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Monday, 02 September 2013


I have a SOTA turntable, but it's over 25 years old.

There are three main things I really wish were improved in my D700:

1. An option for more MPs. I'm terrible at composing on the spot and do much better when playing around in Photoshop afterwards. Having more MPs would let me crop more (I sometimes crop 2/3 of an image out).

2. 100% what you see in the view finder is what shows up in the final image, not 95%, not 97% - 100%.

3. Better low light handling.

The one extra feature I think I'd like to see: 16-bit color. That would give 64 times more colors. I'm just not sure most printers or monitors would really be able to show the difference.

"I think Nikon needs to re-introduce a refreshed version of the D700"


Couldn't agree more, still have mine and it still earns me money and it still shoots great quality images and it has paid for itself! What more can one want.

It was interesting to me that the two other cameras in the generation (the D3 and D300) both received a refresh but the D700 did not. There was also an upgrade path from those two bodies as well but not so much for the D700.

I've had mine for four years and have very little desire to upgrade, perhaps this is why Nikon hasn't further iterated on these design lines.

(But seriously just put a D4 sensor in the D800 body, call it the D800h and I'll buy it. Tomorrow.)

Ugh, thanks Mike. I moved from camera to camera finally discovering the D700 years ago. It was rock solid in every way and I liked nearly every file that came out of it. I "upgraded" to a d800e 6 months after its release and sold my d700 3 months after that. Big mistake. I don't want to shoot video with a dslr and because I am not a physicist my "missed" shots are more pronounced on my new camera. I was hoping to buy a d700 back when digital rot set in and prices leaked a bit more. Now I'll have to visit one in a glass case next to the "king of bokeh" leica lens you created.
If Nikon is listening don't re-release (aka mess up) a damn thing just keep selling that beauty for a decent price.

Maybe not necessarily bringing uto to SOTA but merely state of availability. I realise that an electronic device cannot be produed indefintely in the same form as components change, become obsolete etc. But indeed it would be nice to see a "sufficient" and popular model continue its same form for extended time.
I'm actually constantly aggrieved by what are to me down-grades in models as new features are added, or forms & controls changed as model lines evolve.

I'm a D700 user, and I love it! But what would you possibly add to bring it to state of the art without adding new features and buttons etc?

You could keep it exactly the same, but say add the D600 24MP sensor, which would be perfect for me personally. But other than that, all camera 'improvements' for SOTA in the last 5yrs seem to be in the video realm? This would certainly require all sorts of extra controls i.e A D700II would be either the D600 with a more rugged body, or D800 with a smaller sensor?

Maybe the reason the D700 is so popular is that it was the last Nikon pro 'small' body, *before video* i.e. anyone not interested in video or giant resolution just ran out of reason to upgrade?

But I'm all for it, I'll buy your D700II anyway :)

After using a D700 for a week, I was always hoping and waiting for that sensor to flow down into a cheaper consumer model, but it never happened. We got the D600 instead.


I was late to the digital game because I wanted a Nikon digital SLR that matched the look, feel and functionality of the wonderful F100. I got into digital when the D700 was introduced and was not disappointed. I make a living with the camera, and while it is probably time to upgrade, I'm now waiting for a Nikon digital SLR that matches the look, feel and functionality of the D700. FX versus DX aside, I'm waiting to see if a D400 is finally in the works.

Maybe it would be useful if you explained what (apart from the higher resolution) is missing or wrong with the D800 as the D700 successor. Keep in mind that they were introduced at the same price.

That being said, I do believe that if Nikon want to fully cover the price spectrum for full frame they might do a D800(H?) with the D600 sensor and a D4X with the D800 sensor.

I agree completely. It would never work, of course, especially "in the digital-electronic era" when things advance (or at least change) much more rapidly than any conscientious user of these technologies can keep up with. But I agree.

Never mind considerations such as providing unending support (stocking parts, issuing firmware updates, and so on), and stealing sales from other members of their own FX line. Or whether these classics would continue to sell in sustainable numbers given newer and more capable options.

For my part, since I'm a user of the Minony/Sonolta/whatever A-mount, I'd like to see the same treatment given to the A900, maybe even updated to include live view and MF-only video. Not to mention having the opportunity to replace one of my Maxxum 7's (yes, the film ones) with a new one, not one auctioned off for cheap because it's been beaten up or ignored and left in questionable condition. Both have been replaced by "better" models, but in my opinion both of those were the peaks of their categories and, as you wrote, got everything so right.

But why stop at cameras (er, other than because this is a photography discussion)? I'd like to be able to buy a new computer with Windows XP - Microsoft's most usable operating system to date (...in my opinion) - on it in a few years, maybe modernized to include advancements in security and stability, but something that runs all those programs I wrote ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago that still work just fine under XP but fail under newer operating systems and would take too much time, money, and effort to rewrite for the new OSs.



