I bought a Nikon F70D camera together with a AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D 2nd hand in mint condition on the 26th September 2000. I bought this camera in a very hurry and unexpected way. I saw an advertisement selling this camera set on the 25th Sept, and think that I might want to upgrade my F60D to this better camera if I can sell off my F60D before purchasing this F70D. I sent an email to the seller requesting price reduce and condition of the set, and I received call from the seller that he wanted to sell the camera in a hurry, and he invited me to buy the camera on the same day (it was 5 p.m. in the evening already, and the seller is in Singapore and I am in Johor (a state in Malaysia), that's about 2 hours trip for me to travel to there). Ha...I have a very important meeting in that evening, thus I told the seller that I cannot make it. The seller sounded like wanted to sell urgently (he told me he will be flying to Indonesia the next day), and I thought I have to miss the deal. The original offer price is S$900 for the set, but I can only afford S$700, thus I bargained till that price, and the seller agree as well. However, later the camera set is not as what I have expected (without box, no manual, warranty card...etc, although the seller said it is just few months old, but has nothing to prove or verify). The condition of the camera is not mint, there is one ugly scratch on the base, and some sign of use. I would grade it 90-95% condition. The seller called me the next day, said that he haven flied to Indonesia and willing to meet me that day. Ha! I am not willing to pay S$700 for the set, thus offer S$600. The seller agreed to sell at S$650, ha...after some thought, I decide to give it a try. I went to Singapore to meet the seller, and the condition of the set is really not so satisfying. Worst than I thought. The seller was not very friendly, as I took quite long time considering...

I bought the camera set and brought it home that day. At home, I clean the dust outside, clean the lens, and observe the camera and lens again in detail. To my surprise, the lens is better than I thought. You can read it on my AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D page. Ha...I feel like this is a good buy, and start playing my "new" F70D!

Without a manual, now it is my real challenge to see if this camera is user friendly. I heard many complaint about the fan type interface of this F70, but have not experience with it, thus really curious. Ha...at first glance, I have no idea how to start. Slowly, I start to understand the way of using and understanding the interface. In an hour time, I can say I have this camera fully understand. Ha...it is not a very hard to use camera as other claims! The interface is nice, and easy to understand. All features is clearly label there. However, I have to admit that changing the mode is a slow task. One cannot change the mode without looking at the ''fan''. Nikon try to solve this problem by having the quick recall function, where one can set 3 different mode and store it in QR1, 2, and 3. QR0 is to set the camera in P mode. Ha...by using this QR mode, changing mode from S to P to A to M becomes easier but still not very easy. With little practice, I am sure this will not be a problem anymore, the QR function can be called in 2 steps (press, and turn).

I find F70D is really a nice camera. If I have more knowledge in Nikon in the beginning, I would have chosen to buy a F70D instead of my now F60D. Ha...I miss the spot metering and 3D flash in F70D. I really like the silence of F70D, the click sound is even more silence than F90X! Very smooth and silence! Your subject will not notice or believe that you have taken the photo if you are not using flash! Ha...really quite.

Another advantage of F70D is the paranoma feature. Ha...F90X, F100 or F5 doesn't has this mode neither! Ha...maybe some might think that this feature is not so useful, but I have seen a paranoma photo, and I am glad that F70D has this feature. Note that the F70 without D (no date back) doesn't has this paranoma feature, as this feature is located on the back of F70, and sorry to say, F70's back cannot be changed or upgraded. So if you are after a F70 model, be sure to get the Date version.

Finally, in the viewfinder LCD display, the metering mode is displayed there. That means you know what mode you are using (spot, centre-weighted, matrix) without referring back to the LCD on the camera. Ha...this serves as a reminder for the user as well, as I often check what metering system I am using, and usually forget to change back the metering mode to matrix metering or what so ever after using spot metering. Even F90X lacks this feature. Ha...another advantage over F90X.

Auto focusing of F70 is fast. The motor drives it fast enough to differentiate the differences compare to my F60D. With the AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D lens attached, F70 is fast enough to drive the lens front and forth, but my F60D performs a bit slow. If focus from micro to infinity, the F70 is satisfying, F60 is on the slow side, and F90X (I tried) is excellent/very fast! The AF module in F70 uses CAM 274, makes it possible to focus subject that doesn't have much contrast, F90X is using CAM 246. But, I would say F90X and F70 does not have much different in this CAM aspect. F90X uses better and more powerful motor to drive the lens, thus can focus faster.

Is F70D a good buy? My answer is YES! After F80 and F65 coming out, F70 and F60 have been deleted from Nikon production line (Nov 2000), but there should still be some stock in the market left, or many in 2nd hand market. Nikon F70 and F60 will be the last consumer or amateur Nikon that are 'Made In Japan', in future, Nikon might no longer produce consumer/amateur cameras in the Japan plant again. Today's F80 and F65 are all made in Thailand. The biggest reason why I choose to go for Nikon F60 instead of Canon EOS 500 is because I don't like the 'Made in Taiwan' on EOS 500 compare to 'Made in Japan' on my F60, although EOS 500 has better and more features compare to Nikon F60 at the about same price range. Ha...this is just my very personal feel, and no offends to any party. In my opinion, F70 is a very good camera for beginner, F60 is too simple for those who wants to get serious into photography, and F70 has all the necessary features that will serve one for quite some time. Built quality of F70 is better than F80, but it lacks the nice features that F80 has (e.g. multiple exposure, 5 points focus system, etc.), so it is your choice of which to go. Me? Ha...not sure, but at the same price range, I might just go for F70D because of the 'Made in Japan' wording instead of 'Made in Thailand' F80...ha...what about comparing 'Made in Thailand' with 'Made in Taiwan'? hmm...tough question...guess will go for Nikon...just the brand...


23rd March 2005: After 5 years since its discontinuation, today I received/bought another F70D. Excellent condition, together with a Nikkor AFD 28-105mm f/3.5~4 lens at only RM350 (+RM20 for POSLaju). The lens is having a minor defect, where the aperture ring is broken, but I manage to clue it back using just a simple "superglue". It works like new now :) Ok, this pricing doesn't really reflect the actual value of the F70D, as after checking with my local shop, the boss is willing to buy the F70D from me at the price of RM500, which means he will be selling it at around RM600 at least. For a camera that was once RM1500, this is only 1/3rd of the initial value, which I still feel is a very good camera.