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D700 or D3 which to get?

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by PhilDPho, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Well, I'm after one of these bodies.

    I currently shoot a D300 and a D700 or D3 would go nicely with it, however, I already have an MB-D10 for my D300.

    Now, what will the D3 give me that the D700 won't?

    I mainly shoot, portraits and weddings and events. I rarely shoot any sports and rarely use AA's to get more than 5fps.

    So, at the exclusion of faster AF lock, and more fps, what will the D3 offer me that the D700 won't? Is it really the same image quality?
  2. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    The most important thing the D3 will give you is the absolute best high ISO shooting capability. The D700 is excellent, but not quite what the D3 is. Fact. battery capacity seems better in the D3 than the standard D700 battery to me. Ergonomics, favor D3. The D700 isn't a compromise camera, but does't compare 1 to 1 with the D3. That said, I own both, and intend to keep both.

    While I've not ran any scientific test myself, Popular Photo says they are not the same. It gives the nod to the D3 for best high ISO shooting. But again, says the D700 is no slouch.

    Vertical shooting is better with D3 as well for your portraits, of course, the Grip mostly resolves that issue, but the solid one piece body is better for portrait mode.

    Lastly, for a pro, the dual CF cards gives you extra capability, or backup safety, sometimes, critical if a media failure occured!
  3. I was initially leaning towards the D3, but then the D700 is 1k less, I can afford to buy either of them. But I want to make sure the D3 is really worth that 1k.
  4. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    I thought the D700 was $2K less.
  5. Phil you're a working pro right? Get the D3. The D700 is for everyone else. The D700 is good enough, but the D3 is the camera you will never doubt in the field. It is a solid piece of technology. When you're shooting that low-light wedding shot, you will not doubt the AF, the sound of the carbon fiber shutter clicking is music to my ears...the responsiveness is as smooth as butter and when you pull up you images on the computer you will be blown away at the precision of focus, the rich dynamic range and how well detail holds up at high ISOs. Test both side by side, and your decision will be made.

    I paid mine off in two weeks worth of work. Though I need to pick up a D300 again for telephoto shooting!
  6. I'm in UK so it is sterling not dollars.

    The D700 is £1700
    The D3 is £2700

    I'd most likely keep the D300 too and just sell the grip and 17-55 to fund a 24-70 to go along with it.

    Is the D3's weather sealing superior to the D700 aswell?
  7. AdamJ


    Jan 28, 2008
    Aurora, IL
    Wow, I'm surprised by the amount of mis-information contained within this thread, especially here!

    The D700 uses THE EXACT same sensor as the D3, that has been confirmed by Nikon multiple times.

    The "differences" in noise that PopPhoto is referencing is taken from JPG images. This means nothing other then the Noise Reduction algorithm in the D700 may not be identical to the D3.

    RAW photos are indistinguishable, period. Most people who are spending $3000+ for a camera body to get the best IQ are going to shoot RAW anyways.
  8. vinman


    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    I don't know if the weather sealing is superior or not since Nikon claims that both are weather sealed. I'd imagine that that claim is pretty strong.

    I also think the D700 would better compliment the D300 if you'll be using both pretty equally since the ergonomics are basically the same. If the 300 ends up relegated to back-up status, then the D3 is probably an inch or two better. Overall, the D3 is a sturdier built camera, doesn't need a grip to better handle vertically, and well, it's a D3. Personally, unless I routinely shot in very harsh conditions, I'd probably opt for the D700. I absolutely LOVE mine, even though I have to sell it :frown: I'll be getting another as soon as I'm able, though...
  9. AdamJ


    Jan 28, 2008
    Aurora, IL
    Most people will say yes. However Nikon's own representatives have claimed the weather-resistant sealing is on par "with Nikon's other professional level camera, the D3".

