The Legendary Nikon D700

Shokit_Nikon_D700_Review

The Nikon D700 has been somewhat forgotten about in recent years. New cameras keep appearing, pushing this legendary camera further and further back in the minds of Nikon users.

In today’s consumerist society, it seems that owning the latest gadget is a necessity. For some products, an annual release with accompanying fanfare means an essential upgrade for many consumers, whether they actually need the new features or not.

The iPhone is a great example of this, where biannual upgrades announced to the world by Apple’s powerful and sexy marketing machine elicit Apple fans to scrabble blindly to get their hands on the latest product. Whether they need it or not is irrelevant, Apple creates the desire to own the very latest gadget, and with each new release, the previous iPhone is immediately devalued.

Then of course there’s the software upgrades that seem designed to cripple older hardware, forcing the consumer to upgrade.

Thankfully, professional DSLRs are only upgraded every few years. This gives the consumer the time to actually use the camera to its full potential, so that by the time the manufacturer actually releases a new model, an upgrade can be somewhat justifiable. In addition, the upgrades usually comprise a significant leap in technology to warrant their new, elevated price.

One of Nikon’s Best Cameras Ever – The Nikon D700

The 12.1 megapixel full frame Nikon D700 was released in July 2008. That’s over 5 years ago – a very long time in the world of technology. When it was released, it was hailed as the first ‘compact’ full frame camera, essentially a Nikon D3, (Nikon’s top of the line DSLR at the time), shrunk down and squeezed into a body the size of the entry level Nikon D300.

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The D700 is smaller and lighter than the Nikon D3 which is over twice its price, but still affords the same incredible image quality.

I won’t go into detail about the Nikon D700’s specifications nor functions, since there is a lot of information on the web about it already. Camera review site dpreview.com awarded the camera a Highly Recommended 95%, and if it wasn’t for the release of the Canon 5d Mark II around the same time, with its industry changing video capabilities at a similar price, surely more professional photographers would still be using a Nikon D700 today.

So if this camera is over 5 years old, why the hell am I reviewing it?! Since the release of the Nikon D700, in the Nikon full frame line up there’s been the Nikon D600, the Nikon D800, the Nikon D4, the Nikon D610 and the Nikon DF, all of which are ‘better’ than the Nikon D700.

I say ‘better’ since this term is completely subjective, hence my reason for this review. Sure, on paper, all the aforementioned cameras offer superior features to the Nikon D700, and no doubt even superior image quality. After all, 4 years between product releases is a long time, so one would expect some seriously advancements in this arena.

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I have owned a Nikon D700 for 3 years. I decided to embrace the Nikon system over Canon merely due to camera aesthetics, in that the equivalent Canon at the time (the Canon 5d Mark II) didn’t fit my hand well and I didn’t like the button placement. Since then I have shot thousands of photos professionally so I think I have a good idea of the Nikon D700’s strengths and weaknesses.

Recently I went to a Nikon event in the Hunter Valley. It was a camera enthusiast’s wet dream, with the entire new Nikon lineup available to sample. I’d read all the reviews of the new lineup and was eager to put them to the test, so grabbed a Nikon D600 and a Nikon D800, along with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and some other of the best Nikon lenses for portraits.

After getting used to the button layout, I have to say that aesthetically, the hardware on both the cameras is quite similar to my Nikon D700, which is a pleasure to hold and built like a tank. The Nikon D600 is of course lighter, but it has less features than the Nikon D700 so this is inevitable. If the Nikon D600 had better (wider) AF Point placement, I think it’d be an ideal upgrade to the Nikon D700.

Shokit_Nikon_D700_Review

The images when viewed on my computer showed where the main advancements in technology had come. Straight out of camera, the RAW files on both cameras were more contrasty and vivid than my D700’s, closer in fact to how a jpeg would look. The Nikon D800 with its 36.3 megapixels and incredible dynamic range brings medium format quality to a DSLR body, and zooming in on files to inspect details is mind blowing.