Change continues apace.



(Er, do I sound too curmudgeonly?)

I am a former D700 owner and current D600 shooter.

In many ways the D600 is a better camera, but the feature that I miss the most from the D700 is the ability to swap focusing screens. I had a split prism for my D700 that made focusing manual lenses a breeze.

To make matters worse, not only did someone at Nikon decide to stifle that feature, but Nikon also changed the rules regarding the purchase of spare parts. This has made it impossible for companies like Katz Eye Optics to develop a third party solution. And of course Nikon does not offer an split prism screen of their own.

So, while I am happy with the performance improvements of the D600 over the D700 I am quite frustrated by the inability to use my manual focus glass to its fullest ability. The focus confirmation dot is not a viable solution. I'm not a chameleon.

it would seem from reading the comments to 'that post from yesterday' that you are aiding and abetting the downfall of Nikon. How can they keep making cameras if you keep harbouring all these D700 guerillas? Hmm?

In other words, a D4 sensor in a D800 body with top of the line AF, decent frame rate, and decent raw buffer. I'd replace my D700 with that - at some point ;). For now, my D700 and D7100 seem to make a perfect pair. 16MP (D4 sensor) is plenty for me.

You are absolutely right. Till then I remain with the original.

Isn't the D600 what you are requesting ? I'm considering moving even further to basics to Sony NEX system......waiting for the NEX 9 to be introduced. D700 great images, but too much bulk and way too much menu choices.

Count me in for a refresh of my Sony A850 and/or a redo of the A900. I'd buy again. I'd also love the ability to send in my old body for an overhaul.

I suspect the D700 will be remembered with real fondness in years to come as the FE/FM are.

We are still in the early days of digital; smartphone with 10x optical zoom anyone?

I'm waiting for the day I can eidetically record a scene and download it to my computer when I get home!

best wishes

I'd buy one. I love mine and won't replace it until it dies.

This seems to be a popular notion, but a misplaced one, I think. When I ask people who ask for a D700 update about what bringing it up to state of the art (SOTA) would mean, I start to get lists of things that, well, essentially mean it isn't a D700 any more.

Technically, Nikon made the mistake of not making a D700s (D3s sensor plus menu upgrades that accompanied that). But the D3s sensor also provided video and new Live View functionality, which the die-hard D700 crowd seems to NOT want. So essentially you're asking a company to do less than they could, and to not preserve functionality across the line.

Moreover, some of the "make another D700" crowd is really reacting to the number 36. 12 was good enough for them, and they are stuck on the notion that 36mp will kill their computer in some way. But computers, like cameras, move on in terms of their abilities, too. SOTA computers handle 36mp just fine.

May I suggest that those that like the D700 just buy one? It's a fine camera still. I once wrote that if I were forced to only have one DSLR, it would be the D700. Today, I'd write the same thing about the D800E.

All that said, before the D600 and D800 appeared I strongly suggested that Nikon should fork the D700 to a D700s and D700x lineup (lower pixel count, high performance and high pixel count, lower performance). What I believe is most true of the D700 upgrade discontent is that Nikon first went one direction (big pro body, smaller prosumer body, but essentially equal in capability) with FX, then shifted to a consumer, prosumer, pro lineup that makes very little sense to anyone and produces products that aren't fully rationalized. 16mp pro, 24mp consumer, 36mp prosumer really doesn't sound right, does it?

Couldn't agree more. The D700 is one of the 'best' cameras ever made - a simple revamp really is what many people would like (maybe 16-18 megapixels max.). However, I wouldn't trust Nikon to produce anything right at the moment. The current higher models have problems that Nikon are flat out refusuing to acknowledge or even put right if returned. My gut feeling is that 50% of buyers in the higher model market are simply uninterested in video capability and, furthermore, distrust the complication it adds to the camera in terms of more things to go wrong. People may argue to simply ignore it, but you can't disable people's doubts and inclinations. My guess is if video was included in a D700 MkII it would'nt have half the appeal of the original. Of course this will never happen: hence the pretty unimaginative D600.
(A derisory) boo to Nikon.

Sometimes your ideas are just the TOPs! I sold my D200 & D300 to buy another D700 (used though;)and I'm willing to carry it with me until I can't anymore. So sad it was discontinued.

You could argue that Canon's entire Rebel DSLR range is just what you mean. From 300D to 700D there have now been 9 cameras that look, feel and handle almost exactly the same. The changes between any two of them have been purely incremental, but have been regular and frequent. Yes, the resolution has changed over time, as has the LCD screen size, behaviour (touch-screen & rotating), and there have been other changes, but as I say they have all been incremental. You could argue that the camera model is a Rebel, with a number of serial instantiations; anyone who has ever used any Rebel DSLR will pretty much be able to pick any other Rebel and use it.

