Nikon 8800 vs D70

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ecb1211, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. ecb1211

    ecb1211 Guest

    I just purchased the 8800 and have taken many shots, some better then
    others. i saw some prints taken with the d70 and they are so much more
    sharper. I still have enought time to return the 8800. I keep telling
    myself that once i get the controls right on the 8800, iwill be happy
    with the outcome. Does anyone have any feedback regarding both cameras.
    I reason I picked the 8800 was the zoom range and not having to change
    ecb1211, Jun 9, 2005
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  2. In 8x10 or smaller prints, I don't believe there's any inherent reason
    why shots from a D70 should be sharper than shots from an 8800. (8x10
    is an arbitrary choice; it probably remains true for bigger prints
    too, but I'm guessing the prints you saw weren't bigger than 8x10

    You also don't mention if you're viewing your own 8800 shots only on
    screen, or if you have also made prints. If you made prints, how did
    you do it? And did you use a reasonable but not excessive amount of
    unsharp masking in your editing and printing workflow? How were the
    D70 prints made? Is the person who shot the pictures and made the
    prints a professional or very experienced amateur, or just a beginner
    who happens to have a D70?

    I think it's *likely* that the differences are in the workflow and
    perhaps in the operation of the cameras, rather than any inherent
    difference in the sharpness possible with them.

    There are benefits to both classes of cameras. The DSLR fits *my*
    needs better I think (I use a Fuji S2, which is why I'm only
    *speculating* about these two Nikon cameras), but my needs aren't your
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 9, 2005
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  3. ecb1211

    Ben Thomas Guest

    Try a faster shutter speed, and make sure you have the camera set to save the
    images at the largest size and with the highest jpeg quality (if saving as jpeg).

    It may be that you are a little bit shakey when taking photos so they aren't as
    sharp as they could be.

    Ben Thomas, Jun 9, 2005
  4. You have used BSS? If not, try it. Also set your camera to the best jpg
    mode (the one with the lowest compression). Do some test images with
    a tripod.

    Lots of Greetings!
    Volker Hetzer, Jun 9, 2005
  5. The sharpness of the images you see can be affected by post-processing, as
    well as the camera. The quality should be similar, except that in lower
    light situations the 8800 may produce pictures with more noise (grain) and
    the D70.

    I also wanted a long-zoom camera and, despite owning the Nikon 5700, I
    went for the Panasonic FZ5. My wife has a Panasonic FZ20, and we are both
    very pleased with the results. I also have the wide-angle version of the
    8800 - the 8400 - which has the same sensor.

    My style of camera usage is best suited by small and light cameras and no
    great kit-bag of expensive and heavy lenses letting in the dust as they
    are changed. I accept the grainer low-light results that I get (and
    occasionally use software to improve the image).

    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2005
  6. ecb1211

    Frederick Guest

    The other replies to your post indicate that unless you are doing
    something wrong, then you should get near to the same image quality with
    an 8800 as a dslr (D70 in this case).

    The reality is that very wide zoom range lenses are available for dslrs,
    but many dslr and film slr users avoid them (except for the convenience
    factor that you identify) because they are not as sharp, not as fast,
    and have more distortion than fixed focal length, or good zoom lenses.
    (The good ones typically have a maximum 3x zoom factor or thereabouts).
    Assuming that a miracle breakthrough has not been made with optics by
    Nikon for the 8800, then it is not going to be as sharp as a dslr with a
    good lens. That does not even include the limitations that a smaller
    sensor imposes on sharpness, as well as the limits imposed on noise vs
    speed. Many D70 and other dslr users will own and use lenses that cost
    as much and more than an entire 8800, and you would be hard pressed to
    convince them that they were not getting value for money.