When I shoot weddings I hire a Nikon D4. I figure, I want to provide my clients with photos from the best DSLR camera available, and in the Nikon lineup this is the Nikon D4. When Nikon releases the D5, I will hire this, and so on. It is more a psychological thing than anything else to tell the truth – I know I’m using the best which gives me the confidence that every image will look as good as it can do, and anyone at the wedding who knows about cameras will ‘respect’ me more – sad but true. It seems these days everyone owns a DSLR, so as the paid photographer, you better make sure yours is bigger than Uncle Bob’s! ;-)

Having said this, I could justifiably shoot with two Nikon D700 bodies, which I have done in the past. The Nikon D4 is far superior in low light, and its RAW files more vivid and clear, but here’s where the justification of upgrading from my excellent Nikon D700 becomes a little weak.

Shokit_Nikon_D700_Review

You see, pixel peeking and taking photos of brick walls aside, the majority of professional photographers at least in the wedding industry, post process their images. This typically involves a Lightroom preset, or a Photoshop curve or two, taking the RAW file from good to amazing. Indeed, post processing is unfortunately one of the main tools in today’s photographer’s arsenal to elevate his status above his peers.

Therefore, the fact that the RAW files from the new Nikons are so much better than those from my Nikon D700 is largely irrelevant to me. After applying my adjustments in post, only an expert at Nikon could tell the files apart, and even he would have a hard time without peeking at the EXIF data. In addition, I’ll never need the memory card munching 80mb RAW files from the D800, a camera which is (for the time being at least), reserved solely for studio work and landscape photography.

I even know Nikon D700 users (professionals) who preordered a Nikon D800 thinking it was next inevitable step for them, used it for a few months then sold it to return to their D700! The unfortunate ones had already sold their D700, which meant desperately trying to find a used one on ebay – it’s actually quite hard to do, and probably a good indication of the popularity of this camera even today.

Canon is another story completely. From the Canon 5d Mark II to the Canon 5d Mark III, you may as get the wallet out straight away since the Mark III is far superior to its predecessor and for the professional photographer, the upgrade is a no-brainer.

However, I’m sticking with my Nikon D700 for now. Sure, every time I read a review of one of the new Nikons I do get the inevitable pangs of desire (since we all as photographers relish new gear!), but then I realise I simply do not need a new camera yet. The advances in technology simply haven’t been great enough yet.

The Nikon D700 was excellent when it was released 5 years ago, and it is still excellent today.

 My advice would be to ignore all the marketing hyperbole and suppress your desires to upgrade to the latest and greatest thing, and carry on shooting with your Nikon D700 as it is still one of the best pro dslrs in the world. If you’re lucky, you’ll still be able to buy one for an absolutely bargain price by clicking here.

9 Handling & Ergonomics

8 Speed

8 Features

9 Image Quality

9 High ISO Performance

8 Value

Highly Recommended

8.5
  • I have an almost 3 year old D700, I purchased new and have to say that your review and logic hold so true, I’m waiting to see if the D800S will be announced this September before I even think of an upgrade next spring. The last couple of years have seen me purchasing ƒ2.8, 24-70 & 70-200 along with the truly fantastic ƒ4, 16-35. This spring rather than a new body, I’ll have a new ƒ1.4, 85 and maybe the 24. After all, lenses will be in your bag for many years while bodies come and go as technology changes.

    • I just love the D700. I was going to upgrade my D7000 with a used D7100 but I saw an Angry Photographer video in which he made such a good case for the D700 that I spent and extra £120 and never looked back. If you have £500-600 to spend and want a full frame then this is an absolute steal. I also got a Fuji X-T1 – thinking it would replace the big, heavy Nikon with a smaller, lighter, and easier to use package. The X-T1 is all those things, but for me the image output just can’t match the D700.
      If you have a ton of money then by all means go for a D800/810 (I believe the D600/D750 have design flaws and reliability problems.) What’s not in doubt is that the D700 is as tough as old boots and a real beauty.

  • I live in Asia and do most of my photography on the streets. I use an X Pro 1, its light and unobtrusive, but I really do need another camera for the odd occasion, and my old d200 just doesn’t hack it any more, and is also just a wee bit embarrassing. Really dont need the latest Nikon beasts, so found this piece on the 700 very interesting.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Michael. The D700 is still an excellent camera, despite the fact there are many newer ones available.

