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118 of 121 people found the following review helpful
I have been a Nikon user for over 20 years, and owned at least six different bodies and lots of lenses. My all time favorite is the FM2N. Why Nikon? It's the lenses! Nikon seems to understand this is the main selling point of their system. SO they have never changed the F lens mount. You can use older manual focus AI and AIS lenses on the D70. The bad news: The meter won't work. However on a digital SLR, the LCD confirmation mitigates this since you can check your exposures. You could also use a handheld light light meter. More good news: depth of field preview works with AI and AIS lenses! So I've been having a great time using my manual lenses on the D70. This camera is really a winner and costs no more than some of the ridiculous "prosumer" digicams out there. It's far more versatile.
It's easy to use-if you've used another digicam or even a recent Nikon 35mm SLR. The fact that I've been able to figure out most settings necessary without even cracking the manual is impressive.
The flash syncs at 1/500! This makes for some really creative fill flash outdoors or in the studio. All necessary settings are within easy reach, and no stupid five click deep menus for stuff like ISO. All the important stuff like ISO, Metering pattern, Exposure modes, White Balance, etc. have a dedicated button right on the body. No fumbling to change stuff while shooting.
Shutterlag is virtually non-existent. It's almost as good as my FM2N. But face it, if you want zero shutter lag then get a manual 35mm camera! However with the D70, you will not notice it.
The Lens-the kit lens is a 18-70mm (27 to 105mm). It's pretty good, and the color has that gorgeous Nikon hue. It's bright for a zoom. A lot of people are criticizing this lens unjustly. It does have a lot of barrel distortion on the wide end, but for landscapes you'd never know. It's got a very good wide angle range for a digital lens. It's a great value, and way better than any junk Sigma puts out.
ViewFinder-Some have slammed the viewfinder. It does take a little getting used to, like looking down a long dark corridor at first. But it's just as bright as any AF SLR once you get used to it. I think Nikon designed it this way to get people used to the CCD aspect ratio. It's kind of like watching a DVD in letterbox format. Good news: the viewfinder has a diopter for eyeglass wearers.
Picture Quality-This is where the rubber meets the road. At all ISO settings, the images are superb. Colors are saturated and lifelike, with the "Nikon Pop". They remind me of a good ISO 100 slide film like Kodak E100G, or Fujichrome Velvia 100. Best of all, the grain is very low, even ISO 1600 is not bad when printed to 8 x10. This is a huge advance over my older Canon G2 digital. Like I said, think ISO 100 slide film.
This is destined to be one of Nikon's legends, like the N8008, N90, FM2N, etc. You get a lot of value for your money, much more than the Canon Digital Rebel. A lot of pros are buying D70s for backup, and the Press Photographers Association of Japan just picked the D70 as new camera of the year! What else could you ask for? This is a top drawer camera with a great lens.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
I have a Nikon D100 and love it. But if I were in the market today, the D70 would be the one I selected. At $999 (body only) this is absolutely an outrageous bargain, and Nikon has plainly positioned this camera price/feature-wise to dominate the market.
This camera and others like it herald the death of film. This camera will produce breathtakingly good images and you don't have to pay to develop them before you view them. Just take your CF card and attach it to a reader and you can review the pictures on your personal computer. Then select the ones you want and print them yourself (good printers are pretty cheap these days) or submit them on-line to any number of professional printing houses who will mail you wonderful prints in a day or two. And you can process the images with any of several superb (and inexpensive) programs giving you a "digital darkroom" capability that far exceeds what an expensive and messy film darkroom could achieve with film. The digital darkroom is a reality!
The D70 has all of the features that a serious amateur (and even a pro, IMHO) will want. First the basics: this camera will use all of the Nikon D and G autofocus lenses. Put in a 512MB CF card and it will take 51 RAW pix or several hundred JPEG pix, depending on your setting. These 6 Megapixel pictures are indistinguishable from film for essentially all purposes. What's not to like?
The D70 has improved Through-The-Lens metering, and improved buffering. This means that your images will likely be perfectly exposed each time. It also means that you can take many pictures in rapid sequence, and the camera will be able to keep up with you. Although the D70 is positioned slightly below the D100, in reality Nikon chose to improve these features somewhat over the D100! The D70 is not a "crippled" D100 the way the Canon Digital Rebel is a crippled Canon 10D (Canon's fine competing product to the D100). Although the D100 has some features that the D70 lacks, the D70 shows that Nikon has learned from the comments and requests of D100 owners by providing a bigger and faster buffer allowing users to take pictures in rapid-fire sequence.
Although the D70 is somewhat lighter than the D100, it is solidly built, and I like the heft and feel of the camera--it does not feel flimsy. It is light but solid. The menus are intelligently set out, and after an hour or so, most users will no longer need the manual.
The D70 is a winner, and the only problem that prospective buyers will have with it is finding one.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2005
The D70 is the digital SLR to record daily life and life events. With a 6 megapixel resolution limits the size of prints you can make with it to about 11" by 17". If this is not a problem for you then this is your digital camera. If you want to be able to make larger prints with good resolution, then you need to spend a great deal more money for a higher resolution digital camera (about $5,000) or stick with film. I keep my old N90 for these purposes.