    If image quality is your main concern, then get a dslr - but don't
    expect a huge improvement over the 8800 if you decide to get one with a
    28-300mm lens. And that is where the small difference in price between
    an 8800 and a D70 begins - good lenses are quite expensive.
    Frederick, Jun 9, 2005
  7. Frederick wrote:
    Actually, whilst it may not be an optical breakthrough, your correct
    assertion about the 28 - 300mm lens for 35mm cameras not having as good
    quality as a 3:1 zoom does not seem to read across well to the current
    crop of smaller sensor cameras. Why?

    One difference may be that the wide-angle of the zoom in the Nikon 8800 is
    not 28mm but 35mm, thus avoiding some of the optical problems of
    wide-angle coverage. The range is 35 - 350mm equivalent. In the
    Panasonic FZ5 & FZ20, for example, the range of its 12X zoom is 36 - 432mm
    equivalent, and in the FZ20 a constant f/2.8 aperture is retained
    throughout the zoom range. (In the Nikon 8400, with a 24mm starting point
    for its zoom, the ratio is a much more restricted 3.5:1.)

    Another difference is that the lens may be tailored better to the sensor
    requirements. There is no need to provide any MTF after the cut-off of
    the anti-alias filter, so the design requirements of a lens specifically
    for a digital sensor may be eased, compared to 35mm film/digital lenses.

    I would like to see some justification for your statement that "smaller
    sensors are not as sharp" (to paraphrase). What is their inherent

    I do agree that the DSLR is capable of higher quality, given suitable
    lenses, and is capable of lower light operation, so you have a choice
    between function, cost and versatility.

    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2005
  8. ecb1211

    Frederick Guest

    I note that barrel distortion is nevertheless slightly higher at wide
    (35mm equiv) settings than the 18-70 Nikkor at wide (28mm equiv).
    However, you are right in that the distortion performance of the 8800
    zoom isn't bad considering the range, and the above comparison with what
    is regarded as a good lens.
    One reason is explained here:
    If that is correct - and I can't argue against it - then the clamouring
    for bigger sensors in dlsrs, and the apparent comparative lack of
    sharpness observed in cameras such as the 8800 is well explained.

    Another factor is that post processing (in camera or on computer using
    the RAW image) is carried out, which normally will include sharpening.
    The 8800 does suffer from purple fringing/ CA, common (but the 8800 is
    apparently better than many) with similar cameras. Sharpening will
    accentuate the visibility of this. So, if you are to sharpen, then you
    need to first remove as much CA / purple fringe as possible. Also, if
    you apply sharpening to a noisy image it will look much worse, so
    perhaps some software noise reduction is also carried out. Before you
    can begin to create a sharpened ready to print image, you are already
    well behind with an 8800. *Please* don't come back at me and say that
    applying USM is not "real" sharpness. I know the arguments, but the
    good results (that may be one of the factors behind the result the OP
    notes) are plainly evident when you look at a print. Apply the same
    amount of USM to an image with even a hint of "purple fringe" or CA, and
    it will look hideous on a large print.
    And with choice comes compromises.
    The lower light performance is mitigated somewhat by the VR feature -
    something that is a very expensive luxury in most dslrs. I have no beef
    against an 8800. I would like one, or something similar - but not as a
    replacement for a dslr.
    Frederick, Jun 9, 2005
  9. ecb1211

    Eager Guest

    I believe what you may be seeing is not actually sharper images, but
    the appearance of sharpness due to the dslr's typically shallower depth
    of field. When the background is out of focus, the main subject often
    looks extremely sharp. It's a beautiful effect that's much harder to
    achieve with typical point-and-shoot cameras.

    Here's a good article comparing dslr's with point-and-shoots:
    <> There are many advantages

    Eager, Jun 9, 2005
  10. I forgot about diffraction - you are correct.

    If you have a DSLR, the Nikon 8800 or perhaps a somewhat lesser P&S camera
    can be complementary as a take-anywhere, lightweight camera, or for
    situations where you don't want to damage the expensive DSLR or its
    lenses. What's really good is the number of P&S cameras offering VR (or
    image stabilisation or anti-shake - call it what you will), which really
    extends the range of lightweight, hand-held, long telephoto shooting.

