Nikon D700 12.1MP FX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)
Nikon D700 12.1MP FX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)
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12.1-megapixel FX-format (23.9 x 36mm) CMOS sensor; body only
3.0-inch, 920,000-dot VGA color monitor; 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection
Fast, accurate 51-point AF system; 3D Focus Tracking and two Live View shooting modes
Base ISO range from 200-6400 can be expanded to range from ISO 100 (Lo-1) to 25,600 (Hi-2); 0.12-second start-up speed
Capture images to CF I/II cards; compliant high-speed UDMA CF cards that will enable recording speeds up to 35 megabytes/second
The new D700 digital SLR camera featuring a 12.1-effective megapixel Nikon FX-format sensor that measures 23.9 x 36mm, which is nearly identical to the size of 35mm film. Benefiting from Nikon’s legacy of imaging technology innovation, the D700 offers both advanced and professional photographers stunning image quality, accurate color reproduction and revolutionary low light performance. Building on the immense success of the Nikon D3 professional D-SLR camera, the D700 offers pro-level performance and an extensive array of features and innovations in a comfortably nimble platform. In addition to the Nikon-original FX-format CMOS sensor, the D700 incorporates Nikon's EXPEED Image Processing System, Nikon’s renowned 51-point auto focus system with 3D Focus Tracking and two Live View shooting modes that allow photographers to frame a shot using the camera's three-inch high-resolution LCD monitor. The D700 also features Nikon’s sophisticated Scene Recognition System and a new active dust reduction system. Nikon’s flagship FX and DX-format cameras, the D3 and D300 respectively, established new benchmarks for digital image quality, speed, and unmatched ISO performance. The D700 maintains this new measure with exceptional overall image quality, broad tonal range and depth, and extremely low noise throughout its native ISO range of 200 to 6400.1-Year Manufacturers Limited Warranty.
|Product Length:||5.8 inches|
|Product Width:||3.0 inches|
|Product Height:||4.8 inches|
|Product Weight:||2.19 pounds|
|Package Length:||11.2 inches|
|Package Width:||8.5 inches|
|Package Height:||5.2 inches|
|Package Weight:||5.65 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 212 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 212 customer reviews )
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1045 of 1075 found the following review helpful:
A review of the Nikon D700 by a Nikon D300 owner Aug 01, 2008
I am making this review of the Nikon D700 from the perspective of someone who also owns a Nikon D300.
Without qualification, the Nikon D300 is a superb camera. So many superlatives have been used with the D300 that I will not repeat them here. All the superlatives used with the D300 applies equally well to the D700. I will add however that as good as the superlatives may have been with the D300, the D700 deserves a bit more.
Let me explain.
The Nikon D700 is equipped with a full frame FX sensor (36.00mm x 23.90mm). This is the same sensor used by the Nikon D3. Nikon D3 12.1MP FX Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) The D300 on the other hand uses the APS-C sensor (23.60mm x 15.80mm). Both the D700 and the D300 have about the same 12 megapixel rating (with the D300 actually slightly higher).
The D700 having a bigger sensor than the D300 but with about the same megapixel rating means that the size/pixel density of the D700 is much lower than the D300. The ratio is 1.4MP/cm2 vs 3.3MP/cm2 for the D700 and the D300 respectively. A lower ratio means lower noise and this ratio favors the D700. For the D700, this translates to lower noise in capturing the same image than when using using the D300.
The D700 lower noise level in turn translates to the D700 being able to operate at a higher ISO level than the D300. The D700 can operate as high as ISO 25,600 while the D300 can go up to ISO 6,400. It is of course quite rare to shoot at such high ISO as it will always be better to shot at a lower ISO rating. But if both the D700 and D300 were shooting at the same ISO, the D700 will have lower noise levels. Simply put, the higher ISO capability of the D700 versus the D300 indicates the higher level of performance of the D700's sensor vs the D300.
My actual use validates this theoretical advantage. I noticed that while the noise level of the D300 is very good at ISO 1600 and even 3200, the D700 consistently showed lower noise level than the D300 shooting at the same ISO setting and light condition. This is most noticeable when shooting at night with many bright lights in the periphery of the main subject.
