I am a news photographer and I have been shooting Nikon since college. While, my first SLR venture was Canon, I began shooting Nikon in college because the department had all the lenses. I did go back to shooting Canon a few years back when I was at a SoCal newspaper, but my current job outfits Nikon and it’s fine with me. My Nikon digital days go back to the D100. Originally, I shot Neopan for my studies – a versatile Fuji black & white film. Many of my 35mm projects were shot with the F100, F3 or the Fm2. However, the bulk of my work came from a 6×6 Hasselblad 501c – that big negative just can’t be beat. However, times did change and I shot the last year of my schooling with a D2h, which eventually saw two rebuilds and nearly 300,000 frames before I finally had to let it go on eBay. So here we are.
What has been expensive about digital, is since the original D1, Nikon and Canon have seen fit to release new cameras, and thus new sensors – and even sensor formats – at a blisteringly frustrating pace. This is not always bad news as the D1 and D1h suffered awful banding above 640 ISO. The D100 and D70 clipped highlights too easily and the DX format just didn’t give you all that your lenses may have been machined for. But hopefully, those days are over. After more than three years of daily use, I can say the D700 is effectively the F100 of digital – it isn’t the pinnacle, but it is a solid workhorse for good money. This is not only the first affordable Nikon 35mm sized sensor camera, it is also one that feels as if digital can finally hold it’s head level – and in some ways – above color neg film. Obviously the D3(s) is probably the best out there, the D700 does about 90% the same for nearly 50% the cost. Not a bad deal.