Nikon D4 vs Nikon D810

  • Full frame
  • 16 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 45
    Overall
  • 23
    Imaging
  • 49
    Features
  • 66
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 36 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 55
    Overall
  • 36
    Imaging
  • 59
    Features
  • 69
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D4 vs Nikon D810: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models introduced by the same brand - Nikon. Although both products are offered by the same brand, they come from different categories. Thus, Nikon, is a camera from Pro DSLR category, while D810 is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. The first compared model, Nikon D4, features has a resolution of 16.0 MP. Another model that we are reviewing, Nikon D810, features a sensor with a resolution of 36.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810.

Nikon D4 Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 12800 (Expands to 50 - 204800)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 160 x 157 x 91 mm
  • Weight: 1340 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D3S. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D4s. Compare

Nikon D810 Key Features:

  • 36.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 64 - 12800 (Expands to 32 - 51200)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 146 x 123 x 82 mm
  • Weight: 980 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D800. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D850. Compare

Since Nikon D4 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D4s. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D4 vs. D4s
Nikon D4s vs. Nikon D810

Being a newer model, Nikon D4 substituted Nikon D3S. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D4 vs. D3S
Nikon D3S vs. Nikon D810

Why is Nikon D4 a better choice than Nikon D810

Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 5 fps 6 fps faster
Battery Life 2600 shots vs 1200 shots 1400 more frames with a single charge
Dxo Low Light Iso 2965 vs 2853 Better High ISO performance

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D810 over Nikon D4

Sensor Resolution 36.0 MP vs 16.0 MP 55.6% more pixels
Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 vs 860.4 mm2 0.1% larger pixel area
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 12 vs No 12 better flash range
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Resolution 1,229k dots vs 921k dots 25.1% higher resolution screen
Weight 980 g vs 1340 g 360 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 25.7 vs 24.7 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.8 vs 13.1 Better dynamic range

Key PROs of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810

Screen Size 3.2″ | 3.2″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes | Yes Better video control
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 slots | 2 slots Extra Storage Slots
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions
Battery Life 2600 shots | 1200 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D4 vs Nikon D810: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 from the front view.

Nikon D4
Nikon D810
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D4
Nikon D810
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D810 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 360g less than the Nikon D4. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D4 features a 16.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Nikon D810, in its turn, comes with a 36.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D4
Nikon D810
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Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D4 Nikon D810
Portrait Photography
83%
94%
Street Photography
78%
89%
Sports Photography
96%
93%
Daily Photography
69%
39%
Landscape Photography
96%
99%

Nikon D4 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D810 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (36 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D4 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (2600 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (160 x 157 x 91 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D810 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1200 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (146 x 123 x 82 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D4 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2965)
  • Big battery life (2600 shots)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 91 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (15)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)

Nikon D810 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2853)
  • Big size (146 x 123 x 82 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (15)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)

Nikon D4 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1340 g)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 91 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D810 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (980 g)
  • Big size (146 x 123 x 82 mm)

Nikon D4 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.1)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2965)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)

Nikon D810 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (36 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.8)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2853)

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)

Comparison of Nikon D4 vs Nikon D810: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D4 or Nikon D810, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D4 and Nikon D810 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D810 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D4. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D4 vs Nikon D810 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D4 Nikon D810
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D4 D810
Announced Jan 06, 2012 Jun 26, 2014
Body Type Large SLR" Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 23.9 mm 35.9 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 860.40 mm2 861.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP 36.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4928 x 3280 7360 x 4912
Max Native ISO 12,800 12,800
Max Boosted ISO 204,800 51,200
Min Native ISO 100 64
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection No No
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 51 51
Number of Cross Focus Points 15 15
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3.2″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 1,229k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7 0.7
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash No Yes
Flash Range 0 12
Flash Modes Auto, Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, redeye reduction, redeye reduction w/slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 89 97
DxO Color Depth 24.7 25.7
DxO Dynamic Range 13.1 14.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2965 2853
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps) 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 1340 g 980 g
Physical Dimensions 160 x 157 x 91 mm 146 x 123 x 82 mm
Battery Life 2600 shots 1200 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL18 EN-EL15
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional Optional
Storage Type CompactFlash, XQD SD/SDHC/SDXC, CompactFlash (UDMA compliant)
Storage Slots 2 2

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