The Nikon D700 uses a design very similar to the Nikon D300s, with a professional grade build quality and button lay-out. Nikon still uses the same basic design for the D810 and the new D500 APS-C camera also has a design that is very much like the good old D700. The button layout is very similar to that of the real professional body’s like the D3, 4 and 5 making using them side by side easier. That sturdy build does make the D700 quite chunky. The body weighs just a little less than one kilogram (2 pounds), but it does give you the feeling you’ve got a real high-end camera in your hands.
The pro-style body layout means there are some details that are different from the consumer cameras. For instance there isn’t a PASM switch like you’ll find on a D7200 and other DSRL’s. Instead Nikon has mounted a combined drive-mode (single, continuous low speed, continuous high speed, live view, timer and mirror-up) and settings (ISO, Quality and White Balance) buttons on the left shoulder of the camera. You switch between the PASM modes with a different button on the right side of the camera. Another feature you’ll only find on the pro-style body’s is a dedicated AF-on button. You can use that for back button focus, a feature action photographers use a lot. The D700 has some other handy buttons and switches that make adjusting settings quicker and easier without diving in to the menu’s. It has a switch to change the focus field from one focus point, to a group of focus points or using all the focus points. It also has a switch for adjusting the metering-mode. All those buttons may look a little intimidating for a beginner but if you have a little experience with Nikon cameras you’ll quickly feel right at home.
The Nikon D700 has got the round eyepiece just like you find on the other high-end full frame cameras by Nikon. It has got a big and bright viewfinder, that gives you a much better view of your subject than the smaller viewfinders of a APS-C DSLR. That also comes in handy for manual focussing, but that is even better when you use the live view mode. The finder has a 0.72x magnification and a 95% coverage. That means you’ll get a little more in your photo than you see in your viewfinder. The finder has got a small switch to close the finder for shooting long exposure shots and making sure you don’t get any stray light in your photo trough the eyepiece. The D700 also had a built in flash. Something most semi-professional cameras don’t have. I almost never use the built-in flash, but it does come in handy as a controller for external speedlights or when you need some extra light and don’t have a speedlight at hand.
One of the greatest features Nikon has reserved for the professional body’s is the option to set the middle button of the 8-way controller to zoom to 100% when reviewing you images. This makes checking the focus very easy and quick. The only thing you have to remember is that it will zoom past the 100% zoom, which makes the image a little fuzzy. The first time using it I expected it to zoom to 100%, so I thought my images weren’t perfectly focused even while they were. After you’ve realized that you’ll find that this is a great function, that saves you a lot of time bashing the + button. I can’t understand why Nikon doesn’t add this function to other body’s, as it is a great function.
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My name is Rick Roeven, I live the Netherlands. I’m an amateur photographer, tech and gadget lover and I've started this blog to share my passion with others. If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply or send me an email at rick (at) ricksreviews.org