The Nikon D7000: 478% Better Than the D70

I’ll drool over some new toy I’d love to have from time to time, but I’m not usually one to let my impulses get the best of me in that regard. However, Nikon’s new DSLR camera, the rumored D7000, could be one of those things I just have to get.

I’ve had my D70 for about 5 years now and it has served my very faithfully. 38,000 shutter clicks later and countless tens of thousands of miles traveled, my camera has done well and probably still has some spunk left in it.

However, I’ve found myself approaching the maximum technical capabilities of my current camera. My biggest need right now is more sensor sensitivity (ISO). My D70 tops out at 1600 ISO, which is not bad, but can produce some banding:

Back Side of Firenze
18.3 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy

The theoretical D7000 goes to ISO 25600, which is 16 times higher and allows for an additional four stops to work with. This is huge. I had to brace myself against a wall to get that photo in Florence, and even then I was still shooting at 1/50. If I were to shoot at ISO 25600, I could have shot it at 1/800. That’s insane.

The other awesome thing is how much better the quality is at a given ISO. Check out these sample images from Ken Rockwell showing the Nikon D70 (which is what I have), the Nikon D3 (which is a Nikon camera that can actually go to ISO 25600, but it probably not very representative of the D7000), and the Nikon D300S (which is probably more similar to the D7000 than the D3). The important thing to note is not the overall quality of these images (they are cropped really small), but the difference in image quality between ISO levels of a particular camera:

Nikon D70 | ISO 200
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/us.htm
Nikon D70 | ISO 1600
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/us.htm

Nikon D3 | ISO 200
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm
Nikon D3 | ISO 1600
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm
Nikon D3 | ISO 25600
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm

Nikon D300 | ISO 200
http://kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2010-08-03-5d2-7d-5d-d300/
Nikon D300 | ISO 1600
http://kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2010-08-03-5d2-7d-5d-d300/

The other big thing I’m looking forward to do is shoot amazing video montages. Similar to this:

Haiti Earthquake Aftermath Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.

Nikon D90 AF system
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/d90/en/advanced-function/
It will be nice to have more Auto Focus points, hopefully more of my photos will be in focus, but I’d be fine with even 11 points — which is how many the D90 has, and still makes my D70 look paltry by comparison.

The downside is that each image is 2.5 times the file size of my D70, which is going to wreck havoc on my storage. I’ve never really had an issue blowing photos up and currently have a 30″ x 20″ hanging on the wall which looks just spectacular.

Anyway, here are the key differences that I’m interested in:

D7000 D70
Megapixel 16.2 6.24
Video 1080P @ 24FPS N/A
ISO, min 100 200
ISO, max 25600 1600
Auto Focus Points 39 5

Hopefully, come September 15th, I may actually be able to plunk down some cash for this baby. Anyone interested in a well-loved, well-traveled, well-used Nikon D70? I’m going to go get a mop to wipe up all this drool.

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