View Full Version : Bang for your dosh

07-04-2004, 02:30 PM
I'm wondering which gives most bang per dollar/pound.

I'm tempted by the 5700, the 8700 and the D70.

I like the 5700 because it's compact and cheap (half the price of a D70).

I read reviews of the 5700 that indicated poor white gradation and a problem with the power switch. Checking around the reviews, most seemed fairly biassed. Jeff's is about the only neutral review around. Reading around further, various problems emerged with it, most of which seemed to be within the normal failure and whinging tolerance. What did concern me was that the camera came out 2 years ago and therefore, might still have 2-year-old image quality.

I read the reviews of the 8700 and noted that the 8700 was 2/3 of the price of a D70 and gave 8 megapixels. Really I'm only after 3 or 4 megapixels. I honestly do not need more than that. I've heard mention of a problem with 8 megapixel cameras as they seem to have pushed the technology beyond its limits.

I've seen details of the D70 and have only seen one problem - moirre.

Thinking about usability and general portability, I'm thinking that on the one hand an all-inclusive 35 - 280 zoon seems adequate for most purposes. I'm also thinking that it's quite a bulky device, which might well suffer the same fate as my 995 - to be sidelined while the 3100 gets more use.

My other thought is that if I'm going to be spending money on the scale of the 5700 or the 8700 then it would seem more sense not to limit myself to the 8x fixed zoom and to consider the D70. Given that I already posess a vast arsenal of NAI, NAId and NAIs lenses plus a Nikkor-Q, the D70 would seem to make some sense. It just seems that the difference between $500 and $1000 is a lot less than the difference between $0 and $500 on the basis that I'd have to live with the limitations imposed by a "cheapo" camera.

Opinions? And has anybody tried NAI, NAId, NAIs and Q lenses on the D70?


07-04-2004, 03:18 PM
Well, having used the 5700 for a while, and being in permanent possesion of a D70, I hope I can give some advice.

I've not touched the 8700 - neither do I want to. I fail to see how the 8MP sensor resolution gain is actually useful. For instance, I owned the Sony 717, and it was my first 'serious' digital camera. It produced such beautiful images, and the quality, focus, and features it had, especially that over/under lense, I thought it could not be beaten. Then I went out and bought the F828. Sure, it focused faster, had better write and shot to shot times, manual zoom, and the black body was cool - but the image quality was rather...upsetting. Although there are some that claim the problems are exaggerated, I was plagued by purple fringe, noise, C/A, whatever you want to call it. So what's this? My secondhand, beaten up 717, with more then 25,000 shots on it, had better quality then a $999 camera I just bought? I promptly returned it. I figured, hey, what the heck, I'll try another. I required FAST focus and good shot to shot time. I went and bought an Oly 8080.

It's nice :) I was happy but focus still wasn't as fast as I wanted it, and when sized down or printed 8x10, I still failed to see the difference between my 717 and the Oly's quality. Maybe it's just me. Anyway I did want something improved, so I returned the poor Oly too, although that's a mighty fine camera.

Went and bought a D70 and whatever listed in my signature. Oh Lord!


I've never been happier with depth of field, focus, shot to shot speed, continuous shooting, and image quality, including true-to-life feel. It has a well defined edge over anything previously owned, including the 5700. Of course it's also up to the user - if you cook a good dinner, then surely, that's a fine set of pots you have. I know the equipment matters too, but the user has a large part to play.

I've had no experience with dSLR previously, or for that matter, most SLRS in general, so I can not say much about the lenses. I know the D70 is incompatible with some older lenses, I know not which. I have the PDF manual somewhere, if you'd like a link to it, would gladly give you one, it specifies that in there somewhere.

Last but not least - moire! There is none :P I have had no backfocus, frontfocus, or moire. I've taken many a shot in forests and churches, where patterns are abound. If there is some, you really have to hunt for it, and you barely notice it. I find that it sometimes shows up on distant fences, and white clothing in harsh light. Take my word for it - I'm terribly picky, and it is nowhere near to be a problem.

Hope this helps.

07-04-2004, 06:02 PM
You just cam't beat a dSLR. Don't waste more money on a dSLR wanabe. Buy the real thing...

...dReb or D70? For a few more bucks I chose the D70. End of story.

David Elson
07-05-2004, 12:18 AM

You are Nikon man Rhys. You must get the D70, you wont regret it. Those other cameras are ok but just dont compare to a true SLR or in this case a DSLR.
I am using a Canon 300D and could not be happier with my choice. At the time of purchase the D70 was not available or I would have stuck with Nikon having a collection of Nikon lens. Sure it cost much more than the other models you are looking at but the D70 will still be producing the goods when the others will begging to be replaced.
You have said you only need 3 or 4 meg, well OK, set the JPG file to less than max (6meg) and you will get more shots per card. But when you need that extra quality it will be there. Plus being able to shoot Raw.


07-05-2004, 05:48 AM
You seem to place great importance on portability, so none of these cameras will be much use compared to your existing 3100. So why not embrace that difference, accept that the 3100 will be your default 'walking around' camera, and get an addition to that one that does what you really want? And I'm guessing that that is high quality images (which isn't the same as lots of megapixels of course), easy handling, and a general enjoyable feel when using it. Which from what I can tell sounds a lot like a D70

Cheers, Paul

07-05-2004, 02:30 PM
I really enjoy my D70 and like it more as time goes by. It takes a while to get comfortable with a DSLR but worth the time to learn. Many get frustrated and are initially disappointed. The only real drawback is portability but IMO speed and quality make-up for it. I also have a Canon A80 (great camera) for more casual use. I looked at the DRebel but felt like there was comparison to the Nikon. Good Luck!

07-05-2004, 06:33 PM
well, the consensus seems to be:

Coolpix 3100 for shirt-pocket portablity

D70 for more concerted efforts.

This leaves me with somewhat of a quandry...

I have about 8 x 128mb, 2 x 64mb and 1 x 256mb CF cards plus my 995 which seems to be neither a compact nor an SLR.

I guess my 995 will have a niche as a macro camera.

What size of CF card do you recommend for use with the D70? I'm thinking I'd probably use highest quality jpeg and full-size images.

Of course... this does mean yet more CF cards *sigh*

Ray Schnoor
07-06-2004, 03:59 AM

I have a couple of 512 MB cards on order, but you can fit around 70 photos on a 256 MB card with the highest JPG setting. With your 8-128 MB, you would have to change cards every 35 or so photos, but you should be able to get quite a few photos before you run out of space. If you are away for several weeks, though, I'm sure you would have to get more cards.


07-06-2004, 04:12 AM
I like to use continous shooting mode with my D70 - and I bought Sandisk Extreme TypeII 512MB to go along with it. Works very, very quickly. Here's a little chart from the manual for you - ok maybe not so little but:


You can see how much you can fit.

07-06-2004, 05:29 AM
I use a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II. It works great and can hold over 250 fine JPEG and close to 100 RAW. Also, here's a good article on digicams vs. DSLR.