Nikon D700 Review - Digital Photography School

Nikon D700 Review

In this post Kim Brebach from Get the Picture shares his review of the Nikon D700.

Full Frame becomes affordable

Makers of Digital SLR cameras long ago settled on the APS-C sensor, named after a small film format that came in the late nineties and disappeared soon after. APS-C sensors have an area less than half that of a 35mm frame – about 16 x24mm compared with 24 x36 for full frame. Kodak and Canon were the first to use full-frame sensors in 2003 but the prices of these cameras were quoted in 5 figures.

sony a900.jpgAdvances in sensor technology, along with greatly improved yields, have driven the cost of full frame sensors down while megapixels went up. Nikon took until 2007 to release its first full frame DSLR, the D3. Both the D3 and the D700 that followed it made do with 12 megapixels, where Canon went as high as 21 for the big SD1 Mk III and the new 5D MkII.

Sony had jumped into the full frame market as well with the A900 late in 2008 and then the A850, both delivering 24 megapixel detail. At US$2000, the Sony A850 became the cheapest full frame DSLR on the market, and offered 24 pixels.

Moore’s Law

Much like laptops, digital cameras are good for about 18 months after release, when they tend to drift into rapid obsolescence. And, just like laptops, DSLRs follow Moore’s law and double their grunt or halve their prices every year or two. Sony forced the issue because Sony wanted to muscle in on this lucrative market, and because Sony had the technology – it makes the full frame sensors for Nikon.

3 full frame PB.jpg

So here we are with what look like several affordable choices, at least on paper: the 12mp Nikon D700, the 21mp Canon 5D MkII and the 24mp Sony a850, all for around US$ 2,500.

Only a year ago, Nikon launched the D3x with its version of Sony’s 24mp sensor and a US$8,000 price tag, and a chorus of voices shouted ‘rip-off’.

Shouting is easier than switching with these ‘system’ cameras, as there are strings attached in the form of expensive lenses which only fit one brand. That explains why Nikon guru Thom Hogan penned a piece called Sony Envy, where he offered us some ‘cold-shower’ advice along the lines that we should focus on our shooting skill not on our shooting kits.

Make no mistake, these cameras are serious kit. You know that from the moment you pick one up. The three contenders pictured above each weigh a kilo without lenses attached, or two kilos with batteries and pro-grade metal-lenses. Their bulked-up bodies tell the world that you’re a dead-serious photo geek since no one else would cart around a camera this big.

These things are loaded in other ways too: they offer more features than a thousand faces and give you more menu options than a Chinese restaurant. They let you shoot umpteen frames a second at a sports carnival, and shoot without flash on a moonlit night. What they don’t let you do is walk easy or travel easy.

Never mind the Size

I managed to get my hands on a Nikon D700, a solid lump made from magnesium alloy, not plastic. It’s not too big in my long-fingered hands, but it makes me nervous holding a camera that costs as much as this. Clearly it’s too expensive for shooting the grand kids if it involves rolling around the floor with them, or frolicking in the sand on the beach. And just as clearly, the D700 is too big for taking on leisurely walks around the harbour.

nikon-d700.jpgThis is a serious camera for serious photography, and it belongs to a good friend who’s a pro shooter. For him, the D700 is a bargain because it cost half as much as a Nikon D3. The Nikon D700 is a D3 in a more compact body, relatively speaking.

It misses out on a few tweaks like the 4:5 aspect ratio option, a second memory card slot and 8 frames/sec continuous shooting. Instead, the D700 gets a built-in flash, sensor cleaning and LiveView. You can read the gory details in these excellent reviews here and here.

Light becomes obsolete

Fewer pixels on a bigger sensor are a good omen for minimising digital noise, and the D700 is proof of that concept. Not long ago, ISO 3200 was a silly boast on a camera’s menu but it’s become a realistic default option on the D700, and even ISO 6400 produces images with very little noise. This means that you can take shots at a dimly lit dining room table with a shutter speed fast enough for handholding.

Nikon isn’t resting on its laurels. The new D3S has three ‘Hi’ settings – ISO 25,600, 51,200 and 102,400 – which means we’re talking about shooting in total darkness, taking photos of objects our eyes would never see. The D3X with 24mp is not in the same low-light class.

