Nikon D700 Key Features

  • 12.1 megapixel full-frame sensor (8.45µm pixel pitch)
  • Image Sensor Cleaning (vibration) *
  • ISO 200 – 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600 and down to ISO 100)
  • Also supports DX lenses, viewfinder automatically masks (5.1 megapixels with DX lens)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion, 12 channel readout
  • Same ultra-fast startup and shutter lag as D3
  • Nikon EXPEED image processor (Capture NX processing and NR algorithms, lower power)
  • New Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 150,000 exposure durability *
  • Multi-CAM3500FX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • 95% coverage, 0.72x magnification viewfinder *
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning), fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets
  • 5 frames per second continuous with auto-focus tracking*
  • Optional MB-D10 Battery Pack (same as D300), increases burst rate to 8 fps *
  • UDMA compatible single CF card slot *
  • 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
  • Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
  • HDMI HD video output
  • 'Active D-Lighting' (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed 'Control Panel' type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • Magnesium alloy body with connections and buttons sealed against moisture
  • Improved Info display on main screen *

* Different to D3

The D700 in the Nikon line-up

The table below shows how the D700 squeezes into the Nikon DSLR line-up, between the APS-C D300 and the full-frame D3.



Nikon D300

Nikon D700

Nikon D3

Dust removal • Self-cleaning filter
• Dust-off image
• Self-cleaning filter
• Dust-off image
• Dust-off image
Sensor size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 36 x 23.9 mm 36 x 23.9 mm
Effective pixels 12.3 million 12.1 million 12.1 million
FOV crop 1.5x 1x 1x
Sensitivity range (boost setting) (100), 200 – 3200, (6400) (100), 200 – 6400, (25,600) (100), 200 – 6400, (25,600)
Shutter life 150,000 exposures 150,000 exposures 300,000 exposures
Continuous rate (high) 6.0 fps (8.0 fps with battery grip) 5.0 fps (8.0 fps with battery grip) 9.0 fps (11 fps in DX crop mode)
Continuous buffer • 100 JPEG Norm
• 17 RAW
• 100 JPEG Norm
• 17 RAW
• 130 JPEG Norm
• 17 RAW
Built-in flash • Manual pop-up
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
• Manual pop-up
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
Storage CF (inc. UDMA) CF (inc. UDMA) CF (inc. UDMA) x2 slots
Viewfinder • 100% coverage
• 0.94x magnification
• 95% coverage
• 0.72x magnification
• 100% coverage
• 0.7x magnification
Top panel LCD Yes Yes Yes (plus rear info panel below screen)
Battery 11.1 Wh 11.1 Wh 27.75 Wh
Vertical grip Yes, MB-D10 Yes, MB-D10 Built in
Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
147 x 123 x 77 mm
(5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in)
160 x 157 x 88 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in)
Weight (no batt) 825 g 995 g 1240 g
Weight (inc batt) 903 g 1075 g 1420 g

Technology under the skin


FX format sensor (Nikon design) Sensor and sensor cleaning module

RGB 1005 segment metering sensor EXPEED processor

Weather sealing on the D700 body


Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor • 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor
• FX format
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 12.87 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processor Nikon EXPEED
A/D conversion 14 bit
Image sizes
(FX format)
• 4256 x 2832 [L; 12.1 MP]
• 3184 x 2120 [M; 6.8 MP]
• 2128 x 1416 [S; 3.0 MP]
Image sizes
(DX format)
• 2784 x 1848 [L; 5.1 MP]
• 2080 x 1384 [M; 2.9 MP]
• 1392 x 920 [S; 1.3 MP]]
File formats • NEF (12-bit or 14-bit, compressed or lossless compressed RAW)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Lens mount • Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
• No field of view crop (full-frame)
• When using DX lenses / DX mode 1.5x FOV crop
Usable lenses

• DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported
• Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported (PC Micro-Nikkors do not support some functions)
• Other AF Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported. IX Nikkor lenses not supported.
• AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
• Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data

Auto Focus • 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors)
• Multi-CAM 3500FX
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• AF fine tuning possible
• Contrast Detect in Live View (Tripod) mode
Lens Servo • Single Servo AF [S]
• Continuous Servo AF [C]
• Manual focus [M]
• Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status in [S] or [C] AF
Focus Point • Single point from 51 or 11 focus points
• Liveview (Tripod mode): Contrast AF on a desired point anywhere within frame
AF Area Mode

• Single point AF
• Dynamic Area AF [9 points, 21 points, 51 points, 51 points (3D-tracking)]
• Automatic-area AF

Focus Lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

AF assist

AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1.6-9.8 ft.)

