably never perform up to there marketing brochures so I was just considering replacing my trusty D700 with a new D700. Unfortunately Nikon have discontinued this wonderful classic camera and in my opinion have not replaced it with a direct replacement. Bad news for me and probably a lot of other photographers.
The D800 is out there with its massive 36MP coming in at around 2,400€. But it doesn’t offer me anything the D700 couldn’t do, admittedly it has ooddles more Mega Pixels but I don’t really want or need them.
Then the boffins at Nikon introduced the D600 but that is a whole 100 less than the D700 so it can’t be any better, can it? The specs look good and the write ups sound promising but again it doesn’t really give me anything more than I already have with the obvious exception of more Mega Pixels and video. MegaPixels and Video are not on my requirements list. Priced at around 1,800€ the D600 could be the D700 replacement. Unfortunately as I have now browsed around the new Nikon offerings in this weddingless time I am starting to lust for….. the Nikon D4.
The D4 is a beast of a camera in both size and capability. As a photojournalist wedding photographer I have to be able to get the shots in a multitude of ever changing lighting conditions. I prefer natural light for aesthetic reasons but also because using a flash does not actually help me remain invisible when taking candid photos. Flash, FLASH, FLaSH – it’s just way too much in your face. So from bright sunshine days to churches with no windows and 1 candle and onwards to the reception where sometimes it amazes me that for all the design in planning the venue nobody appears to have given a thought to installing some decent lighting. So yes low light is probably the biggest need for me to get the shot. Not just any shot but a beautiful shot. The D4 can crank up to 12,800 iso and still get usable shots, it can focus quickly on a black cat in a coal cellar and is arguably the ultimate low light camera. Now that would get me shots that before I couldn’t get. But you know the best thing about this camera is its’ massive size. Heavy yes but it has one massive advantage…..
At weddings there is usually at least 1 guest who obviously doesn’t really want to enjoy the wedding they want to spend their time taking photos with their very own DSLR camera (photographers call them “Uncle Bob”) and they really want to try and get in on all the professional photos which the bride and groom have paid for as they dash around snapping everything in sight 🙂 Well this D4 bad boy is so big I reckon it will shame these budding photographers into putting their cameras away leaving them free to just enjoy the day. That D4 is just so intimidating it could well be worth the massive price tag of 5,400€ !!!
But which one will I get?