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a 3 part question on digital cameras
Old 02-08-2004, 04:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A pro friend (yes, this is really for a friend) wants to buy an inexpensive digital SLR. He lives in Bangkok and is looking at the new Nikon D70, partly because he also is heavily invested in Nikon glass. Here's the three questions he's asking me that I can't answer:

1) With the 1.6x magnification on this camera, does the wide angle "look" (fisheye?) show up as distortion of any kind, when a wide angle lens is used? For example, with a 35mm lens on the camera, we get the equivelent of a 56mm lens. Will we see distortion in that shot, or will it look like a "normal"? If we use a 50mm lens, will we get the slight compression of an 80mm lens that comes from the 1.6x magnification?

2) The camera specs show an ISO of 200 minimum. How noticiable will noise be, if any? We're used to shooting 100 ISO film, so the extra speed is nice, but at what cost? His primary use is for websites, but he does shoot for print clients occasionally.

3) Anyone know when this camera will be available? B&H doesn't have it, neither does anyone in Bangkok.

Thanks,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: a 3 part question on digital cameras
Old 02-08-2004, 08:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1.) First off, with the sensor size Nikon uses (the 'DX' format they now call it) the 'magnification factor' is 1.5, not 1.6. I use the quotes because it's not actually magnification. The sensor is 24x16mm instead of the 36x24mm of 35mm film, so only the central say 75% (I made up that number) of what would be projected onto a 35mm negative is recorded. Thus, you get a narrower field of view than normal, the field of view of a lens 1.5x as long as what you're using.

Since it's not actually a magnification, merely a cropping (it's called the 'cropping factor'), it doesn't cause any additional distortions. Actually, image sharpness, distortion, and light falloff are all better than they would be with 35mm as you are utilizing a smaller portion of the glass (quality tends to decrease as you move outward from the center of the lens).

2.) "At what cost"....that's pretty fire and brimstone for ISO200!! Haha. That's the great advantage of digital over film. Noise is practically nonexistent compared to film. I shot a sample to demonstrate with the D100 (which uses the same sensor as the D70). As you can see, until the high ISOs noise isn't an issue. Also, the D70 uses a 2nd generation version of the D100 sensor which is supposed to have slightly less noise.

3.) Rumor mill says beginning of Summer or possibly as early as late March. Don't know how accurate that is.




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Re: a 3 part question on digital cameras
Old 02-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Since it's not actually a magnification, merely a cropping (it's called the 'cropping factor'), it doesn't cause any additional distortions.

[/ QUOTE ]

Perhaps it does not cause "additional" distortion, but the fact is I'm now using a wider angle lens than I would be with a film camera (if I place the camera in the same spot). For example, if I use a 85 mm lens with a film camera to reduce "rounding," then I must now use a 50mm lens to achieve same crop without relocating camera to further distance. I lose the advantage of the 85mm lens.

There is a related post concerning swimsuit photography, where it is pointed out that an 80 - 200 is often used. Well, now that same glass is a small telescope, and not as useful.

Now that I own a D100, I'm considering some of the newer DX lenses. But - I do have the concern brought up here. I would hate to invest in new lenses, just to find out that future camera bodies will have full frame sensors.
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Question # 3
Old 02-08-2004, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think everyone else gave you enough info on questions one and two, but being the Unique Photo counterboy I am, I can give you some more swill on #3.

Nikon has informed us that the D70 will be made available the end of march, translation, they will be ready to go out in April, but most places will not get them until god knows when. This seems to happen all the time with digital SLR's, right now there is such delays especially on 10D's, Rebel's and S2's.

Note how Nikon is not mentioned in there, they are usually very good on making sure there authorized dealers like Unique Photo have a constant stock.

My guestimate, you will see D70's available around the end of June / early July. Never hurts to put an order in so you can get one in the original distributions.


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Re: a 3 part question on digital cameras
Old 02-08-2004, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 1.6x factor is easy.... what you get is EXACTLY the same image you would get with the same lens on a film camera, as if you cropped down to the middle portion of the frame of the film that is the same size as the digital sensor. However, to the agerage user, because you usually have to get farther away from a subject to get the whole subject in the frame, you end up with a different perspective and greate DOF.

Noise will be acceptable... close to what you are used to, but shooting in the sun will be a problem... ESPECIALLY if you use fill flash... 200 is too fast IMHO. The 125 ISO of the D1X is even too high for me sometimes. I want my Kodachrome 25!

 
 
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