Nikon announces D700: Full-frame dSLR for $2,000 less than flagship D3

If you're looking for a full-frame, pro-quality digital SLR, but don't want to spend the money (or lug around the heft) of the big guns like the Nikon D3 or Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, the new Nikon D700 may be just the fit for you.

If you're looking for a full-frame, pro-quality digital SLR, but don't want to spend the money (or lug around the heft) of the big guns like the Nikon D3 or Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, the new Nikon D700 may be just the fit for you. Announced yesterday, the D700 offers a full-frame 23.9x36mm CMOS sensor (12.1 megapixels) in a smaller and lighter form factor than the D3, Nikon's flagship full-frame professional dSLR.

Nikon announces D700: Full-frame dSLR for $2,000 less than flagship D3

Not only will the D700 save you two grand off the D3's $4,999.95 list price (it will be priced at about $2,999.95, body only, when it starts shipping in late July), but it also weighs almost 9 ounces lighter and measures 5.8x4.8x3.0 inches, vs. the D3's dimensions of 6.3x6.2x3.4 inches. The new model sports a 3-inch LCD viewfinder with two Live View modes (for handheld or tripod shooting), as well as Nikon's 51-point auto focus system with 3D Focus Tracking. The D700 also includes a scene recognition system that intelligently sets exposure and white balance, and improves the auto-focus performance.

Lori Grunin offers a good at-a-glance comparison of the Nikon D300 (the lower-end DX model), D700, and D3 on CNET's Crave blog.

DPReview has an in-depth, hands-on preview of the D700.