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Nikon's D70 digital camera. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Nikon announces D70 digital SLR
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 00:00 EST)

Nikon USA has today announced its new D70 digital SLR, which we briefly previewed back in early December.

At that time, very limited information was available on the new model, but today's announcement provides much more detail - and the D70 looks to be a very interesting camera indeed. Pricing is set at US$999 for the camera body only, or $1299 in a bundle with a Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70MM f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens (more on this newly announced lens can be found in a separate news item). That puts the D70 just a touch higher than Canon's competing EOS Digital Rebel - but at just under $1000 body-only, still very much in the sweet spot for consumers considering stepping up to a digital SLR. In our pre-announcement interview, Nikon staff were billing the camera as not quite the cheapest digital SLR, but very much the best value out there given the feature-set. Canon's Digital Rebel has been criticized in some corners for what some have seen as a crippling of features in order to provide more differentiation relative to the more expensive EOS 10D model. Perhaps as a result of this reaction, Nikon seems to be taking an altogether different route with the D70. Individually, the differences are slight, but the net impact is a significantly more capable camera. Two key advantages include the availability of tracking autofocus in any shooting mode (the Rebel's tracking AF is only available in the preprogrammed "Sports" scene mode), and the ability to use the autofocus assist light whether the flash is engaged or not. (The Rebel's AF assist can only be enabled when the flash is active.) The D70's straight-from-the-box ability to act as a controller for Nikon's SB-800 and newly announced SB-600 external strobe units, with full i-TTL flash metering is also a dramatic step up from the Digital Rebel's capabilities. Likewise, the greatly extended burst lengths in continous mode go far beyond what one would normally expect from an "entry level" d-SLR.

The polycarbonate-bodied Nikon D70 uses a next-generation DX format CCD that offers the same 6.1 megapixel, 3008 x 2000 pixel file size as the current D100 model - but apparently offers wider dynamic range and better sharpness (effective resolution) than the older sensor did. Reduced resolutions of 2240 x 1448 and 1504 x 1000 pixels are also available. ISO ratings for the new sensor range from 200 - 1600, and shutter speeds from 30 to 1/8000 second are possible (with flash sync to 1/500 second!), as well as a bulb mode. Images are stored on Type-I or Type-II CompactFlash cards, including 512MB - 4GB IBM / Hitachi Microdrives. Focusing is handled by a 5-point Multi-CAM900 sensor identical to that used in the D100, coupled with an incandescent AF assist illuminator. Metering is handled by the same dedicated 1,005 pixel RGB sensor used in the Nikon F5 and D2H, which offers 3D Matrix color metering (giving not only exposure info, but white balance info as well), as well as center-weighted and spot metering (linked to one of the 5 AF points), and an AE bracketing function. The AF system offers manual selection of focus points, and a predictive AF tracking function that can deal with moving subjects, or subjects being momentarily blocked from view. The D70 also sports both a hot shoe and a built-in Speedlight flash unit which can act as a master controller for the SB-800 or the new SB-600 Speedlights, and uses iTTL for flash exposure metering. There's also -3 to +1EV of flash exposure compensation, adjustable in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps. Power comes from the same EN-EL3 batteries as used in the D100, a nice touch being that a special adapter shipped with the D70 (and incidentally, not compatible with the D100) allows you to use three single-use CR2 lithium batteries in an emergency. AC power is also possible, using the same AC adapter that is used for the D100.

Speed is an area Nikon seem to have paid a great deal of attention to in designing the D70. Startup time is said to be near instantaneous, and a new "dynamic buffer" which stores the compressed JPEG data before it is written to the camera's flash card offers three frames-per-second shooting for up to 14 full-res shots in JPEG fine mode, and as many as 144 shots in JPEG normal mode (when using a suitably fast flash card - SanDisk's 256MB Ultra II cards apparently being the basis for these figures. Privately, a Nikon employee told us that he'd managed to completely fill a 1GB Ultra II card shooting "normal" quality JPEGS in continuous mode, a total of over 200 images at three frames per second without having to pause for the camera to catch up). Shutter lag is said to be "as good as, if not better than" the D100. Raw compression is also said to be much faster than in the D100 as well, although the figure cited for the speed improvement over the D100 was so high that we'd prefer to wait for further confirmation from the engineering team (or ultimately our own measurements) before we report on it.

