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A lot of people think the d800 replaces the d700, it doesn't, if anything they're both separate product lines and the d800 is the replacement for the d3x
36 mp is a lot of pixels and it can fill up your hard drive pretty quickly and bring your computer to a crawl- there's a reason the professional d4 'only' has 16mp.
More megapixels is nice for landscape shooters needing maximum detail, and big cropping- but really sometimes you don't need that many and the d700 sits in the sweet spot of low light image quality, af performance, and at a fantastic price.
You can still make 30x20" gallery sized prints with this camera, and the AF system is flawless, simple and effective- everything the 5d2 was not, nikon shooters had it good and even today the d700 is a great camera to purchase because the d3 and d4 are very big cameras, and the d800 is expensive and a computer killer- this leaves the d700 firmly where it has always sat, as a professional camera for every day professional use, light in weight but not light on features.
Although not the latest and greatest there is no reason that you can't take award winning images, or do professional photography with a d700- it was always a great camera and now for what it costs it's an even better camera. Highly recommended
In 2008, something happened in the DSLR world that changed the game.
In the past, the class leading High ISO cameras were the hellishly expensive Canon 1 series. Nikon were seriously lagging with the D2 series, although this camera was a hardy workhorse, it just couldn't keep up with the resolution and low noise properties of the high end Canons.
Just before the release of the D700, Nikon introduced the new flagship D3. This was heralded as breakthrough camera with world class leading High ISO capability and top quality functionality. It was Nikons first foray into full frame sensors, something Canon had been well ahead of. Sadly, it also had the price tag to match and was out of reach of most except professional photographers.
There were stirrings in the Nikon rumour mill. Talk of a mini D3, something experienced enthusiasts might just be able to afford. All sorts of ideas were flung around forums, and not long leaks from inside sources started to confirm the rumours.
Then in July 2008, the rumours stopped, and the facts were unveiled.
Nikon had produced a body that resembled the lesser spec D300 but stuffed a 36.0 x 23.9mm sized FX sensor inside it, as found in the D3. This sensor contains 12.87 million pixels and produces and image size of
4,256 x 2,832. Not only did they manage to do this, but they also added an anti dust system to the sensor, something the D3 lacked. A compromise had to be made though. In order to fit in this new system, the viewfinder had to made slightly smaller, giving only 95% coverage as opposed to the D3's 100%. This may sound small, but remember, this is 95% of a full frame sensor approximately double the size of a DX sensor, so even at 95% you have a huge, clear and bright viewfinder to look through. If you are used to DX cameras, the first look through a D700 viewfinder is something quite extraordinary.
Other key features announced were the inclusion of the same Multi-CAM3500FX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type sensors) as the D3 and auto-focus tracking by colour (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor). This combined makes for a truly swift and precise autofocus system. The body, as expected was announced as a magnesium alloy chassis with full weather sealing. This is found in all Nikon's pro range models and makes for an extremely tough camera. The d700 shared many of the same features as the D3, so the rumours were correct in thinking of a "mini D3". There were however some differences, which many found disappointing. The D700 only has 1 Compact flash card slot as opposed to the D3's two. The d700 has a lower frame rate of just 5FPS, or boosted to 8FPS with the optional and quite pricey MB-10 battery grip. Another point of concern to many was the inclusion of a built in pop up iTTL flash (G.No 17 / ISO 200). This was the first for a professional range camera and many thought it watered down the range. I however think it's a great inclusion. Not so much for the actual flash itself, but for the commander mode to fire other flashes remotely. To do this on the D3, you would need a very pricey commander unit that sits in the hotshoe, as well as your off camera flashes. This works by firing several very fast flashes that don't add to the overall scene but allow the off camera flashes too see it and fire themselves. A very clever and very useful system. This even works in iTTL when using Nikon's CLS system with Nikon speedlights. Yes that right, iTTL wireless flash!!
The D700 dimensions are 147 x 123 x 77 mm and it weighs in at 995g without the battery and a hefty 1075g with the battery. This is not a light camera, and once you have added a lens, you are talking at least 1.5KG.
The weight however can work in its favour when using long heavy lenses as it makes for a more balanced unit.
