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  1. #1
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    Outside controls: 7D and D70

    The following compares the Maxxum 7D and the Nikon D70 regarding the amount of settings you can change via controls on the camera as opposed via the menu. I suppose I could have posted this in the Nikon DSLR forum or the KM DSLR forum (but not both ), but I hope this forum is OK because of the dual nature (brand-wise) of the posting.

    When I first read the previews for the Maxxum 7D, I got the impression that one of its strong points (in addition to anti-shake) was the large amount of settings that you could change via dials, levers, buttons and so on, that is without having to go to through the menu.

    Now that the reviews are out, I decided to compare the 7D with the Nikon D70 on that score. As I own neither camera (I'm still making up my mind about DSLR's) I went by the reviews om dpreview. I concentrated on the shooting settings only, not the playback.

    I summarized my findings in a table: click here to see the table.

    What I found, a bit to my surprise, is that the 7D and the D70 are just about equal in this respect. True, there are some cases where a certain setting has a dedicated control on the 7D while on the D70 you press a button and rotate a command dial, but I can't see how that is a big difference.

    What do you think, did I get it right that the 7D and the D70 are about equal in this respect? Did you, like I did at first, expect that the D7 would have much more outside controls than any of it competition? After all, they did sacrifice the top LCD display for this.

    Gerard Stafleu

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstafleu
    The following compares the Maxxum 7D and the Nikon D70 regarding the amount of settings you can change via controls on the camera as opposed via the menu. I suppose I could have posted this in the Nikon DSLR forum or the KM DSLR forum (but not both ), but I hope this forum is OK because of the dual nature (brand-wise) of the posting.

    When I first read the previews for the Maxxum 7D, I got the impression that one of its strong points (in addition to anti-shake) was the large amount of settings that you could change via dials, levers, buttons and so on, that is without having to go to through the menu.

    Now that the reviews are out, I decided to compare the 7D with the Nikon D70 on that score. As I own neither camera (I'm still making up my mind about DSLR's) I went by the reviews om dpreview. I concentrated on the shooting settings only, not the playback.

    I summarized my findings in a table: click here to see the table.

    What I found, a bit to my surprise, is that the 7D and the D70 are just about equal in this respect. True, there are some cases where a certain setting has a dedicated control on the 7D while on the D70 you press a button and rotate a command dial, but I can't see how that is a big difference.

    What do you think, did I get it right that the 7D and the D70 are about equal in this respect? Did you, like I did at first, expect that the D7 would have much more outside controls than any of it competition? After all, they did sacrifice the top LCD display for this.

    Gerard Stafleu
    Very good analysis. But you left out that the monochrome info LCD was left off of the 7D to accomodate those somewhat garish nobs. At the expense of ease of use and increased power consumption.
    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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    So I wonder what justifies the $600 price difference in the body? It can't be just the AS. Maybe the D7 is much more ruggedly built? Although I don't remember reading anything about that. The sensor seems to be about the same as well, with similar ISO/Noise performance. The camera doesn't seem to be much faster in shots/second. Puzzling.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstafleu
    So I wonder what justifies the $600 price difference in the body? It can't be just the AS. Maybe the D7 is much more ruggedly built? Although I don't remember reading anything about that. The sensor seems to be about the same as well, with similar ISO/Noise performance. The camera doesn't seem to be much faster in shots/second. Puzzling.
    I think I will reserve my own opinion until I actually "play" with one. But it is looking like an exercise in mediocrity with built-in image stabilization.

    Jeff says "built like a tank" in his conclusion.

    Sorry Jeff, but for $1600 USB2.0 Full Speed (1.1 new version) and a slow processor, and buffer to flash interface, are pretty unacceptable. Add to that semi-crappy software (worse than Nikon?) and I can't believe you weren't disapplointed. I know I was.
    Last edited by D70FAN; 01-26-2005 at 04:44 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/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstafleu
    So I wonder what justifies the $600 price difference in the body? It can't be just the AS. Maybe the D7 is much more ruggedly built? Although I don't remember reading anything about that. The sensor seems to be about the same as well, with similar ISO/Noise performance. The camera doesn't seem to be much faster in shots/second. Puzzling.
    How much would the Nikkor 70-200 VR be without the VR. Probably about the same as the 80-200s, since they are optically similar. That's hundreds of dollars. The 7D makes nearly every lens a "VR", so that, in itself probably does justify the price difference. Of course, I'm not comparing any other features here, though I'd also say the metal frame and mostly metal body also contribute to the price difference.

    Still, I'll stick with D70. I'm satisfied with the performance.

