Handling agility fused with Nikon’s 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, assures professional image quality with low-noise, high-ISO performance.
The introduction of Nikon’s new D700 may have been one of the worst kept secrets in an industry with more leaks than the Titanic, but it was still something of a surprise coming so hot on the heels of the D3 and D300. Essentially a D3 shrunk down and squeezed into a body roughly the same size as a D300, the D700 is Nikon’s first ‘compact’ professional SLR, and in its segment of the market will compete with the recently announced Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Sony DSLR-A900.
The Nikon D700 is Nikon’s, and the world’s, best serious digital camera. The old professional D3 costs more and runs faster for sports, but the D700 is newer, smarter, smaller and lighter.
The D700 has image quality indistinguishable from the klunky old D3, both in terms of sharpness and at high ISOs. The D700 has the same superb 3″ LCD, but handles even better than the old D3 better due to a new INFO button and smarter firmware. I own a D3, and I prefer the D700 except that the D700 lacks the 5:4 crop mode I often use (most people don’t care).
The never ending game of engineering and marketing “chess” between the top digital single-lens-reflex manufacturers can now add a King, Queen and Crown Prince line-up from Nikon.
The king would be the Nikon D3, while the prince can be the D300. Comfortably nestled between the two is the queen – the newly announced D700. She gets that title because she’s capable of making practically all the moves of the rest of the line-up and she’s arguably the most versatile of the bunch.
The Nikon D700 digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera is a cross between the full-frame sensor (FX – 24×36mm) D3 and the small-frame sensor (DX – 16×24mm) D300. The D700 is the economy model of the D3, using the same sensor and digital electronic processing pipeline as its bigger brother, minus a few high-end features such as a built-in vertical grip and dual compact flash memory cards. The Nikon D700 is a professional camera with 12 MP.
On the 22nd August 2005 – nearly three whole years ago – Canon announced what was then a quite shocking camera, in much the same way that the D700 is today. It was the first ever “affordable” full-frame 35mm DSLR, and at the time Canon claimed that it “defines a new D-SLR category”. Bold words, and justifiably so – the EOS 5D was a revelation for many as it opened up the world of large sensors for non-professionals, although in the following years it’s found it’s way into many a professional’s arsenal.
So, fast forward to late 2007 – over two years after Canon’s 5D – and Nikon announce the D3, their first full-frame (”FX”) DSLR. We all know about that; it turned out to be a winner not only for it’s feature set and performance, but for it’s amazing sensor. Now, a further six months down the line, that same sensor is finally available in a 5D-sized body. So of course, we want to compare the two cameras.