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Nikon owners' and serious photographers' prayers have at last been answered. The Nikon D700 is the second model from the company to feature a full frame sensor, and at a vastly reduced price to the flagship Nikon D3. Coming in at £2000, the camera is a somewhat tardy answer to the elderly Canon EOS 5D, but the extra time Nikon has spent means the D700 is packed to the gills with the best technology Nikon has.
Coming in as a cross between the Nikon D3 and the D300, the camera features a 12.1 million pixel CMOS sensor with a 36 x 23.9mm image area - almost the same as a 35mm film frame (just 0.1mm off). This means the camera offers true wide angle capabilities with older Nikon fit lenses, or the newer rebranded and redesigned FX lenses. It will still accept the smaller DX lenses, with the usual 1.5x focal length conversion but only uses the central part of the sensor and hence has a reduced resolution of 5.1 million pixels.
The camera doesn't match the D3's burst speed, but still maintains a fast five frames per second thanks to the same EXPEED processor found in the D3, which incorporates 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit processing pipeline. In English, this means the detail, tonality and gradations of the image should be very smooth. From the D300 comes Nikon's dust reduction system which uses vibrating piezoelectric elements, technology that is lacking on the D3.
Nikon has added the same 3-inch high resolution LCD from the D3, with 920,000 dots, and from the D300 comes a dual mode (hand-held and tripod) Live View system for composing images directly on the LCD monitor. For the traditionalist, the cameras viewfinder area is larger than those of APS-C type DSLRs to match the full frame sensor. Within the viewing frame are the 51 selectable point illuminated AF markers, with the auto focus itself driven by the same MultCAM300 AF module found in the D3.
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