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Is the D700 really worth it?

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by shelleyann, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. I know this is a silly question (which I'm the only one who has the answer to) but I really wouldn't mind someone's opinion.

    I was pretty content with my D200 and was not considering upgrading to full frame. Then I got a chance to (or made a mistake of) shooting with a D3.
    At 3200 ISO, the colours and the low noise pretty much blew me away. I love the way that the D3 renders blues in photos. I do love my D200, but I find that you really have to do a lot of work in photoshop for the colours to come out right. Since the D3 is waay out of my price range, I started to look at the D700 with new interest.

    $3K is still a huge chunk of dough, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the D3. I was thinking of going somewhere in the middle and buying the D300. It certainly has better colour rendition than the D200, and is decent at ISO 400+. However, I'm a little sick of this camera-buying merry go round and would like a camera that will at least last me a couple of years. I'm worried that I might not be satisfied with the D300.
    Also, if I bought the D700, I wouldn't have to buy a whole new set of lenses; I anticipated Nikon's move to FX and stayed away from DX lenses (except for a 10-20 Sigma). I have a pretty good set of lenses right now.

    I guess what I'm trying to find out is whether or not someone (an amateur like me) has compared the images from a D300 v.s. D700 (or D3), and is the extra $1500 really worth it? (Noise at 800+ISO, handling).

    Thanks, and sorry about the length.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  2. PWPhoto


    Jul 21, 2006
    San Diego
    to be honest. the d300 has a very good iso 3200 imho.

    I have shot thousands of shots with a d300 and it handles colors very well if not the same as the D3.

    The images it produces are excellent and are far better than the D200 imo.
  3. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    Is it worth it? For me it is, I've waited this camera for 11 years. It is the digital F100 to me and I seriously hope it will keep my body NAS in bay (lenses not included :tongue:)  for at least 3-4 years.
  4. kwf1


    Nov 15, 2007
    S. Florida
    hi shelleyann,

    I feel it would be worth it. If you are doing any low light shooting, you will be glad to have the D700 instead of the D300. You will have the D200 as a back up and it will also serve as your DX body to gain you that extra reach when you need it.

    I bought the D300 as a back up for my D3, and also to have a DX camera to increase my reach in daylight shooting. The D700 seems to have everything I wanted. A second body to shoot basketball, night football and baseball games. But also, it will be my main body when I want to carry a light load for shooting night time non action shots. Smaller, easier to carry and pull out of the bag to grab that quick shot or to shoot a night scene, and the pop up flash will be convenient for fill flash or when I do not want to carry the SB800. Also, there are many times when the photo opportunity will not wait for you to take out the SB800, mount it and then shoot.

    As good as the D300 is, our HS baseball & football field lights have to be one of the worst. I use the D3 for that and leave the D300 in the bag. I have to shoot at 6400 iso on the D3 to achieve a decent shutter speed on those fields. BTW, do not be afraid to push it to the D3 or the D700 to 6400 iso.

    Don't get me wrong, the D300 is a great camera, I use it all the time for daytime field sports. The extra reach you gain with it is great. It also handles low light very good compared to the D200. But not compared against the D3.

    Plus as you stated, you already have a line up of FX lenses.

    Sorry for the long reply, I hope some of this might have helped.

  5. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Hey Shelley, if you can stomach the appearance of a new FF Nikon in a couple of years, then it's worth it. I'm quite happy with the D3, and its resolution, but undoubtedly there will be a higher resolution camera coming out and people will be dumping their D700s and D3s and getting that. I think if you wait, you will find a good deal on a near-mint D700 that someone tried and doesn't want. That's what happened with the D3s, and a few were for sale on this forum.