Buy the D70 without the bundled 18-70 Nikon lens if (1) you already have a bundle of Nikon lenses; or (2) if you want a more capable first lens for your camera. If you want a more capable lens I strongly recommend the Nikon 24-120 lens. It cost $500 from B&H photo and will wind up being the lens you always keep on your camera. Its equivalent range in film cameras is 36-180 - in other words slight wide angle to more than satisfactory telephoto. This is the fourth generation of this lens by Nikon and it now has all the bells and whistles: Nikons best ed glass for super sharp and clear pictures, silent wave motor for extremely fast focusing, and vibration reduction to eliminate the shakes in low light. Nikon has other excellent zooms and you may want to look at them but I can highly recommend this lens as one to have if you never want to miss a shot of the kids or what is happening at the instant.

The D70 comes bundled with one EN-EL3 battery. To get started with the camera I suggest the following in addition:

* One extra EN-EL3 Lithium-Ion Battery.

* Two 2GB 80X CompactFlash cards with write acceleration (WA) technology.

* One CF card reader for your computer. Firewire or USB connection depending upon your needs.

As time and money permit you may want to add the following:

* A telephoto lens for wildlife and sporting events. The 70-300mm F4-5.6G AF Nikon is a great value and complements the bundled lens nicely. If money is not an object step up to the 70-300ED or the 70-200 F2.8 with vibration reduction.

* A good macro lens such as the AF Micro Nikon 105mm f2.8.

* Polarizing filters for both your basic lens and the telephoto. Get Nikon filters there is no sense in spending money for Nikon lenses and then putting junk filters on them.

* A bag to carry all this stuff.

This will get you nicely started. Further down the line you may wish to get the following:

* A speedlight. Either the SB 600 or 800.

* A tripod and ballhead.

Be sure to check prices at B&H Photo as well as those shown here. They have a tremendous selection and have long been known and trusted by serious photographers. In addition I would suggest that anyone who buys a D70 join Nikonians. There or literally tens of thousands of people who are more than happy to help you with any question you may have about Nikon Cameras, lenses and other equipment as well as help you with your photography skills. And, bet of all, it's free! Go to nikonians.org.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2004
Pros: All the advantages of a D-SLR (fast ISO speed, super-low noise, wide range of aperture and shutter speeds, versatility, huge buffer, compatibility with high-speed cards, etc.); unmatchable color accuracy and brilliance; beautiful style, battery life (After I took 500 regular photos and 20 flash photos, the battery still showed full. Nikon¡¦s claim that the battery can last 2,000 photos may not be too far from truth); reasonable price.
Cons: The camera has a few minor annoyances, but the most horrible thing about this camera which may apply to all other D-SLRs is the dust problem. Knowing that D-SLR is very vulnerable to dust, I never took off the lens (included in the kit) after I first mounted it on the camera. Yet, the dust still somehow managed to get into the low-pass of the CCD anyway, though I have strictly followed the professional standards in avoiding dust from getting into the camera. After less than two months of use, I found a few consistent light dots on bright areas of the photos such as the blue sky. However, I was delighted to find cleaning the CCD is not as difficult as I first thought. Just strictly follow what the manual says and it took me less than 2 minutes to get the dust off the CCD, though I couldn¡¦t see with my eye any dust on the CCD itself. I hope Nikon can make better seals around the lens¡¦ mount in its next version of affordable D-SLR or enable the camera to clean its CCD like Canon 10D or Olympus E-1.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2004
This camera is awesome! I have a Nikon N80 35mm film camera and the D70 is basically a digital version of the N80. They look and perform in very similar manners. The D70 is slightly taller and heavier than the N80, though. I do want to warn people that digital photography with a D-SLR is different than film photography with a 35mm SLR. It takes practice and a little time to get used to it. But once you do you'll love it!

The D70 has pretty much everything a digital SLR needs. It takes exceptionally sharp pictures with the 6.1 MP sensor. The rechargeable battery lasts forever. So far I've taken about 200 pictures (some with flash, some without), reviewed the pics on the LCD and experimented with various menu functions and the battery meter hasn't gone down any yet.

The menu on the D70 is expansive. It has all kinds of customizations to make the camera fit your personal preferences (Like which control knob changes aperture or shutter speed, bracketing order, self timer length, etc). The camera also includes many white balance settings and adjustments like vivid, saturation, contrast, etc.

