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Design

All round view (click for larger image)

The Coolpix 700 is some 30mm (~1") smaller in width than the 950 and about 10mm (~3/8") shorter in height, fully loaded (CF card and 4 AA NiMH batteries) it also weighs in at only 340g which is 140g (~5 oz) lighter than the 950. The case of the 700 is a more traditional (although still more solid than the old 900s) ABS plastic (compared to the magnesium alloy case of the 950).

Holding the camera in one hand it feels light but not fragile, comfortable and no carriage. The hand grip is very similar to the 950 in shape, however the front rubberised grip is not the same material as the 950 and has a less rubber feel. The controls are also cheaper in construction than the 950. Overall, even though the case is not of the same quality as the 950 the camera still feels very solidly put together with no rattles or creaks from the case the overall construction and design is good.

Noteworthy at this point would be the fact that the tripod screw position is better (it's directly on the axis of the lens) however it still blocks the CF card door when the camera is on a tripod making it impossible to remove the card without unmounting the camera from the tripod. You can however change batteries on the tripod.

The 700 doesn't have a neck/shoulder strap instead it has a single loop wrist strap which attaches to the right hand side. (I'd like to have seen a proper wrist strap for the 950, although this one still isn't the answer).

Rear LCD Display

The LCD on the 700 is slightly smaller than that of the 950, at 1.8" diagonally compared to the 950's 2" diagonally, however the LCD on the 700 is defintely slightly brighter than that of the 950 (at least the 950 I have) as shown by the pictures below:

Other than that the LCD operated identically to the 950 with a fast clean fresh rate of around 15 - 20fps.

As with the 950 the 700 gives a live display of camera settings and shutter speed / aperture in record mode (M/A).

Here you can see (clockwise from the flower icon), macro mode, no flash, ISO>80, FINE JPEG mode, 10 shots remaining, +0.3EV compensation, F8.0 aperture, 1/15s shutter speed, matrix metering and continuous shooting mode.

Top LCD Display

The Top LCD display indicates (clockwise from top left): picture quality mode, picture mode (landscape / macro / self-timer), flash mode, battery status, continuous shooting mode (if any), remaining frames, ISO adjustment, exposure compensation, metering mode (matrix / center / spot).

In play mode it only displays battery status.

Optical Viewfinder

Again, the viewfinder is much the same as most point-and-shoot digital and consumer cameras, one boo-boo Nikon made on the 700 is that it's recessed about 5mm and therefore so is the focus indicator. If you're trying to use the camera from a slight angle you can't see if the indiciator is flashing or steady. Also worth noting that there is no dioptric adjustment on the 700.

This image represents the view through the viewfinder, note that on the 700 the center-of-frame marker is a cross not brackets like the 950, also that the parallax lines are offset to bottom left due to the above-to-the-left location of the viewfinder compared to the lens. (Parallax lines are used to represent the corner of the image when taking close-up photos using only the viewfinder).
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