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How to Use the Nikon D70s and D70
© 2006 KenRockwell.com
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Nikon D70

Nikon D70s. I'd get it here in any configuration. I'd also get it here or here (body only), here or here with 18 - 70 lens and here or here with both 18 - 70 and 55 - 200 lenses.


back to top of D70 Users' Guide

back to index of D70 Users' Guide Pages

From left to right:

Exposure Mode Dial (Left side): I use "P" for program auto exposure. In this mode the camera chooses the f/stop and shutter speed for you. If I want to use different apertures or shutter speeds I rotate the rear command dial, which selects alternate combinations of f/stops and shutter speeds which give the same exposure. Nikon calls this "Program Shift." A "*" is added next to the P on the top LCD to let you know you've chosen a different combination for exposure.

If you want to use only one aperture or one shutter speed then use S or A mode. If you want to set it the hard way, use M, manual, mode.

Metering Mode: Its little icon shows four corners and a central dot. It looks a little like a [ * ]. I use the default of Matrix, which is shown by the four corners. Spin the control knob while holding this button and you can select center weighted (a circle) and spot (a dot). I never use these other modes.

* Green Dot (combined with metering button). This resets many of the camera's controls to their defaults when held in along with the other green dot button on the top left of the back of the camera. This is handy at the beginning of each day, since it will reset everything from whatever whacky ISO, white balance, file format and other settings you were using the night before.

Power Switch (right side around shutter release): ON, unless the camera is put away in a case. The D70s only wakes up when you tap the shutter, so it's off even when the switch is set to ON. There is no battery drain unless the shutter is tapped and the camera wakes up.The only thing the OFF position does is act as a lock against unintended operation.

+/- Exposure Compensation. This makes the picture lighter or darker. Hold it and spin the rear dial to change the brightness of your pictures. Remember to set it back to zero when you're done. If you don't you'll see a "+/-" in the viewfinder and the top LCD. You can read the value of this setting on the top LCD and through the viewfinder, which is great!. See more at How to Set Exposure. Ignore Nikon when they suggest you don't use this with Matrix Metering; I do it all the time.

Backlight (button on right with a sun on it): press this to light the top LCD at night.

Format (combined with backlight button): Hold this along with its brother on the back left rear of the camera (combined with the rectangle button). You'll get a blinking "For" on the top LCD. Hold both of these again and you'll completely reformat your memory card. Professionals reformat a card each and every time we put a card in the camera. This is because files and structures are sometimes picked up or changed when read with a card reader or used in any other camera. Professionals prefer to be safe than sorry. We don't use cards to archive previous photos. One time I kept saving my winner shots on a card by simply erasing the rest each time. After a few months I started to get errors. These went away as soon as I reformatted the card. Reformatting completely renovates the card. Erasing does not, and may leave the potential for errors.

If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy, feel free to help me write more with a donation. Thanks! Ken.


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