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Old Jul 29, 2004, 12:04 PM   #1
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I'm a fairly sophisticated photog and started my converstion to digital with a kodak 2.1MP and moved to the D5700 a couple of years ago. I chose the 5700 because I felt there weren't affordable dSLR alternatives at the time.

Now I'm looking closely at the D70 as my next step partly because I've got lenses from my Nikon film SLR that I can use. However, I need to justify in my mind that the images will be of sufficient improvement to justify the cost of moving from my paid-for 5700 to the D70. There are the standard improvements of an SLR, but I guess I'm looking for more justification on image improvement.

Thoughts?
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 4:29 PM   #2
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You need to tell us what type of photography you do. Without that, it's hard to say if it will help you or not.

It also helps to know how much money you are willing to spend. You say you have some Nikon lenses (which is a huge win) but are they enough for what you want to do? Do remember, that they will effectively be 1.5x longer in reach. So if you do wide angle shots you'll probably need to buy another lens to fill that roll.

For example, the improved ISO performance is great. but if you don't take action pictures, or pictures in low light, it won't help you much.

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Old Jul 29, 2004, 5:28 PM   #3
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Eric,

Good Point. My needs really run the gaumut. I do a fair amount of foreign travel and therefore take a lot of outdoor scenery all the way down to low-lit indoor. (This being one of my main gripes with the 5700 - terrible low-light focusing.) On a trip to Germany/Austria/Italy, I shot about 1400 pics.

I don't have much opportunity for high-speed sports photography, but I do miss my long lenses at my son's soccer games. I will mention that my latest investment has been in an Epson 2200 printer (which I just love), so the extra 1M of resolution would be nice.

What I'm also looking for are some words on the quality of the imagery. I sitll have complaints on the skin tone from the 5700. While light-years beyond my old kodak, it's still easy to look at the pics on my desk and tell which were shot with film versus those shot with the 5700 (although I think most people couldn't tell). Are the arrays or the processing algorithms different on the dSLRs than that found on a 5700? If not, I probably couldn't justify the price - at least not until a affordablefull-frame array hits the market. $1000-$1300 is a lot to spend if the main improvement is a better yield of sharp photos in low light.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 7:42 PM   #4
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Here is what I might suggest:

Take your 5700 to camera store that carries D70s (with latest firmware).

Take 3-5 photos THERE with your 5700 (mix it up-indoor outdoor closeup etc) on an empty CF card.

Then put that card in a demo D70 and "repeat" the 5700 pics.

Go home and compare.

You will have your answer, I'd reckon
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 11:29 AM   #5
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Wow! Excellent idea. :idea: I'm not quite sure why I didn't think of that one myself.:? I may run out to my local photo store today! For those following the thread, I'm going to go one step further and also take my existing nikon lenses to see how they perform with the D70 as well. Then I'll have a read on if I need the Kit or just the body. (Apologeis in advance for the use of the 'Emoticons.' Just thought I'd give them a try.)
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 3:24 PM   #6
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Just be aware that the D70 has a cropping factor of 1.5. This means that to get an acceptable wide angle, you may want the kit lens as you have to multiply all your lens focal lengths by 1.5. So your 28mm lens (if you have one) won't be as wide on digital as it is on film.
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Old Aug 13, 2004, 7:20 PM   #7
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Well, I finally did it, I took the advice of digicamfan and went to my local photo shop with my 5700 and did a direct comparison with the D70.

Technique:

I was short on time before the shop closed, so I had to work fast. I took all indoor shots both with and without flash and with both cameras. I took flesh shots, colorful shots and fine detail shots. Outside I took one with fill, a closeup and zoom shot.

Results:

Detail: As you'd expect, there was a subtle, but noticable difference between the 5700 and D70 in fine detail. Certainly nothing dramatic, however.

Color: Again similar, but the 5700's shots were consistantly higher saturation and contrast, giving it a better 'look' straight out of the camera. The D70, as advertised, was underexposing all the shots. This could have played a role in the comparo.

Flash: I would rate the D70 flash as far superior. The exposure was much more even. Hurting the 5700 was the increased contrast which led to pixel cliping and some oversaturation.

Focus:Again, the D70 has it all over the 5700 which, true to form, had several out of focus shots. Definitely my biggest complaint with the camera.

Test Failing: Due to the limited time, I was less than accurate in setting consistant zoom between the two cameras. This made the direct comparison a little bit tricky.



Fate smiled on me the very next day when a coworker showed up with his new D70 that he purchased the night before. (Neither of us knew the other one was looking.) This gave me the opportunity to set both cameras up on tripods and get more equivalant shots, (although I was still rushed).

Technique- All indoor with a scene of small detail and one bored co-worker as model.

Results:

Fairly similar with no real change from my initial findings.

Conclusion - As much as it pains me, there is not sufficient difference in quality between the CoolPix 5700 and D70 to justify the cost of the new camera - even considering that I could probably sell my 5700 for about $450.

This is coming from someone who REALLY WANTS to believe that it would be a worthwhile purchase, but I couldn't convince myself that the cost was justified. My plan now is to wait for the next generation that puts an 8MP chip in an SLR. I'm unfortunately destined to wait 'til then.

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