AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

Started Aug 7, 2009 | Discussions thread
ChicagoNikonGuy Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

JK5700 wrote:

If the D700 was identical to the D3 apart from size, why would anyone buy a D3? There has to be some justification for the price difference.

Nikon pro bodies (D2H, D2X, D3) have always been more responsive than the next level down (D100, D200, D300). The processors are faster, the drive motors more powerfull, the shutter mechanisms faster and more robust, etc.

I have both the D3 and the D300 and notice a significant difference in the speed of aquision, focussing and tracking; especially when shooting birds in flight. But then I expected it because of the price differential.

IMHO, the D700 is a D300 with a larger sensor, not a scaled down D3.

According to Nikon the D700 and D3 have the same sensor, the same processor running at the same speed and the same shutter mechanism (as I understand it).

I know that the D3 shutter is spec'd at 300,000 activations and the D700's is spec'd at 150,000. This could be due to differences in quality control and/or librication and/or calibration.

The only optical difference between the two cameras is that the D700 has a 95% view finder.

I don't know if the mirror is the same. This could effect focusing speed but I don't really know.

Additionally the D3 uses the EN-EL4A battery and the D700 without the MB-D10 uses an EN-EL3 battery. The EN-EL4A battery is capable of delivering more current. Theoretically this could allow the focusing motor to go faster. But this is just a guess.

Try doing a controlled test using the same subject and same distance using a D3, a D700 w/o MB-D10 and a D700 with MB-D10 & EN-EL4A.

Also, is the lens that you are "testing" with using the internal focusing motor or does it have it's own. AF-S lenses from Nikon have the focusing motor in the lens.

The D3 is capable of faster shooting speeds then the D700 (9 FPS in FX and 11 FPS in DX for the D3 and 8 FPS in FX for the D700). I don't believe that this means that the D3 focuses faster but it could explain it.

Firmware Release 1.01 for the D700 help increase focusing speed I believe.

The D700 is built as a high end professional camera. The D300 is intended as a high end "pro-sumer" camera.

If the D3 truly performs better than the D700 and you need that better performance and the nearly $2000.00 price difference is also worth it to you, then by the D3. For my money the D700 is a more versatile solution at two thirds the price.

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