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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (RAW)

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in RAW mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera RAW. Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we had to use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings as per previous pages.

Nikon D700 (RAW) vs Sony DSLR-A900 (RAW)

Nikon D700
Sony DSLR-A900
3.3 MB JPEG (4256 x 2382)
6.1MB JPEG (6048 x 4032)

Switching to a standard RAW converter (in this case our benchmark; Adobe Camera RAW) means that the image processing pipeline is equalized between the cameras. Both cameras get a sharpness and detail boost although, due to the D700's conservative default sharpening, the difference is more visible on the Nikon.

Due to its high resolution depth-of-field issues are more obvious on the Sony (paper clips, batteries and top of the Martini bottle are slightly out of focus) but its level of detail cannot be matched by the D700. Color rendition on the other hand is remarkably similar.

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Comments

Total comments: 7
driftnomore
By driftnomore (8 months ago)

@ zakk9:

what is it with telephoto long lenses,btw.

@chrisippus:

i guess that would be a good buy,with only under 1700 shutter count,lens and the battery grip. had it been here in my place,i'm gonna get it.

0 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (8 months ago)

does anyone here know the shutter actuation of the d700? i'm considering buying a used one with 39,000 shutter count for 900 euros.is it a good buy for a 39k count?

1 upvote
MusaOmar
By MusaOmar (7 months ago)

I think they are rated for 150,000.. So 39k is not that bad. Just bought one with 38K for $1300

1 upvote
Jamesbond6668
By Jamesbond6668 (9 months ago)

I've used this camera for many photo shoots for over 2 years and still have it as my backup camera. (My main one is the D4). If you don't care about video, this is the camera for you! Much better than the D600 and probably very similar to the D800 (though the D800 has way too large image files for most shooters.). The images from the D700 with the right Nikkor lenses will keep you very happy for many years! (I only switched to the D4 for it's low light ability and faster shooting speed.)

1 upvote
Chrysippus
By Chrysippus (8 months ago)

I have been looking for a replacement camera for my D40 and in my research discovered the D700. I can now get a used one in perfect condition with less than 1700 shots taken plus grip and lens (waiting to hear which lens) for 890 Euros. Would you say this is a better option than a Fuji X-E1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 in terms of usability and image quality? I am looking for a camera to take stock photos with.

0 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (8 months ago)

The D700 is an excellent camera if you don't need video or long telephoto lenses. It's particularly ideal if you want to use wide aperture primes and play with shallow depth of field. When it comes to image quality, it's a 5 year old camera, and many of the smaller sensors approach the once unique qualities of the D700 (I use a Panasonic GH3 in addition to the D700 myself). There are no obvious choices, and it mostly boils down to the user experience. Do you prefer an OVF or an EVF? Are you ok with a camera that is twice as heavy? The rational choices nowadays are probably a mirrorless camera, but the D700 is a classic. They are all good :)

1 upvote
Son Of Waldo
By Son Of Waldo (10 months ago)

Excellent review!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7