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George Mann's- Nikon D70 Review

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Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera review - D70 Review Index
d70 topTop of the D70 Camera

The left hand top of the D70 camera has the Exposure Mode dial which allows you to select from seven different Digital-Variprograms settings and four automatic and manual Exposure modes.

The right hand top of the camera has the LCD control panel, which allows you to monitor all the camera functions. The Exposure Metering button which in combination with the Main command dial allows you to chose between three modes of exposure metering and the Exposure compensation button which allows you to dial in over and under exposure values.
mode dial lcd panel
Top left hand camera controls:

1. Mode dial - The Mode dial selects the exposure modes and Digital-Variprograms of the camera.

Exposure modes -

P Auto Multi Program - lets the camera optimize exposure to suit the subject. Allows you to set shutter speed and aperture or adjust exposure with exposure compensation controls.

S Shutter Priority Auto - allows you to choose shutter speeds to suit the subject you are shooting, fast shutter speeds for sports and action and slow shutter speeds to blur moving objects or photograph in low light situations.

A Aperture Priority Auto - allows you to set the aperture for control of depth of field, either to bring more things into focus or to throw a background out of focus.

M Manual - allows you to set both shutter speeds and aperture manually for full control of exposures.

Digital Vari-Programs -

Auto (green) - The best setting for "point-and-shoot" photography. Recommended for beginning digital SLR camera users and for situations where there is no time to check the camera's settings.

Portrait - for shooting portraits with soft backgrounds (largest aperture and highest shutter speed possible).

Landscape - for capturing details in landscape shots (small apertures and slower shutter speeds)

Close Up - useful for taking close-ups of flowers and other small objects. (small aperture for greater depth of field)

Sports - for freezing action shots (highest shutter speeds possible - higher ISO value).

Night Landscape - for taking landscape shots at night (higher ISO rating and smallest aperture possible)

Night Portrait - for shooting portraits agains dimly lit backgrounds (longer exposure, larger aperture and flash combination)

hot shoe

Top middle of camera:


1. Accessory shoe -


The D70 Accessory showe allows SB series Speedlights to be attached to the camera without a sync cable. There is also a locking pin for Speedlights equiped with a safety lock.

2. Built-in speedlight

The D70 is equipped with a Guide Number 15/49 Speedlight (ISO 200, m/ft; Guide Number at ISO 100 is 11/36).

When a CPU lens is attached, the built-in Speedlight emits monitor preflashes that are analyzed using through-the-lens (TTL) technology (i-TTL fl
ash control). The built-in Speedlight can be used not only when natural light is inadequate, but also to fill in shadows and backlit subjects or to add a catch light to the subject's eyes.

i-TTL Flash Control
i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash for Digital SLR - is selected automatically in all modes except mode M or when spot metering is selected in modes P, S, and A. The Speedlight emits a series of nearly invisible preflashes (monitor preflashes) immediately before the main flash. Preflashes reflected from objects in all areas of the frame are picked up by the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor and are analyzed in combination with information from the matrix metering system to adjust the flash output for a natural balance between the main subject and ambient background lighting. If a type G or D lens is used, distance information is included when calculating flash output.

Standard i-TTL Flash for Digital SLR - is activated automatically in mode M and when spot metering is selected in modes P, S, and A. Flash output is adjusted to ensure that the main subject is correctly exposed; the brightness of the background is not taken into account. Recommended for shots in which the main subject  is emphasized at the expense of the background details, or when exposure compensation is used.


CSM 19 - Flash Mode can be selected from TTL, Manual, and Commander mode. In Manual mode, the built-in Speedlight has a Guide Number (m/ft) of 17/56 (ISO 200) or 12/39 (ISO 100). Commander mode can be used for wireless off-camera flash photography with SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights.

Right hand top of camera controls:

1. Power switch -

Holding the camera grip with your right hand, you can easily turn the power switch on and off with you right hand index finger. When you turn the switch to on, the control panel will turn on and the display in the viewfinder will light up.

2. Shutter-release button -

The D70 has a two stage shutter-release button. Pressing the button half way sets focus and exposure, keeping the button depressed half way will keep the focus and exposure locked untill you either release the button for a new focus and exposure reading or depress it fully to take an exposure.

3. Metering mode button - (left button)

Press this button and rotate the main command dial
(top back right of camera - under your right thumb) to access the three metering modes. 3D color matrix/Color matrix metering, Center weighted metering and Spot metering. The metering mode options are available in P, S, A, and M camera operation modes.

Exposure Metering Modes
3D color matrix/Color matrix metering - Metering is performed by a 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, which sets exposure based on a variety of information from all areas of the frame. This method is particularly effective when the frame is dominated by bright (white or yellow) or dark (black or dark green) colors, when its results approach what is seen by human eyes.

3D color matrix metering, which uses range information from the lens in adjusting exposure, is available only with type G or D lenses. Color matrix metering, which does not include range information, is available with other CPU lenses.

Matrix metering will not produce desired results with autoexposure lock or exposure compensation, but is recommended in most other cases.

Center weighted metering - Camera meters the entire frame but assigns greatest weight to area in center of frame 8mm (0.31") in diameter, shown by the corresponding 8-mm reference circle in the viewfinder. Classic meter selection for portraits; recommended when using filters with an exposure (filter) factor over 1x.

CSM 11 - this option controls the size of the area assigned the greatest weight in center-weighted metering.

Spot metering - Camera meters a circle 2.3mm (0.09") in diameter (approximately 1% of the frame). The circle is centered on the current focus area, making it possible to meter off-center subjects (if Closest subject for AF-area mode is selected, the camera will meter the center of the focus area). Ensures that the subject will be ciorrectly exposed, even when the background is much brighter or darker.


4. Exposure compensation button - (right button)

Press this button and rotate the main command dial to change exposure compensation in increments of 1/2 or 1/3 EV between -5EV (underexposure) and +5EV (overexposure).

CSM 9 - allows you to change the exposure compensation increments between 1/2 and 1/3 EV.

Exposure compensation is available for camera modes P,S and A. In mode M the electronic analog exposure display will indicate the
selected exposure compensation but not set the compensation.

5. LCD illuminator and Format button -

Pressing the illuminator button turns the control panel back light on allowing you to see the control panel in the dark.

The format function of this button is activated by holding it and the Mode/Format button (located at the top left back corner of the camera) both down simultaneously for two seconds. A blinking For will appear in place of the shutter speed display and the frame counter will blink on the LCD control panel. Press both buttons simultaneously once more and the card will be formated. If you press any other button instead, the formating process will be aborted.

The letters For will appear untill the formating is completed, at which time the frame counter will display the number of exposures available on the card.

Be sure to have a fully fully charged battery or use an AC adapter, before formating any memory card.




More D70 review pages top come in the days and weeks ahead. Please bookmark this web page.


Please bookmark this page - more updates are coming.  -  Click here for more Feature Articles
All above images are the copyright property of George Mann - if you are interested in using any of these images please contact george@dpmac.com


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