Nikon D700 Review

Since the 1950s, Nikon has produced high-end SLR cameras, but its newest model, the D700, promises to appeal to professionals and enthusiasts. The flagship D3

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Since the 1950s, Nikon has produced high-end SLR cameras, but its newest model, the D700, promises to appeal to professionals and enthusiasts.

The flagship D3 was released last summer, and the D700 is Nikon’s second FX-format camera.

The CMOS sensor inside the D700 is precisely the same size as a frame of 35mm film, which Nikon refers to as FX format.

$445.95
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Last updated on January 19, 2024 10:36 am

This implies that a 28mm lens on a D700 acts precisely like a 28mm lens on film, unlike most DSLRs, where the effective focal length of your lenses increases by 1.5 or 1.6x.

Fantastic camera

A 28mm lens becomes a 42mm lens (equivalent) on a more miniature format camera like the D300 because of the smaller sensor.

A pretty great camera is the D3. The D700 is also fantastic because it has the same sensor and many of the same capabilities but is roughly £1,000 cheaper.

The D700’s 12 million pixel CMOS sensor and ultra-high quality 920,000 dot 3in LCD screen were demonstrated in the D3, and the D700 can shoot at astounding ISO rates ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600.

Okay, so the image quality at ISO 25,600 isn’t exactly anything to write home about, but if you’ve chosen this setting, it’s likely because you have to take a picture. But, of course, if you have to take a picture, any snap is preferable to none.

Great LCD

Speaking of challenging circumstances, Nikon rates the D700 as “professional,” making it a very durable camera.

The D700’s flash and memory card door is among the several buttons and seams that are water- and dust-proof. Unfortunately, this implies that the camera will likely stop working long after you have, regardless of where you are or the weather. Which, I suppose, is soothing.

You may have just returned from a natural disaster or a conflict zone, but were the photos worth the trip? Yes. The D700’s “comfort zone” of ISO 200-6400 produces incredibly high-quality images.

The D700 is the only camera—aside from the more expensive D3—with which we would feel comfortable taking photos at ISO 1600 or higher. In addition, images captured at ISO levels of up to 6400 can be easily cleaned up in raw mode, making these highly high settings useful.

The D700 offers 14-bit and 12-bit raw modes. Shooting 14-bit raw files ensures more tonal information in the image, resulting in smoother tones and more room for extreme-level adjustments.

Large card required

In reality, there is little distinction between 12 and 14-bit raw, and choosing 12-bit makes more room on the card for more images.

Since average-sized memory cards won’t last very long due to the enormous file sizes, you’ll need all the memory space the D700 can provide.

The D700 can shoot at five frames per second with its standard “body only” configuration, but adding the optional MB-D10 grip (which also fits the D300) allows for up to eight frames per second of continuous shooting.

A camera’s ability to focus quickly would be useless if the frame rate were too high, but fortunately, the D700 and D3 share a 51-point AF system. Why is this lucky?

This AF system, however, tops all else on the market and is the best we have ever used.

Suitable in low light

The D700 can truly track a moving subject across the frame in 3D tracking mode, depending on its color. Additionally, in 51-point AF mode, the camera is set up to scan for skin tones and facial features, making the focusing mechanism as near-perfect as you’ll find on any other DSLR.

The D700 maintains focus even in meager light thanks to 15 incredibly sensitive cross-type AF sensors in the center of the frame.

Then what is the D700 incapable of? The inevitable response is, “not much.”

In addition to being a delight to use due to its robust construction and large, brilliant viewfinder, it also produces beautiful photographs at ISO settings that would make other cameras blush.

When the 14 million Pentax K20D can be purchased for roughly a quarter of a D700, we might quibble that 12 million pixels are starting to appear slightly limiting.

We would choose 12 million pixels if an additional few million meant a reduction in high-ISO performance. So, the D700’s pricing is our only significant issue with it.

Even though the D3 costs £1,000 less, two grand is still a hefty price for a camera’s body alone. However, the D700 is a no-brainer if you need the best image quality in a (relatively) small size. It is time to apply for a new credit card…

