Pros + CLS
+ Full frame
+ Incredible ISO (Up to 25,600!)
+ Big LCD screen with cover
+ 5fps or 8fps with additional MB-10 battery pack
+ Works with any lens
+ Well structured menu
+ Long-lasting battery
Cons - Need to use Nikon Software to do download pics
- Minimal software
Summary 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).Eidt Link
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!
*** P.S. If you will buy this Camera I suggest you have compare price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/*************?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%****%2Foffer-listing%2FB001BTCSI6%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp_olp_new_map%26condition%3Dnew&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Updated on Oct 14, 2011
I suggest for best deal at: http://nikon-d700.like.to
Pros Image quality, D3 tech for $2k less, perfect form factor
Cons Pricey. USB ports covered with a flimsy plug. Capture NX 2 is only a 60-day trial version.
Summary So what if you took a D3, and squeezed it into a form factor about the size of a D300, and knocked $2 grand off the price? You'd have a winner on your hands. And this, Nikon does.8 months later, and this camera continues to shine. One point the CNET reviewer mistakes is that the camera is somehow hampered by lower resolution. It's this lower resolution (though 12 megapixels is large enough to shoot a billboard!) that allows the camera to have unmatched low-light performance.
The D700 features a full frame sensor, the exact same one found in their flagship D3 model. It's packaged in a camera body that's a little larger than the D300, meaning it's downright manageable. You can take this camera anywhere. If you want the handling of the D3, simply use the option MB-10 grip, and you have a full size camera. The grip actually stows a 2nd battery, which provides a faster frame-per-second rate.
Shooting? The camera is fast, and the results are like butter. It features a near-instant on fire-up speed and can shoot 8FPS with the MB attached. The camera comes bundled with Capter NX 2, but it's the trial version, which only works for 60-days. So in an era of Lightroom and Aperture, why use it at all? Because Capture NX preserves the in-camera settings on RAW files. And you'll want to take advantage of what the camera does for photos.
ISO Performance.. what's terrific about this camera is the ability to get useable shots, even at ISO 6400. There is some grain, but Capture NX pulls it right out. The FX sensor means less noise, which is a good thing. I shot a friend in almost no light at F/1.2 and the photos were striking and sharp. Having ISO 6400 available means crisp shots, even in the harshest of lighting conditions. You can now frame the shot and aperture any way you wish, and the ISO will compensate. This gives you ultimate freedom to pick your shot, aperture and shutter, and let the camera do the rest.
The D300 sized body (roughly) is actually a bit larger than the D300. It features a deeper cutout to better fit your fingers, the D300's is more rounded. But the camera unfortunately features a USB plug on the left side that pops open at will. The D3 and D300 both have a door lock on the back that pops open the access to the card slot (there's only one of these card slot on the D700. I personally don't mind not having an extra card slot. The card cover now clips open.
The viewfinder is 95% instead of 100% in the D3. And the camera shoots marginally fewer FPS. It also lacks the 2nd card slot of the D3.
The bundled Capture NX 2 software is necessary for transferring photos because it retains the camera's adjustments in RAW, whereas other software offer up poorer NEF codecs. Unfortunate that Nikon chose not to give up the full version, which is poor for a clocking in at just under $3000 dollars.
That said, what you get for $2000 less is the D3 in a better, more manageable body. Well worth the price!
Updated on Mar 13, 2009
I've found that this camera isn't as easy to use as some others, you have to work to find the sweet spot. But once you find it, the results are beyond stellar. I've shot the best images of my career with this camera, and I can't recommend this product more.
If you love low light, If you need speed, don't bother looking any further. This is the best camera in the world right now.
Updated on Nov 24, 20112-Year update: I have to stand by my review. This is still in my opinion the best SLR on the market. I am not wanting a camera which does more, and that's saying A LOT for a tech junkie like myself.
It just continues to give stunning image after stunning image. It has the ability to slim down into tourist mode or bulk up for heavy duty shooting. I've made tens of thousands of images without wanting or needing more.
It's my go-to camera all these years later. Recommendation: By it! You will not regret the purchase!
Pros Brilliant sensor performance, perfect size and handling
Cons 95% viewfinder
Summary I recently switched from the D2x I've been shooting with for the past 4 years to the D700. The D700 product announcement caught me by surprise last summer as I thought I had another 6 months to a year before seeing this product released. I had replaced my sole DX lens, a 17-55 f2.8, with a 14-24 f2.8 and a 24-70 f2.8 in the spring of 2008, so at least I was ready for the change to FX format cameras.
