Both the handy built-in Speedlight and optional shoe-mount dedicated Nikon Speedlights
provide i-TTL flash control with the D70s (when used with CPU lenses), which
utilizes a series of preflashes, the 1005-pixel RGB sensor and, with D and G
lenses, distance data from the AF system to produce excellent flash exposures,
well balanced with the ambient light for a natural look. The built-in unit can
be used to fire groups of off-camera SB-800 or SB-600 units wirelessly for great
flash lighting versatility.
Like its predecessor, the D70s lets you use flash at shutter speeds up to a
very fast 1/500—very handy for outdoor fill-flash shooting.
The D70s takes just 0.2 seconds to start up, an wonderful feature. Image processing
is fast, too: you can shoot up to three 6-megapixel images per second (for up
to 144 shots, with appropriate high-speed CompactFlash cards). Shutter speeds
range from 30 seconds to a fast 1/8000, plus bulb mode for longer exposures.
You can choose among three color spaces (natural sRBG, Adobe RGB, and vivid
sRGB), a host of white-balance and image-enhancement options, and a variety
of Custom Settings to tailor operation to your preferences.
18–70mm zoom frames like a 27–105mm on the D70s, for
a true wide-angle effect.
Our D70s test camera was supplied with the same AF-S 18–70mm f/3.5–4.5G
IF-ED lens as our D70 test camera, and like the earlier camera performed very
well with it. Like all Nikon digital SLRs, the new camera accepts the full line
of current AF-Nikkor lenses, with a 1.5x “crop factor” due to the
image sensor being smaller than a full 35mm film frame (a 100mm lens on the
D70s frames like a 150mm lens on a 35mm SLR).
Image quality was excellent at ISO 200 and 400, very good at ISO 800, and quite
usable at ISO 1600. Metering performance was also excellent.
AF performance was very good. I wish I’d had a longer lens to really test
the action-focusing capabilities (I usually work with 300mm on up), but the
zoom supplied (equivalent to a 27–105mm lens on a 35mm SLR) handled action
quite well. Very rarely the test camera would simply refuse to focus on a subject
for unknown reasons, a situation easily remedied by focusing manually. But generally
autofocusing was very quick and very accurate, on a wide variety of subject
matter from birds in flight to aerial photos from a light plane.
The camera has a good, solid feel, and the controls are well located and easy
to use. The large LCD monitor is excellent; I could read it without my reading
glasses. It is a pain to have to scroll through the LCD monitor menus every
time I want to switch from single-shot AF to continuous AF or vice versa, but
otherwise the D70s was a pleasure to use. It’s an excellent entry-level
AF SLR, and provides enough features and performance to serve as a backup camera
LENS MOUNT: Nikon F bayonet
IMAGING ELEMENT: 6.24-megapixel 23.7x15.6mm CCD sensor with 6.1 effective megapixels
FOCAL-LENGTH CONVERSION FACTOR: 1.5x
IMAGE RESOLUTIONS: 3008x2000-pixel NEF (raw), 3008x2000, 2240x1488 and 1504x1000
RECORDING MEDIA: CF cards or Microdrives
FOCUSING: Phase-detection single-shot AF, continuous AF; 5 AF areas (single-area
AF, dynamic-area AF, dynamic-area AF with closest-subject priority; AF down
to EV –1; manual focusing via ring on lens
METERING: TTL 1005-sensor 3D Color Matrix, 75 percent center-weighted average;
1 percent spot
EXPOSURE MODES: Shiftable program AE, shutter- and aperture-priority AE, metered
manual, 7 Digital Vari-Programs
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 30 sec to 1/8000 plus bulb
DRIVE MODES: Single-shot or continuous 3 frames per second (for up to 4 raw
or 49 JPEG images; up to 144 JPEG NORMAL images with appropriate Compact Flash
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level pentamirror type shows 95 percent of actual image
area; 18mm eyepoint; built-in adjustable eyepiece correction from –1.6
to + 0.5 diopter
LCD MONITOR: 2.0” color TFT, 130,000 pixels
FLASH: Built-in pop-up TTL Speedlight (ISO 100 GN 11/36 in meters/feet) and
dedicated shoe-mount Nikon Speedlights; flash exposure lock and flash exposure
comp provided, flash sync up to 1/500
POWER SOURCE: One rechargeable EN-EL3a Li-ion battery; AC via optional adapter
WEIGHT: 21 oz
STREET PRICE: $899.95; $1199.95 with 18–70mm zoom lens
DISTRIBUTOR: Nikon Inc., www.nikonusa.com
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