Displays

The D700 comes with the same excellent high resolution VGA screen that we first saw on the D3 and D300. It has a very fine pixel pitch which means you don't see any gaps and that makes for both very detailed but also surprisingly smooth gradations in flat areas of the image. Compared to a lower resolution screen this this certainly improves both Record review and playback. It's not necessary to zoom into images quite as far in playback in order to check sharpness / focus accuracy and it also transforms manual focus in live view mode into a very easy task.

Shooting information

Press the info button in shooting mode (except live view) to show a full screen 'shooting information' display, we first saw a screen like this implemented in the D40 and there are certainly circumstances where having this level of information on one single screen can be very useful. The D700's shooting information screen automatically (or optionally manually) switches from light background to dark background in low light situations. Like on the D3 and D300 the information display disappears as soon as you half-press the shutter release button and does not return, you have to press info again, it would have been nice to have a 'persistent shooting information' custom function.

Light screen background Dark screen background (low light)

Quick settings display

The Quick Settings display is a new feature that we've first seen on Nikon's D60 entry level DSLR. Press the info button in shooting mode and you'll get the shooting information display. Press it again and you'll enter the Quick settings display (the two rows of settings at the bottom of the screen). Here you navigate using the multi-controller and press OK or the multi-controller button to access and change a setting. Settings you can change in the Quick Settings display include the shooting bank, High ISO and long exposure noise reduction and the function of the preview and Fn buttons.

Light screen background Dark screen background (low light)

Virtual horizon

Like the D3 the D700 features the Virtual horizon which provides an aircraft-cockpit type live virtual horizon on the LCD monitor indicating the current orientation of the camera, perfectly horizontal or vertical and the camera axis line turns green (shown on the right below). By default the Virtual Horizon is viewed via an option from the Setup menu (although can be assigned to a button) and disappears as soon as you half-press the shutter release.

The tilt sensor can also (perhaps more practically) be displayed on the top LCD panel or inside the viewfinder (using the exposure scale) if it is assigned to the Fn button. A new (and very useful) option on the D700 is to superimpose the Virtual Horizon onto the Live View image. This option has been implemented as one of the display modes and you can cycle through those by pressing the Info button in Live View.

Viewfinder indication: no tilt Viewfinder indication: CW tilt
Viewfinder indication:CCW tilt Top panel indication
Live View indication: tilt Live View indication: no tilt

Record Review

You can choose for the D700 to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means it's easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' CSM c4 or until you half-press the shutter release.

Playback

Press the Playback button to enter playback mode, press the multi selector up or down to change display mode, up to seven different pages of display detail are available. You can change the amount of information available in the basic and detailed photo display modes including optional blinking highlights and focus point display as well as the three pages of shooting information in detail mode. Note that you can switch the up/down and left/right functions of the multi selector via CSM f4 and that you can choose to also use the command dials to browse / change page via CSM f9.

Basic photo display: file number, folder, filename, date & time, quality, size. Optionally you can also display the focus point (shown here). Basic photo display with optional Highlights
Detailed photo display: image thumbnail, histogram, exposure information and other data as per default display Detailed photo display optional RGB histogram page
Detailed photo display data 1: metering mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode, ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, lens used, AF mode, VR mode, flash mode and flash compensation Detailed photo display data 2: white balance & fine tuning, color space, picture control and image parameter adjustments
 
Detailed photo display data 3: noise reduction, active d-lighting, retouching, comment  

Playback Zoom

The D700's playback zoom is implemented in the same manner as the D300's (and therefore different to the D3's). You use the zoom button to select zoom amount (on the D3 you use the combined zoom / thumbnail button with the rear command dial) and can use the multi-selector to move around the magnified image. Just like on the D3 and D300 there are eight zoom levels, on the high resolution screen the last two go beyond 1:1 and provide an enlarged pixelated view.

Playback thumbnail views

The D700 has two levels of thumbnail view. Press the thumbnail button and turn it to the left to switch to the initial 2x2 (4 image) view, press once again for the 3x3 (9 image) view. Use the multi selector to move around the index. Note that if you have the 'Rotate Tall' option enabled images taken in the portrait orientation are displayed vertically.

One click right for a 2 x 2 thumbnail view Two clicks right for a 3 x 3 thumbnail view

Other Playback displays

After pressing the delete button simply press once more to confirm the deletion An example of a protected image