Nikon's D700 a balanced camera for image quality, value, pro handling and MP.

Started Mar 28, 2014 | User reviews thread
yray Senior Member • Posts: 1,634
Re: Used D600 for $1200 seems more balanced

Horshack wrote:

yray wrote:

Horshack wrote:

  • 2 stops higher dynamic range at base ISO, 1 stop higher dynamic range at High ISO, close to 1 stop better High ISO noise in midtones
  • No High ISO blooming issue
  • No low ISO banding
  • 24MP when needed, modest processing overhead when not
  • Despite cheaper feeling build, haven't read many reports of D600's failing
  • Better Live View
  • Better Video
  • Better LCD
  • Better Auto ISO
  • Better low-light AF
  • Lighter
  • Quieter shutter
  • Lifetime shutter replacement courtesy of Nikon

You forgot to mention that D600 got a second tier AF, and a third tier ergonomics and build quality (not even starting with fps and buffer for those who need it). If I forgot about the QC and oil on the sensor, I still could only think of a D600 as a very mediocre camera, -- not from the point of view of IQ, -- but from just about any other point of view. The D600 has a good sensor (when clean), but that's about it, as far as I'm concerned. Call me a snob or what you will, but when I hold D700 in my hands I feel that it exudes quality from every waterproof pore of its rugged metal body. For me -- it is a totally different experience, and I have zero interest in a D600/610. Case in point, I happen to have a D300 and a D7000. The D7000 arguably has a better sensor (though color sucks big time IMO), but it spends most of its time in a drawer, while the ancient D300 is my DX camera of choice. I would argue that the D7000 stands to the D300 in roughly the same relation as D600 to D700 -- an updated sensor, and cheaper in look, feel, and every other way.

I can' recall the last OOF shot I got with my D600. Outside of not having 100% click to zoom I don't see any shortcomings in the D600's ergonomics. I understand some prefer the 'feel' of 'better build quality', but if that can't be translated into the camera actually lasting longer or taking more abuse then it's just a subjective luxury designation. Luxury is nice but for me not worth the IQ tradeoff.

I can't argue personal tastes in ergonomics and handling. As far as IQ, personally I find the D700 IQ sufficiently good for the vast majority of my shooting. The difference between the older and the newer cameras is usually the place where one draws a boundary between acceptable and unacceptable IQ. This "sweet spot" has been getting progressively wider with the newer cameras, but the question is: how often do you go outside the sweet spot of your older camera. For me, the D700 sweet spot is typically large enough. When I need extreme ISO, which is typically for low light/fast shutter sports shooting or sometimes concert shooting, I go to the D3s, but if I need two cams, the D700 does the second duty with a different FL, usually quite well. So, I'm not even adamantly in the "I need a D700 upgrade" camp. You can argue the advantages of the extra pixels, which are nice to have on occasion, but I rarely crop in a big way, and if I need a slight reframing, I would rarely go from 12MP lower than 10MP if that much, which is still fine in most cases for a 12x18 print, and I rarely print larger. Can't say that extra DR isn't useful, but, when properly exposed, D700 DR is rarely a limitation. So, for me, ultimately it boils down to what feels right in the hand. I'm also having some beef with how Nikon's color rendering evolved, and I'm not a fan of new bodies in this respect, but I don't want to argue this point, -- just like the handling it is largely a matter of personal preference, and it matters to some people more than others.

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