thinking about a D70

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by sasquatch, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. sasquatch

    sasquatch Guest

    I bought a Nikon CoolPix 2500 several years ago so I could take quick
    random pictures without lugging around my camera and lenses, but now I
    would like to get a more functional digital camera.

    My two options are to get a D70 (probably, not certain yet) AND a
    decent non-SLR for times when I do not want to carry around a bunch of
    junk, or just to get a non-SLR digicam and forget the SLR for now.
    Initially I was only considering the SLR but now I am not sure that I
    have to get it.

    One of the things I am looking for is great macro capability as I have
    a couple of acres of gardens and I take a lot of pictures of tiny
    plants and insects. I am guessing that this alone is not a reason to
    go for the SLR as I have seeen some amazing macro shots taken with

    I stormchase when I can and take a lot of pictures under windy, dark
    and generally unpleasant conditions.

    I sometimes set up the tripod and see what sort of lightning shots I
    can capture, although I am not quite so bold as I used to be so I do
    not do that very often these days.

    I do not take a great deal of night shots in general, but I take
    enough that I worry about noise with the non-SLR cameras under
    low-light conditions.

    One other concern is this - having a fast enough lens. Are the
    non-SLRs catching up at all? Any suggestions on cameras for me to
    research? (either as replacement or companion for the SLR...)

    As for the D70 itself, I have read about it and played around with it
    enough to know what I like and dislike about it but I am wondering if
    any users have encountered unexpected issues that I should know about
    prior to purchase.
    sasquatch, Feb 13, 2005
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  2. sasquatch

    Thad Guest

    Hi. I own a D70. It was my first DSLR. The camera is excellent - even
    the kit lens does nicely, though you will also want to buy a 50mm 1.4 or
    1.8 as a fast lens that is tack-sharp. As for the macro work, you can
    achieve good results with a non-slr digital, but the DSLR gives you the
    advantage of having a bright optical viewfinder, and access to dedicated
    macro lenses.
    There are some non-slr digitals with relatively fast lenses. However,
    the biggest difference is going to the usable ISO range. DSLRs can take
    great shots at 800 with acceptable noise levels, whereas you would have
    noisier images at anything over 100 on many non-slr digitals. When I was
    looking, it was between the D70 and the Olympus C-8080. I went with the
    D70 because I did not want to be tied to a single, non-removable lens,
    and because of the stunningly clean images the D70 produces. It is a
    great camera, and it has some of the best lenses and accessories
    available for it.
    Thad, Feb 13, 2005
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  3. sasquatch

    Harvey Guest

    Check out the Panasonic FZ20. Fast lens, anti-shake, 97% user satisfaction.
    Harvey, Feb 13, 2005
  4. sasquatch

    Pete Smith Guest

    DSLR - Pentax *istDS - 6MP, Versatile, compatible with almost all old Pentax
    lenses including screw mount with an adapter. With DA 18-55mm kit lens at
    the price, its worth considering. ISO range 200 - 3200

    [OT] Non-DSLR my choice is Fuji F810. 6MP/12MP incl 6MP RAW. All the manual
    control you could want and fits in your pocket. Exhibits some flare from the
    polished stainless steel outer lens surround with the sun in front at
    certain angles. Otherwise a brilliant and superbly versatile camera. ISO
    range 80 - 400 (800 @ 3MP)
    Pete Smith, Feb 13, 2005
  5. sasquatch

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Going to need a dedicated hardware for macros. The kit lens only focuses
    down to about 1.5 feet. Not necessarily expensive, but something you need
    to be aware of. New lens, diopters, or extension tubes are various options.
    Ed Ruf, Feb 13, 2005
  6. sasquatch

    Chuck Guest

    Canon 20D , or wait for the replacement of the 300d (should be announced
    this week).
    Chuck, Feb 13, 2005
  7. sasquatch

    Sheldon Guest

    When I was
    I looked at the same two cameras and wound up with the D70 as well. I also
    had a gaggle of Nikon lenses from an old Nikon F, but they work just fine on
    the D70 after being converted to AI specs. You will need some kind of Macro
    lens (already had one), but the lens that comes with the kit should serve
    you well for most applications. Shots taken with my old Macro lens have
    blown people away. Don't be fooled by the "Tulip" setting on the camera.
    It changes the colors and some other settings somewhat, but does not put the
    camera in a true macro mode.