In terms of color rendition, I have not noticed any significant differences between the D300 and the D700 in the limited time that I have been using the D700. It may be due to the fact that I have conducted my test at dusk and at night.
When using the D700, the full frame sensor means that one will not need to convert the focal length of the lens by a factor of 1.5x. So a 50mm lens will be a 50mm lens for the D700 rather than its 75mm equivalent when used with the D300.
While this may appear to be a disadvantage on the telephoto side, its gain on the wide angle side is considerable and can only be described as an eye opener. The D700 advantage in wide angle application does not just come from its wider perspective. Rather, it is how the D700 maximizes and makes full use of such excellent lens as the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 that makes buying the D700 such an eye opener.
The resulting images taken with the Nikon D700 and the Nikon 14-24mm are clearer, sharper and crisper compared to the D300 even when the focal length in the D700 is zoomed out to its equivalent in the the D300 (21mm in D700 and 14mm in D300). Vignetting is not noticeably worse even when the D700 is used with the 14-24mm glass fully open at its widest focal length (14mm, f/2.8). This is surprising considering that the D700 is now using the full lens instead of just its sweet spot in the center (which would have been to the advantage of the D300 due to its APS-C sensor).
It is not just the wide angle lens that benefited from the D700. Even the slight vignetting I noticed with my 85mm f/1.4 shot with the D300 at f/2.8 is not considerably worse in the D700. I am very surprised at this rather unexpected results as I had expected the opposite. At any rate, vignetting is easily corrected in post-processing.
Still, I should add that for corner to corner sharpness (such as in landscape photography), the D700 with its full-frame sensors will be more demanding on the lens than the D300 with its smaller APS-C sensor.
As to the physical differences between the D700 and the D300, while these two models are roughly equal in size, the D700 is slightly heavier than the D300. This is not an issue for me at all.
What tilts the balance in favor of the D700 is its view finder which is significantly brighter and better than the D300. This difference is very noticeable when switching from the D700 to the D300 and vice versa.
This much improved viewfinder however is a mixed blessing. One disadvantage that the D700 has over the D300 is that the D700 viewfinder captures only 95% of the image while the D300 viewfinder captures 100% of the image shot. So the actual image captured is slightly bigger than what appears in the D700 viewfinder. I understand that this resulted from fitting the bigger sensor from the D3 into the body size of a D300. Given the better image quality of the D700 viewfinder and the better quality of its pictures, I am willing to work with this disadvantage and simply compensate for it during actual use. But I hope that Nikon corrects this though in its next iteration of the D700.
The D700 has an advantage over the D3 as it has an integrated flash which the D3 does not have. The integrated flash is extremely useful when used with the other components of Nikon's Creative Lightning System.
The Nikon MB-D10 Battery Pack Nikon MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pack for Nikon D300 & D700 Digital SLR Cameras from the D300 fits the D700 perfectly well. This is very convenient as I can opt for a smaller and lighter package when I do not need the MB-D10 for high-speed shooting. This is one advantage that the D700 has over the D3 where the battery pack is integrated with the camera. But a D700 with an MB-D10 is bigger and heavier than a D3. And even when the D700 is equipped with an MB-D10, the D3 is still faster. This makes the D3 a better unit for sports photography.
Since I shoot mostly portrait, special events and landscape and seldom shoot sports, the D700 is perfect for my needs and I can do without the D3. The D700 lower price tag means that I can get the D700 with at least one of Nikon's professional lens.
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S IF SWM Wide Angle Zoom Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S FX SWM Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S RF SWM Prime Wide-Angle Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Ideally, the D700 should not be used with the DX lenses. This said, it is possible to use the DX lenses with the D700. The D700 makes the switch to DX lens automatically without need to fiddle with any control. Because the DX lens covers only a section of the D700 sensor, the maximum resolution of using a DX lens on the D700 is only 5.1 megapixel. This smaller coverage is automatically delineated by a box in the D700 viewfinder. In addition to the lower resolution, the extreme two ends of a zoom lens is not usable. Within these limitations, the D700 can use DX lens and produces very good pictures albeit on a smaller resolution / file size.
