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  • Based on the existing D70 model, with updates to improve usability
  • 6.1 megapixel CCD, 3,008 x 2,000 pixel images
  • ISO from 200 to 1600
  • 3 frames per second with instant power-up
  • Part of Nikon "Total Imaging System"
  • Compatible with >90% of all Nikon F-mount lenses ever made!

In the bit over a year since the introduction of the original Nikon D70, rival Canon has answered that camera's challenge strongly with their Digital Rebel XT model, catching up quite a bit in the areas of startup time and responsiveness, as well as in resolution and detail rendition. That said though, the Nikon D70s retains the advantage of a superior lens with a wider zoom range and slightly wider maximum aperture. It also retains the superb in-hand feel and ergonomics of the original D70, while the Rebel XT has gone quite a bit in the other direction with a tiny handgrip that's simply too small to be comfortable for many users. For shooters interested in flash photography, the D70s easily leads the field, with its combination of matrix metering for fill flash operation, and its direct support (no accessories needed) for true wireless TTL-metered flash operation with Nikon's SB-600 and SB-800 flash units. With its dead-simple "green zone" operation and host of helpful scene modes, the D70s is also a very approachable camera for novice users. This is an important consideration, given how well a d-SLR matches the needs of typical family shooting, an application where less-sophisticated users really need the things that d-SLRs do so well (fast shutter response, good high-ISO performance). Whatever your interests, the bottom line is that the D70s is an exceptionally capable, well-performing digital SLR, every bit worthy of the storied Nikon name. In case it wasn't already obvious, it's highly recommended, and an easy Dave's Pick.

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Keywords: Nikon SLR CF APS-C 6MP


Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Nikon D70s review by rtuci12
Review Date: 12/19/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: achla matslema
Cons: ktsat yeshana

matslema bat zona achu-shiling shel matslema !

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon D70s review by Nihiliste
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,400.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Easy to use; great picture quality; fast sync speed; good value for the money.
Cons: Dim viewfinder; starts at ISO 200; poor autofocus in low light.

For pro photographers, the D70 (or D70s) hardly requires an introduction. It's a standard of the industry, widely considered to be one of the best values for any camera.

Since this is a review though, I will have to explain myself. The D70s is actually an upgrade to the D70, but the two models are so similar that functionally speaking, the differences are negligible. The viewfinder and LCD on the S are somewhat brighter, and the autofocus is theoretically more accurate, but none of the upgrades justify buying a new camera if you already have a D70.

As a result, the rest of my review is just going to deal with the D70 in general. One of the first things you'll notice about it is that it's fairly compact - it's not as tiny as Canon's Digital Rebel, but for a camera of its reputation, it doesn't feel much bigger than a prosumer model.

This contributes to one selling points of the D70, which is ease-of-use. It's fairly easily to reach most of the buttons, with the exception of DOF preview, which is strangely located on the opposite side of the lens - away from the handgrip. This is a problem mainly because so many of the functions can be controlled from the grip, the lack of continuity is disappointing. The two dials not only control shutter and aperture, but also toggle to adjust ISO, white balance, and other options. It only takes a day to get used to it if you've never shot with a Nikon DSLR before.

But for a working photographer like myself, the true "ease-of-use" is its performance. It turns on almost instantly, and supports shutter speeds down to 1/8000. Most importantly, the 1/500 flash sync is incredibly useful for shooting outdoors. Many cameras limit sync to 1/250, which is rarely good enough if you want to avoid stopping down the lens. 1/500 is though, and I salute Nikon for it.

Picture quality is superb for a six megapixel camera, which might surprise people who see newer cameras with eight or 10MP. But you can in fact produce very large prints from the D70, greater than 8x10", and you won't notice any sharpening or moire artifacts. Noise is also fairly similar to film grain, which means that ramping up to ISO 1600 isn't disastrous.

The camera does have its share of problems though. The viewfinder is rather dim, for instance - it's useable, but it would be easier to compose with it you didn't have to pay such close attention. This is a minor issue in most circumstances, but it can become serious if you're in an area with fast action and low light.

Speaking of low light, the D70 simply does not focus well without a strong source of contrast. In some cases I've spent several seconds trying to lock focus, though never in the middle of an assignment, thankfully. I have missed some opportunities however, and that's enough of an issue that it should convince other pros buy a D200 if they can afford it. Assuming they're doing time-sensitive work, that is - manual focus is always an option for static subjects.

A baffling decision on Nikon's part was starting ISO sensitivity at 200. It's a clean 200, but 100 would've produced better detail - essential for fashion photography - and comes standard on nearly all DSLRs except for this one. It would also have made shooting outdoor flash even easier, though I can live with high ISO so long as I have a fast sync.

All told, the D70s is a fantastic camera for new professionals and serious hobbyists alike. This role has technically been supplanted by the D80, but for the price difference, you could probably buy a lens or a flash!

