We all expect the newest, latest and greatest gear to be leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor.  Even I am guilty of this, after all, when Nikon released the D3, it was like they invented the camera all over again.  I was elated and disappointed in the same breath from that camera.  Elated that I could shoot with such a beautiful sensor, and disappointed that past images were shot on anything else.

Fast forward to yesterday, and we all know by now that Nikon has released the D3’s successor, the Nikon D4.  It’s a 16MP speed shooter of a camera that does video.  However, I worry that others will see it for just that, a camera that on the spec sheet is a minor improvement from its previous generation, but not much more. So to that view, let me offer some thoughts…

First and foremost, holy beautifully reworked ergonomics!  Nikon has seen that at the end of the day any picture can be created by any camera, this is truth (arguments in the comments section…. begin).  Can I shoot the exact pictures I do with a Canon or Hasselblad? Yes.  I shoot with Nikon because I am comfortable, the system is intuitive and the less I need to think about when visualizing the shot, the clearer I can represent my eye.  The aspect that made me the happiest of all the chassis adjustments was how much they thought about those that shoot in portrait orientation, that quick AF select dial will actually make more images than any AF-L button ever could.

Secondly, thank you Nikon for making this less MP than the Canon 1DX.  Yes, I genuinely mean this… I will let any photographer tell me how his camera has more megapixels than mine any day, it means NOTHING.  After all, how many Sigma SD1 shooters do we have out there bragging about their 48MP monster camera?  If you want to sell me on a camera, tell me the sensor/noise ratio and that it doesn’t have any automatic modes.

What makes this camera exciting to me is that the average consumer could read the Nikon press release and wind up cross eyed and spend the rest of their day wondering what a sub-selector is and why it matters. Sure there are those advanced doctors and lawyers out there that will capture incredible picture of the first time their son or daughter rode a horse with the D4, but the sad reality is that they would have capture the same image with the D3.  However, now that they have the D4, they can not only capture said image of child with wildlife, but they can tell you they shot it with a Nikon D4.  I am pretty sure that my doctor reads my blog and 100% sure that my lawyer reads it, so my apologies… and the shot with Sarah on the horse was AWESOME!