Nikon D700 - First Impressions

When Nikon released the D3 in late 2007, I said that I would go full frame when Nikon shrunk it down into a D200/D300 sized body. I had no idea Nikon were going to announce such a beast barely 6 months later. I have been umming and ahhing about getting one since it was announced last July. I finally bit the bullet and picked up my new toy (D700) last week. I guess it is my belated Christmas gift or early birthday present to myself.

Honestly, I started playing with it before reading the manual. If you are familiar the D200, or any Nikon dSLR for that matter, you can navigate around the D700 without any problem. Although, I did spend quite a bit of time reading up on all the new features later on.

The D700 is a little bigger and heavier than my D200. It also has the biggest and thickest Nikon dSLR manual I have ever seen. Both the D70 and D200 manual were both tiny by comparison.

What I like about the D700
  • It's built like a brick shit house, very robust
  • It has a full frame format or FX sensor
  • The viewfinder is much bigger and brighter compared to the D200. I like.
  • The built-in dust sensor cleaner
  • The incredible low noise performance at high ISOs
  • Huge 3.5" LCD screen. It's awesome and the ease of zooming in to check whether your shot is sharp or not.
  • I like the fact that they no longer use screw caps for both the pc sync and the 10-pin port. I am sick of misplacing those little suckers
  • The other cool thing is that you can create your own menu (My Menu) by grouping all of your favourite custom settings in the one place for easy access. So far, the only thing I cannot put there is the format command.

What I don't Like about the D700
  • The door to the CF compartment is a bit on the flimsy side compared to the D200. I'd preferred if they used the same locking mechanism as the D200.
  • No dedicated BKT button. For some reason Nikon has decided to remove it from both the D300 and D700. No matter, just reassigned the Func key to do the same thing.
  • I don't hate it but I am not that keen on the feel or sound of the new shutter. It doesn't sound or feel as crisp as my D200. I think I am getting used to it and I sure I will learn to love it.

Test Run

I took it out for a test run today. I am very happy with the results as all of the exposures were spot on. No need to fool around with the exposure compensation here. This means minimal adjustments were required in Lightroom, which is what I like as I am extremely lazy.

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Outside

St. Patrick's Cathedral
- Inside

High ISO Shots

I also took some high ISO shots to checkout its low noise capabilities and I have to say the shots at ISO 6400 were very impressive.

These were taken straight out of Adobe Lightroom, no noise enhancements applied, e.g. Noise Ninja.

Some BW Shots

Hills Hoist - An Australian Icon


I am very very impress with the D700. I hear you asking, do I really need a D700?

Only if you want to shoot full frame, shoot hand-held in low light at high ISOs (@6400) and you want gorgeous looking images. If the answers to the above questions are all "no" then just get the D300 and save a shit load of money.

You won't regret getting the Nikon D700. It has my highest recommendation.

Check-out more D700 high ISO shots here

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