    • You can pick up a second hand D700 off Amazon for an absolutely bargain price now, so I’d recommend snapping one up before there are none left. IMO the D700 at around $700 is 10x better than any mirrorless at the same price!

  • Hello Mark!
    I wonder if a D700 would be an improvement over D7000? I have a D7000, but I still can’t afford the newest technology. I usually shoot concerts in low-light venues and I want to do it professionally, so I need a better camera…

    • Hi Mihaela! Without a doubt, yes it would. The D7000 is a fantastic camera, but moving up to the D700 (or any other full frame camera) will definitely help out in low light performance. The D700 handles high ISOs well. The newer breed of camera handle it even better (particular how colours are rendered at high ISOs), but if you are on a budget, you won’t be disappointed with the D700. Pair it up with a fast prime lens (the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is cheap and excellent for example), and you’ll be a low light ninja ;-) Good luck!

  • I shoot with the “other” brand, but I have several AIS lenses that I regularly use with an adapter. I’m considering the purchase of a Nikon body to use with the AIS lenses. I really like the images I’ve seen from the old D700. Would the D700 be a good candidate for the older lenses? Are there any other Nikon bodies that particularly match well with the old glass? thanks.

    • Yes Carl, it’d be a good match with the older lenses since the D700 has a built in motor to power the lenses with no inbuilt motor (such as the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D – an excellent and cheap lens.)

  • Thanx for interesting remarks. Just found a D700 with only 11000 shots on it. Have a D7000… so looking forward on trying this beast out

  • Nice review, and putting it all into perspective. I’m still using a D700 and once in a while I’m trying out a new camera, not because my D700 holds me back but because of a sudden case of upgradeitus. And every time it ends the same: an ergonomically step back (my hands are really huge, the D700 is actually a tad too small, a D610, D750, Df and even a D800 with their smaller grips are really uncomfortable to hold) and in practice – after post processing – the increase in image quality is almost not there.
    I regularly go on a trip with a good friend and afterwards we exchange all RAW files, this also gives us an off-site back up. He’s using a relatively new Canon 6D but the only difference I see is image size. Noise, colors (after a slight pull on the WB slider) and dynamic range are the same. However, what I do see is the difference caused by the lenses used. So instead of upgrading my camera I’ve been upgrading my lenses.
    I’m wondering how long it will take before I eventually succumb to NAS ☺

  • Hi.

    Thanks for the clear up of the D700!

    This is exactly why I still shoot with my D700 and not upgraded yet…..I was thinking of the Sony A7 series using it with my Nikon glass, but I will have only manual focus at all… Therefor I will stays with my D700 and still using only the 50mmF/1.8 G, 24-70 mm F/2.8 AFS G Nikkor and the then my trusty 105mm F/2.8 AFS G Macro VR lens.

    I don’t know why people say I have to upgrade to the D750 as I tis not so good to what I can do in sports or event for my style…

    I using the D7000 for now four or five years and cannot fault it for what I’m doing….I know my settings and experimenting a lot before taking the shoot on for a client….

    It only have no about 30k shots on the clock and still have plenty of life before to replace a shutter…To replace a shutter here in the UK is about £560 all inclusive, therefor I can buy another D700 by the time with a low shutter count as the newer models will come out……

    I do what I love in photography and will not easily get rid of my D700….

    Thanks again for the great article…..

  • This was a great review for me. I’ve been looking to move up to something more than my Nikon D5100. I recently tried the D610 for about a week, and though I loved it, I found that the price was a bit steep for my budget. I had it on credit and wasn’t looking forward to paying off the $1,800 CAD, so I returned it and decided I would start saving instead. Looking at classifieds and other sources, the D700 is a steal and is still plenty excellent for a 7 year old camera. Your review has reaffirmed that and I will most likely be looking to upgrade to that.

    • Oh that’s good I’m glad to hear that you’re considering the D700 – it still is the Nikon with the best ergonomics in my opinion. Hope you get it for a bargain price!