    Keep in mind the photos that come directly out of most DSLR cameras are not
    the same as what comes out of most point and shoot cameras. You may have to
    do a bit of tweaking using software to get the best image, but there are
    some tricks to making your D70 into an excellent point and shoot camera
    (changing some internal settings).

    I think the camera is a joy to hold and use, and is much more versatile than
    the 8080 will ever be (and I'm a big Olympus fan).

    One more thing. When you change lenses on any DSLR camera you are always up
    against the problem of dust on the sensor. In most cases this can easily be
    blown away by a bulb type blower, but it can be a pain at times. However, I
    think the tradeoff is worth it.

    Sheldon, Feb 13, 2005
  8. sasquatch

    paul Guest

    Just be aware that extra lenses are really needed to get the most out of
    the D70. A nicer fixed lens digicam probably has the versitality of
    $2,000 worth of SLR lenses and is a lot smaller & less hassle. If you
    are not up for some lens additions, the D70 will leave you with pretty
    limited abilities. The kit lens is not fast, wide or long, nor much of a
    macro lens.

    Also working with RAW files means more time spent on the computer though
    that will let you capture really subtle and difficult lighting conditions.
    paul, Feb 13, 2005
  9. sasquatch

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    Note that if you opt for a different lens instead of the one
    which comes with the kit, you can get a lot closer. There is a macro
    mode in the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D. You have to be between 50mm and 105mm
    to switch that mode on, and it then locks you out of the shorter focal
    lengths, and opens the autofocus range to quite close -- about two
    inches from the front element. Not quite down to the 1:1 of a true
    macro, but pretty good.

    It (the camera) also has a autofocus-assist mode, in which it
    uses the light used for anti-redeye to give a bit more illumination for
    reasonably close focusing in poor light.

    However, this lens has one disadvantage in low light and macro
    mode. When working really close to the front of the lens, and using the
    built-in pop-up flash, the lens casts a shadow on about the bottom third
    of the subject, so an external flash would be preferred for this. If
    you are outdoors in daylight, and don't feel the need for fill flash,
    this should not be a problem.

    Note also, however, if you habitually shoot wide angle, the 28mm
    end is not as wide as it sounds -- since any focal length has to be
    multiplied by 1.5 to get the actual effective coverage on a 35mm
    full-frame camera. So -- this lens is the equivalent of 42-157.5mm. I
    generally prefer to shoot at the longer range, so this is not a problem
    for me, but it might be for you.

    For when I *really* want close, I go to the old Medical Nikor,
    with the external flash adaptor on the shoe, so I can use its built-in
    ring flash. It gets really well illuminated shots really close.

    It has setting rings for the ASA and the reduction ratio, which
    is determined by screw-on elements which are sometimes stacked. The
    camera has too much sensitivity at the close end. There was supposed to
    be a special cord with a resistor in it to allow working closer with
    higher ASAs, though I do not yet have this. And the alternative of
    adding a ND filter might get me there, but I'm not sure about stacking
    this in combination with two close-up lenses, the most powerful of which
    does not have threads on the subject end -- probably to discourage
    stacking them in the wrong order. This lens, of course, is long out of
    production. It was made for the Nikon-F.

    My use of this lens with this camera has so far been limited to
    using it to photograph an interesting spider between the main window and
    the storm window last summer and fall.

    But it is *not* the lens to use outdoors for several reasons --
    one of which being that it requires a power cord -- unless you can find
    the alternative power supply, which only requires batteries which are
    perhaps no longer made. :)

    I hope that this helps,
    DoN. Nichols, Feb 14, 2005
  10. I use D70 with Nikkor 50/1.8 (~150$). Works pretty fine for me. I am just
    about to have other fix 24/2.8 and that is it. Enough.


