Crop or cram? Pixel density versus the big view…

The Alpha 900 offers an unrivalled view through its 100% prism finder. The extra brightness, as well as the size and clarity, make most subjects far easier to photograph well. For some users, however, the full frame camera brings a disadvantage in terms of reach and resolution. You need lenses 50% longer (and thus twice the size, and four times the cost!) to fill the frame with the same distant sports and wildlife subjects. I don’t need to remind anyone how popular these two subjects are with amateurs, and sometimes, how important to professionals.
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Nikon's new D700 FX camera

The Nikon D700Nikon announced and released their long awaited D700 camera today in London, bringing the D3’s FX sensor to a wider market. dPhotoexpert was at the launch event. The D700 is closer to the D300 in physical design yet retains many of the D3’s advantages – in fact, it’s easier to say what it loses, other than weight and bulk, rather than what it offers.

Compared to Nikon’s flagship camera, the D700 offers one CF card slot, a 95% viewfinder coverage for the 12.1Mp sensor which has a new dust reduction system similar to the D300, and a slower frame-rate still twice the speed of a Canon EOS 5D – with the optional battery grip, it can manage 8 fps, and with standard EL3a batteries it delivers a respectable 5fps. The weather sealing is slightly improved over the D300, and the viewfinder/prism design is similar to the D3 but incorporates a pop-up flash. (Report – Richard Kilpatrick).

The D700 goes on sale in July with a UK RRP of £1999 inc VAT – more details will be added soon.

More details added by David Kilpatrick –

* Capture NX2 is required to process the raw files, and there is no update for either View NX or Capture NX (1.3.x) on any Nikon website to allow these to process D700 files – yet. Capture NX2 is provided as a 60-day free trial with the D700, but the CD does not update registered, purchased copies of NX. I’ve installed NX2 but the experience is not helpful when it comes to assessing the quality of the images – for this, I almost have to have ACR and to be able to study larger output sizes rapidly in the raw conversion window.

ACR and Lightroom are now updated to work with the D700, and the same goes for an increasing number of other raw conversion utilities.

We have an D700 here, we are using it now – the high eyepoint type viewfinder is one radical difference between this and the D300 body, and the experience of using the D700 is very different.