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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon XC10 versus Nikon D70
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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Canon XC10 vs Nikon D70
Compare XC10 versus D70 top
Comparison XC10 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 (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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon XC10 125 mm 102 mm 122 mm 1040 g .. n Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Panasonic FZ2000 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i
 
Panasonic LX100 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
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.

Sensor comparison

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.

Canon XC10 and Nikon D70 sensor measures

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).

XC10 versus D70 MP

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.

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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
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
 
Panasonic FZ2000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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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
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ20002360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n 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.

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 XC10 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
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---
 
Panasonic FZ2000YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

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.

Review summary

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.

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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.

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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.

XC10 16:05 D70

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.

Expert reviews

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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon XC10..80/100...... Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon 300D..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
 
Fujifilm X30..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D100..+ +oo.. Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Panasonic FZ2000+82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i
 
Panasonic LX100+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
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.

Canon XC10:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D70:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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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 Specifications
    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 Technology CMOS CCD
    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
    Crop Factor 2.75x 1.5x
    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%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    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 AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno 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
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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
    Battery Type LP-E6N EN-EL3
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 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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