Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Equipment TestDrive: Nikon D70
The debut of a new digital SLR that’s reasonably priced and highly capable
As we've often emphasized in PCPhoto, megapixels, while important, aren't even remotely the whole story when it comes to image quality. A camera's image sensor works in concert with a number of complex circuits, algorithms and mechanics within a camera body, not to mention relying on the optical quality of the lenses. These components are like a chain between what you see and the image you ultimately create. Like any chain, this one is only as strong as its weakest link. To bolster one of the in-camera links, Nikon has developed a new processor that should improve colors, image clarity and camera speed.
There's an ongoing discussion among photographers about shooting RAW versus shooting JPEG. Regardless of which side of the discussion you place yourself, you're probably aware that RAW does offer some distinct capabilities. In the past, RAW files were both cumbersome and very slow to process in the camera. The D70 has the latest technology to process RAW files fast (called NEF files in the Nikon system), thanks to a new buffer and overall improved circuitry. The Dynamic Buffer technology increases access speed, and it allows you to shoot at 3 fps for up to 144 images (shooting in JPEG). You don't have to stop and wait for the buffer to clear!
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