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*April 20, 2005 *– The Nikon D70 is officially over the hill. After collecting numerous awards for its prosumer DSLR, Nikon released its successor today: the Nikon D70s. The new model keeps the same 6.1 megapixels, but makes improvements on its auto focus system, graphic interface, and remote capability, among other things. According to Steve Heiner, general manager of digital SLR systems at Nikon Inc., the company created the D70s based on feedback from users of the popular D70.
"Nikon has taken an internationally best-selling digital SLR camera and made it even more appealing to hobbyists and photo enthusiasts by incorporating a range of enhancements and new features that were based largely on the feedback we received from our customers and research findings," Heiner said. "We are confident the D70s will continue to build on the popularity of the D70."
The Nikon D70 will be a tough act to follow, as it received many awards and was praised for bringing advanced digital SLR performance to the masses for under $1,000. Since the D70’s release, several other manufacturers have caught on to the growing market to fill the gap between high-end consumer cameras and low-end SLRs. The D70s will have more competition than its predecessor, but Nikon hopes its few improvements will be enough to carry the momentum of the digital SLR market.
The Nikon D70s has a larger 2-inch LCD screen with a more user-friendly menu system. The menus will have larger text and color-coded screens, as well as help menus. The auto focus system adds an all-area priority mode to its list of dynamic, single, and close-up area AF modes. This new AF mode is also included in the Nikon D50, but will be better utilized in the D70s with a faster 3 frame-per-second burst mode that continues for 144 images.
The mode dial of the D70s remains the exact same as the D70, with even the same seven scene modes. The built-in Speedlight flash reaches a wider angle than the D70, supporting 18 mm lenses. The new model also adds a remote port for an electronic cable release (MC-DC1 or ML-L3). The D70s kit will retail for $1199.95, which will include an AF-S DX 18-70 mm Nikkor zoom lens. The D70s body will sell alone for $899.95 when it ships in May.