108 of 116 people found the following review helpful
The one I'd been waiting for
, October 13, 2008
This review is from: Nikon D700 12.1MP FX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I've been a semi-pro digital user for five years. I started wtih a Fuji S2, moved up to the Nikon D2H (horrible reliability, expensive), D2Hs, D200, D300 and finally the D700.
With every camera prior to the D700 there were compromises and Nikon was always two years behind Canon. Finally, when the D3 came out, they were in the lead again, but the price was too much for my semi-pro use to justify. So I struggled along with a pair of D300s for another eight months. The D300 is an excellent camera, however, it has some serious flaws: It overexposes and is particularly hot on the red channel. It's higher ISO performance is mediocre and really kills detail. And it's DX.
I bought a D700 for $2950 and, predictably, the price fell $200 a few days after that. But I needed it for an assignment that would involve shooting in a dimly light garage.
The camera worked perfectly, although once again, I am seeing overexposure in some scenes. The auto WB is much improved over the D300. The dynamic range is much improved, as well. And the AF seems faster.
This camera has me going back to prime lenses. The DOF is much shallower and the bokeh much nicer with my 85mm and 50mm lenses on the D700. Eventually, I want to be all primes on the long end. My 300 f/4 gives wonderful results on this body. The 70-200 is a mixed bag. I'm just not happy with the look of the images. They are not as sharp as they are on the D300 (I kept one). Weird. I'm still testing.
I love everthing about the D700 except it's tendency to overexpose and the fact Canon's competitor has video and more MP. Video really should have been on this camera; after all, the D90 at 1/3 the price has it. Nikon dropped the ball by not including it on the D700. Two months after being introduced, the D700 is already a somewhat obsolete camera, thanks to Canon's offering of more mp and video.
All that said, as a Nikon user I'm glad to finally have 5D image quality in a full-frame Nikon, even though it comes at a premium. I feel the current combo of the D300/D700 will last me for several years, and will eventually result in a transition to almost all prime lenses, if Nikon ever gets its act together and offers some worthy wide angle primes to match with this body. Meantime I find the 35 f/2, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, 105 micro, 180 f/2.8 and 300 f/4 to be excellent matches for this body. The Beast 28-70 f/2.8 is also a good performer on this body, as is the 14-24 f/2.8. The 70-200 f/2.8 is questionable.
Be sure to get the grip for best balance and extended battery life. I find the D700 has better battery performance than the D300. Also if you do portraits, get a portrait Expo Disc and download the portrait custom setting for your camera. The results are very nice.
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