Home > Photography > Nikon D700 versus Canon 5D

Nikon D700 versus Canon 5D

Click HERE for todays photos.

The reason for the change in the look of Sushicam is because I just mapped the sushicam.com URL to my 2yen.wordpress.com account.  I did this to try and prevent the continual hacking that I experience from disrupting the site even more.  

I no longer have to worry about keeping my WordPress installation current on my own server anymore.  I can rely on the good people at WordPress.com to take care of that for me.  In doing so I do loose some of the freedom that hosting your own website allows, but I think its a small price to pay to stop the hackers from continualy disrupting the site.

Well, another weekend has come and gone.   As sit here at my keyboard the clock is sweeping quickly toward 9 p.m. and all too soon I’ll have to head off to bed.

Yesterday I spent some time in Tokyo shooting my new D700.  It was my first  real chance to get out and do some shooting with it since it arrived a little less than a week ago.   So far I can say this coming from the 5D:  The high ISO image quality of the D700 is nothing short of extraordinary.  I set it for auto-iso, ranging up to 6400, and forget about it.  With the 5D I rarely went as high as 1600.  It really is a big step up for me, especially since I love to shoot in “available darkness”.  

I’d say as a baseline the D700 has about a 2-stop advantage compared to the 5D.  But in reality, the quality of the noise from the D700 is much better.  

I’m not sure exactly how the engineers over at Nikon achieved it, but the chroma noise on the D700 is extremely low.  

I mean Really low.  

Think “Danny-Devito-doing-the-Limbo” kind of low and you’ll get an idea of how low I am talking about.

At a given ISO the 5D has much higher chroma noise, and this leads to the greenish-purplish blotches that are so noticable and really degrade the image quality.   In contrast the D700 noise is almost entirely constrained to Luminance, and this allows it to look a lot more like film grain instead of digital nosie. 

I guess the big question is this: will the D700 replace my 5D?

I would have to say no, not entirely.  

I still love to use all of that great manual focus glass I have aquired over the years, and the EOS mount of the 5D is the ultimate in verstaility in this department.

Which one would I choose if I could only have one of them?  

This question is a bit harder.  I’m currently loving the D700.  But the 5D has been a real workhorse over the past 3 years, producing great looking images for me.  I guess I will only really know the answer to that one once I have more time to shoot with the D700.

Categories: Photography Tags: , , , , , ,
  1. David
    February 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Is there a way to access the archives?

  2. February 9, 2009 at 3:12 am

    I am looking at buying a new camera and it is very useful to hear from you in your blog what your views are as you use the D700 vs the D5. nice post. thanks, like your photos.

  3. 2yen
    February 9, 2009 at 8:24 am


    I’ll be posting the archives to this account. It will take some time but eventually it will all be back up and running.

  4. 2yen
    February 9, 2009 at 8:25 am


    At the end of the day a camera is just a tool. But, there are differences between them. The hard part is figuring out what features you need and then finding the right tool for the job.

  5. February 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    You may well find that the D700’s low-light prowess changes how you approach photography, because it changes the boundaries. It’s just counting photons, so eventually technology will advance such that people will find it quaint that there was once a time where exposure selection was not purely artistic.

    I have had a D700 since the summer, and have been loving it, and have posted a lot about my experiences with it. You may find these two of particular interest:

    Impossible Photography: No Light, No Tripod, No Hope. D700 and a 50mm f/1.2

    Pushing Lowlight-Photography Limits: The Atta Terrace Hotel at Night

    Especially as a street shooter, you’ll really dig what you can do with this camera.

  6. Paul
    February 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I gotta ask the obvious:

    What about the 5D Mark II?

    – Paul

  7. 2yen
    February 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm


    The HD video capability is pretty sexy.

    But I was really hoping that the 5DII was going to have improved autofocus, and excellent high ISO image quality. (compared to the 5D) I was not interested in more pixels.

    Because Canon bumped he pixel count, but did nothing about the autofocus I decided to give it a pass. High ISO quality is improved over the original 5D, but not to the same extent as the D700 (which has excellent auto focus).

