D700 - Future Digital Classic or Just Another Very, Very Good Camera...????

GPDenGPDen Posts: 739Member
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Now the simple question here is, is this a classic and much sort after antique Nikon camera of the future? The above is my D700 circa 23k clicks which is in great condition and which I still love dearly. However, I am looking to ‘chop it in’ very soon for a new D850 to pair up with my D810, a combo which will probably see me good for many, many years to come. I’m no camera geek but I do know the D700 was a special camera of it’s generation, one which Nikon possibly over engineered taking sales away from their then flagship D3. For me it was a stella upgrade from the DX D200 and raised the quality of my photos no end, particularly those of my favourite subject of golf. 10 to 12MP wasn’t huge but the quality of the full frame D700 was massive and even the cropping options were much, much better. That helped a lot given that I’d only got the reach of the 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII at the time. Since I got the D810 that’s been my primary camera but the D700 has always been there, usually with a speedlight attached for golf group shots (fill flash gets under all those golf caps so you can seen players faces) and close up post round candid stuff in the clubhouse. It’s always performed perfectly without a hitch and produced consistent output to sit nicely alongside the 36MP images from the D810. Now I’m not going to get much for the camera trade-in wise (£400 ish), even with the PDK 1 grip package (grip, battery, charger etc. which was a great buy at the time), but it will ease the impact of financing the D850 purchase. I could complete the purchase without the trade-in at a pinch and keep the D700 for posterity and maybe as a future long term investment (?). So, what do people think about how the D700 will be regarded in years to come, will it just be another fine well respected digital camera from the past or will it be held up as something a bit more special and of major significance in the development of digital photography? I’m really torn about letting mine go or just hanging onto it, knowing that it’s not going to see much, if any, action going forward, but just giving me a nice warm (yes, nostalgic I suppose) feeling about still owning one. Would be really interested to hear the thoughts from the forum on this (NB. This is my first venture into raising a discussion topic so go easy on me guys n gals).
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Comments

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,761Member
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 739Member

    Junk bin it

    Okay, nice and succinct and I think I understand the sentiment - but how will it go down in the annuls of time?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
    edited May 11
    I disagree with Pistnbroke, but of course it all depends upon how you are using your gear. Different horses for different courses, you know.

    I have a D850 and have found it to be "too much" most of the time. I did an extensive two day 3/4th length portrait shoot of instructors for a large national fitness club with my D850. The RAW images were to be sent to their website through an upload link but it didn't work because their software couldn't handle such a large upload of data. After many attempts as a solution, including using dropbox, I ended up just sending them a usb drive by snail mail. When I checked the images on their upload site which other photographers had successfully sent in those other photographers were using 24 mp cameras max. No one was even using 36 megapixels. My D850 just caused a lot of hassle although I cleared it with them in advance and they said their system could handle it.

    Also, I get so many requests these days for portraits to be used only on the internet and published in magazines or books. They will never be displayed on monitors or cellphones at more than 1 megabyte jpeg and people hardly ever ask for prints larger than 5x7 anymore. Just a day ago two of my pet portraits were published in a magazine in sizes small then 5x7 because the layout has to include 3/4th of the page covered with text.

    The D850 data flow is just "overkill" running through my computer and the images are downsized to about 2 mb when viewed anyway so I am now "downgrading megapixels" and creating a generational "camera collection" at the same time. I watched e-bay and bought a 16 mb D4 for $1,600 US, a 12 mb D3s for $700 US and recently a 12 mb D700 with the MB-10 grip (and other items) or $422 US. All with shutter actuations from 11,000 to 29,000. I think these are all going to be Nikon "classic cameras" over time. I will be working with them much of the time to see how I like them. So far, I really like the D4 the best in my hands but I suspect shooting with the D700 will still produce perfectly adequate images for most uses. Let's be realistic about end use and needed megapixels here.

    Of course, if you are a "high end art or nature photographer or bird photographer who needs to crop a lot" and who is selling poster size and larger prints you should be shooting all those images on a D850 or the 60 mp Nikon which I think will come out in less than a year. But if you are doing a lot of the things I described in the second and third paragraph above you are "wasting megapixels" shooting with the D850. I realize you can set your D850 to small jpeg or small raw to reduce file size and that is also a reasonable solution in some cases. I am going to be enjoying shooting with older "classic" Nikon cameras and that also is a reasonable solution.

    In your situation I would do two things: 1. Keep the D700, shoot with it when you know you don't need more mp and keep enjoying it. 2. Consider waiting a year for your high megapixel body because a 60 mp sensor likely will be out soon, perhaps in a D860 or a Z8 body (or both).

    PS. I should add that there are many report of the D700 having "special colors" or "good skin tones" because the designers got the sensor and processor working together almost magically. I just got mine and don't have an opinion yet never having shot one portrait with it.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 739Member
    Thanks donaldejose, very interesting thoughts and observations. I too have seen Utube stuff lauding the D700's capabilities with portaits and it's rendering of skin tones. On your advice as to what to do re my next purchase it's difficult. Do I really need 60mp - not really; do I want to wait for one - no as the thought of a new toy now to play with is a becoming a big itch I want to scratch; do I want to go mirrorless - again no, well not at this point in time. Also, my usual stance on upgrading is to pull the trigger towards the latter end of the latest 'big things' life cycle, that way all bugs are sorted and prices are a bit more realistic. For sure the D850 will be overkill for me as was the D810 in respect of what it can do and what I don't use (video for one!! - Oh why can't we go back to cameras for stills and another for video rather than the do everything package!?). You'll have to let us know how you get on using your D700 in future posts and maybe put some pics on the PAD. It seems that you might be in the 'future classic' camp, but lets see if the results you get confirm that.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
    I will put some photos in this link from various bodies taken over the years and add the D700 when I get some. I don't think you will be able to see any difference even though all sorts of different camera were used.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
    D600 2013 self portrait

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  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
    D600 2013 portrait of my wife

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  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
    D800 2012 wife at the beach

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  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,134Member
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