The What and The Why of the Nikon D700, According to Reichmann

Nikon D700 Full Frame DSLR Camera

What is the Nikon D700 and what is Nikon’s reason for making it? Photographer Michael Reichmann answers the what and the why of this new full frame camera from Nikon in his post today at his Luminous Landscape website.

Michael notes that the D700 comes with 95 percent of the D3 goodness at a price that’s 40 percent less (the D700 is priced at $3000, the D3 at $5000). Who needs the D3’s dual card slots and audio note capability? Well, if you need to record voice notes with your photos, then you will need the extra card slot. But if you don’t need to do audio notes, the D700 threw them away already, and that’s just about the two features in the D3 that’s missing from the D700, aside of course from the bigger camera’s bulk.

The 5 percent deficit in D3 goodness though is more than made up for with the addition of a useful pop-up flash and dust sensor shake which was sorely missing in the D3.

And that is the what of the D700. It is a D3 in a smaller body at a much lower price. What is the why? Certainly, they did not aim to eat up on the D3’s market (although that is shaping up to be the unintended collateral effect).

Mr. Reichmann says it’s to compete with the Canon 5D (or its latest incarnation), that’s why. He writes, “The Nikon D700 appears to be an arrow aimed right at the heart of the Canon 5D’s constituency, the only other traditional-sized full frame DSLR on the market. The problem with this comparison though is that the 5D is now three years old and long past its best-before date. Its replacement is due any day now (certainly by Photokina in late September). It’s therefore impossible at this point to know how successful the D700 will be against its as yet unreleased competitor.”

Because Nikon released the D700 way ahead of the competition, we can almost see the Canon engineers frantically busy at redesigning the new EOS 5D, adding final tweaks that could trump the D700. Maybe they’ll come up with a direct D3 competitor at price that’s only slightly higher than the current 5D (wish!).

With bated breath, we wait.

[Via: Luminous Landscape]

Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.