Another area where the D70 looks set to impress is the degree of customization available. As you'd expect, the camera will offer full auto program, aperture and shutter priority as well as manual exposure modes. Also available are various scene modes, referred to by Nikon as "digital vari-program modes", which not only affect variables such as shutter speed and aperture, but also tweak items such as color response, tone curve, sharpening, etc. to achieve the best results in certain standard shooting situations. (Note that these go beyond the typical "scene" modes found in most consumer cameras, particularly in their manipulation of color and tonal response.) The D70 will also allow user control of variables including sharpness, contrast, saturation and hue, as well as a choice of three color spaces (two sRGB, one of which is optimized for landscapes, and the Adobe RGB space). The camera also offers 22 "custom settings" (a reduced set of 9 custom settings can be selected if you prefer a little less complexity) on a custom settings menu (CSM) akin to that found on higher-end Nikon SLRs, that allow you to alter many aspects of the camera's operation to match your own specific shooting style. This extensive customization capabiltiy is another key differentiator between the D70 and the lower-priced Canon Digital Rebel.

Having dealt with far too many hopelessly cryptic custom settings menus ourselves, we were particularly please to hear of an extensive "plain English" help function tied to the D70's CSM menu options. - Pressing a "Help" button on the rear of the camera with any of the CSM options selected provides a very clear description of exactly what that specific setting controls and why you might want to use it

A "RAW+JPEG" mode allows the camera to simultaneously capture both CCD Raw and JPEG versions of each photo - giving you a "digital negative" to archive, and a JPEG image ("Basic" level compression only, unfortunately) to preview on-screen or make small prints from without needing to convert the NEF-format Raw file. Nikon is including a new software package with the D70 which will offer plug-in capability, called "PictureProject". The plug-in format for PictureProject is apparently a proprietary Nikon one, so don't expect to use your Adobe Photoshop filters in it, but we suspect that enough D70s will be sold with PictureProject packed in them that third-party developers may be enticed into writing software to work with it.

As noted at the start of this news item, the Nikon D70 will cost $999 for the body alone, or $1299 in a bundle with a newly announced Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70MM f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens, equivalent to a 28-105mm optic on a 35mm film camera (specifications described in a separate news item). Availability is stated as "Spring 2004," by which we assume Nikon to mean the end of April, that being the last possible date that could reasonably be considered "Spring." ;-) The camera body has dimensions of 5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 inches, and weighs 21 ounces without a battery, lens, memory card, body cap or monitor cover.

While we've covered it in its own news story, the new AF-S DX 18-70 mm lens deserves some mention here. Much of the appeal of the Digital Rebel is that the kitted version including a lens lets people get started with a digital SLR with lens for a remarkably low price. While the D70's body-only configuration is only $100 more than that of the Rebel, the kitted version including the 18-70mm lens is fully $300 more than the equivalent Rebel package. That's a fair chunk of change, so it bears asking whether the higher price will constitute a disadvantage in the marketplace.

For the record, we don't think so. Besides the significant feature and performance advantages of the D70 body itself, Nikon's new DX lens appears to be a much higher-grade piece of glass than the Canon's 18-55mm lens that ships with the Rebel. For one thing, the Nikkor is nearly a stop faster at the telephoto end, with a maximum aperture there of f/4.5 vs the Canon's f/5.6. (This despite the fact that it h as a longer zoom ratio than the Canon lens.) The Nikkor also uses ED glass for reduced image distortion, and is powered by one of Nikon's AF-S "Silent Wave" ultrasonic focusing motors. The result should be considerably faster focus adjustment, and fewer problems with optical distortion and chromatic aberration. (Although it must be said that Canon's little 18-55mm lens turned out to be a surprisingly strong performer, amazing many of us who worked with it while reviewing the Digital Rebel.) We're looking forward to putting this lens through a full set of optical torture tests when we get one in to review.

Note that the Nikon D100 will continue to be sold alongside the D70, and offers a few features its new sibling doesn't, such as a vertical (portrait) battery grip, cable release capability, support for AA batteries (through the battery grip), etc. Given the impressive capabilities of the D70 though, we suspect that the D100's days will be numbered.