Nikon D700 Specifications

Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor• 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor
• FX format
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 12.87 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processorNikon EXPEED
A/D conversion14 bit
Image sizes
(FX format)
• 4256 x 2832 [L; 12.1 MP]
• 3184 x 2120 [M; 6.8 MP]
• 2128 x 1416 [S; 3.0 MP]
Image sizes
(DX format)
• 2784 x 1848 [L; 5.1 MP]
• 2080 x 1384 [M; 2.9 MP]
• 1392 x 920 [S; 1.3 MP]]
File formats• NEF (12-bit or 14-bit, compressed or lossless compressed RAW)
• NEF + JPEG
• TIFF
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Lens mount• Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
• No field of view crop (full-frame)
• When using DX lenses / DX mode, 1.5x FOV crop
Usable lenses• DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported
• Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported (PC Micro-Nikkors do not help some parts)
• Other AF Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II. Lenses for F3AF are not supported. IX Nikkor lenses are not supported.
• AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
• Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if the user provides lens data
Auto Focus• 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors)
• Multi-CAM 3500FX
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• AF fine-tuning possible
• Contrast Detect in Live View (Tripod) mode
Lens Servo• Single Servo AF [S]
• Continuous Servo AF [C]
• Manual focus [M]
• Focus Tracking is automatically activated by the subject’s status in [S] or [C] AF
Focus Point• Single point from 51 or 11 focus points
• Liveview (Tripod mode): Contrast AF on a desired point anywhere within the frame
AF Area Mode• Single-point AF
• Dynamic Area AF [9 points, 21 points, 51 points, 51 points (3D-tracking)]
• Automatic-area AF
Focus LockFocus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button
AF assistAF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1.6-9.8 ft.)
Exposure modes• Program Auto [P] with flexible program
• Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
• Aperture-Priority Auto [A]
• Manual [M]
MeteringTTL full-aperture exposure metering using a 1005-pixel RGB sensor
• 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering (non-CPU lenses if the user provides lens data; metering performed)
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20 mm dia. circle in the center of frame or weighting based on the average of the entire frame
• Spot: Meters approx. 4 mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when the non-CPU lens is used)
Metering range• 3D Color Matrix Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Center-Weighted Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot Metering: 2 to 20 EV
• At normal temperature (20°C/68°F), ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens
Meter couplingCPU and AI
Exposure lockLocked using the AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure bracketing• 2 to 9 frames
• 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps
Exposure compen.• +/-5.0 EV
• 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV step
Sensitivity• Default: ISO 200 – 6400 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps
• Boost: 100 – 12800 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps, HI2 = ISO 25600
Shutter• Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter
• 30 to 1/8000 sec (1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
DOF Preview• Stop-down lens aperture by pressing the button
• Activates modeling flash
White balance• Auto (1005-pixel CCD, image sensor)
• Presets (seven) with fine-tuning
• Manual presets (five)
• Color temperature in Kelvin (2500 – 10000 K)
• White balance bracketing (2 to 9 frames in increments of 1, 2 or 3
Picture Control• Standard
• Neutral
• Vivid
• Monochrome
Image parameters• Sharpening: Auto, ten levels
• Contrast: Auto, six levels, Custom tone curve
• Brightness: 3 levels
• Saturation: Auto, seven levels
• Hue: 7 levels
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder• Optical-type fixed eye-level pentaprism
• Built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1m-1)
• Eyepoint: 18 mm (at -1.0m-1)
• Focusing screen: Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen
• Frame coverage 95%
• Viewfinder magnification approx 0.72x with 50 mm f/1.4 lens
Focusing screen• B-type BrightView Clear Matte IV Screen
• Superimposed focus brackets
• On-demand grid lines
LCD monitor• 3.0 ” TFT LCD
• Approx. 920,000 pixels (VGA; 640 x 480 x 3 colors)
• 170° viewing angle
100% frame coverage
• Brightness adjustment
LCD Liveview• Handheld mode: TLL phase-detect AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors)
• Tripod mode: focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area
Shooting modes• Single frame
• Continuous Low [CL]: 1 – 5 fps (1 – 7 fps with Battery Grip)
• Continuous High [CH]: 5 fps (8 fps with Battery Grip)
• Liveview [LV]
• Self-Timer (programmable)
• Mirror-up mode
Self-timer• 2 to 20-sec custom
Flash• Manual pop-up type
• Guide number 17/56 (ISO 200, m/ft.) or 12/39 (ISO 100, m/ft.)
Flash control• TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400
• Auto aperture (AA): Available with SB-900, 800, and CPU lens
• Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s
• Distance-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-900, 800
Flash Sync Mode• Front-curtain Sync (normal)
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
• Slow Sync
• Rear-curtain Sync
Flash Accessory ShoeISO 518 standard-type hot shoe contact; Safety lock mechanism provided
Flash Sync TerminalISO 519 standard terminal, lock screw provided
Flash compensation• -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV step
Creative Lighting SystemSpeedlights such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, or SU-800 (commander only), supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information Communication, modeling flash, and FV lock; built-in flash can be used as a commander
Orientation sensorTags images with camera orientation
Playback mode• Full frame
• Thumbnail (4 or 9 images)
• Zoom
• Slideshow
• RGB histogram
• Shooting data
• Highlight point
• Auto image rotation
• image comment (up to 36 characters)
Languages• Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
• Dutch
• English
• Finnish
• French
• German
• Italian
• Japanese
• Korean
• Polish
• Portuguese
• Russian
• Spanish
• Swedish
Connectivity• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Mini-B connector
• HDMI video out (version 1.3a, Type C mini connector provided)
• Remote control 10-pin terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal
10-pin terminal• GPS: NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable and GPS Cable MC-35 (optional)
• Remote control: via 10-pin terminal
Storage• Compact Flash (Type I only)
• UDMA supported
• 36 characters of text can be input and stored in the EXIF header
Power• Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e
• Included dual battery charger MH-18a
• Optional AC adapter EH-5a/EH-5
• Optional Battery Pack MB-D10
DimensionsApprox. 147 x 123 x 77 mm/5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in.
Weight (no batt)Approx. 995 g/2.19 lb.
Operating environmentTemperature: 0 – 40 °C / 32 – 104 °F, Humidity: under 85% (no condensation)
Box contentsRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, USB Cable UC-E4, Video Cable EG-D100, Camera Strap AN-D700, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, LCD Monitor Cover BM-9, Software Suite CD-ROM (Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area)
Optional accessoriesWireless Transmitter WT-4, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-17M, AC Adapter EH-5a, Capture NX 2 Software, Camera Control Pro 2 Software, Image Authentication Software

