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Learning to use my Nikon d-70 camera

Updated on May 16, 2009

I am new to Photography

I am new to photography and was hoping I could get some tips from others who are more experienced. I was working at a local newspaper and photo studio when I was approached to purchase a very nice looking Nikon d-70 camera, For the technically minded among you I will include the specifications for this camera later. I have enjoyed using this camera very much. Before purchasing this Nilkon d-70 Camera I did not know anything about digital photography, and am trying to learn.

First of all I must tell you that this camera is a DSLR. (Digital Single Lens Reflex)

I know that really sounds complicated, but what it means to me is that the lens can be removed and replaced with another type of Lens.

For example, you may want to photograph an animal that is away in the distance. With a normal point and shoot camera it would be very difficult to get a good clear shot without frightening the animal.

With a DSLR such as the Nikon d-70 ,you just unmount the standard lens, mount up your telephoto lens . Focus in on the animal and press the Button. If you don't want to play around with the Focus leave it on AutoFocus.

Hey Presto you have a nice close-up photo of the animal without getting too close.

I believe the Nikon d70 has now been superseded, but from my research the camera has not lost its appeal and from all reports the specifications are still impressive for an entry level DSLR under $1000.00.

There are possibly some around on the second-hand market at a much cheaper price. You must be very careful about buying second-hand cameras. Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer and get a good warranty.

Specifications of the Nikon d-70 DSLR Camera

*mega pixel CCD delivering a maximum image resolution of 3008 x 2000 pixels. Newer Cameras now have a larger CCD (Charge Couple Device). The largest I could find at the moment is 12.1 mega pixels.

* 1/500 flash sync, 1/8000 second top shutter speed. (I've been told this is great for action shots)

* SLR design with true, TTL optical viewfinder.

* 1.8 inch 130,000 pixel TFT LCD with adjustable brightness. ( a bit on the small side )

* Polycarbonate body over a metal frame for strength with low weight. (very tough )

* Interchangeable F mount lens design accommodates a wide range of Nikkor lenses, type D and type G recommended.

* Nikon D70 body supports both mechanically-coupled and all-electronic AF-S lenses.

* Program, Digital Vari-Program (Scene), Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual exposure modes.

* Depth of field preview button.

* TTL flash exposure metering in three modes (with the SB-800 flash).

* ISO 200 - 1600 exposure range.

* White balance has auto, six manual modes, and preset option.

* Three color modes, plus contrast, saturation, hue, and sharpness adjustments.

* Built in, five-mode pop-up flash; can also act as a master controller, or "commander" for SB-800 and SB-600 flashes.

* External flash hot shoe.

* Continuous shooting, Auto Exposure Bracketing, and Self-Timer modes.

* JPEG, RAW (NEF) and JPEG + RAW (NEF) file formats. (I've been told that more people are shooting .raw these days)

* Uses Compact Flash Type I and II, plus Hitachi Microdrive

* USB cable for computer connection

* Captures up to 3 frames per second.

* Nikon D70's buffer can hold up to 144 large/normal shots .( depends on the quality of the shot )

* Five-area AutoFocus.

* Included CD-ROM loaded with PictureProject software.

* NTSC Video cable for connection to TV

* Battery holder that accepts 3 CR2 disposable batteries.

I've been told that even with the same model number some of the above specification will vary from Zone to Zone and Country to Country.

A good friend who is a keen amateur photographer has advised me that a good all round lens to buy would be a Zoom Lens with a 18-135 mm focal length. Now I have no idea on earth what that meant so I would like some input please.

This photo of an Iris was in Black and White
This photo of an Iris was in Black and White

I would appreciate you candid comments.

I really would like some comments on the photographs below so don't be bashful come right out and tell me what you think of them.

The photograph of the Iris was shot as a black and white image.

And I allowed the camera to do all of the work!

The Iris was in my garden and was previously the Image I used in my Avatar.

Sports Photo No.1
Sports Photo No.1
Sports Photo No. 2
Sports Photo No. 2
Portrait No. 1
Portrait No. 1
Composite image
Composite image
Sunset No. 1
Sunset No. 1
Portrait No. 2
Portrait No. 2
The Last Big Effort
The Last Big Effort
Home Run
Home Run
Sunset No. 2
Sunset No. 2
Rodeo Girl
Rodeo Girl
Bush Hideaway
Bush Hideaway
Rodeo No. 1
Rodeo No. 1
Rodeo No. 2
Rodeo No. 2
Landscape
Landscape

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    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ag, I am all bark and no bite, sad but true!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Hi Gwendymom. Photoimpact is not a free program.

      I think you would probably be a better teacher than a student. lol

      But I'm afraid your bite may be bigger than your bark.

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Eric, thats great advice. I wrote this when I first started at HP and really idn't know anything about adsense and stuff like that.

      Vampire, who me? now now Eric, don't go telling my secrets, Ag will just have to find out for himself. How did you know? Have I bit you in the past?

      I have never heard of photoimpact. Is it a free program like gimp? I have heard that a lot of people use gimp but I just don't know if I have the time to learn some new software. I'm just lazy anymore. LOL. PS, glad you are still hanging around. I have bookmarked your webpage where you are writing now, but it's nice to see that handsome face still here.

