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Nikon D70 in Cold Weather
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Ritz Camera


Nikon D70

The D70 has pretty much evaporated from stores.
Today it's replaced by the almost identical D70s.


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I didn't feel like overnight on Mt. Whitney, so I left my D70 and Nikkor 12 - 24 mm in my freezer at 0º F (-20º C) overnight. I kept it in a ziplock bag to avoid condensation when I took them out.

It works, but with some hesitation. Note that the camera and battery are not rated to work at all at 0ºF.

The LCD is fine, but is slow to respond. It crossfades from screen to screen instead of cutting.

The freshly charged battery read almost dead. After each shot the top LCD blinked off and my D70 recorded to my card.

The top frame rate slowed to just under 1 FPS from the normal 3 FPS.

AF speed slowed a bit.

As soon as it warmed up a bit everything, including the battery meter, returned to normal.

I suspect that the battery will be the biggest problem for extended use at 0ºF. I only tried a couple of dozen shots after which my camera started to warm up to room temperature again.

If you do this a lot I'd suggest keeping a spare battery in a warm pocket and swapping it with the cold one.

The zip lock is only needed when coming in from the cold, or taking a camera out of the freezer. Condensation forms as a cold camera is brought into a warmer environment. You don't need a zip lock while using your camera out in the cold.

This is just an estimation. Others who really do live in the arctic write that they really do shoot outside all day and all is fine, while others warn of the potential for cracked LCDs. This is all I know; that the battery reads low when soaked at -20C but otherwise my camera works. Other cameras I've had died at 50F/10C!!!!!

One fellow wrote from Northern Canada telling me his D70 works fine at -32C (-25F).

Another writes from a research station in Antarctica and tells me that his D70 works great at -45C (-49F), although the battery and LCD give up after about 20 minutes. I'm presuming he;s starting with the camera at a reasonable temperature. My experiment soaked it at -20C (0F) for many hours.

The D70 is fine. Compare this to a Minolta X-570 I owned in the 1980s that had problems below +10C (+50F) !

Good luck!

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