Nikon D700: Quick First Impressions

This is NOT a "review" of the Nikon D700. It only just arrived this morning (thanks to my buddy Gabriel at B&H Photo) and I haven’t really had any time today to take it through its paces. So this is more of just a first look and some random thoughts. I guess the best way for me to describe the D700 is it’s the camera you would get if the insanely popular Nikon D3 and the Nikon D300 had a baby. This Full-Frame sensor body fits nicely right in-between those two great cameras.

I really wasn’t in the market for a new camera. Seriously, I wasn’t! However, I always wanted to have 2 camera bodies for shoots where I’m constantly switching lenses. Although I’d love to have bragging rights on a D3, I just couldn’t justify the $5K price for my "hobby." At some point I was probably going to get a second D300 and then the D700 came along and I said, "SOLD!" It’s like having the best features of the D3 in a D300 body. It has the great low level noise (which I haven’t tested yet) and Full Frame sensor of the D3 with ISO up to 6400, yet it has the sensor dust shaker, built-in Flash (Commander) and relatively small size of the D300. It’s also $2K less than the D3. This is my first Full-Frame DSLR and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve been investing in good glass lately, so this new body comes in just at the right time.

Nikon D700 RAW shooters will be happy with the soon to be released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 upgrade 🙂 (can’t say any more than that). So far I’ve tried it with my 18-200mm VR lens (DX cropped), and my Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 and my 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses and I’m very pleased! Most of the controls are the same as the D300. They made a couple of refinements to the things like the Compact Flash door. It just slides open without having to press a switch. Also the multi-selector wheel thingy has a better feel to it. I also noticed that the shutter has a more distinct (satisfying sound). Again, little things in the short few hours of initial play. It uses the same MB-D10 Battery Grip as the D300 and therefore will use the same L-Brackets (like my Kirk Photo one) for your tripod heads.

Nikon is definitely back in to the fight with a vengeance! More later, when I get a chance to do some real testing.


  • Coool! *dreams* We’re going to get it to the camera store here in mid August =P Me want, me no have money.

  • Congratulations on the new camera! Boy am I jealous. Can’t wait to here your thoughts after spending more time on it. I’ve really been curious to hear from D300 users about the benefits of moving up. I think it’s still a ways off before I take the plunge, but it’s definitely great to have the “step” in between the D3 and D300.

  • I can’t even begin to explain my envy. Congrats and enjoy, and do share the results!

  • Kaplan

    So Terry, what’s the point of these “First impressions”? To let us know you’ve got such a cool camera?… Oh, yeah, we all envy you so much. But now, please go ahead with some serious testing.

  • Terry White

    um, the point of “First Impressions” is to give just that, “first impressions.” They are quick observations until there is time to do more. Otherwise, it would be called “exhaustive review” 🙂