The camera despite being slightly larger than the D300, still fits in the hand comfortably. It has a deep grip which your fingers can grasp securely. All the buttons fall instantly to hand, or thumb and this is what keeps me with Nikon Cameras. Their ergonomics just can't be beaten. I recently bought a Canon Eos 50D, and swiftly sold it again, as the handling, grip and button placement was nowhere near as good as any Nikon body I have tried.
The D700's 3.0 " TFT LCD monitor contains approx. 920,000 pixels (VGA; 640 x 480 x 3 colours) which gives a 170° viewing angle and 100% frame coverage during live view. The screen dominates the rear of the camera and is a joy to view.
To the left hand side of the screen are the menu, lock, zoom in, zoom out and OK buttons. This buttons are only used when navigating the menus and reviewing the images you have taken. Above to the left of the screen are the play and delete buttons, again only used for playback. On the right hand side of the camera, the main operation buttons, which are all within reach of a finger or thumb for easy operation whilst shooting. Each button is in a logical place, and it's really easy to change any setting without moving your eye from the eyepiece.
The top right on the back is the AE-L button combined with a twist switch to change your metering mode and beside that the AF-ON button. Beside these is a big rubberised horizontal scroll wheel. This is your main command dial, which either on its own or in combination with other buttons, changes a vast range of settings on the camera.
To the right of the LCD is the multiselect button used to change focus points, navigate menus and pan around taken photos. This also has a lock switch to prevent accidental adjustment. Below this is the focus area mode toggle switch and below that, a new inclusion the INFO button. This button has taken the place of the CF card door open lever that has been found on most Nikon DSLR's. Now instead of this lever to open the door, you simply pull it open. Some people find this a problem and think the door will be opened accidently and broken, but I never had this happen and can't see it happening any time soon.
Looking down onto the camera, we have another large screen, this time the top control panel. This contains lots of information about the current set up of the camera including selected focus point, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, WB and a lot more. To the front of this screen are the buttons to change the selected mode. The D700 does away with the common P,A,S,M dial in favour for a button which combined with the command dial changes the selection and shows it in the aforementioned top LCD. Beside this is the exposure compensation button, and in front of this is the combined ON/OFF and shutter button. On the front of the camera just below the ON/OFF button is another big rubberised wheel, this time, the sub command dial. Again this can be used alone or in combination with other buttons to change settings. This method works very well, as you can easily change every setting using either your thumb on the back wheel or a finger on the front. This was something I missed a lot from the Canon 50D.
On the left hand side on the top of the camera lies a dial, topped with 3 buttons. These buttons change the White balance, ISO, and file type/quality in combination with either the front or real rubber wheels. The dial below controls the drive mode of the camera, either single frame, low speed continuous, high speed continuous, Live view, Self timer and Mirror lockup. This dial is turned by pressing a small lock button to the top left of the dial. This prevents accidental changes.
I could go into great detail about how to change each and every setting, but there is such a vast range, it would take a long time. Instead I will just get down to it. What's it like to use?
Frankly, stunning. The images from the camera are sharp, crisp and colourful. The dynamic range is slightly higher than that of a comparable DX camera due to the much larger sensor, meaning that the highlight and shadow detail can be resolved in greater detail. This gives you a bit more headroom when photographing high contrast scenes.
The High ISO is something this camera is famed for. It seems to eat light, when there doesn't appear to be any. Shots up to ISO 1600 are mainly noise free and perfectly usable. Infact shots up to ISO 3200 are perfectly usable. Things only start to get a bit noisy above 12800 but are still useable. Only the highest at 25600 is reserved for emergencies. That was unheard of only a few years ago and still to this day is rare.
The sheer quality of the images at the High ISO settings is outstanding and still amazes me. I can happily set the Auto ISO function up to ISO 1600, and really not worry when it needs to utilise this, as an ISO 1600 image really isn't much different from an ISO 400 one.
However the high ISO isn't just this camera's speciality. Autofocus is one of the best in class, and is fast and snappy even in low light. The camera has 51 AF sensors, 15 of which are the more sensitive cross types. Combined with a f/2.8 or higher lens, the camera can pretty much focus on anything, in any light. The tracking is superb, it will follow a bird around the frame with ease and in a sports situation is second to none. The 51 points fill most of the frame, so wherever your subject lies, there is usually a focus point on it. The camera can also use more than one point for super accurate focus.
