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Old Aug 7, 2013, 08:09 PM   #1
mrkramer
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Need to replace my D70

So recently the D70 that I've been using for quite a few years decided to die on me so it is time to get a replacement, as I already have lenses I obviously want to go with another Nikon. Just wanting suggestions of replacement camera, my budget can be a bit flexible depending on how long I want to save up, but cheaper is better so I don't have to go as long without a camera.

As for the requirements that I have it needs to have a built in focusing motor as not all of the lenses that I have are AF-S. I'd like better low light performance than I had with the D70, although I'd expect that to be on pretty much every newer camera. I also am willing to consider used models as long as they aren't too hard to find cheaply.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 11:49 PM   #2
Laird Knox
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Even the D60 was a step up in low light performance.

I love my D800s but they are a bit on the expensive side. I was going to suggest the D3200 but it doesn't have a focus motor. If you decide that's not 100% needed then it would be a huge step up from the 70 - although it doesn't have the same control setup.

The D7100 would be a middle ground. The features you expect on the D70 and much cheaper than the D800. To save even more you can pick up a factory refurb D7000. The D7000 is also a strong low light performer. I've taken many star point, star trail and light painted shots with mine.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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Even the D60 was a step up in low light performance.

I love my D800s but they are a bit on the expensive side. I was going to suggest the D3200 but it doesn't have a focus motor. If you decide that's not 100% needed then it would be a huge step up from the 70 - although it doesn't have the same control setup.

The D7100 would be a middle ground. The features you expect on the D70 and much cheaper than the D800. To save even more you can pick up a factory refurb D7000. The D7000 is also a strong low light performer. I've taken many star point, star trail and light painted shots with mine.
Where is the best place to find a refurb D7000? I'd like to check out the price on those as it looks like a pretty good camera. I like the price of the D3200, but not sure if I'd want to go without the autofocus motor, although the lenses I use the most are AF-S so I might be able to get by with manual focus when I use the others.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 02:34 AM   #4
Laird Knox
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I bought the D60 and AW100 refurb from Cameta Camea and a D800 from either Adorama or B&H Photo. All three looked like they had come new from the factory and each had fewer than 100 shutter clicks.

I've used Adorama and B&H for lots of gear but only purchased the two cameas from Cameta.

Nikon also sells refurbs directly.

----------

Oh and the D7000 is a fine camera. I was just starting to get color out of the Milky Way without pushing the ISO too much. I think I was using the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 but not 100% sure.

Incidentally the Tokina is an excellent lens for any DX body. I've even used it full frame at 16mm.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 03:36 AM   #5
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Cheapy cheap cheap

A D90 has the autofocus motor and should be pretty cheap 2nd hand. Nikon only just stopped manufacturing them so you may be able to find new stock too.

D7000 and D7100 the next two iterations of the top amateur bodies with autofocus screw.

Depends how much you want to pay. The D7100 at 840 or so body only is pretty much what I paid 3-4 years ago for my D90, which is a great camera and still going strong. Low light performance better than D70 but nowhere near current camera levels.

If I were you I'd be tempted to go for a more expensive D70 replacement as we may be entering "last camera" territory as Thom Hogan (bythom.com) calls it. Get a current technology camera now and you may never need to buy another.

Nikon are rumoured to be announcing the D400 (D300s replacement, pro level DX camera, better than the D7100) in September so may be worth waiting for that.

If you want to push the boat out and go full frame, then you're looking at 1300 for the D600.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 03:53 AM   #6
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Personally I'd recommend buying used - new bodies are released so regularly that the price plummets quickly. Better to let someone else take the hit. I've bought all my nikon cameras second-hand and never had a problem doing so.

With that said, +1 for the D7000 - it's a great camera and handles noise extremely well in low light conditions. The only downside is that when conditions get really dark the autofocus can struggle a little.

