AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

Started Aug 7, 2009 | Discussions
James Kei Senior Member • Posts: 2,156
AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

I owned/used D3 since April 2008, now just brought D700 as lightweight version as for travel....

I read a lot about D3/D700 spec & comparsion review, so pitty much conclude they are same in 99%.

Start using D700 at indoor, normal / low lighting...

I use 28-70 afs lens, the same lens I have been using it with D3 for yr and half.

1st feeling;
woo...... this D700 body AF system seems slower response than D3.
I use AF 51 points dynamic mode on both body.

BUT the spec said same ; ? really ?

• 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors)
• Multi-CAM 3500FX
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• Contrast Detect in Live View (Tripod) mode

1 more diss-like about D700;

My Capture NX 1.3.5 come from D3 box package does not read D700 raw, dam....

does that mean I have to spend extra $$ for Capture NX 2 ? but the spec said, they are the same image senior of 12 MP FX, why need difference software to read RAW .........

Does anyone has same feeling when you switching D3/D700 in use ?

OR am I over sensertive ?

many thanks

kevin focht Contributing Member • Posts: 577
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

I feel the same way.
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JK5700
JK5700 Senior Member • Posts: 1,716
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

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.
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em_dee_aitch Veteran Member • Posts: 3,675
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

JK5700 wrote:

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

Exactly! All that extra mass in the D3 actually does something , like make the camera work better. Who woulda thunk??

... and yet this question still has to come up every month or so.

mikew Contributing Member • Posts: 631
I wonder if it has something to do with the battery?

The D3 has a stronger battery than the D300/D700. I have both of those cameras and believe the D700 is a faster focusing camera. I wonder if adding the 8-battery grip, which I have and which ups the high speed of the D700 form 5 fps to 8fps, equalizes the D700 with the D3? Is the increased voltage able to drive the focus faster?
Just a thought.

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RusYus Senior Member • Posts: 1,530
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

isn't there something in custom functions to tune the speed of AF on D700?

snowdog2112 Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

I don't think it's got anything to do with batteries. It's a normal product line-up segmentation. and there has to be something to justify the price tag. Want best of the best no. 1 performance ? go with D3. Satisfied with 2nd place? go with D700

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OP James Kei Senior Member • Posts: 2,156
I am not alone

I am not alone,

Orginally, when I purchased D3, there was nothing in Nikon world offer FF DSLR, expect (Kodak), so signed credit card for 24 months payment of D3.

After just less than a year D3 came out, D700 arrived. I am so unhappy, due to the price of D700 so much less than D3, offer so close quality......

Now finally, I got myself a answer......athough I am not a speed shooting type of demand usage.

really thanks all of yours reply....

M Lammerse
M Lammerse Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

James Kei wrote:

I owned/used D3 since April 2008, now just brought D700 as lightweight version as for travel....

I read a lot about D3/D700 spec & comparsion review, so pitty much conclude they are same in 99%.

I think the (last) firmware update of the D700 made the differences between D700 and D3 even more marginal by means of acquiring focus

although I do not own the D700 but only the D3 I could try it out extensively during it's launch and also later I tried one out for a couple of weeks. When the D700 was just there, I felt that the auto focus of the D3 was clearly better. After trying out the camera and handed it back to Nikon they said that there was a small difference in focus speed between the D3 and D700 but that it is marginal, but noticeable. When I tried out later the D700 again, after a firmware update I felt that the diffrence was hardly noticeable anymore. So it might be that is mostly determined by software and not by the focus module itself (hardware) I feel the same about the D300 by the way (I use D300 and D3...although the last one is for sale!

By means of image quality I would say they are identical, at least I can't see it but im not a tester, Im a user

Michel

Start using D700 at indoor, normal / low lighting...

I use 28-70 afs lens, the same lens I have been using it with D3 for yr and half.

1st feeling;
woo...... this D700 body AF system seems slower response than D3.
I use AF 51 points dynamic mode on both body.

BUT the spec said same ; ? really ?

• 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors)
• Multi-CAM 3500FX
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• Contrast Detect in Live View (Tripod) mode

1 more diss-like about D700;

My Capture NX 1.3.5 come from D3 box package does not read D700 raw, dam....

does that mean I have to spend extra $$ for Capture NX 2 ? but the spec said, they are the same image senior of 12 MP FX, why need difference software to read RAW .........

Does anyone has same feeling when you switching D3/D700 in use ?

OR am I over sensertive ?

many thanks

Si Fi Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

According to the designer, Kazunari Orii, they are the same:

"Q: The CMOS sensor is the same as the D3, but how about the other kinds of sensors?

A: The AF and AE sensors are also the same as in the D3. We have not compromised on anything that the professionals who use the D3 like about it. "

I can't post the link as I'm new here.

PictureTakerPhotoMaker Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

Yes it is slower. There are a few discussions on this topic round here.

