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Old May 29, 2004, 5:50 PM   #2
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As a former film SLR amateur and digital point-and-shoot user, and amere amateur photographer, I don't think he will be happy, due to apparent under-exposureon auto point-and-shoot settings-- until and unless Nikon boosts the mid-rangeof the normal tone curve by about +0.5EV to enable the D70 on Auto or Vari-Program settings to emulate the good 5+ megapixel point-and-shoots (like the Olympus C-5050Z which I also have and is a great point and shoot producing super crisp images if you don't mind a rangefinder and having to correct for parallax at close distances). It's true that you can use custom tone curves to take care of the D70's under-exposure (as I have done), but that, of course, won't work in the Auto and Vari-Program modes that a point-and-shooter will be using. In addition, Nikon's Thailand production folks obviously need to improve their quality when it comes to calibration -- witness all the "back-focus" concerns around (which I can attest to -- it is decidedly NOT a bown-out-of-proportion issue when you can't count on Nikon's auto-focus to give you a sharp image at the central focal point of a close-upimage). In fact, I've just sent my D70 and kit lens (purchased in April) to Nikon Factory Repair to do something about the focus and sharpness (and I've also asked them to look into the under-exposure issue in the normal tone curve for point-and-shoot purposes, although I suspect that's set the way they intended, and I generally won't shoot on Auto anyway).

I'd love to hear what others have to say. I love the feel and controls of the D70, but I've been pretty disappointed by the focus and exposure issues -- and, in the end, it's all about the quality of the image, not the technical specs and features of the camera. I'm really hoping that Nikon Repair can get the focus "dead-on" for me (as others report they have done) -- because, unless they do, I'm going to look into returning the whole shebang.
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