Nikon D70 spot meter covers 5% of the viewing area

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Siddhartha Jain, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Ok, this might be old news to many but I just came across Pop Photo's
    review of Nikon D70 and it says that D70's spot meter covers 5% of
    viewing area and not 1% as stated by Nikon.

    Although, I don't have much regard for Pop Photo because I see them
    mostly as advert rag but in this case they published something that's
    not so good looking about one of their major customers.

    Hmmm ... interesting.

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Feb 16, 2005
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  2. Siddhartha Jain

    Don F Guest

    I just read through the review twice and nowhere can I find your reference
    to the spot meter coverage. The center weighted metering layout is
    I know you must have read it so please point out where the spot meter
    reference is located.
    Don F
    Don F, Feb 16, 2005
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  3. As much as everyone seems to trash them the mag does pretty good. If you're
    not reading it you are missing something. I subscribe to that one, Outdoor
    photographer and Digital Photo Pro. I wish I had time for Shutterbug and the
    one with all the nudes (American Photo?).
    Dave R knows who, Feb 16, 2005
  4. Siddhartha Jain

    Chuck Guest

    You read it twice ??

    Here it is :
    The D70 is the first DSLR with adjustable centerweighted metering, a real
    plus (see graphs). But its spotmeter measures 5 percent of the viewing area,
    not 1 percent as claimed.

    Here is the full text ( )
    In May 2004, we published the world's first hands-on report of the new 6MP
    $999 Nikon D70 ("War Is Declared!"). Now, using a standard production
    camera, here are the results of our lab and field tests.
    The D70 starts up and is ready to fire in a split second, faster than any
    other digital SLR in its class. Its AF speed matches the earlier Nikon D100,
    but it bests the D100 in burst mode. Our tests captured up to 12
    fine-quality JPEGs at 3 fps and 144 normal-quality JPEGs at the same rate.
    In RAW NEF mode, it was 4 images at 2.5 fps.

    While bright, the viewfinder's magnification isn't the D100's 0.83X.
    Instead, it's 0.76X. This means a slight tunnel-vision effect, but not as
    much as the Olympus E-1.

    The D70 is the first DSLR with adjustable centerweighted metering, a real
    plus (see graphs). But its spotmeter measures 5 percent of the viewing area,
    not 1 percent as claimed. White balance can be fine-tuned ±3 settings toward
    blue or red. Custom white balance can be measured off a white card or copied
    from a photo. Optional Nikon Capture 4 software ($99) lets you download
    custom contrast curves or control the camera from a computer.

    The D70's image quality is extremely high. In our color accuracy tests
    comparing fine-quality JPEGs, the D70 beat the D100 and Canon's $899 EOS
    Digital Rebel and scored higher than any other 6MP DSLR.

    At ISO 200, noise was low, but higher than the Digital Rebel's. It also was
    low at ISO 800. With moderate noise at ISO 1600, the D70 is, overall, an
    exceptional performer.

    Bottom line: If you can live with the lower magnification of the viewfinder
    and a 1.5X 35mm lens factor (though a plus for tele work), the D70
    represents a grand well spent.
    Chuck, Feb 16, 2005
  5. Siddhartha Jain

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    That's all they say about it, nothing to back it up, and you believe it
    because, what, it's in one of the lamest photo magazines out there?

    It sounds to me like the author is confused between the "spot meter" and
    the smallest setting of the adjustable center-weighted meter.
    Jeremy Nixon, Feb 16, 2005
  6. Siddhartha Jain

    BG250 Guest

    Pop is one of the few that will say something negative in a review if they
    don't like it or question the way something was implemented on the product
    if it didn't make sense.

    I haven't read a Peterson's Photographic in 8+ years, but their reviews tend
    to be all sugar and spice. Outdoor never seems to say anything evil either.

    Perhaps some rags get pushed around by their advertisers more than Pop. Pop
    has been pushed themselves, however.

    BG250, Feb 16, 2005
  7. Siddhartha Jain

    Chuck Guest

    I never said I believed it, I just said it was in the text. I dont have to
    believe it or not, I have a 20D.
    Chuck, Feb 16, 2005
  8. Siddhartha Jain

    Jim Guest

    Perhap so, but they still might not know what they are talking about. So,
    the question remains - how did they determine the size of the spot meter?
    Jim, Feb 16, 2005
  9. Siddhartha Jain

    C J Campbell Guest

    Which does not have a spot metering mode at all.
    C J Campbell, Feb 17, 2005
  10. And thats exactly why I posted it to the NG. I don't believe any
    company's marketing claims anymore that I believe Pop Photo's testing
    methodologies. So I posted this so that if someone's independantly
    tested it then maybe they could comment.

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Feb 17, 2005
  11. Siddhartha Jain

    Don F Guest

    You are probably right about the exaggerated claim but understand Nikon
    never claimed spot meter coverage of 1%.
    Nikon manual states (page 75) "camera meters circle 2.3 mm (0.09") in
    diameter (approximately 1% of frame)."
    The CCD is 23.7 mm X 15.6 mm which is 369.72 sq mm in area. The 2.3 mm
    circle has an area of 4.15 sq mm (if I remember my math correctly). That
    results in a area of ~.01 which is APPROXIMATELY 1% of the frame area. That
    is the physical makeup of the camera.
    I am sure that the light sensor may be influenced by the light surrounding
    it to some degree.
    I was curious enough to do a simple spot metering test to see the
    practical effect of metering with the D70. I placed a chart with lines and
    bold faced type about 18" from the camera and at a slight angle to the light
    source. The D70 spot meter gave me a reading change of 1/100 sec. @5.6
    vs.: 1/125 sec. @ 5.6 when I swept the chart at a distance change of <
    In other words, the spot meter measured less than 1/4 f stop change in
    brightness *repeatedly* when rotated less than 3/16" about the same
    reference line. That is a very small distance when looking through the view
    finder even at the minimum focusing distance of my lens.
    I realize fully that this is *not* a scientific test. It is meant only as
    a empirical quick evaluation of the D70 spot meter as *I* would use it,
    nothing more.
    I know there are some with more knowledge than I have on the subject who
    might be kind enough to add to the discussion.
    Don F
    Don F, Feb 17, 2005
  12. Siddhartha Jain

    Owamanga Guest

    Yes it does, it's just a 100% spot meter.
    Owamanga, Feb 17, 2005
  13. Siddhartha Jain

    Owamanga Guest

    I was thinking of doing a similar test, but use a laser pointer spot
    in a darkish room to identify where exactly the meter is (it may not
    line up with the viewfinder oval) and how big it is.

    Second thoughts; not knowing doesn't bother me that much.
    Owamanga, Feb 17, 2005
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