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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.


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
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Total comments: 12
David Rogoff

Question: I want to move up from a Sony A33 to a full-frame DSLR. I'm mostly interested in low/natural-light indoor and architectural photography. Given this, what would I miss out if I picked up a used D700 vs. the latest D610? I think 12MP would be fine if they're good pixels!



Ahsan khn

hey ...i jst got a new nikon d700 and i m a newly user of this camera so tell me about a photography of this camera


I Just Got A D700 For A Replacement For My D200, £854 With 3,000 Actuations. From WEX Photographic.

1 upvote

@ 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.


No problem with long telephoto lenses, and I expressed myself a bit clumsily. What I meant was that a crop sensor, like the one in the D300 (which I also have) gives more reach at the same pixel count. The D300/700 combination is very convenient, since the two cameras share more or less the same body and use the same CF cards, batteries and vertical grip.


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?


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


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

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.


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 :)


I have just brought a D700, please can someone help with the mind field of lenses!! do I need FX lenses?
Thanks in advance

Son Of Waldo

Excellent review!

Total comments: 12