Full specifications and product photos for the Nikon D70 digital SLR follow:

Nikon D70
Nikon's D70 digital SLR. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Effective Pixels 6.1 million
Image Sensor RGB CCD, 23.7 x 15.6 mm; total pixels: 6.24 million
Image Size (pixels)
3008 x 2000 [L],
2240 x 1448 [M],
1504 x 1000 [S]
Sensitivity 200 to 1600 (ISO equivalent) in steps of 1/3 EV
Storage Media CompactFlash™ (CF) Card (Type I and II ) and Microdrive™
Storage System Compressed NEF (RAW): 12-bit lossless compression, JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant
File System Exif 2.21, Compliant DCF 2.0 and DPOF
Storage (Number of frames per 256 MB CF card, image size L)
RAW approx. 23,
FINE approx. 73,
NORMAL approx. 144,
BASIC approx. 279,
RAW&BASIC approx. 21
White Balance Auto (TTL white balance with 1,005 pixels RGB sensor), six manual modes with fine-tuning, preset white balance, white balance bracketing possible
LCD Monitor 1.8-in., 130,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback Function 1 frame: Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments); Magnifying playback; Slide show; Histogram indication; Highlight point display; Auto image rotation
Delete Function Card format, All frames delete, Selected frames delete
Video Output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
Interface USB: Mass Storage and PTP selectable
Compatible Lenses See separate table below
Text Input Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in Exif header
Picture Angle Equivalent in 35 mm [135] format is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length
Viewfinder Fixed-eyelevel penta-Dach-mirror type; built-in diopter adjustment (-1.6 to +0.5 m -1 )
Eyepoint 18 mm (-1.0 m -1 )
Focusing Screen B-type BriteView clear matte screen II with superimposed focus brackets and On-Demand grid lines
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 95%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.75x with 50 mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m -1
Viewfinder Information Focus indications, Metering system, AE / FV lock indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure / Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5 m to 3.0 m)
Detection range: EV -1 to +19
(ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C/68°F)
Lens Servo
1) Autofocus (AF): single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status
2) Manual focus (M)
Focus Area Can be selected from 5 focus areas
AF Area Mode
1) Single Area AF,
2) Dynamic Area AF,
3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L / AF-L button
Exposure Metering System
TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
(1) 3D color matrix metering with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
(2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% (8mm dia. circle) given to 6, 8, 10, or 13 mm dia. circle in center of frame, or weighting based on average of entire frame
(3) Spot: Meters 2.3 mm dia. circle (about 1% of frame) centered on active focus area
Exposure Metering Range
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
Exposure Meter Coupling CPU coupling
Exposure Mode
Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close up, Sports, Night landscape, Night portrait);
Programmed auto [P] with flexible program;
Shutter-priority auto [S];
Aperture priority auto [A];
Manual [M]
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Auto Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L / AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing Two or three frames ±2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Shooting Modes
1) Single frame shooting mode
2) Continuous shooting mode: approx. 3 frames per second
3) Self-timer / remote control mode
Shutter Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter, 30 to 1/8000 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/500 second
Flash Control
1) TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005 pixel RGB sensor
Built-in Speedlight: i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash or standard i-TTL flash (spot metering or mode dial set to [M])
SB-800 or 600: i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash or standard i-TTL flash (spot metering)
2) Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 and 600 with CPU lens
3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27, and 22s
4) Range-priority manual available with SB-800 and 600
Flash Sync Mode
1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync),
2) Red-Eye Reduction,
3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync,
4) Slow Sync,
5) Rear-Curtain Sync
Built-in Speedlight
Auto, Portrait, Close up, Night portrait: auto flash with auto pop-up
[P], [S], [A], [M]: manual pop-up with button release
Guide number (ISO 200/ISO 100, m): approx. 15/11 (manual full 17/12)
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2EV
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided
Self-timer Electronically controlled timer with 2 to 20 second duration
Depth of Field Preview When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down and previewed by pressing the preview button
LCD Panel Information

Top Control Panel

  • Shutter speed / Exposure compensation value / Flash compensation value / White balance adjustment / Number of shots in bracketing sequence
  • Sensitivity (ISO) / Auto ISO indicator
  • Battery indicator
  • Flash sync mode
  • Image quality
  • Image size
  • White balance mode
  • Number of exposures remaining / Number of shots remaining before memory buffer fills / Preset white balance recording indicator / Remote control mode indicator
  • "K" (appears when memory remains for over 1000 exposures)
  • "Beep" indicator
  • Aperture / Bracketing increment / PC mode indicator
  • Clock battery indicator
  • Flash compensation indicator
  • Exposure compensation indicator
  • Flexible program indicator
  • Autofocus mode
  • Focus area / AF-area mode
  • Metering mode
  • Self-timer indicator / Remote control indicator
  • Bracketing progress indicator
  • Bracketing indicator
  • Shooting mode