The D700/FX (1.0x factor) and the D300/DX (1.5x factor) effectively doubles my lens option. For those planning to own both the D300 and the D700, it would be wise to choose a glass that would be usable with both bodies.
In closing, I consider the D700 a good complement to my D300. Except for my Nikon 18-200mm DX lens (which I bought for my Nikon D200), all my glasses and accessories for the D300 can be used with the D700 at its full resolution. I will use the D700 in those times when I need the best results shooting wide angle and/or at high ISO speed. In those times when I need the extra reach, the D300's 1.5x crop factor makes the best use of my telephoto lenses.
Edit: November 22, 2008
I continue to use both the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D700 and often bring both together whenever I go out to shoot. In those times when I just bring one camera body, I choose the D300 whenever range and higher pixel density is a major concern (bec. of the 1.5x crop factor effect on the field of view due to the smaller APS-C sensor but with resolution still at 12megapixel). The D300 is an excellent camera and its 1.5x factor is very handy when I need to reach out with a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom or with my 180mm f/2.8 prime without need of using a teleconverter. For almost every other instance, including portrait, landscape and low light photography however, I find myself reaching out for the D700.
After over 3 and a half months of use, I can safely say that the color depth of the D700 is significantly much better than the D300. The range of colors, the color details, the varying shade of colors, and the dynamic range that the D700 is capable of capturing is considerably better and richer than what the D300 is capable of. This advantage is best appreciated when taking portrait and landscape photos. The difference in dynamic range is specially noticeable when shooting at higher ISO settings as noise imposes considerable limits on the dynamic range possible. The D700 is clearly better than the D300 on dynamic range at high ISO settings.
One other difference I should mention between the D300 and the D700 is the difference that the sensor size has on effective depth of field. The bigger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field while the smaller the sensor, the greater the depth of field. Point and shoot cameras with minuscule-sized sensor often have the greatest depth of field.
The D700, having a bigger full-frame sensor, has a shallower depth of field than the D300 (which has the smaller APS-C sensor) at the same aperture setting given the same equivalent lens focal length. The difference in the effective depth of field is about one stop. At the same equivalent focal length, the equivalent depth of field of a D700 at f/2.0 would be a D300 at f/1.4.
The shallower depth of field of the D700 would be an advantage to a user who would like to isolate a subject and blur the background. The deeper depth of field of the D300 would be an advantage to a user who would like to keep several subjects at difference distances in focus. I use the D700 where I need to isolate a subject, blur the background, and get the best bokeh. This effect is most noticeable when shooting at wide open apertures from f/1.4 to f/2.8. This, plus the color advantage of the D700, makes the D700 my preferred body for shooting portraits.
Finally, one difference I notice between the D700 and the D300 is that the D700 has a better damped shutter release button. I find that it is easier to release the shutter in the D700 than in the D300. This makes a big difference when shooting at low shutter speeds.
With the D800 finally available, I thought I'd share my analysis on the D700 vs the D800
Factors that works 2 ways: Higher resolution
= greater details
= but requires higher memory card capacity
= but requires higher storage capacity
= but requires more RAM and faster CPU and better graphics card
Improvements in the D800 over the D700 other than sensor resolution
1. 100% Viewfinder
2. Better AF
3. Better metering
4. Better WB
5. HD Video
6. Improved dynamic range
7. Improved color
8. Superior live view functions
9. Bigger 3.2" LCD screen
9. Improved ergonomics and now with more buttons
10. Lighter in weight by 95 grams
11. Higher capacity battery
12. Extra SDHC slot and support
13. USB 3.0
Disadvantage of D800 vs D700 other than sensor resolution
1. 5fps vs 8fps on FX using battery pack
2. Higher resolution requires slightly higher shutter speed to shoot handheld to achieve the same corner/border acuity.
3. Higher resolution requires the best lenses to get good results, specially at side & corners
4. Higher resolution means lens diffraction occurs earlier at f/9 instead of f/13 with D700 (if more DOF needed)
5. Optional MB-D12 battery pack for D800 is priced almost double the optional MB-D10 battery pack for D700
The D800 is not a true D700-replacement in that it does not use the D4 sensor. Except for a slower frame-rate however, the D800 outperforms the D700 in all respects. I have placed an order for a D4 and also added an order for a D800E. I will however still be keeping my D700.
