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Nikon D70(s) DSLR


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#1 Dallas

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:09

What is your opinion of the Nikon D70(s)? Please keep your comments related to your experiences with either of the camera(s). This page will be indexed on our equipment pages.


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#2 LilleG

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:49

I may be the only one still using a D70.  Mine's been chugging along since March '05 with nary a sniffle, stutter, nor stumble.  (Now that I've bragged, it will either die tomorrow or I'll accidentally drop it out a window.  ;D)  I super-glued (so my daughter swears) an 18-200 VR to it the day she gave it to me and it's been my walking-around combo ever since.  There are a couple of things I wish it had, like a larger LCD and a mirror lockup, but all in all, I still like it...a lot!
Lee

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#3 azkober

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:39

The D70 has a mirror lock up.  First item in the setup menu.

#4 AlbertMaes

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 06:56

Lillie,

you're not the only one still stuck with a D70, I'm still using one as well and am very happy with the results.

You might want to upgrade the Firmware to D70(s) release as it has a few minor changes in there.  You can download from nikon website direct.

Do ask someone that is handy with computers and knows how to, as you can fry the device if it goes wrong.  Nothing to be afraid of if you follow step by step instructions though.

One question that your post raises however... I've tried the mirror lock up for night shooting on a tripod, just to avoid the tremble.  Unfortunately the lock up mode only seems to free up the sensor for cleaning as the cam becomes non-responsive...  Any ideas anyone?

Thanks
I have a desire to go places but lack the resolve to arrive.  So many distractions...

#5 alan_n

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:16

The D70 has a mirror lock up.  First item in the setup menu.


The lock up is for sensor cleaning only, you cannot use it before shooting.


I have just handed off my D70 which has been replaced by a D200.
For me and thousands like me the D70 was the eagerly awaited film SLR replacement and it did not disappoint in fact it rekindled in me the desire to explore my world through a viewfinder but that does not give a hint as to the technical capabilities of this camera.
Mine worked flawlessly in all the extremes that a Canadian climate could throw at it, -30 to +35 deg C no problem, other than keeping your batteries warm.
The only irritant was / is sensor dust but a blast from a rocket blower takes care of that!
All in all a solid, reliable performer.

Alan

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#6 Dallas

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 14:49

The D70 signalled my complete re-commitment to the Nikon brand after having spent two or three years tripping my way through the Canon EOS system. It brought me back to Nikon for a few reasons - it had most of the features of the D100, in fact there were some that the D100 didn't have (1/500 flash synch), it also came with a very good little 18-70mm DX lens that had the AF-S motor as well as ED elements (items normally reserved for more expensive lenses).

The reviewers on the web were all full of praise for this little DSLR and so I eventually traded in my EOS system for the D70 + 18-70mm, a 70-200mm VR and an SB-800. The first D70 I had died inexplicably on the second day of ownership so I took it back to the store where I bought it and fortunately I got them to replace it with another one. That D70 has given me some of my best pictures ever. I used it at the first A1GP street race in Durban and it definitely brought home the bacon, giving me my first (and only) magazine cover, as well as a fair amount of other money-generating shots.

What I really like about the D70 is the versatility. It's small enough to be a great travelling camera and is also prodigious in the home studio with its 1/500s flash synch speed. Couple it with an SB-800 and you have a great tool for creative photography on a limited budget. I normally put the pop-up flash into manual mode, turn it right down and use it to fire the SB-800 in SU-4 manual slave mode. The pop-up is too weak to illuminate a subject about 2 meters away, but it gives a nice little catchlight for portraiture done this way. This is my standard set-up for pack shots and other products.

Apart from this I also kind of like the D70 at high ISO. I've shot it at 1600 ISO and if you use a decent noise reduction plug-in (like NeatImage) you can get away with some amazing low light shots.

I highly recommend this camera for anyone looking to get into photography. Great value.