  • A lot of pros with affection for the D700. I got one second hand earlier this year to complement my D7100 and I love it. Fantastic for event photography and indoor sports with the grip, easy to carry anywhere with a light prime. Given that 4K is 8 megapixel and people are raving about that on 60 inch screens, the D700 still holds its own and in my opinion is one of the most innovative and useful cameras of all time. I will eventually move into the D8** series but I’m in no hurry, and the D700 will still go everywhere with me. Incredible value second hand, and 12 megapixels is enough for 95% of my shooting, which is 90% amateur and 10% paid.

  • I currently use a D7000 and D300s. Admittedly the sensor on the D7000 is better but the D300s handles so much more better, the build, feel, the speed.

    I want to upgrade to full-frame but the D8*** is out of my price bracket plus the files are way too big.

    The D700 looks perfect for me as I’m particularly drawn to its low-light capabilities. Was thinking of part trading my D7000 to fund the purchase.

  • Wonderful review Mark, and thank you for praising this amazing camera for what it really is, a superb picture taking tool in every respect, even now this late in 2015!

    I have a D700, D800, D300 and my beloved D90, but the D700 is my ‘go to’ camera for so many reasons. The feel, the weight, the performance, the amazing rich details that can be achieved with the right lens, the incredible low light performance, and on and on!

    The D800 has it’s place in the studio, and sometimes for use outdoors, but I just find that the camera is too unforgiving, has major WB issues, especially under strobes, and the actual body design and feel is way less comfortable then the 700.

    For me, it’s the D700 everytime, and I will continue with this until Nikon come up with a viable pro spec body that sits somewhere in between the 700 and 800. The D750 is not that camera!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Arun. Yes, it’s easy for people to move on and forget just how good a camera the D700 is, just because new models keep on getting released. I’m happy you still appear to have a lot of respect for yours :-)

  • I had a d700 and sold it. I also own a nikon d3s. I will continue to use these until nikon gets their act together. About a year ago I bought a like new d700 for 1400.00. Anything in full frame past the nikon d3s has issues with color. Im talking about shooting on the yellow side and to much green. The thing I like about the d700, d3 and d3s are jpeg with no color rendering to do. Great straight out of the camera. Why do you think so many photographers in the wedding industry are using canon. Nikon please deliver us long time users with a larger megapixel camera with the color of the d700. When you do thats when I will buy or upgrade until then forget it. I also bought the D4 and sold it. I didn’t like the color. I know a nikon rep who cleans my sensors and he secretly shoot with canon because of the issue. Nikon help us fix your sensor. To users of nikon you shouldn’t have to color render your images if they are properly exposed and the white balace is correct. I am a shooting pro and know what I am doing for over 35 years. I discovered this review because I was curious how many people may still shoot with the d700.

    • Thanks for the comment Tony. I agree with you about the colours straight out of the D700, and also about the greenish tint to some photos from my D750 and other newer Nikon full frames I’ve shot with. I apply a batch processing preset upon import of my images to Lightroom to combat any colour shift, but it would be nice if Nikon addressed this in future releases.

    • I agree that the newer Nikon FF cameras tend to render images more on the yellow and green side for jpegs. I own a D800 and D610 to back this up (D7100 at one point). I replaced my old D700 with my D610 as a backup coz its lighter and the colors are somewhat similar to the D800. But man I miss the D700 especially the rendering of skin tones SOOC. I bought a usedone and its on its way. Can’t get more excited about it.

  • hey there, nice review! I’m getting this camera soon, and I’m really excited and have been hearing a lot of great things. This wil be my first FF camera. I’m really looking forward to comparing it to my D5000 I’ve been using.

  • Hi Mark,
    I got this marvelous camera 2 years ago with 1400 exposures for 820 USD, including a Nikon batt.grip. It is a great camera, and after many years with a Nikon D200, this was a great improvement in image quality. It is a little heavy to carry around with the large lenses attached, but that is why you buy a backpack or a bag. I sometimes think, that I should uppgrade, but when I see my photos and compare them with other amateurs (like me) with photos taken with their D800-D810, I cannot motivate that kind of money. I love this model, and what I can do with it. Together with my old manual lenses (50 mm f.2, 24 mm f2.8 Ai and the classic 105 mm f 2.5 Ai-S) it is so fun. Everybody can do whatever they want with their money, but I have not yet reached the end of the road with this great camera.
    Thank you for your review, Mark.

