Aug 2, 2018123 views

Nikon D750 for $1700 or Nikon D70 for $50? Asking about my first camera...

Finally taking the plunge into buying my first camera. I am a college student (broke), so budget was an issue. After extensive research, I decided I wanted a full frame, medium-high MP (around 24) DSLR with a good ISO range. Most of my photography will be adventure photography (I want to capture natural beauty while hiking/camping- likely to include dramatic landscapes during the golden hours and some Astro photography-and culture/people while traveling) and I am trying to get a camera before my trip to Shenandoah national park (in two weeks) so I can finally start capturing quality pictures of the great outdoors. My online searching brought me to the Nikon D750 (full frame, 24,3 MP, great in low light settings, high dynamic range, good autofocus, etc.) I was ready to buy when an old friend offered to give me his old Nikon D70 for $50. As it will be my first camera, a starter might be a good idea, but I worry I won't be able to capture the quality photos of Shenandoah that I want to. Looking to hear your thoughts! Thanks in advance:)

I had a D70 when they first came out. It was the most Nikon-like DSLR I have owned. By Nikon-like, I mean like the Nikon SLR cameras in grew up shooting with. It was a great camera, built like a tank, lots of metal and super hard, high quality plastic. Unlike another Nikon my GF has a D3xxx which is the entry point camera , but feels like a plastic toy. Make sure the auto focus works and buy the D70, especially if it is a low mileage vehicle. The huge pixel number on newer cameras is often overated in my opinion. . You get massive files that even a good PC has a hard time dealing with and Photoshop exposes the flaws in the images. I am no longer a big Nikon evangelist, unless you can afford 2,000 or more. I currently shoot with a Fujifilm X which makes far nicer images than an entry level Nikon.
That's like comparing a 2004 Toyota Camry to 2017 Porsche 911s. No-brainer--of course you chose the Camry, right?!
Kidding--don't be ridiculous; get the D750.
If you have the budget go for D500.
by The D70 is a fine camera from 14 years ago, but it cannot be compared to a D750. The D70 is not full-frame for starters, and I think a 6MP sensor if my memory is right. I also believe it uses Compact Flash memory which is not so widely available to buy these days. And now that I googled the specs, I see it only has only a 5-point auto-exposure and a whole 3fps shooting speed. You will feel limited by the specs in short order.
My first DSLR was a D80 (the successor of the D70) with a 12MP sensor. I still have it around and use it as a 2nd body as a backup to my D7000. I took some very nice landscapes with my D80 back in the day. But night and astrophotography will not be so impressive. My D80 showed noise at ISO 800 to the point of being a bit ugly. I always tried to keep ISO under 400. Figure the older generation D70 to be not quite as good. A long exposure at a lower ISO for night photography works good, but that is not always an option if you might be trying to take a clear photo of the moon or something with a long telephoto.
So $50 for a starter camera can be good, but you are going to have limitations and you may outgrow the camera in a matter of months to a year. If you intend to upgrade to the full-frame option later, make certain to invest in FX lenses early. Money spent on inexpensive DX lenses will just feel like a waste later.
Thanks for the reply! Yes, you had those specs right. D70 is a crop sensor with 6MP and also has a not great ISO range. I think I probably want more and will most likely but the full frame D750 anyway after a period with the D70... Anyway, thanks for the opinion/insight!