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Keep the D100 or buy a D70?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bfullmer, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. I just picked up a mint D100 with grip for a very good price. This is my first go around with a DSLR and I have been having fun with it (mostly). I shoot landscapes, candids of the family and other groups, some of the kids playing various sports and a little macro work. A bit of everything it seems.

    Now comes the confusing part. I can't seem to decide whether to sell the D100 and get a D70 or just keep the 100. I could sell the 100 and grip for about what a new D70 would cost. I tried the grip on the D100 and didn't care for it (personal taste), so the grip isn't an issue. It seems like a no-brainer to get a new D70, but for some reason, I'm hemming and hawing on this. When I have these stupors of thought I find it invaluable to consult others. So that's what I'm doing. What do you think?

    A larger buffer would be nice for the few times I would be firing off a quick series of shots. But the D100 just seems to be a bit more solid. Obviously a new camera with a warranty is appealing.

    BTW, for either camera I'll be getting an SB-800. I know the D70 has i-TTL which I'm told by a local camera dealer is a significant improvement over D-TTL. (I wonder how much that statement was commission driven). The commander mode of the D-70 sounds intriguing for down the road. Is i-TTL enough to tip the scales?

    Sorry for the rambling post, I just want to get the best for my needs.

  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    That is a tough question Brian.

    I have a D100, and I do not feel compelled to sell it and buy a D70. But there are several advantages of a D70 over a D100, and a few of the D100 over the D70.

    First, what the salesman told you about the flash is true. iTTL is more versatile than is the D100's DTTL, but even so, DTTL works just fine but you must realize that you are stuck with a maximum of 1/180 sec for fill flash. This can limit it's usefulness in bright light.

    Second, there is the buffer. I have often run into the D100's limit of 4 raw shots in the buffer. The D70's buffer is twice (plus) as big, and it's raw write speed is somewaht faster. (Warning - the D100 is set by default to write compressed RAW files. It does this v e r y s l o w l y , on the order of half a minute per file or so. You must go into the quality menu and change it to write uncompressed RAW files, or you will never want to shoot RAW. And it is essential to shoot RAW if only for the 4 extra bits.)

    In the D100's favor, is a better viewfinder (more magnification, less tunnelvision), better build (more metal) and (invaluable to me) a real, honest to God, cable release socket.

    The imager is about the same, with a bit more sharpness going to the D70 at the expense of moire and possibly some chromatic noise at high ISO. The D100 has slightly better dynamic range at high iso, and just plain higher ISO (6400.)

    Also note that used D100s sell for more than used D70's. I'm sure there are reasons for this.

    All in all, since you have the D100, I'd be inclined to say stick with it. Save your pennies to buy something that is unquestionably more camera when you are ready to do so.

    Unless you NEED 1/500 sec fill flash, then the D70 beats 'em all.
  3. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Excellent, well reasoned response Chris. :wink:
  4. GMolotsky

    GMolotsky Guest


    Chris hit the nail on the head. I'm a happy D100 owner (2 years) and haven't even considered the D70. Look into getting some great glass, the 24-120VR isn't overly expensive and produces excellent results over non-ED glass.

    Relax about it and Take Great Pics!

  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    I would never buy a D70 over my D100. Personal opinion.

    I think the, maybe ??????? replacement for a D100 would be worth waiting for.

    I could never afford a D2X, or I would buy that.
  6. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Brian :

    If you're going to do night photography or longer exposures or are concerned about mirror slap for other reasons, the D100 has mirror lock-up and the D70 doesn't. As Chris mentioned, the D100 has a real cable release, and the D70 doesn't - another issue for long exposures.

    OTOH, the D70s has somewhat enhanced focusing algorithms over the D100, as well as the iTTL already mentioned.

    Try using the D100 with the grip for portrait work vs. landscape. You may find this becomes a more usable aspect. Or not.

    Shoot with both, decide which you'll shoot more good photos with, and leave all the featuritis stuff behind. Ultimately, the most important "feature" is that you enjoy holding the camera and shooting with it. Everything else between the D70s and the D100 is extraneous to your using the camera with pleasure.

    John P.
  7. Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm leaning toward keeping the D100. But, then I went to a local shop at lunch and compared the two side by side. I like the size and build quality of the 100 a bit better than the 70, but like the idea of iTTL of the 70.

    It seems to me what it comes down to is the flash. I like the 1/500 sync capability of the 70 for outdoor fill and the commander mode it has. I wish having both was an option. :? Maybe the thing to do is get an SB-800 and use it on the D100 then make a decision.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

  8. Ron H

    Ron H

    Jul 5, 2005
    Hi Brian,

    Since this is your first experience with a DSLR, I'd consider using it and learning as much as you can. If in a half year or so it's not meeting your needs, then consider the D70s or the D100's replacement when it's available.
  9. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  10. Paul, are you basing the availability of the D100 replacement on press releases or are you guessing? I haven't heard anything about a replacement yet, but honeslty I don't spend much time looking...