    • Hi Thomas, it’s very refreshing to hear that about the D700, and for any older model dSLR for that matter. You’re right – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I imagine it’s a lot of fun with your old manual lenses. Keep up the good work! Cheers

  • I traded in my new D750 to enable me to have two D700 bodies for weddings. After much online homework and reviewing a friends captures with her D700 was sold on the idea. Feel so much more solid than the newer plasticky models and over the moon with the images! A Classic for sure!

    • Hey Phillip, what an interesting (and brave) switch! I’ve never heard someone going ‘in reverse’ before, but kudos to you – the D700 is still a stellar camera, and I agree that it does feel far better in the hand than every other Nikon dSLR release to date. Good luck with it!

      • Hi Mark and all D700 lovers:

        Great review and contribution from everyone. I read all comments and bookmarked this
        page.
        I’ll cut it short. I owned a D700 for two years and sold it in 2014 to get the newer guy on the block. D600. Eventually sold D600 with much disappointment and purchased D800. Used D800 for a year and was not happy with its AF. Sold it and purchased d750 in early 2015 with 24-120. All these cameras were great cameras, amazing features and cleaner pictures. My Daughter in 2013 was 3 years. Every time I took pictures of her with these new cameras, I would go back to compare it with the pics I took of her with D700. I simply wanted the skin tones and SOOC jpegs my D700 gave me. Apart from color, the images looked more real, 3D and not plasticy. I am neither a professional nor amateur. I don’t take too many pics. I have a full time job that keeps me from doing that. I sold my D750 in August 2016 and started searching for D700. I bought one of CL in my town, excellent cosmetic conditions, not abused with 41000 shutter clicks. To me that’s low. I paid only 550. In December of 2016, I am one happy D700 owner.

  • Mark….can i still get a used d700?i need it urgently… Thanks and pls send d details to my mail.

  • Hi Mark

    I’m serious considering taking the plunge on a D700. Here in South Africa one can be had with a shutter count of 10k for approximately USD 920. I am primarily a portrait photographer and would love to use my 50mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.8D on a full frame body.

    I would like to ask how the D700 renders skin tones. I currently shoot with a Xpro1 and just love the skin tones SOOC. I hardly have to do a thing and the images, if I nail focus, have so much detail. Also, how would the detail on the D700 compare? I love Fuji but for events the focusing is just not up to scratch on the Xpro1, another reason to get a D700.

    Thanks Sean

    • Hey Sean, wow that’s a good deal for $920! The D700 has beautiful skin tones SOOC if you’re shooting JPEG. The way it renders files is different to the XPro1, but in good light, you should have great files. If you can push the boat out a little further, I really recommend the D750 (on sale here: http://amzn.to/2brrzzR). It’s a big jump in price, but there’s almost 10 years more technology packed into it. Having said this, the D700 will stand you in good stead too.

      • Hi Mark, the D750 in SA is way overpriced at $2500 and too expensive for me at this stage. The other option is a D3s with about 60k actuations for $1350. I’m leaning towards the D3s!

    • Sean, do you have friends or family in US that can get it for you. Well, not a big difference in price of D700 compared to SA, you can get one here for aound $700. I sold my D750 for $ 1400 with just 8000 shutter clicks. CL is littered with D750 selling for USD 1300 to 1400 with low shutter count.

  • Hi Mark!

    Been doing a lot of astrophotography recently so I’m trying to make the jump to full frame. Currently have a Canon 700d but can get hold of a Nikon D700 for a similar price to what I can get for my current set up. Do you think this would be worth my while? I’m mainly interested in landscape and night time photography but also do a lot of travelling so need something robust enough to last. The only downgrade I can see that I’d be making is the loss of a video mode, which I’m not too bothered about. Do you think I should go for it? Thanks very much!!