That would be the D600, wouldn't it?

The D700 was, and still currently is, my first and only digital camera. From the very first days of owning it, was quickly proved that it was one of the best and most perfect cameras for me, and hasn't failed me since. Last month, passed the 10k frame mark.

Honestly, now, I am pining to attain the D800E, as the only thing I have wished the D700 had, was video shooting capability. That is a new liking of mine. Just as it took me until 2010 to "go digital", after being a proud film photographer, the whole video shooting capability in a still camera, was frowned upon and scoffed at by me. Now, I am willing to embrace it, and having the wonderful convenient ability to have my one camera beautifully fill both needs.

Back to the D700 though, it has been one hell of a camera, and have absolutely not one solitary negative thing to say about it, and has been one of the best cameras I have owned in my life... followed very closely by my old N80, that was the film camera I felt was my best, perfect fit film camera for me... and that one followed by my still owned F4.

There are a lot of folks who are distinctly unhappy with Nikon's method of splitting up the "replacement" to the D700. As a wedding photographer I need the build, focus system, and other features of the D800 but can't tolerate the significant overkill that 36MP causes. 1500 RAW exposures in a single day - every single week - I'd certainly rather deal with 12MP files than 36MP.

I'd welcome a D700s with the 16MP D4 sensor in a heartbeat.

As I stated in my post when you got your D800, I was "Perfectly Happy" with my purchase of a used D700 and couldn't imagine any benefit to an upgrade to a D800. Your response was that I might be more perfectly happy if I did. Well it did take me a few months and a cleaning out of a closet of little used camera gear (including a 4x5) but last November I did get a D800 and there is no question that functionally the 12x18 prints that I produce are not significantly more detailed than they were with the D700, but there is absolutely no doubt that I am "MORE perfectly happy" with the D800. As a result I have changed the majority of my lenses and shoot far more with primes than ever before. Where my D700 did more than I ever could have utilized, it has been dwarfed by the benefits of the D800. Lotsa fun with my Dragoon!

Maybe a refresh in fashionable colors like British Racing Green, Safety Orange, Perriwinkle, and of course Giugiaro Red. ;)

The D800 *is* the D700 II, but with a better sensor. I believe the initial price on each was about the same. The D700 was a remarkable value at the time, and still is a good camera, as is the D3...they're just not as good as later models. That doesn't mean you can't make excellent photos with them. Perhaps the D700 represented the point where digital cameras began to plateau, and moving to the next model was no longer critical to image quality, at least with typical print sizes.

What changes would you want to see?

You must have been to the optometrist recently - how are those new rose-coloured glasses you're wearing? ;-)

Seriously though, yes you can still use five, ten, or even fifty-year-old technology and it's not the end of the world.

But you're also succumbing to a type of psychological anchoring - the idea that things were better in the past (for whatever reason), and these newfangled *new things* will never be as good.

The future is happening now - embrace it.

I have a D700 and when the D800 was introduced, I thought I might get one, but then realized that I don't need/want video in my DSLR (have it in my Fuji X-E1). Nor do I want the massive files from 36 mp. And...I can't think of anything my D700 won't do that I want it to.
If the D700II had 16-24 mp, then yeah...I might want it. But would I give up the D700 and buy one? Probably not, unless the D700 quit working.

Dead on, Mike!
Remember the venerable Nikon F. That thing went through so many iterations yet remained unchanged (in essence is what made it so...classic), it deserved to be a classic...
Ah, the good ol' days.

I never 'knew' the D700, never shot whit it and never held one in my hands, but it are those so good comments on this camera that made me buy both the D800's .
I don't know if Nikon should re-introduce the D700, even in a second version. It could, in a technological point of view, be a kind of status quo. The D800 is very good, perhaps to 'good', and in that perspective you might be right in demanding a 'new' D700. But, isn't the D600 (and the predicted D610) fulfilling this task?

Why make a camera everyone either already has or doesn't want? There are enough SH D700s around for any fan to get a second or third body.

Fact is it was heavily outsold by the 5Dmk2.

The D600 doesn't have the same controls, but it has the same speed, 24MP and it's quite a bit lighter. The new version just announced may not have any dust either....

Could not agree more. I sometimes wonder how much would be gained if companies would take a page out of Fuji's book and thought about the the overall solution instead of chasing "spec".

The image quality of the D700 was/is great. A smaller, better body without pretenses to the "professional" crowd, with updated processing could be just the ticket.

