Nikon D70 Review
Looking very much like their ‘prosumer’ D100 (don’t you just love all of these new categories?!), the new Nikon D70 is a formidable digital camera in its kit form with an 18mm to 70mm (27-105mm in conventional 35mm) DX lens. This is a slightly ‘bigger’ lens than the one shipped with Canon’s 300D (28-90mm), and is also more solidly constructed. The trade-off is a slightly higher asking price for the Nikon D70 kit, although those concerned with image quality certainly won’t begrudge the price.
Lake Brunner - With a Nikon D70. Click for larger image
In almost every aspect the Nikon D70 oozes quality. It is solidly constructed, with a black spray-finish that Nikon SLRs are favouring these days, which gives the camera a very professional look. The large hand grip and excellent heft (weight) makes the camera feel substantial without being heavy, and balances perfectly with the 18-70mm lens. If you have ever used a late model Nikon like the Nikon D100 or Nikon F80, you will feel instantly at home with the Nikon D70. If this is your first Nikon DSLR, then it shouldn't be too long before you get the hang of driving this mean machine.
All buttons are clearly labeled and reasonably self-explanatory, although it would certainly pay the read the manual at least once before venturing out to take photos. To those of us with an aversion to large books (manuals), Nikon have included a smaller ‘quick start’ guide to help ease you into your digital experience if you’re a first time user. Thanks Nikon.
Nikon D70 Features
The Nikon D70 is a ‘real’ photographer’s tool. What do I mean by that? Well firstly, it is always ready to take an image, no matter what you might be reviewing or working through in its numerous menus. A half press of the shutter returns the camera immediately to picture taking readiness. It is almost instantaneously responsive – and quick (did I mention quick?). The shutter lag (time it takes to capture an image once the shutter has been pressed) is almost non-existent, and the shot-to-shot speed is also very impressive.
Top speed with the Nikon D70 is three frames per second shooting .jpeg images, while autofocus is lightning fast and covered by five sensors for off-centre composition.
Unlike the Canon 300D, which has a rather limited feature set, there’s almost nothing that can’t be tweaked on the Nikon D70. Exposure compensation can be dialed in at an incredible +/- 5 stops (in 1/3 or ½ EV increments), while flash can be altered by +/- 3 stops. White balance can also be tinkered with, and a wealth of information is available in playback mode.
Lost yet? I must admit, the number of parameters that are user selectable can be quite overwhelming at first, especially when compared to most digicams. But that’s what I meant when I said earlier that this is a ‘real’ photographer’s camera. It is not for the faint hearted.
More articles that might interest you