VERY PRELIMINARY !!!

The NIKON D70 camera came out in 2004 and some time later in 2005 it was followed up by the Nikon D70s, which has a few improvement. I have both cameras. Imagewise they show almost the same performance, but I will show this here on this page.

I checked the noise performance for 10 minutes exposures (600 sec) for speeds (sensitivities) of 800 and 1600 ISO. Therefore I used several modes. The standard mode is without a camera internal noise reduction. After this I used the method after Christian Buil (Mode 3), where internal noise reduction is switched on, but when the camera is working on this, it will be switched off. The reason for this is, that NIKON treats images with an internal median filter in any mode. This can be overridden by switching the camera off, where this median filter will not be applied, but the image will be saved as it is: untreated. An then I checked for internal noise reduction, which works fairly well.

I checked for noise levels by a line profile from the upper left corner to the lower right corner as diagonal. This line profile shows well the amount of noise reduction. (I used ImagesPlus for this. Thanks Mike Unsold)

Amp Glow: Allmost all DSLR cameras show this red/violett light in some area. This is produced by some internal amplifier on the CCD chip, which "exposes" like light. The internal noise reduction removes this quite well, but not totally. I will try to repeat some of the tests below in a refridgerator at 0C and lower. Internal camera temperature is getting higher as you may feel on the outside.

In a first step all tests were done at 22C surrounding temperature.

In a 2nd step, I made tests with different outside temperatures. The camera was cooled or heated and stayed at least 1 hour on the new temperature until exposures were made. Still inside temperatures were changing dramatically. I measured with -10C, 0C, 20C and 45C in a temperature chamber. Amp glow does not change very much, but noise inside the image is very low at -10C and getting extremely high at 45C, where the image becomes totally saturated and unusable. Strong banding can also be seen.

NIKON D70 and D70s

Comparing long exposure noise performance at ISO1600 I can see not much difference. I checked both cameras at 20C inside the chamber after 90 min keeping to the same temperature. Then I switched on and immediately exposed for for 120 sec (2 min) and 720 sec (12min). I can assume, both cameras had about the same inside temperature. Long term Noise performance is similar with a small advantage for the D70s which shows a little less noise in the centre of the image. Amp glow looks pretty much the same for both cameras. See the evaluation below.

Last Update: 07 February 2007 (Not completed yet)

Conclusion (will be updated)

The D70s can be used up to 600s if the centre portion of the image is taken only. Behaviour is better with internal noise reduction. It is not recommended to use the camera at high ISO at higher outside temperatures than ca 15C for long time exposures for astrophotography. My D70s is somewhat better in noise performance than my 3 year older D70.

NIKON D70s Dark Exposures

Test Item Reduced Size Full Frame Full Frame Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction OFF
Centre Crop 400*300px Centre Crop Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction OFF
Test Item Reduced Size Full Frame Full Frame Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
"Mode 3"
Centre Crop 400*300px Centre Crop Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
"Mode 3"
Test Item Reduced Size Full Frame Full Frame Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction ON
Centre Crop 400*300px Centre Crop Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 800
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction ON
Test Item Reduced Size Full Frame Full Frame Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 22C
"Mode 3"
Centre Crop 400*300px Centre Crop Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 22C
"Mode 3"
Test Item Reduced Size Full Frame Full Frame Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction ON
Centre Crop 400*300px Centre Crop Line Profile
Exposure: 600 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 22C
Noise Reduction ON

Comparison of my Nikon D70 with my D70S concerning long exposure noise

All images were taken under the same conditions at 20C in a climatic chamber with both cameras side by side. After each image I made a break of 60 minutes. Then the camera was switched on again and released at the same time with the infrared remote controller through a window.

Conclusion: The D70S obviously is a little bit less noisy than the (my) D70.

Item Reduced Image (Dark Frame) Line Profile Full Size Upper left to lower Right
NIKON D70
Exposure: 120 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF
NIKON D70S
Exposure: 120 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF
NIKON D70
Exposure: 360 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF
NIKON D70S
Exposure: 360 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF
NIKON D70
Exposure: 720 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF
NIKON D70S
Exposure: 720 sec
ISO 1600
Env.Temp: 20C
Noise Reduction OFF