High ISO isn’t just good for low light, of course. It lets you shoot much faster in all kinds of conditions without reaching for the tripod: in dark forests, under stormy skies and in dim churches. And inside sports stadiums, where the D700 shines with a continuous frame rate of 5 per second. Regardless of the file type you choose – raw, JPEG or TIFF, 12-bit or 14-bit, ten shots take about ten seconds to store in flash memory. Of course, the buffer will accommodate far more JPEG files than raw ones.
?To me, the Nikon D700 looks like the perfect all-round camera, from landscapes to sports. 12 megapixels may be a limitation for pro shooters who have to shoot prints that cover the side of a bus, so they’d need to reach for a Canon or Sony or Nikon’s new 24mp D3X or a Hasselblad.

There’s always a downside

The heft of full-frame cameras is an obvious issue for amateur shooters, and Canon’s and Sony’s contenders aren’t any smaller or lighter than Nikon’s. Size may be an acceptable trade-off for those of us who still own Nikon film lenses, which are full-frame by definition and which are granted a new lease of life by these cameras.

If you’re starting from scratch, APS-C sensor cameras literally stretch your dollar further because the bodies are cheaper. Then there’s the 1.5 crop factor of what Nikon calls ‘DX’ lenses vs ‘FX’ for full frame. FX tele-zooms get seriously expensive over 300mm but, because of the crop factor on a DX camera, a cheap Sigma 70-300mm FX lens becomes a 105-450 lens. It’s a different story at the super-wide end where the crop factor works against the smaller sensor.

If you’re eyeing off a 21 or 24mp DSLR, you should also allow for practical considerations: for one, your PC hardware will feel the strain, from your chipset to your storage and backup systems. A 14-bit RAW+JPEG image will take 30MB or more of memory card or disk space, and suddenly you need to buy double or triple everything. These cameras give you the option of shooting in APS-C mode, but that’s not what you bought them for.

The Bottom Line of the Nikon D700

The Nikon D700 is an envy-inducing device, a camera of breathtaking all-round competence. It’s hard to think of anything you could improve here, and that includes Nikon’s class-leading ergonomics with logical menus and enough buttons to assign your favourite functions to, and everything else falling to hand readily. We could argue that you don’t have to be much of a photographer to shoot great photos with a camera like this, and that the camera isn’t the most crucial ingredient for good photography, but we could also argue that a camera like this opens greater creative possibilities.

It’s hard to argue with the price, though, and it will come down some more once the D700X (or whatever the new model is called) is announced in February 2010. The real question is: do you need a camera this serious and this competent? And do you want to lug around a camera this heavy? Unless you’re a pro shooter or a very serious amateur, the answer is probably NO.

Postscript

There’s an interesting piece in Mike Johnston’s blog about the Sony a850 he tested recently, where he says that ‘the Sony A850 should be thought of as a medium-format digital camera in a conventional SLR form-factor body.’ ?
TOP Sony a850 print.jpg

The photo shows Mike holding a 20 x 30″ test print made on a wide-format printer by a colleague who thinks ‘it looks better than a 20×30 print from 6×7 cm film.’ Mike adds: ‘I just can’t see a 30″-wide print needing to look better, for almost any conceivable application.’

I assume that means commercial applications involving large format image reproduction, which has been the traditional domain of Hasselblad and other $40,000 cameras with larger than full frame sensors and 50mp.
It will be interesting to see what impact these 24mp DSLRs will have on the professional market. Bear in mind that you can get Sony’s body for $2,000, but some of the excellent Zeiss lenses cost almost as much again so you’ll end up spending close to 5 figures for a full system. One issue is that Sony can’t yet offer the same wide choice of lenses Canon or Nikon does, but neither can Hasselblad.

The Nikon D700 is priced at Amazon at $2,399.95 (Body Only) or $2,952.98 with 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED IF VR Nikkor Zoom Lens.

Summary
Reviewer
Kim Brebach
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nikon D700
Author Rating
4

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Kim Brebach is a marketing professional whose experience spans over 3 decades in the IT industry. His interests include photography, cool technology, great music, theatre and books, wine and food, tennis and chess. You can find his photo blog at Get the Picture.

  • Carl

    Have a D700 and frankly it is a very competent piece of kit. My work environment is harsh (underground gold mine in outback Australia) so I keep the one lens on; 24 – 70 (f2.8G). 77mm on the front end so filters don’t come cheap. Battery grip adds weight but really helps with the ergonomics when you throw it around banging out portrait and landscape shots back to back.

    This is the first high end camera I have ever owned and while I don’t knock it around it’s great to have something you don’t have to baby around like a “fantastic plastic” DSLR + you don’t go scurrying away for cover when it starts to rain.

