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Nikon D70s vs Olympus E-330

The Nikon D70s and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2005 and January 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D70s) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D70s
versus
Olympus E-330
Nikon D70s   Olympus E-330
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 130k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D70s and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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 D70s and the Olympus E-330. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D70s vs Olympus E-330
Compare D70s versus E-330 top
Comparison D70s or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-330 is notably smaller (22 percent) than the Nikon D70s. Moreover, the E-330 is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the D70s. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70s nor the E-330 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D70s) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330).

Concerning battery life, the D70s gets 500 shots out of its EN-EL3a battery, while the E-330 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

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, 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 D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
2.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
7.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
8.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
9.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
10.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
11.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
12.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
14.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
15.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the E-330 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 Nikon D70s features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D70s has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D70s and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-330 offers a higher resolution of 7.4 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D70s. 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 5.51μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the E-330 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the D70s, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-330 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-330 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 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 D70s has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

D70s versus E-330 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
2.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
3.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
4.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
6.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
7.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
8.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
9.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
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 2000none........
15.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
16.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
The E-330 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D70s lacks this capability. 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 D70s and the E-330 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 D70s has a higher magnification than the one of the E-330 (0.50x vs 0.47x), 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 D70s and Olympus E-330 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The D70s writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D70s 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 Nikon D70s and Olympus Evolt E-330 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 D70sY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
4.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Nikon D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
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-500Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the D70s and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D70s or the Olympus E-330 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.47x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2005).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (7.4 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (215k vs 130k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (140x87mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-330 comes out slightly ahead of the D70s (8 : 7 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 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.

D70s 07:08 E-330

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D70s and the Olympus E-330 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D70s or the E-330 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 expert reviews 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 D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
2.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
7.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
8.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
9.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
10.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
11.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
12.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
14.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
15.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D70s:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-330:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D70s vs Olympus E-330

    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 D70s Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date April 2005 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D70s Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 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 Nikon D70s Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 130k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D70s Olympus E-330
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D70s Olympus E-330
    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 D70s Olympus E-330
    Battery Type EN-EL3a BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 679 g (24.0 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)

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