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Mark Peters : April 1st 2005 - 20:00 CET

Nikon D70 digital camera preview

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NikonNikon D70 digital camera preview : Beginning of December 2003 Nikon announced that they would soon bring out on the market a fully new digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses, so the Nikon D70 became a fact. The new D70 is a combination of a high quality digital camera with the most important features of an analogue SLR camera, and an attractive price. The official specifications weren't announced yet in December and for many of us it was difficult to wait with patience, but yesterday finally the specifications were revealed to everyone. And when they were revealed to us, it was very clear straight away that the Nikon D70 is a high quality product!
Nikon D70 digital camera previewNikon D70 - High quality housing
A feeling of high quality dominates when we take the camera into our hands. Nikon has not been tempted to make concessions to the quality of the housing. A very neatly finished body with a clear hand grip, a metal mount and an easy accessible control panel at the back of the camera. The camera lies perfectly in the hand. Users of the traditional Nikon F100 camera will recognise certain details of the housing. Until recently this body was only available for the semi-professional photographer!

Nikon D70 - Lenses
The D70 uses the Nikon DX sensor format and the Nikon F-bayonet mount. Therefore nearly all AF Nikkor lenses and of course the specially designed DX Nikkor lens are interchangeable. Beside unveiling the D70 specifications also the new AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f3.5-f4.5G IF ED lens was introduced, a good option to use as a lens for the Nikon D70 camera.

Nikon D70 - DX Image sensor
The Nikon D70 not only exists of a high quality body. The D70 is equipped with a DX image sensor and has an effective image resolution of 6.1 Megapixels. This resolution has proven itself to be good in practice; it delivers an excellent image- and print quality. Its former model, the Nikon D100, has the possibility to store the images in JPEG format and in RAW (NEF) format. Beside being able to store JPEG and RAW format the D70 can also store a combined RAW+JPEG format, very handy! The speed of processing the images is 3 images per second for the D70. The camera has a large buffer for 12 JPEG (Large) images and can convert them very quickly. When using the D70 in combination with a fast CompactFlash memory card, it's possible to make an impressive large series of images one after the other! The Nikon D70 is tested with a SanDisk Ultra II 256MB memory card which offers continuous shooting of a series of 144 images, incredible! (Normal quality and Large size).

Nikon D70 - LSI chip and object settings
The new LSI chip used for the D70 is programmed with the latest algorithms. In fact, this chip is the heart of the camera, here all processing programs are controlled, the image quality is optimised and the system performances are preserved. Using this new LSI chip, storage speed of JPEG, RAW and combined RAW+JPEG images is improved. Beside rapidity of image processing the camera also has a quick start-up time of only 0.2 seconds, a fast flash synchronisation of 1/500 and an aperture series of 30 seconds to 1/8000 second. The beginning photographer will certainly appreciate the present object settings on the command dial on top of the camera. The so-called digital Vari-program offers a choice to select: Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait and Night Landscape. These program settings have their own specific feature with emphasis on the essential image feature that meets the selected object.

Nikon D70 - LCD screen and storage
The images are shown rapidly on the 1.8 inch size LCD monitor. The resolution of the display is improved and counts 130.000 pixels. Beside reproducing one image it is also possible showing several images at the same time, a slide show, an enlarged image, histogram reproduction and a marked section of the higher light parts. A very useful function is the image rotation that shows a vertical taken image automatically horizontally. The Nikon D70 is a digital reflex camera that anticipates things. The camera supports FAT16 as well as FAT 32 formats, so memory cards with a storage capacity of 2GB and higher can also be used. Also supported is the Lexar WA technology. Beside using the internal flash it is also possible to use an external flash. The D70 supports the new i-TTL flash technology, used for the first time with the introduction of the professional Nikon SB-800 flash.

Nikon D70 – SB-600 flash unit
The Nikon SB-600 flash unit is a good option for the D70. This flash offers lots of creative possibilities in combination with (zoom) lenses or wireless flash placing. The flash has a guide number of 35 at ISO 100, is able to flash indirectly and is equipped with a user-friendly LCD monitor. For more flash power and more freedom when photographing the SB-600 flash might be a useful enhancement. Further down in this article you will find a table of comparison from the different Nikon flashes.

Nikon D70 - Features
During our first acquaintance with the new Nikon D70 we rapidly moved through all the facets of the camera. When we compare the camera with the Nikon D100 and the main rival the EOS 300D from Canon, we find a large amount of aspects that lift the D70 up to being number one. The main and most striking features are: the housing, the speed of image processing, start-up time and interval of release (100ms), multi-lingual menu (including Dutch), direct and friendly way of operation and the appliance of high quality professional techniques like 3D colour matrix metering with 1005-pixel RGB sensor, a large internal buffer and the support of i-TTL flash technique. With this D70 Nikon offers a digital SLR camera, suitable for a wide range of consumers. The starter as well as professional will look forward meeting this D70.

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