The Nikon D100 and D70

Pete Su
2004-9-18

In an earlier article, I outlined my general thoughts on digital cameras. In that article, I noted that digital cameras fall into two basic categories: point and shoot cameras, and digital SLRs. At the time, my main camera had been a Nikon D100. So I thought now I'd write a more specific piece about that body and its more recent cousin, the D70.

The D100

The Nikon D100 handles and shoots basically like a high quality mid-line Nikon film body, except that it captures digital files instead of slides or negatives. Light goes in one end, hits a sensor, and out the other comes a digital representation of what the camera was looking at. I will forego the particulars and specifications of the body because you can google for that.

Instead, I'll concentrate on what I like and dislike.

Likes:

There isn't much more to say than that. The thing is awesome. Now here are my picky whiny quibbles:

The D70

Summary: The D70 is the D100 with most of the above quibbles fixed.

The only thing that isn't really improved in the D70 is the viewfinder and the interface for changing some autofocus modes that I never change. Here is a more detailed summary:

All this, and they fixed the flash system too. Although I have to buy a new flash to get the new features.

Two Updates

First, the NEF+JPEG isn't as useful as I'd hoped. The JPEG files are not tagged with the right color space, and they are full size. I like to make proof JPEG files that are half size and just keep the small JPEG files online for browsing, even if I move the NEF files offline. Also, the new NEF files preview very quickly at nearly full resolution (apparently the preview image embedded in the NEF is now a full sized JPEG instead of the teeny tiny one the D100 put in), so I don't really need JPEG files for quick proofing. They are mostly just useful for my dual catalog workflow.

Second, the lens hood casts a shadow. I never noticed this before with my D100.