CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Give me one reason why I should buy a D100 now


New Member
Dear Nikon Users,

Although I have touched this question in the D100 vs 300D forum, I believe that this is a thread which can be discussed further...

I hope that I am not going to read the same simplistic response as "buy a D1 or D2" camera... These cameras fall out of the budget of most people, unless you are a professional photographer. Most people can only invest a reasonable amount of money into a camera.

I am using my camera for professional needs as I use it in my research. But none of these pictures represent any money for me, only in terms of research value. In the past I used a film SLR in conjunction with the excellent Nikon Coolscan 4000ED. A couple of years ago, I opted for one of the first 5 megapixel camera on the market: Nikon Coolpix 5000. This minimal resolution was necessary in order to achieve the necessary detail.

Now, I want to buy a proper digital SLR as I have become annoyed with some of the characteristics of a Coolpix camera: response delay, fixed zoom range, lack of speed, etc...

And I was about to buy a D100 a few weeks ago, when I discovered the features of the D70... Well, I am wondering why Nikon would even bother to keep selling the D100 now that these features are known. Two year old technology packed in a 1500$ camera when you can buy brand new and much faster technology in a 1000$ camera. Why? I am pissed off at Nikon for not introducing a D200 at the same time as the D70... Working in rough elements, I would like to buy an upgraded D200 rather than a response to the cheap 300D, but as long as only the D100 is available with the D70, the choice is real easy. I think Nikon is not taking their customers seriously...

I hope that someone at Nikon will read this and will provide us (me) with a satisfactory answer, because I cannot figure it out.

Anyway, I look forward to hear some comments on the matter (I can see some heated arguments coming up... but please if you are just going to mention the untouchable Nikon god, please refrain from answering...).

Looking forward to a credible answer...



You have some very valid points. Sadly, someone will be asking this same question next year and every year there after.

Cameras are shifting from a purely mechanical device to one that is increasingly software/semiconductor-centric. Given that one can make serious advancements in features/cost/performance in a software-centric product much faster than in a purely mechanical one, you'll forever be faced with this dilemna.

The feature set will get stronger as the cost stays the same or drop. New models will be released more quickly - driven more by marketing than engineering. It also creates an environment where executives become much more reactive because planning the DSLR version of the F6 for release 5 years from now is pointless because it is much harder to predict what CanFujiOlymolta will be doing next year let alone in 5 years.

Bragging rights have gone from being able to brag that your camera is the sibling of the pro SLR that all the professionals use to "I have 3 more MP than you do..."

The F5 ruled the top of the pyramid until DSLRS came along and now the race to be king of the hill has become much more intense and cyclic because the skill needed to create the next hit SLR is not such a rarified ability.

Once you have the basic camera mechanical engineering locked-down, there are a sea of CCD/optical engineering, semi and software engineers out there who can push the featureset of your basic design in a matter of months vs what once took years.

Trying to engineer say 3 more FPS out of an F5 takes a lot longer and is more complex (stress, failure rates, etc) than buying that latest sweet 10 MP CCD/CMOS sensor that Sony developed 12 months ago and then stuffing it with an extra 12MEG of buffer RAM into an existing N80 body.

It is somewhat like the move from fine mechanical watches to digital ones.

This scenario doesn't face the lens side of the equation. It still takes a somewhat rarified skill to glue together a really good lens like a 85mm F1.4, 200mm F2.0, etc., etc.

It means quicker obsolescence for new consumer/pro-sumer DSLR owners (e.g. the D100 vs D70 scenario) as something "better" comes along a year later at 2/3rds the price - and as as more people buy DSLRS and flood the used market thanks to the trend started by Canon 300D. It will also mean that "dud" cameras, crappy cameras with horrible noise and weird behavior outside the lab will become increasingly common vs. years ago as models are rushed to market for Xmas, etc.

Its a little like buying lenses. You want to buy the best you can afford for what style of photography you practice, but you should also try and buy ones that will have some residual value when you want to move up unless you intend to keep it forever. You also know that if you get a "legend" lens, that nothing will come along to better it by a huge margin - it will always be a legend among maybe more legends.