    Cheers, Eric

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
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    Hi! What will you buy for the same price: KM D7d + Tokina 24-200/3,5-5,6 (new) or Nikon D70 kit (18-70/3,5-4,5) + 80-200/2,8 AF-D (used).
    I`m at the edge...of brain damage

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riehm
    I think I will reserve my own opinion until I actually "play" with one. But it is looking like an exercise in mediocrity with built-in image stabilization.

    Jeff says "built like a tank" in his conclusion.

    Sorry Jeff, but for $1600 USB2.0 Full Speed (1.1 new version) and a slow processor, and buffer to flash interface, are pretty unacceptable. Add to that semi-crappy software (worse than Nikon?) and I can't believe you weren't disapplointed. I know I was.
    George,

    I have to admit that the KM 7D has become a dark horse in the nationally televised "Who wants to be Julian's New Digital SLR?" competition. (Check your local listings. Dancing girls, sword juggling, etc.)

    I really dig all those knobs--I don't like nested controls though I recognize that on certain small devices like PDAs and cell phones they're a necessary evil. But for such an expensive device I would like one-dial/one-function control.

    What really concerns me about the KM 7D is the image sharpness issue that Jeff brought up. What's with having to dial up sharpness? Is that going to affect the image? Increase noise, generate artifacts, etc.?

    A lot of my shooting is indoors--mostly candids of friends--and I like the AS for that reason, since I tend to be down in the f 2 range on my PShot G2 these days. But if the image is going to be blurry (ooops, I meant, "less sharp") then what's the point?

    The ersatz USB 2.0 is a real bummer. But what's the buffer to flash interface? An additional time bottleneck between the flash and the buffer as it disgorges its contents onto your storage media?

    Julian


    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Amateur Photographer
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
    Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5
    Canon PowerShot G2


    I need new ways to interpret things. Photography gives me new interpretations.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jredtugboat
    George,

    I have to admit that the KM 7D has become a dark horse in the nationally televised "Who wants to be Julian's New Digital SLR?" competition. (Check your local listings. Dancing girls, sword juggling, etc.)

    I really dig all those knobs--I don't like nested controls though I recognize that on certain small devices like PDAs and cell phones they're a necessary evil. But for such an expensive device I would like one-dial/one-function control.

    What really concerns me about the KM 7D is the image sharpness issue that Jeff brought up. What's with having to dial up sharpness? Is that going to affect the image? Increase noise, generate artifacts, etc.?

    A lot of my shooting is indoors--mostly candids of friends--and I like the AS for that reason, since I tend to be down in the f 2 range on my PShot G2 these days. But if the image is going to be blurry (ooops, I meant, "less sharp") then what's the point?

    The ersatz USB 2.0 is a real bummer. But what's the buffer to flash interface? An additional time bottleneck between the flash and the buffer as it disgorges its contents onto your storage media?

    Julian
    Again, since I've never tried the 7D I can only go by past experience with other cameras. For the price the 7D just doesn't provide much beyond the AS feature. But maybe that's enough.

    Free advice is just that, and can be tinged with bias as you may have already seen. Personally, the 7D is not my cup of tea, but it may be exactly what you want.

    I think the problem is that I really wanted the 7D to offer AS and a decent dSLR, for $1500, and I only got half the request. But then it's pretty much been that way since Konica came into the picture, starting with the A and the Z series.
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jredtugboat
    George,

    What really concerns me about the KM 7D is the image sharpness issue that Jeff brought up. What's with having to dial up sharpness? Is that going to affect the image? Increase noise, generate artifacts, etc.?
    Julian
    As I understand it, but my understanding is limited, digital cameras inherently take soft pictures. That means that if a camera has sharpnes settings like -2,-1,0,1,2, then -2 really means "as is", in other words the camera software does not apply a sharpening algorithm to the image.

    I've also read in several places that the sharpening in software like PhotoShop (Elements or otherwise), Corel PhotoPaint etc is generally better than the in-camera sharpening.

    If all this is correct, you can make a case for "the softer the better," because sharpening with your favorite image editor will give better results.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstafleu
    As I understand it, but my understanding is limited, digital cameras inherently take soft pictures. That means that if a camera has sharpnes settings like -2,-1,0,1,2, then -2 really means "as is", in other words the camera software does not apply a sharpening algorithm to the image.

    I've also read in several places that the sharpening in software like PhotoShop (Elements or otherwise), Corel PhotoPaint etc is generally better than the in-camera sharpening.

    If all this is correct, you can make a case for "the softer the better," because sharpening with your favorite image editor will give better results.
    Actually, this is a minor issue as far as I'm concerned. Although for a $1600 camera you would think that this (and several other) minor detail(s) would have been covered.

    As Jeff pointed out in the review sharpening can be easily adjusted in-camera (as is true with most dSLR's).

    External sharpening does work very well in my experience, but I really like to avoid post-processing every shot if I can make a satisfactory adjustment in the camera.
    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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