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Uncompressed (TIFF) and JPEG qualities

The D700 offers three JPEG modes (HIGH, MIDDLE and LOW) and TIFF uncompressed mode in both 1344 x 1024 and 640 x 480 resolutions. The samples below will allow you to compare images taken at each resolution and each image mode. Camera was set to WB Hold, manual focus, aperture priority.

At 1344 x 1024:

SUPER: TIFF 1:1
4,047KB
HIGH: JPEG 1:4
693KB
MIDDLE: JPEG 1:8
374KB
LOW: JPEG 1:16
185KB

The sample below (blown up 200%) shows the same detail at each different compression level, hardly any difference between TIFF and HIGH JPEG (apart from a 6 times size reduction!) , JPEG artifacts start to be seen in MIDDLE JPEG and at LOW JPEG detail is being destroyed by the high compression ratio.

At 640 x 480:

SUPER: TIFF 1:1
915KB
HIGH: JPEG 1:3
214KB
MIDDLE: JPEG 1:6
125KB
LOW: JPEG 1:12
63KB

Sharpening setting

In the Custom menu (CAM mode) their are three different "sharpness" settings which control the internal sharpening performed on an image before it is converted to JPEG. This gives you the option to control the amount of internal sharpening carried out (often not available). The three crops from shots (below) were taken at different sharpening settings and show a marked difference. (click on any crop to see the full size image)

Sharpening: Soft Sharpening: Normal Sharpening: Hard

ISO sensitivity (CCD sensitivity)

The D700 was also one of the first cameras to offer user selectable "on-the-fly" ISO adjustment of either 100,200 or 400 ISO. Typically this is achieved by increasing the amplification of the signal from the CCD, unfortunately this also has the side-effect of amplifying thermal noise, which is quite noticeable at ISO400. (click on any crop to see the full size image)

ISO100: 1/8s, F2.4 ISO200: 1/15s, F2.4 ISO400: 1/30s, F2.4

Average / Spot metering

The D700 supports two different metering methods, the first being Average metering which will simply take an average of the light reading for the whole scene and produces an exposure value (shutter speed / aperture) based on that. The second is Spot metering where metering is only carried out on a small area in the center of the scene, which is essential for photographs of dark objects against light background or close-ups.

Examples of Average vs. Spot metering where you would want to use Spot metering:

Average Metering (1/60s @ F2.2) Spot Metering (1/23s @ F2.2)

28mm - 140mm (5 times) zoom

You really do have to make a big deal out of this, it's a very good workable range, from full wide angle to a fairly decent tele range, a little barrel distortion at wide-angle.

Here's an example of going from full wide to full tele:

28mm (WIDE) 140mm (TELE)

Timelapse / continuous

The D700 has a feature for taking time-lapse shots through a very flexible set of parameters, to demonstrate this I took time-lapse shots every 15 seconds for an hour to produce the following time-lapse video:


(Click to launch video: 311KB)

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