If your budget can stretch to it, you could consider getting a used D700 - it's still a phenomenal camera by today's standards and you will notice a massive improvement in both low-light image quality and low-light autofocus performance. I shoot weddings and bands, often in very dark venues, and would not hesitate to deliver D700 shots taken at ISO 5000 or 6400 to the client. With a lot of other cameras ISO6400 is too noisy to use for anything other than snaps / web quality.

The D90 would also be a step up from your D70, but not a huge one. I still have my D90 and love its handling, but in terms of image quality (particularly low light image quality) the D7000 is miles better and probably not much more expensive. After about ISO1600 I feel like shots from the D90 are too noisy to deliver to a client or make large prints.

Hope that helps!
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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I went from D70 to D7000 a couple years back. A very nice angled step up. I briefly looked at the cheaper D5k and that seemed like a horizontal step. teh D7000 and D7100 are both great. And have the Motor...obviously the 100 series are a fine bunch too.

Funny to go from the D70 screen to teh D7k screen size!
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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You can find a used D90 in good condition for less than $300 at a photo store. It is a huge step up from a D70.

A great price for a used D7000 would be $500 at a photo store.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 04:49 PM   #9
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Do you want to stick to using CF cards? If not or it doesn't matter then the D90 used or D7000 newish are good as they both have the autofocus motor.

Also, consider a used/refurbished/soon to be discounted (hopefully a replacement is on its way) D300 or D300s. Much better bodies and better weather/dust sealing. Also uses CF cards.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkramer View Post

As for the requirements that I have it needs to have a built in focusing motor as not all of the lenses that I have are AF-S.
I have the D3200 and borrowed a 70-200mm lens from work. I couldn't get on with manual focus at all. I could have tried a little more and got better but decided it wasn't for me.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Do you want to stick to using CF cards? If not or it doesn't matter then the D90 used or D7000 newish are good as they both have the autofocus motor.
Doesn't really matter to me, it would be nice to not have to worry about buying new SD cards to replace the CF ones, but that's not a huge expense anyway. I'm somewhat leaning towards the D7000 right now, but if I can find a good enough price on a used D90 at a local camera store I might go for that instead.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Moving from D70 to D90 you will lose your fast shutter. Have you thought about the D300?

D90 is nice. If you can find a D7000 in the price you are looking for, that would be the best route. I shot with a D70 and the difference in the D90 that relates to photography... you get a usable 1600ISO and more bells and whistles. Moving to D7100/D7000 you get improvements over the D90. D300/D300s allows you to keep your fast shutter. If you go with the D300s/D7000 you are actually skipping a body or two.


You can always sell your old cards. I had a D50 and I sold all my cards because I upgraded my cards to something faster that was more suited for my camera. I think you would want to upgrade your cards too.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 11:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrkramer View Post
So recently the D70 that I've been using for quite a few years decided to die on me so it is time to get a replacement, as I already have lenses I obviously want to go with another Nikon. Just wanting suggestions of replacement camera, my budget can be a bit flexible depending on how long I want to save up, but cheaper is better so I don't have to go as long without a camera.

As for the requirements that I have it needs to have a built in focusing motor as not all of the lenses that I have are AF-S. I'd like better low light performance than I had with the D70, although I'd expect that to be on pretty much every newer camera. I also am willing to consider used models as long as they aren't too hard to find cheaply.
When My D50 broke I got a used D200. It was a good step up from the D50 and has better build quality and will meter with my manual lenses when the D50 couldn't. I paid $275 for the body that was in good shape.

The other choice you might make is the D90. The D300 is a bit more expensive.

Just go with a sub $300 body and you will be head of the D70
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 12:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mofunk View Post
Moving from D70 to D90 you will lose your fast shutter. Have you thought about the D300?
I've thought about the D300, how does that compare to the D7000?
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 10:32 AM   #15
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I've thought about the D300, how does that compare to the D7000?
I went D70 -> D200 -> D300s (D300 is basically the same for still photography).
My wife went D70 -> D90 -> D7000. I sometimes shoot with her camera so am familiar with it.
I still have the D200, converted to IR, and our son has one of our D70s.

