Photography News of Interest

This last year has been exciting times for Nikon and their loyal users.  The full frame 12.1 megapixel D3 professional DSLR was released to the delight of loyal Nikon shooters and has quickly become the photojournalism and sports benchmark upon which to judge all others.  A superbly ergonomically correct and user friendly body and user interface, stunning images at ISO’s previously unheard of, and extremely quick autofocus and frame rates mark the D3 as a force to be reckoned with in the Canon camp.

This week saw the release of Nikon’s new full frame 12.1 megapixel D700 DSLR and is now in camera stores everywhere.  This promises to be a hugely popular body because it has “exactly” the same sensor and image quality as the popular D3, but it comes in $2000 USD’s less expensive at $2999.00 USD.  This camera has the same autofocus, 5fps frame rates, 8fps using the optional portrait/battery grip, and compared very favorably in most every way to the D3’s 9fps.  The D700 is roughly 95% of the D3, at 60% of the price.  The D700 makes the most sense for anyone desiring a lighter and small professional body, high image quality, full frame, weather sealing, professional features, and who doesn’t want to lug around the extra size and weight of the D3.  I predict this camera will become an industry icon.

The D700 takes aim squarely at Canon’s 5d full frame 12.1 megapixel DSLR.  The Canon 5d is three years old and its replacement is due to be announced any day now, for sure before Photokina in September.  For the last three years the Canon 5d has been the only consumer level and priced full frame DSLR and has delighted photographers with its stunning images.  At the time the Canon 5d produced the cleanest high ISO images of any DSLR period.  Now the D3 and D700 claim the low noise at high ISO crown.  HOWEVER, many reviewers in side by side comparisons show the low noise of the D3/D700 comes at the cost of ‘some’ image detail.  The Canon 5d consistently provides more image detail up to ISO 1600, even with its three year old technology. 

With current rebates you can still buy a Canon 5d for approximately $1700 USD and this is an excellent deal, a full $1699 off its original retail price at which it sold tons of 5d’s.  No one knows what the 5d’s replacement will be, I’d guess a full frame 16 megapixel sensor, improved weather sealing, and greatly improved autofocus and exposure modes, at least if they don’t want to be soundly trounced by Nikon’s D700, but no one really knows for sure.  I will keep readers updated when we do.