Nikon D70 blog

Very welcome! This blog is about Nikon DSLR cameras in general and the D70 in particular.

I consider myself a serious amateur. I rarely make any money from photography. Even as an occasional wedding or graduation shooter, I do that for free and only for friends. My images range from nature to street, from buildings to ants, from cars to kids. I consider myself average among the serious amateurs as a photographer, just like most serious amateur photographers are – by definition. But as opposed to some of my peer friends, I have tended not to be that interested in the minute details of cameras. As the switch from film to digital occurred, I noticed that the number of people interested in camera technology increased dramatically. This was not, to my surprise, coupled with the same increase in interest in photographic images. Several times more discussions (online in forums, live in photo clubs, etc) are dedicated to equipment than to images. And of those that discuss images, quite a few tend to be pixel-peepers, more interested in theoretical aspects of image rendering than in the actual image conveyed by the photo. As a case in point, at the Photokina exhibitions, the halls full of gear are crowded while the image exhibition halls are almost empty. In all this, I have found that I have a somewhat different view on cameras, and thus, seemingly paradoxically, this blog is about equipment after all. But there is no paradox. I wish everyone acquires their own view on photographic equipment – and not the manufacturers’. Stick to that view and get on with creating great images instead. Don’t be misled by the manufacturers’ clever marketing. You don’t need even a fraction of what they claim you need. And when you upgrade, you should have an upgrade plan and purpose, not just jump on the latest bandwagon.

Somewhat to my own surprise (although I sensed it), I have discovered that the one camera I use the most, and have the most fun with, is not the one I (or my friends) thought. I applied the EXIF test to my images. That is, I looked at the EXIF image data on the pictures I have taken over the last years to discover which cameras and lenses I actually use for the pictures I like. Pictures that are appealing (to me) plus having good image quality (to others as well).

I regularly use a couple of DSLRs and some other cameras. More specifically, I use a Nikon D3x, a Nikon D70, and a Nikon D3100. The D3x was the state-of-the-art in resolution (24 MP) and image quality up until 2012 when the D4/D800 pair were introduced. But it is also very heavy and a bit clumsy to carry around. The Nikon D70 was the first affordable and really useful digital SLR that made me switch from 35 mm film to digital back in 2004. The Nikon D3100, finally, is a 14 MP lightweight DSLR that should be the easiest to carry with you. Apart from DSLRs, I also use a Leica M8, a Canon S100 pocket camera, and an iPhone 4S. But the discussion here will mostly be about DSLRs.

So what did the EXIF test actually show?

I use the Nikon D70 more often than the D3x and the D3100 combined. Remarkably more often. Why is that? How can it be possible? All Nikon’s marketing point to the D70 being almost useless and definitely outdated compared to the D3x and the D3100. Is it possible for a serious amateur to be satisfied in 2012 with an 8 year old camera?

Yes.

What properties of the D70 makes it such a good camera several years later?

Read on to find out why. And why you should think yourself about your needs, not anyone else’s needs or a view transplanted in you by a manufacturer.

I don’t have that much time to spare for blogging. I will make references to what others say, using some of the web sources I find credible. And I will reuse and adapt things I have written before in other places.

Stay tuned.

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