    Krystian Polak, Feb 14, 2005
  11. sasquatch

    Ken Tough Guest

    Yeah, the Nikon non-slrs are quite good for their macro. With
    an SLR you'll have to buy a macro lens.
    Not nice changing SLR lenses in those conditions; you're asking
    for dust on the sensor. A "zlr" like the FZ20 would be a lot
    better for nasty conditions.
    Yes, non-SLRs are bad for noise in low-light. D70 is very
    good; I would say its ISO 1600 is as good as my p&s's 400.
    My Oly 3040 has an f1.8 (one of the reasons I went for that
    p&s). I don't think lens speed is as much a constraint as the
    noise-limited ISO. Also consider the depth of field, since
    non-SLRs have smaller focal length lenses, and so much greater
    depth of field. That can be handy for your macro, maybe not so
    handy for portraits etc.

    My main reason for going dSLR was shutter lag and power-on delay.
    I'm very happy with the D70; it lets me easily capture shots that
    otherwise I would struggle all day to trap.

    If that's not a problem for you, weigh up things like the FZ20
    or non-SLR Nikons, and mainly compare on the noisy ISO.
    Ken Tough, Feb 14, 2005
  12. Yes. We have a D70, but got it last spring without any lenses, and
    have used the three we had for our F5 so far. One of them is an
    excellent macro, the AF 105 MicroNikkor. It does get 1:1 images on the
    focal plane.

    Unfortunately its current price is more than the D70, I think. But it
    will do the job.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a

    "We have achieved the inversion of the single note."
    __ Peter Ustinov as Karlheinz Stckhausen
    Rodney Myrvaagnes, Feb 14, 2005
  13. sasquatch

    Scharf-DCA Guest

    Probably not an issue for you, since you're not doing portrait or
    wedding photography, but a lot of people are upset that Nikon doesn't
    offer a vertical control grip accessory for the D70 (available on the
    D100). The D70 is a consumer level camera, and most other manufacturers
    don't offer the vertical control grip for cameras in this class either.
    Some people have complained about moire, but most say that it's
    removeable in post-processing when it does occur.

    You might wait a week and see what Canon comes out with to replace the
    EOS-300D Digital Rebel. The Nikon D70 is a step above the Canon Digital
    Rebel, but a step below the Canon EOS-20D. The D70 is a great camera,
    everyone I know with one is very pleased with it.

    As someone else pointed out, the Panasonic FZ-20 would be a good
    non-SLR solution; at $475, it's less than half of what you'd have to
    spend to get started with a D70.

    Digital Camera Short List: ""
    Digital SLR Selection Criteria:
    Scharf-DCA, Feb 14, 2005
  14. sasquatch

    Alan Meyer Guest

    I have a Pentax Optio 750Z that I bought for $439 plus S&H. It
    has an outstanding macro capability - down to 2 centimeters. It
    also has almost every imaginable feature and manual control,
    including 640x40 30fps video, light meter mode, tilt-swivel LCD
    screen, and on and on. And it produces pretty good (in my
    opinion) 7mp images.

    However, you won't get the wide aperture (max is f/2.8), the low
    noise (max ISO=400, and that's pretty noisy), low light
    capability (ISO doesn't reach dSLR capability, manual focus is
    possible but difficult compared to dSLR), interchangeable lenses
    (35mm zoom equiv = 37.5 - 187mm) or superb lens quality (lens is
    pretty decent, but shows barrel at full wide, pincushion at full
    tele, and softer edges and corners.)

    In conclusion:

    If you want a fun camera, light on the wallet and light on the
    shoulder, with surprisingly high versatility, get one of the
    "high end" consumer "point and shoot" style cameras. They've come
    a long, long way since your Coolpix 2500. The Pentax I bought is
    one of at least a half dozen similar cameras from all the big

    However if you want maximum image quality on big size prints (you
    won't see the difference on small prints), maximum versatility,
    and don't mind the heavy cost and weight, go for the dSLR.

