New test Nikon D700 - AF-speed mentioned

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR' started by Steinar, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. The quote:
    "We are, however, disappointed that the D700's AF system doesn't match the breakneck speeds of the D3. This means that photographers will have to settle for just blazingly fast. In bright and moderate light from EV 12 to EV 6, it's faster than Canon's EOS 40D and 5D, but not as quick as Sony's Alpha 700 or the Olympus E-3."

    A disappointing report that the AF system is not the same for many but why should we expect it to perform as well as a camera costing twice as much. IMO Nikon has 3 super cameras D300-D700-D3 listed in order of price and performance ability.
  2. vinman


    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    And oddly enough, others are reporting that it's the same as the D3 (Luminous Landscape for one, and Moose Peterson strongly suggests it).

    I think until someone disassembles both a 700 and a 3 side-by-side and looks at the internals, we are going to have to be content with the notion that, IF there's a difference, it's small enough to be subjective...
  3. anyone know what lens they used to test AF speed at PopPhoto?
  4. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    No, I only know the review, and all the interpretations about the AF-speed D700 vs. D3 on the other threads.

    It will be interesting, when Bjørn have done his field-test about the D700 - his first findings was something like those words: If there is a difference - it is academic.
  5. On a plus note, Pop Photo did say that the weaker AF did not occur in dim lighting.

    But low light is paradoxically where the D700 shines, able to focus in under 1 second all the way down to EV -1. At EV -2 (think full-moon dark), it's still quite fast, focusing in 1.25 sec, while the E-3 failed to find focus in such low light in our tests.
  6. jafo


    Jun 11, 2008
    Chatsworth, CA
    Umm not really... It doesn't say it's as fast as a D3 in low lighting... Wrong interpretation. :)
  7. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    It's pretty simple, folks. If you want to be able to AF as fast as the D3, then by all means, just buy a D3:biggrin:. No one ever purchased a Ferrari because they wanted it to handle like a Porsche.
  8. Yeah, you're probably right. Nikon has to give D3 owners some added benefits for the extra $2000. :wink:
    I'm willingly to live with a few tradeoffs, so I'm still glad I made the slight downgrade to the D700. :smile:

    I hope Bjorn gets his D700 test results written up soon.
  9. Dawgneck


    Apr 25, 2007
    So Cal's write-up on the D700 and D3 ( ) AF speed performances don't mention what most of us want to know: How well it stacks up to BIF (or similar) focusing. They really are speaking about light levels.

    Additionally, I'm a little confused with their AF speed statement in the D700 review:

    "We are, however, disappointed that the D700's AF system doesn't match the breakneck speeds of the D3. This means that photographers will have to settle for just blazingly fast. In bright and moderate light from EV 12 to EV 6, it's faster than Canon's EOS 40D and 5D, but not as quick as Sony's Alpha 700 or the Olympus E-3."...

    And their statement in the D3 review:

    "The D3 uses the same Multi-CAM 3500FX module for AF as the D300 and performs at nearly identical speeds at all light levels. It focuses super-fast in bright light and takes less than 1 second to focus in extremely low light at EV -2 (think several feet away from a 5-year-old's birthday cake). In field tests, it also showed prowess in locking onto skin tones and tracking a subject by color."

    ... Are they saying the D700 AF is slower than the D3 and D300 in low light?

    For me, the $2000 question is: If the D700 AF performance is not equal to the D3, where does it fall between the D300 and D3?

    If it is very close to the D3, heck, I can live with the D700. Closer to the D300? Then I might pop for a D3.

    Hopefully Bjorn's highly anticipated review will provide the answer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2008
  10. It sounds more like he was not really talking about how fast it is on an individual shutter release, but comparing the 7 fps to the D3's 9 fps.

    That's my interpretation....

  11. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    I do not think your interpretation is correct, GenoP, but I am also longing for Bjørns test, so we can know for certain.
  12. Dawgneck


    Apr 25, 2007
    So Cal
    After reading both statements again, my interpretation is they are talking about two different AF traits.

    My quoted section of the D3 review speaks about low light AF performance, and the quoted section of the D700 review speaks (albeit vaguely) about AF tracking speed.

    Then again, I could be wrong.
  13. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    OK, I misunderstood you, I can see now.
  14. AdamJ


    Jan 28, 2008
    Aurora, IL
    I have a few personal tid bits to add here...

    The first one is of course a rumor, in that the PopPhoto autofocusing speed tests do not have a degree of accuracy needed to measure the speeds in the range they are measuring. In other words (pure speculation) the accuracy of their measuring system is +/- 0.08s which would nearly invalidate comparison between cameras, since with that level of accuracy you could get significantly different results from the same exact camera body.

    Secondly, was the lens used between the D3 and D700 identical?

    I've borrowed a few D3s in the past, and while I've never done any formal test (yes, yes, I should have) there was absolutely no difference in focusing speed that I could tell when using my 24-70 on either camera body in my office, lit only by a couple of 60w tungsten bulbs.

    I think alot of the concern is with the BIF-type of situation mentioned by Dawgneck, and until the two (or all 3) cameras are put into the same situation, we probably just won't know...
  15. jamesd3rd


    May 4, 2007
    So. Cal
    Reviewers can say whatever they want to skew results to suit their findings. This is why I have been constantly looking on this forum to see if any sport or bird shooters have actually done a real field comparison with a D700 and D3 in their grubby little hands. Some reviewers may not have the same experience as a someone who has spent the better part of their amateur or pro career shooting this type of subject and may not evaluate performance the same way. Just like any other type of analysis, the conditions should be as identical as possible. Same shooter, same moving subject, same light, same lens but different bodies. Anything other than that kind of real world application is just speculation. Focusing on bowls of fruit or similar items in varying lighting conditions isn't going to cut it.
  16. you people are wasting precious time agonizing whether to get the D700 or not, go to the store, rent one, touch one! dont listen to what every idiot on the internet is saying, the D700 rocks my world, go get it NOW!!!!
  17. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Amen! LOL! There's no finding out for one's self anymore. :tongue:
  18. jamesd3rd


    May 4, 2007
    So. Cal
    That would require me having to rent a D3, a D700 and a D300 all at once in order to conduct the experiment to see where the D700 truly fit. I doubt my memory would serve me long enough to determine AF performance if a week or two went by between rentals. Not a bad notion but I figured with as many guys on this forum who are living large enough and have one of each already, it would have been done. We've all seen the signatures at the bottom of the posts, we all know who has what in terms of all know who you are.
  19. Hello james, Why rent a D3, D700 and a D300 to conduct scientific experimentation, Go touch one and follow your heart. you will not want to sleep without one next to your pillow anymore. the D700 is the best thing known to man since sliced bread. my precious, my precious...