Nikon D70s vs Olympus TG-4
The Nikon D70s and the Olympus Tough TG-4 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2005 and April 2015. The D70s is a DSLR, while the TG-4 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D70s) and a 1/2.3-inch (TG-4) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor||15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 200-1600||ISO 100-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|2.0" LCD, 130k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Waterproof body (15m)|
|500 shots per battery charge||380 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g||112 x 66 x 31 mm, 247 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D70s and the Olympus Tough TG-4? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D70s and the Olympus TG-4. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The TG-4 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D70s is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus TG-4 is considerably smaller (52 percent) than the Nikon D70s. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-4 is splash and dust-proof, while the D70s does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-4 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TG-4 has a lens built in, whereas the D70s is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D70s and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D70s gets 500 shots out of its EN-EL3a battery, while the TG-4 can take 380 images on a single charge of its LI-92B power pack. The power pack in the TG-4 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Nikon D70s»||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus TG-4«||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.2 in||8.7 oz||380||Y||Apr 2015||379||Olympus TG-4|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm XP140« »||4.3 in||2.8 in||1.1 in||7.3 oz||240||Y||Feb 2019||229||Fujifilm XP140|
|Nikon W300« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.1 in||8.1 oz||280||Y||May 2017||389||Nikon W300|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||Nikon D100|
|Olympus TG-6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.9 oz||340||Y||May 2019||449||Olympus TG-6|
|Olympus TG-5« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.8 oz||340||Y||May 2017||449||Olympus TG-5|
|Sony HX80« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The TG-4 was launched at a lower price than the D70s, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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. 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 more expensive and 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 TG-4 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the TG-4 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D70s has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the TG-4 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the TG-4 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 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 1.33μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the TG-4 is much more recent (by 9 years and 11 months) than the D70s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus TG-4 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TG-4 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D70s are 15 x 10 inch or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inch or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inch 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 Tough TG-4 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D70s||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus TG-4||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Olympus TG-4|
|Canon Rebel||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm XP140||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm XP140|
|Nikon W300||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon W300|
|Nikon D5500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||20.9||10.8||560||55||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||..||..||..||..||Nikon D100|
|Olympus TG-6||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Olympus TG-6|
|Olympus TG-5||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Olympus TG-5|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The TG-4 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D70s does not. The highest resolution format that the TG-4 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D70s has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TG-4 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D70s and Olympus TG-4 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D70s||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus TG-4||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus TG-4|
|Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm XP140||none||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm XP140|
|Nikon W300||none||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon W300|
|Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|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 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|
|Olympus TG-6||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y||Olympus TG-6|
|Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y||Olympus TG-5|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
The Olympus TG-4 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The D70s writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TG-4 uses SDXC cards.
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 Tough TG-4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D70s||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus TG-4||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus TG-4|
|Canon Rebel||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm XP140||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XP140|
|Nikon W300||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon W300|
|Nikon D5500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5100||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
|Nikon D100||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Olympus TG-6||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus TG-6|
|Olympus TG-5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus TG-5|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
It is notable that the D70s has a hotshoe, while the TG-4 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the TG-4 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the D70s and the TG-4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the TG-4 was followed by the Olympus TG-5. 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.
So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D70s better than the Olympus TG-4 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
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.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2005).
Advantages of the Olympus Tough TG-4:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 59%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- 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 (460k vs 130k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D70s requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x66mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D70s).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 15m).
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TG-4 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 10 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D70s and the Olympus TG-4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D70s and the TG-4 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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.
- Canon 1D C vs Nikon D70s
- Canon 1D X Mark III vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon 2000D vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon 550D vs Nikon D70s
- Canon 5DS vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon SX610 vs Nikon D70s
- Fujifilm X-M1 vs Olympus TG-4
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Olympus TG-4
- Nikon D70s vs Panasonic GF6
- Nikon D70s vs Panasonic GX7
- Olympus TG-4 vs Panasonic TS7
Specifications: Nikon D70s vs Olympus TG-4
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 Model||Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9|
|Launch Date||April 2005||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 379|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-1600 ISO||100-6400 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 TG-4|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||130k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon D70s||Olympus TG-4|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Waterproof body (15m)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
112 x 66 x 31 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||679 g (24.0 oz)||247 g (8.7 oz)|
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