Pros You want one and you've compared this to Canon, Sony & the rest. But you are reading this because you want to "know the edge." COLOR (beats Canon) & NOISE (lowest at 12Meg...forgettabout bigger ones.
Cons Lens lower than 85mm are best wide open whereas zooms are best stopped down. See "lilwikiguy87" on Youtube. Why is this a con...only Nikon is expensive. Ten grand for a complete set of a body, a half dozen low F-stop lens, a Gitzo tripod, etc.
Summary I am going to make this short and simple. The features amongst these high end camera bodies are all basically the same. But you can buy bodies with many more pixels over the 12Meg you get here. The more Meg on the same 35mm film size means that each individual pixel area gets smaller as you have more and more pixels. This causes Noise. Therefore, the Nikon D700 is the sweet spot for noise on the current technology. This may change but not for the see-able future. So, you can compare nits which don't matter or you can listen to me and fully understand the essence...1. color & 2. noise. Sony has the Disney-esque pumped up color...great for compact shirt pocket cameras (I have one). Canon has more natural colors but too flat. Nikon (using the Sony sensor built to Nikon specs) is in between but much, much better than either. Not as pumped up as Sony and not as bland as Canon. Here is a big tip that I discovered as I transferred from film. The Nikon excels when you control the light in shooting people so that the people are in the "OPEN SHADE." You will be astounded at the results. Go out and buy one if you are someone who wants the best...you know who you are...
"I love the thing..."on by kozmo18
Pros Rock solid metal construction, it opens several new avenues for creativity, and accepts all of my old Nikon glass.
Cons At $2600.00 (body only) they don't give them away.
Pros Low noise at high ISO (3200). good fit and build quality. can use same battery grip as my D300. also can now use to full effect my Nikon lenes from my film days along with my DX lenes.
Cons As a advance ametuer none that I can think of.
Summary Having used the D300 for over a year it was not difficult to adjust to the D700's controls. I shoot manually alot and on some occasions in program mode.I always ishoot in RAW mode therefore have no need for some of the various other options available.
Pros The ergonomics and focusing system on this camera is amazing. It feels good to use and the it focuses on the subject in the darkest and most difficult moments. The pictures are excellent and the ISO noise is minimal at 1600.
Cons It tends to shoot a little on the warm side so I have to cool them down in post processing. I'm not a big fan of that. Also, the door to the CF card chamber easily slides open. I wish it was more secure.
Summary I am a professional wedding photographer and I have two D700s so I have a lot of experience with this camera, but I am also really biased toward the Nikon line.
When I chose this camera I chose it based on price and quality. In the Nikon line it seems to me that this camera delivers the most value or bang for the buck. The focusing is spot on, ISO performance is good, ergonomics are great, the resolution of the viewing screen is awesome, and it takes great pictures in general.
Given that I do think the camera comes up lacking in a few areas based on my use of the camera. I wish the ISO performance was a tad bit better in that I wish I could hang out at 3200 without worrying about noise. I wish the camera had 1080p video capabilities with 60 frames per second like the Canon 5dII, and I wish the color balance of the images was not so warm. I also have some experience with the Canon 5d and to compare the D700 to that camera I notice that the 5d performs better in bright sunlight. It is able to render skin texture and separate the subject from the bright sky better than the Nikon. That is just from my own experience. The 5d takes sharper pictures with more contrast compared to the D700, but this might have to do with the larger images. The 5d might have larger images with sharper images, but it loses ground in the ISO department because of that. This can also be seen when comparing the Mark III to the D3.
The D700 comes up lacking in some areas, but I don't think the D3 cameras are so much better that they warrant the extra cost. The D700 carries it's own and is worth every penny I paid for it. I am going to wait for Nikon to come out with a D3 that has 60 frames per second video capabilities before moving up to the next level in the Nikon line.