Exposure modes • Program Auto [P] with flexible program
• Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
• Aperture-Priority Auto [A]
• Manual [M]

TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 1005-pixel RGB sensor
• 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering (non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed)
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20 mm dia. circle in center of frame or weighting based on average of entire frame
• Spot: Meters approx. 4 mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Metering range • 3D Color Matrix Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Center-Weighted Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot Metering: 2 to 20 EV
• At normal temperature (20°C/68°F), ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens
Meter coupling CPU and AI
Exposure lock Locked using AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure bracketing

• 2 to 9 frames
• 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps

Exposure compen. • +/-5.0 EV
• 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps

• Default: ISO 200 – 6400 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps
• Boost: 100 – 12800 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps, HI2 = ISO 25600

Shutter • Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter
• 30 to 1/8000 sec (1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
DOF Preview • Stop-down lens aperture by pressing button
• Activates modeling flash
White balance • Auto (1005-pixel CCD, image sensor)
• Presets (seven) with fine tuning
• Manual presets (five)
• Color temperature in Kelvin (2500 – 10000 K)
• White balance bracketing (2 to 9 frames in increments of 1, 2 or 3
Picture Control • Standard
• Neutral
• Vivid
• Monochrome
Image parameters • Sharpening: Auto, 10 levels
• Contrast: Auto, 6 levels, Custom tone curve
• Brightness: 3 levels
• Saturation: Auto, 7 levels
• Hue: 7 levels
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB

• Optical-type fixed eye-level pentaprism
• Built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1m-1)
• Eyepoint: 18 mm (at -1.0m-1)
• Focusing screen: Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen
• Frame coverage 95%
• Viewfinder magnification approx 0.72x with 50 mm f/1.4 lens

Focusing screen • B-type BrightView Clear Matte IV Screen
• Superimposed focus brackets
• On-demand grid lines
LCD monitor • 3.0 " TFT LCD
• Approx. 920,000 pixels (VGA; 640 x 480 x 3 colors)
• 170° viewing angle
100% frame coverage
• Brightness adjustment
LCD Liveview

• Handheld mode: TLL phase-detect AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors)
• Tripod mode: focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area

Shooting modes • Single frame
• Continuous Low [CL]: 1 – 5 fps (1 – 7 fps with Battery Grip)
• Continuous High [CH]: 5 fps (8 fps with Battery Grip)
• Liveview [LV]
• Self-Timer (programmable)
• Mirror-up mode
Self-timer • 2 to 20 sec custom

• Manual pop-up type
• Guide number of 17/56 (ISO 200, m/ft.) or 12/39 (ISO 100, m/ft.)

Flash control

• TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400
• Auto aperture (AA): Available with SB-900, 800 and CPU lens
• Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s
• Distance-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-900, 800

Flash Sync Mode • Front-curtain Sync (normal)
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
• Slow Sync
• Rear-curtain Sync
Flash Accessory Shoe

ISO 518 standard-type hot shoe contact; Safety lock mechanism provided

Flash Sync Terminal ISO 519 standard terminal, lock screw provided
Flash compensation • -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Creative Lighting System

With Speedlights such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, or SU-800 (commander only), supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information Communication, modeling flash and FV lock; built-in flash can be used as a commander

Orientation sensor Tags images with camera orientation
Playback mode • Full frame
• Thumbnail (4 or 9 images)
• Zoom
• Slideshow
• RGB histogram
• Shooting data
• Highlight point
• Auto image rotation
• image comment (up to 36 characters)

• Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
• Dutch
• English
• Finnish
• French
• German
• Italian
• Japanese
• Korean
• Polish
• Portuguese
• Russian
• Spanish
• Swedish


• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Mini-B connector
• HDMI video out (version 1.3a, Type C mini connector provided)
• Remote control 10-pin terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal

10-pin terminal

• GPS: NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable and GPS Cable MC-35 (optional)
• Remote control: via 10-pin terminal

Storage • Compact Flash (Type I only)
• UDMA supported
• 36 characters of text can be input and stored in EXIF header
Power • Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e
• Included dual battery charger MH-18a
• Optional AC adapter EH-5a/EH-5
• Optional Battery Pack MB-D10
Dimensions Approx. 147 x 123 x 77 mm/5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in.
Weight (no batt) Approx. 995 g/2.19 lb.
Operating environment

Temperature: 0 – 40 °C / 32 – 104 °F, Humidity: under 85% (no condensation)

