There is no denying that a D800/D810 is more suited for landscape photography, but for those – like me – who use also a D4 for landscapes, the factory defaults regarding white balance and tonality are not very well suited. D4 color setup in “Standard” picture control configuration (I never liked or used the “Landscape” setup) tends to be to cool and too bright.

In brightly lit situations like during the day in summer, I found the pictures washed out and overall too bright without being overexposed. Especially mid-tones and highlights quickly bleed. In addition to this, the white balance in “A” setting is tilting towards the blue side of the spectrum.

This setting might be beneficial for press and event shooting, but for landscapes it does not suit my shooting stile, which is more met by the D2x/D3x tonality.

After several attempts I found a combination of settings, which make me perfectly happy. Initially I worried, if the standard tonal curve would be the issue overall, but this is fortunately not the case. In SD picture control, I set the brightness to -1 (the one step that you can go to the left in this setting). This tones down mid-tones and increases the saturation in those areas. Overall the picture will get a bit darker than with a D2x or D3x in default, but not to a degree that it really creates a problem.

To cure the blue tint, I have set the “A” white balance to a deviation value of +A3. This brings the overall tonality into the warmer spectrum and is a good match to create similar pictures to D2x and D3x.

The D4 does not turn into a D2x color wise, but it is a very close match.