    Reset and format function is cool so you don’t leave it in a dodgy ISO or with a choked up card. I’ll get some red pin stripping tape around the end of the lens just to irritate all the L Series lens owners in my district :-)

    Great paparazzi camera BTW, if some wino or goon tries to manhandle the camera they expect to make a grab for it and you to pull the delicate piece of kit out the way – D700 can be swung like a mace and I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of it – very happy and no regrets despite the price.

  • Emma

    I own a D700 for a year and half now and regardless of all the negative reviews, it is still the best camera for me. I recently came back from my French Polynesian Cruise and during one of our land tour I accidentally dropped my D700 on a rough cement floor. Thanks to its sturdy casing, it is still in excellent shooting condition.

  • nawang

    I have Nikon D300 & i didn’t get how to shot a video ? Can anyone help me? Please……….

  • Jim C

    I have the new D800. It’s fantastic.

    I did not sell my D700. It is fantastic, too! I think the pricepoint of this camera makes is MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE right now.

    If you have FX (full frame) lenses, this is a perfect time to move up from DX to FX. The D700 won’t disappoint.

    Lenses like the prosumer 80-400 COME ALIVE on the D700.

    The D700 will work with Lightroom 3.x while the D800 requires v. 4x which means you can’t have Windows XP as an operating system.

    The D700 was Nikon’s ‘mistake.’ A camera as capable as the D3 and more. With the D800 they have again diverged the product line.

    Perfect time to pick up a fabulous camera at a bargain price.

    Note: Nawang – the D300 doesn’t shoot video. Neither does the D700. But it’s still a great camera for all uses.

  • http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com Bruce Robbins

    I must have subscribed to this thread when I was using my D700 a lot and I still get email alerts whenever there’s a new comment. I gave up digital 11months ago and went back to film. I haven’t regretted it for a minute. Instead of obsessing about dslr cameras, why not pick up a timeless film camera and do some real photography!

    [eimg url=’http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_bV8H46YyVk/UAW_HyMtdhI/AAAAAAAAFP0/Xk7PCOVVZfM/s1600/puddle.jpg’ title=’puddle.jpg’]

  • Michael A Campagna, Jr.

    How about the NEW Nikon D 600? It eliminates the weight problem of a full frame and the MPs are excellent.

Some older comments

  • Michael A Campagna, Jr.

    September 25, 2012 08:43 pm

    How about the NEW Nikon D 600? It eliminates the weight problem of a full frame and the MPs are excellent.

  • Bruce Robbins

    August 16, 2012 01:50 am

    I must have subscribed to this thread when I was using my D700 a lot and I still get email alerts whenever there's a new comment. I gave up digital 11months ago and went back to film. I haven't regretted it for a minute. Instead of obsessing about dslr cameras, why not pick up a timeless film camera and do some real photography!

    [eimg url='http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_bV8H46YyVk/UAW_HyMtdhI/AAAAAAAAFP0/Xk7PCOVVZfM/s1600/puddle.jpg' title='puddle.jpg']

  • Jim C

    August 15, 2012 07:27 am

    I have the new D800. It's fantastic.

    I did not sell my D700. It is fantastic, too! I think the pricepoint of this camera makes is MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE right now.

    If you have FX (full frame) lenses, this is a perfect time to move up from DX to FX. The D700 won't disappoint.

    Lenses like the prosumer 80-400 COME ALIVE on the D700.

    The D700 will work with Lightroom 3.x while the D800 requires v. 4x which means you can't have Windows XP as an operating system.

    The D700 was Nikon's 'mistake.' A camera as capable as the D3 and more. With the D800 they have again diverged the product line.

    Perfect time to pick up a fabulous camera at a bargain price.

    Note: Nawang - the D300 doesn't shoot video. Neither does the D700. But it's still a great camera for all uses.

  • nawang

    August 11, 2012 02:47 am

    I have Nikon D300 & i didn't get how to shot a video ? Can anyone help me? Please..........

  • Emma

    February 16, 2012 04:29 am

    I own a D700 for a year and half now and regardless of all the negative reviews, it is still the best camera for me. I recently came back from my French Polynesian Cruise and during one of our land tour I accidentally dropped my D700 on a rough cement floor. Thanks to its sturdy casing, it is still in excellent shooting condition.

