Nikon D4 ISO performance at Miss Universe NZ backstage

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I have been using the Nikon D4 for several months now and I feel it is a good time to write about it. Quite a lot of people are having lockup issue with their Nikon D4. I am fortunate enough not to experience such issue. I think it is due to how I set my image playback.  Nikon has now issued a firmware update to patch up some of the issues.The Nikon D4 is still very hard to get at the moment and it pays to pre-order yours as early as possible. You can pre-order yours at here at B&H .

If you want to find out the new features on the Nikon flagship D4, check out this post.

Having been using Nikon D700 and D3, the Nikon D4 definitely brings some welcoming features which makes handling much more comfortable. The new sub selectors in the form of a joystick for both horizontal and vertical grips make moving AF points much easier. In terms of auto focusing, the Nikon D4 uses an improved 51 AF point system which works in –2EV. I have used the D4 in some low light situation and it works really well. However don’t expect it to work in a pitch black situation like in a dark alleyway. I have tried it in the studio with all the modelling light turned off which was near pitch black and it doesn’t AF vey well, but it is not suppose to anyway.

For noise performance, you can expect clean images up to ISO 6400. IS0 12800 will have a bit of noise but still very useable. A nice feature that I like on the D4 is how easy it is to switch between AF-C d9/d21/d51 and you can see the boundary of the dynamic area in the VF.  The layout of the buttons are not so much different to the D3 and D3s, so you won’t feel a total stranger first time you hold the D4. The body of the D4 is much more contoured which feels great in hand.

A few days ago, I was at the La Shika’s Evening Dress and Ball Gown fashion show featuring 2012 Miss Universe NZ contestants and took photos of the back stage using the Nikon D4. With the classical setting of  the Museum Hotel, it really gave the D4 a test on metering, high ISO and dynamic range performance. The images were taken with a 24-70mm f/2.8 using ISO from 1600. The idea was to see how the D4 performs in a real world low light situation, so don’t expect anything from a ridiculously high ISO like 204,800.

Here are some images taken from the fashion show  back stage featuring 2012 Miss Universe NZ contestants.

ISO 1100, f/2.8, 1/50s

The classical setting with all sorts of lighting gives a very challenge metering job for the D4. As expected, the metering had its moment given the complex lighting situation. At ISO 4500, the noise is very well controlled.

ISO 4500, f/2.8, 1/50s

ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/125s

Behind the scenes at the make up room. The auto focus was fast and reliable as expected in all Nikon pro DSLR.

ISO 2200, f/2.8, 1/50s

ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/125s

One of the featured evening gown at the fashion show by La Shika’s Bridal.

ISO 2800, f/2.8, 1/50s

Designer and Hair & Make Up artist work on our model Jennifer Lambly Miss Auckland

ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/60s

Miss North Harbour and Miss Nature Coast doing the final touch up before the show.

ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/60s

ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/40s

The winning dress of the night modelled by Miss Auckland

ISO 800, f/4, 1/250s

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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