• 03-01-2004, 10:07 PM
    Fuji FinePix S700 vs Nikon D70?
    Iím in the market for a high quality digital camera and Iíve narrowed my search to two very different cameras the Fuji FinePix S7000 and the Nikon D70.

    I am an amateur (maybe someday semiprofessional, i.e. I hope to sell some of the images I produce) nature photographer, my primary interest is wildflower photography, but I also shoot the occasional landscape, or whatever interesting object or scene comes up. Basically, when it comes to what I want out of a camera, I want high quality, sharp, colorful, high magnification, macro images. If I can get a flower the size of a nickel to fill the frame Iím in heaven. For the most part, everything else is gravy.

    I currently own a Nikon N65 with a couple lenses (including the G series 60 mm macro). About a year ago I bought a small 2 megapixel Sony DCS-20 as a travel camera. It has impressed me so much with itís ease of image capturing and low cost per image, that the N65 has seen less and less use.

    It seems like the D70 would be an awesome upgrade from my N65. But the price is a bit prohibitive, though not totally out of the question, seeing as Iím a broke grad student at the moment. This is especially true because if I sell all my SLR equipment I might just make the $700 cost of the Fuji, where as I only have a $250 body to sell if I buy the D70 (and maybe that telephoto lens and teleconverter I just donít use often enough).

    My main question regarding this option is whether my current lenses would truly be compatible with the D70. I thought I heard something about some image distortion at the edge of the frame when using Nikon digital cameras with non-D-series lenses. Does anyone know if this is true? I realize the D70 isnít available just yet, but maybe some of you have an idea of what might work from using the D100 or just plain old experience.

    The FinePix 7000 also seems to be a good camera. It is less versatile and expandable then a SLR, but it seems more portable and easier to handle (no need to swap lenses). I was able to play with both cameras at a shop, (well, with a D100 in place of the D70 attached to a G series 60mm macro) and it seemed that I could get a slightly smaller object to fill the frame with the Nikon. But, I donít think I was using the ďSuper MacroĒ mode on the FinePix, just the regular macro mode. Will images from this camera be as high quality as what I can get from the Nikon?

    Any comments would be helpful.

  • 03-01-2004, 11:36 PM
    First and foremost, you can not even compare the two. Image quality will be better on the SLR simply due to the larger sensor. Bigger pixels equal better pixels, whcih add up to be a better quality image.

    Now, the lenses..."D" series means that the lens transmits distance information to the camera. Almost all the AF lenses are D lenses, all new ones are, and many have been for years. That is all it means, there is no quality difference between D and non-D lenses, the D lenses just transmit the extra info for marginally better flash calculations. Now the sensor on the Nikon DSLRS is smaller than a 35mm frame, so it crops off the edges of the image the lens creates. This lets you use the center of the lens for most of the image, and the center is always the best performing area of a lens, as sharpness and light both fall off towards the edges with a lot of lenses.

    Now you seem to be on a tight budget...The Slr will cost you the body, a new flash because the only compatible flashes are the SB800/SB600 andRAW software if you want to use it, and you would want to use it if you want highest quality. That means you're looking at 1500 dollars already, not counting any other upgrades to computers or software.

    I suggest you sell some photos before you worry about getting hardware good enough to maybe sell photos soemtime down the line. A good rpint can be made from many diferetn cameras, work on your skills and vision and only upgrade when you really need it.
  • 03-02-2004, 12:29 AM
    Pretty much what Seb said. The bottom line is, even if the sensors were equal, there is no way the glass would be. A DSLR will always beat out fixed lens cameras... especially ones with big focal ratios (28-200mm type deals).
  • 03-02-2004, 10:14 AM
    I'd buy the SLR
    I'd buy the SLR. If you're really serious about photography then I think you'll only be frustrated by the Fuji. The SLR is an investment in photography whereas the compact camera is sort of a stopgap measure to get you through. The D70 will cost you a lot more, but I think you'll get better results so it will be worth the money. Image quality is in a completely different class, you have more control, the lens and flash options make it way more flexible, and on top of that, the D70 is looking like a really good digital SLR.

    Money is definitely an issue. I'm not the best person to spend your money. I spend too much and try to always buy the best. I've found that buying the best means I'm not disappointed and I only buy once (at least in theory). The D70 will cost you a lot more. And since it doesn't have a built-in macro mode like the compact digitals all do, you'll probably want/need to buy a macro lens. That's an extra expense to add to the cost of the camera.

    You say you're not using the N65 as much as you used to. That could be because you appreciate the instant gratification of your Sony digital. The D70 will give you the control of your N65 (and then some) as well as that instant, digital feedback. It will actually make you a better photographer. Digital technology has to be one of the most important technological advancements for photographers as it really does help people become better photographers.

    We can't make the decision for you. If I could tell you what to do, I'd tell you to buy the D70 and a macro lens and not worry about the money. But maybe you should worry about the money. I don't know. Hopefully this helps you make up your mind, though. If you really want a new camera and you're worried about money, maybe you should just wait a year and save. You have capable equipment. Just use what you have and make a commitment to use the N65 more. Make some photo field trips. It's easy to get caught up in the hype about new cameras. Sometimes it's better to stop worrying about your equipment and just take pictures.