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Nikon D1H vs D70s

The Nikon D1H and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2001 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D1H has a resolution of 2.6 megapixels, whereas the D70s provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D1H
versus
Nikon D70s
Nikon D1H   Nikon D70s
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
2.6 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-800 (200 - 3,200) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 120k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
1200 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D1H and the Nikon D70s? 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 Nikon D1H and the Nikon D70s. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D1H vs Nikon D70s
Compare D1H versus D70s top
Comparison D1H or D70s rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D70s is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Nikon D1H. Moreover, the D70s is substantially lighter (38 percent) than the D1H. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D1H is splash and dust resistant, while the D70s does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D1H gets 1200 shots out of its EN-4 battery, while the D70s can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D1H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D70s, there are third party battery grips available as optional accessories (see here on eBay).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499 i
2.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899 i
3.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799 i
4.
 
Nikon D3S 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799 i
6.
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799 i
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699 i
9.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499 i
10.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
11.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749 i
12.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699 i
13.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999 i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499 i
16.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499 i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D70s was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the D1H, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D1H and Nikon D70s sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D70s offers a higher resolution of 6 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the D1H. This megapixels advantage translates into a 50 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the D70s has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 7.85μm versus 11.93μm for the D1H). However, it should be noted that the D70s is much more recent (by 4 years and 2 months) than the D1H, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D70s implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D70s for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1H are 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inches or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inches or 16.9 x 11.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D1H has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 200-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D1H versus D70s 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none...... ..
2.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
3.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.91338 83
4.
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.03253 82
5.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.2787 70
6.
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.22290 81
7.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.0679 67
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.9489 59
9.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
10.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
11.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.8560 55
12.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.5583 64
13.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.9476 59
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
15.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.0352 40
16.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none...... ..
17.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none...... ..
Neither the D1H nor the D70s offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D1H and the D70s 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 viewfinder in the D1H offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the D70s (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D1H has a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D1H, the Nikon D70s, and comparable 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
1.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n
2.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
5.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
7.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
9.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
17.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n

One feature that is present on the D1H, but is missing on the D70s is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D1H and the D70s write their files to Compact Flash cards.

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 Nikon D1H and Nikon D70s 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.
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---
2.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
3.
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
15.
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
17.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1H (unlike the D70s) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D1H and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1H was replaced by the Nikon D2H, while the D70s was followed by the Nikon D80. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D1H or the Nikon D70s – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1H:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2001).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D70s:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (6 vs 2.6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 51%.
  • More compact: Is smaller (140x111mm vs 157x153mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 421g or 38 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D1H launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D1H is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D1H 10:06 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D1H and the Nikon D70s 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D1H or the D70s. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
 
Nikon D1H....+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499 i
2.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899 i
3.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799 i
4.
 
Nikon D3S5/5..89/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799 i
6.
 
Nikon D3....+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799 i
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs.......... Jun 2006 4,699 i
9.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499 i
10.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
11.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749 i
12.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699 i
13.
 
Nikon D2X....+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999 i
14.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Nikon D2H....+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499 i
16.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D1H:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D70s:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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: Nikon D1H vs Nikon D70s

    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 Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2001 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 4,499 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 2.6 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2000 x 1312 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 11.93 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 0.71 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 529
    Screen Specs Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.50x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector Firewire USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D1H Nikon D70s
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-4 EN-EL3a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1100 g (38.8 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)

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