Viewfinder Display

  • 8mm reference circle for center-weighted metering
  • Focus brackets (focus areas) / spot metering targets
  • Reference grid
  • Focus indicator
  • Focus area / AF-mode
  • Auto exposure (AE) lock / FV lock indicator
  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture (f/-number)
  • Flash compensation indicator
  • Exposure compensation indicator
  • Number of exposures remaining / Number of shots remaining before memory buffer fills / Preset white balance recording indica-tor / Exposure compensation value / Flash compensation value / PC mode indicator
  • Flash-ready indicator
  • Battery indicator
  • Electronic analog exposure display / Exposure compensation
  • Auto sensitivity (ISO) indicator
  • "K" (appears when memory remains for over 1000 exposures)
Remote Control ML-L3 wireless remote controller (optional)
Power Source
One rechargeable Nikon Li-ion Battery EN-EL3;
Three CR2 lithium batteries (with supplied CR2 Battery Holder MS-D70)
AC Adapter EH-5 (optional)
Tripod Socket 1/4 inch (ISO1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 inches
Weight (without battery) Approx. 21 oz without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
Supplied Accessories* Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece cap, LCD monitor cover, Video cable, USB cable, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3, Quick Charger MH-18, PictureProject CD-ROM, CR2 Battery Holder MS-D70
Optional Accessories Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3, Multi Charger MH-19, Quick Charger MH-18, AC Adapter EH-5, Speedlight SB-800/600, Nikon Capture 4 (ver.4.1) Software, Semi-Soft Case CF-D70, Remote Controller ML-L3, CompactFlash™ Card
More Photos
Nikon's D70 digital SLR. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D70 digital SLR. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D70 digital SLR. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D70 digital SLR. Courtesy of Nikon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
*Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.

Lens Compatibility:

  Focus Mode Metering
AF M (with electronic rangefinder) M DVP, P, S, A M Matrix Center-Weighted / Spot
3D Color
CPU Lenses Type G or D AF Nikkor AF-S, AF-I Nikkor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
PC-Micro Nikkor 85 mm f/2.8D   Yes (see note 5) Yes   Yes Yes   Yes
AF-S / AF-I Teleconverter Yes (see note 7) Yes (see note 7) Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Other AF Nikkor (except lenses for F3AF) Yes (see note 8) Yes (see note 8) Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
AI-P Nikkor   Yes (see note 9) Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes
Non-CPU Lenses AI, AI-S, or Series E, AI modified Nikkor AI modified   Yes (see note 9) Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
Medical Nikkor 120mm f/4   Yes Yes   Yes (see note 12)      
Reflex-Nikkors     Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
PC-Nikkor   Yes (see note 5) Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
AI-type Teleconverter   Yes (see note 7) Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
PB-6 Bellows Focusing Attachment   Yes (see note 7) Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
Auto extension rings (PK-series 11-A, 12, or 13; PN-11)   Yes (see note 7) Yes   Yes (see note 11)      
  1. IX Nikkor lenses cannot be used.
  2. Vibration Reduction (VR) supported with VR lenses.
  3. Spot metering meters selected focus area.
  4. The camera’s exposure metering and flash control systems do not work properly when shifting and/or tilting the lens, or when an aperture other than the maximum aperture is used.
  5. Electronic rangefinder cannot be used during shifting or tilting.
  6. Compatible with AF-I Nikkor lenses and with all AF-S lenses except DX 12-24 mm f/4G, ED 17-35 mm f/2.8D, DX 17-55 mm f/2.8G, DX ED 18-70 mm f/3.5-4.5G, ED 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G, VR ED 24-120 mm f/3.5-5.6G, and ED 28-70 mm f/2.8D.
  7. Compatible with lenses with maximum effective aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
  8. If AF 80-200 mm f/2.8S, AF 35-70 mm f/2.8S, new-model AF 28-85 mm f/3.5-4.5S, or AF 28-85 mm f/3.5-4.5S is zoomed in while focusing at minimum range, image on matte screen in viewfinder may not be in focus when in-focus indicator is displayed. Focus manually using image in viewfinder as guide in such circumstances.
  9. With maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
  10. Some lenses cannot be used.
  11. Can be used in mode M, but camera exposure meter cannot be used.
  12. Can be used in mode M at shutter speeds slower than 1/125 s, but camera exposure meter cannot be used.
  13. Attach in vertical orientation (can be used in horizontal orientation once attached).
  14. Medical Nikkor 200 mm f/5.6 requires AS-15 for flash control.

