D700 First Impressions, with Pictures

Bone-Tired: One of my first and favorite shots from the D700. Focus is a little soft.

Feel like I’m slacking on the content end just a bit here given there are more important posts in the wings, but I wanted to write down first impressions on the D700. After work today (at which I attended an interesting but infuriating labor conciliation meeting) I dashed out immediately with the new camera, going back to the Yuen Po Bird Garden and wandering around the Mong Kok night markets.

This post is probably going to get somewhat technical….

I am slightly worried about acclimating to this camera as I got a lot of crap today – tons of shots with underexposed areas to the point of being black. My D100 tended towards the overexposed side when indicating the exposure was correct, so I adjusted my expectations and settings to compensate. I came to anticipate what I would need to do to get the look I wanted. The underexposure with the D700 is definitely throwing me for a loop and I hope I can learn how to read and adjust my perception to it quickly. I know I’ll learn with time, but July 1st is right around the corner and personally, it will be a really important shooting day for me.

Chained Macaw

Chained Macaw - This Macaw has been chained to this post on both my visits to the bird garden. It can barely move. So cruel!! (White balance on this shot is off.)

At the same time, the few shots that did come out great are amazing. Do not regret my purchase at all – I know what the camera is capable of now and I’m seriously excited to see more. I definitely see a difference in color, one of my favorite aspects of photography, and the difference in noise is incredible. That has been the major problem in my shots with my D100 for the past few years, to my increasing chagrin. Seeing similar shots from a D700 with no noise whatsoever is pretty breathtaking for me (Ok, I am a camera geek.).

Street Food Vendor

Street Food Vendor - I like the colors here. Too garish? She's obviously not too happy with me...

There is one change with the D700 that sort of irks me and it’s mystifying. They removed the focus point diagram from the top setting readout and replaced it with the meter. I used the focus point diagram with my D100 all the time, changing the points to achieve the composition of the photo I was framing before lifting the camera to shoot. The meter readout just doesn’t seem to have the same practicality – I’m not going to be looking at it until I lift the camera to shoot as opposed to a focus point diagram. Slightly frustrating change to me, but perhaps I am missing something. Also liked having the histogram readout on top of the D100 photos. I can easily ignore it with the way the D700 works. (Found that I can look at focus points on the info readout – I’ll get used to that. I suppose the light meter might be there for tripod work.)

Lastly, given it’s a FX camera I figured it would change my lens perspective a bit and it definitely does – I don’t get as “close” with my walk around lens as I used to with my subjects. They’re smaller with the full frame. But hey, seriously not complaining here…. never thought I’d be owning a digital FX in the first place.

Langham Place World Cup Banners

Langham Place World Cup Banners and five story escalator. Having problems with over exposure too it seems.