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  1. #1
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    Oct 2004
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    difference between Canon and Nikon?

    What are the differences between the canon 20D and Nikon D70? im looking to get into wildlife photography. However, Im just a little lost when it comes to comparing the specs between each model.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badams
    What are the differences between the canon 20D and Nikon D70? im looking to get into wildlife photography. However, Im just a little lost when it comes to comparing the specs between each model.
    Either camera (plus maybe several others) would meet your needs. But a cheaper (overall) solution might be an Ultra Zoom, all-in-one, with image stabilized lens, like the Panasonic FZ20. Several of the contributors to this board are "birders" and the results with the Panasonics have been stunning.

    But as fare as the cameras in qustion go, the basic difference is: the 20D is an 8 MegaPixel camera and the D70 is a 6 MegaPixel camera. Beyond that the feature sets are similar with some kudos going to the D70 and some to the 20D.

    It is clear that Canon decided to build a camera that bridges the gap between a pro-sumer dSLR and a professional dSLR. With a body costing $500 more than the D70, Canon added a magnesium alloy frame, USB 2.0 and faster continuous shooting mode (5fps vs. 3fps on the D70).

    The value of magnesium alloy body, and on-camera USB2.0 is lost on me as I always use a card reader anyway. I suppose it would come in handy for 802.11 wireless transmission if it were available. But here again, who would use it? Just to set the record straight, this is not a photo-journalist grade camera, but it is damn nice. The extra frames per second in continuous mode would be useful, but again not critical in all but sports photography.

    That said, I own a D70 and have been very pleased with the camera in all types of shooting situations, from hiking the rim of the Grand Canyon, to family get togethers, to portraits. It is exactly what I was looking for in a dSLR and more than I had in any of my previous film or digital cameras.

    13 x 19 prints turn out extremely nice, and the camera is unbelievably fast, not only in normal capture situations, but in control layout for fast changes to ISO, EV, Shooting mode, White Balance, and flash modes. Most recently I finally used the 1/500 sec. flash sync as a shadow-fill in bright sunlight, and the result was very nice. This is one of the overlooked unique features of the D70.

    When the 20D was first introduced I was ready to jump ship to the Canon, as the 8MP sensor and faster 5fps shooting of the 20D was pretty compelling, but after careful evaluation I discovered that the improvements offered in the 20D were things that I didn't care about, and that the extra $500 would pay for an SB800 flash, a remote shutter release, and a 1GB Ultra II CF card, with a few bucks left over for a nice dinner.

    In the end it will come down to what you like, and weather or not you own Canon glass, or Nikon glass, and what your next camera might be, if any. As, generally speaking, once you commit to a brand, and all your auxilliary investment is made, you tend to stay with that brand. Incidently, the investment in lenses, flashes, and other items will end up being equal to, or greater than the cost of the camera.

    Both Canon and Nikon have some very compelling dSLR photographic vehicles on the market. But there are other new dSLR's due out from Fuji (S3), Minolta (7D), and Pentax (*ist DS) that may be just as compelling.

    The Fuji S3 uses a Nikon based body and glass/accessories with a new and interesting Super CCD (II) sensor, and is targeted at a price just above the Canon 20D market segment in the sub $2000 range.

    The Minolta and Pentax dSLR's appear to be competing in the Canon 300D domain (sub $800 market), and shooting for the, high end, all-in-one buyer. These are all worth a look as they might meet your needs for a dSLR, that you may not have considered.

    Unfortunately, there is no upward migration path with these cameras, as they don't compete in the high end professional dSLR market (i.e. Canon 1D & 1Ds MK II's, and the Nikon D2X). But to the average amature, without aspirations of making a living in photography, this has no real value, other than technical trickle-down, as exhibited by the D70 and 20D.

    Again, you will not be disappointed with either the D70 or 20D, (or even the FZ20 for that matter). I would recommend that you put in a little hands-on time with all of the cameras I have mentioned, and then buy the one that meets your requirements, and not based on some arbitrary specifications.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  3. #3
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    Oct 2004
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    so, in what U said the canon and the Nikon are almost exactly the same except for the mega pixels. What im looking for in a digital camera is FPS. the FPS and the write speed from the camera to the card goes, is one faster than the other or are they the same?
    now, the CF cards you can get for the cameras come in diferent speeds right?
    is there one that you "push the button and it puts it right on the card" Ive seen several on the market, which one do you use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
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    20

    low light capability..