Registered: September 2006
Posts: 26
Nikon D70s review by trentdp
Review Date: 1/6/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Great upgrade from D70
Cons: None

Although relatively minor upgrades compared to the D70 which I own, this camera has a reputation of not having any of the early development problems the D70 had. The larger 2" LCD is welcome and a bit brighter than the 1.8" LCD on the D70.
One of the items I wanted to mention is that I shoot exclusively in RAW now for it's many advantages. The D70/D70S have relatively small RAW files about 5MB in size so you can get a lot of shots on inexpensive CF cards in this mode. Nikon Capture and NX are really great for getting the most from the Nikon RAW files. I regularly shoot RAW then batch process the files to JPEG images for printing and computer viewing. Shooting RAW removes all the in camera short comings of the D70/D70s and allows excellent pictures to be derived from the original with really little post processing effort on your part.
Although storage media is continuing to get cheaper and larger, I still find that the smaller RAW files generated by a 6MP camera are desireable from a storage and management standpoint. I know that eventually I will trade up to the 10MP or larger cameras but in the meantime I am very satisfied with the results from this fabulous 6MP camera. Read my D70 review for my other comments on this camera.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon D70s review by sandharvest
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good Image quality, wide variety of lens, balanced feature set, reliable
Cons: None for the price

The Nikon D70s provides me a high quality photographic tool that I have now shot continously for the last 12 months, (over 11,000 images). The camera has numerous external controls, keeping one out of menus for most all shooting chores.

Shooting in RAW, and keeping images in Adobe color space and 16 bit tiffs yield beautifully detailed and rich photographs that rival any camera out there today in the under $2000 range. While the D200 and D80 offer more resolution, they do not provide a superior image.

Buy this camera even today. It is at bargain prices at this time and will serve you well for years to come. Any lenses you buy you can take with you to possible future bodies in the APS sensor range that Nikon may produce.

I strongly recommend this camera!

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 10
Nikon D70s review by btjh86
Review Date: 12/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Good image quality, good feature set, FAST!
Cons: does not meter with non AI lenses.

I got this camera when it first came out in 2005. Coming from a coolpix 5700, this camera was a huge leap in terms of speed and image quality.

With the kit lens, its a wonderful combination! Focusing is excellent even in low light. I use a SB-800 with it and with the AF illuminator, it works even in total darkness.

I've used this camera on so many occasions ranging from air shows, studio shots and travel photography. Although sometimes I wished it had more megapixels, on the good side, it has less noise and better dynamic range.

This camera could very well be suited for the beginner up to the advanced amateur. Even with newer models with more MP's appearing, this camera could very well be a good bargain on the grey market.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon D70s review by bullfr
Review Date: 11/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Attractive price and yet extremely good
Cons: Not the newest model around, small viewfinder

I had been waiting for a long time to go digital from my beloved F801 and Velvia slides, and was looking for a good opportunity : indeed, I did not want any compromise in terms of quality, but could not have the budget for a D200. Having used Nikons for years, I did not consider any other brand (mostly to keep my lenses). Then finally, the D70s reached an acceptable price level, and I could finally buy one.
As a Nikon user (both film and digital), I definitely felt at home using the camera - all controls are really where they should, which is extremely important. Construction quality is really good for a plastic camera, and I'm not shy of taking it out with me anywhere I happen to be. Image qualit is as good as you can expect it to be, and definitely enough for everyday use. A major problem though is the size of the viewfinder - it is sooo small !! I cant get used to it....
This camera is, of course, not as good as its newest counterparts, the D80 and D200. Of course it could use a few more pixels, more electronics, bigger LCD, advanced features,... but well, this camera has been extensively used by thousands of users who have been happy with it. It now is really affordable to the photographic enthousiast, and I personnaly prefer not to spend all my savings in the camera of my dreams - I prefer to have some finances left to travel and take interesting pictures, instead of being stuck in my hometown shooting the same old tree and the neighbour's dog Smile - this has to be considered !!

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 2
Nikon D70s review by castortroy
Review Date: 11/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: intuitive controls and menus
Cons: noise o'plenty above ISO 800

I went the Nikon route because when I went to finally go and hold one in my hands, I felt like I automatically knew what I was doing with it. That's saying a lot, since my camera before the D70s was a point-and-shoot. After a little getting used to, you can make little adjustments without even having to look.

There's a lot of talk about how the D70s has a tendency to underexpose, well, it does. But(!)... the camera will warn you with a little flashing symbol inside the viewfinder. There's just too much contrast! Recompose, get that super bright light out of the picture, and voila! Nice shot. But, you can ignore it and just change the exposure value. So, either way, it's easy to work around.

It comes with a few scene modes, but I've never really found a use for them, as it's quite easy to adjust things from the normal modes. Switching to sports mode is an easy way to switch from AF-S to AF-C.

The normal Program mode is my mode of choice. With Program Shift, it's almost way too easy to control depth of field just by scrolling the main command dial. It can be a little difficult to keep track of what aperture you're using when you move from different types of lighting to another, but just stick it on Aperture-Priority and problem solved.

My only complaint about the D70s is that anything above ISO 800 is noisy. Well, that's what it looks like on screen, but I have yet to print out a picture at anything above ISO 800.