314 of 338 found the following review helpful:
A Smaller D3 Aug 12, 2008
By B. Fuller
This is an amazing camera. I am not going to go over the specs because you can read about them on just about any camera web site. What I am going to concentrate on is who should buy one and why.
First off, I've read about many folks lamenting having bought the D300 and now feel like the need to "upgrade" to a D700. These are two different cameras for two different purposes and as such don't compete against each other so much as complement each other. The D300 doesn't have the low noise capability (The D700 can get clean images at ISO1600 vice ISO400 for the D300) nor does it have the wide angle capabilities of the D700. The D700 doesn't have the 1.5x multiplier of the D300 so wide angle lenses are truly wide. Additionally, while you can use DX lenses on the D700, you will only be using 5 mp of your sensor.
Another comparison is between the D3 and D700. They both have the same sensor so the image and ISO abilities are the same. The D700 comes slower out of the box but with the Nikon EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery for MB-D10 Battery Pack and Nikon D2 and D3 Digital SLR Cameras, Nikon MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pack for Nikon D300 & D700 Digital SLR Cameras, Nikon BL-3 Battery Chamber Cover for Nikon EN-EL4 and EN-EL4a for the MB-D10, and Nikon MH-21 Quick Charger for Nikon EN-EL4 and EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries (~$500) you will be rocking with 8 fps and great battery life; just barely slower than the D3. Also, I have not found any technical data on the autofocus and processing chip but in my non-scientific side by side comparison the D700 seemed just as fast as the D3 while the D300 appeared noticeably slower. (This was shot with the 85mm 1.4D. This lens does not have Silent Wave Motor focus and therefore relies on the camera's focusing motor.) As I said this is not scientific but I am also guessing that Nikon saved on engineering costs by just transferring the guts of the D3 to the D700 and slowing it down (this is probably the reason the D700 gets such poor battery life (200-300 shots vice 1000 shots) in comparison to the D300).
So without further ado:
Buy the Nikon D700 12.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) if:
You need to shoot in no flash low light situations. With a 1.4 lens at 1600 ISO you would be amazed at the quality of the photos! If you are not doing close up work of people you can get great shots @ 6400 ISO. If you can stand a grain in B+W(a very cool effect by the way), then you can get good shots @ 25,600!
You want to shoot ultra wide. With no multiplication factor, you can shoot truly wide angle photos. The 14mm is 14mm not 21mm like on a DX camera. Also, although you can get the Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED IF Autofocus DX Nikkor Zoom Lens which will be the equivalent of 18-36mm, it will still have the distortion of a 12-24mm lens. So compared to the FX D700 you would get 14 deg less width with more distortion.
You are willing to spend $4500 more on the lenses. The body is disposable, the lenses are what last. You could get away with a 50mm 1.4 and that would be a fine place to start and a great way to learn how to frame a picture. However, I would recommend the following 3 lenses and I would recommend getting them in the following order. 1) The Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras - $1000 (Super fast, incredibly shallow depth of field, and amazing construction. Get this lens and practice getting good with a fixed length lens! Get this lens over the 85mm 1.8 for the construction and 9 blade design. You will be blown away with how low the light can be and you can still get the shot! (Rumors have it that Nikon is about to replace this lens with a new improved version. I expect the new lens will be better but will likely cost 1.5 to 2x as much.) 2) The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras - $1700 This is the lens pros use to earn their living. (It has been 5 years since Nikon updated this lens so it is due for a replacement soon but again I am sure it will be more expensive and this lens rocks right now) 3. The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens - ~$1600. Stupid fast, stupid wide, and stupid great. What more can you ask?
Buy the Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens if:
You want an amazing all around lens. The Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens (27-300mm equivalent) You really never need to take this lens off. You can shoot wide (27mm) and telephoto (300mm) Wow this lens does it all.
You want to shoot long. If you take a D300, the 70-200mm 2.8, and a 1.7x teleconverter you get a 178-510mm F4.8 for $3600!! Or add the 300mm 2.8 and you get a 765mm F4.8 for $6500 ($3000 cheaper and 5 lbs lighter than a 600mm F4 lens). Totally astounding.