    Personally, I think the D700 isn't as good as the D3. The body didn't feel as solid, it had more of a "plasticky" feel even though I know it has a magnesium alloy body. The shutter is only rated to 150,000 vs. 300,000. It only has one CF card slot. FF is awesome though, but you already have quite a few film bodies so it's not such a novelty. You should see how often you actually shoot in low-light/night and how much you do during the day. For my case, night time is one of the only times I had to shoot, and I enjoy night shooting so it was perfect. Some people prefer landscapes, portraits, etc which doesn't require a camera with great ISO performance. For my daylight shooting I prefer film actually, it has a greater dynamic range and better shadow detail (without doing stuff in photoshop like fill-light, which gives photos a fake dynamic range look).

    Would I trade in my D3 for a D700 if someone gave me $2000? Hell no.
  6. Hokum


    Jun 20, 2006
    Pennines UK
    In my bastardised testing last night, in low light the D700 is a good two stops better than the D300 and about 2.5 better than the D2X. Its due to this and the fact i shoot in forests alot which has pushed me towards the D700.
  7. Honestly, I don't think it's worth it. I'm still picking one up, but mostly for work. I mean, how many do you guys really push your cameras everyday? I think the D300 is quite the bang for the buck. Unless you really need FX.

    Save your money and buy glass which is an investment where you don't really lose money, especially if you buy used.

    What sucks, despite all the fancy technology in our new cameras and bodies, how long is any of this stuff going to last? I seriously doubt my 200-400 VR with all it's fancy CPUs and other gizmos will last 20 plus years unlike some old MF lens. All of this will be disposable junk for the future.
  8. Eye Spy

    Eye Spy Guest

    Worth really has no meaning here. It's a want. Anything more than a D40 isn't worth it for 90 percent of us. Camera gear isn't an investment...oh maybe an investment in your mental health.
  9. I'm getting a D700 to have as a compliment to my D300. I'm not ditching the D300, I plan on using them as a pair. I just sold my D80, as I don't think I'll ever keep more than 2 digital bodies at a time. And that's "just in case" so I have a back-up. If I only used my camera to document my kids, I'd just have one, with a point an shoot as back-up. Since I own a photography business, I need 2. Why replace the D80 with a D700? Because my business bank account allowed it, and I have an addiction to new toys. Did I actually NEED to upgrade...NO. My D80 did everything I needed it to do for the most part. I do on occasion need the high ISO, since I shoot indoors a lot and try not to use flash with infants. I can usually find good window light, etc, but if I need it, it's nice to know I can bump it up and shoot away with no fear.
  10. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    Your colour findings buck the trend here at the cafe. Although the D300 is a step up from the D200 (ISO, resolution, fps, battery life, AF), a lot of people prefer the colours (specifically skin tones) of the D200 (and the fact that you have to do less in photoshop). It's a can of worms I'm not trying to open again, but do check before switching to the D300.

    That depends on what you want. If it's better colour, see my comment above. If it's better high ISO performance, you will be happy.

    Well I'm not sure what type of amateur you are - most won't have a D300 and D3 - but lots of advanced or rich amateurs, and pros, have compared the D300 and D3. They've found better quality skies and skin, and between 1 and 2 stop ISO advantage.

    If you can afford the D700, and don't need the reach of the D300, I say get the D700. But if you want the reach, do you need to upgrade your D200?
  11. William

    William Guest

    I will most likely obtain a D700 in the next 3-6 months, to allow me to avoid using my D3 as a remote-controlled sports camera and not sacrifice FF capability.

    It would also allow switching the battery pack between my D300 and the D700 at will, so I can use the D300 for backpacking and as a remote with no modification.

    By waiting, I 'll have a chance to review what happens at Photokina and maybe find a used D700.
  12. Thanks for the imput, everyone.. It really made me think.

    Triggaaar, perhaps I had a bad copy of the D200, but from what I've seen of the D300, The colours are a lot better. I'll do an in-depth comparison (I know someone who has a D300) before making any final decisions.

    A broke but cheerful amateur? :smile: But seriously, what I meant was that since I'm not making any money from my photos, it is not so much a need as a want. I wanted to get imput from others who don't necessarily earn their living (full-time) from photography, regardless of the state of their bank account.

    umm. yeah. Exactly what I'm looking for.