Original Source Press Release:


6.1-Megapixel D70 Surges Ahead With More Features & Performance; Creates New “Sweet Spot” for D-SLR Customers; D70 Outfit Includes New DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens

MELVILLE, NY, JANUARY 28, 2004 – Adding yet another groundbreaking camera to its popular D-series digital SLR line up, Nikon® ( today introduced the highly anticipated D70™ 6.1-effective megapixel digital SLR camera. Designed for a broad range of consumers from experienced and amateur photographers to beginners taking their first steps into digital SLR photography, the D70 surges ahead with more features, more performance, and more value than any other camera in its category.

Built from ground up as a digital SLR, the Nikon D70 offers tremendous value to consumers by incorporating many advanced features and new innovations that make photography with the D70 faster, easier and better. Its DX format 6.1-effective megapixel CCD sensor is optimized to deliver images with excellent sharpness and clarity, while a new advanced system Large Scale Integrated Circuit (LSI) processor ensures images with vivid color, accurate white balance and minimized noise. Nikon’s new Dynamic Buffer technology allows the D70 to continuously take up to 144 pictures at a speed of three pictures per second (when using JPEG NORMAL – Large image settings, and a SanDisk® 256 MB Ultra II CompactFlash™ card). Additional features such as exclusive new Digital Vari-Program™ modes, simultaneous compressed NEF (RAW) and JPEG writing capabilities, and new i-TTL flash compatibility with sync speed of 1/500 second further cement the D70’s place as a clear leader in its class of cameras.

At an estimated street price under $999 (for the body), Nikon’s D70 is by far the most capable digital SLR camera body in the market today. Ever since the introduction of the groundbreaking D-Series professional cameras including the D1, D1X, D1H and D2H, Nikon has been in constant pursuit of bringing an exceptional combination of product, performance, technology and price to a broader range of customers. This led to the introduction of the immensely popular D100 camera, now followed by the D70.

The D70 is Nikon’s newest step in expanding the digital SLR camera market, and delivers the ultimate combination of innovative features, robust performance and very affordable price. The D70 will create a new ‘sweet spot’ within the total market and create excitement among all sorts of customers who enjoy photographs, as well as the process of making photographs and are now ready to expand into the realm of digital SLR photography. The D70 is destined to be among the world’s best selling digital SLR cameras.

“Less expensive models typically have fewer features and trimmed back performance. Such is not the case with the D70. A close look will reveal that its performance and features are not superficial, but with depth. Its exposure control, white balance and flash operation systems are loaded with performance that goes well beyond the expected. Yet with its simplicity and undemanding usability, the D70 will attract a wide range of customers,” said Richard LoPinto, vice president for SLR camera systems at Nikon Inc. “With 25 custom settings the D70 stands apart from the competition and provides every D70 customer with plenty of room to grow. As these customers develop their photographic skills and creativity, the D70 will stand ready to offer them a depth of technology, features and performance that will further inspire them to make great pictures. Nikon is certain that the D70’s powerful technology will provide users with the confidence to experiment and get creative,” he added.

More Options: D70 Outfit or Set
The Nikon D70 will be available either as an Outfit or a Set. The D70 Outfit includes the camera body, rechargeable battery, charger, new Nikon PictureProject™ software, neckstrap and the new high-performance AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens. The D70 Set includes all items mentioned above except the lens. Available for a remarkably affordable anticipated street price of $1299 (for D70 Outfit) and $999 (for D70 Set), the camera will ship in Spring 2004.

More Quality and Detail: 6.1 MP CCD Sensor, Advanced System Digital LSI
The D70 incorporates a next-generation 6.1-effective megapixel DX Format CCD image sensor that produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images, and is optimized to deliver a wide dynamic range and superbly sharp details. Each of the sensor's pixels incorporates individual micro-optics that precisely align the image from the camera’s lens to optimize performance. These micro-optics enable the compatibility between Nikon digital SLR models and the entire line of Nikon’s AF Nikkor and DX Nikkor optics. Like the D70, all Nikon digital SLR cameras employ the DX Format, establishing uniformity across the entire range. No other system employs compatibility to this extent.

