The New Smaller Full Frame Nikon D700

Nikon D700

On July 1st, Nikon announced the D700. As far as their lineup is concerned, the D700 falls in-between the D3 and the D300 in terms of features, however, at $2,999 it is a full $2,000 less then the D3 and about $1,200 more than the D300.

The D700 basically comes with the larger FX sensor found in the D3, but has the size that is similar to the D300. You also get improved low light performance over the D300.

One downside is the viewfinder only has 95% coverage whereas the D3 and D300 have 100% and for sports it is still not as fast as the 9FPS of the D3.

For some in-depth reviews follow these links:

D700 Review
DPPreview

Major Features (Per Nikon’s Press Release)

Large image sensor, developed by Nikon; 12.1 effective megapixels

The D700 employs an FX-format CMOS image sensor with an area of 36.0mm (h) x 23.9mm (v). It provides superior picture quality throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range, with advantages that include a large pixel size to ensure a higher signal-to-noise ratio and wide dynamic range, and improved circuit layout to efficiently increase the strength of the electrical signal from pixels. High-speed, 12-channel readout enables fast continuous shooting of high-resolution images at up to 8 frames per second (with Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/4 or eight AA-size batteries).

Wide sensitivity range

The D700 offers an extremely wide sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 6400. It delivers extraordinary image quality at low sensitivity settings, while also delivering outstandingly low-noise characteristics at ISO settings as high as 6400. Furthermore, sensitivity can be increased to HI 0.3, HI 0.5, HI 0.7, HI 1 (ISO 12,800 equivalent), HI 2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent), or decreased to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent), Lo 0.7, Lo 0.5 and Lo 0.3, to expand shooting versatility.

High-speed performance

Features a startup time of approximately 0.12 second, and a shutter release time lag of only 40 ms* – both equivalent to the flagship Nikon D3. The continuous shooting speed is up to 5 frames per second with the included Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, and up to 8 fps when using the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/4 or eight AA-size batteries. The Nikon D700 is also compliant with the next-generation high-speed UDMA CompactFlash cards, that will enable 35-Mbyte recording speed.

* Based on the new CIPA guideline established in August 2007.

EXPEED image processing

Nikon’s state-of-the-art EXPEED digital image-processing incorporates remarkable intelligence and technologies accumulated and optimized throughout our long history. It makes possible a diverse range of functions that ensure superior picture quality and high-speed image processing.

Scene Recognition System

Improvements to the exclusive 1,005-pixel RGB light sensor have allowed information from the sensor to be utilized for auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus. 3D-Tracking in AF, for example, achieved by using the Scene Recognition System, tracks subject position and automatically shifts the AF points used to match the subject’s movement within the frame. This system also contributes to higher accuracy of auto exposure and auto white balance detection.

Picture Control System

Nikon’s Control System enables users, from novices to professionals, to create the pictures they envision by making specific selections and adjustments to image sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, tone and saturation. Even with different cameras, when the settings are the same, you get the same picture tone. Picture Control System offers four fundamental setting options – Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome – for easy customization of image parameters.

Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting lets photographers choose from various intensities – Auto, High, Normal, Low or OFF (Unchanged) – prior to shooting. Instead of employing the conventional compensation method of simply expanding dynamic range, localized tone control technology is utilized to ensure proper contrast and eliminate flat images with lost highlights and shadows.

AF system with high-density 51-point AF

The D700 incorporates a Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module featuring 51 AF points. Fifteen cross-type sensors located in the center enable subject detection with lens apertures as small as f/5.6. The functioning of the AF points is linked to the Scene Recognition System, to deliver superior subject detection and focus tracking performance. A single AF point can be selected from the 51 or 11 focus points. In Dynamic-area AF mode, you can select from either 9, 21 or 51 AF areas. The 51-point option offers 3D-Tracking mode, which automatically shifts the focus point to match the subject’s movements. Auto-area AF mode gives greater priority to the subject’s position when selecting AF points.

