All I know is that's what Nikon gives the 55/65/75 series film cameras, so its presence on the D70 does not inspire much confidence. All the higher end Nikons use prisms instead of mirrors in the viewfinder, as does the D100.
Also, the eyepoint on the D70 is 18mm, as compared to 24mm on the D100: not good news for those of us who wear glasses.
It seems like the viewfinder is one of the areas where Nikon chose to cut costs....
The specs that I read for the D70 say that it's an "optical fixed pentaprism", which really doesn't say whether it's glass or a mirror prism. However... digging a little deeper, on the Nikon USA site, it says:
Viewfinder: Fixed-eyelevel penta-Dach-mirror type; built-in diopter adjustment (-1.6 to +0.5 m -1)
Boo, hiss. Oh well. Won't stop me from finally going digital!
Peter, I'm confused too on the issue. I've seen conflicting information from several sources, much like the confusion I'm still having over speedlight compatibility with the D70. I think it's a case of sloppy cutting and pasting, but unfortunately it's Nikon source vs. Nikon source so it's all muddy.
(BTW, my latest interpretation of the D70's flash compatibility is that only the SB-600 and SB-800 speedlights will support auto TTL with the D70; even existing DX-series flashes will be relegated to non-TTL auto. I do hope that I am misreading the specs.)
Thanks Victor at least I'm not the only one that is confused.
I Will probably just have to wait until I can look at one for myself.
The flash compatibility issue seems very artificial if an earlier model of flash was capable of TTL on an earlier camera it must have the contacts to support at least TTL on the new model camera if not the improved versions of TTL.
My SB-24 supported TTL flash on an F-801s now the D70 will not do TTL with it? Seems wrong. Why make features these flashes already support inoperable especially some of the much newer models.
More technical answer is that a glass pentaprism uses a single piece of glass cut with five sides (?), hence the name pentaprism. A mirror-type pentaprism in comparison uses mirrors joined together. Each mirror is the same as an SLR's mirror (silvered).
Pros, from what I've read, is that mirror pentaprisms are lighter, can be made smaller to save space, and are cheaper to manufacture than glass pentaprisms. Con is that the mirror pentaprism has less "optical efficiency" (not the correct term, sorry) and are thus less bright.
``Pros, from what I've read, is that mirror pentaprisms are lighter, can be made smaller to save space, and are cheaper to manufacture than glass pentaprisms. Con is that the mirror pentaprism has less "optical efficiency" (not the correct term, sorry) and are thus less bright.''
Quite right. A little more detail: mirrors never reflect all of the light that hits them. Aluminum coating (the most common) reflects only about 88% of the light that hits it. Enhanced aluminum (term actually used in the tech literature) gets 92%. Silver (best but least durable and most difficult to apply) does better, getting 95-98%. You need three reflections to turn the image right side up, so you lose about 1/3 of the brightness with mirrors.
Advantage of mirrors: the light travels through air, so there is no chromatic aberration to compensate for. But this can be handled in the lenses in the ocular so its not a significant problem.
Disadvantage of mirrors: heaven help if dust or moisture get into the mirror box. Environmantal goo can eat the mirror coatings alive.
Prisms in contrast use what is called "total internal reflection": a light ray inside glass that hits the glass to air surface at a sufficiently shallow angle cannot escape the glass. For all practical purposes 100% of the light is reflected, so the image is not dimmed in the finder.
And no goo is going to get inside a prism and irreperably harm it, though severe dirt on the outside surface can degrade it a bit.
Not sure about the smaller part, though. That would require more lenses on either side of the prism, increasing complexity and cost.
Nikon on their higher end models have what is called a high point viewfinder, without getting overly technical, a high point viewfinder allows for easier viewing for those like myself who wear glasses as where non-glasses wearing persons' their eyes are able to physically come closer to the actually view finder than those who wear glasses. Victor chime in here if you can, because I'm not sure I'm wording this quite the way I want to. Maybe to just keep it simple, the viewfinder is larger with a differant mf making it easier to view the entire viewfinder with glasses on. Viewfinder eye point is the place where the eye is able to look through the viewfinder 18mm is the diameter of the opening for one to look through. A high point the opening is larger to accommodate those wearing glasses.