I have had a D700 for a couple years now. I LOVE THE CAMERA - except... What I HATE about it is the lack of a 100% viewfinder. That one feature is enough to have me lusting after the D800. Fix that and I would cherish this camera for decades!

I think you are absolutely correct. I have a D300 and believe that if they would leave everything alone and just upgrade the sensor it would be perfect. I would buy in an instant. But we wait and wait then get the D600 which is inferior, and the D800 which is great, but overkill. Why not simply a D700 with a 16 or 20 mb sensor? I would buy that.
Ken James

I very much agree but think theres as much chance of this as Nikon bringing back the F. However, if they do I promise to buy one through TOP!

Pentax thought so with the K-5, at least as a year-plus improvement before the next Big Step. We think there's such a Big Step coming, but Pentaxians are optimists & dreamers.

My D700 is the Pentax K-5. What a great camera, and value, it is/was. Pentax did that one exactly right by releasing the incrementally improved K-5 II(s) instead of replacing it with a new model.

But now you all got me thinking about this D700...

Damn it.

Ah, 36 Mpixels......computers can shuffle 36 Gpixel images if you give them enough cheap memory to play with. 36 MPixels is no problem at all. I have a 8 Gb computer with an I5 (middle of the range when I bought about 20 odd month ago) now a serious bottom feeder. But it can proces and even stitch D800 shots. And if you worry about storage space, well if you worry about storage space you shoot to much (last month meant 8 exposures and 5 keepers and I'm critical but like to do that before I push the button (old film shooters habit).

Greets, Ed.

About the F, you see....I agree. Up and untill the F3, but with the F4, Nikon broke the score.

Greets, Ed.

I love my D700 and don't really want a +30meg sensor. Any improvements in sensor technology would be great but anything over 24Megs is a waste of HD space IMHO. I'm into quality not quantity.

The D600 and D800 feel a little like what happened with the Canon EOS A2 - it was ultimately split into the EOS 3 and Elan 7, Canon seemingly feeling that they had made either too good or not good enough of a camera(but that critter lasted forever - 10 years or so in production!) Sometimes getting the camera just right makes it too hard to sell an upgrade, perhaps?

The D600 is a step down from the D700 in at least one way -- slower frame rate.

The D800 is a wonderful camera -- for a completely different market segment (it's a landscape-and-portrait camera, NOT a photojournalist/sports camera).

A next-generation photojournalist/sports camera could have considerably better high ISO handling, and the D700, while wonderful, is NOT perfect. I think AF has improved some too.

The D600 isn't a bad fall-back from the D700, but it's definitely not an upgrade. And it's a useful cheaper alternative to the D800 for that market segment.

I traded in a D700 for a D600 last October and thought I'd made a huge mistake until the firmware update arrived. Officially, that update had nothing to do with image quality but Nikon must have been telling porkies. Any remaining doubts passed when I photographed my little girl in a ballet spectacular. No flash was allowed, I was far from the stage and I had only my 85/1.4. Even so, ISO 3200+ was needed. Yet the prints from the more or less 100 per cent pixel-peeped crops are astounding. The D700 would not have delivered in the same circumstances. I will concede it felt better in the hand but nothing more.

I think Nikon missed a big opportunity when they introduced the D800 without firmware that would allow for pixel-binning and smaller RAW files in the 16-24 MP range. It would have been a success with the D700 users that are scared off by (or don't have a need for) 36 megapixels.

I agree with Dave in NM. The D800 just has too many MP's for me. Pixel binning might have enticed me, but I have 18 X 24 prints from my D200 that look just fine so I know 12MP is enough for me. If they were to upgrade the D700 all I would want is some increased hi ISO and at the most 16 MP put in the same body. The D700 just fit's my hand like a bespoke glove.

What I'd really like to see from Nikon is the digital version of the FM3A. A simple basic full frame camera in a FM3A sized body with 16 MP. And if they offered that with a monochrome sensor I'd be in Heaven!

If I still lived in Albuquerque MAYBE a D800 would interest me.....In the 8 years I was out there it was nothing but endless beauty.

Cheers, Bob

D600 two steps forward, one step back.

I'll put up with the weight of my D3 for a bit more.

A D600 sensor in a D700 form factor would be just right.

Love my D700; bought a D600 (pre-ordered when announced) and just sold it. Between the feel "in-hand" and the dirt/oil issue, it just wasn't the same (although the files were beautiful--but spotted in the upper left of the frame). Would love to have that sensor and handful of feature changes (like it's implementation of auto iso) in the D700 body (as well as 100% viewfinder). I believe Thom has suggested modular cameras on more than one occasion; wouldn't that be great!

I will not be buying another DSLR until it breaks! It's good enough for my needs.

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