You shoot in relatively decent light. Until I got the D700, I routinely shot great portrait shots at home, at night, and with poor lighting using the D300 and the 85mm 1.4 at 1/30s and ISO200-400.
You want to buy and take advantage of DX lenses. Really you only need 2 lenses with the D300. You will want the 18-200mm and the 12-24mm. That will cover everything you need for a grand total of $1500. I would still recommend the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens. A stupid fast 128mm 1.4 on the D300.
Buy the Nikon D3 12.1MP FX Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) if everything about the D700 fits your shooting requirements and:
You shoot more than 3000 photos per month. The D700's shutter is rated to 150,000 cycles while the D3 is 300,000. Nikon's generational replacement cycle for their flagship camera is 4 years. That means if you shoot ~3000 photos per month you will shoot ~150,000 shots in 4 years and it will be time to replace the camera anyway. If you shoot 10,000 shots per month you will have to replace the camera in 15 months. However, with the D3 you would not have to replace the camera until 30 months.
You earn your living shooting photographs. Memory cards rarely fail but do you want to lose thousands of dollars and your reputation by risking it. Get the D3 and set it to write the images to both cards. Yes, there are other techniques to minimize your exposure to this failure but none are as easy and reliable.
You don't want the option to remove the battery and vertical grip. With the D700 you can add the MB-D10 to make it 98% of the D3. However, if you don't want the weight or need the speed you can remove it and save the space and weight. This is useful for long hiking trips (However, I would recommend a D300 for this unless you were hand shooting in low light).
96 of 103 found the following review helpful:
The one I'd been waiting for Oct 13, 2008
By Carl E. Feather
I've been a semi-pro digital user for five years. I started wtih a Fuji S2, moved up to the Nikon D2H (horrible reliability, expensive), D2Hs, D200, D300 and finally the D700.
With every camera prior to the D700 there were compromises and Nikon was always two years behind Canon. Finally, when the D3 came out, they were in the lead again, but the price was too much for my semi-pro use to justify. So I struggled along with a pair of D300s for another eight months. The D300 is an excellent camera, however, it has some serious flaws: It overexposes and is particularly hot on the red channel. It's higher ISO performance is mediocre and really kills detail. And it's DX.
I bought a D700 for $2950 and, predictably, the price fell $200 a few days after that. But I needed it for an assignment that would involve shooting in a dimly light garage.
The camera worked perfectly, although once again, I am seeing overexposure in some scenes. The auto WB is much improved over the D300. The dynamic range is much improved, as well. And the AF seems faster.
This camera has me going back to prime lenses. The DOF is much shallower and the bokeh much nicer with my 85mm and 50mm lenses on the D700. Eventually, I want to be all primes on the long end. My 300 f/4 gives wonderful results on this body. The 70-200 is a mixed bag. I'm just not happy with the look of the images. They are not as sharp as they are on the D300 (I kept one). Weird. I'm still testing.
I love everthing about the D700 except it's tendency to overexpose and the fact Canon's competitor has video and more MP. Video really should have been on this camera; after all, the D90 at 1/3 the price has it. Nikon dropped the ball by not including it on the D700. Two months after being introduced, the D700 is already a somewhat obsolete camera, thanks to Canon's offering of more mp and video.
All that said, as a Nikon user I'm glad to finally have 5D image quality in a full-frame Nikon, even though it comes at a premium. I feel the current combo of the D300/D700 will last me for several years, and will eventually result in a transition to almost all prime lenses, if Nikon ever gets its act together and offers some worthy wide angle primes to match with this body. Meantime I find the 35 f/2, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, 105 micro, 180 f/2.8 and 300 f/4 to be excellent matches for this body. The Beast 28-70 f/2.8 is also a good performer on this body, as is the 14-24 f/2.8. The 70-200 f/2.8 is questionable.
Be sure to get the grip for best balance and extended battery life. I find the D700 has better battery performance than the D300. Also if you do portraits, get a portrait Expo Disc and download the portrait custom setting for your camera. The results are very nice.
