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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (higher sensitivities)

With 'only' 12 million pixels on a full-frame sensor the D700's individual photo sites are comparatively large (1.4 MP/cm² pixel density on the D700 vs 2.9 MP/cm² on the Sony A900) and the Nikon makes exceptionally good use of its large pixels' light gathering capabilities. Combine this with Nikon's sensible approach to noise reduction which tackles chroma (color) noise first and then applies relatively mild amounts of luminance noise reduction, and you get a camera that is an outstanding performer in low light.

The D700's high sensitivity images show some visible luminance noise (grain) but are looking more detailed than the competition's. The gap widens as you go further up the sensitivity scale and at extreme settings such as ISO 6400 and higher the D700 (and the D3) are completely in a class of its own.

Obviously the D700 is also the only camera in this comparison that offers ISO settings higher than 6400. So, if you actually need these extreme sensitivities (Available light cave photography maybe?) there's not an awful lot of choice (The Canon 5D Mark II offers ISOs up to 25600 as well, we'll update this review as soon as we've got a reviewable model).

ISO 1600

Nikon D700 Sony DSLR-A900
Canon EOS 5 Nikon D300

ISO 3200

Nikon D700 Sony DSLR-A900
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D300

ISO 6400

Nikon D700 Sony DSLR-A900
  Nikon D300

D700 High ISO settings

Nikon D700 ISO 8000 (H 0.3) Nikon D700 ISO 10000 (H 0.7)
Nikon D700 ISO 12,800 (H 1.0) Nikon D700 ISO 25,600 (H2.0)
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Total comments: 7
By driftnomore (9 months ago)

@ zakk9:

what is it with telephoto long lenses,btw.


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.

By driftnomore (9 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 it a good buy for a 39k count?

1 upvote
By MusaOmar (8 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
By Jamesbond6668 (10 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
By Chrysippus (9 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.

By zakk9 (9 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 :)

Son Of Waldo
By Son Of Waldo (11 months ago)

Excellent review!

Total comments: 7