Some photographers have bought the Nikon D4 on the assumption that it’s image quality is better than a Nikon D800. While there might be certain specific cases in which this is true (high ISO, oddball lighting), etc, the main value of the D4 appears to be in the areas of ergonomics and autofocus and other specific functionality that works better for particular jobs.
Roy P (who owns a D800 and D4) does a good job of discussing his own experience and asking some pointed questions on why the D4 exists:
One of the key features of the D4 is its 10 frames/second burst speed, which I guess is a staple for sports photographers. But apart from that, I thought the D4 and the D800/800E each had its own role in the universe.
I had thought the D4 would be the camera for available-light photography at high ISOs in chaotic situations (people, action, lot of movement, etc. where the environment controls the photographer). In this case, the D4 would be used mostly with fast autofocusing with the best Nikon AF lenses, probably the pro zooms.
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