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Canon T3 vs Nikon D70

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Nikon D70 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and January 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T3 versus Nikon D70
Canon T3 Nikon D70
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 1.8 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Nikon D70? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Nikon D70. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3 vs Nikon D70
Compare T3 versus D70 top
Comparison T3 or D70 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D70 is notably larger (20 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the D70 is substantially heavier (37 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the D70 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D70).

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D70 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
14.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
15.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the D70, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D70 is 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3 and Nikon D70 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D70. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 7.85μm for the D70). However, it should be noted that the T3 is much more recent (by 7 years) than the D70, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D70 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

T3 versus D70 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the T3 provides substantially higher image quality than the D70, with an overall score that is 12 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
2.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
14.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
15.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
16.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
17.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The T3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D70 does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T3 and the D70 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), as well as the same magnification (0.50x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon T3 and Nikon D70 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D70 uses Compact Flash cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and Nikon D70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
14.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---

Both the T3 and the D70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70 was replaced by the Nikon D70s, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon T3 better than the Nikon D70 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 6MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 130k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x100mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 184g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the D70 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D70:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2004).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T3 14:02 D70

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Nikon D70 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T3 or the D70 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
14.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
15.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D100....+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D70:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon T3 vs Nikon D70

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T3 Nikon D70
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 January 2004
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Nikon D70
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 529
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Nikon D70
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Nikon D70
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3 Nikon D70
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Nikon D70
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)

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