The camera can take pictures in 5 different options: NEF(RAW), JPEG fine, JPEG Normal, JEPG Basic and NEF+JPEG Basic. And the pictures can be taken in 3 sizes: L (3,008x 2000), M (2,240x 1,488) and S (1,504x 1,000).

The D70 has a very fast write time to the memory card. Plus it has a memory buffer which lets you continue taking pictures even while the camera is writing to the card. Because of this I would recommend saving some money by buying a basic type memory card. I don't think you really need a "high speed" card. When I was testing out my camera, with a basic card, I was able to take 7-8 JPEG Fine pictures in about 3-4 seconds before the camera's buffer filled up (as soon as a picture is written to the card the buffer frees up space and so you can continue to take pictures but the picture taking rate slows down, maybe 1/sec. instead of 3/sec.)

The viewfinder is very clear and has a bar at the bottom that tells you shutter speed, aperture, metering numbers, etc. You can elect to add horizontal and vertical lines to the viewfinder as one of your custom settings. I would recommend doing this since it helps you keep things leveled up.

Auto focus is fast and pretty accurate most of the time. Of course you need AF lenses to utilize this feature. There is really no "shutter lag." As soon as you push the shutter button the camera takes the picture. Also, there is no start up time when you turn the camera on.

There are a few things I wish the D70 had. First, I wish it had a bigger viewfinder (like the one in the N80). Second, I wish it had "live view" on the LCD monitor like point and shoot cameras. As far as I know no D-SLRs have "live view." Since SLRs have a through the lens viewfinder the camera's mirror (which flips up when the picture is taken) blocks the digital sensor. Third, I wish it had a sensitivity speed of ISO 100. And fourth, I wish it had a mirror lockup mode for taking slower shutter speed pictures (The mirror can be locked up for cleaning, why not for picture taking!).

In conclusion, this is a great camera and you will not be disappointed. I think it is a steal for $1,000 since it has many professional D-SLR features. I would definitely buy it again and I very highly recommend it. Best of luck in your digital photography endeavor!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2004
Simply put, the Nikon D70 is the finest camera I have ever used. As an amateur photographer I have owned a variety of Nikon SLRs during the age of film photography. That is until the digital bug hit me with the introduction of the Olympus C2020 (a superb camera in its own right). I have anxiously awaited the day when I could return to the SLR and do it digitally. The D70 has made my day! This camera is incredibly easy to use and intuitive right out of the box. You can easily operate exposure controls, flash, and etc. without going through menus. All the settings can be seen in the viewfinder and the control dials are in the right places so you don't have to take your eye off the subject. It felt like coming home again to use an SLR, shoot through a viewfinder, and quickly and easily adjust exposures. Since there is no shutter-lag with this camera, and image writing to the card is fast, you don't have to anticipate your shots. Image quality is phenomenal and the 6 megapixel count assures you of excellent "darkroom" control. There are so many image capture options available in its menu that it pays to test the camera for settings that satisfy your needs (e.g. regulating sharpness, contrast, and tonal distributions). But even the default automatic settings provide photographs that can be beautifully printed right out-of-the-box. The 18-70mm DX lense that comes with the kit (equivalent to 27-105mm for 35mm film) is a great buy and delivers excellent image quality. I only wish its filter size (67mm) matched any of the filters that I had acquired for my old lenses. For the serious amateur who wants the level of control and image quality that only an SLR can provide, the Nikon D70 is definitely it. The affordable digital SLR has arrived! Sorry, Kodak, the era of film photography has truly come to an end.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2004
I got frustrated taking pictures and not being able see what I was getting in the viewfinder. And I was even more frustrated with the shutter lag. There was no choice. I had to move up to an SLR. I read everything, and spoke to top commercial and news photographers about what to get. They naturally, chose top of the line Canons and Nikons. When the D70 came out, I tried it and fell in love with it. You flick a switch and it's on. Hit the shutter and you have an instant picture. Of course the quality is supurb, but what makes it a joy is that it's easier to use than a prosumer digital camera. I started off with the kit lens and within two weeks moved up to the Vibration-Reduction 24-120 lens. It's slower than the kit lens, but the vibration reduction compensates for it. News photographers have told me that the D-70 works as well as their top of the line Nikons, but they wouldn't use one because it isn't built to take the beating they give their cameras. Once you get the camera, you won't be able to put it down. It makes me wonder what Nikon will come out with next.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2004
I've been using a Nikon F4 for over 12 years and had no intention of going digital until a friend loaned me his Canon 10D- what a great camera. Shortly thereafter Nikon released the D70 enabling me to acquire a reasonably affordable digital body and to keep using all my great Nikkor glass. Although the D70 feels like a toy compared to the F4 it takes fantastic pictures - as good or better than my best taken with Velvia at least up to 8x10 (printed using an Epson SP2200/Epson Premium Luster Paper). The D70's easy to use and has all the feature's you'd want. I usually shoot on manual, but the D70's "autopilot" programs are great & shooting at ISO 1600 gives nice results. "Optimizing" with PhotoShop has been infrequent. The only problem I've encountered so far is that the CR2's (not cheap) go very quickly - but the rechargeable batteries last "forever". The D70's a no-brainer.
***********
Almost one year & about 15,000 shots later the only thing I miss about my F4 is not being able to shoot quickly, not being able to take full advantage of my 17-35 mm zoom and not getting enough arm exercise (so I still use the F4 for these purposes). The D70's fantastic!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2004
I've had this camera for three months and have shot several thousand pictures. I tried the Olympus 8MP 8080 but it was noisy except for ISO 50 like all prosumer ZSLR's. I exchanged it this beauty and after the first day never looked back.

