December 3, 2003: In a move that may cause potential Digital Rebel purchasers to pause before buying, Nikon has just announced that they are developing the D70, a digital SLR that will retail for just under $1,000 for the camera body.

Information available from Nikon about the SLR is vague, but a press release states that “the D70 will enable photographers to easily adopt digital technology into their existing camera system. The new model will offer an exclusive selection of new features and exciting Nikon SLR technology that will surpass products within the evolving digital SLR market.”

The release goes on to state that “The D70 joins Nikon’s current selection of digital SLR models and employs the popular Nikon DX format sensor and Nikon F lens mount. This design will allow photographers to use high-quality DX Nikkor lenses, and also maintain seamless compatibility with all AF Nikkor lenses and the D70. Designed exclusively for Nikon’s D-series digital SLR cameras, DX Nikkor lenses are optimized to achieve outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner image quality, when used with any of Nikon’s digital SLR cameras including the D1, D1X, D1H, D100, the new high-speed D2H, and the forthcoming D70.”

The Nikon announcement mentions three DX lenses currently available for their Digital SLRs.
• AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 G ED
• AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
• AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

The press release quotes Richard LoPinto, vice presidents for SLR camera systems, Nikon Inc., as saying: “with the development of the D70, Nikon is responding to a growing interest among a broad range of photo enthusiasts who are looking for a full-featured digital SLR camera that fits within their personal budgets, and also the expanding interest among amateurs who enjoy great pictures and want the high level of performance that a Nikon digital SLR can provide.”

In other words, according to Nikon, the D70 is a shot across the Canon Digital Rebel’s bow.

More information and specifications are promised by Nikon “at a later date.”