For some, this camera could be too much. The choice of options and customisations is bewildering. It takes some serious manual reading to get to grips with all the things you can do. This is not a camera for the feint of heart or the beginner to DSLR. This is a professional camera, for professional users, and the lucky experienced amature. On top of that, it takes dedication to carry this lump around all day. If you are used to a pocket sized compact, you will be in for one big shock carrying this around all day.
One point I have yet to focus on is the price. If have made it this far into the review, I'm guessing either A) you have nothing else to do, or B) you are very interested in this camera. If it's the latter, you are probably aware this isn't a cheap camera. Current prices are hanging around £1500-£1700 for the body only and has been this price for several years. Its showing no sign of dropping for at least another year when we can expect its replacement..
You may think that it's an obscene amount of money for a camera, but when you consider the D3 was almost double, and you are effectively getting the same camera, with a few extras and a few bits taken off, it doesn't sound so bad. When you also consider you are getting a rugged, professional, super quality camera again it's not too bad. This should be looked at as an investment. If you need the quality this camera produces, you are probably looking at taking photos to sell, so this will be a tool. A very good tool at that.
A thing worth mentioning is the lenses a camera of this calibre needs to fulfil its potential. If you put cheap glass in front of the sensor, you won't get the results you hope for. You will need to spend some more money to get the quality of glass this camera deserves. The choice of most is the Nikkor 24-70mm f.2.8. This will set you back another £1200 or so brand new. This may sound a lot, but the quality of the lens matches the quality of the camera. Of course there are cheaper alternatives that won't impact the quality a great deal, but I feel if you are spending this sort of money on a camera, you should furnish it with lenses to match. You wouldn't stick budget tyres on a Ferrari Enzo would you?
I may update this review with more in depth details in the coming weeks, but there is so much to write about, it will take a while. Consider this a work in progress!
At around £1700 this is for serious photographers only. Its quite large, and quite heavy without being uncomfortable to use for long periods of time, I shoot for hours with an 80-200 f2.8 lens (quite a heavy lens in itself).
You can read all the specs marketing stuff yourself so I guess the most important things to mention are what I think this camera stands out for.
Firstly the sensor, its a full size 35mm sensor which means that all of your lenses give you exactly the same view as they did on your film camera (remember those), your old 28mm lens is no longer nearly a mid-range lens, so you don't have to buy exotic glass to get a decent wide-angle view. Partly because of the sensor size (larger photosensitive areas) the sensor works very well at low light levels. I shoot a lot of indoor sport (gymnastics mainly) and can shoot at 3200ASA equiv with low enough noise that many of shots can be reproduced at A4 with very little post processing.
The second thing I love about this camera is the speed, on its own its pretty impressive at 5frames/s , but combined with the MBD10 battery grip (and the right batteries) the performance increases to 8 frames/sec. Again I shoot a lot of fast moving sport so speed is important to me, if what you shoot is portraits then it wont mean so much to you.
On to battery life. I use mine predominantly with the MBD10 battery pack in place and full of high capacity rechargeable AA batteries. I don't know how many shots you can take on this battery set up as I have never managed to run it flat. This weekend I shot around 600 photos at a gym competition and the battery meter still read full (no internal flash used, no automatic image review, though I did spend some time manually reviewing and deleting shots). Even if you do manage to flatten the battery pack the in-camera battery will still keep you shooting (albeit at slightly reduced speeds) until you swap in your second set of AAs (much easier if you have bought a spare caddy (MS-D10) ). Buying an EN-EL4 battery will get you the speed with less weight, but the cost is not insignificant. By the time you have bought the battery, caddy and charger (remember the D700 comes with an EN-EL3e and charger) you have probably forked out approaching £200. An intelligent charger and a set of 8 AAs can be had less than a 3rd of that.
The build quality as wonderful. Feels like it would take quite a beating (I have chosen not to test this!). Everything fits nicely and feels solid, my only complaint is that the latch-less card door is easy to open accidentally, particularly when taking the camera out of its bag.