You raise a great and irritating point, but there is no good answer. You buy the D70 now or the 300D and 12 months from now their will be the D75 and the 350D with 3 more MP, a larger buffer, etc - for $500 less than you paid new.

The only solution (assuming you aren't willing to go that route) is to stick with film and the costs that go with it (or if a pro the competitive and cost issues vs. your increasingly digital competitors) or cough up the coin and buy used pro gear.

That felt good....
Hello Michael and Rob,

You both raised some very interesting points. However, pontifications aside, here's why I would buy the D100 over the D70.
First off, the D100 is available NOW, not next spring or next summer. The pictures that I need to capture digitally now (which I don't - I use my F80, N65 and FE at a very leisurely pace these days) will not wait until the D70 is available (that is delayed even further for Saudi Arabia, where I am today.)
Second, I feel much more comfortable with an option of a vertical grip/battery pack. The extra battery it holds, the AA option and an extra vertical release are conveniences that I feel comfortable having, plus I the camera feels more secure to me, even though I have small hands.
Third, after two years in the market, the D100 is a tried and (more or less - YMMV) proven camera, with all its by-now known capabilities, shortcomings, quirks etc. Its shallow buffer has been the pet peeve of many, but for my style of shooting, it's a non-issue, even though I shoot motor sports sometimes. I simply frame, track and take the right shot (or as right as possible) rather that reeling off several shots and selecting the best one later. I find photography more involving and fun this way.
Besides, even if I buy a two-year-old design D100 today, it will still be good enough for me in two more years, and 6mp jpegs will still be enough for me by that time. But that's just me.
All what I said notwithstanding, I still enjoy shooting film with my said cameras, and feel no need to give up film and go digital, even if I can afford it. But, again, that's just me.




Robert’s point about products being produced purely for market hits the nail right on the head, but the trend started way before the Canon 300D. It used to be the case that cameras where designed, like most other tools, to do a job, only build quality was the major issue. Then we got into the features race; more auto functions, faster AF, endless numbers of AF focussing points, and the list has simply multiplied with DSLRs.

History tells us that the likes of the 300D and D70 will be the flavours of the month and then disappear as worthless junk just in time for next latest and greatest. At the end of the day “products released for market†in photography are a poor medium to long term investment. In my experience the only way to avoid this mad market driven cycle is to invest in a camera with a solid reputation Robert’s “legend†if you like. Like so many other things to do with money the rule of thumb I have found again, IME is to “Pay Now Save Latter†or “Save Now Pay Laterâ€.

In direct answer to your D100 to D70 question is that the D100 does have a good reputation and a solid user community. So one might expect the camera to retain its value better than a D70 for ex&le. On the issue of future value retention, if it were me I’d much rather have a D1X or D2H. (IMHO the D2H is a better all round camera than it is given credit for and mush less expensive that the D1X). So don’t discount the 2nd hand market for at least a D1X there may be a great bargain out there just waiting for you. An advantage to top line cameras is that they are more solid and feal better in your hand and are thus easier to use. When you have a camera like the D1X in your hand you want to take it out and make pictures with it.

When considering the purchase of a camera the depth of sound ones piggy bank makes when you shake is more likely that not going to be little disappointing. On the other hand you can also spend a lot of spondoolies on “market cameras†over the longer term.

To boil it all down, we need digitised imagery for our work and or pleasure. At one end of the spectrum, as you know, the Super Coolscan 4000ED does a very good job at this. But there are advantages in direct digital capture. The camera feature sets needed really comes down to personal and particular working needs. As has been discussed earlier on Forum !@#$% DSLRs all have issues and are IMHO a compromise technology. We as photographers need to find the compromise that best suits our particular requirements. So your question is a prickly one that has no easy answer.

Just one perspective.

Best regards, Craig

PS I hate budgets they just limit our potential.


Just to follow up. I know the above is not, the exact message that you are after. Your points are valid. And on an international forum such as this it is not always appreciated that not all members have equal access to the European and US markets, which can place real limits on type of equipment that is realistically available.

This said, however, I would tend toward a more rugged camera for your type of work. Which is again an argument against cameras such as the D70 for serious applications. The one reason for preferring the D100 over the D70, you have answered yourself, it is a more solid camera.

