Nikon D70 Sub-$1000 Digital SLR

It took several months, but Nikon finally answers back to Canon’s EOS Digital Rebel announced last August. The Nikon D70 is a sub-$1000 digital SLR camera with many features to offer, it also matches the Canon EOS 300D with 6.0-megapixels and ships with a New DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens.

See press release below.


(Press Release) – 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: 76 degrees – 22 degrees 50′ angle-of-view

* AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED: 79 degrees – 28 degrees 50′ angle-of-view

* AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED: 99 degrees – 61 degrees angle-of-view

* AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED: 180 degrees 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 100 degrees and 130 degrees 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 1/2 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.

MAJOR FEATURES OF THE NIKON D70 DIGITAL SLR

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. PictureProject is Nikon’s versatile new bundled software that simplifies and improves data transfer, as well as browsing and editing of image files. PictureProject 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 camer

A * 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.


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