  • Carl

    June 24, 2011 04:41 pm

    Have a D700 and frankly it is a very competent piece of kit. My work environment is harsh (underground gold mine in outback Australia) so I keep the one lens on; 24 - 70 (f2.8G). 77mm on the front end so filters don't come cheap. Battery grip adds weight but really helps with the ergonomics when you throw it around banging out portrait and landscape shots back to back.

    This is the first high end camera I have ever owned and while I don’t knock it around it’s great to have something you don’t have to baby around like a “fantastic plastic” DSLR + you don’t go scurrying away for cover when it starts to rain.

    Reset and format function is cool so you don’t leave it in a dodgy ISO or with a choked up card. I’ll get some red pin stripping tape around the end of the lens just to irritate all the L Series lens owners in my district :-)

    Great paparazzi camera BTW, if some wino or goon tries to manhandle the camera they expect to make a grab for it and you to pull the delicate piece of kit out the way - D700 can be swung like a mace and I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of it - very happy and no regrets despite the price.

  • Event Photography Software

    May 26, 2011 06:51 pm

    Nikon D700 is a great camera and completable with lots of application like "Professional Photography Application," I owning this camera and i loving it so much. This camera provide me so much relax in my photography profession.

  • Ehab

    September 5, 2010 01:47 am

    Nikon D700 or Canon 5D MarkII ? ( video is a bonus, but not important)

    HELP HELP HELP

  • Manny

    July 28, 2010 03:43 pm

    You can visit your nearest Nikon service center and have your rubber grips replaced.
    My D200 rubber grips are peeling off too and just had replaced. It cost me around 77usd to replace all.
    I've been eying for the D700 for quiet sometime but I couldn't justify the cost just yet...thanks sharing,

  • Larry

    June 12, 2010 02:10 am

    I have actually realized my grip is startinh to come loose on mine as well the other day. I havent had a chance to look into this yet on my end. I am curious if this is a common issue with the D700? I haven't had any other issues with mine otherwise.

  • JohnSam

    June 10, 2010 06:04 pm

    Hi, I see a lot of D700 expert here. Two weeks ago I bought an used D700 without box, battery and memory card for US$850/- it is my 1st DSLR and the shutter count is under 62k. I have a few lenses I can use - lefted over from the F4s era. Hence D700 or even D3 size and weight is not an issue to me. My only issue with this camera is the rubber padding around the hand grib area, it's sticky and it's coming lose! I would think with its price tag when new it should use something better quality than cheap rubber. Is there replacement part for it Other than that I think D700 is a good camera and hope to start shooting again soon when I get my own batteries & charger next week.

  • Kim Brebach

    June 7, 2010 05:29 am

    People, I thank you for the brickbats and the flowers. I admit that it was more of an opinion piece than a review, and that might have raised expectations that were not met. Since the D700 is not exactly new, I thought a straight up-and-down review was superfluous.

    However, I can assure you that my critics here are a lot more civilised than those who tore into me after a Pentax K-x review (with what turned out to be a faulty camera).

    I would only add that a review, or any worthwhile piece of writing, should stimulate some interesting debates on the subject.

    Kim

  • Gene

    June 3, 2010 09:10 am

    D700 owners who want to increase their sharpness and resolution should consider the removal of the AA Filter modification. True tis modification can produce some additional Moiré patterns (which are only associated with certain subjects and can be easily removed in Post).

    The benefit is about a 30% increase in sharpness and resolution. that like having a 16MP D700. Do your research... but well worth the benefit IMHO. More here: http://www.maxmax.com/hot_rod_visible.htm

    Gene
    www.geneinman.com

  • citmariñas

    May 28, 2010 07:19 pm

    If I have the money I definitely would buy a D700 but I would keep my lovely D60 for backup..

  • xtremekramer

    March 11, 2010 02:27 pm

    I love my D700. It goes every where I go. Haven't had a chance (or care to at this point) to play with with anything else that is as good in low light as this camera has been. The buttons are all in the right place and the menus make logical sense. It may not be 24mp, but the pictures blow up incredibly well. So far my largest has been 17in x 20in. I don't ever plan to do a bill board. I couldn't be happier with this camera.

  • Nan

    March 10, 2010 08:51 am

    I LOVE my D700 and it's worth its weight in... I don't know... some precious metal. It's clear and crisp and the difference in my photo quality was immediately noticeable to me. I don't mind lugging it. And let's be honest... most camera nerds secretly like it when other camera nerds are intimidated/impressed by the size of their camera. So... size does sorta matter! LOL

    I am not a pro (yet) so I don't have a wish list 100 miles long of what I want in a camera but absolutely love my D700. I bought it within the first month it was out so I've been using it for 1 1/2+ years. :^)

  • Rick Glaser

    March 9, 2010 05:16 am

    That's a nice photo of Mike.

