Nikon D70s SLR Review

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Nikon D70


Review posted 6/17/05

Click to take a QuickTime tour of the Nikon D70S SLR
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the D70s


The D70s is the 2005 successor to Nikon's best-selling and affordable (under $1000) 6.1-megapixel D70 digital SLR introduced last year. The D70s is well suited for beginning photo enthusiasts, hobbyists and advanced users and offers a combination of superior image quality with robust performance. It takes all of the D70's features and adds a number of refinements including:

  • Improved 5-area autofocus system now has an all-area search priority to complement the single area, dynamic area, and close subject priority modes, improving the ability to acquire focus on fast moving subjects within the frame.

  • A larger 2.0-inch LCD monitor, making it easier to review images and access menus.

  • Added a port for the MC-DC1 electronic cable release (optional) which allows users to trigger the camera and hold the shutter open for timed exposures.

  • The built-in Speedlight now has a wider angle of coverage, supports 18mm lenses.

  • New easier-to-read menu design uses color-coded menus with a larger type-face.

  • A higher capacity Li-ion battery yields more pictures per charge.


The D70s offers AUTO, Program AE, Shutter speed AE, Aperture priority AE and Manual exposure modes plus seven pre-programmed Digital Vari-Program selections. The Digital Vari-Program modes produce great results with smooth gradations and rich tones even in the most complex shooting conditions. Nikon's Dynamic Buffer technology allows you to continuously capture up to 144 pictures at three pictures per second. Additional features such as simultaneous compressed NEF (RAW) and JPEG writing capabilities, and i-TTL flash compatibility with a sync speed of up to 1/500 second.

The menus have been designed to offer quick access to the most often used features of the camera. Users will have a choice of customizing their menu to display simple or advanced options depending on their skill level. A unique help button on the camera temporarily displays a short description for each of the 25 different custom settings, offering users immediate help when changing the camera settings.

The built-in speedlight automatically pops up and fires when natural lighting is inadequate or to add balanced Fill-Flash when there is strong backlighting. In addition, i-TTL technology improves the accuracy of fill-flash exposure and white balance in a picture, by seamlessly integrating color information gathered from the speedlight's monitor pre-flash with information from the camera's 1,005-pixel RGB sensor. The built-in speedlight can also be used in Commander Mode to remotely control a group of multiple wireless SB-600 and/or SB-800 Speedlights.

Software is a key component of Nikon's Total Imaging System. The included Nikon PictureProject 1.5 boasts powerful features wrapped into a brand new interface that navigates quickly and is easy to master. While PictureProject 1.5 is already a dynamic new addition to Nikon photography, the software also supports plug-ins, allowing users to add new features, as technology and the digital camera market evolve. The software allows users to easily transfer images to PC's or MAC's and browse, organize, and share them. With support for JPEG, TIFF and NEF and compressed NEF (RAW) files, PictureProject 1.5 works in close unison with Nikon Capture 4.2 as the ideal companion to its powerful feature set.


Nikon D70s Features:

  • 6.1-Megapixel CCD imager yielding 3008 x 2000 pixel images
  • Compact and lightweight digital SLR camera
  • Accepts Nikon F-mount lenses (with 1.5x FOV multiplier)
  • Digital Vari-Program, Program w/shift, Shutter priority, Aperture priority and Manual
  • Exclusive Nikon 3D-Color Matrix metering
  • Compressed RAW and JPEG formats in three quality levels and sizes
  • TTL auto white balance, presets and custom set
  • Shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 30 seconds, flash sync to 1/500
  • Continuous drive at 3fps with dynamic buffer (up to 144 frames)
  • Five area AF with dynamic tracking, single or continuous servo
  • Three color spaces (two sRGB and Adobe sRGB)
  • 2.0-inch color LCD with 130,000 pixels and white LED backlight
  • Onscreen menu for Playback, Shooting, Custom functions and Setup
  • Review with zoomed-playback & pan, histogram and highlights
  • ISO sensitivity from 200 to 1600 in 1/3 steps
  • Noise Reduction circuitry for long exposures
  • 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash with SB-600, SB-800 flashes
  • CompactFlash Type II storage, Microdrive and FAT-32 compatible
  • Selectable video output with NTSC or PAL format
  • USB data and control interface
  • High-capacity EN-EL3a battery and compact MH-18a rapid charger

The Nikon D70s is available either as an Outfit or a Set. The D70s Outfit includes the camera body, rechargeable battery, charger, Nikon PictureProject™ software, neck strap and the high-performance AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens. The D70s Set includes all items mentioned above except the lens.