Everyone seems to want to know whether to buy Nikon or Canon? I think the only way to know is to try them out and see what fits you. They both make great cameras. I've always preferred Nikon kit but its a personal choice. Remember though that once you have a decent collection of lenses its an expensive exercise to change your mind!
A final comment on lenses. If you have a limited budget and aren't already a Nikon SLR user (i.e you don't have a draw full of F mount lenses) then make sure you budget for some decent glass. A decent range of lenses will do more for you than a posher more expensive body. To make the most of a camera like this you do need decent lenses, I would suggest buying these first with a cheaper body.
The Nikon D700 is a terrific camera to use. I came from a cheaper and earlier Canon digital SLR and found the controls and buttons on the camera to be a great improvement over the Canon 5D I had previously. The high ISO settings available, and the full frame sensor, mean I can happily take indoor shots of my kids close up, outdoor action shots and landscapes, and all come out looking beautifully detailed and very professional in quality. The built in flash is handy to have for the 'catch the moment' shot when the light isn't quite right or you don't have the chance to set up the shot perfectly. I'd recommend a good quality kit lens to go with this at a minimum, and you'll benefit from buying the Capture NX package from Nikon for retouching and improving your shots - this let's you see the effect of changing the camera settings after the shot has been taken. Overall - a very good SLR choice, and although it may seem quite expensive, its excellent. No video capability though !
Background and History
Nikon, I think the best competitor with canon in professional photography market.
If we see some background of high level professional Digital SLR camera than some times before canon had the better share than Nikon with its most appreciated model Canon EOS 5D.
Nikon even had its model in this category that is Nikon D3, but considering better share and performance in this market they have launched high profile Nikon D700 on July 1st this year.
Competition is the main reason behind the continuous growth of technology and it provide better results than ever, as well peoples getting good technology cameras with better features and qualities.
So having sight on professional market Nikon launching better cameras time to time.. have some look that..
After having huge success of Nikon D80, they have just launched D90 and now it is in market I will definitely write review about that and also wants to own that camera.
But here we are discussing about D700, I will explain its new technology, good features and some disadvantage also.
Features that u might like
Some features with compare to Nikon D3
* The most used feature now days is Pop-up flash which Nikon D3 camera doesn't have.
Why it is important feature?
Because generally high speed flash does not require in all situation, and sometimes low speed flash also mandatory to capture photographs without burn-effect.
So it provides good pop-up flash that is most probably the option of high speed flash like SB-400, SB-800 or SB-900 flash.
Generally you need not to expense more money to buy extra flash, but some times it is important due to night shot with wide capture where pop-up flash is not sufficient.
* Second good feature in D700 is its two card slot, u can use to cards with same time and different capacity also.
* Fast burst mode is again prove much better than D3
* Inbuilt dust sensor that also D3 dosent have.
* Camera weight is also some lighter than D3.
Now coming on the main point that its good feature, and performance
1. Nikon make its Digital SLR camrers with solid built quality, its rock like construction that gives solid feeling about camera.
2. Camera is completely constructed by Magnesium alloy body and that is the reason behind it solid feelings.
3. I always consider about ISO speed and its result in any camera, that may be compact camera or professional Digital SLR camera. This is really a most considerable point we have to keep in mind, because such a high price camera does not have better ISO handling capability than that will be foolish decision to buy that one. So in this camera it deals good ISO quality that previous cameras have.
This camera have ISO setting from 64 to 6400, and it prove satisfactory result on higher ISO setting.
There is superb quality result on ISO 64 to 800, and it will provide even good quality result till ISO 3200, but there are some noise visible on that setting but that is not as much that u can ignore that picture, it will be usable as well, but on ISO 6400 setting there are plenty of noise visible, u can even use that picture also that noise it nothing with compare to similar setting with compact camera.
So it is the quality of Digital SLR camera to handle better with higher ISO speed and provide satisfactory result on higher ISO setting as well perfect result on lower ISO.
And this camera also provide adjustable high ISO noise reduction setting, so keep your mind tension free about noise and make some fun with the camera.
4. It has amazing 3" high resolution LCD screen with bright display, With resolution of 920,000 pixels and capability of High definition output.
