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Old Mar 31, 2004, 4:07 AM   #1
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Default D70: disappointment of the year?

Folks,

I've been eagerly awaiting the first photos from the D70. When Steve posted them last week, I made 13x19 prints of Steve's standard brick building photo from each of three cameras: the D70, the Coolpix 8700, and the Sigma SD10. I was quite surprised by what I saw.

(1) The Sigma SD10 made the sharpest, most natural-looking print -- by a wide margin. You can easily see this even on your monitor, especially in the foreground foliage. The leaves look natural and pleasing on the SD10, but are almost painful to look at on the Coolpix 8700 and the D70.

(2) The 8700 came in second, with good color, slight undersaturation, pretty good detail, and no major artifacts other than the usual antialiasing effects described above.

(3) The D70, which I *really* wanted to like, was a distant third. The image is markedly over-saturated, the detail is poor even in the brick, and there are *huge* moire patterns along the vertical row of bricks. I had noticed this on my monitor too, but assumed that the monitor was at fault. Nope: it's there in the prints as well. Take a look for yourself, and be willing to trust your eyes:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...s/dsc_1393.jpg

Awful, isn't it? Look, in particular, at the bushes along the sidewalk. Argh!

So now, the question: what do I do?

As beautiful as the SD10 images are, the camera performs poorly in low light, to the point that I'd consider it unusable. It's almost temping to buy one as a daylight-only camera, but that just seems excessive.

The 8700 looks decent, but every single reviewer has commented on the misplaced buttons on the side of the camera, and the last thing I need is to spend $1000 on a product that's going to irritate me every time I use it.

The other 8MP prosumer digicams look roughly comparable. The Sony F828 and Olympus C8080 appear to be a bit noisy, while the Canon Pro 1 is cleaner (look at the shrubbery and the shaded parts of the shed) at the price of being slightly softer looking.

And the D70, for which I had such high hopes, looks to be a real disappointment.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default Moire?

I've looked at the picture linked to your post, and can't see the Moire patterning in the bricks. I printed that shot (8x10 to compare the quality between the JPEG and NEF) and still don't see it. This locale has been used in prior reviews (D100 and 8700), so I thought it would be good for comparison.

When compared to the 8700 print, the D70 seems sharper (to me). I guess I'm confused. BTW, the upcoming version of Bibble supposedly can remove the moire from any D70 shot that has it.

I did test-drive the 8700 and concluded that I'd be changing settings by accident visa vi those four buttons. There were also too many menus and no ability to control the camera (for the most part) without resorting to the menus.

I have 20 x 30s on my dining room table from the 8700, but as I've said before these were printed by a professional lab using a LightJet laser printer and not one employing ink jet technology.

All things considered, my choice remains the D70, although I don't know how sharp that kit lens is and will probably use a lens I have more confidence in.[/img]
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:53 AM   #3
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I saw the moire pattern that was being referenced. It is much more noticeable when the image is sized down, but when viewed at 100% there are pieces of the pattern that can be seen if you are looking for it.

From what I am reading in Nikon's full product guide, Nikon Capture has a filter or something to correct or at least minimize this.

I would like to see Steve test this out in his final review and post an edited version so we can see the difference. If this supposed editing feature in Capture doesn't minimize this to where I think it tolerable, I will probably write the D70 off of my list and go with the Digital Rebel.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 1:38 PM   #4
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Hi,

I have a good LCD monitor 1600x1200 and i agree that the jpg version of Steve's brick wall is far from perfect, but the NEF one is very good. Maybe the jpg engine need some more work.

I got my D70 last Friday. I did'nt get any of those problems so far
and i shooted a lot of pics. The camera is a pleasure to use and is fast like hell.

Bye
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 1:49 PM   #5
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I just re-did the school building (red brick) shot using the color moire filter set at high. It got rid of about 90% of the moire problems in those vertical bricks.



http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...c_1391_nef.jpg


The in-camera JPEGs are very contrasty and almost over-sharpened but that's the way most of today's consumer digicam buyers expect things to look like. Remember all the complaints about the Digital Rebel images being to soft and not "snappy" enough color-wise. As you can see, you can still squeeze a good looking image out of the D70 by using NEF format and some post capture tweaking.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 2:29 PM   #6
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Maybe I should be happy that I have "older" eyes. I'm not picking up on some of this. LOL.

rick
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 10:22 PM   #7
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Default Lots of comparison clips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe this will help everybody see how the D70 stacks up to some of the other dSLRs in respect to color moire on the school house bricks. These are all 100% clips from our posted sample photos for each camera. Suggest you right-click and save each one and make your own single-image collage for better side-by-side comparison.


D70 in-camera JPEG



D70 raw to JPEG using Color Moire Reduction (high) in Nikon Capture 4



Nikon D100 in-camera JPEG



Canon Digital Rebel in-camera JPEG



Canon 10D in-camera JPEG



D2H in-camera JPEG



Canon 1D MarkII raw to JPEG



Sigma SD10 raw to JPEG


I'm not going to get into any kind of discussions here folks, hopefully these pictures will speak thousands of words. Whatever else I have to say will be in the D70 conclusion.

-Steve
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lots of comparison clips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve
Maybe this will help everybody see how the D70 stacks up to some of the other dSLRs in respect to color moire on the school house bricks. These are all 100% clips from our posted sample photos for each camera. Suggest you right-click and save each one and make your own single-image collage for better side-by-side comparison.
Steve,

Thank you so much -- what a terrific service to the community!

Jeff
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 12:30 PM   #9
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does the digital rebel/10D look overexposed, or is that just me?

Yes, i am an owner of the 300D, but have been trying to decide of the image quality (along with everybody else) seems to be better on the digital rebel or the D70. If teh image quality is the same, ill probably try to sell my DR. If the D70 is even slightly less (more noise, etc, etc) I will keep my DR. If the D70 is BETTER, i will REALLY try to sell my DR and purchase the D70.

So, why do the colors in the DR (and 10D) look blown out, especially the windows...

Thoughts?
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 12:58 PM   #10
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After looking at that strip of images from different cameras I have one question.

What was the original color of the bricks?
Every camera/mode has come up with something completely different.

Just guessing as I'm partial tothe EOS line for some reason, but the brick looks most natural/nuteral in the D2H snip.
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