Nikon programmed the D70's advanced system LSI processor for improved performance to produce vivid colors and clarity, optimized auto white balance, auto tone and color control, and to run real-time processes that diminish digital noise in long exposure shots for cleaner overall results. The LSI and its double-path bus also maximizes system performance for faster processing of compressed Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) RAW files using Nikon’s file compression technology, fast dynamic memory buffer, fast simultaneous recording of JPEG and compressed NEF (RAW) files, and near-instant LCD image monitor display.

More Speed: Faster Processing, Dynamic Buffer Technology, Fast Autofocus
Photographers know that even the slightest delay in taking a picture can mean missing the decisive moment and losing a great photograph. That’s why Nikon’s D70 has been designed to offer faster operation at nearly every level of performance. The camera is ready to shoot the instant it is turned on, and shutter-lag time is unrivaled in its class. Images are processed and written to memory faster. Compressed NEF (RAW) files are processed and stored exponentially faster, making shooting in compressed NEF mode easier and more convenient than ever. In fact, nearly twice as many compressed NEF files can be written to a CompactFlash™ card, when compared to uncompressed NEF files. This presents photographers with an impressive advantage of pristine image data at minimized file sizes. Thanks to Nikon’s new Dynamic Buffer technology, faster image processing, increased memory card access speed and greater system bus bandwidth, the D70 can shoot a rapid three frames per second for a continuous burst of up to 144 pictures (when using JPEG NORMAL – Large settings, and a SanDisk® 256 MB Ultra II CompactFlash™ card). Automatic image rotation within the camera further ensures that images taken with the D70 are ready to be shared immediately (write-to-card speed enhancements will vary among CF cards).

More Innovation & Simplicity: Digital Vari-Program Modes, Redesigned Menu
The D70 combines versatile personal control and image enhancement options with seven new Digital Vari-Program selections for powerful automatic operation that helps you achieve great results with smooth gradations and rich tones, under even complex shooting conditions. The ingenious Digital Vari-Program modes are designed for those moments when photographers want to capture a scene quickly, without fumbling with camera settings or distracting their enjoyment of the scene. Just select one of the seven Digital Vari-Program modes to match your shot, and the D70 automatically optimizes white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue for optimal results according to the type of picture you’re taking. For example, select Portrait mode and the camera will automatically enhance the image with beautiful skin tones, complimentary edge sharpening and soft background focus that highlights your subject. Or choose from Auto, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, or Night Landscape for similar automated performance that corresponds to the given scene. Images from the D70 and its Digital Vari-Program modes are optimized for the evolving PictBridge™ technology that allows in-camera selections and direct printing from the camera to a compatible Pictbridge™ printer. Additionally, the D70’s menus have been redesigned to offer quick access to the most often used features of the camera. Users will have a choice of customizing their menu to display simple or advanced options, choice depending upon their skill level. A unique help button on the camera temporarily displays a short description for each of the 25 different custom settings featured in the D70, offering users immediate help when customizing their camera.

More System Versatility: DX Nikkor Lenses
The D70 joins Nikon’s current selection of digital SLR models and inherits the popular DX format sensor and Nikon F-Mount. The F-Mount will allow photographers to not only use high quality DX Nikkor lenses, but also maintain seamless compatibility with all AF Nikkor lenses and the D70. Designed exclusively for Nikon’s D-series digital SLR cameras, DX Nikkor lenses are optimized to achieve outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner image quality, when used with any of Nikon’s digital SLR cameras including the D1, D1X, D1H, D100, D2H, and the new D70. Nikon’s range of DX Nikkor includes four high performance lenses that offer unmatched wide-angle coverage and versatility:

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens: 76º – 22º50' angle-of-view
  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED: 79º – 28º50' angle-of-view
  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED: 99º – 61º angle-of-view
  • AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED: 180º angle-of-view

When used with a Nikon digital SLR camera and Capture software, images shot with the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm lens can be transformed into ultra-wide angle rectilinear images with a choice of 100º and 130º horizontal angles of view.