    Taylor.. I'm going to wait it out and see what happens.
  13. *Update*

    I didn't wait very long.. I went out and bought a used D300, at a reasonable price, and with less than 900 clicks on it.

    From what I've seen so far, it is brilliant, and more than enough for my needs. Sure, it's not full frame, but that's what my F4s is for :smile:

    I also picked up a Voigtlander 40mm F2 Ultron. Cool lens.
  14. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Congrats on your purchase!!! Like yourself, I have both the D200 and D300. The D300 is an awesome camera, but I like shooting in low light, so I have a yearning for the D700. Will I get it? At this point the jury is out. By the way, you can download various D2X modes for the D300. Below is the link:

  15. exitnine


    Jun 5, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Same as me, I really can't make up my mind yet, here is my story too...

    I used to own a d300, when I bought it was kit, which is include the 18-200 vr and get the 350 off deal, but too bad, the len die after use it for 2 months :frown:

    Well so luck out I can return it to Costco...

    Now the d700 is out, and d300 is around 1700, and d700 is 3k, should I go for FX or just use DX?

    Well, I know that is depend what I use it for right? I do part time wedding job, and have some AF-D len already, if I go for DX, I need dx len, like the 17-55 2.8, but if I go for FX, I think I should be fine for the len right?

    I know this is a silly question (which I'm the only one who has the answer to) but I really wouldn't mind someone's opinion.

    And the bottom line is how long the D700 going to last, I mean tech. way and the shutter life, as I find out that D300 shutter life should be longer than D700 right? But how long d700 12m file size going to last?

    Heard that a new 24M camera going to be anounced at the end of the year, really need some opinion, thanks for any input...
  16. shelleyann,

    Could you tell me who in the GTA carries the Voigtlander lenses?

  17. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    well with the D3 being down to almost 4k now. the prices are pretty close imo, I would go for the D3 no question. but if the weight is an issue that may change things for you. I'm not all that impressed with the AF of the D300. and im sure its the same as the D700. not the D3. so there is that difference too. as well as the better build and extra CF card slot.

    hokem you really think the D300 is only .5 a stop cleaner than the D2X? I find that hard to believe.
  18. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    The D700 is the perfect choice for a wedding photographer. You haven't said what focal length lenses you have (just that they are AF-D).

    The shutter on the D700 will last plenty (I think it's rated the same as the D300, 150k I think - but that's not its limit). 12m files are fine for enlargements far bigger than wedded couples need, you just don't need 24mp.
  19. dwind

    dwind Guest

    For the last 2 days I've been comparing the d200, d300 and d700. In good light I can't tell the difference between the 200 and 700. The 300 tends to over expose light colors(white) in high contrast. Last night I shot or tried to shoot lightening flashes with the 700.
    For what's it's worth, the 200 works great on a 300 2.8 with a 1.4. The 700 will be for ff and the 17 - 35 may become permanently mounted. I'm not sure where the 300 fits in.
  20. Hey, Roger...
    Downtown Camera does. As of Friday, they only had one of each though (the 40mm and the 58mm). I'm sure they could order it for you. They had just came in, apparently. Since Harry's Pro Shop also carries the Zeiss lenses for Nikon and Bessa bodies, I would ask him as well.

    I'm thinking of getting the 58mm sometime in the future.


    Since you shoot weddings, I would go for the D700, as at least you can re-coup some of your cost. You could go for the D3 (since they are dropping in price), but they are heavy, though, and you would be walking around with it all day.

    As for DX/FX lenses: as I stated in my original post, I have never purchased DX lenses, save the Sigma 10-20. I'm not sure what focal length you use, but if you have the 17-35 (as I do), it will work fine. Apparently, it is not as prone to flare as the 17-55, and I've noticed that it focuses pretty close.
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