Software

The D700 is provided with a software CD which contains:

  • Nikon View NX (Windows / Mac OS X) - A new simplified image browser / organization / basic manipulation application based on the Capture NX design (although it has to be said, easier to use). Provides basic RAW to JPEG conversion with adjustment of exposure compensation, white balance and picture control.
      
  • Nikon Transfer (Windows / Mac OS X) - Automated transfer of images from camera or card reader.
     
  • Nikon Capture NX2 30 days trial version (Windows / Mac OS X) - While the D300 and D3 were being shipped with Capture NX keys in many regions enabling the trial version to be upgraded to a full release, when buying a D700 you only get this software as an 'optional extra'.

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. For these comparisons (which use the default settings) we've used the View NX RAW converter (which uses the same engine as Capture NX so produces identical results). Obviously using a fully-fledged RAW converter such as Capture NX, ACR or Capture One will allow you to fine tune the output (something not possible with View NX).

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • View NX - Nikon View NX 1.1.0
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.6 beta
  • Bibble - Bibble Pro 4.10.1

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As you can Nikon's own Capture NX2 matches the color response of the cameras internal image processor identically. As usual the third party converters, in this case Adobe Camera RAW and Bibble have their own 'different' color response.

Nikon D700 Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
StandardNeutralVividMonochrome
AdobeRGB

Sharpness and Detail

All three RAW converters produce output that is crisper and demonstrates better per-pixel sharpness than the default JPGs. Overall there's little difference in sharpness between the three RAW conversion engines compared here. Adobe ACR is slightly softer and more contrasty (resulting in some blown highlights) than the competition, Bibble and View NX use a tad more default sharpening and thus produce marginally more detail. Of course all this can be over-ridden during the conversion process.

J
P
E
G

V
i
e
w

N
X

A
C
R


B
i
b
b
l
e

Resolution

Again, the sharpness advantage to RAW conversion is fairly clear to see, all converters delivering higher resolution than JPEG straight from the camera. Bibble Pro and View NX deliver virtually identical measurable resolution. As we've seen above ACR's default sharpening is a little more subtle than View NX's and Bibble's. The output of all three converters shows fairly large amounts of color moire. ACR's demosaicing appears to be slightly confused beyond Nyquist which results in some artifacts.

JPEG from camera Nikon View NX 1.1.0 (RAW)
Adobe Camera RAW 4.6 beta (RAW) Bibble Pro 4.10.1 (RAW)