Everything you've read is true, GREAT pictures, NO more shutter lag, battery lasts about 4x longer than compact cameras since you set up the shot from the viewfinder not the LCD which uses power. Plus the battery is powerful, 1400mAh. I now rarely use Photoshop. It's easy to use and has many, many functions including the ability to fine tune the white balance--very useful and many development options.

The lens is top notch, not like the kit lens with the Canon Rebel. To compliment this lens I picked up a Nikon 28-200. Great lens for about $300.00 that also works very well for macro shooting since it focuses up to about 15 inches. Add an extension tube and you can photograph the pollen in a flower with razor sharp results. No need to pick up a macro lens this one does it all plus it's a great lens for walking around. Don't get the Tamron 28-300 since images are soft between 200-300mm and it will depreciate faster than any Nikon lens because of the name. I also picked up a used razor sharp 70-210 f4.0-5.6 lens for only $150.00 which is much, much better than the new 80-200 or 80-300 more expensive Nikon lenses.

Pros:
Simply great shots
Ease of Use
Instant On
Super Fast
Lots of Features
Software: Nikon View browser is very good--included
Software: Nikon Capture 4--great but only a 30 day trial verison supplied

Cons:
Software: Nikon Capture-to open NEF files is $99.00, should be free
Wish the LCD was bigger but it is standard size
Light on top panel should be on-off instead of staying on for just 10 secs
Light on top could be brighter or indigo blue for easier read
Auto White balance runs a little cool/blue

White Balance Tips:
For most shots simply set the Auto White Balance at -2 or -3 setting and leave it there. This will warm the shots very nicely.
For outdoor shots on nice days use the Cloudy or Shade setting. The Daylight/Sunny setting is little cool-blue. With Cloudy the added warmth or red looks great. But you won't go wrong with Auto -3 outdoors.
Use Shade setting with a -2 or -3 setting for spectacular red sunsets.
Flash portraits use Flash setting with a -1 or -2 for warmer skin tones
If you use a warming or colored filters be careful since Auto White balance will compensate for the effect.
Shades of red get stronger by using the settings in the following order-Sunlight--Flash--Cloudy--Shade. Negative numbers in the fine adjustments add red, positive numbers add blue. So Incandescented adds blue/cool and +3 adjustment adds more blue. at the other end of the blue-red spectrum, Shade with -3 is the reddest/warmest. This is great for special effects--Incandescent on a cool snowy day adds blue and makes your shots look cold.

Software Tips for RAW/NEF files:
If you want to shoot the best quality and have the greatest freedom editing you can shoot in Nikons RAW format called NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) but you will need a RAW converter.
Nikon Capure software, 30 day trial included with camera, has the best converter and is a great editing program but limited--no layers or selection tools.
Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements 3.0 has a RAW converter so you don't need to buy Nikon Capture but it does do a better job,particularly with White Balance.
Photoshop Elements 2.0 can be used for NEF if you load Nikon View (included) since it does include a light version of Nikon's NEF converter--crude White Balance and Exposure only.

You will not be disappointed with this great camera.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2005
This is a good camera. The only real complaint is the lack of raw jpeg or tiff storage (you can store raw or compressed jpeg only)

That means a lot of dark room work, or a lot a reduction in printable size. ISO Range is also limited to 200 in the lower end.

A word of caution. When you see this camera selling for new at a price that is significantly below what the Amazon vendor Adorama offers (A reputable lower prices kind of firm) be very cautious.

There are a lot of scams where they offer you a ridiculously low price ($500) for new camera but only if you contact them first. Then they try and upsell you and if you dont buy a bunch of over priced very expensive garbage they cancel your order, but then they have you credit info.

[...]look at Genius Cameras to get a good idea of how this works.

Good luck, great camera.
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