Nothing you can do about it besides upgrading (again). Happened to me as well, after a few days of shooting you are getting used to it, but never touch a D3 again anytime soon. I did, which was a mistake, since now I want to go back for faster AF...

Si Fi Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

PictureTakerPhotoMaker wrote:

Yes it is slower. There are a few discussions on this topic round here.

Nothing you can do about it besides upgrading (again). Happened to me as well, after a few days of shooting you are getting used to it, but never touch a D3 again anytime soon. I did, which was a mistake, since now I want to go back for faster AF...

So the man who designed it is wrong then?

bigconig Contributing Member • Posts: 640
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

link is here:

http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/scene/26/index.htm

Si Fi wrote:

According to the designer, Kazunari Orii, they are the same:

"Q: The CMOS sensor is the same as the D3, but how about the other kinds of sensors?

A: The AF and AE sensors are also the same as in the D3. We have not compromised on anything that the professionals who use the D3 like about it. "

I can't post the link as I'm new here.

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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,130
It is the batteries, and price issues...

James Kei wrote:

I am not alone,

No, you're not. Having the same AF sensor is only part of the solution. The AF sensor tells the camera if the lens is focused too near or too far, and how much to move the lens. The motor (camera motor or lens motor) then has to move the lens, and the motor runs on the camera's batteries. Increase the battery power, and the motors move faster.

I think MDH was the only one to get this right.

Orginally, when I purchased D3, there was nothing in Nikon world offer FF DSLR, expect (Kodak), so signed credit card for 24 months payment of D3.

After just less than a year D3 came out, D700 arrived. I am so unhappy, due to the price of D700 so much less than D3, offer so close quality......

The price evens out a lot if you get the battery grip, D3 battery, charger, and the stupid end-cap you need to put on the battery to use it on the D700 grip. That all eats up some $800 to bring the AF speed of the D700 up to D3 levels...

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Jonathan Reed Senior Member • Posts: 1,512
Re: AF speed D700 slower than D3? how come ?

Having owned both and now have just the D700, it's my only complaint. The D3 just locks on that much faster. It's really apparant with the 70-200 for me.

jkiefer Regular Member • Posts: 120
**POLL**: D700 firmware? Using battery grip?

Some say that a firmware upgrade helps. Looks like the most recent for the D700 is A1.01 / B1.01. Others say the battery grip helps.

For those saying their D3 focus is noticeably slower than their D700 focus:

What firmware is on your D700?
Are you using battery/grip?
With this configuration, how slow is your D700 AF compared to your D3?

I am almost ready to buy a D700, but if AF is that much slower, may go for the D3.

Thanks!!

OP James Kei Senior Member • Posts: 2,156
D3 does better than D700....

what you paid is what you get....

OP James Kei Senior Member • Posts: 2,156
Re: It is the batteries, and price issues...

now, I own both D3 & D700...

My plan is carrying D700 for it's lightweight advantage......no point adding MB-10 etc....

thanks

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

James Kei wrote:

I am not alone,

No, you're not. Having the same AF sensor is only part of the solution. The AF sensor tells the camera if the lens is focused too near or too far, and how much to move the lens. The motor (camera motor or lens motor) then has to move the lens, and the motor runs on the camera's batteries. Increase the battery power, and the motors move faster.

I think MDH was the only one to get this right.

Orginally, when I purchased D3, there was nothing in Nikon world offer FF DSLR, expect (Kodak), so signed credit card for 24 months payment of D3.

After just less than a year D3 came out, D700 arrived. I am so unhappy, due to the price of D700 so much less than D3, offer so close quality......

The price evens out a lot if you get the battery grip, D3 battery, charger, and the stupid end-cap you need to put on the battery to use it on the D700 grip. That all eats up some $800 to bring the AF speed of the D700 up to D3 levels...

Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,537
But what you got may be not be what you think you got.

Having TESTED the two side by side I see very little difference in AF performance. The D3 has better FPS with the built in grip. Somewhat better build (if you need a tank). AF is identical. Have you done the D700 upgrade??? Frankly, the D700 is a better choice for 90% of the pros out there - and the sales figures indicate this. Sorry you feel so disappointed. Most are elevated.
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mayonaka Senior Member • Posts: 1,338
This thread is garbage...

Seems we are trying to find weaknesses that truly aren't there between the D3 and D700. The D700 is NOT a D300 with a bigger sensor. It's a mini D3 with the same AF system. I've played with the D3 a lot and it's not faster than the D700, especially with EN-EL4a batteries installed or should I say battery? lol I'm not knocking the OP, but I just don't agree with the assessment. Maybe he/she is basing this upon the EN-EL3 battery only. Batteries, despite what you think, can have a significant differance in performance of your camera. Why do you think so many people choose Ni-Mh batteries for flashes over alkaline? My $.02
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