D700 at a Glance

I realize the D700 is not even considered “new” any more according to Nikon, but I rented one last weekend, and I want to blog my thoughts about it before they fade into a distant memory. So, this is my super quick, not entirely objective, bullet point review of Nikon’s second full frame camera.  For best results, gradually mix this review with this one about the D300.

  • The D700 feels exactly like the D300, but just a little bit sweeter. I’ve grown used to the feel and features of my D300 over the last 6 months, so it was nice to pick up the D700 for the first time and already know where all the buttons were. There are a handful of changes to the camera body itself –they’re subtle, but different.
  • The most notable change in the body is the large, round viewfinder. I can’t tell if it’s because of the full frame sensor or if it’s just my imagination, but I feel like it is much easier to see the entire frame when looking through the viewfinder. It’s not something that you consciously think about, but it goes a long way toward giving you that extra control over the image. Due to the increased size of the viewfinder the body is actually a smidge taller than the D300, however I did not have any trouble fitting it in the same, snug camera holster as my 300.
  • The memory card door is different, and I personally don’t prefer it. You slide the door out and then it swings open. I prefer the latch on the D300 myself. Although, it’s not much of a loss because the latch is replaced by a dedicated “info” button on the D700. Personal preference really, but to me the door doesn’t feel as sturdy as the rest of the camera.
  • This next point can most likely be chalked up to the fact that it was a rental, but the DoF Preview button stuck when it was pressed. I had to use an X-acto knife to dislodge it because the whole system froze while the button remained pressed. I don’t know if this is a common problem, or just poor use by another rental customer but it was cause for alarm when the camera seemed to stop working.

All in all, I love the feel of it a lot more than I thought I would. The differences are very subtle, but they all seem as though they were well thought out. I’m not entirely convinced it’s worth the price difference, but if you plan on getting some true wide angle shots you’ll be glad to have it.  As I said in my previous post the D700 and the D300 make a perfect match.

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