    All in all th D700 was a better fit for my needs.

    (I’m not totally ruling out getting a 5DII though, once the price starts to come down, or it I can find a good deal on a used one)

  8. 2yen
    February 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm


    Yes, you nailed it. Those are the exact reasons why the D700 was a better choice for me.

    In good lighting, and when I don’t need auto focus the 5D produces better images than the D700. But when I need to crank the ISO up to 3200+, then I reach for the proper tool on my tool box (D700).

  9. hilson
    February 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm


    I have had your photoblog as my homepage for quite some time now and am a little disappointed that the format has changed. is there any way I can change the link so that I continue to see ‘today’s photo’ everytime i open up my browser? I really love being greeted by one of your photos everyday and would like for it to continue to happen.

    thanks for all the pictures,


  10. February 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Hay friend, I just bought my 2nd D700 as a back up or 2nd lens body. It’s by far the finest digital I’ve ever used. Your friend in Ann Arbor and the Eagle Harbor. I hope your mom is doing well.

  11. J.
    February 12, 2009 at 11:40 am


    I think that you can still see Jeff’s photo of the day if you select his photostream at flickr as your home page. Try this one:



  12. Tregoures
    February 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    It’s nice to see that sushicam is coming back to life after the hack.

    Are you/ can you use the very nice template that you had on sushicam before with wordpress.com?

    I’m also interested to know how can you combine wordpress and pixelpost (your POD).

    Back to your post,

    Can you tell us which lenses you got with your D700? A 50mm for sure. The new AF-S? If yes do you like it? Something else like old manual nikkors?

    You also said that the 5D produces better files at low ISO than the D700. What makes them better to your eyes? Sharper?




  13. 2yen
    February 14, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Hi Stan,

    Yes, the D700 is a very competent tool. The more I use it, the more I like it.

    My Mom is doing well, thanks for asking. I just talked to her earlier today, and they have recently gotten a bit of relief from the normal winter bitter cold.

    • February 7, 2012 at 1:51 am

      best blog ever i love you mom and i niocte there was a buterfly in the grass veary cool (:  kaitlyn  

    • February 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Foueaa ysrieoouhods

  14. 2yen
    February 14, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Hello Hilson,

    Sorry about the disruption, but the best I can do for you is the link to my Flickr account that J. was kind enough to share.

    I’m getting away from hosting Sushicam on my own server (to prevent the hacking problems) and this has caused me to move my photo of the day to Flickr.

  15. 2yen
    February 14, 2009 at 6:36 am


    I’m looking into customizing this theme to give it more of a classic sushicam feel, but I need to get a lot smarter with CSS in order to make that happen.

    Right now I have the following lenses for the D700: 50mm f1.4G, 60mm f2.8 Micro, 28-80mm f3.3-5.6, and Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 VC.

    The Tamron gives me plenty of reach on the long end, and the vibration compensation is incredibly effective, and though it does focus a bit slow. It’s definitely not a sports lens.

    The 60mm Micro is great. I founda used one for only 15,000 yen, and I love it.

    The 50mm f1.4 G was also found used for a good price. but it does not focus as fast as the older D lenses, so i may trade it in.

    Probably my favorite lens so far, oddly enough, is the 28-80mm f3.3-5.6. It’s a cheap kit zoom that was sold with older film bodies. It’s plastic, even the lens mount is plastic, and only cost me 3,500 yen. But it’s plenty sharp, focuses extremely fast, and weighs next to nothing.

    My current lightweight kit is the 28-80 with the fast 50.

    The next lens I get will be either the 35/2 or 20/2.8, depends which one I first find for sale in the used camera shops I like to frequent.

    Yes, the 5D has better per-pixel sharpness compared to the D700. But, sharpness is not the only thing that’s important to me. Time will tell which one I end up liking better, but so far I am leaning towards the D700.

  16. April 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Not that I’m totally impressed, but this is a lot more than I expected for when I found a link on SU telling that the info is quite decent. Thanks.

  17. April 25, 2009 at 8:59 am

    You have a great blog here and it is Nice to read some well written posts that have some relevancy…keep up the good work 😉

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