    George

    • Hey George, I definitely think it’s worthwhile! The high ISO capabilities of the D700 compared to your current camera will mean you can get cleaner astro files. If you can stretch your budget a little further, I recommend you get the D750 though, which has even better high ISO and is currently on sale at Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2brrzzR

  • I just upgraded from a D300, the D700 feels exactly like the D300, they are both fine cameras. The reason for the upgrade was for the larger sensor and better ISO. It’s great to be able to use my old AI, AIS lenses without the DX crop factor. The D700 give more of a wide angle view which I prefer. This camera is awesome even by today’s standards.

    • just done the same,sold my d300s and dx kit,now have nearly new D700 with 2000miles on the clock.smooth upgrade , menu and controls virtully the same totally blown away with iso and co;our performance

  • Glad you Mark ! I have never had dslr camera , then compare d700 and d600, i decided to buy d700 , is it true choice ? And which is cheap lens for it ? 50mmf1.8D , thanks for your help !

  • I have both a D700 and D300 and won’t let either one go. I have 50mm AF-D and a 24-70mm 2.8 Nikon lenses along with the 24-120mm F4. I use DXO, and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I shoot raw and edit. It’s hard to find anything different about the new camera’s that would make me run out and buy one.

  • I have used a Nikon D5100 as first entry-level camera for the past four years. I have taken photography lessons and feel I am nearing an upgrade to more of a robust camera. I had my eye on a D7100 until my photography course tutor recommended an upgrade to a D750. Love to, but with a wife, three kids and dog to support, I would not be able to justify a large upgrade. So, my choices would be between a D7100 (DX) and D700. What would you recommend?

  • Nice write up. Everything said is true, yes, and amen! And I’m saying this in 2017!

    The D300, D700, and Fuji S5Pro – all legendary cameras from the same time frame. Use the best glass available if you can (i.e. 2.8 or better) and you will never be in less than awe. The correct CF cards for that era can still be had on e-bay for near nothing, and new batteries (which are not available anymore by Nikon) can be had in the same place from overseas. Get a good deal on an SB800 (900, or even 700 for that matter) and you will have great a great camera system for life.

    Quite honestly, against much heated debate over the years about leaving settings at defaults and tweaking later, I have found on my D700 that bumping up in-camera Neutral contrast one notch, and saturation 2 notches, shooting in sRGB color space… I no longer play with skin tone adjustments anymore (I use the best uncompressed RAW quality as well… mainly in case I really need to fix something. 300 pix/8 gig card. That’s MORE than enough space, and file sizes are about 24MB each, compared to the monster sizes of today’s cameras!). I always use Nikon ViewNX2 to make basic adjustments because it’s the same RAW rendering the camera uses, convert to high JPG for average use, TIFF for really important things like portraits, and then merely use Lightroom to organize, fix skin blemishes, adjust sky colors on cloudy days [hee hee], etc. Yes, the TIFF are huge files, but I only convert what I need. After adjustments, those are converted to whatever format and quality required. The key here is to frame your shots correctly (don’t shoot to crop later), so you can take full advantage of the gorgeous 12.1 MP these Nikon cameras provide. You will be able to print up to 11×17 no problem. I also like Lightroom for Black and White conversion. There is much better software avilable for B&W, but even a couple LR presets do a decent job. The FX D3/D700 B&W was the beginning of really nice monochrome rendering in camera. That sensor received high praises back in the day from even film enthusiasts – which said a lot right there.

    The D700 is still an absolute work horse even in 2017. Use fast glass, learn to work with bounce flash and High Speed Sync, use tripods or at least a pogo stick when necessary… low light and dynamic range issues become… well, minimal issues at best. As noted in the article, LR is your friend when needed, and it does a superb job with minimal touchup. The D700 is a winner on all counts. The D300 delivers just a tad (and I mean a tad!) less quality, but makes for an awesome sidekick for those needed DX moments. It’s essentially the same body, a little smaller (and of course DX), and nearly identical in layout and features. D500 = almost $2K. Yep. Nice machine, and finally the upgrade everyone waited for, for the D300; I tested one at B&H recently, and nearly fell over… but that said, a used (clean / lower shutter count) D300 = average $450 today. Used D700 (same specs) average $400-$700. For what it cost for a D500, one could smartly seek out a D300, a D700, a 50mm 1.8 for the 700, a 35mm 1.8 for the 300, and possibly not only one, but TWO SB800’s. You would have a semi pro full sensor and a semi pro crop sensor, each set up and ready to go.

