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D70 Introduction, Features and Screen Shots, AF System and Custom settings,
Compared to D100 and Canon Digital Rebel (Chart),

Compared to D100 and Canon Digital Rebel (Images), D70 Image Samples

Nikon D70 Operation and Controls

The new 6.1 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor in the Nikon D70, featuring wider dynamic range and a higher signal to noise ratio, produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images with high resolution and sharp details suited for making large prints, or for cropping for creative detail.

The D70's advanced System LSI processor is programmed for next generation performance to produce vivid colors and clarity, while maximizing the speed of file compression, memory buffer handling, simultaneous recording of JPEG and NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) files, and near-instant LCD image display.

20-picture 3fps continuous shooting
The Nikon D70 can shoot a rapid 3 frames per second for a continuous burst of up to 20 pictures* thanks to improved buffer memory handling, faster image processing, increased memory card access speed and greater system bus bandwidth.

* When using JPEG NORMAL - Large settings, and a Lexar 16X USB or faster CompactFlash™ card.

Exposure Settings and White Balance
Innovative new shooting options have been added to simplify the photographic process, whether controlled manually or via advanced automatic operation. Of particular note are Nikon D70s seven new automated Digital Vari-Program selections accessed from the new Mode dial (on the top left of the camera) for a combination of personal control and automatic operation that helps achieve great results under even complex shooting conditions.




Exposure Control Mode Dial

When using the Digi-Vari Program modes, the Nikon D70 automatically optimizes white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue depending on the specific mode chosen for great results. For example, select Portrait for beautiful skin tones and soft background focus that highlights your subject. To activate, the user simply turns the Mode dial to select the appropriate Digi-Vari Program from the seven listed below.

  • Auto: The camera automatically adjusts settings to match the shooting conditions.

  • Portrait: For beautiful skin tones and soft background focus that highlight the subject.

  • Landscape: Creates sharp images with depth and highlighted plant and sky colors.

  • Close-up: Bring out the reds and greens of flowers while adding soft focus to the background.

  • Sports: Uses a fast shutter speed to freeze action cleanly.

  • Night landscape: Captures nightscapes with minimal noise.

  • Night portrait: Uses the built-in Speedlight to capture beautiful portraits with sunsets or night scenes as a backdrop.

Combined with the user friendly auto program modes, the Nikon D70 offers photographers full manual override control with the flexibility of selecting from Program shift (P), Manual (M), Shutter Priority (S) and Aperture Priority (A) exposure modes. Shutter speeds ranging from 30 to 1/8,000 sec. and Bulb (time) exposure can be set.

Improved real time noise reduction
Noise* is minimized in the Nikon D70 by utilizing a newly developed digital front end and high performance analog signal processing. The D70 employs a two-stage Noise Reduction (NR) process with a combination of real time processing and mapping out noise by shooting again while shutter is closed.

Although activating this feature (turn on/off in menu) extends the amount of time required to record the image, the NR processing on the Nikon D70 is very fast, outperforming cameras like the Nikon D100 or Canon's Digital Rebel. (No exact timings available, although the difference in write time is noticeable faster on the D70)

* Randomly-spaced, brightly coloured pixels that appear at slow shutter speeds, particularly in the shadows.

The Nikon D70 offers four types of exposure metering options, including; 3D 1005-segment Color Matrix (full area), Centre Weighted*
, Spot or Spot AF** area metering .

* Through the custom settings menu, the user can set the weight of 75% towards a 6, 8, 10, or 13-mm circle (8mm set to default) in the center of the frame, or weighting based on an average of the entire frame.

** Meters 2.3mm circle (about 1% of frame) centered on active focus area

I am happy to see that Nikon has included their acclaimed 3D Color Matrix 1005-segment Meter in the D70. This is the same 1005-pixel RGB sensor found in the professional Nikon D1 series and the D2H D-SLR's, assuring accurate auto TTL white balance.

Six different manual white balance modes (Fine tuning possible +/- 3 steps for each setting), preset white balance, and white balance bracketing are also available for extended creative control.

WB options shown in the setup menu

Other exposure control options include: exposure compensation (+/-5 EV), flash exposure compensation (3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV) and auto exposure bracketing. (Two or three frames 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps).

The Nikon D70's ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 200 to 1600 or controlled automatically across the same range of settings. The camera also features Auto ISO (not found on the D100), that can be used in any of the exposure modes. Auto ISO can also be employed with the shutter speed or aperture locked to a fixed setting.

