Nikon Announces 6.1 Megapixel Digital SLR

From Nikon’s press release:

Adding yet another groundbreaking camera to its popular D-series digital SLR line up, Nikon ( today introduced the highly anticipated D70(TM) 6.1-effective megapixel digital SLR camera.  Designed for a broad range of consumers from experienced and amateur photographers to beginners taking their first steps into digital SLR photography, the D70 surges ahead with more features, more performance, and more value than any other camera in its category.

Built from ground up as a digital SLR, the Nikon D70 offers tremendous value to consumers by incorporating many advanced features and new innovations that make photography with the D70 faster, easier and better.  Its DX format
6.1-effective megapixel CCD sensor is optimized to deliver images with excellent sharpness and clarity, while a new advanced system Large Scale integrated Circuit (LSI) processor ensures images with vivid color, accurate white balance and minimized noise.  Nikon’s new Dynamic Buffer technology allows the D70 to continuously take up to 144 pictures at a speed of three pictures per second (when using JPEG NORMAL — Large image settings, and a SanDisk(R) 256 MB Ultra II CompactFlash(TM) card).  Additional features such as exclusive new Digital Vari-Program(TM) modes, simultaneous compressed NEF (RAW) and JPEG writing capabilities, and new i-TTL flash compatibility with
sync speed of 1/500 second further cement the D70’s place as a clear leader in its class of cameras.

At an estimated street price under $999 (for the body), Nikon’s D70 is by far the most capable digital SLR camera body in the market today.  Ever since the introduction of the groundbreaking D-Series professional cameras including
the D1, D1X, D1H and D2H, Nikon has been in constant pursuit of bringing an exceptional combination of product, performance, technology and price to a broader range of customers. This led to the introduction of the immensely
popular D100 camera, now followed by the D70.

The D70 is Nikon’s newest step in expanding the digital SLR camera market, and delivers the ultimate combination of innovative features, robust performance and very affordable price.  The D70 will create a new ‘sweet spot’ within the total market and create excitement among all sorts of customers who enjoy photographs, as well as the process of making photographs and are now ready to expand into the realm of digital SLR photography.  The D70 is destined to be among the world’s best selling digital SLR cameras. 

“Less expensive models typically have fewer features and trimmed back performance.  Such is not the case with the D70.  A close look will reveal that its performance and features are not superficial, but with depth.  Its exposure control, white balance and flash operation systems are loaded with performance that goes well beyond the expected.  Yet with its simplicity and undemanding usability, the D70 will attract a wide range of customers,” said Richard LoPinto, vice president for SLR camera systems at Nikon Inc.  “With 25 custom settings the D70 stands apart from the competition and provides every D70 customer with plenty of room to grow.  As these customers develop their
photographic skills and creativity, the D70 will stand ready to offer them a depth of technology, features and performance that will further inspire them to make great pictures.  Nikon is certain that the D70’s powerful technology
will provide users with the confidence to experiment and get creative,” he added.

More Options: D70 Outfit or Set
The Nikon D70 will be available either as an Outfit or a Set.  The D70 Outfit includes the camera body, rechargeable battery, charger, new Nikon PictureProject(TM) software, neckstrap and the new high-performance AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens.  The D70 Set includes all items mentioned above except the lens.  Available for a remarkably affordable anticipated street price of $1299 (for D70 Outfit) and $999 (for D70 Set), the camera will ship in Spring 2004.

More Quality and Detail: 6.1 MP CCD Sensor, Advanced System Digital LSI

The D70 incorporates a next-generation 6.1-effective megapixel DX Format CCD image sensor that produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images, and is optimized to deliver a wide dynamic range and superbly sharp details.  Each of the sensor’s pixels incorporates individual micro-optics that precisely align the image from the camera’s lens to optimize performance.  These micro-optics enable the compatibility between Nikon digital SLR models and the entire line of Nikon’s AF Nikkor and DX Nikkor optics.  Like the D70, all Nikon digital SLR cameras employ the DX Format,  establishing uniformity across the entire range.  No other system employs compatibility to this extent.

Nikon programmed the D70’s advanced system LSI processor for improved performance to produce vivid colors and clarity, optimized auto white balance, auto tone and color control, and to run real-time processes that diminish
digital noise in long exposure shots for cleaner overall results.  The LSI and its double-path bus also maximizes system performance for faster processing of compressed Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) RAW files using Nikon’s file
compression technology, fast dynamic memory buffer, fast simultaneous recording of JPEG and compressed NEF (RAW) files, and near-instant LCD image monitor display.

More Speed: Faster Processing, Dynamic Buffer Technology, Fast Autofocus

Photographers know that even the slightest delay in taking a picture can mean missing the decisive moment and losing a great photograph.  That’s why Nikon’s D70 has been designed to offer faster operation at nearly every level
of performance.  The camera is ready to shoot the instant it is turned on, and shutter-lag time is unrivaled in its class.  Images are processed and written to memory faster.  Compressed NEF (RAW) files are processed and stored
exponentially faster, making shooting in compressed NEF mode easier and more convenient than ever.  In fact, nearly twice as many compressed NEF files can be written to a CompactFlash(TM) card, when compared to uncompressed NEF files.  This presents photographers with an impressive advantage of pristine image data at minimized file sizes.  Thanks to Nikon’s new Dynamic Buffer technology, faster image processing, increased memory card access speed and greater system bus bandwidth, the D70 can shoot a rapid three frames per second for a continuous burst of up to 144 pictures (when using JPEG NORMAL – Large settings, and a SanDisk(R) 256 MB Ultra II CompactFlash(TM) card). Automatic image rotation within the camera further ensures that images taken with the D70 are ready to be shared immediately (write-to-card speed enhancements will vary among CF cards).

Read the complete press release at Nikon’s Website.