Nikon may have succeeded in surprising a lot of people with the next arrival of a Nikon D700 (and not the still-expected Nikon D3x), new digital single lens reflex camera for the high-end stopping in between the Nikon D300 (very nice semi-pro SLR camera) and the Nikon D3 (first great Full Frame SLR from the yellow brand).
The Nikon D700 would be, according to Nikon Rumours , a Full Frame D-SLR with a 12.1 mega-pixel sensor taken from the Nikon D3. This means that instead of pushing the resolution, Nikon decidedly wants to keep focusing on image quality with big pixels able to collect as much light as possible. So, this is quite normally leading to the maximum sensitivity of 6400 ISO (and even 25600 ISO in extended Hi2 mode). If the D3 is representative of the result on the D700, the images will be absolutely superbly stunning – and the image management is in 16-bits after a 14-bit A/D conversion.
Interestingly, the camera would be able to use the DX lenses (obviously cutting the image down to a limited frame siwe, which is still a very good solution to use existing cheap lenses; But the buyer of such a beast will probably be willing to attach much more serious glass).
Apart from that, this is really a high-end camera product: 51-zone Auto-Focus (incl. 15 cross-type) coming from the Nikon D3 (this is going to be a competition-ready type of AF), light metering with a 1005-pixel matrix, Flash system borrowed from the D3. On the opposite, there would be a LiveView mode integrated with a contrast detection AF.
Unfortunately, the images are still lacking (remember, this is not confirmed by Nikon) and nobody seems to have the camera (or the NDAs are very tight). However, NR tells us that the price would be $2999. Still expensive (too much for me anyway, even if I was not equipped with Sony), but this “baby D3” is announcing the Full Frame for all…