Nikon D700 Comparison Review
The Nikon D700 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in July 2008 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 12.1 megapixel.
Is the Nikon D700 a good camera? The D700 has a Camera Elo of 1683. This rating puts the D700 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the D700 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon D700 is more than 12 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2008.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses|
|12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 6 400 (100 - 25 600)|
|3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|8 shutter flaps per second|
|1000 shots per battery charge|
|147 x 123 x 77 mm, 1 074 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon D700 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D700 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D700||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|2.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|4.||Nikon Df||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|5.||Nikon D800||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||2,999|
|6.||Nikon D800E||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||3,299|
|7.||Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|8.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|9.||Nikon D3X||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1260 g||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999|
|10.||Nikon D3||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
|11.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D700 was launched in the US market at a price of $2,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon D700 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D700 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|1.||Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
|2.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|3.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|4.||Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|5.||Nikon D800||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.3||14.4||2853||95|
|6.||Nikon D800E||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.6||14.3||2979||96|
|7.||Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|9.||Nikon D3X||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||24.7||13.7||1992||88|
|10.||Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the D700 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D700 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.72x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D700 and comparable cameras.
One convenient feature of the D700 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 D700 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D700 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Nikon D700||..||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|2.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|4.||Nikon Df||4/5||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|5.||Nikon D800||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||2,999|
|6.||Nikon D800E||..||..||84/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||3,299|
|7.||Nikon D3S||5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|8.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|9.||Nikon D3X||..||..||86/100||4/5||5/5||Dec 2008||7,999|
|10.||Nikon D3||..||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|11.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon D700 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D700.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the D700 based on?
The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Nikon equipped the D700 with the EXPEED image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D700?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D700?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 150 000 actuations for the D700. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D700 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 150 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon D700?
Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D700 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Nikon D700 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Does the Nikon D700 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The D700's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Which battery does the D700 use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL3e (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the D700?
Yes, Nikon offers the MB-D10 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Nikon D700|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 2 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||860 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 256 x 2 832 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.43 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.40 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6 400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25 600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2303|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3e power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1000 shots per charge|
147 x 123 x 77 mm
(5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||1 074 g (37.9 oz)|
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