    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2005
  11. I own neither the D70 nor the CP8800, so perhaps I shouldn't butt in;
    but, I will.

    I've kept close tabs on posts pertaining to the D70 and the 8800.
    Some have said that the picture quality of the 8800 can equal or rival
    the D70... in some situations. The claim was not disputed by the D70

    Orrin Iseminger, Jun 10, 2005
  12. ecb1211

    Polymath5 Guest

    I just traded my CP8800 for a D70s. It really wasn't about image sharpness,
    I found the 8800 to produce excellent results. I just couldn't put up with
    the shutter release delay. I love the handling of the D70s, reminds of my
    F3 days. Boy did it feel feel great to lock in a lens again!

    If you can afford it, and you recognize you will be facing an addiction of
    lens buying <g>, go for the D, you won't regret it.
    Polymath5, Jun 11, 2005
  13. ecb1211

    Deedee Tee Guest

    There are already several replies in this thread concerning the
    optical qualities of lenses and sensors, so I shall not talk about
    these and instead concentrate on other aspects. It is also difficult
    to give you precise advice because you do not state what is your level
    of expertise in (digital) photography, so the problems with your
    pictures could be due to faulty (but easily remedied by learning)
    handling of the camera and/or pictures rather than by their intrinsic
    limitations. I myself have a 5700 and a D70s, and used film SLRs from
    about 1975 to 2000 and digital afterwards (starting with a 990).

    A factor not clearly discussed in other replies is that a D70(s) with
    a rather long zoom (albeit not 10x) weights 2-3 times more than an
    8800. It also requires a much larger and heavier bag, its accessories
    (e.g., spare battery, tripod etc.) are also heavier, so the 2-3x
    weight and size factor translates to the whole equipment range. A
    digital SLR also attracts more attention than a prosumer camera, which
    may be unwanted.

    If you are already used to working with film SLRs, a prosumer without
    removable lens (no matter what its specs) will feel constricting and
    limiting. I myself rediscovered the joy of photography after buying a
    D70s recently, my first DSLR. But I am also aware that the weight of a
    heavy camera backpack often makes me leave the D70s at home when a
    camera would come in handy, and my mobile phone camera is not up to
    the job. I am considering buying a small digital camera (1/3 of the
    weight and size of the 8800, perhaps one of the smaller or medium
    Coolpix) to always carry in my day bag.

    There is a good point in other replies about the quality of DSLR
    lenses being much variable. This includes the Nikkor range too. I do a
    lot of macro work, and one of my favourite macro lenses is more
    expensive than the D70s. On the other hand, I also have the cheap
    Nikkor 70-300 G, which is lightweight and does an excellent job for
    handheld shots (but of course does not cut it against better, heavier
    and more expensive tele lenses). There is always a compromise between
    lens price, quality and weight, and the lens that gives the best
    picture is not necessarily the best choice for every job.
    Deedee Tee, Jun 11, 2005
  14. Deedee Tee wrote:

    One of the main reasons I went for the Panasonic FZ5 rather than the FZ20.
    Both are more compact than the 8800 (which as you say is more compact than
    the DSLR).

    David J Taylor, Jun 11, 2005
  15. ecb1211

    SB Guest

    I had a 8700, then traded up to 8800 on smb's promise that its performance
    (primarily shutter lag) is better.
    However, I returned the 8800 to the store and got Olympus E-300 2-lens kit
    for a few more bucks.
    Now I am happy.

    If you plan to walk around town, with your 8800 on the tripod on your
    shoulder, then shoot
    a wonderful city scape or a cat on a remote balcony once in a while - then
    keep the 8800.
    No, the 8800 is a bit too heavy and bulky for hiking.

    If you are in for smth more versatile - then SLR is a must-have.
    You can't compare a prosumer camera shot with that of a DSLR by sharpness.
    They are dfferent beasts.

    My 0.02$ Canadian.

    "David J Taylor"
    SB, Jun 11, 2005
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