Coming from a D70, the D7000 will feel familiar but is basically better in every way.

The D300 is bigger and heavier. That can work for or against you. It has more flexible settings and works faster. I miss the D300 features when I use her camera, but the D7000 is lighter and less conspicuous. The D7000 has a better (being more recent design) sensor and will work better at high ISOs, but for the most part you can't tell the difference in finished images.

Neither of these cameras will use your D70 batteries unless you have the more recent ones -- the D300 battery will work in a D70. The D300 will use your CF cards, but frankly SD is more useful these days (you can plug them directly into recent Macs) and the cards are cheap.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 10:35 AM   #16
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Also, consider a used/refurbished/soon to be discounted (hopefully a replacement is on its way) D300 or D300s. Much better bodies and better weather/dust sealing. Also uses CF cards.
It's a difficult choice: used D7000 and D300s can be found for the same price sometimes.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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My advice (for what its worth) would be to have a look on dpreview.com at the side by side comparison of each option and decide what options are important to you.
http://www.dpreview.com/products/com...tm_medium=text

You can also read the reviews and see sample shots on there for each camera.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 05:39 PM   #18
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The D300 is bigger and heavier. That can work for or against you. It has more flexible settings and works faster. I miss the D300 features when I use her camera, but the D7000 is lighter and less conspicuous. The D7000 has a better (being more recent design) sensor and will work better at high ISOs, but for the most part you can't tell the difference in finished images....
I was suggesting the D200 because of cost. It does use CF cards and has the focus motor. You can find them for well under $300 now. They are also dramatically better built than the D70 or D7000. The D300 is nicer than the D200 but I don't know if it takes better photos

The D200, D300 series camera are faster handling and built on metal frames. The D70, D7000 series are plastic body cameras. THey are good. But when you compare side by side the D200/300 are heavier and larger. If you have larger hands the d200/300 is best if you want something light, sell of the Nikon gear and buy a Canon Rebel SL1. That camera is unbelievably tiny for an SLR and only about $750. But I prefer the ergonomics of the much larger cameras.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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It's true that the D200 is tempting. You can find them used for $200 at a photo store.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 08:54 AM   #20
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I was suggesting the D200 because of cost. It does use CF cards and has the focus motor. You can find them for well under $300 now. They are also dramatically better built than the D70 or D7000. The D300 is nicer than the D200 but I don't know if it takes better photos.
As I mentioned, I also have a D200. I bought it as an upgrade from the D70. Compared to the D70,

Pros- Has a lower base ISO (good for waterfalls, one of my primary photographic interests), superior viewfinder (pentaprism instead of pentamirror), better controls, mirror lockup for shooting, better construction means less cleaning of sensor (on trips I had to clean the D70 daily, while the D200 would last the whole trip). Better JPEG processing if you care. More pixels (10M versus 6M)

Cons- Noise at high ISOs actually seem worse. Poor battery life. Banding issue (look it up!). Rubber grips fall off and/or jam control wheels.

Comparing the D300s to the D200,

Pros - Self-cleaning sensor (now I only clean it once a year), better high ISO performance, none of the CONS listed above. D300s does video and also has live preview. Works great with GPS unit (D200 doesn't work well). More pixels (12M versus 10M)

Cons - CMOS sensor not as good with skin tones. Loss of true 100 ISO.

For me, I'd gladly use a D300 or D7000 over a D200. The D200 was the only disappointing Nikon I've purchased.

For the record, the D200, D80, D40x, an D60 all used the same sensor. The D80 was especially reviled, but none of them were considered great. The D5000, D90, D300, and D300s use the same sensor and are all considered good cameras. A used D90 wouldn't be a bad choice to upgrade a D70 and maintain the same feel.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 09:31 AM   #21
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For something with similar controls and build quality, I'd go for the D7000 or D7100. D600 if you're ready to try full-frame. In terms of controls, it will feel like a downgrade to go to the D5X00 or D3X00 lines.

