Nikon D70s Comparison Review
The Nikon D70s is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in April 2005 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 6 megapixel.
Is the Nikon D70s a good camera? The D70s has a Camera Elo of 889. This rating puts the D70s below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the D70s also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Nikon D70s is more than 18 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2005.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 1 600|
|2.0 LCD, 130k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second|
|500 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Nikon D70s relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D70s alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749||ebay.com|
|4.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|5.||Nikon D40||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D70s was launched in the US market at a price of $899. 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 with a 35mm slide
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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon D70s features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D70s among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.
|10.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||20.8||10.4||73||52|
|11.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||20.8||10.4||80||52|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the D70s does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D70s has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.50x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon D70s along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon D70s||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Canon 300D||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|3.||Nikon D5100||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7 / 230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D40||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D50||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D70||optical||n||1.8 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5 / 215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One convenient feature of the D70s is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 D70s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D70s||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon 300D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|3.||Nikon D5100||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Nikon D5000||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D40||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D50||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D70||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D100||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-330||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic L1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent 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]).
|1.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon 300D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||ebay.com|
|4.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|5.||Nikon D40||..||81/100||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon D70||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D100||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-330||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||..||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999||ebay.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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon D70s FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D70s.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the Nikon D70s?
The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Nikon D70s?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D70s?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 50 000 actuations for the D70s. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D70s over, say, three years, one would have to take about 50 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon D70s?
Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D70s has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the free online shutter count finder app.
Does the Nikon D70s feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the Nikon D70s for flash photography?
The D70s's flash sync speed is 1/500 sec.
Which battery does the Nikon D70s use?
Is there a vertical grip available for the Nikon D70s?
Nikon does not offer an optional battery grip, but third party suppliers do (see here on ebay).
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Nikon D70s|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 899|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||370 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3 008 x 2 000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||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|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Size||2.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||130k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3a power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge|
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||679 g (24.0 oz)|
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