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#7 olivier

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 19:24

This is also the camera that brought me back to photography. the 6MP are plenty for me, everything I need it easy to find, even with my unusually large hands.
I would have had no reason to get the D80 if the shutter of my D70 did not let me down just before a vacation this spring. It is now repaired and converted to IR, and this is fun !
What could be better: the viewfinder size, mostly. It makes it very hard to focus manually. This can easily be improved with the DK-21M eyepiece, but it is still not enough. Noise is a bit too high beyond 400 ISO (especially for portraiture) but this could also be my lack of control of the light.
What I really like: the well controlled flash system, as mentionned by Dallas (although I try to eliminate this catchlight !). I also found out recently how easy it is to dismantle this camera ro convert it to infrared. It is also very resistant to shocks, as proven to me several times by my daughter...
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#8 LilleG

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 23:42

Lillie,

you're not the only one still stuck with a D70, I'm still using one as well and am very happy with the results.

You might want to upgrade the Firmware to D70(s) release as it has a few minor changes in there.  You can download from nikon website direct.

Do ask someone that is handy with computers and knows how to, as you can fry the device if it goes wrong.  Nothing to be afraid of if you follow step by step instructions though.

One question that your post raises however... I've tried the mirror lock up for night shooting on a tripod, just to avoid the tremble.  Unfortunately the lock up mode only seems to free up the sensor for cleaning as the cam becomes non-responsive...  Any ideas anyone?

Thanks


I do appreciate your concern, Albert.  However, my D70 firmware was upgraded on the day the update was released, by lil' ol me, who has had a personal computer since '86.  ;D  And yes, the mirror-lockup is only for sensor cleaning. 
Lee

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

D90, 18-200 VR, 50mm 1.4

My interview at:
[url=http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=1469.msg11782#msg11782] this link

#9 AFS

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 01:48

This is the one that started it all for me. I had been involved with early Nikon Coolpix digital compacts and advanced P&S cameras. Then my media studies teacher told me about this new camera Nikon had just announced that the school was going to get for him a short while later. When his D70 came in, I started using it regularly. By the end of the year, I had my own. From January 2005 till I got the D200 that December, I rattled off over 18,000 frames. It remained as my backup body for a further 6 months and 4,000 frames or so until I got the D2Hs. We donated it to my high school photo club last year, and it's still going strong and helping a whole new series of young photographers get into DSLR shooting and expand their horizons. If you ask me, this is definitely one of the most successful cameras in terms of attracting people to serious photography.

And I can look back now at the past 3.5 years and just be astonished at how much this one camera has changed my life.
Harrison

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#10 nfoto

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:18

D70 was probably the first really affordable camera that was able to shoot in UV straight out off the box. Hence I purchased a few of them. It is an endearing camera and an old-time Nikon user will be able to set out shooting immediately with the D70.

One of my D70 cameras was immediately modified for IR, the other was allocated for UV only. Both has seen extensive use. Unfortunately, both also have encountered severe failures over a 3-year period. One (the UV cam) developed BGLOD, the other had a shutter failure after 13.000 actuations. Nikon was however up to their responsibility and both cameras were repaired free of charge (well, actually not a big deal since Norwegian customer guarantee laws gave them no choice anyway, but there was no need for me to use the law book).

The image quality is excellent considering the D70 only has 6 MPix. Partly this is due to a less aggressive anti-aliasing filter, the disadvantage being an increased risk of moiré but in practice I have had little trouble with moiré for my subjects. The finder is on the small side but provided you have good light for the subject, even close-ups and photomacrographic work can be conducted with ease. The shutter is well dampened and there is a counterweight for the mirror so there is little mirror slap and camera vibrations present, good for ultimate sharpness. The user interface reveals clearly that the camera is targeted to less demanding users (consumers, not pros), but a few drops of epoxy glue can prevent some of the lesser settings to occur (thus my cameras are permanently fixed to "M" metering and "M" focus mode, and the pop-up flash will never be able to pop up to interrupt my wrong-doings with the D70).

