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Customer Review

94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D700 from the amateur's perspective, August 5, 2008
This review is from: Nikon D700 12.1MP Digital SLR Camera with 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED IF VR Nikkor Zoom Lens (Electronics)
Well, I finally got my D700 and have had it for about a week now so I wanted to put up some initial impressions of the pros and cons from an experienced amateur's perspective (been taking photos for almost 15 years now, but I wouldn't consider myself in any way a professional).

From the pro side:
I am VERY pleased with the full-frame CCD. Before this camera, I had the D100 and was happy with it, but always was a bit annoyed that my Nikon lenses were converted by the different size of the CCD. Now that I'm back to 35mm, I feel like the SLR acts a lot more like my old N90s. My favorite lens, the 85mm 1.4 produces astoundingly beautiful shots with increadibly shallow depth of field. I'm in heaven.

On the whole, the features I've used so far have been quite impressive. At normal ISOs the quality is just outstanding. I don't think I've ever seen digital pictures with this level of detail period. This said, what really impressed me was the 6400 ISO. I've played around with a number of digital cameras over the years and I don't think I've ever seen a camera that can produce the kinds of low-light images that the D700 does. The noise is so unbeleavably low that I am just floored.

I've been using a 16gb Sandisk Extreme memory card and have been very impressed with the write-speed of the camera. On RAW quality imaged, I can get 800+ shots to the memory card and the transfer rate to the computer is excellent considering the size of the files. Shooting speed is also excellent. I do mostly portraits, but when I do candids I do find myself shooting multiple shots in succession and the D700 performs wonderfully. It does make me curious as to how much faster the D3 is, but I can't imagine it being that much faster.

Some minor gripes (I would discount 1/2 star for these if I could, but rather than rating the camera at a 4, I'm giving it a 5 because I am very happy with it).

1. The live-view is somewhat odd in the way that it works. I was hoping that the camera would lift the mirror and then basically become like an average point-and-shoot. It doesn't really work that way and frankly, makes me appreciate the view-finder all the more. The instructions to get the live-view to work are somewhat complex (it isn't just a switch, you also have to go into menus, make selections, and then depress the shutter button half-way each time you take a picture in order to activate the live-view every time). It is a nice option for when you can't look through the viewfinder easily, but definitely not for all-the-time-use.

2. Software compatibility has some quirks. It seems to me that my Cannon worked with XP and Photoshop right out of the box, whereas with this camera I had to go to Nikon's website and download Codecs in order to get my computer to recognize RAW images... also... why does Nikon insist on calling RAW images NEF files? Seems to add a layer of complexity that is just unecessary. Another odd thing is a note on Photoshop's (Adobe's) website which tries to let consumers know that Nikon and Adobe are "comitted to working together" but actually seems to have the opposite effect given the tinkering that is necessary in order to get NEF files recognized. That said, now that I've got it all set up properly, it works fine and I'm very happy.

Summary: Seems to pack all the bang of the D3, but at a nice savings. Definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for and it is very nice to be putting my Nikon lenses to good use. Picture detail and quality is through the roof, impressive low-light sensitivity. Full-frame CCD is awesome. Camera feels great in the hand, solid construction, good menus, dials, buttons, etc. all feel great.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 7, 2008, 7:42:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2008, 1:32:24 PM PDT
AMDG says:
The live-view can easily and quickly be accessed by using the rotary dial in the top left of the D700. This is the same rotary dial for Continuous Shooting (slow and fast), for Timer operation as well as for Mirror Lockup shooting. Just read the manual and learn the controls. The D700 is very easy and intuitive to use. Happy shooting.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008, 6:27:57 PM PDT
EATENalive says:
NEF stands for nikon electronic format, just like canon has their own CR2. most camera manufacturers use a proprietary format in order to prevent you from using their format in someone elses software and visa versa. this has stimulated debate about archival of raw files (partially because there are so many and also because so many of them are different even amongst the same brand for example an NEF from a d70 is different from a d300) thus adobe has created the DNG which stands for digital negative which any raw format can be converted to and some cameras actually will even shoot a DNG.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2008, 8:48:26 PM PDT
Sam Hershey says:
I think my issue is that the live-view doesn't seem to "stay on" the way that it does with point-and-shoots. You have to depress the button to get it to display, or at least it seemed to work that way when I tried it out. In the grand scheme of things, I prefer the viewfinder with an SLR anyway, so this just reinforces that.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008, 11:00:26 AM PDT
You can also program the Fn button to toggle in and out of Live View.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008, 7:27:20 AM PDT
Sam, the D700 has a CMOS sensor and not CCD.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009, 1:58:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2009, 1:59:12 PM PDT
Phil says:
Hey! As a fellow N90s user (wasn't that a great little camera for its era?) thank you for taking the time to write all this up! BTW, I believe Photoshop CS4 using the latest ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) plug-in will give you the seamless performance in Adobe apps that you're looking for. Congrats on the new D700. I wish I'd waited before shelling out for my D300 last year... now I'm stuck in DX format land.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011, 9:56:34 PM PST
Peter H. Ly says:
Not a CCD sensor. It's a CMOS.
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