Canon XC10 vs Nikon D70
The Canon XC10 and the Nikon D70 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2015 and January 2004. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the D70 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and an APS-C (D70) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 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.
|Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-240mm f/2.8-5.6||Nikon F mount lenses|
|12 MP, 1" Sensor||6 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 160-20,000||ISO 200-1,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 1030k dots||1.8 LCD, 130k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.8 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|125 x 102 x 122 mm, 1040 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 XC10 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Nikon D70. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
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 (22 percent) than the Canon XC10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the D70 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens built in, whereas the D70 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D70 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the XC10 gets .. shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the D70 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack. The power pack in the XC10 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Nikon D70 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D70 is 201 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 1.5. The sensor in the XC10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D70 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon XC10 offers a higher resolution of 12 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 3.20μm versus 7.85μm for the D70). However, it should be noted that the XC10 is much more recent (by 11 years and 2 months) 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 XC10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XC10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 XC10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 20000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The XC10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D70 does not. The highest resolution format that the XC10 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D70 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XC10 and Nikon D70 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The XC10 has a touchscreen, while the D70 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Canon XC10 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The XC10 writes its imaging data to CFast or SDXC cards, while the D70 uses Compact Flash cards. The XC10 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D70 only has one slot.
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 XC10 and Nikon D70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the XC10 offers wifi support, while the D70 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the XC10 and the D70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70 was replaced by the Nikon D70s, while the XC10 was followed by the Canon XC15. 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XC10 or the Nikon D70 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon XC10:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 6MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 130k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D70 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (125x102mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D70 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2004).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XC10 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XC10 and the Nikon D70 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XC10 and the D70 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Canon XC10||..||80/100||..||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G9 X||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon 300D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon P900||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||..||..||..||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D100||..||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Panasonic FZ2000||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic LX100||+ +||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon XC10 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 Model||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-240mm f/2.8-5.6||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2015||January 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 2,499||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||12.8 x 9.6 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||122.88 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||16 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3008 x 2000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.20 μm||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.77 MP/cm2||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 20,000 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||50|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||529|
|Screen Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||1030k dots||130k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||3.8 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFAST or SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 1.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D70|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
125 x 102 x 122 mm
(4.9 x 4.0 x 4.8 in)
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||1040 g (36.7 oz)||679 g (24.0 oz)|
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