51 of 55 found the following review helpful:
A dream come true for long-time film users! Aug 20, 2008
By J. Gwen Ingram
The Nikon D700 is exactly the digital SLR that I envisioned when I first heard that such an animal existed. After over a quarter-century of shooting film and gradually realizing the advantages digital holds for me through using a high-end point-and-shoot as an adjunct to my faithful old Nikon SLR film camera, I eagerly bought a D70s ... and was exceedingly frustrated and disappointed. My familiar old lenses responded differently (the 1.5 "multiplier effect") ... when they responded at all (a "non-CPU" lens could be mounted, but all camera exposure and metering functions were disabled, making the result disadvantageous even compared to a pre-AF film body and lens).
Not any more! Even though the D700 was primarily intended to be used with auto-focusing (AF) lenses, it also functions superbly with my non-CPU (manual focus) lenses, only losing the "shutter priority" and "program" modes (because, of course, the camera can't alter the aperture ... that's my job on any non-CPU lens) ... the D700 can even give me focusing feedback after I enter a manual lens's information into the D700's menu. I once more feel like I have good, quick control over the aspects of photography that create the character of my photographs. No more fumbling with lots of fingers over several sets of buttons to tell the camera the simplest things ... it's back to rotating the focus and aperture rings (or not, if I choose the AF lenses).
And the annoying "multiplier effect" is gone with the D700's full-frame ("FX") sensor. My 50mm lens -- my mainstay -- is now a true 50mm lens again (if you have to ask why that matters, the D700 isn't for you). I personally don't pursue wide-angle photography, but I definitely can see how those who do (and who haven't been able to afford a D3) will be doing cartwheels if they can get their hands on a D700.
The D700's viewfinder is also light years above my D70s, making everything from focusing to composition that much easier and more precise. The D700's whopping big LCD screen is also a big advantage. When in review mode, the display is large ... or, at my choice, the increased data option shrinks the thumbnail to a still-valuable size and places the data around the photo instead of over it like the D70s does.
I'm finding the grip very comfortable, and although the weight is hefty compared to any point-and-shoot, it is a well-balanced camera and that weight doesn't bother me. Being able to shoot in RAW mode is resulting in not only better end-result photos for me, but also (once I get the RAW files on my computer) much more accurate feedback on what I can improve about my technical choices ... and one of digital photography's most significant advantages is that faster feedback. Also of note for those who like working in RAW, unlike the D70, I now have the option to shoot ONLY in RAW mode, not just RAW + JPEG, and that saves valuable memory space.
My only negative comment so far is that Nikon's proprietary software (included with the D700) is necessary to download photos to one's computer. I'll adapt, but it just seems an unnecessary restriction.
Even though it's priced well under the other full frame Nikon, the D3, the D700 certainly does not come cheap. For me, it was the only affordable solution, and well worth every penny. If you spent years shooting film and count a bundle of old Nikon lenses among your close friends, the D700 is going to make you wonder if you'll ever stop grinning!
Update, November 21, 2008: I've had the D700 for three months now. Three months isn't a long time to evaluate durability, and I'm certainly not one of those people who shoots 1000 or more captures a week (I still have frugal film habits), but early use is one of the common timeframes for quality problems to surface. I'm certainly pleased that I've experienced no problems with the camera's function.
The D700 continues to exceed my expectations as a camera and as a true successor to my film camera. It has put the fun back into photography for me -- once set up to my preferences, the D700 stays out of my way and lets me photograph the way I have for decades, with the pleasing results I'm used to getting ... and with all the advantages of digital capture. Despite my miserly film-born habits, I've happily made enough digital images to account for almost half the camera body's purchase price if those captures were translated to film and developing.
Now that I've established a workflow (Nikon Transfer to Adobe Bridge CS3 to Photoshop CS3), having to use Nikon Transfer for downloading images is a non-issue at home. On the road, though, I'll have to wait until returning to my own computer (with the Nikon Transfer software) to see my pics, so this is still a definite limitation.