My bias is toward so called pro cameras because they are built to withstand repeated hard use in less than ideal conditions. The D100 is nice alternative by virtue that it is a good basic solid camera. This may be more important than wiz bang features thrown into a cheap plastic body. The problem with discussing features and capabilities of DSLRs is that it is impossible to take a whole systems approach. For ex&le, if we all had G5 double processor Macs or PC equivalent, churning through volumes of large image files would be a breeze. But some of us still chug along with Pentium 2s and G3s.

The arguments presented in threads of a forum such are pretty well simply over the semantics of the differences between the results produced by different digital cameras, and in the scheme of things these are quit small. At the end of the day, a digital image is a digital image no matter how it is achieved.

Your work sounds interesting to say the least.

Best Regards, Craig


Well-Known Member
The problem with taking a long term approach with digital cameras compared to film cameras - I have a dormant Nikon F3 system that served me up to a couple of years ago - is that they are in fact digital devices. They at least loosely adhere to Gordon Moore's Law.

You can count that in two years, a current camera will be eclipsed by another camera with near double the capability for the same price or less.

My F3 may serve its next owner for a couple more decades. Film camera development has a 175 year history and improvements are happening at a glacial pace. I never traded up, because the differences between the F3, F4 and F5 were of little relevance to my picture taking.

Digital camera development is barely a decade old. A decade back - for the price of a Canon 1Ds now - you could get a VGA resolution camera with no removable media. When you buy into digital cameras, regard it more as a subscription.

If one subscribes to the subscription idea, there is a reasonable trade-in value for top prosumer and dSLRs. When I sold my first digital and bought the current one, I got about as much as I would have for a film camera of the same value and age - about half of what I paid for it.

At this point, I am not looking for a digital camera as robust as the F3. I am much more concerned with image quality than with camera body quality, and image quality takes magnum leaps between generations. I expect to trade every two to three years, and balance my image gains with my monitary losses.

It is an adolescent technology and it is growing quickly in both exciting and unpredictable ways, as an adolescent is wont to do. The gains between generations is not cosmetic. It is very real.

Of course, if you are happy with a camera and it does what you want, there certainly is no compelling reason to trade. Not everyone needs a 24MP camera any more than a person happy with 35mm needs a 6x7. Even a 2MP - 3MP camera will produce very nice snapshots. My taste is in large prints.

ICQ 76620504
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Larry’s post is, I think an informative contribution to this debate. IMHO this is great thread that coalesces some very important arguments regarding how we as photographers can deal effectively with the digital imaging revolution, within the scope of reasonable economics. As I see it, you can purchase a consumer model (ie D70) and throw it away in two or three years time, or fork out for something more substantial like the D100, D2H or D1X if the budget stretches that far, and have some hope of recovering your investment when its time to upgrade.

However, to play devils advocate, I’m not yet convinced that we shall see quantum leaps in technologies which bring with it substantial increases in digital image quality for DSLR type cameras in the near future. Yes there have been real improvements in technology with successive generations of cameras to date. The emphasis so far has been more to enhance image quality and useability via chip “lenslet†technologies and better and more efficient ways of information processing.

True big number pixel counts and real increases in resolution don’t seen to be on the horizon. The question should be, are these really necessary in relation to ultimate image quality from these sorts of cameras. Yet the logic of ever-forward advancement against the laws of physics and practical limitations of a system almost seems to be a universally accepted truth.

After all we are dealing with a tiny little format and we are almost expecting 10x8 like results. A friend of mine described Leica lenses as “a lot of effort for a ‘piss ant’ formatâ€, and this argument is equally valid for DSLRs. Digital capture is a far less complicated matter when applied to MF camera systems, but the market demands 35mm style DSLRs. We as consumers want faster, easier to use, more powerful and flexible cameras at lower cost, and that is what the manufacturers are providing us with. We shall see many more consumer grade models complete with “essential†features, while the better-built Pro-bodies will progress but at a more conservative pace.

Just another two cents worth, Craig


My take is that technology will advance digital photography faster than any of us can imagine....the prime mover in any industry is consumer demand-and boy is there ever a folks in labs are going to be developing some great stuff and I enjoy being alive (the alternative is not good) to see it all...and you know what, a couple of years from now my D100 will still produce shots that thrill me...