Nikon D700 review: a 2016 perspective

The Nikon D700 is still seen as one of the best and most iconic cameras Nikon has introduced in the last decennia. It was introduced in 2008 as the smaller and more affordable alternative for the professional Nikon D3. It shares a lot of internals with the D3, like the sensor and the autofocus system. The D700 offers a 12 megapixel resolution and an, for that time, incredible ISO range going from ISO200 to ISO6400 native. That was why a lot of professional and semi-professional photographers chose to buy a D700 instead of the much more expensive D3. That was probably why Nikon was a little reluctant to introduce a ‘real’ new Nikon D700. The D800 is a different camera aimed at a different audience and the D750 looks like a reasonable upgrade for the D700-users but can’t quite match the D700’s rugged body. The only newer Nikon that comes close is the quirky Nikon Df, with its high-end Nikon D4 sensor but it also lacks the rugged pro-style body the D700 has.

If you are interested in that other high-end Nikon camera the Nikon D800 you can read my 2017 perspective on the Nikon D800 here.

Nikon D700 review 2016

Full frame still seems to be the holy grail of photography for a lot of prosumer APS-C camera-users. If you are a Nikon shooter you can always buy a new full frame camera like the capable and affordable Nikon D610. But while it is quite affordable for a full frame camera it will still set you back about 1500 euros. An then you have a camera with a body built to the standards of the Nikon D7200 and a simpler autofocus system with just 39 AF-points. If you want a professional grade body the cheapest new option is the excellent Nikon D810, but that is even more expensive at about 3200 euros. The only cheaper option is moving to Sony (like I did), and buy a Sony A7 for about 1100 euros.

The downside is that the A7 is a mirrorless camera which feels and operates quite different than a DSRL. It’s a matter of taste if that suits you. The other problem is that native, autofocus lenses for the full frame Sony’s are quite expensive, which makes switching to Sony an expensive venture. Switching to full frame is always an expensive move, especially if you don’t have a full collection of full frame lenses and have to invest in both a new body and new lenses. But that silly old and iconic Nikon D700 is still around and you can buy a nice second hand one for about 600-800 euros. But at 8 years old that couldn’t be a viable option in 2016, could it? Let’s find out.

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