The kit lens is great, but combine this with the 50mm f/1.8 and you've got yourself one powerful combo.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 6
Nikon D70s review by MariuszJ
Review Date: 11/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,400.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: todays price, very good camera for a good price
Cons: not D200 :)

I just want to put a different light on buying this camera - and I assume you already know the features and differences between D50, D80 and other cameras in ~$1000 price range.
When I was looking for my new camera( since I got my Minolta wet and it died) I spent over 2 months reading reviews, tests, looking at sample pictures and simply wondering which camera will fit my budget and needs better.I ended up with headache and lots of doubts.I wish to have D200... but didn't have enough money.So I took a little bit from every review I read and made a list of upsides and downsides of having each Nikon in my reach.I didn't consider any of Canon only because of personal preferences.
There are few things you have to remember before you spend your $$$ on any camera:
- consider price of camera plus prices of every accessories you will/you may need in future.I was between D70s, D80 and D200. D80 wasn't available yet and D200 simply too expensive. So for the price of D80 Outfit I got D70s Outfit and SB600 flash and Sigma 10-20 lens(I had to add just few bucks).Put these extra $$$ you would spend on D200 and you just got yourself a nice tele lens or a good backpack and a decent tripod - and you're ready for (almost) everything.I am not saying that will happen if you go straight to bestbuy but search ebay and other internet stores and it is possible.
-If you consider Canons (or other brands for that matter) - just check prices of their lenses and fashes - sometimes price of camera body is attractive, but good lenses are out of your budget range, so you stuck with cheap "eyes".Remember - the best camera with poor optics will produce same poor picture it sees.
- think about camera features, what you need and what you don't - and also about its ergonomics.Is it to light, to heavy;to small or too big.For me D50 would probably be enough features-wise, but for my big hands just wasn't confortable.D70s feels just right.Don't let little things disturb your passion.

Overall its a very good camera - very capable.But dont't expect it (nor any camera) to make great photos for you - it is only a tool in your hands producing an image - You are making the picture.Quality of photos is just what I was looking for; noise levels far above my expectations, features helping me to take "The Picture" are just there. Would I recommend it to you - if you are amateur passionate like me - definitely, am I happy with it - you bet!

D70s is a good camera, and there are better ones too, but there always be...
Daniel M

Registered: February 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon D70s review by Daniel M
Review Date: 2/23/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Well Built, Complete, Good Af, Metering, A Competent Camera.
Cons: Tunnel Effect Viewfinder, Underexposing Bias System Metering.

Nikon D70s First Hand Impressions in the Road to Digital…

As you may already understand from the title of this review, I use to work with for several years with wonderful film photo material such as Nikon F-series (from F original up to the 5) and superb Leicas M and R. Professionally speaking Nikon has been my main 35mm furnisher and we have a long loving affair even if I was not always following them instantly on their move. I was found of their Nikon F3HP and F4 and of their always charming Nikkor AIs like 24mm, Micro 55mm, 105/2,5 and 300/4,5. AF lenses such as 20/2.8, 85/1.8, 80-200/2.8 and 300/4 have got my full respect for the maker. This is a long introduction to indicate by background references.

Digital evolution even from the yearly years appears to me as inevitable. Such as technological, communication and pollution issues has gradually put films out of the business especially in professional fields. So during the last two years I have made the commitment to go on digital for taking my pictures instead of scan negatives and slides. After a long way of searching and with the kind help of other professional friend fellows I did in buying a new Nikon D70s along with the DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-70/3.5-4.5G ED.

Today I will give you just a first hand impression. The camera and the lens seem to be well built. The handling is very good and the camera/lens combination is light. Controls are following the traditions of all Nikon electronics cameras since F801/N8008. The viewfinder is good but you have to adapt ourselves to the tunnel effect view which took me a couple of days. Doing the focus manually doesn’t give any problem in particular but make sure to set camera and lens to the “M” position. Information’s inside viewfinder are non-obstructive and done in a simple direct manner. For exposure setting the camera controls are very user friendly and most of all very intuitive. In low light conditions I have found that the D70s metering system has a tendency to underexpose the subject especially when using the matrix exposure pattern. In that case I have used instead the center lecture option with success most of the time. Manual metering is a pleasure to work with but indications are showed only into the inside reflex viewer.

The battery pack has an amazing longevity. With the D70s you will become a happy multiple-trigger-man in a short time.

I have read the full and instructive manual that come with camera and it have gave a profound impression of what are the real possibilities of the D70s. Even in professionnal aera I doubt that the camera will be use in its full capacities. For example you can really do exact color metering by using the “WB” white balance option without any traditional use of expensives color meter and not practical color correcting filters.

I have also begun to appreciate the flash system which seems to be very flexible. When using the integrated flash be sure to pull out the lens hood to prevent dark bottom spot. Menus are well presented and can be sophisticated as you may wish or not. Even the Nikon Picture Project software offer with the camera is useful but I am hoping to get and try the Nikon Capture 4 in a near future.

In brief for these first impressions, I have really appreciated from the beginning to work and take pictures with the D70s. I am looking forward to get a “picture quality” point of view regarding the inside photo capture system and the electronic supporting it. But now on Digital has become my complete new photo way of life.

Hope this review helps you, Daniel M.


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