    If you do wildlife, many good opportunities will likely be in low light. This means that you should consider the brightness of the lens, the possibility of IS (or VR or antishake) and the ISO capability of whatever you purchase. Speed of operation can be an issue for "pictures of opportunity." Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badams
    so, in what U said the canon and the Nikon are almost exactly the same except for the mega pixels. What im looking for in a digital camera is FPS. the FPS and the write speed from the camera to the card goes, is one faster than the other or are they the same?
    now, the CF cards you can get for the cameras come in diferent speeds right?
    is there one that you "push the button and it puts it right on the card" Ive seen several on the market, which one do you use?
    The Canon is the faster of the two, at 5fps vs. 3fps for the D70. The D70 does have a unique feature in that, if you shoot in MPEG medium, the camera will not pause to download the buffer (assuming you use a very fast CF card) so you can shoot at 3fps until the memory card is full. Since the 20D is not yet in the "CF database" I'm not sure what the buffer to CF card speed is, but Robs team is working on it. Here is the reference page:

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

    To my knowlege there are no cameras that bypass the buffer, as the buffer memory (which is DRAM) is many times faster than flash memory and the CF card control interface. Bypassing the buffer would actually slow the continuous framerate considerably, which is why it is there. The bigger the buffer the more frames-per-second you can shoot until the buffer is full, and it has to download to the flash memory card.

    I'm not sure wheather it is cost or reliability, or both, that limits the amount of buffer DRAM, as DRAM is very fast, but "volitile", where flash memory is much slower, but "non-volitile". "Volitile" in this case means that when poser is removed the data is lost.

    Hope this helps.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  6. #6
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    Oct 2004
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    what is a "very fast" mean? What type cuz there are several out on the market.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2004
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    I really dont understand your statement, "I'm not sure wheather it is cost or reliability, or both, that limits the amount of buffer DRAM, as DRAM is very fast, but "volitile", where flash memory is much slower, but "non-volitile". "Volitile" in this case means that when poser is removed the data is lost."

    Does it mean that Dram is not reliable? Where does DRAM come into paly with cameras, does the camera store photos on Dram, and when it is full it puts files onto CF card?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badams
    I really dont understand your statement, "I'm not sure wheather it is cost or reliability, or both, that limits the amount of buffer DRAM, as DRAM is very fast, but "volitile", where flash memory is much slower, but "non-volitile". "Volitile" in this case means that when power is removed the data is lost."

    Does it mean that Dram is not reliable? Where does DRAM come into paly with cameras, does the camera store photos on Dram, and when it is full it puts files onto CF card?
    Sorry to confuse...

    It means that Dynamic Read And Write Memory (DRAM for short) cannot maintain stored data without power. Flash memory can maintain stored data after power is removed.

    Again, since DRAM is very fast it is used as camera buffer memory. It is very reliable, but when you turn off the power DRAM loses all of its data. But don't worry the data download, to the flash card, is completed (by the cameras processor) before shutdown. That is why flash memory is used for actually storing your pictures (data) as it can retain the data after power is removed.

    Normally, in single shot mode, the camera has time to empty the buffer (to the flash card) after each shot, but in continuous shooting mode the flash card can't keep up with the data rate (as again it is slower than the buffer memory) and eventually must pause to empty enough buffer space to allow the next shot. If you continue to hold the shutter button down the frame rate is limited to the flash card and camera processor interface speed. When you are finished shooting the sequence, the buffer has time to fully empty, and you can again shoot, at a higher frame rate, until the buffer is full.

    Hope this makes the process a little clearer.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    152
    it means that Dynamic Read And Write Memory (DRAM for short)
    Actually, Mr. Picky would just like to point out that DRAM, in fact stands, for Dynamic Random Access Memory. But the rest of the info is good

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ant
    Actually, Mr. Picky would just like to point out that DRAM, in fact stands, for Dynamic Random Access Memory. But the rest of the info is good
    Thanks for the correction Mr. Picky. That will teach me to write when I'm half asleep. Brain was not fully engaged, so not really sure where the hell that description came from.
    Last edited by D70FAN; 10-10-2004 at 03:54 PM.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

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