• Nikon Camera Review: Nikon D70 Review - First-time reviewer compelled to write about the D70

    19 April 2005

    Nikon D70 Review - First-time reviewer compelled to write about the D70

    I am normally a "reader", rather than a "writer" of reviews. In fact, this is the first review I have written for Amazon. I had to do so, however, to add my voice to the chorus of accolades that this camera is receiving. I had gone without a decent camera since a nice Minolta SLR kit I'd bought in the Navy was stolen after 5 months of ownership. Now, seven years later, I decided to take the plunge and get a good DSLR.

    In deciding which camera to buy. I reacquainted myself with photography and the new (for me) terminology of digital photograhy in 2-3 weeks of intense online research. Honestly, if you're looking to drop several hundred dollars or more on a digital camera, it behooves you to do this. You'll learn a tremendous amount, and in that time, the sometimes cryptic language of photography will start to become lucid. I finally brought my options down to the Canon Digital Rebel and the Nikon D70. Unfortunately, the Nikon D70 was, at the time, out of my price range, as it was ~$550 more than the Canon for the body+lens kit. As such, I ordered the Canon.


    Let me say this: even at a $550 price differential, the D70 is worth the extra investment. I have been continually astounded at the quality of the photos I have been producing, and eagerly anticipate continuing to improve as I discover the more esoteric functions of this phenomenally flexible camera. I have shot landscapes, "snapshot" party pictures, close-ups of ice in natural lighting, and close-ups of food under low light conditions, and with a little fiddling, the D70 has come through with flying colors each time. The food shot was notable because it highlighted a major difference between the D70 and the Digital Rebel: the addition of Flash Exposure Compensation on the D70. With it, I was able to fill-in the shadows of a backlit entree without overexposing the foreground. VERY useful, and added to the utility of FEC in indoor shots and fill-flash, one of the most compelling arguments for foregoing the Digital Rebel in favor of the D70. I can unreservedly say that I am more eager than I would have believed to pursue photography as a serious hobby, and the Nikon D70 has been a large part of that impulse.

    One word of warning, however. If you are not a "fiddler", someone that enjoys the minutiae of shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, white balance, etc... this may not be the camera for you. While it is fully capable as a point & shoot, it is the extra features and extensive manual/custom controls that justify the price. If you don't see yourself happily delving into those details, I'd recommend the Canon Powershot A95 (which was my camera of choice for P&S).

    Good luck with your decision, and thanks for your time!

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