  • Jim

    March 7, 2010 01:58 am

    Daniel, snapper, ianzar et omnia,

    Reviewers flog the products, readers flog the reviewers. We get it.

    The issue here is simple: If you don't work with a product and have only borrowed it to write a review, are you qualified to write a review? We're not talking "just released" here, folks.

    Maybe some of the D700 users who visit this site would like to submit their own reviews. The things I like about the D700 after using it for a year or more -- and the things I wish could be improved.

    We can let Kim review their takes! ;-)

  • Ianzar

    March 6, 2010 01:13 pm

    Daniel,

    You're right when you point out that the reviewer's opinion should be respected (at least that's what I think you tried to say).

    But shouldn't that go for everyone???

    First, people criticizing the review are doing no more than reviewing it. At least they were talking about the issue at hand, not about something else like Kim Brebach did most of the time.

    Second, are you self-absorbed and egocentric? As you said yourself "we can disagree without the anger and disrespect". So, why calling those who expressed their (different) opinion "cold timid souls?"

    Who's showing "an incredible meanness of spirit" as the snapper snapped above?

    Snapper thinks you are "Very civil..." Do you agree? Really? But... REALLY!?!?!?

    Third, Kim was criticized for many reasons, but not for the lack of technical details. His approach on the D700 would have been aprreciated, had he at least talked about it, no matter the style of his review.

    The ability to understand what others mean is crucial to be successful everywhere. It defines who you are and what you are capable of... High level of text interpretation is a must.

  • Snapper

    March 5, 2010 09:17 am

    Very civil, Daniel, but I fear you're wasting your time here where there are plenty of people willing to castigate someone for having written a free review that they don't appreciate. I really can't understand this attitude. Those who are criticising the reviewer seem to think that he owes them something. If they don't get it in the form they want, they feel they have the right to be nasty and cutting about it. It shows an incredible meanness of spirit - something that is starting to define the early part of the 21st century.

  • Daniel

    March 5, 2010 06:08 am

    There are different kinds and combinations of reviews: in-depth technical reviews seem to be the only category many of you care about--and you risk being labeled gadget freaks or camera nerds. I found the comparison style review (highlights of differences within the Nikon line and with competitive lines) informative and useful 2 years after the product launch. Where is it written reviews must be of just released cameras only? The D700 is still on the market and there will be used ones available for years. It is valid to follow up detailed technical reviews (which the author links to and didn't want to provide since it would be redundant) with less technical with comparisons with newer cameras from the same and competitive vendors. As a D300 shooter for a couple of years now, I've been on the fence about the D700and full frame sensors--I know all the specs so I didn't need a regurgitation of them here so I found this perspective adding to the bountiful useful information I've already gathered.

    Just a suggestion on tone here. When someone who enjoys our craft/trade/whatever as we do expresses themselves as this reviewer did, I would like to think we are civilized enough that we can disagree without the anger and disrespect. Incivility seems to be the new way of expressing self-absorbtion and egocentrism but it's puerile at best and mean-spirited and hateful at worst. A few of you might want to consider to dialing down the anger and disrespect and instead add to the discussion in a gentile manner even if in disagreement. I thank the author for taking the time to share their perspective, you "cold timid souls" hiding behind the anonymity of the web--Teddy Roosevelt said ti best:

    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

  • Daniel Fisher

    February 28, 2010 10:55 pm

    The comment regardless the "18 months" cycle before cameras become obselete....

    Not sure that really applies here. A great camera, will be a great camera for many years. For 99% of pro-sumer applications, the mega pixels of today will be more than adequate for many years to come.

  • Jim

    February 28, 2010 12:02 am

    Kim,

    Owning a D700, I found it amazing that you said it wasn't for "rolling around on the floor" with the grandkids. It's magnesium, not plastic.

    Heavy? You didn't even attach the battery grip with 8AA cells and mount a kilo of glass! That's how it works and what it weighs. Get a plastic camera and lenses to save weight...it's not how the D700 is designed to work.

    You're taking a lot of heat here for this review and I think you can understand why. Better to review things that you work with on a daily basis and fully appreciate.