My first DSLR was a D70, which I used from late 2004 till early 2010 (it was malfunctioning at that point), then I upgraded to a D300. I've found that the colours are much more real-to-life with the D300. I've also appreciated the more 'professional' controls.

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Old Aug 14, 2013, 02:53 PM   #22
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As I mentioned, I also have a D200. I bought it as an upgrade from the D70. Compared to the D70,

Cons- Noise at high ISOs actually seem worse. Poor battery life. Banding issue (look it up!). Rubber grips fall off and/or jam control wheels.

...
I have a D200 I got new when they were first released. I'm not sure what you mean by poor battery life, but I get over 600 shots on a battery charge. The banding issue was with some of the initial cameras released, mine didn't have that issue. My rubber grip is still fine and no control wheel issues.

Anyway a used D200 in decent condition is something the OP should consider as well.
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Old Aug 14, 2013, 03:16 PM   #23
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I have a D200 I got new when they were first released. I'm not sure what you mean by poor battery life, but I get over 600 shots on a battery charge.
The battery doesn't last as long as the D70 (or D300), however the big battery life issue was when I got a GPS unit. On the D200 the GPS only runs when the metering is on. Because of the time it takes for the metering to sync, you basically have to have the metering on all the time the camera is turned on. I was getting 2 hours use per charge even if I took no pictures! With the D300s the GPS will run when the metering is off. I can leave the GPS on and the battery easily lasts two days at about 100 pictures per day.

Banding issues only ruined 3 shots out of the over 10,000 I took with that camera. It only shows with spot light sources, hence the quip "just don't take pictures of bare light bulbs."
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Old Aug 14, 2013, 08:13 PM   #24
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The D300 will get you into Nikon's updated firmware. It has the 51 AF points. More features than the D7000. idk if you would use them though.


D200 keeps you in the same group as your D70. Not a skipping a generation really just adding a few bells.

If you like the size of the D70, go with the D7000. You would be skipping 2 generations. You'll get an improvement on video.

D300 replaced the D200 nicely. The quality is of the D300 is nice.

http://www.bythom.com/nikond300review.htm

D90 or D7000 would be a nice bump up.

http://www.bythom.com/nikond7000review.htm

Any one of these will fit nicely. D7000 I will have to say that you can use more lenses like the D300 models and higher. Go with either D90/D7000/D300 if you are budgeting. If you want to get something newer go either D600 kit refurb around $1600, D7100 3rd gen of DSLR video. or D300s which adds video to D300.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 04:20 AM   #25
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Personally I'd recommend buying used - new bodies are released so regularly that the price plummets quickly. Better to let someone else take the hit. I've bought all my nikon cameras second-hand and never had a problem doing so.
I disagree, the price of second hand bodies is way higher than the technology deserves. A last generation mid range model will be significantly underspecified compared to a new entry level model but cost more second hand. I don't think any cameras are so robust as being better second hand than an entry level model new.

The main issue here is the autofocus motor. And how much it matters really depends on your lenses. If you have older top of the line pro AF lenses then it might make sense. But the AF lenses are all old technology now, the modern AFS kit lenses are better on everything except for aperture.

Paying a lot extra to get the motor drive so you can use an older set of f/2.8 pro lenses would make sense. But if you have f/4.5-5.6 consumer zooms you may do better looking for a comprehensive kit.

Full frame is overrated. The reason to go full frame is to use full frame pro class lenses. If you are not planning to pay $1600 + for at least some lenses then there is no point to full frame. The film era f/2.8 primes are not D800 worthy. Mine are going on EBay when I get home.

The other element that is worth considering is the CX line which are a lot lighter than the DSLRs and just as good for many purposes.
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