    Simply love the D700. It’s a no brainer.

    • Holy crap, that’s a blog post of a comment Rich! Thanks so much for your insights. I may be contacting you for a guest post…!

  • I have a d2x and want to have an additional camera for landscapes. Every one says go d810 but for the price I can get the d700 and a 24mm prime . Is the d700 the right choice?

  • I am looking to upgrade from a Nikon D7000 to a Nikon d700 in 2017, with the year half way through. I was wondering if it would still be a good upgrade? Even after all this time passed. If i did upgrade what are somethings i should look into getting a Flash? I also have a LED wand and I plan on using a 50mm 1.8 lens.

    • The D7000 is actually newer technology than the D700, so I’d actually recommend you go for something like the Nikon D610 which is an excellent and affordable full frame camera. A used D700 would be excellent value for money too, but it’s a little long in the tooth now (despite being able to produce great images and having one of the best designed bodies of any Nikon dSLR). As for a flash, it’s hard for me to comment on this without knowing what you want to shoot. The 50mm 1.8 is a great lens on full frame. Check out this post for more options: https://shotkit.com/best-nikon-lenses

  • Few months back I upgraded from D5300 to D700 and all I can say it’s damn outstanding! Freaking quality of pictures is mind blowing! My girlfriend has a D610 and I can’t see that good of a quality in her pictures, I’m not even sure why it’s so amazing, maybe because of a large pixels. Of’course it’s better to always frame a picture on spot so You won’t have to crop it, but that’s even way better because as a photographer You should make Your best at spot and only tune slightly on post processing, not to fix Your mistakes from the field. I tradedmy D5300 with 1900 shutter counts + 18-55 kit lens with warranty + 300 euro for D700 + battery grip and box and stuff with 15k shutter count, thats a very low count for a camera who been bought at 2011 . It was a fair deal for me and the seller, but I never regretted this move, I’m so amazed and stunned by this camera, ofcourse D610 has way better grip for hand and it has 100% viewfinder, more megapixels, but who needs more than 12 megapixels? Thats more than enough! I will probably use this camera for way much longer now, also it’s made in Japan so it’s definetly better built quality than todays ‘new’ cameras. Cameras doesn’t upgrade that much to be worth such money, it’s a marketing trick, for example D5, what it has so great for such amount of money? Bullshit, it’sa marketing trick, folks, don’t get stuck over it. Many professionals still use this or D3 or D3s cameras even now and they will for way more time, because it’s the last cameras that were built so insanely great! Even if I ever destroy my shutter, I would probably send it for repair because of how much I love this damn camera. Also some professionals still use cameras like Nikon F3 (John Free) and they produce amazing images as well. If You wondering if You should get D700? Get it, now, before it’s too late, these cameras won’t be out forever, but who loves them will almost never get rid of one. Good luck folks! And for the people who still use D700 – Keep on making those stunning images!

  • Hi Mark, Your post looks interesting. I am starting to work as a part-time freelance wedding photographer. If you can please let me know should I buy D7100 with lens (50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G) is a good to start? I am currently using D3200 and want to start up, as a startup I don’t want to spend a fortune over it. Please recommend

    • Hey Tee, since this is a post speaking about the D700, it’s probably not the right place to answer your question. Having said that, the D7100 is a very capable camera, just not in the same league as this one.