  • alan

    February 27, 2010 07:40 am

    ^^^ lol. i clikced it as i couldn't believe there was suddenly a D700 review. i can't even tell what we're reviewing here as it seems the Sony is mentioned as much as or even more than the D700. and at the end, i don't even know if this is a favorable or a poor review.

  • stephen

    February 25, 2010 02:22 pm

    yeaaaay, another crappy review of a NEARLY TWO YEAR OLD CAMERA.

    You said RIGHT in the review "digital cameras are good for about 18 months after release, when they tend to drift into rapid obsolescence."

    Jesus christ, then why are you talking to me about this camera? Im sure it's been reviewed by a million other MORE REPUTABLE sources ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO.

    Oh yea, the person doesn't even own the camera.

    I haven't visited DPS in months, and this reminded me why.

  • GeoJoe Bob

    February 24, 2010 03:24 am

    I tote my D700 with a Nikon 180mm everywhere I go. It has been an incredible camera! Yes, I do roll in the floor with my kids and go to the beach with this camera. In fact, after the first couple of times I used it, my other cameras have been gather dust and thusly liquidated.

  • Richard Eng

    February 22, 2010 10:33 pm

    BTW, I realize the Nikon 300mm f/4 doesn't have VR (or Image Stabilization). You'd probably want to use a tripod with this lens.

  • J Miller

    February 22, 2010 02:33 pm

    Way to go Snapper!

    Hmmmmm? "Snapper" Any correlation to your attitude?

    Try (if you can) to keep it civil.

    JM

  • Richard Eng

    February 22, 2010 01:35 pm

    Regarding the comment, "I think, once you’re in this range of camera (Prosumer), size really doesn’t matter much anymore. If I wanted small, I’d carry a P&S or maybe a D40,60,80,90, 3000, 5000.", this definitely depends on the individual. Size and weight matter to me. The heavier the camera, the more exhausting it is to carry all day long. That's why some pros prefer the 5D Mk II to the 1Ds Mk III, or the D700 to the D3. Minus the battery grip, these bodies are significantly lighter. Just because you're a pro doesn't mean that you're a mule.

  • Richard Eng

    February 22, 2010 12:44 pm

    Just to hammer home the APS-C advantage, in the Canon universe, you can buy a 300mm f/4.0L for CAD$1650 or a 500mm f/4.0L for CAD$7500. The 1.6x crop factor can save you nearly CAD$6000!!! (The 300mm is also one third the weight!!)

    In the Nikon universe, you can buy a 300mm f/4 for CAD$1350 or a 500mm f/4 VR for CAD$8800 (450mm are close enough to 500mm). The 1.5x crop factor can save you CAD$7500!!! (Again, the 300mm is roughly one third the weight.)

    So if you're into sports photography or wildlife or anything that requires telephoto, the choice is clear: APS-C. In terms of IQ, the full frame advantage matters much less if you keep below 3200 ISO.

  • Richard Eng

    February 22, 2010 11:28 am

    When I was first shopping for a DSLR a year ago, I checked out the D300 and D700. I found the D700 to be very heavy. Intuition told me that I wouldn't be happy lugging this brick around all day long.

    My 40D weighs 0.6 lbs less and what a difference it makes! It's still fairly heavy, but I'm comfortable with it. I know I don't want anything heavier.

  • Richard Eng

    February 22, 2010 11:23 am

    I've recently learned the value of having a viewfinder with 100% coverage. My next DSLR will have 100% coverage. That precludes the D700 and 5D Mark II. However, it includes the D300s and 7D.

  • Snapper

    February 22, 2010 08:10 am

    JM,

    The author of this review owes you nothing. He spent time writing it. You didn't pay to read it. If you don't like it or think it's of value, then tough. It's his review and he can write it any way he wants. He's not answerable to you or anyone else. It's about time guys like you learned that guys like the author give of their time for very little return. How about you spending your free time writing some stuff for everyone to read free of charge? And I'm not a touch-feely person who's afraid to tell the truth: you're an arrogant, ignorant arsehole for suggesting it.

  • J Miller

    February 22, 2010 03:50 am

    For those few that think this is a good review, the fact that it is getting all these comments says it all. When is the last time you read so many comments about a review?

    There will always be those touchy - feely, we are the world folks that say we should never speak the truth if it hurts others.

    Well, I for one would want to know if I spent the time and effort on something and I missed the mark. That is how we learn. Obviously, this gentleman has a interest in writing reviews. If no one tells the truth, he will continue on blindly. Now he knows that for a lot of us out there, this review did not measure up.

