Nikon D70 Review
The D70's battery compartment is located in the base of the hand grip, pull the small lever to flip the door open. Inside you'll find a slot for either the supplied EN-EL3 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery or the now provided 3 x CR2 battery cradle.
Battery / Charger / CR2 Carrier
The D70 is powered by the same Nikon EN-EL3 Lithium-Ion battery pack (7.4 V 1400 mAh; 10.4 Wh) as the D100, in that camera it proved powerful and long lasting, we don't expect any less in the D70. The supplied MH-18 quick charger can be powered by 100-240 VAC and recharges one EN-EL3 battery in approximately two hours (if completely discharged). Additionally the D70 is bundled with an all new 3 x CR2 (Lithium, 3V) battery carrier, this provides an emergency backup power supply should your main battery run flat out in the field.
Compact Flash Compartment
The Compact Flash Compartment is on the rear of the camera and forms part of the rear molded grip. The door is sprung and opens fully once the lever on the left edge of the door is depressed. Inside is the Compact Flash slot (Type I/II, supports Microdrive and FAT32) which just like the D100 is mounted at a slight angle, one assumes that if it wasn't there wouldn't be room for the battery in the hand grip.
One thing I've always liked about Nikon's CF compartment doors is that they are closed in one action, meaning you can close the door by simply gripping the camera in the normal way, it's much quicker.
Camera Base / Tripod Mount
The D70's pop-up flash is released by pressing a small button on the left side just below the flash. The release button also doubles (logically) as the flash mode and flash exposure compensation control button. Hold the button and turn the front command dial to change exposure compensation (-3.0 to +1.0 EV) - something sorely lacking on the Canon EOS 300D, hold the button and turn the rear command dial to change flash mode.
The D70 has a standard Nikon hot-shoe which supports a wide range of Nikon Speedlights including the new SB-800 and SB-600, these new flashes support the Nikon i-TTL flash metering protocol. One thing the D70 doesn't support is D-TTL metering.
AF Assist Lamp
The white light AF assist lamp on the D70 will automatically illuminate the subject if light levels are too low for the AF system to make a good focus. The lamp can be enabled or disabled via a custom function 4.
Lens Mount / Sensor
Below you can see a shot of the D70's lens mount / mirror chamber with the mirror down and with the mirror up and shutter open exposing the six megapixel CCD sensor. The D70 has a Nikon F lens mount, it can accept almost any Nikkor F mount lens. Full camera features are only available when you use G or D type AF Nikkor CPU lenses.
Shutter Release Sound
In all of our digital SLR reviews we now provide a sound recording of a continuous burst of shots. You can download the recording (click here - 1,284 KB MP3) of the Nikon D70 shooting continuously for 20 seconds followed by the Canon EOS 300D shooting continuously for 20 seconds. Both cameras were set to manual focus, a shutter speed faster than 1/250 sec and aimed at a static subject. Image quality was set to six megapixels JPEG Fine on both cameras. The CF card used was a SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB (Type I).
The primary difference between the way these two cameras buffer is that the D70 buffers the compressed JPEG file, the EOS 300D buffers the RAW data from the sensor. This means that using a lower JPEG quality or smaller image size on the D70 would provide even more images in a single burst at 3 fps. Both cameras allow you to keep your finger on the shutter release and will take as soon as enough buffer space is available for the next shot.
As you can see from the waveforms below (which represent twenty seconds for each camera) the D70 manages 44 frames in 20 seconds, the EOS 300D just 23. More importantly the D70 shoots the first 17 of those frames at the full 3 frames per second, the EOS 300D managing only 4 frames at its slower 2.5 frames per second. Kudos Nikon.
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