    Based on the CF door seal and opening method alone, I would say the D700 doesn't quite hold up for weather sealing. Although Jim Reed had his D700 out in severe weather with no problems... The weathersealing doesn't seem to offer much protection unless you are ALSO using a weathersealed lens.
  10. The D3 is a no compromise body with great sensor. The D700 is an adequate body with great sensor. :wink: It's like getting a luxury car. The D700 is the base model with the all the niceties, while the D3 is the same car but with sports suspension and race motor thrown in.
  11. AdamJ


    Jan 28, 2008
    Aurora, IL
    Even to that point I would disagree. Having a built in flash while on the go is worth more to me then a vertical grip, esp when I have the option to add one when needed. Adding a flash tends to make the camera more cumbersome, and if you don't have it on the camera the moment you want it.. well you'll mis it.

    I would probably related it more like both cars have the same engine, but one has the race suspension... :wink:

    As others have said, and I would strongly agree, go and use both of them in person. The worst mistake is to buy one and realize you want the other one a few months later! :eek: 
  12. I see it as the sun roof being removed! :biggrin: Remember it's a race car! :wink:
  13. I have never used a pop up flash, 99% of my flash work is off camera with Pocket Wizards anyway.

    If I bought the D700 I'd probably shoot them both together, if I bought the D3 I'd probably sell the MB-D10 and relegate it to a backup, and buy a teleconverter.

    It would be interesting to see some comparison shots from both bodies by the same person, does anybody have both bodies?
  14. Didn't we discuss most of this at:


    In fact, if I recall, you actually posted a reply to that thread.

    In any case, I think you'll find useful information there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  15. Thanks for that link, I had totally forgotten about that thread :) 
  16. SWLD


    Feb 10, 2008
    Phil - RGB Tech are selling the D700 for £1599 GBP inc vat. Mine came from RGB (for £1689 in July) and they seem a very reliable outfit (they answer emails and they deliver when they say they will).

    They're in Middlesborough if you fancy a drive to collect. See http://www.rgb-tech.co.uk/search?q=d700&commit=Go

    If you go for a D700, don't sell the MB-D10 :eek: . The 24-70 is a great lens though.
  17. SWLD


    Feb 10, 2008

    PS. This is the D700 at eight thousand ISO (24-70mm, f3.5, 1/200 sec) in available church lighting (i.e. hopeless lighting).


    D700 at 400 ISO (24-70mm) in very low light with camera resting on a handrail. I don't have a D3 so can't give you a comparison.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  18. FWIW, I've been oscillating between the two for weeks. Every time I think I've reached a decision, I read something that throws me back into 'what if' mode. What if I need the frame rate & AF (D3); what if I need the smaller size or onboard flash (D700) ... and so on.

    I am really kicking myself that I did not pull the trigger when JR had the deals through MS Live. The price of the D3 was just under $3900 then. Now the best I can find is around $4200. D700 can be had for $2645 ($3100 including grip, en-el4a, charger etc.).

    Procrastination is mine enemy...
  19. SWLD


    Feb 10, 2008
    The D700 does have the advantage that you can take the MB-D10 off - which makes quite a difference if you're carrying it around all day
  20. It will mostly be a D700 for me. Yes Jonathan the D3 better piece of hardware and the better AF is the one thing that makes me thing about the D3. And if you have a need for a body that can take the kind of beating the D3 can take then it is the tool for you. But a D40 would take most of the abuse that my cameras get a wedding, the lens mount is the only part I would be concerned about, I wouldn't want a 70-200 hanging off it for 8 hours every weekend.

    +'s for me of the D700:

    • Pop up flash - most of the time it's on camera flash for me (sb800), but when needed the pop up gives me 2 remotes with an little more fill when I need it.
    • Common control layout - I shoot with two bodies and the D700 is close to both the S5 and D300
    • Weight, weight, weight - although there are times that the vertical grip is nice I don't normally use one. So the camera is lighter. The battery is lighter. And the lenses will already add more weight. As it is I will be replacing my 50-150 with a 70-200.
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