Dirt, Boogers and the Nikon D4

11 05 2012

Dirt, Boogers and the Nikon D4

What are cameras for? Capturing an image? Documenting history? Making a living? Annoying people around you? Entertaining relatives? Worrying the mother of the bride? Keeping your insurance broker happy? Well all of those things of course, but they’re more than a simple tool, they are, in the right hands, a revelation.

What is this thing of wonder, this piece of machinery, this marvel of high tech that allows me to capture my images of brilliance and mediocrity depending on my mood? Oh, if you were coming here for a solid review of the Nikon D4, this is the wrong place. I can tell you how it feels in your hands (heavy but surprisingly satisfying.) I can tell you how it looks, (solid, intuitive, a bit chunky, a bit imposing, but overall it looks like a performer.)

I’m not one to stand on ceremony (I had a good chuckle when Beth from Vistek cracked open the box to see what was inside before she handed it over) – I thought, “Hey, some people waste an hour documenting the whole box opening thing!” Well, that’s not me either. Pull that sucker open, charge the battery as fast as you can and shoot something! Of course it is Toronto in Spring so I had a few days of rain, and there was a few days of miscommunication (read: 11 days) so I didn’t get my camera when I should – and while I’m on that topic, Nikon, do you know what a release date is for? Don’t you people think of the people who are going to spend their money on your products? The pros who have 3 or 4 bodies stacked carefully in their foam-lined Pelicans. . .they want the cameras sooner rather than later. . .they want to drive the shutter to its limits. . .me, I just want to take photos, make some money, and have something reliable in my hands that does an exceptional job.

Does the D4 deliver? So much. Are the photos sharp, huge, bright and all the things they should be when pumped out of a $6000 magic box? Well, yeah they are. Do I need to drill down mega-pickle by mega-pickle? No, if I wanted to do that I would have grabbed a Nikon D800E for a little more than half the price. I didn’t do that, I grabbed the D4 and I’m glad I did.

You can read other blogs which will tell you how much things weigh, maybe they’ll talk about alloys, performance at various temperatures, and maybe even have a few product photos and a chart or graph…but what about the photos? The photos are good. . .there is a quality about that that is more than depth, more than richness, its a special perspective, its a feeling, an understanding that with this in your hands you can take a photo, no, more than a photo, more than an image, you are taking a picture and then you remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. . .

So here is Aldrin, and you can see her hard earned dirt, picked up in a few different playgrounds today. You can see her spray of freckles, the cookie at the corner of her mouth, the gold in the iris of her blue eyes, and the different shades of colours in her hair. . .the dirt on her chin. . .yup, you can see it all – that’s one of the reasons I like the Nikon D4, not because it shoots 11 FX frames a second (it does,) and not because it has 2 types of memory (WTF is XQD and why is it $135 more in Canada than in the USA?) Mine came with XQD (not sure whether I thank Nikon or Sony,) and I had to buy some blistering Compact Flash to compliment that other chunk. . .so there, a capture, not the next, not the worst, but a true representation of a happy little girl who played her heart out today, transferred some dirt from one part of the city to another, and had the patience to smile for Daddy even though his face was mostly obscured by a large chunk of Japanese merchandise.






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