Box contents

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, USB Cable UC-E4, Video Cable EG-D100, Camera Strap AN-D700, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, LCD Monitor Cover BM-9, Software Suite CD-ROM (Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area)

Optional accessories

Wireless Transmitter WT-4, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-17M, AC Adapter EH-5a, Capture NX 2 Software, Camera Control Pro 2 Software, Image Authentication Software

Side by side: D3 vs D700 with MB-D10

The D700 is compatible with the D300's MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pac, which can accept one EN-EL4a/4/3e or eight AA-size batteries. With the MB-D10 attached the D700 feels very much like a D3 (it's actually a fractionally taller combination) and offers high-speed continuous shooting of full size 12.1MP images at a rate of up to 8 fps (when using EN-EL4a/4 or eight AA-size batteries).

This isn't quite D3 speed, but is getting close (note that there's no 'speed up' when shooting in crop mode – 8 fps is the absolute maximum). Unless you have a real need for this ultra high speed shooting it could be argued that the D700 / MB-D10 combination is actually more versatile than a D3, giving you the option to carry a smaller lighter body when speed isn't so crucial.

In your hand

Aside from being a bit heavier and having a much bigger full frame viewfinder, the D700 handles exactly the same as the D300. This is no bad thing; as we said at the time we reviewed the D300, you really have to pick it up to appreciate how nicely it fits into your hand. The ergonomics are great and the soft rubber used on the grip ensures holding the camera steady is an easy task. The control layout is also very sensible and easy to learn; even if you've never used a Nikon DSLR before, the clear labeling and logical positioning mean you'll be shooting and discovering the D700's features very quickly, and if you are coming from the D3 or D300 you'll be right at home.


LCD Monitor

The D700 shares the D3 and D300's new large, high resolution LCD monitor. It has four times the number of dots than the 230,000 unit used on the D2X and other such cameras. For clarity, the words pixels and dots are interchanged almost randomly in specification sheets but strictly speaking we should talk of dots (these being red, green or blue sub-pixels) when referring to the figures quoted by manufacturers. The D700's LCD has 921,600 dots, 1920 columns by 480 rows, the dots are a third thinner than they are high and so each group of three dots (sub-pixels) make up one full color pixel.

This high resolution screen really has to be seen to be appreciated, it's beautifully detailed and extremely smooth in appearance because the tiny gaps between dots are too small to be seen with the eye. This extra detail is obvious in live view and playback modes where you really can see much 'more' of the image in one glance. Another difference comes when you magnify in playback as you find you don't need to magnify the image as much before you can clearly see sharpness, focus accuracy and even noise.

One other difference between the D3/D300/D700's screen and that used previously is the layout of the dots (sub-pixels), this new screen has the same layout as your computer LCD, a simple RGB layout with all rows the same ('stripe array'). The other layout used on small LCD screens is the 'delta array' which uses an RGB pattern on one row then a BRG pattern on the row below, offset by half a pixel.


Stripe array layout LCD Delta array layout LCD

Below you can see a real-life, same-size example of the difference in resolution between this new 921,600 dot screen (on the D300, but it's the same as the D3 and D700) and a more typical 230,400 dot screen (in this case on the Canon EOS 40D). Both cameras were set in play mode with the same image (note that the D300 doesn't use the whole screen in play unless you magnify), a shot was taken of each camera from the same distance (hence the screens were captured at the same magnification).


Crop from the D700/D3/D300's LCD
(1920 x 480 dots; 640 x 480 pixels)
Crop from the EOS 40D's LCD
(960 x 240 dots; 320 x 240 pixels)

Top Control Panel

Unlike the D3, the D700 has only one status / control panel display, which resides on the top plate (there's no room on the back for another). The panel has a green back light which can be illuminated by flicking the power switch to the lamp position, it's spring loaded and returns to 'ON', the back light stays on for the 'auto meter-off' time. You can also choose to have the backlight come on with any button press.

Top Control Panel



1 Flexible program indicator 15 Frames remaining / buffer / capture mode / WB rec / manual lens number
2 Shutter speed lock 16 White balance
3 Shutter speed / multi function *1 17 Intervalometer
4 Exposure compensation 18 Battery
5 Flash compensation 19 'Clock not set' indicator
6 Exposure, flash and WB-bracketing 20 MB-D10 battery
7 Color temperature 21 White balance fine tuning
8 Aperture stop 22 Flash mode
9 Aperture lock 23 Image quality
10 Aperture / brack. increment / shots per interval / Max aperture (non-CPU lenses) 24 Image size
11 Beep indicator 25 ISO / Auto ISO sensitivity
12 Multi exposure 26 Flash sync indicator
13 GPS connection 27 Exposure mode
14 Exp display / exp comp / brack. progress / tilt indicator  



The D700 comes with the same excellent high resolution VGA screen that we first saw on the D3 and D300. It has a very fine pixel pitch which means you don't see any gaps and that makes for both very detailed but also surprisingly smooth gradations in flat areas of the image. Compared to a lower resolution screen this this certainly improves both Record review and playback. It's not necessary to zoom into images quite as far in playback in order to check sharpness / focus accuracy and it also transforms manual focus in live view mode into a very easy task.