    JM

  • Paul B

    February 22, 2010 12:33 am

    Good objective review, some people seem determined to pick it to pieces which is a shame. I'm very pleased with my D700 and use it for pet photography here in the UK. However, if people want to splash out hard earned cash on photography equipment - it makes more sense to but the best 'glass' they can afford; it will give better overall results than just chasing mega pixels. Also a good pro spec lens will hold its value better than a new camera body.

  • Sude Soysa

    February 20, 2010 01:32 am

    Manufacturers will keep on putting out cameras with new and improved features ever so often as the technology keeps on improving. A new camera with lots of new features will not necessarily translate into great pictures. I believe you should have a top quality lens to get the most from your camera. Very often one would pay a fancy price for the latest camera body but would hesitate to spend on a good lens. I was originally shooting with a standard 100-300 f5.6 on my Canon 350D and realized the quality of photos the camera is capable of only after I switched over to a f4 300L IS. Therefore the lens too should be an important factor when shopping around for a new camera.

  • Oliver

    February 20, 2010 12:55 am

    The D700 is a great camera, just like the D300 that is actually pictured in this article.
    Even though it seems to say "D700" on the body, it really is a D300 with the 18-200 VR lens. If you look closely, it's missing the "FX" on the bottom left, and the covers for the PC and 10-pin are different. Just compare the picture on top of this article with the one in the middle. ;)
    Besides that, the D700 is a great camera. No, it's not a D3, but it has a lot of features of the D3 in a body, similar to the size of a D300.
    Low light (High ISO) shooting and full frame for when "wide" is still not wide enough are probably the things that attract me most to this camera.
    It is really not a lot heavier than the D300, and I lugged that one where ever I went, so needless to say, I always carry my D700. I think, once you're in this range of camera (Prosumer), size really doesn't matter much anymore. If I wanted small, I'd carry a P&S or maybe a D40,60,80,90, 3000, 5000.
    I wouldn't call this a Review, but rather an informative article. Just my 2 cents.

  • Ianzar

    February 19, 2010 04:37 pm

    Wasn't this supposed to be a review on the D700? instead of a praising moment for Canon or Sony???

    Kim, if you don't like Nikon, don't use it as an excuse to talk about something else. Be fair.

    Now, 'snapper', you need to review your opinion on what to be a moron is. You like the review because it reflects your opinion??? And not because it might add something to what you already knew? Childish, to say the least...

    I have a Canon, a Sony and a Nikon. Each has its pros and cons. But I just can't wait to get me a Nikon D700!!!

  • Snapper

    February 18, 2010 03:01 am

    Please just ignore all the a-holes who can only find the time to criticise your review. They expect free entertainment and information and contribute nothing other than a few negative remarks. They don't seem to appreciate that you don't have to do this. They're an ungrateful bunch of morons!

    There's more than one way to write a review and, although yours may be different from the likes of DP Review, it is still a valid assessment. My views on the D700 are very similar to your own. It's a great camera but expensive and heavy.

  • SexyNinjaMonkey

    February 17, 2010 02:28 pm

    I love my D700, it goes everywhere with me. The weight isn't really an issue for me.
    I take it partying & had to wipe the mud off it after last weeks festival.
    Getting a good shoulder strap makes it a lot easier to carry (I use the sunsniper one strap).
    As I shoot in a lot of low-light situations without any flash this cam is perfect for me.

  • Portal of information technology news!

    February 15, 2010 10:13 pm

    The Nikon D700 is Nikon's best digital camera. The old professional D3 costs more but the new D700 is camparingly smarter, smaller and lighter. As Eric quoted no doubt the low light shooting of this Nikon D700 is impressive.

  • J Miller

    February 15, 2010 09:39 am

    I agree with Jason,

    I have 3 D700's and have had nothing but great success with them. Had a D3, but for the money, the D700's are the better system for my work. The D3's are for a niche group that need that extra umph!

    JM

  • Jason Collin Photography

    February 15, 2010 09:05 am

    Have to disagree, if I was to shoot on a sandy beach I'd want a D700 with its sealed body with me! Plus I don't think it's too heavy to take on a leisurely stroll around the harbor. With a 50mm lens on, it would be easy really.

    Only clicked this article due to being shocked that a review of the D700 would come this late in its life.

    @eric -- any links to good ISO 6400 shots made by that $550 camera you mention? A colleague of mine shoots weddings with two D700 and he hesitates to even go to ISO 3,200 due to noise.

