Nikon D70s SLR Review

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Nikon D70

Features & Controls (cont.)

On the grip side is the monochrome data LCD which displays all of the most important camera settings at a glance. The button to the right turns on the LCD's backlight when needed. On the front is the shutter release with the main power switch. The button is for setting the exposure compensation and the button is for selecting the desired metering mode. These buttons are held down while rotating the command dial.

Nikon D70s SLR

The data LCD displays the battery status, ISO Auto, shutter speed, aperture, flash mode, icons for Program-Shift, exposure compensation, flash compensation, Bracketing, clock battery low, image quality, image size, flash mode, focus mode, metering mode, remote controller mode, self-timer, drive mode, number of shots remaining and frame number at playback, and white balance.

Nikon D70s SLR

The mode dial has the usual positions for AUTO, "P"rogram AE, "S"hutter speed priority, "A"perture priority and "M"anual exposure modes as well as the Digital Vari-Program modes for Portrait, Landscape, Closeup, Sports, Night Landscape and Night Portrait.

Digital Vari-Program mode automatically optimizes white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue for optimal results according to the type of picture you're taking. For example, select Portrait mode and the camera will automatically enhance the image with beautiful skin tones, complimentary edge sharpening and soft background focus that highlights your subject.

Nikon D70s SLR

Located on the front below the shutter release is the sub command dial, it's mostly used to change the aperture value and its function can be swapped with the main command dial on the back by using a Custom function setting.

Nikon D70s SLR

On the back is a 2.0-inch, 130,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD with brightness adjustment. The new graphical menus use a larger typeface for easy navigation.

Controls on the Rear

Enable Bracketing mode, can be AE only, Flash only or AE + Flash
Select Shooting Mode: Single frame, Continuous, Self-timer, Delayed remote, Quick response remote
Auto Exposure / Auto Focus Lock
Main Command Dial, changes settings when used with other buttons, selects shutter speed (its function can be swapped with the sub command dial by changing a Custom setting)
Monitor button turns color LCD on/off, displays last image captured, works like the Play/Review button on other cameras
Calls up and dismisses the onscreen menu system
In review mode display 4 or 9 thumbnail images, is also used to change zoom ratio when in zoom review, in record mode it is used to change ISO speed in conjunction with command dial
Help in Custom menu mode, Protect/unprotect images in review mode
ENTER button accepts menu selections, in playback it enables the zoomed (magnified) playback option
4-way selector is used to select images and display image data in review mode and change the active focus area in capture mode
Locks the 4-way selector against accidental changes
Delete images while in review mode

CompactFlash Storage

Nikon D70s SLR

The D70s is equipped with a CompactFlash Type II slot and is compatible with any capacity CompactFlash Type I or II solid state card and is also fully IBM/Hitachi Microdrive compatible. Storage devices over 2GB can be used, it recognizes both FAT and FAT-32 file system standards.

Approx. Storage 256MB CF Card

Nikon D70s SLR

I/O Interfaces

Nikon D70s SLR

The I/O ports are on the left side, on top is the connector for the new MC-DC1 remote shutter release. Next is the DC-IN port for the optional EH-5 AC Adapter. The VIDEO OUT port is user-selectable (NTSC or PAL) for output to a TV monitor. On the bottom is the USB (v1.1 speed) port for transferring image data to the host computer.

Power Source

Nikon D70s SLR

The D70s uses either the new Nikon EN-EL3a 7.4V 1500mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery pack or the older Nikon EN-EL3. It is recharged with the supplied MH-18a Quick Charger. The EN-EL3a is more powerful (1500mAh vs 1400mAh) than the EN-EL3. Nikon claims the battery life is sufficient for capturing from 500 frames (normal single-frame shooting mode, JPEG Large Normal quality, speedlight used for every other shot) up to 2,500 frames (continuous frame mode, 1/250 sec, JPEG Medium Basic quality) per charge.

Nikon D70s SLR

The optional MS-D70 battery holder allows you to use three CR2 type one-use lithium batteries. These batteries keep well over long periods of time so it makes a great "emergency" backup for your rechargeable battery.

Non-Nikon D70s Accessories

Harbortronics VG-D70 Vertical Grip

Harbortronics VG-D70 Vertical Grip for Nikon D70s SLR

Are you upset that Nikon does't made a vertical grip for the D70/D70s ?
No worries my friends, Harbortronics does!

The Harbortronics VG-D70 is a $165 aftermarket grip that:

  1. provides a means of holding the camera in a vertical orientation without changing the orientation of the hand,

  2. allows for a second battery, essentially doubling the number of shots on a charge,

  3. adds a second shutter release button, used in portrait orientation.

  4. provides additional length to the camera body when held horizontally (landscape), particularly useful with larger hands,

  5. increases the mass of the camera, helping to damp handheld movement,

  6. provides a standard connector for use with remote release cables, stereo camera connections, and other remote control equipment,

  7. provides an alternate connection for external power, using an industry standard connector,

  8. includes a place to store the camera's battery door,

  9. retains a tripod mounting thread (metal).

Harbortronics VG-D70 Vertical Grip for Nikon D70s SLR

Included with the VG-D70 is a fiber optic cable that lets the grip's shutter release fire the camera's shutter via the infrared remote drive mode. The jack on the side lets you use an inexpensive wired remote release like the Canon RS60-E3 (and also facilitates the hard-wired shutter release jumper cable available soon from Harbortronics.) This also lets you fire the shutters of two VG-D70 equipped D70/D70s for stereo image capture.

For complete information download the VG-D70 User's Manual (pdf).

Ikelite D70 Underwater Housing

Nikon D70s SLR

Ikelite has just announced their new D70 Underwater Housing with availability starting in May 2004. The clear molded compact housing features full capabilities and operates safely to 200 feet depth. The housing size and weight provides neutral buoyancy and superb handling underwater. Camera installation is quick and simple. The dependable controls are conveniently placed at your fingertips, and kept water tight with Ikelite pioneered Quad-Ring seal glands proven to be the most reliable method for sealing controls.

Fantasea FD-70 Underwater Housing

Nikon D70s SLR

(click to see a larger picture)

Fantasea Line announces the release of the FD-70, an underwater camera housing, designed exclusively for the Digital SLR Nikon D-70. The Fantasea FD-70 is a compact, lightweight, injection molded polycarbonate housing with ergonomically designed handles, making it easy to hold and use. The FD-70's interchangeable port system accommodates a wide variety of SLR lenses, allowing photographers to capture the widest variety of superior underwater images.

The Fantasea FD-70 is more than just an underwater camera housing since it provides protection for the D-70 against damage from rain, snow, dust, sand and dirt. It is a valuable tool for many commercial, industrial, and medical applications, because it is resistant to most liquids and sprays.

The FD-70 housing features a unique o-ring and gasket seal and is rated to a depth of 200 feet (60m). The D-70 "slides" into the FD-70 housing on a specially designed tray. Once inside the housing the latching buckles on the back door are snapped shut sealing the system with a sound watertight seal.

The suggested retail price of the FD-70: US $999, it includes standard port (18-70 mm zoom lens) and pre-paid flood insurance policy from D.E.P.P. for one year.

Check out the

FD-70 Underwater Gallery

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