Conclusion

The D3, Nikon’s first full-frame DSLR, was described as “probably the most engaging, capable, and well-rounded professional digital SLR ever manufactured” in our April review. Three months later, Nikon unveiled the D700, another full-frame camera.

Many professional photographers and serious amateurs find the new model more enticing than the D3 because of its “smaller” dimensions and significantly lower price, but can it live up to the high standards that its bigger brother has set?

The answer to this question is, without a doubt, yes. The price advantage over the D3 (nearly $1700 at the time of writing) makes the specification gap between the two cameras seem much smaller.

The D3 gives you a more extensive, robust body, faster continuous shooting, and a larger viewfinder. Still, if these features aren’t essential to you, you should give the D700 some thought. You also get a built-in flash (definitely handy for some) and integrated sensor cleaning on top of the savings.

But specifications are one thing, while performance and image quality are another. Thankfully, the D700 performs.

Nikon D700 Price

$445.95
in stock
4 used from $445.95
as of January 19, 2024 10:36 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on January 19, 2024 10:36 am

Nikon D700 FAQs

Why is the Nikon D700 special?

The Nikon D700 is noteworthy because it was one of the company’s first releases of a full-frame DSLR camera that was also reasonably priced. As a result, it made full-frame sensor technology available to a wider variety of photographers.

Is Nikon D700 a professional camera?

Undoubtedly, the Nikon D700 deserves its status as a professional camera.

How much was the Nikon D700 when it came out?

When it was first introduced in July 2008, the Nikon D700 had a suggested selling price of approximately $2,999 for the frame.

How many megapixels is a Nikon D700?

The full-frame camera on the Nikon D700 has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels.

Is D700 good for photography?

Yes, the Nikon D700 is a decent camera for photography because it provides high-quality images and exceptional functionality for its period.

Is Nikon D700 suitable for portraits?

Because it has a full-frame camera and is compatible with various lenses, the Nikon D700 is an excellent choice for photographers interested in portraiture.

Does Nikon D700 have WIFI?

WiFi is not integrated into the Nikon D700 in any way. Therefore, you will need an additional wireless transceiver, such as the WT-4, available as an alternative purchase to add wireless functionality.

How long will a Nikon D700 last?

The amount of use a Nikon D700 gets and how well it is maintained will determine its overall lifetime. It’s possible to make it last for decades if you take good care of it.

IS D700 a full-frame camera?

The D700 is, in fact, a full-frame camera, and its CMOS sensor has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels in FX format.

Is the Nikon D700 mirrorless?

The Nikon D700 is not a standalone camera but rather a DSLR model.

Does D700 have autofocus?

The D700 does come equipped with an autofocus mechanism.

Does D700 have a touch screen?

The Nikon D700 lacks a screen that can be touched in any way.

How big can I print from Nikon D700?

The largest print size that a Nikon D700 can produce will vary depending on the selected print resolution. Printing at 300 dots per inch (dpi), considered of good quality, allows for documents to be up to 16.4 inches wide and 10.9 inches tall. (4256 x 2832 pixels).

Is Nikon D700 suitable for landscape photography?

Because it has such high picture clarity and a wide dynamic range, the Nikon D700 is an ideal camera for landscape photography.

Is Nikon D700 still worth buying?

Your requirements and finances will determine whether or not the Nikon D700 is still a worthwhile investment for you. Even though it is an older camera, it can still produce excellent images if you can locate one that is in good condition and sold for an affordable price.

Is Nikon D700 suitable for astrophotography?

Although it is possible to use the Nikon D700 for astrophotography, the camera’s low-light performance may not be as effective as that of more current cameras that have improved high ISO capabilities.

Does D700 have a live view?

You can prepare your shots using the D700’s rear LCD screen if you take advantage of the camera’s live view function.

Does Nikon D700 have auto mode?

Many different exposure settings are available on the Nikon D700, including an automatic function called “Programmed Auto (P).”

Does Nikon D700 have auto ISO?

The Nikon D700 does come equipped with an auto ISO function that enables the camera to change the ISO setting within a given range depending on the prevailing light conditions.

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