  • David

    February 15, 2010 08:09 am

    I have 2 D40s and am finding it hard to consider anything bigger or heavier and indeed my old super zoom and pocket Canons take almost as good pics anyway and the super zoom has stereo sound in its jpeg movies....But I hanker after the latest and best and when I tried out the Pentax's range liked the size and weight very much.....All I need is a D90s I think, whenever that comes around, or a D5000x that will focus Nikons 50mm f1.8 and my Tokina11-17mm, though that's not so hard to manually focus as the 50mm can be on a D40!!! In fact I like the D5000 lcd screen very much, its like my Canon S5IS super zoom and that is a seriously underrated piece of kit even by me!

  • Kim Brebach

    February 15, 2010 07:11 am

    Appreciate the comments, especially the one about the D40, and making the best of what you have. My next post will be about the remarkable D40 and why I'm thinking of buying a second one.
    Kim

  • J Miller

    February 15, 2010 03:51 am

    Not sure what you would call this, but it sure is not a review of the Nikon D700. More like a off topic opinion of the negative aspects of pro cameras. If you don't like the camera, then just say so

    JM

  • Simon

    February 15, 2010 03:41 am

    I think I will continue to roll around on the floor with my 5DMk2 and my baby boy. That's what it's for! And as for being to heavy to carry - time to pop to the gym perhaps? ;-)

    You're not going to get "that" photo if you're not carrying your camera round with you.

  • Myo Kyaw Htun

    February 15, 2010 02:10 am

    no offense ... In this post, you're not really talk about your experience with D700 and you talk about other cameras.

    by the way ... what a funny to see D700 with DX lens here ... I know D700 support DX lens and it can output 5 mega pixels ... but you should find proper photo of D700 from somewhere or the portrait of your D700 and post here ...

  • Mark Olwick

    February 15, 2010 12:30 am

    It's absolutely wrong to state that "Full frame becomes affordable" with the D700, and that "all of these retail for around $2500" when in fact the Sony A850 is priced at $1999 - a full 20% less than the Nikon. Then stating that Sony lenses are expensive is equally ridiculous, when for any full frame camera you'll need the maker's top lenses to get the best performance out of it. There are hundreds of Minolta lenses that work splendidly, and affordably, on the A850.

    I seriously doubt that the reviewer ever has even seen an A850 in person.

  • scott

    February 14, 2010 01:00 pm

    this camera is no longer really available. most suppliers are out of it and expect a replacement model soon. should do a review on the betamax player next, i hear they nice :-)

  • Vern Rogers

    February 14, 2010 12:05 pm

    Nice review. One comment is in error, the one stating that the D700 is a D3 in a compact body. This is untrue. It is essentially a D3 sensor in a D300 body. Nothing wrong with that but it does not use Nikon's top of the line pro body. There are essential differences between the two. Just as the D300 shares features with the D3, so with the D700. There are definite reasons for the price difference. The D700, even though it is a superb camera is not a D3 in a smaller body.

    Thanks for the review, plus this opportunity to present a different perspective.

    Vern

  • Robd

    February 14, 2010 10:19 am

    This is a review? It doesn't look like any of the other reviews posted here, and half the time you are talking about other cameras.

  • drabort

    February 14, 2010 09:33 am

    What's a kilo

  • aaron

    February 14, 2010 08:35 am

    decent review but Moore's Law just doesn't apply here. Unfortunately, everyone gets caught up in the consumerism of having to buy the latest product. despite what the blog here says, you don't need a new camera every 18 months. In fact, while computers slow down over time and software requires more computing power (all necessitating upgrades), cameras work fine. My D40, the simplest of digital cameras, is still a great camera, and will be a great camera to use in 5 years.

    Anyway, thanks for the review. I'd love a D700... just trying to get people to stop thinking about obsolescence and start thinking about being very happy with what they have.

  • eric

    February 14, 2010 07:21 am

    The low light shooting of this camera is no doubt impressive. But ISO 6400 is something that $550 entry level cameras can do too and do well (I'm looking at you, pentax k-x). Full frame is nice, but I'm more interested in Pentax's new 645D; A medium format camera like the "Hasselblad and other $40,000 cameras" you mention. Except, this one is expected at around $6500. It will be announced March 11-14 at the CP+, Camera and Imaging Show.

  • Chio

    February 14, 2010 07:10 am

    A D700x is gonna come in a week or two and no pictures? I was hoping for some..

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