More Simplified Creativity: Revolutionary Built-in Speedlight with i-TTL
The D70’s built-in speedlight offers a level of performance that simply doesn’t exist in any other digital SLR camera. Designed to be a part of Nikon’s growing Creative Lighting System, the D70's built-in speedlight adopts Nikon's exclusive i-TTL flash control technology. The speedlight automatically pops up and fires when natural lighting is inadequate or to add balanced Fill-Flash when there is strong backlighting. In addition, i-TTL technology improves the accuracy of fill-flash exposure and white balance in a picture, by seamlessly integrating color information gathered from the speedlight’s monitor pre-flash with information from the system's 1,005-pixel RGB sensor.

The D70 lets you shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/500 second for great fill effects under brighter light conditions, while FV Lock maintains the measured flash value while recomposing the shot so you still achieve the appropriate flash output for the subject. Built-in Manual Mode with Power Ratio from full output to 1/64 power in ½ step increments puts you in control of flash output to match your creative preferences, and flash exposure compensation lets you increase or reduce flash output for yet finer control over results.

The D70’s built-in speedlight can also be used in Commander Mode to remotely control one group of multiple wireless SB-600 and/or SB-800 Speedlights for new opportunities in flash picture taking not realized with lesser systems. Alternately, you can attach an SB-800 used as the Master Speedlight and use it for even more control of up to three remote groups of wireless speedlights, with each group consisting of any number of Nikon SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlight units.

More Powerful Software: New Nikon PictureProject™
Software is a key component of the digital photography experience, and a key component of Nikon's Total Imaging System. After conducting exhaustive worldwide research into customer expectations, requirements and work habits, Nikon has developed the new PictureProject image management and editing software. Based entirely on a new software architecture that empowers customers of varying skill levels to maximize their digital photography experience, Nikon PictureProject boasts powerful features wrapped into a brand new interface that navigates quickly and is easy to master. While PictureProject is already a dynamic new addition to Nikon photography, the software also supports plug-ins, allowing users to add new features, as technology and the digital camera market evolve. The software allows users to easily transfer images to PC’s or MAC’s and browse, organize, and share them. Pictures taken in vertical orientation are automatically rotated. Controls for retouch tasks including brightness and red-eye correction, are intuitive and fast. With support for JPEG, TIFF and NEF and compressed NEF (RAW) files, PictureProject works in close unison with Nikon Capture 4 as the ideal companion to its powerful feature set. With this powerful new software, Nikon can ensure that its customers will always keep ahead of the technology curve. A new upgraded version of Capture 4 (Version 4.1) will become available approximately one month after the introduction of the D70.


Accurate, vivid color

  • 6.1 effective megapixels
  • New Nikon DX Format CCD imaging sensor features an improved signal to noise ratio and broader dynamic range that produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images with high resolution and superbly sharp details.
  • New advanced digital image processor uses next-generation algorithms to optimize image quality, while also controlling auto white balance, auto tone and color control, as well as real-time processes to diminish digital noise and produce beautiful long exposure shots.
  • Accurate white balance achieved by Nikon's acclaimed 3D Color Matrix Meter with 1,005-pixel for highly precise control over white balance regardless of lighting conditions.

High Performance and Quick Response

  • Continuous shooting at 3 frames per second for a continuous burst of up to 144 pictures (using JPEG NORMAL - Large settings, and a SanDisk 256MB Ultra II CompactFlash™ card) thanks to improved buffer memory handling, faster image processing, increased memory card access speed and greater system bus bandwidth. The number of continuous shots possible in a single burst may be fewer depending on the type of CF card used.
  • Ultra-short shutter time lag is hardly noticeable and unrivalled in its class.
  • Immediate power-up has the D70 ready to take pictures before your finger can reach the shutter button.
  • High performance System LSI uses next-generation programming to greatly increase the speed of all processing and writing operations. This includes vastly improved recording times for compressed NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) files and the inclusion of a simultaneous NEF + JPEG file save setting.
  • High-speed, high precision 5-area AF system with predictive focus tracking and Lock-on™ ensures quick response and sharp focus, while an AF-assist illuminator helps ensure top performance in dark situations.
  • Fast shutter speed with a range from 30 to 1/8,000 sec. for full creative control.
  • Fast flash sync shutter speeds up to 1/500 sec. available for great fill-effects under brighter light conditions.

