Nikon D70 as a backup

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cherubinphotography, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Hello all. I own a D300 and use it for wedding and portrait work. I have been a gambling man in that I carry no backup body. I now have an option of using a D70. Does anyone have any thoughts as to using the D70 as my backup?
  2. D70 is good for backup and good in it's own rights. Certainly better than no backup. I have seen recently a "pro" wedding photographer with D200 and D70, shooting both at the same time. Usually people think of using backup when the main camera fails. Better use of backup is to shot with both cameras at the same time, possibly using different lenses.
  3. I have a D50 as a backup for my D300. Like the D70 it will use the older AF lenses that won't AF on a D40 or D60. I love the D50 as a backup because it is smaller and lighter than the D300.
  4. As Frank says, anything is better than nothing. I would also agree to throw another lens on the camera and use it, if for no other reason than to get acquainted with the camera. The D70 is a completely different camera than the D300. If at all possible, you want to keep the ISO to 400 or less. The D70 simply has far more noise than the D300 at higher ISOs. At a dark reception I might suggest putting a remote flash up somewhere to give you some fill. The controls/layout will be different and so on. Finally, we have become a bit spoiled by the D300 and the ability to crop almost anything we want, with the D70, you want your composition to be framed the way you want it- 6mp doesn't give you the cropping wiggle room that 12 does! I am not saying the D70 is a bad camera but just that it's a far different camera than the D300.
  5. A backup camera should be enough camera for you so that you would feel comfortable shooting an entire event with it. For example, if the wedding party starting walking down the isle and your primary camera failed, you would have to switch to your backup and use it for the rest of the wedding ceremony and reception. Only you can answer the question of whether the D70 is enough backup camera for you. It certainly is capable of doing the job but would not be my first choice. (I am not a D70 basher - I owned one and was satisfied with it. There are better choices available now that I would prefer over it as a backup camera.)
    The ideal choice would be another d300.
  6. Christopher, How much are you willing to spend for a good backup?
  7. I was in the market for updating glass and started finding used D70 postings in the $250 - $350 range. The one in question apparently has 6200 actuations and is $275. That is in my financial comfort zone. I have freinds who own the D70 and are happy with it as well so that was part of my interest. I just don't want to be at an event and have nothing.... Unfortunately, another D300 is not yet an option but may be by the end of the season.
  8. For four years I used a D70s with a D70 as a backup. Now the 70s is my back up. It still is a good camera. I think 50,000 shots is its reliable limit so that body is a good deal if it works.
  9. Sure Christopher, the D70 would make a great back-up body for shooting weddings.
    I still prefer the results I get from my Nikon D70 metering system in high contrast lighting situations over what I get with a D80 or D90. I understand the D50 metering is similar to the D70. Both the Nikon D70 and Nikon D50, in excellent or better condition, are presently great bargains on the used market.
    I'd say, go for it.
  10. But the D70 has gridlines, DOF preview, white balance fine-tuning, and, especially nice, CLS control.
    D50 has none of that. Which is why I hope to step up to a D90 this year... And yes, I'll keep my D50 as backup...
    But I don't shoot weddings either.
  11. i have high regard for the D70/D70s. the D70 was my first dslr. the D70s is now my second camera (D200 as primary) for weddings and similar serious events...........i still find room to crop my images from this 6mp camera.
    i've always pegged my ISO to 200 on the D70s. i was recently surprised by the outstanding (relative, and maybe subjective too) high ISO performance of it when i had to use 800. it actually beats the D200. i see some squirming now and asking, "who is this fool?"
    so i did a search in this forum and this was not a myth at all. there were some that have observed what i have seen and are still happy with their D70/D70s.
    i use the D70s for outdoor receptions (portraits; posed and candid shots) with wonderful results because of its high flash synch.
    whatever you do, please don't gamble again. your luck might just run out :) i even carry a lumix p&s in my pocket.
  12. The D70 is nice, the D70s slightly better because it has a wired remote. They both share the same memory cards as the D300 and can use the same battery as well.
    Regarding noise you should take a look at and you'll find that the D70 has less noise than the D300 on a per pixel basis and with the same print size trails behind ever so slightly (1/2 stop and less). If you crop the D300 image you loose that very slight advantage. Obviously you must shoot raw for this to apply but that's almost a given.
    An alternative for you could be to get a used D200 since it's more like the D300 in the user interface.
    If the D70 is suitable for you is also a question of which functions you use and how you use them, for instance auto focus. Best would be if you could try it out and then make up your own mind.
  13. Here are the noise measurements of the raw sensor performance. D70 and D70s are identical. (Higher values means less noise).
  14. I see my backup camera as one capable of getting usable images if the main camera fails. I would feel very comfortable backing up a 12 mpx D300 with a 6 mpx D70 or D50. Under most conditions most viewers won't be able to tell the difference between 8x10s produced by both cameras. (if both cameras are properly handled).
  15. I work with a photographer who still uses a D70 for weddings and produces excellent results. I think you'll be happy with it's performance and capabilities. Sharing memory cards and batteries will also be very convenient.
  16. I did alot of wedding portraits with my old d70 nothing wrong with the results at all. I always prefered film for shooting cermonies, funerals and presentations. The D70 has a small view finder compared to modern DX DSLRs and really small and dim compared old film SLRs.
  17. I'm an amateur / hobbyist and as such always thought talk of backups was something "nice to have..."
    Then I went to a good friends big$ bar mitzvah this past winter, and the hired photographer's camera was on the fritz -- and no backup!! I couldn't believe it. A grandfather of the bar mitzvah kid happened to be an avid shooter, and lent his kit including strobe to the ill-prepared "pro." Their family is still in shock.
    By all means have a backup :)
    Good for you.
  18. Thank you all for your input! I have taken it all to heart and purchased the D70. : )
  19. The D70 has been my first and only DSLR since 2004. It's a great reliable camera with high flash synch and reliable build. One thing to think about is that it can easily be converted to Infrared for a really unique look. Lots of wedding couples enjoy something different like that.
    Get two!
  20. Another advantage not mentioned here is that the D70 does not have the focus problems with lenses such as 85mm 1.4 AF-D that newer bodies like the D300 do. Also I found the lighter D70 easier to hold and shoot as a left-hander.
    I really miss my D70 that I sold before upgrading to D300 late last year.

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