Nikon D3 vs Nikon D700 Compared

First published on: Thursday, 3 July 2008

Here’s a brief comparison of pros and cons, and differences in features, specifications and capabilities in Nikon’s 12.1 MP FX (full-frame) digital SLR cameras, the Nikon D3 and D700.

Nikon D3 advantages

100% viewfinder coverage

This is the D3’s main advantage over the D700, which only has a 95% coverage.

Nikon D700 advantages

On-demand gridlines

Having the grid lines appear in the viewfinder aids composition and keeping the horizons as straight as possible.

The grid lines can be turned on or off by setting the related custom function according to your preference.

Built-in flash

The popup flash on the D700 allows you to wirelessly trigger other Nikon Speedlight flash units that are compatible with Nikon’s CLS (Creative Lighting System).

To get the same functionality on the D3, you’d need to purchase an additional SB-800, SB-900 or SU-800 flash commander to act as the master controller unit.

Dust-cleaning image sensor

The D700 has the added convenience of being able to vibrate its imaging sensor to shake off dust.

Smaller dimensions, lighter body


  • D700: Approximately 147 x 123 x 77 mm (5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in.)

  • D3: Approximately 160 x 157 x 88 mm (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in.)

Weight (without batteries)

  • D700: Approximately 995 g (2.19 lb.)

  • D3: Approximately 1240 g (2.7 lb.)

Photographers who shoot mainly events at wide to normal telephoto focal lengths (say 16mm to 150mm) would tend to appreciate the smaller and lighter D700 body.

Other references

Read Thom Hogan’s excellent summary on the pros and cons of the D3, D300 and D700.

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