A 3 years-old question: D70 or 20D?
Actually, I hope my question is less silly than it appears in the title....

I am a beginner and recently I started with film SRLs (they are so cheap now, I bought a Nikon F65 and a FM and I fell in love immediately). After I while I considered that it is actually much cheaper to go through the learning curve with a DSLR than paying prints everytime..

Now, I need a DSLR to learn photography and to shoot candids in the family (evening, dim light, children running around...). All DSLRs I've tried in shops are incredibly good, from Nikon D40 to Canon 40D: maybe I prefer something larger than a D40 or my F65, but it's not a primary issue. It will only be a learning camera and I guess than one does not keep a digital body for 10 years..

I like prime lenses (they are cheap and great in dim light), so I would exclude a new D40..

I have only two AF lenses (28-100 zoom and 50mm), so even as I feel nikonian, It would not be painful to switch brand..

In the used market, best bargains are D70(s) with 18-70 or canon 20D with 18-55. They are both perfect for me as learning tools (or not?) and I am more tempted by the Nikon. Canon 20D should be better in dim light and should have a better autofocus (the F65 has an annoying hunting tendency, I did not try the D70 in dim light), so it should be better for snapshots. That's what reviews and experienced photographers say. My question is: as a beginner, am I going to notice the difference? If not, I will go for the D70s with 18-70mm..

Thank you...

Comments (7)

I would go with a D70s if available over the D70. The slight upgrades are worth it IMHO..

Both are excellent cameras! You will really not notice any major difference between the mp count on the two cameras. The Nikon 18-70 kits lens is very nice and with your two other lens you would have a great beginning. I have the D70s and it's a very nice camera to learn and grow with. I also have a 50mm prime lens and it's very good for portraiture, etc. So I would give a slight edge to the Nikon based on the excellent kit lens and your current kit..

That said, the Canon is an excellent camera. The kit lens is not quite as good as the Nikon but the results are very nice. A friend of mine has one and has taken beautiful photos with it, but replaced the kit lens right off.Have fun!!A picture is the expression of an impression.If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?Ernst Haas..

Comment #1

You have Nikon glass already. The D70 is a decent performer at high ISO, not as good as the 20D, but decent. The Nikon 18-70 is a much better lens than the Canon 18-55..

It would all boil down to price at this point for me. I'd personally go for the D-70, unless I was getting the 20D for much less money..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work:

Comment #2

I've never used a D70/D70s (unfortunately) but you wouldn't be disapointed with the 20D, that I can assure you..

Perhaps someone who has tried both could give a better advise...

Comment #3

Both are nice cameras, but I strongly advise against the D70 or D70s right now..

I have been seeing a lot of them coming in the last few months totally dead..

And it is roughly a $275 repair to get the main PCB (whatever that is) replaced, which seems to fix the problem!.

I had three of them in one day come in that way last month..

I've also been seeing a few D50's coming in with the same problem.two of them within minutes of each other just last week..

But.I can't remember when the last time I saw a Canon 20D come in for a repair!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #4

That's because they're far less popular (joke)..

Anyway, I'd go for the D70s. It's an absolute gem, and I would never sell mine..

The only real difference with the D70s over the D70 is a larger screen, since I think the rest of the upgrades were done to the D70 via firmware, but it does have a fatal "green light of death" error which is covered under warranty, so you might not be able to claim on it if not the original owner..

The D70s didn't get the prestiguous Camera of the Year Grand Prix for nothing. Likewise the D200. So that must mean the 20D didn't win..

Someone said above about noise. Beware, Canon's noise reduction is mandatory, unlike the Nikon, so the real results are in Nikon's favour as you can do it on your more powerful, more up to date computer, or keep all those details that are lost forever in the Canons..

The D70/s performs better than today's 10MP cameras in terms of noise, and it has a weak anti-aliasing filter so you can get awesome enlargements...

Comment #5

Thank you all for your nice answers..

For me, both cameras are absolutely great, I mean, my skills are definitely lower than the potential of every DSLR camera out there, and I really suspect that also the dreaded canon 18-55 is much better than my eyes can judge, right now..

The factor which could lead me to canon would be a better "point and shoot"/"catch the moment" performance (reaction time and autofocus speed), but from your comments it seems that in the hands of a beginner the difference between D70 and 20D is irrelevant..

Just today I tried to shoot pictures to my running around son with my Nikon FM and a heavy 35-200 zoom, all manually. I think I managed to press the shutter once every hundred times and furthermore I am afraid that the results will be very disappointing when I get my prints..

I would like to have a camera to raise this ratio from, say, 1/100 to 1/5.....

Comment #6

I have a D70, D200 and D300 and still LOVE my D70. I had to send my D200 back to Nikon a few months ago and started using my D70 as a backup and was quickly reminded at how much I love the camera. I'm trying to decide now if I'm going to sell my D70 or D200 since I now have the D300....but... I'm not sure I can make myself sell either .


Comment #7

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