D70 recycles the "EE post" (originally intended for the electric attachment DP-1/DP-12 for the Nikon F2 in the early '70s) to make the camera know a non-G lens has been set to the minimum aperture. There is a mating slider on the camera for the EE post and there is no way you can set the aperture directly on the lens, my preferred mode of operation. Well, now there is on my D70 bodies :). Again, a few drops of epoxy glue will put the slider to the "minimum aperture detected" position.

Battery life is good unless ambient temperatures are really low, and the fact that I can share my EN-EL3e batteries between D70 and D200 is an added bonus as well.

A few things I had seen Nikon do different with the D70: possibility of using a more suitable remote release than the ML-L3, having uncompressed NEFs, a better battery indicator (now, it just all of a sudden indicates  "LOW" and then you are ensured the camera will die a few shots later), a PC flash outlet (OK, you can use the AS-15 in the hotshoe, not a big deal), having "B" range beyond the current limit of 30 minutes, and an improved finder. Otherwise, a very capable camera in a small, unobtrusive package.
Bjørn

#11 rmena

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 13:44

These are some comments about my personal experience with the D70, my first digital camera, after my super light FG20 was stolen four years ago in Caracas (Venezuela) airport. It was the signal to go digital.

I was a little bit disappointment after my first contact with the D70. I hoped a body as strong as the plastic body of the Nikon FG20 but it was not so, it does not meter with non-CPU lenses, not have cable release, the mirror-up function works only to clean the sensor but not to make pictures. However, the ability to mount my old lenses, to review the picture instantly to correct exposure and composition, to control the camera from a computer, to erase easily bad pictures, to change ISO setting without to change the film (sensor??), the disadvantages were reduced to a minimum compared with the advantages. 

With the D70 I can made pictures easier than with the FG20. The world has been totally different after that. No more films, no more film processing, no wait days or weeks to see the pictures. Consequently, the D70 was a nice tool to save money and time making pictures.

After the D70 BGLOD was repaired, it has proven to be a very reliable camera; it works without problems under any condition. It had survived to heavy impacts that other camera could not resist (I think).

It is a neat camera, easy to use, intuitive (as the FG20), very cheap (today), and it can produce very god pictures with the right technique.

Best regards,

Ramón

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#12 two slow

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 15:27

This was my first DSLR. I still miss it. I have had a D80 three D200s and now a D50. I would still like to have the D70s though.


#13 substar

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 17:27

After using film Nikons (FE and FE2's) I put my name on a waiting list to take delivery of the newly launched D200's as my first digital SLR.  Unfortunately I was not happy with the supplied D200 (long story) and as replacement was offered a D70s body +extras.  From the first shot, I was in love with the D70s. 

In the interim I have also bought a D80 body with battery pack, which is big and bulky, and is my primary "shoot" body.

Now the D70s with 50mm 1.8 accompanies me in my bag virtually every day, wherever I go - I look upon it as my 'sacrificial anode'.  It's amazing how many grab shots you can get in the course of the day!  Yes - so there are noise issues, yes, the battery only gives you a low warning when it's about to die (as mentioned already) but the battery life is good and it's a sturdy little worker.


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#14 israelzr

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 16:57

- so there are noise issues, yes, the battery only gives you a low warning when it's about to die (as mentioned already) but the battery life is good and it's a sturdy little worker.



This is the only downside I find in this camera, mine was my introduction to Digital photography, it was for me the first affordable dslr, and replacement of my n6006. I loved the way it felt in my hands, coupled with the 80-200 it is an amazing camera, the 3 fps are sufficient for most of my work.

I really loved the iTTL flash system, the abilitie to shot flash wireless (sb-800) is amazing. Menu's are easy to understand, the help button is really helpful. Even the ml-l3 remote works really well, and can substitute the corded remote on many situations.

