Nikon D700 Review

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Nikon D700 Viewfinder

The D700's optical viewfinder is big and bright, though not quite as big as the D3's 100% finder. The pentaprism design features 95% frame coverage, 0.72x magnification at 50mm and -1 diopter, an 18 mm eyepoint, and diopter adjustment range of -3 to +1. If you just look at the specs, you might think that the D700's optical VF is a step backward from that of the D300's. After all, the D700's viewfinder is rated at only 0.72x magnification factor, vs. the 0.94x of the D300. However, you need and take into account the fact that that's 0.72x relative to a full-frame sensor, not an APS-C sized DX sensor like the D300 has.

A built-in eye-piece shutter is provided for self-timer or live view mode. The Nikon D700 comes with a Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI focusing screen and unlike the D3, there is provision for grid lines to be projected onto the viewfinder screen, as with some earlier Nikon SLRs. The number of AF points remains the same as the D300's (51), but because the D700 is full-frame, the area covered by the focus points is smaller than that of the D300.

The viewfinder display is very similar to the D300, but the D700 has added a 12-mm center-weighted metering reference circle on the screen, moved the battery status to the information display below, and has added focusing arrows, shutter lock and aperture lock indicators to the info display. The electronic analog exposure display can also double as a tilt indicator.

The graphic and table below shows what information is displayed in D700's viewfinder.

On-demand framing grid
ISO sensitivity
AF area brackets
Number of exposures remaining
12-mm reference circle for center-weighted metering
Number of shots remaining before memory buffer fills
Focus points
White balance recording indicator
Focus indicator
Exposure compensation value
Metering mode
Flash compensation value
Autoexposure (AE) lock
Flash-ready indicator
Shutter speed lock
FV lock indicator
Shutter speed
Flash sync
Aperture lock
Aperture stop
Aperture value / f-stops
Electronic analog exposure display / Tilt indicator
Exposure mode
Battery status
Flash compensation indicator
Auto ISO indicator
Exposure compensation indicator
"K" (appears when memory remains for over 1000 frames)


Viewfinder Test Results

A slightly tight optical viewfinder, but nearly dead-on accuracy with the LCD monitor.

Optical Viewfinder LCD Monitor

The Nikon D700's optical viewfinder showed about 96% frame accuracy, while the LCD monitor in Live View mode showed about 99%. Good results, though the optical viewfinder is a bit tight. (The non-100% viewfinder is one key difference between the Nikon D700 and its big brother, the D3.)


Nikon D700

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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