|Upon arrival of a Nikon D700 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Nikon D700 DSLR camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Nikon D700 offers many setting possibilities
Nikon targets at the professional user with the D700, which means, a huge amount of settings are available. Thanks to the well-structured menu, this is not a problem. It is wise to try out a few things so you can find out your ideal settings. The Nikon D700 creates files that are not too big. This is where the low amount of pixels comes in handy. There's usually far too much importance given to the amount of pixels. You can do many things with twelve megapixels and print posters without hesitation. Thankfully my computer did not suffer from loads of heavy files from the D700.
Nikon D700 Test charts & Field photos
During testing we generally take many pictures since that is the most realistic thing to do. Nobody shoots test charts for fun; you like to go out and shoot in the street, in the field. Still, we can't get around shooting test charts because they offer a neutral impression of the camera's quality. To be able to judge the D700 correctly, we carried out several rigorous tests in our DIWA Lab.
ISO range of the Nikon D700 DSLR
The ISO range of the D700 is standard from ISO 200 to ISO 6400 including a margin of ISO 100 to ISO 25600. These additional values do not comply with ISO standards thus creating differences. We certainly notice this at ISO 100 which has a deviation in sensitivity of around 33% whereas ISO 200 to 3200 only show a difference of approximately 9% (ISO 200 becomes ISO 180). At ISO, 100 the value is only 62! At higher sensitivities, the deviation becomes smaller and negligible.
Nikon D700 scores excellent on noise values
Noise is an important factor. It always increases at higher ISO values, there's no escaping it. Nikon was finally able to keep noise under control. With the exception of the lowest sensitivity there are no color channels that deviate considerably.
|This is pretty good. Noise gradually and consistently increases. It's not until ISO 1600 that noise is actually visible when measured in the lab but the sample pictures are still impressive. This is similar to the Nikon D3, which is not surprising since both cameras feature the same type of sensor and image processor. It is also not surprising that using the ISO 25600 setting, will create more noise. However, the pictures taken in practice did surprise us. Noise is less visible than you'd expect. I would consider ISO 6400 the limit and use the higher values only in emergencies. You would still get a good picture. Well done Nikon! They finally measure up to Canon and, in my opinion, they even exceed Canon.
Dynamic range on the Nikon D700 digital SLR
Dynamic range on the Nikon D700 digital SLR camera is fine. From ISO 6400 it deteriorates. And it's obvious that the range at ISO 100 is not as good as at ISO 200. It also becomes evident that the value does not fully comply with ISO standard. This is why the value is often referred to as ISO equivalent. So if you just leave the camera standard on ISO 200, the problem is solved.
White balance performance & Nikon View NX software
In general the auto white balance performs well. However, in combined halogen and candlelight, it gets somewhat disturbed and the picture turns out far too yellowish. This problem can be solved quickly by setting a manual white balance. Follow these instructions: set the WB button to Pre and press long enough, take a picture of a piece of white paper or a grey chart and you're done. If you're not completely satisfied with the result, you can fine-tune the white balance. And naturally you can adjust many things in RAW but the more you do it while capturing, the sooner you're done with editing the image. Nikon includes a downgraded version, View NX. It allows you to change one or two things, but not enough in my opinion. Nikon Capture NX2 is a much better tool although it has to be purchased separately. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can also use Adobe Camera RAW, Lightroom or Aperture.