Unlike most of the Point & Shoot cameras that have an electronic shutter allowing you to silence the shutter actuation, the dSLR <D70 etc.> has a combination of mechanical/electronic shutter and a mirror causing the sound that you want to get rid of. So, no such luck! Rgds,
SLR's, film and digital, use a mirror to direct the image captured by the camera lens to the viewfinder. This mirror may be half silvered to split the incoming image to be available to the viewfinder and other sensors at the film or sensor plane. When the shutter is released the mirror is lifted to prevent any distortion the mirror may impart to the image. The noise, unlike a P&S camera, is caused by the mirror hitting the vertical travel limit of the mirror.
Film SLRs and some digital SLRs have a feature known as "Mirror Lock Up", MLU, which allowed the photographer to lock the mirror in the upright position and trip the shutter. This would stop the sound and prevent any vibration of the camera caused by the movement of the mirror, but would prevent the photographer from any additional focusing or metering before the shutter release. The D70(s)'s MLU doe not allow for the taking pictures when used. One needs to purchase the professional level NIkon digital cameras to obtain this feature.
Many live performers or performances have legal ownership issues above and beyond the disruption of the flash or sound of cameras. For such situations one can make arrangements with the promoter for taking pictures at other than public live performances.
FWIW the Nikon F had an even louder mirror slap than a digital SLR and it was a very popular camera with the professional and armatures alike since it had other attributes that outweighed the noise.
Shutter noise is part of the SLR and DSLR world I'm afraid. The D70/s is relatively quiet in this respect. It wasn't that long ago that many of us had the aditional noise of motor drives on our film cameras.
Remember the old press conferences on the news when it was difficult to hear what was being said for the sound of camera's firing?
You can switch the beeping noise off that the camera makes when its in focus if you want though. The instructions on how to do this are on page 138 of the D70 manual (maybe a different page of the D70s).
One thing you can try is cradling your camera in a piece of soft clothing (like a fleece jacket for example)to help reduce the noise.
"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter" - Ansel Adams
i have to agree that the d70 shutter is relatively quiet. i can't think of a dslr i've heard that is really any quieter. that said, i can think of dslrs that are WAY louder. anyone ever heard the sound of a 20D? that thing is like shooting a starter pistol! i seriously thot it was some kinda malfunction the first time i heard it.