My only reason to sell it was to finance the D300. I still miss it, would have been a great backup body.

Z.

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#15 davepaterson

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 21:56

As many people before me will have found, and stated, the D70 is an extremely capable camera - much more so than the very modest price would lead you to exspect. It's ease of use, sharpness, detail and colour fidelity and saturation are hard to fault, and it is very well matched by the kit lens which was often sold with it - the 18-70mm F3.5-4.5. What a bargain this pair made! The camera is only let down by the viewfinder, which is so small it's hard to use accurately. On the rare occasions when my wife and I have been out shooting together (her with the D70, me with the D2X) I often look at her images later and think there must be something wrong with the D2X. I love this little camera, I just wish it had 12mp.

Dave
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#16 snorri

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 15:44

The D70 was my first step into digital SLR territory; I bought it two and a half years ago (just after the D70s came out, so the D70 was a real bargain). I don't have much to add that hasn't been said already, so I'll simply vent my experience that I had much fun with it in those 2.5 years, took about 10.000 pictures with it so far, and never had any problems whatsoever. It doesn't do everything, but what it does, it does well. Great as a beginners' camera, too.

Also very robust, apparently: A friend of mine works with one that has taken a bad fall onto a hard floor. The top display is cracked and unreadable, the flash is destroyed -- but he keeps cranking out the greatest event and portrait photography with it.

Since last week, a D300 has taken my D70's place; I haven't decided yet whether I will sell it to said friend, keep it as a backup body or have it converted to IR.

-- snorri



#17 davepaterson

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 09:39

Since my D2X is still broken, I had a reason to use the old D70 today - first time in a long time. I bought a 75-150mm f3,5 off eBay ($40 plus postage, almost mint but no lens caps) and wanted to test it on something. It was a good reminder of what a fine little camera the D70 is. Set to Jpeg, large, fine, sharpening off, the images came crisp and clear straight from the camera.

And the lens - on the DX format it's easy for this lens - sharp right into the corners with just a bit of CA, very well controlled by f8. The zoom range is a little short by modern standards, but it's a lovely little lens, light, easy to focus and zoom, and sharp as a tack.
Dave Paterson

#18 billkoe

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 20:06

I really like my D70 and still use it. I got it to back up my D1x. I only wish I could use it with my MF lenses.

#19 Anchorman

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 20:03

In December 2005, before leaving on a New Zealand/Australia cruise vacation, I decided it was time to go all-digital.  The two primary motivators were (i) not having to carry 100+ rolls of film, and (ii) the instant gratification (and knowledge of whether the "shot" was good or not).  I purchased a D70s and a Casio Exilim EX-Z750.  I used the kit lens (I think it was something like 18-70) and the lenses I had from my N90.  I loved using the camera, and clicked the shutter more than 4000 times on that trip.  In 2007, before a 3-week Med cruise ending with a week in Istanbul, I made another bold move - I purchased the 18-200 VR lens and took only that with me, leaving all other lenses at home.  I did not regret the decision - the earlier comment about Super-Gluing that lens to the camera is easily understood.  This time, more than 5000 "clicks" and many memorable results.  The lens/camera combination opened up a new world of natural light indoor photography. 

Anyway, despite how much I loved the D70s, as I'm getting ready now for a South American cruise, I've just traded everything (D70s, lenses, N90, misc. parts and stuff) for a D300.  Can't wait - it should ship to me today.

Anyone want a Magic Lantern Guide for the Nikon D70s/D70 in excellent condition?

Hmmm...just got an email from Adorama telling me that they are, once again, out of stock on the D300.  Not good, as I leave on my vacation in a couple of weeks.  Time to call them.

#20 billkoe

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 20:42

I got mine to back up my D1x as well. They both back up my D300 but I still love using it. And the battery keeps going on and on and on...I can use my 50mm 1.8 MF lens but there's no metering.




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