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Old Sep 28, 2004, 8:08 AM   #1
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I just got my D70 about 4 days ago and have to give a report on how delighted I am with it so far. I was starting to worry after reading in this forum and others. There seem to be a lot of threads from the experts that say this camera doesn't take good pictures unless you turn off the automatic modes and take control of a lot of things... and that you had to do a lot of post processing on the pictures. Well, I am coming from the perspective of more the "point and shoot" end of the spectrum, than the "pro" end, and I couldn't be happier ... so far.

For a little background... we have had a Nikon N6006 for about 12-13 years I think. We use it 99% of the time as a "point and shoot" camera. We have a cheap off-brand flash that we use indoors, never really used the built-in flash because of red-eye. I also picked of a Nikon CoolPix 4300 about 9 months ago, and it takes good pictures when they come out, but I'd get about 5 bad ones, for every good one. Also, the cycle time to take a picture was pretty slow, and I hate using an LCD to frame a picture. Decided it was time to jump into the Digital SLR family and liked the D70 from what I saw of it.

I've had a chance in the last four days to take a lot of pictures... about 300-400 I'd guess. We had a party that involved indoor and outdoor (pool) activities during the day and night. I have also taken some random "point and shoot" shots. Yesterday I took over 100 pictures at my daughter's soccer game with my old 70-210 Nikon lense. Since I was ripping off pictures, and it was very sunny, I didn't havea chance to really see how good they were coming out. From experience with the CoolPix 4300, I assumed over half of them would be bad... especially since most were taken at max zoom, with continuous focus on, targeting varsity soccer players that were moving around pretty quickly. In addition, I moved around the field and shot almost directly into the sun at times, and with the sun at my back in others.

So what have the results been? If I were a pro photographer, I may find problems with the pictures... but I'm not a pro... and I would say that 95% of my shots have been very good. And in most cases, the bad shots were from me trying something I figured wouldn't work. I have taken most shots on P, so that the built-in flash didn't fire by itself. I have set ISO ranging from 200-1000, like I would have done if I were selecting film for a particular lighting situation. And, for the soccer game I set the focus to be continuous. Other than that, I've let the camera do its thing on its own.

All of the party pictures came out pretty well, and I plan to get an SB-800 flash in the near future... which I'm sure will satisfy any issues I had there. I like to get indoor shots with natural lighting... a much warmer look than with a flash. I got this one shot of my youngest daugher laying on the couch that is incredible... the sun is shining in the window on here and it came out great.. a flash would have ruined the look. In the past, I've had difficulty getting good non-flash shots. With the N6006, it was expensive to experiment since you get a lot of blurry pictures when trying to do "point and shoot" with low light and no flash... with the D70 ... you get immediate feedback so you can take several to get the one you want. With the CoolPix, I just never seemed to be able to get one to come out like that... and the flash on those little cameras isn't much.

The soccer game pictures, to me, are incredible. I got more great shots of the girls in this one day, than I've ever gotten before. First off, I could fire away and not worry about the cost of developing a lot of bad pictures. That confidence, I think led to me getting a lot of good pictures.... over half were good, well framed, and caught action I've never caught before. I could also fire 3-4 shots in sequence and that helped catch the good ones. Out of about 150 shots, only a hand full were out of focus, and that surprised me. That has to be the camera, because I've never done that well with the N6006, or the Coolpix 4300. I believe that the focus speed, and recycle speed are so good on the D70 that it overcomes the photographers weaknesses there. If you are new to the D70, understand that on continuous focus, the camera will take a picture if the subject is out of focus.... unlike normal focus mode where it will not. So, you'd expect to get a lot of unfocussed shots. Maybe a pro would consider some of these not focussed well, but I love them.

The other thing I like about the camera is that its as solid as a rock, but very light by my standards. It has the feel of a metal heavy-duty camera, but not the weight. I didn't get tired or uncomfortable holding it up and focussing for about an hour or so straight.

In summary, I'll say that the top things I love about this camera... speed ... feel ... picture quality. I was concerned about not being able to take good pictures without a lot of extra time and effort... based on many of the "pro" reviews. If you are a novice, don't be afraid to jump in and get this camera... you won't be disappointed. This camera will let me now experiment with all the settings I never wanted to play with on my N6006...
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Old Sep 28, 2004, 12:44 PM   #2
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Congradulations on your new camera purchase. I'm sure it will provide you with many greast photos and improve your skill as a photographer.

The camera takes decent images in Auto, as you no doubt know, the reason "pros" prefer P,S,A,M modes is that it yields more consistent results (not necessarily a good thing, as it can be consistently bad images if used incorrectly).

My suggestion: don't be in a hurry to get a flash. Learn the camera as it is right now, then only when you've mastered it, add a flash into the learning challenge. Flash when used correctly should be invisible, and enhance the natural lighting. eg.

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Old Sep 28, 2004, 4:44 PM   #3
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Dear Convergent,

I am excited for you and I followed the same path as you. I bought my D70 this past April. I am not a pro but you bet I have been bold enough to post on this forum and I love the help and advice I have received. I enjoy the viewing the pictures from the pros and have learned a lot from them. I did some outside pics and I learned about having the right lens (polorizer)for bright outside shooting. I did buy the SB 800 and love it.It took me awhile toget the hang of pointing at what I want to be in focus. I have hadseveral out of focus picutres. My next step is a zoom lens. I also purchased the HITI 730PS printer so I can process my photos. I have used aperture and program mode, with no problems. The other day during my outside shooting I felt unsure so I changed to automatic and the results were great. Enjoy your camera, I do not go a day without taking a picture or processing what I took. I can't wait to see your pictures.

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