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  1. #1
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    new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    Hello,

    Like many others in this forum, I am currently trying to decide on my first DSLR.

    I currently have a Nikon D70, new, in the box, with the lens. It was a gift, and I want to make sure it is the right camera for me before I open it.

    After reading many messages in this forum, it seems the best way to choose a camera is to decide which features are important and to go from there. Problem is, I am new to digital photography, and I’m unsure which features might be key for my needs. I thought if I describe briefly what I intend to use the camera for, someone could perhaps give me advice on which features I should keep in mind.

    I mainly want to do portrait photography, especially children. I plan to set up a small studio indoors, but also like to take outdoors portraits.

    I want to be able to print photos at 16x20 occasionally. I was unable to find info on the D70 and this size print. If anyone has experience, I would love to hear it. I know the D70 has 6 MP, but from what I understand, the quality also depends on the lens and other factors. Is the Canon necessarily better because it offers 8 MP?

    My current digital camera (not an SLR) is the Fuji S5000, and I hate it for one main reason – the AF is so slow, I miss almost every shot I want (children change FAST!). So a quick and accurate response is a must from my new camera. Also, a fast on/off is very desirable.

    After reading reviews at dpreview.com, I found the negatives mentioned about the D70 are the small monitor, dust, and moiré. Is dust a problem with all cameras?

    I also saw that you have to buy separate software for RAW editing. I am unfamiliar with the RAW format, so I’m not sure if it is something I need to work with.

    Thank you for any advice or tips you can offer. I am SO anxious to make my decision so I can start playing and learning!

  2. #2
    Nikon Samurai #14 DownByFive's Avatar
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    Re: new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    I think that you'll be happy with the D70. I've heard of people making 20"x30" prints with no problem, so I think that 16x20 would be fine too, just remember that you'll have to do a bit of cropping to get the proportions right. The D70 has a pretty quick autofocus, and I doubt anyone could really find any appreciable difference between it and the 20D. The Canon does have a slightly faster continuous mode, but for portraits, I don't think that matters much.

    As far as the LCD goes, the D70 and 20D both have 1.8", but the D70's has a slightly higher resolution.

    I wouldn't worry too much about RAW conversion. There are several free tools that you can use. A good one that I've tinkered with a little bit is Picasa, which you can find on Google. It's not Photoshop, but hey, it's free.

    The whole dust problem is overrated. Usually, if you have dust, it's only visible in shots taken above about f/10, and even when you can see it, it's so easy to remove. It takes two seconds with the clone tool. The moire issue is overrated too...I don't know if I've ever seen it in one of my photos, and if you read some of the D70 boards, you'll find the same there too.

    Don't think that I'm just trying to plug the D70. If you'd have gotten a 20D, I'd say stick with that. They're both amazing cameras. Just rest assured that the camera you have will do what you need.


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  3. #3
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    Re: new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    I agree wholeheartedly. They are both such quick, capable cameras and your needs so undemanding (you are not going to be shooting pro shorts or taking it up Everest) that I can't see you wanting for anything with either.

    Neither will have any shutter lag, and the auto focus speed on both is measured in double-digit milliseconds.

    Dust is a minor problem with all cameras, especially SLRs (because of the interchangable lenses.) Dust on sensor generally needs to be blown off every few months are care should be taken not to change lenses iout in the open on one of those days when you can see the yellow pollen swirling around in little tornados.

    RAW records information in 12-bit color, while JPG covers 8-bit color. The extra color information very useful when you have to pull information out of an image file. Say, for example, something is very VERY over exposed. While a JPG records black as black, there will be much more information in a RAW file and salvation is possible. This also helps in very contrasty scenes where you would usually use a nuetral density gradiated filter to even out the scene (dark land, bright sky.) You can take the photo in RAW and compress the tonal range so that appears well exposed.

    RAW also requires extra storage (takes up, I believe, 4 times as much space on your card) and extra time to process. Honestly, I have a dSLR capable of shooting in RAW, but have never used it to do more than experiment.

  4. #4
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    Re: new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    One more thing (just one, I promise)

    About the moire reported in D70 jpgs: There is sometimes moire. If you view the image at 100% out of the camera you can find some - but this view is the equivelant of blowing a photo up to 30x40 for inspection with a magnifying loop. The only time I have seen it come up is when people are looking very, very closely pixiel-by-pixel at an image to determine camera image quality.

  5. #5
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    Re: new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    Thank you both very much.

    It sounds like a great camera for me.

    I appreciate the info on moire and RAW. The moire sounds like it won't be an issue for me. (if I ever find a need to blow up a photo that big I'm sure I'll be making millions by then and can buy an even bigger camera - )

    Thanks again for the help!

  6. #6
    Liz
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    Re: new DSLR - which features are key? Nikon D70 vs Canon 20D

    First let me just say that I'm a Canon person all the way! I presently have a Canon 300D and love it. And I may upgrade to the new Rebel XT. ;)

    However, the reviews are so good on the D70 and since you got it for a gift, I would keep it. Everyone who has one here is in love with theirs!

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Petalutha
    Thank you both very much.

    It sounds like a great camera for me.

    I appreciate the info on moire and RAW. The moire sounds like it won't be an issue for me. (if I ever find a need to blow up a photo that big I'm sure I'll be making millions by then and can buy an even bigger camera - )

    Thanks again for the help!

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