Choose from two Live View modes

Live View allows shooting while confirming the subject on the 3-inch, 920,000-dot color LCD monitor. In Handheld mode, which lets you recompose the frame prior to actual shooting, ordinary TTL phase-detection AF is activated, using all 51 AF points including 15 cross-type points. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects and tripod stabilization. It enables focal-plane contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a specific area. Remote view, focusing and shooting can also be controlled from a PC (via connection or wireless) using optional Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software.

DX cropping mode

The Nikon D700 lets you select from either FX format (36 x 24) or DX format (24 x 16). At the default setting of [Auto DX crop], the camera will automatically select DX format when a DX NIKKOR lens is attached.

High-definition, 3-inch VGA, TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle

The ultrahigh-definition [920,000-dot VGA (640 x 480)], 3-inch LCD monitor with tempered glass provides a 170° viewing angle. The large monitor is remarkably effective when confirming the focus with enlarged playback images. The wide viewing angle enables easy recomposing of the frame in Hand-held mode with Live View.

Viewfinder provides 95% frame coverage, 0.72x magnification in FX format

The viewfinder features an eye-level pentaprism with high refraction index and provides 95% frame coverage with 0.72x magnification. Fifty-one AF points and a framing grid are superimposed on the finder screen. The eyepoint is 18 mm (at -0.1 m-1), and the diopter can be adjusted within a range of -3 to +1 m-1.

Image Sensor Cleaning

Vibrations at four different resonant frequencies remove dust from the optical low-pass filter in front of the image sensor. This function is automatically activated each time the camera is turned on and off, and can also be activated on demand by the photographer.

Built-in flash with wireless commander function

With a guide number of approximately 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20°C/68°F) and 24mm lens coverage, the high-performance built-in flash enables i-TTL flash control that evaluates flash exposure with greater precision for exceptional results. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the built-in flash controls up to two groups of remote units as a master/commander in Advanced Wireless Lighting.

Engineered durability

A magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, rear body and mirror box to reduce weight and provide rugged durability. O-ring sealing where connections are made gives you valuable protection against dust and moisture. The shutter unit developed and manufactured by Nikon employs shutter blades made of a new material (a hybrid of carbon fiber and Kevlar). Tested on fully assembled cameras, the D700’s shutter unit has been proven through 150,000 cycles under demanding conditions. The self-diagnostic shutter constantly monitors and maintains shutter precision.

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (option)

The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, which uses one Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/4/3e or eight AA-size batteries, is equipped with a shutter-release button, AF-ON button, multi selector, and main- and sub-command dials. When attached, it enables high-speed continuous shooting of 12.1-megapixel images at a rate of up to 8 fps*. * When using EN-EL4a/4 or eight AA-size batteries.

Exclusive Wireless Transmitter WT-4/4A (option)

The WT-4/4A supports both wired LAN (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX) and wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g, 11a), and incorporates a thumbnail mode. A PC allows wireless connection of up to five cameras, for display of thumbnail images and downloading of selected images. Using Camera Control Pro 2 (option) and the Live View function, wireless remote view/control shooting is also possible.

Fine tuning for AF

The focal point in AF for the current CPU lenses can be fine-tuned and registered. A certain level of adjustment set for up to 12 lens types is applied when a lens of the same type is attached. When using a lens that has not been registered, the same level of adjustment can be applied.

Improved Function button feature

In addition to the exclusive Function button, this feature can be assigned to the Preview button and the AE/AF Lock button, for optimum flexibility. Furthermore, NEF copy recording together with JPEG image can be assigned to the Function button.

HDMI output (High-Definition TV) supported

The D700 complies with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) Ver. 1.3a for the transfer of global-standard video and audio signals. A Type C mini connector is provided.

Info display

Various shooting information is displayed on the LCD monitor, including shutter speed and aperture. Character color can be adjusted to match lighting conditions – black for light locations, white for dark locations. Auto switch mode can also be set.

My Menu

A variety of setting options can be customized under My Menu, then added to, deleted and reordered.

Electronic Virtual Horizon

Using a sensor incorporated in the body, the inclination of the camera is detected and displayed in the LCD monitor.

ViewNX/Nikon Transfer image-management software included in Software Suite CD-ROM

The ViewNX viewer application offers quick display of images; Nikon Transfer enables simple transfer of taken images to a computer.

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