Optimized and Predictable Results

  • Seven New Automated Digital Vari-Program selections easily accessed from the Mode Dial deliver automatic operation that optimizes white balance, sharpening, tone, color, saturation and hue for crisp and vivid results that match the intended shot. Selections include Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, and Night Landscape.
  • 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. The easy to set choices include Normal, Vivid, Sharp, Soft, Direct print, Landscape or Custom optimization
  • Optimized exposure with a choice of three TTL exposure modes, including Nikon's acclaimed 3D Color Matrix Meter with 1,005-pixel RGB Sensor, variable Center-Weighted Meter and choice of Spot Meters.
  • Nikon’s built-in iTTL automatic balanced Fill-Flash can shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/500 second for great fill effects when shooting in brighter lighting conditions; compatibility within Nikon’s Creative Lighting System.
  • Flash exposure compensation; a comprehensive selection of compensation tools enable more versatile picture taking; tools for ambient light, flash illumination and the two combined are provided.
  • New Generation Color Reproduction System offers a choice of three color modes to ensure the best match for the shot when operating the camera manually.
    • Mode Ia: Renders natural-looking skin tones out of the camera. (sRGB)
    • Mode II: Realizes a wider color range suited for processing or retouching. (Adobe RGB)
    • Mode IIIa: Renders vivid landscape and flora colors out of the camera. (sRGB)
  • New JPEG and NEF Combination Filing System enables simultaneous recording of compressed NEF (RAW) and JPEG data for the same shot to optimize and accelerate workflow.
  • Exclusive use of Compressed NEF files to maximize number of raw images possible for each CF card used.

Creative and Versatile System for Subtle Expression

  • High-Quality Nikkor lenses: The unrivalled performance of AF, AF-S and DX Nikkor lenses expand creative possibilities to the maximum.
  • Built-in auto pop-up flash features exclusive i-TTL flash control, fast 1/500 sec. flash sync shutter speed, and supports Nikon's Creative Lighting System for wireless control of remote SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlights.
  • ISO flash shoe makes it easy to attach an SB-600 or SB-800 Speedlight directly to the camera.
  • Integrated Nikon Software Solutions:
    Nikon Capture 4.1 (optional) is a comprehensive image editing and remote camera control package that fully supports NEF* (compressed and uncompressed) (RAW), TIFF and JPEG data. Among other features, the package offers Image Dust Off sensor dust and particle shade removal control; Digital DEE™ scene-specific automatic dodge and burn control; and transformation of shots from the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens to ultra-wideangle images.
    Picture Project is Nikon's versatile new bundled software that simplifies and improves data transfer, as well as browsing and editing of image files. Picture Project introduces an entirely new intuitive user interface, and supports plug-in files for added function.

Improved Overall Performance

  • Light and compact: The smallest Nikon Digital SLR camera
  • Large LCD monitor with user-friendly menus located directly below the viewfinder displays bigger menu fonts and icons that use familiar keywords for ease of understanding. A protective clear LCD cover is also included with the D70.
  • Versatile LCD playback options include Single frame, Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments), Zoom playback (up to 4.7x), Slide show, Histogram indication, and Highlight point displays with automatic image rotation for vertical shots.
  • Proven lithium-ion battery system delivers excellent capacity and long life to shoot up to approx. 2,000 pictures on a single charge. Capacity varies with equipment load and environment conditions. (Same battery and charger as used in Nikon D100)
  • Compatible with disposable batteries for added flexibility, the D70 ships with a battery holder that allows it to be powered by three disposable CR2 batteries.
  • 25 Custom Settings allow you to personalize the operation of your D70 to match your shooting style or the demands of different shooting conditions
  • Wireless remote control operation made available with optional ML-L3 (IR) remote control.
  • Direct printing from the D70 to any PictBridge compatible printer using the supplied USB cable.

About Nikon
Nikon...If the picture matters, the camera matters™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in precision optics, 35mm and digital imaging technology and is recognized worldwide for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes the Nikon Total Imaging System of consumer and professional 35mm film and digital SLR cameras, Nikkor optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Advanced Photo System cameras; 35mm compact cameras; Nikon Coolpix® compact digital cameras; Coolscan® digital film scanners; Nikonos® underwater photographic systems; and Nikon sports and recreational optics. Through the Nikon Spirit Initiative™, the company, plays an active role in supporting aspiring and advanced photographers through a variety of philanthropic organizations, educational programs, events and workshops. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.


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