I have had the camera for a few weeks now, and I am truly pleased with it. High ISO performance is brilliant. I took the camera out to a museum where the challenging lighting conditions have gotten the better of my D2x on past visits. The D700 captured flawless images at 1600 and even 3200 ISO at this venue.
The benchmarks all say that the color acuity and dynamic range of this sensor place it at the pinnacle of what is available in the market right now. My eyes can't argue with those assessments - this camera is in a completely different league from my D2x.
The size of the camera is perfect. Traveling or hiking with a body like the D2x is tough. It's big, square, and heavy. The D700 is the perfect size for my purposes. My camera bags have all gotten larger again - but for all the f2.8 glass I pack them with, anyway....
I am still getting accustomed to some of the new features in this camera. Live view hasn't been of much value to me yet, while the virtual horizon feature is a tremendous convenience. Using the on board flash to control external flashes works perfectly, although the D700 is limited to controlling 2 groups of flashes compared to the 3 that the SB-800 can control as a commander. I do miss having a 100 percent viewfinder. I have not yet been in a shooting situation that would tax the autofocus system of the new camera.
I wish I could understand why some reviewers lament the absence of features in this camera that are present in the D3. If you need a vertical grip, if you need a high frame rate, a choice exists - it's called the D3. Me, I have no plans of sticking a battery pack on this camera - it's just right like it is.
Pros Large sensor provides high quality images with low noise at high ISOs. Solid body facilitates holding camera steady with longer lenses. Logically laid out contols, easy to use. Relatively powerful built in flash not usually found on pro level models.
Cons LCD screen is fixed and so doesn't have variable angles. 'In body' anti-shake would allow for use of that feature with more lenses.
Summary Breathtakingly high quality images which can be cropped and enlarged significantly. High ISOs are very usable providing truly excellent results. It seems that additional megapixels would be of little 'real world' use. Peerless solid, quality, weatherproof build. Very balanced feel providing familiar SLR feel to experienced film photographers. Available battery attachment extends battery life, provides use of various battery types including 'AA' and is detachable when size and weight are a concern. Attachment has duplicate controls for shutter etc., useful for vertical hold. Very fast startup time and autofocus with almost no shutter lag. Extremely versatile with a multitude of intuitive features and controls and solid feel. Good built in flash. Bright high resolutionm useable LCD screen with 'Live View' mode. Bright viewfinder with excellent, usable information. Incredible array of available accessories common to Nikon. Low price for a professional level camera. 'In body' anti-shake' would allow for use with more lenses. Variable angle LCD screen would be useful but these are the only possible improvements that I could perceive. More megapixels might always be desired but the photographic results obtained might question the necessity plus other issues such as noise might become a problem. Truly an outstanding photographic tool. Well designed, high quality and versatile capable of providing spectacular, awesome results! If you like a full sized, solid, heavy camera (which means it can probably withstand some abuse), this camera does it all!
Pros High ISO, excellent ergonomic, LCD, fast AF, color accuracy and exposure
Cons Heavy, 5fps, no build-in image stabilization, 95% coverage
Summary My first DSLR was D200 and I though it was excellent camera and never though a need to upgrade but then D300 came along with so much to offer compare to D200 especially AF and tracking system that I usually missed target with my D200 not all the time but still see a different between the two systems but what I still need so badly was a full frame camera because I invested a lot in full frame lenses then D3 came out pretty much the same time as D300 but the price tag is so over that I could't afford. Photography is just my hobby so I upgrade to D300 and all sudden from out of no where Nikon announced D700 after I've been with D300 for less than 7 months. Well, I can't wait any longer so I went ahead get D700 just few weeks ago and I just want to say... Man! What an excellent camera. Now I can go to concert and still stop the action without using flash or worry about noise on my photos, I can crank it up to ISO 6400 so I am able to maintain my shutter speed above 1/100. One good thing about my D700 now is that I don't have to worry about the factor conversion although, I still have my D300 for Macro and wildlife because of its pixels density. I use my D700 for landscape and portraits... D700 respond to exposure much accurate than my D300 tends to overexpose a bit and also seems to over saturated when shooting with vivid mode but not with D700.