Aaron J. Heiner Team Coast Guard Photographer US Department of Homeland Security
Aaron does a good job getting the most salient point across: a higher eyepoint is most beneficial for people who wear glasses. A design with a high eyepoint (aka eye relief) has a larger distance between the last vertex lens in the viewfinder and the eye than a non-high eyepoint design. (I am uncertain whether the 18mm on the D70's specifications indicates the maximum eyepoint's distance or the size of the exit pupil; hopefully somebody can clear this up. )
Here's what happens when an eyeglass wearer uses a viewfinder with insufficient eyepoint. In A, the user has no glasses and sees the complete field of view. In B, the user is wearing glasses and has moved further than the eyepoint, causing some vignetting (?) in the corners.
The D-hundred is a pro-sumer camera, so it's pretty unlikely that even with the D-70's release that its price will drop below the D-70's unless we're talking used. Personally I wouldn't mind another D1 myself, but the D-70 is pretty tempting for me when I travel for nohn-PJ use, the lack of a high-point makes it a bit tough for me. Then again I do ok with the N6006.
Aaron J. Heiner Team Coast Guard Photographer US Department of Homeland Security
>No can of worms, simple truth of the matter. One no one on >here would dispute.
I think he already did. Its just a label. And not a very specific or descripitve one. And not even from the manufacturer. So it is certainly disputable. I've seen the D100 called everything in every arena from web sites, internet lists, photo mags, catalogs to camera shop salesmen. The D100 is a consumer-prosumer-pro body. There is ample evidence and precedence for all three tags. But that's all they are. And none of them really tells you _anything_ about the camera. Its been out long enough that we all know everything about it and calling it by one of these nom du-jours doesn't tell us any more. Its a D100.
What do y'all expect for $1000? Frankly, I'm impressed by the 95% finder coverage at this pricepoint. If you want glass prisms and big bright views expect to pay much more (just like in the film body world).
Now let's look at this (pardon the pun) through another viewfinder. Even a dim, small virtual image in the D70 finder is far better than any EVF electronic finder on cameras at a comparable price point.
Heck yea, this thing is quite the package for its price. I think that point is unarguable. It's feature set approximates or exceeds (in some areas) those of my N80. And I'm happy with my N80. But I'd decided not long ago, prior to the D70 announcement, that I wanted to move to a higher end body of the F100 or F5 type. Better AF, etc. But I also want to go digital. Enter the D2. Almost, but not quite my cup of tea even though I'm currently willing/prepared to pay D2 type money. So I'd resigned myself to save up and wait for the expected but currently mythical D2X. And I was content to wait. Then the D70 comes out. Very close in features to what I'm already using and used to. Excellent price point, but still has the faint odor, just a hint, of the mid level consumer body.
BUT, I could get the D70.....NOW (soon) and "save" a few grand compared to a D2X. And probably be as content with it as long as I have been with my N80....3 years and still happy.
This is consumer agony. Consumer agony is good for Nikon and I'm very proud of them for it. This is the kind of pickle that the Nikon digital product line needs to keep us in. I may still wait on the D2X, but I do plan on following the D70 reviews and handling one as soon as they get in shops.
In the not-so-recent, but-yet-still-recent past, I was considering a better film body... but I realized that what's holding back my photography is not so much my F80 but the day-to-day cost of film, development, and printing. I've had to cut back in recent months because materials alone is becoming a real money sink. Sure, I could make use of faster AF, more viewfinder coverage, the extra few fps, etc. but these things wouldn't let me expand my creative horizons per se, just make things more enjoyable.
I've had my eyes on getting some Alien Bees for a while now (like Kathleen, who is really becoming an expert on them!) but can't justify the cost of my experimenting with them by snapping a few hundred frames on film. The D70 is going to be a godsend for me because it'll finally let me try all those techniques I've wanted to in the past (high key, colour filters, etc.) but couldn't justify laying down the bucks for my "fiddling".
For me, the number one reason why I'll be getting a D70 (fingers crossed that it doesn't turn out to be a complete dud) is because it's finally a digital Nikon SLR I can afford.
Hmmm... I didn't mean for my post to be self-referential.
As George says, there are lots of ways to refer to the D100. I was just speaking from personal experience: ``pro-sumer'' seems to be most frequently attached to the $700+ all-in-one digicams where electronic gee-wizardry counts for as much or more than than real photographic functionality.
No, the D100 is not a ``Pro-SLR'' like the F5 or D2h. But I think it's hard to attach ``consumer'' to it. That implies a ``commodity'' suitable for ``generic'' use by the ``average guy'' like motor oil or paper or digicams. I don't think the D100 falls into that category. It is a camera that needs a photographer to give good results. It has no scene modes, docking cradles, choice of body color, etc.
But its all just my opinion... (OK, body colors and docking cradles aren't. At least I hope they aren't...)