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26th Jan 2009

New Toy: Nikon D700

If you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, you may recall that when the Nikon D700 first came out, I decided against it (see article), the price was just too close to the Nikon D3 at the time, and it didn’t offer me enough advantages over my Nikon D300 for the kind of shooting I do to justify the price.

I did have my hopes pinned on the Nikon D3x, it has the resolution for landscape work, and in DX crop mode makes a decent backup to my Nikon D300 for telephoto work. However I simply cannot justify $8k for the camera given the amount of use/return on investment it would get.

A few weeks ago, I posted another article identifying the camera I needed as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which would be absolutely perfect it could take all my Nikon Lenses. Slight problem there.

If Nikon follows its recent patterns, later this year the Nikon D700x will most likely be released - basically the 24 megapixel sensor in a D700 body, but given they want an extra $3k over the MSRP of the Nikon D3 for the Nikon D3x, I’m afraid to think about the price. Besides, it’s pretty difficult to take pictures with a camera that hasn’t been released yet (or may never be released).

What made the decision for me is a project that came out of left field - photographing some of the caves in Central Texas. High ISO capabilities may just come in useful there - might be a bit dark so that I can blind myself with some SB-800’s again. Combine that with the fact a highly trusted source has assured me that “virtually all” Nikon prices go up on Feb 1st, and that retailers have already started upping the prices in anticipation, I pulled the trigger on a Nikon D700. It’ll be here Friday.

Only a couple of weeks ago, most places had the Nikon D700 for $2,319.99. About a week ago, virtually all online retailers started upping their prices in anticipation of Feb 1st, most are now asking around the $2,450 mark (plus Nikon’s $300 rebate on the D300 expires on 1/31/2009). I’ve only seen two sites that aren’t playing that game, and they happen to be two of the sites that regularly show up on my credit card statements. Amazon raised the price a mere $10 to $2,329.95, and promptly sold out. They had a new supply in a few days ago, and sold out again. But B&H Photo Video was also at the same price ($2,329.95), in stock, with free shipping (of $5.50 for 3-day expedited), so B&H it was.

If you are planning a major purchase in the near future, Feb 1st is the day that prices officially go up, but many retailers have starting increasing them already. Lenses are going to be hit hardest, and this price for the D700 may be the lowest we’ll see for several months. If you look at the yellow bar at the top of this page, you’ll see the only companies we recommend.

I’ll post more next week once I’ve had chance to play with the new toy.

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