Physical Views



Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR





Compare the Nikon D70s and Nikon D70

Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR





Compare the Nikon D70 and Canon Digital Rebel XT

Nikon D70S SLR

Nikon D70S SLR




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Nikon D70s Specifications

Type of Camera Single-lens reflex, interchangeable lens digital camera
Compatible Lenses 1) DX Nikkor: All functions supported
2) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
3) Micro Nikkor 85 mm F2.8D: All functions supported except autofocus and some exposure modes
4) Other AF Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR
5) AI-P Nikkor : All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR, and autofocus
6) Non-CPU : Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
Note: IX Nikkor lenses can not be used
Picture Angle Equivalent in 35 mm [135] format is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length
Effective pixels 6.1 million
Image Sensor RGB CCD, 23.7 x 15.6 mm; total pixels: 6.24 million
3:2 aspect ratio, fixed low-pass filter
Image size (pixels) 3,008 x 2,000 [L], 2,240 x 1,488 [M], 1,504 x 1,000 [S]
Sensitivity 200 to 1,600 (ISO equivalent) in steps of 1/3 EV
Storage Media CompactFlash (CF) Card (Type I and II) and Microdrive
Supports FAT and FAT-32 file systems
Storage (Number of frames per 256MB CF card, image size L) Compressed NEF (RAW) approx. 44, FINE approx. 73, NORMAL approx. 144, BASIC approx. 279, RAW & BASIC approx. 39
Storage System Compressed NEF (RAW): 12-bit compression,
JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant
File System Exif 2,21, Compliant DCF 2.0 and DPOF
White Balance
Auto (TTL white-balance with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor),
six manual modes with fine-tuning, preset white balance,
white balance bracketing possible
LCD Monitor 2.0-in., 130,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback Function 1 frame: Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments); Magnifying playback; Slide show; Histogram indication; Highlight point display; Auto image rotation
Delete Function Card format, All frames delete, Selected frames delete
Video Output NTSC or PAL
Interface USB: Mass Storage and PTP selectable
Text Input Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi selector; stored in Exif header
Viewfinder Built-in diopter adjustment (-1.6 to +0.5 m-1)
Eyepoint 18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark V with superimposed focus brackets and on-demand grid lines
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 95%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.75x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Viewfinder Information Focus indications, AE/FV lock indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures, Flash-ready indicator
Autofocus TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5m to 3.0m)
Detection range: EV -1 to +19
(ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C)
Lens Servo 1) Autofocus (AF): single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status
2) Manual focus (M)
Focus Area Can be selected from 5 focus areas
AF Area Mode 1) Single Area AF, 2) Dynamic Area AF, 3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure Metering System TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
(1) 3D Color Matrix Metering with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
(2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75%(8mm circle) given to 6, 8, 10, or 12-mm dia. circle in center of frame, or weighting based on average of entire frame
(3) Spot: Meters 2.3mm dia. circle (about 1% of frame) centered on active focus area
Exposure Metering Range 1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
Exposure Mode Digital Vari-program (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close up, Sports, Night landscape, Night portrait)
Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program; Shutter-Priority Auto (S); Aperture Priority Auto (A); Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Auto Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing Two or three frames ±2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Shooting Modes 1) Single frame shooting mode
2) Continuous shooting mode: approx. 3 frames per second
3) Self-timer mode
4) Delayed remote mode: 2 sec. delay
5) Quick-response remote mode
Shutter Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter,
30 to 1/8000 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/500 sec.
Flash Control 1) TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
• Built-in Speedlight: i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash or standard i-TTL flash (spot metering or mode dial set to M)
• SB-800 or 600: i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash or standard i-TTL flash (spot metering)
2) Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 with CPU lens 3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27, and 22s 4) Distance-priority manual available with SB-800
Flash Sync Mode 1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync), 2) Red-Eye Reduction,
3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, 4) Slow Sync, 5) Rear-Curtain Sync
Built-in Speedlight Auto flash with auto pop-up
[P], [S], [A], [M]: manual pop-up with button release
Guide number (ISO 200/ISO 100, m): approx. 15/11 (manual full 17/12), coverage for up to 18mm lenses.
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2EV
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided
Self-timer Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2 to 20 seconds
Depth of Field Preview When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down and previewed by pressing the preview button
Remote Control Via Remote Cord MC-DC1 (optional) or Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 (optional)
Power Source One rechargeable Nikon Li-ion battery EN-EL3a or EN-EL3,
Three CR2 lithium batteries (with optional MS-D70 CR2 battery holder)
Tripod Socket 1/4 In. (ISO1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 140 x 111 x 78mm (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in.)
Weight Approx. 600g (1 lb 5 oz) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
Supplied Accessories* Rechargeable Li-ion battery EN-EL3a, Quick Charger MH-18a, Video cable, USB Cable UC-E4, Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-20, LCD monitor cover BM-5, PictureProject CD-ROM
Optional Accessories Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3a, Multi Charger MH-19, Quick Charger MH-18a, AC Adapter EH-5, CR2 Battery Holder MS-D70, Speedlight SB-800/600, Angle Finder DR-6, Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.2) Software, Semi-Soft Case CF-D70, Remote Control ML-L3, Remote Cord MC-DC1, CompactFlash™ Card

Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.


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