    I had (and still have) 3 film cameras before I went digital, a
    Mamiya 2-1/4 square twin lens reflex, a Minolta 35mm with a
    28-200 mm zoom, and a little Olympus point and shoot.

    I found, over and over again, that I would take the Olympus with
    me when I went out and leave the big, heavy suckers at home. So
    when I went digital I decided to go for light weight and lower

    I'm not sorry I did.

    Remember too - it's still the case now and forever that the most
    critical element in taking good photos is your eye for images.
    For non-professional, non-specialized uses, the equipment just
    doesn't seem as important to me.

    Alan Meyer, Feb 14, 2005
  15. sasquatch

    aeride Guest

    Why the prices vary so much from $500 to $999 from online stores ? Could
    somebody recommend a decent store that's not
    too expensive for this type of camera . I've talked with a sale man from
    an online store , he said the camera brand new and
    have usa nikon warranty card , is it good enough to ask for a camera ?
    btw its latest price is $599 .

    Thank you very much for any advices I could get .

    aeride, Feb 15, 2005
  16. I'm planning to get one soon (just waiting to see what's announced for
    PMA). I've selected B & H [1] which seems to get good recomendations,
    and they have the D70 kit w/ 1GB storage for $1299 (USD) plus a $200
    mail-in rebate[2]. They also have D70s w/o the kit lens, and used
    D70s[3] if you prefer something cheaper.

    1. <>
    Randy W. Sims, Feb 15, 2005
  17. sasquatch

    Alan Meyer Guest

    You might check

    They have reviews of online retailers there.

    Some of the very low price quotes come from stores that
    will insist that you have to buy a lot of overpriced accessories.
    If you refuse to buy them, they then tell you the camera you
    want is out of stock.

    They may have other ways to mislead you and steal your money

    Alan Meyer, Feb 15, 2005
  18. sasquatch

    Sheldon Guest

    When the price gets this low there is a problem. They may take everything
    out of the box and sell each piece separately. Yes, you get a US camera,
    but by the time you get everything that is supposed to come with it you've
    paid more than if you had bought it at an "honest" dealer. The D70 does not
    come with a memory card, but that's about the only thing missing. You
    should, with a memory card, be able to open the box, charge the battery, and
    start taking photos immediately (that's the kit with the lens). If you get
    the body only you will obviously need a lens.

    There is also a dealer out there who, in the fine print, claims that the
    price you see, and the price you originally see on your virtual invoice, may
    not reflect the actual price charged to your credit card. I got mine at
    Circuit City for $100 off plus Nikon's $100 rebate. Now Nikon offers a $200
    rebate (US) on the D70 kit.
    Sheldon, Feb 15, 2005
  19. sasquatch

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    I agree.
    I've heard of this, but I have not dealt with anyone who does
    Which is the way I went, since I already had a 28-105mm AF Nikor
    which I like very much. The focal-length range is better suited to my
    style of seeing than the one in the kit.

    A suggestion, which I have not yet seen in this newsgroup. When
    you get the camera -- make a "leash" to tie the display protective cover
    to the mounting point for the neck strap. I thought of this, but had
    not gotten around to it, and the cover popped off when I was walking
    around a hamfest. It took nearly a week to get a replacement, so I
    spent some time putting a pair of eye splices into the ends of some
    nylon cord to keep it around. It has saved it several times now, and I
    may wind up replacing it because of accumulated scratches before it gets

    And it certainly beats having the display get similarly
    scratched -- or even worse -- broken.
    Hmm ... I never even thought of them for a serious camera.

    DoN. Nichols, Feb 16, 2005
  20. sasquatch

    Alan Meyer Guest

    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    A good idea.

    Another slant on protecting LCD displays is to get an LCD
    protector for a Palm Pilot, cut it to size, and fit it to
    the camera LCD.

    These protectors are sheets of flexible but tough transparent
    plastic with an adhesive backing. You press it in place over the
    LCD and any scratches occur on the plastic rather than the LCD.
    They're cheap and easy to replace if they eventually get
    scratched up.

    Alan Meyer, Feb 17, 2005
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