5. 51 points AF system, for good quality auto-focus capturing capability, if you having any trouble with manual focus or for quick shot where manual focus not possible, you can even miss the shot so that auto-focus is very important factor.
6. Digital SLR have exta-ordinary Raw capture feature, where u can capture your picure in Raw format that u can process it with processing software like photoshop etc. This camera also have a good true 14 bit Raw mode for real professional photography.
7. Info screen with virtual menu, info screen provide quick information about your camera setting, picture taken, memory size remaing, battery indicator etc.
So in Nikon DSLR there is best feature is this info screen, if you don't want to keep LCD screen on and wants to capture photographs even knowing about your setting and battery condition than info screen id best way for this
All Other Nikon Camera also have Info screen as well so it is keeping going on as well.
8. And why cant I forget about D-lighting feature, this is the superb
feature that provides better quality shadow and high-light with good
9. Camera have excellent exposure accuracy, so that ur picture will
never loss any detail.
10.And now consider about battery life, as CIPA standard Nikon D700
Can take 1000 shots as per between charge, that is excellent norms that is just enough for any camera.
Camera also have external battery grip so that you can add extra battery if you want to capture more photographs between charge.
Now I am taking a sight on some disadvantage also
* You can think that what will be big disadvantage of this camera, of course there is high price of camera which everyone can't afford this camera, out of the may budget.
* Second thing is that the camera id meant for skilled photographer it does not have full auto mode functions.
* Heavy weight of camera.
* Does not have image stabilization system in body.
* Menu system is very deep, difficult to understand as well.
Having deep discussion about the camera it prove that this camera only meant for highly skilled and professional photographer, having complex system about using this camera, deep menu system, high price, and full manual control with heavy weight it is most probably suit with skilled photographer.
Recommended for Professional photographers.
Here's what Nikon has to say about the D700 in their press release:
"Nikon FX-format digital SLR - exceptional performance combined with superior mobility and functional versatility to provide serious photographers with outstanding value".
The D700 features an FX-format first introduced with the Nikon D3. Highly praised for its outstanding features,the D3 established a new level of professional performance in terms of overall image quality, extraordinarily low noise, ISO sensitivity range, continuous high-speed shooting, color gradation, image crispness, durability, weather-resistant operation, system versatility and more.
The new D700 incorporates an extensive array of features that boast a level of performance that is in many ways comparable to the D3. At the same time, it derives a wide range of benefits - including functionality, flexibility and operability - from the more agile D300, Nikon's flagship DX-format D-SLR.
A magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, rear body and mirror box to reduce weight and provide rugged durability. O-ring sealing where connections are made gives you valuable protection against dust and moisture. The shutter unit developed and manufactured by Nikon employs shutter blades made of a new material (a hybrid of carbon fiber and Kevlar). Tested on fully assembled cameras, the D700's shutter unit has been proven through 150,000 cycles under demanding conditions. The self-diagnostic shutter constantly monitors and maintains shutter precision.
I find it annoying to have 5 buttons to the left of the LCD, it's just not good for working blindly (whithout looking at them). The menu button would be better placed where the new info-button is placed (on the right side of the LCD), so you would be able to activate the menu and change the settings with the thumb of your right hand. Also, having 2 zoom-in/zoom out buttons is a waste and complicates things. Why not doing something like the D3 solution, but implemented in a better manner (zooming-in when pressing the left button + turning the rear wheel, instead of displaying a frame border of the projected zoom-ratio until you release the left button of the D3).
The D700 has everything it takes to satisfy a broad spectrum of photographic needs. The 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor with a sensing area of 36.0 x 23.9 mm; a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 6400; continuous shooting at up to 5 frames per second (and up to 8 fps with the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10; Nikon's exclusive 51-point AF system; Scene Recognition System for optimum autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance detection - these are but a few of the advanced capabilities of the extraordinary new D700.
The camera is breathtakingly good, especially in low light. At that price, it had better be--for many people, a D90 or D300 will offer better price/performance. I decided on the D700 because I already had a Sigma 12-24 and Nikon 24-120 VR lenses; if I had bought a DX body, I would have had to replace both of them to get equivalent functionality. Therefore, it was worth it for me.