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Nikon D1X vs D70s

The Nikon D1X 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 D1X has a resolution of 5.9 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 D1X   Nikon D70s
Nikon D1X Nikon D70s
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
5.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 125-800 (125-3200) ISO 200-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD, 120k dots 2.0" LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 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 D1X 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: Nikon D1X vs D70s

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D70s. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D1X vs Nikon D70s
Compare D1X versus D70s top
Comparison D1X 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 D1X. Moreover, the D70s is substantially lighter (38 percent) than the D1X. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D1X 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 D1X 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 D1X 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1X» 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Nikon D70s« 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D4« » 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D300S« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« » 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D40« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D50« » 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Nikon D200« » 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« » 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100« » 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100
 
Nikon D1H« » 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1« » 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D70s was launched at a markedly lower price (by 85 percent) than the D1X, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D1X vs D70s

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 D1X and Nikon D70s sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D70s offers a slightly higher resolution of 6 megapixels, compared with 5.9 MP of the D1X. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0 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 7.92μm for the D1X). However, it should be noted that the D70s is much more recent (by 4 years and 2 months) than the D1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Nikon D1X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 125-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D1X versus D70s MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1X» APS-C 5.9 3008 1960-----Nikon D1X
 
Nikon D70s« APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D40« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Nikon D50« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.910.856055Nikon D50
 
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-----Nikon D100
 
Nikon D1H« » APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1« » APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1
Neither the D1X 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: Nikon D1X vs D70s

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D1X 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 D1X 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 D1X 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D1X and Nikon D70s in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1X»optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n Nikon D1X
 
Nikon D70s«optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D40« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Nikon D50« »optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D50
 
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« »optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D100
 
Nikon D1H« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n Nikon D1

One feature that is present on the D1X, 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 D1X and the D70s write their files to Compact Flash cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D1X vs D70s

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 D1X and Nikon D70s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1X»Y-----FW---Nikon D1X
 
Nikon D70s«Y-----2.0---Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D40« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D80
 
Nikon D50« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D50
 
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« »Y-----1.0---Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100« »Y-----1.1---Nikon D100
 
Nikon D1H« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1X (unlike the D70s) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D1X and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, 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: Nikon D1X vs D70s

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D70s? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Nikon D1X:

  • 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.
  • 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 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 (85 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D1X is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

D1X 09:05 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D1X 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 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 D1X and the D70s in practical situations. 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: Nikon D1X vs D70s

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1X»-+ +-o- Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Nikon D70s«---o5/5 Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »-+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D40« »81/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« »++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D50« »78/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Nikon D200« »+ ++ +o5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »-+ +-o- Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« »-+ +-o- Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100« »-+ +oo- Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100
 
Nikon D1H« »-+ +-o- Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1« »-+ +--- Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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 D1X:
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D1X 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 D1X 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 5999 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Nikon D1X 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 5.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 1960 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.92 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 1.59 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 125-800 ISO 200-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 125-3200 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 D1X 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 2.0 inch 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D1X Nikon D70s
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D1X 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 D1X Nikon D70s
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-4 power pack EN-EL3a power pack
    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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