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.

15 Replies to “The Nikon D7000: 478% Better Than the D70”

  1. Nice to hear someone else with a D70 looking to upgrade to this new unit!

    Over on nikonrumors everyone seems to have a camera no older than about 6 months & are all obsessed with a new D700!

  2. Cool! Didn’t realize how fast low light performance has improved until I took some night shots on my friend’s Canon 5D. I have been using D70s for the last five years; drooling over the D7000 for the last couple of weeks. Hope it’s the same price point as D70s.

  3. So I would like to know how much $ you are asking for your old, loved hard, traveled far camera…… It could be something I am interested in.

    1. @Wendy:

      Someone else has beat you to the punch, but I’ll let you know if that falls through. However, I’m not entirely sure I would recommend this camera for you. It’s not a bad camera, it’s just not the right technology for what you probably want to do. If you’re looking for a new camera, let me know…I have some ideas.

  4. Excited to know there is someone having used D70, which enlarged my photography field a lot, for the past five years on the other side of the Earth!
    I live and shoot in Taiwan (located within China, Japan, and Phillipines). Not like you, I will keep it as a spare camera or be a big toy to my 8-year-old son, for its picture quality is still that fine. The only thing that D70 troubles me a lot recently is its small LCD. Let’s march to a new world together on both sides of the Earth!

  5. Another D70er waiting for D7000 here : ) D70 does a good job, but I really want a higher ISO, better aotofocus and metering, and a 1080p video with AF.

  6. I’m glad I stumbled upon this site. I have shot a D70 for 5 years and got some great shots for
    action (sports) and some surprisingly nice shots of concerts and stage shots with vivid color and action.
    I was actually considering purchasing another D70 body but..am now considering the D700.
    I will be doing mostly action work and plan to do concert photography. The sync flash on the D70 is 1/500,
    which is what some pro models have, and why some photographers I’ve spoken to bought the D70 as a backup
    to their Pro models. Given the rest of the D700 spec.. I’m tempted to purchase the D700.

  7. ANDREW! I’ve been the worst blog friend. I was so pleased to have you comment on my blog 🙂

    As for the camera choice… let me just say, I’m SO jealous. If you end up getting a new camera, I know someone who could take care of your D70 for you. 🙂

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