What has totally blown my mind is the D700's performance in low light. I never expected high ISO captures to be so useable, let alone what I've gotten at ISO 6400. I'm shooting in the house with ambient lighting and no flash and actually getting a high percentage of "keepers"! No longer do I shrug and say "too bad, not enough light" nor does a flash disturb my subject and alter or destroy the mood. I've also found I can capture good images at indoor events and competitions (such as llama and horse shows) without flash, making my presence a non-issue instead of a potential disruption. As a result, the D700 has given me a brand new opportunity to capture a significant segment of my world in pixels.
No, ISO 6400 image quality is not equivalent to ISO 200, nor is it often really suitable for 100% size printing or display (11.8"x17.7"). But for smaller prints and display (in the 25-50% range), it's remarkable, and certainly superior to anything I could possibly have captured with any other DSLR (besides the D3, which has the same sensor), let alone on film (because I primarily shoot nature outdoors, I never could justify loading any film higher than ISO 400 in my Nikon FE). I have never in my life had anything printed larger than 8x12 with one exception, and usually I've not even printed that large, so the limitations on the D700's ISO 6400 are minimal for me (and what it can do is still not achievable otherwise). To see some actual samples, you're welcome to go to my Flickr photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishingcat) and search for photos tagged with Nikon D700 and ISO 6400, or just search for Nikon D700 and look at the EXIF data for the resulting photos if you prefer. Unless the photo is also tagged with "noise ninja", it has NO noise reduction (I'm from film, remember -- minimal digital post-processing skills at this time!. If you have and use noise-reduction software, you already know what further improvements can be made in the dark areas of the captures.
I do have one new quibble with the D700 -- I wish Nikon had not limited the non-CPU lens menu to only ten lenses. Because I'm coming from years of comfort with shooting manual focus lenses on film, that's what I do on the D700 ... and as a result, I've got all ten slots full! If I want to use a teleconverter (or if I acquire any other manual focus lenses), I have to re-program one or more of the slots. Hopefully Nikon will provide a firmware update to address this, although I'm not holding my breath either. Certainly a huge percentage of people love their autofocus lenses; the demand and financial return to NIkon for such an update probably isn't significant from a marketing standpoint.
I'm also finding that it would have been more logical for the Auto-ISO setting to be available through the dedicated ISO button instead of in the shooting menu. Again, a possible firmware update could address this ... if Nikon feels it's warranted. It's not impossible to work around, just less convenient than it could be. I'm not sure if other currently available DSLRs share this arrangement or not.
Initially I would have said that those people who started photography with DX format (or who converted to digital years ago) would not see any major benefit in the D700. Now I'm not so sure.
Certainly anyone who has only DX lenses would be financially impacted by also needing to purchase good full-frame lenses to actually benefit from the D700's full-frame capabilities; anyone whose preferences include telephoto and wildlife photography will also be disadvantaged by losing the "reach" that the 1.5x DX multiplier provides if they sell their current Nikon DSLR to finance a D700. (You can use DX lenses on the D700, but they use a smaller portion of the sensor, resulting in a lower MP image ... hardly a reasonable use of a $2.5K+ camera.)
However, for low ambient light photography, the D700 has no equal (other than the significantly more expensive D3). Before experiencing what the D700 can do, I said, "Well, I don't really use high ISO, so I don't need that capability." Now that I have the capability, I'm really using it, and I wouldn't give it up for anything.
Fortunately, even if the choice is not entirely clear-cut, the choices ARE there. Thank you, Nikon!!!
41 of 45 found the following review helpful:
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! Jun 09, 2009
By Michael L. Cleary
The D700 is an eye-popping instrument! After 25 years out of the photo market, I jumped both feet. I looked at the Canon,,,seemed a bit cheap in the feel market. The 700 is like picking up a milled vault with a lens on the end. Great balance. Beautiful touch and feel...and ridiculous features. I bought this as an end camera; one you cannot outgrow. It has proven to be easy to use and endlessly deep in what it can accomplish. YOUR ability is the only limit. I purchased an 85 1.4 and a 70-200 f 2.8 with the camera and have been blown AWAY but the pictures, in spite of my lack of ability. I've taken 1000's of photo in 40 years...nothing compares to this camera, NOTHING. Expensive? Yep. The best? Yep? Life is short, buy the Nikon D700 and don't look back. A true gem. MCleary
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