Ur-Leica Tamron Camera Comparison
Leica 1600mm Soligor Exif data
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Nikon D2Xs vs D700

The Nikon D2Xs and the Nikon D700 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2006 and July 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D2Xs) and a full frame (D700) sensor. The D2Xs has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the D700 provides 12.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D2Xs versus Nikon D700
Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-800 (800 - 3,200) ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
3800 shots per battery charge1000 shots per battery charge
158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g 147 x 123 x 77 mm, 1074 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D2Xs and the Nikon D700? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D2Xs and the Nikon D700 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D2Xs vs Nikon D700
Compare D2Xs versus D700 top
Comparison D2Xs or D700 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D700 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Nikon D2Xs. Moreover, the D700 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the D2Xs. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the D700) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D2Xs). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D2Xs gets 3800 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the D700 can take 1000 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2Xs has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D700, Nikon provides the MB-D10 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
2.
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 1D Mark III 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1155 g 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499i
4.
 
Nikon D810 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 980 g 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
5.
 
Nikon Df 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
6.
 
Nikon D800 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999i
7.
 
Nikon D3S 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199i
8.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
9.
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
10.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
11.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
12.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
13.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
14.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499i
16.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D700 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the D2Xs, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

ad

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D2Xs features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D700 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D700 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D2Xs and Nikon D700 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon D2Xs offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 12.1 MP of the Nikon D700. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 8.43μm for the D700). Moreover, it should be noted that the D700 is much more recent (by 2 years and 1 month) than the D2Xs, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Nikon D2Xs has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 800-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D700 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

D2Xs versus D700 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D700 offers substantially better image quality than the D2Xs (overall score 21 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
2.
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
3.
 
Canon 1D Mark III APS-H 10.1 3888 2592none22.711.7107871
4.
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
5.
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
6.
 
Nikon D800 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
7.
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
8.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
9.
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081
10.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
11.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
12.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
13.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
14.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
15.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
16.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
The D700 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D2Xs lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
ad

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D2Xs and the D700 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D2Xs offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D700 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D700 has a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D2Xs and Nikon D700 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
2.
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
4.
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
6.
 
Nikon D800optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
8.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
10.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D700 has one, while the D2Xs does not. While the built-in flash of the D700 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Nikon D700 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D2Xs and the D700 write their files to Compact Flash cards.

ad

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D2Xs and Nikon D700 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIY-----2.0---
4.
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
5.
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
7.
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---
16.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the D2Xs and the D700 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2Xs was replaced by the Nikon D3X, while the D700 was followed by the Nikon D800. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

ad

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D2Xs better than the Nikon D700 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D2Xs:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3800 versus 1000) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2006).


Advantages of the Nikon D700:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (21 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.57x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (147x123mm vs 158x150mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 178g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D2Xs launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D700 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D2Xs 04:14 D700

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D2Xs and the Nikon D700 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D2Xs or the D700. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D2Xs.......... Jun 2006 4,699i
2.
 
Nikon D700..89/100+ +4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 1D Mark III.......... Feb 2007 4,499i
4.
 
Nikon D8105/5..86/1005/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
5.
 
Nikon Df4/5..81/1004/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
6.
 
Nikon D8005/5+ +82/1005/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999i
7.
 
Nikon D3S5/5..89/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199i
8.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
9.
 
Nikon D3....+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
10.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
11.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
12.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
13.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
14.
 
Nikon D2X....+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D1H....+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499i
16.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D2Xs:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D700:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Nikon D2Xs vs Nikon D700

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2006 July 2008
    Launch Price USD 4,699 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.7 mm 36.0 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 372.09 mm2 860.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 4256 x 2832 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.52 μm 8.43 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 1.40 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 800 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 59 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.2 23.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.9 12.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 489 2303
    Screen Specs Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.72x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D2Xs Nikon D700
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL4a EN-EL3e
    Battery Life (CIPA)3800 shots per charge1000 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    147 x 123 x 77 mm
    (5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 1252 g (44.2 oz) 1074 g (37.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Nikon D2Xs vs Nikon D700

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.