  • Hi Mark. I’m a f/t student, and have been studying photography for about 2 yrs now. I started out with a used Sony a550, and bought a a6000 mirrorless just last October. I hate them both and have decided to sell them to switch to Nikon. I’m a hardcore researcher which, usually leads to more second guessing, and difficulty in my decision making. The time I’ve spent comparing Nikon full frame models has me heavily leaning toward the d700. This option not only will allow for a larger lens budget, but also seems to be the right camera for my photography style. I’m serious and extremely passionate about photography, and hope to develop my skills and creativity to match the standards & goals I’ve set for myself. With that said, I’m looking to invest in a solid camera that will sustain my needs as I grow my skills. I don’t want to buy a newer camera every couple of years just because I have outgrown the capabilities of my gear. Does that make sense? I want gear I can grow into, rather than out of. I feel the d700 is a great example of a solid camera that can only be enhanced by the choice of glass. I just can’t decide if I should choose a newer model, giving the time since the d700 was released. The majority of the above comments favor the d700 over the bigger., newer releases (including the d750, d3, & 810). Then as they move into 2017, I’m seeing comments suggesting to go with the d750. Please help me to make the most intelligent decision possible here. I really don’t want to make the same mistake for a 3rd time in a row! I’m ready to spend my money…but, too overwhelmed to make a decision…will you help? You can email me if that’s easier. :)

    • Hey Lisa, although the D700 is an excellent camera and is arguably features the best non-flagship body design Nikon has ever produced, it sounds to me like you’d be wondering what a newer model would be like, should you buy it. I’d recommend getting the D750 – since it’s already 3 years old, prices are extremely attractive right now. If you’re lucky, you can even get a refurbished model like this one: http://amzn.to/2xqcGKd

  • Hi Mark greetings from Wales ! Returning to photography after a 5 year break previously shot with a D7000. Just wondered what your thoughts are on the D700 for landscape shooting.

    Thanks
    Martin

  • Not commenting on the D700 but over all on megapixels. One thing that always goes unmentioned when compearing older cameras to new high megapixel cameras is the most negative effect of megapixels growing, in other words the neede shutter speed to get a sharp picture. And I’m not talking about “yeah i can get tack sharp pictures with D800 and my 300mm at 1/30s…no problem”…yeah you can get…probably 1 out of 10 are tack sharp!…My point is when megapixels grow for exampel D800 vs D700 we see a megapixel growth of 3 times, in other words you will need at least 2-3 times the shutter speed with the D800 go get the same keeper rate as tou would need with the D700. This can also be converted in to ISO! And the most important thing when shooting for money is the confident that the camera produces sharp pictures! On my Canon 1Ds mark3 I could confidently wedings and gigs in challenging enviorment shoot at 1/400s and I knew the pictues would be sharp now shooting with my D800 I don’t have this confident even at 1/1600s! So yeah megapixels do effect how we work! And there is a reason why cameras as the D850 has to produce clean quality at ISO6400, because you need those ISO:s for confident!
    So megapiksel growth has a negative effect on the outcome in many situations! For example i have shoot in studio with Canon 5D classic, Canon 1DS mark3 and Nikon D800. As a studio camera the 1Ds mark3 was perfect with 1/250 sync speed (and that really worked at 1/250!) and blurry pictures in studio was a very rare thing! But with the D800 i get blurry pictures very often!
    I think the D700 would be a very good second camera even today and Sony a7s have the same megapixels!

  • I just got my used d700 for a very perverted reasons…

    I am a long time nikonian that have been using micro four third a lot in the last couple of years. My nikon bodies don’t get enough exercise….the lenses do, daily!

    I have d300s, which is good camera but too big compare to a mft given the sensor size. So, I thought if I’m hanging on to my nikon glasses, I needed something that serves me better. I thought of fuji gfx, d4, d3x, d850, d810, and I talked myself out of all of them. I know d700 has good performance, especially for #2 in my list

    1- copy my slides on a pb4 setup
    2- attach it to back of my linhof 4×5 and fiddle with it until cows come home…
    3- use it with my 35mm 1.4 ais, a dream lens

  • I love the idea of full-frame but cannot afford a newer one. Is the D700 still worth spending $500 or so for a used one? Photography is not my business, but I use it a lot as a newspaper editor.

    • It depends what you need it for Steve. If you can get a D700 for $500, I’d say it’s a bargain… but only if you need great low light performance and the other benefits I mentioned in this article.