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Nikon D3000 vs D70s

The Nikon D3000 and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2009 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D3000 has a resolution of 10 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 D3000
versus
Nikon D70s
Nikon D3000   Nikon D70s
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10 MP – APS-C sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 230k 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
500 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
126 x 97 x 64 mm, 536 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3000 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D3000 and the Nikon D70s are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 D3000 vs Nikon D70s
Compare D3000 versus D70s top
Comparison D3000 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 notably larger (27 percent) than the Nikon D3000. Moreover, the D70s is markedly heavier (27 percent) than the D3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3000 nor the D70s 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. 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.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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 D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
3.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 amazon.com
4.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599ebay.com
Note: 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 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 D3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the D70s, 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

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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D70s is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D3000 and Nikon D70s sensor measures

With 10MP, the D3000 offers a higher resolution than the D70s (6MP), but the D3000 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, the D3000 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 3 months) than the D70s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D70s 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 Nikon D3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D3000 versus D70s MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D3000 provides substantially higher image quality than the D70s, with an overall score that is 12 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 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.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
2.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
3.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
4.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
5.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
6.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
7.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
8.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
9.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
10.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
11.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
12.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
13.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
14.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
15.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
16.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the D3000 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 variety of features. The D3000 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D3000 has a higher magnification than the one of the D70s (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 D3000 and Nikon D70s 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The D3000 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D70s uses 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 D3000 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
5.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
14.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---

Both the D3000 and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the D3000 was followed by the Nikon D3100. Further information on the features and operation of the D3000 and D70s can be found, respectively, in the Nikon D3000 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D70s Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3000 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 D3000:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 6MP) with a 29% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 130k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (126x97mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 143g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:

  • 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 April 2005).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3000 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 2 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.

D3000 11:02 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3000 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3000 or the D70s perform in practice. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
3.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 amazon.com
4.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599ebay.com
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. 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.

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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 D3000 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 D3000 Nikon D70s
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2009 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3000 Nikon D70s
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 563 529
    Screen Specs Nikon D3000 Nikon D70s
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.50x
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3000 Nikon D70s
    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 Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3000 Nikon D70s
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D3000 Nikon D70s
    Battery Type EN-EL9a EN-EL3a
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 97 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 536 g (18.9 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)
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