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by Teru Rinshou (Intermediate)
|Price Paid: 2270.00 from Hong Kong
Review Date: March 22, 2009
Used product for: Less than 1 month
Overall Rating: 4 of 5
The first thing I noticed about the D700 was its bulk. Even though its dimensions aren’t that much bigger than my previous 2 D-SLRs (D70 and D80), the D700 feels a lot heftier and solidly built. The button layout is more complex than the lower grade cameras so this isn’t a camera that I’d recommend to a beginner unless they’re ready to spend some serious time going through the 1-inch thick user manual. Fortunately, coming from the D80, the menu systems and button symbols are easily recognizable. And the fact that all the major functions have their own buttons is a definitely plus compared to the sharing of buttons of my previous cameras.
This may not be a popular opinion, but I love the inclusion of the built-in flash. I own a hotshoe flash that I use for serious shoots, but in a pinch, it’s always nice to have a built-in flash for fill flash or wireless commander for all those times that you want to travel light.
Simply stunning. The details and noise at ISO 12800 looks similar to ISO 1600 on my D80 (I’ve uploaded some comparison shots to my album: www.fotop.net/teruphoto/D700). It’s an absolute pleasure to have a camera that gives me the freedom to work with existing light without having to compromise image quality.
Having shot on DX format for some time now, I’d forgotten what DOF (depth of field) looks like in Full Frame. The background of my f/1.8 photos are beautifully creamy. I find myself playing with DOF more and more ever since getting this camera.
In terms of the 12MP “limitation” that some people complain about, I consider it a con only if you need the extra pixels. I’ve seen poster sized prints made from the D700 that were more than detailed enough for my tastes. But if you constantly need to make huge prints with fine detail, than 12MP might be a limitation (and you probably should be looking into medium format cameras). IMHO, I’d rather take the 12MP with amazing ISO performance.
I’ll have to experiment a little more (I’ve yet to try sports/bird photography), but from what I’ve experienced so far, the focus is fast and accurate. To be fair, I’m comparing this to the performance of my D80, so it’s not exactly an even playing field. I used to prefer using single point focus, but the accuracy of the D700′s focusing makes me want to use the Dynamic area mode more often.
Fantastic ISO performance
Accurate focus tracking and speed
Not really weaknesses, but just a small wish list of features that would suit my needs a little more:
1) A smaller/lighter body. I realize that the D700′s bulk is the price to pay for the larger sensor and more resilient body, but I like to travel light and the D700 is noticeably more massive than my previous cameras.
2) Inexpensive wireless remote. I love the tiny ML-L3 wireless remote that I used on my D70 and D80. The wireless solutions that I’ve seen for the D700 are expensive and bulky and often require the use of the hotshoe.
3) SD cards. I realize that CF cards have better performance, but SD cards are fast catching up, and I’ve always preferred the smaller, pinless format of SD. I guess I’ve experienced too many bent pins.
Not needed so far.
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