Nikon D70 Review
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
Overall the D70 performs well, images sharper than the D100 (thanks to a slightly weaker anti alias filter and improved image processing) good tonal balance and a neutral color balance. Noise levels are low and the camera is usable throughout its full range of ISO's, a bonus is that the D70's noise appears to be more monochromatic with less noticeable 'color noise'. We had no major issues with image quality apart perhaps from the occasional brush with moiré / maze artifacts (Bayer interpolation issues, see below). Overall however I liked the look of the D70's images and am impressed with the improvements Nikon has made, Kudos. Thanks to the wider range of selectable image parameters you can get the picture look you like straight out of the camera, in several instances I found the punchy 'Vivid' mode produced some very nice results.
Impressive resolution, improved sharpness
I was impressed with the improvement in resolution and sharpness I saw from the D100 to the D70. Apparently quite a bit of this is down to a now weaker anti alias filter on the CCD which 'blurs' the image at a higher frequency than before. The side-effect of this is increased moiré, which you can read about below. Sometimes it's all very well to look at a resolution chart but difficult to demonstrate what this could represent in real life. Thankfully the two images and set of crops below more than confirm the improvement and demonstrate what the D70 is really capable of, some pretty impressive resolution.
|AF-S DX 18-70 mm F3.5-F4.5G @ 51 mm
ISO 200, 1/320 sec, F10
|AF-S 28-70 mm F2.8 ED @ 52 mm
ISO 200, 1/400 sec, F10
Moiré / Bayer interpolation 'maze' artifacts
So resolution is improved however this has lead to visible moiré / maze artifacts near the limit of resolution. Shooting RAW and processing the images on a computer later produced better results, obviously the D70's in-camera Bayer interpolation algorithms aren't capable of removing enough of this artifact for it to not remain visible in JPEG images.
Green to Magenta cast at high shutter speed
There have been several discussions on our Nikon D70 forum about an uneven color cast seen on images taken with a very high shutter speed. We tested for this problem with our review camera, we took a sequence of shots from 1/8000 sec downwards in one stop steps. Without any saturation adjustment there isn't any visible color cast, boosting saturation by +95 (a very strong boost which you would never normally use) did reveal some coloration at the sides of the frame. I personally don't see this as a major problem, it's very unlikely that such a mild effect in such specific circumstances would ever be visible in a normal shot.
|No saturation adjustment||Saturation boosted +95|
In the course of reviewing the D70 I identified a bug which affects the way images are tagged with color space. If you create a custom 'Optimize Image' parameter set which uses Color Mode II (Adobe RGB) and then revert back to one of the preset sets (such as Normal or Vivid) the camera continues to tag images with the Adobe RGB color space tag. This causes tag aware applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS to open the image with the wrong color profile assigned, essentially viewing an sRGB image in the Adobe RGB color space. Colors are displayed incorrectly and if you were to then print or output to the web the results would be quite bad. As you can see below Nikon View recognizes that the 'Normal' Optimize Image setting is selected and thus the image must be in the sRGB color space, however Adobe Photoshop CS only looks for the color space tag which it sees as Adobe RGB (1998). We look forward to Nikon fixing this problem with a firmware update.
|Nikon View 6.2.1: 'Color Mode: Ia (sRGB)'|
|Adobe Photoshop CS: 'Color Profile: Adobe RGB (1998)'|
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.