Shooting information

Press the info button in shooting mode (except live view) to show a full screen 'shooting information' display, we first saw a screen like this implemented in the D40 and there are certainly circumstances where having this level of information on one single screen can be very useful. The D700's shooting information screen automatically (or optionally manually) switches from light background to dark background in low light situations. Like on the D3 and D300 the information display disappears as soon as you half-press the shutter release button and does not return, you have to press info again, it would have been nice to have a 'persistent shooting information' custom function.


Light screen background Dark screen background (low light)

Quick settings display

The Quick Settings display is a new feature that we've first seen on Nikon's D60 entry level DSLR. Press the info button in shooting mode and you'll get the shooting information display. Press it again and you'll enter the Quick settings display (the two rows of settings at the bottom of the screen). Here you navigate using the multi-controller and press OK or the multi-controller button to access and change a setting. Settings you can change in the Quick Settings display include the shooting bank, High ISO and long exposure noise reduction and the function of the preview and Fn buttons.


Light screen background Dark screen background (low light)

Virtual horizon

Like the D3 the D700 features the Virtual horizon which provides an aircraft-cockpit type live virtual horizon on the LCD monitor indicating the current orientation of the camera, perfectly horizontal or vertical and the camera axis line turns green (shown on the right below). By default the Virtual Horizon is viewed via an option from the Setup menu (although can be assigned to a button) and disappears as soon as you half-press the shutter release.

The tilt sensor can also (perhaps more practically) be displayed on the top LCD panel or inside the viewfinder (using the exposure scale) if it is assigned to the Fn button. A new (and very useful) option on the D700 is to superimpose the Virtual Horizon onto the Live View image. This option has been implemented as one of the display modes and you can cycle through those by pressing the Info button in Live View.


Viewfinder indication: no tilt Viewfinder indication: CW tilt
Viewfinder indication:CCW tilt Top panel indication
Live View indication: tilt Live View indication: no tilt

Record Review

You can choose for the D700 to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means it's easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' CSM c4 or until you half-press the shutter release.


Press the Playback button to enter playback mode, press the multi selector up or down to change display mode, up to seven different pages of display detail are available. You can change the amount of information available in the basic and detailed photo display modes including optional blinking highlights and focus point display as well as the three pages of shooting information in detail mode. Note that you can switch the up/down and left/right functions of the multi selector via CSM f4 and that you can choose to also use the command dials to browse / change page via CSM f9.


Basic photo display: file number, folder, filename, date & time, quality, size. Optionally you can also display the focus point (shown here).

Basic photo display with optional Highlights

Detailed photo display: image thumbnail, histogram, exposure information and other data as per default display

Detailed photo display optional RGB histogram page
Detailed photo display data 1: metering mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode, ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, lens used, AF mode, VR mode, flash mode and flash compensation Detailed photo display data 2: white balance & fine tuning, color space, picture control and image parameter adjustments
Detailed photo display data 3: noise reduction, active d-lighting, retouching, comment  

Playback Zoom
The D700's playback zoom is implemented in the same manner as the D300's (and therefore different to the D3's). You use the zoom button to select zoom amount (on the D3 you use the combined zoom / thumbnail button with the rear command dial) and can use the multi-selector to move around the magnified image. Just like on the D3 and D300 there are eight zoom levels, on the high resolution screen the last two go beyond 1:1 and provide an enlarged pixelated view.


By moschos

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One thought on “Nikon D700, D300 and D3 information”
  1. […] [ Moschos on-line ] » Nikon D700, D300 and D3 information Unless you have a real need for this ultra high speed shooting it could be argued that the D700 / MB-D10 combination is actually more versatile than a D3, giving you the option to carry a smaller lighter body when speed isn't so crucial. The panel has a green back light which can be illuminated by flicking the power switch to the lamp position, it's spring loaded and returns to 'ON', the back light stays on for the 'auto meter-off' time. You can also choose to have . […]

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