Recording options
JPEG and RAW (NEF) Combination Filing System: The system enables simultaneous recording of RAW (NEF) and JPEG data for the same shot to optimize and accelerate workflow operations. Images that are needed immediately can be downloaded in JPEG format, while high-quality images needed for printing can be converted from NEF at a later time.

Image quality settings

Image quality settings on the Nikon D70 include: RAW (NEF), Fine (JPEG Fine), Norm (JPEG Normal), Basic (JPEG Basic), RAW + B (NEF + JPEG Basic)

Image resolution size settings on the camera include; L (3008 x 2000), M (2240 x 1448), S (1504 x 1000)

Image resolution settings

Nikon's original NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) helps you make great pictures even greater. Each NEF file stores the RAW image data captured by the D70's image sensor, a thumbnail image, and an "Instruction Set" that contains the camera's original settings. Changes made never affect or degrade the quality of the archived RAW data. The original 12-bit data is processed by Nikon Capture 4.1 software (optional) and displayed using a full16 bits per channel, so tonal and other color corrections can be made with smoother fidelity.

You can save any changes as a new Instruction Set, as a 48-bit TIFF file, or as a JPEG file when easy sharing via the Internet is the priority. Another advantage is that NEF files are designed to ensure forward compatibility, so they can take advantage of any new features added to future versions of Nikon Capture.

Image enhancement options
Easy to set image enhancement options optimize sharpening, contrast, tone, color, saturation and hue while using Auto Multi Program [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A], or Manual [M] exposure modes to best match the scene or intended use for the picture. Choices include; Normal, Vivid, Sharp, Soft, Direct Print, Portrait, Landscape or Custom optimization.

  • Normal (default): Recommended for most situations
  • Vivid: Enhances saturation, contrast and sharpness to produce vivid images with vibrant reds, greens and blues
  • Sharp: Sharpens outlines
  • Soft: Softens outlines. Use to ensure smooth, natural looking skin tones in portraits
  • Direct Print: Optimizes images for printing "as is" via direct USB connection
  • Portrait: Lowers contrast and softens background details
  • Landscape: Enhances saturation and sharpness to produce landscapes with vibrant greens and blues
  • Custom: Customize sharpness, contrast, colour reproduction, saturation and hue

Customizing image enhancement options. The parameters for; Sharpening, Contrast (Tone), Colour reproduction, Saturation, and Hue, can all be adjusted by selecting Custom mode in the "Optimize image" menu.

Settings include: Auto (A), Normal (0), Low (-2), Medium Low (-1), Medium High (+1), High (+2), None

Tone Compensation
Settings include: Auto (default), Normal (0), Low Contrast (-2), Medium Low (-1), Medium High (1), High Contrast (+2), Custom
( Custom curve can be created in Nikon Capture 4.1 and downloaded to the camera.)

Colour Modes
The Nikon D70 offers a choice of three colour modes, which determine the gamut of colours available for colour reproduction. The user can select a colour mode according to the intended output of the images.

Mode Ia*: (sRGB) A good choice for portrait shots that will be printed or used "as is", with no further modification.

Mode II: (Adobe RGB) Images taken at this setting are adapted to the Adobe RGB colour space. The preferred choice for images that will be extensively processed or retouched.

Mode IIIa*: (sRGB) Choose for nature or landscape shots that will be printed or used "as is" with no further modification.

* With respect to Colour Mode Ia and Mode IIIa, Nikon tuned the colour reproduction a little to satisfy what the company expects will best match the tastes of users who choose the D70. The names of these two colour modes were therefore changed (suffix a) to distinguish them from those of the D100 and D2H.

Controlling Vividness: Saturation
Saturation controls the vividness of colours. Settings include;

  • Normal: Normal vividness. Recommended for most situations.
  • Moderate: Reduced vividness. Use when taking pictures that will be retouched on a computer
  • Enhanced: Increased vividness. Use for vivid, photoprint effect when taking pictures that will be printed "as is", without further modification.

Controlling Colour: Hue adjustment
Hue can be adjusted in the range of about -9° to +9° in increments of 3°

D70 Introduction, Features and Screen Shots, AF System and Custom settings,
Compared to D100 and Canon Digital Rebel (Chart),

Compared to D100 and Canon Digital Rebel (Images), D70 Image Samples

Nikon D70s with lens and 1GB CF Card
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