The D700 vs. D7000 debate is more about lenses and control layout than anything else.
For photo enthusiasts, specifically prospective or current Nikonians looking to move up in the company's camera lineup, there is a serious problem: so many good cameras, so little money! Right now, though, there's no denying that the Nikon D7000 is king of the hill for crop models (the D300s is 4 year old technology, so forget it) and that the D700 offers 95% of a D3 in a much smaller, affordable package. So, for anyone looking to make a serious investment in a Nikon dSLR, the question arises: D700 or D7000?
Let's examine that issue right now.
First up, the controls are different on the two cameras as the D7000 has a lot of dual function buttons while the D700's are almost all single function. In addition, the D7000 loses some of the controls present on the D700, too. For a detailed comparison, go to my D300s and D7000 control comparison. The D300s and D700 are laid out just about identically so, when reading, simply imagine that 'D300s' says 'D700' instead.
Controls aside, the real question here is lenses, namely what focal lengths you like to use most, where you like to shoot, and whether you prefer zooms or primes.
So, which is better?
So, which is better?
The APS-C sensor of the D7000 will extend the reach of lenses by 50% their marked focal length, a real boon for people who like to shoot long telephotos.
If you like to shoot long, by all means go or a D7000 as the crop factor instantly boost your lens' effective focal length by 50%. Example: using the 80-400 Nikkor on your D7000 effectively transforms it into a 120-600, for free! Talk about a bonus! Even better, the D700 is outfitted with an AF system that's almost as good as that in the top-tier models, so, in capable hands, there should be no excuses for a missed shot, especially when paired with a sonic drive lens. In short, for outdoor/nature photographers, the D7000 is the best thing out there for under $1500, so why not buy?
Another added bonus of these primes is that they are mechanical drive AF models, which are far less complicated, and therefore less likely to break, than the in-lens motor driven lenses that make up companies' modern lineups. Ironically, many report that the AF-S lenses (at least the primes) are actually slower to focus than their old, mechanical drive counterparts. Sure, these new models have full time manual override but, as today's cameras have such good AF systems, who uses this feature anyways? In addition, the D700 comes equipped with Nikon's most powerful AF drive motor, which means that any mechanical drive lens will be at its fastest. Yes, you'll have to keep your hand free of the spinning focus ring but, for all of the durability advantages the mechanical drive lenses offer, this is a small price to pay as, chances are, your lens will outlast your camera (and and AF-S models you own, too).
So, what to buy?
Bottom line: if you're an outdoor shooter who likes to shoot telephoto and prefers zooms, get a D7000 as the lens choices are optimal for this camera. If you're an indoor shooter who likes the wide end to mid range of the focal length spectrum and fast aperture, get a D700 and enjoy the bliss that is a wide, fast prime without an annoying crop factor.
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