      Fortunerep, thank you!

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      beautiful photos, great job!

      dori

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Nice pics gwendymom. And if you used Canon d-70 in the title and hub name, you'd probably earn some adsense from people searching for this camera. - if you're into that.

      (Hey AG - Don't let her get near your neck. - I suspect she's that new Vampire that Christoph created.)

       I use Photoimpact - never needed the complexity of Photoshop.

      But Many people I know use GIMP, and they reckon they get similar results to Photoshop.

      cheers, Eric G.

       

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Are you the right teacher Ag? You know I'm not a very good student. Just a warning.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      9 years ago from Australia

      G'day mate all you need is the right teacher ? ;-)

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great Ag, now if I just knew how to use any of them I'd be doing good.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Hi Gwendymom, I noticed you expressed interest in Photoshop.

      Before you put any money into PS I recommend you look at GIMP and Paint.net. Both programs are image manipulation programs similar to PS. The best part though is that they are both free.

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      R. Blue, Thank you so much for coming by and giving me tips and advice. It is a 10 megapixel camera, which at the time when it was new was pretty good. Of course now they make them with more megapixels but with a huge pricetag. I also bought the camera used and got a really great deal but the only instuction book I got with it is in spanish which poses a problem for me because I don't read spanish and understand it anyway. So I have just been experimenting. I guess I need to go on Ebay and find me an instruction book for it. I could probably find one there for a pretty cheap price.

      When I bought the camera I really hard reservations about spending that amount of money on something that wasn't a major appliance, but my husband convinced me to buy it and don't think about the price too much and I am glad I did. I love it and wouldn't trade it. But you are right, they make them better and cheaper everyday, even the cell phone cameras are starting to be a pretty decent product as far as point and shoot cameras go.

      Thanks for the comment on sports photo #1. that is one of my favorites. You are right about portrait #1, I was using natural sunlight there and trying to avoid getting unwanted background in there which did cast some harch shadows. A different location or different time of day probably would have helped. I don't know how expensive the umbrella accessory is and if it isn't too expensive I might look into that. Thanks for comments on portrait #2. I have looked into buying adobe Photoshop, i believe it's pretty expensive isn't it? I'm not very good with computer stuff but maybe if I had some instuctions in english I might be able to figure out the basics, lol.

      do you recommend any filters? I have been looking into them and they seem to be a cheap way to get a pretty good effect, but I'm not sure what ones to invest in. I would appreciate any feedback you could give me.

      Thanks.

      Jerilee, great, maybe this is something we can learn together. Learning is always better with friends!

      Cindyvine, I used to have the same problems but I spent the money and bought a 50-200 zoom lens. The great thing is that you can buy lenses that are not name brand for a fairly inexpensive price. I love my zoom lense, it really does help especially at crowded sporting events when you can't always get as close to the action as you would like to. Thanks for coming by, always a pleasure to see your smiling face.

      Cindy, I would love to hear about the use of photoshop.

    • R. Blue profile image

      R. Blue 

      9 years ago from Right here

      cindy...I know you use photoshop....tell gwendy your take on it.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      9 years ago from Cape Town

      wow that camera is so cool, was frustrated last weekend when my digital couldn't zoom in enough and the pics came out so dark. Enjoy photography so much must get a bigger one

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      I'll be following any tips you get, as photography is something my granddaughter and I decided we'd explore this summer. Hope you get lots of help here.

    • R. Blue profile image

      R. Blue 

      9 years ago from Right here

      That's a fine camera with lots of features. I've been a photographer most of my life, started in college...had a darkroom in my bedroom...did my own developing, etc. You didn't say what the Megapixel was or maybe I just missed it. I hesitate to buy a digital SLR camera because of the continuous improvement in the technology. I keep buying cheap digital cameras...just bought a nikon coolpix 10 megapixel for about $100. I don't use it for sports action shots or portraits...just taking pictures of my work so I can get paid mostly. Just like computers, cameras keep getting more powerful and cheaper....when the technology nearly comes to a standstill I'll get that didital SLR. Your sports photo #1 was an excellent shot...should have titled it photo finish.

      Portrait #1 needed some fill lighting on the left side unless this was the effect you were going for. You can buy an umbrella type lighting accessory for fill lighting. Flash alone doesn't do the job as it throws harsh shadows. The fill light is softer and more subtle. Look at portrait #2....that has even lighting....much better.

      The most important tool for me is Adobe Photoshop. I love special effects and played around with them for years in the darkroom....what took hours in the darkroom takes a couple of clicks in Photoshop. With Photoshop you can remove warts, brighten, darken, replace....well...you get the idea. It's a one stop software for tweaking your photos. Hope this helps.....a lengthy subject I could talk for hours. Oh...and don't forget to play with long exposures....creates blur effect...like with traffic at night, and blur gives the illusion of speed...but you'll need a good tripod....which is another invaluable tool......this is getting expensive...I'd better stop while you're ahead.

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR

      gwendymom 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks Ag but I'm looking for some tips to improve my photography , can anyone please help me.?

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Gwendymom as far as photography goes I am only an amateur.

      You have captured some beautiful moments in time with your shots and you can only improve with more practice on the camera.

      In the action shots you have captured moments of deep concentration on the athletes faces.

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