    I'm just wondering, as I could see Nikon not releasing a D100 replacement and releasing another D70 replacement instead, due to the success and profit margins on that body...

  11. "(Warning - the D100 is set by default to write compressed RAW files. It does this v e r y s l o w l y , on the order of half a minute per file or so. You must go into the quality menu and change it to write uncompressed RAW files, or you will never want to shoot RAW. And it is essential to shoot RAW if only for the 4 extra bits.)"

    I really do have to reread the D100s instruction book. I knew this, but forgot it.
    Thanks for the reminder!
  12. I had a D100 for a long time and then "upgraded" to a D2H and now a D2x. I have toyed with the idea of getting a used D100 or a D70 as a backup and have tried to compare them extensively. Most of the comments above hit the salient points. My addition to them is that:

    * I think that the D100 takes slightly colder pictures then the D70 out of the box, the sensor technology in the D70 is a bit better in that respect. This something you can fix in postprocessing but it takes awhile to get to know how to do it, for instance color boost in Nikon Capture, can help a lot. I worked some of my old pictures and they came out a lot nicer, so you can get the warmer colors but you might have to work it.
    * The D70 and D70s has a better metering system
    * The D100 a bit less noise in low light with High ISO although the D70 does quite well in that respect.
    * the lack of mirror lockup in the D70 is probabaly going to make me get a D100 becasue with long lenses it is important to have it on when using a tripod in low light...
    *The D70 can save both a JPG and a RAW att the same time, it saves time when you want to view them afterwards and you do have two copies of the same picture....
    * Some one mentioned lack of ITTL. This does make a difference with ITTL and the SB-800 (pr 600) it is a lot easier to get good flash shots on the D70. To both of the cameras advantage is the built in flash is a great little fill in flash that does quite well (at least I think so)
    *the D100 can only format 2 GB cards in camera, but you can format them in your PC for FAT32 and you should be able to handle bigger cards that way.
    *The D70 has newer AF system supposedly better, I dont know, the D100 I had did fine with AF.
    * the D100 is slightly bigger in your hand then the D70. I never liked the grip and took it off and hardly ever used it
    * If you are new to DSLR's and need help getting new shots the D70 has very good programs that will help you get good shots out of the box.

    Personally I dont going from a D100 to a D70 is an upgrade, they produce very similar output in good hands. I would wait for a replacement for the D100 to get an upgrade.

    Hope this was helpful
  13. Thanks for the advice. I'm still on the fence, but leaning toward the D100 side. :roll:

    I doubt I'll be able to afford the D200 or whatever the replacement for the D70 and/or D100 will be. So, I'll probably be keeping whatever I decide on for some time.
  14. gho


    Feb 7, 2005
    Well, everyone pretty much covered all of the points. I had a D100 and I traded it for the D70 - well, actually I sold it for enough to cover the cost of the D70.

    I couldn't be happier with the D70. I think it's significantly better than the D100 in almost every respect. I actually prefer the smaller body size, and the build quality is quite good, even though it may not seem as "robust" as the D100. I've banged my D70 around quite a bit, and nothing ill has come of it.

    The biggie for me was iTTL, and the higher flash sync speed. I do quite a bit of flash work and it really works well for me.

    The D70 also seems a bit snappier than the D100 - navigating menu items and stuff seemed a bit sluggish on the D100, whereas on the D70, things were almost instant. Additionally, the D70 LCD seems sharper and clearer.

    I don't care much for the battery grip, as I've got rather small hands and it seems to just weigh the camera down with added weight/bulk. I've never had an issue with the battery life, and I also carry a spare battery just in case, but I'd rather leave it in the bag and not on the camera, as it doesn't take long to change it out, and that's less stuff tire my wrists.

    The one thing I do miss on the D100 is the cable release. The D70 has an infrared remote trigger that can be triggered with any household programable universal TV remote (like the $5 variety at wally's world), but the sensor is in the front (what a dumb place to put it!).

    Hope this helps some.
  15. I picked up a D2X 2 months ago and my semi retired D100 is now being used to explore IR photography and do casual family pictures. Your camera is a tool and how you use it should determine your needs. I like the D100 (and still do) for the following reasons:

    1) the add on battery grip with 2 batteries means I can shoot all day without changing batteries

    2) I have larger hands and a larger camera fits my hands better

    3) I do a lot of flash photography using an SB-80DX or my SB-800 and both work great for fill flash in daylight. Like anything else getting to know how to use your tools is the key here!

    4) If I need multiple lights I use my studio lights as it can offers me more functions and features than multiple SB-800's would

    From a practical point of view the results coming out of either camera woul d probably not be very different and I would be very suspicious of anyone saying they are. If you want confirmation of the picture quality check out the various online forums for examples from both.

    If the D100 fits your requirements for both the results and how it functions then keep it and enjoy it - it's a great camera.

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