I am one of many who either are considering, or who have already decided on, a move to a D70. This thread is really applicable to D100 owners as well, because I think that the size comparisons are also close to the same.

I shoot a lot of sports, rarely print anything over 8x10, and never print anything larger than 13x19. I will never be able to justify buying a $4000-5000 camera and so up until the D2H price job, a "Pro" level body was out of my shopping list forever. I am not a professional photographer, and I wouldn't even call myself a good photographer when talking with people on this forum... because I've seen what you guys can do. I do use my camera for product pictures as well for web publishing, and that is the "business need" that really got me into this stuff to start with, but being a Dad of high school atheletes has given me many more reasons to own a camera like the D2H.

I have had the D70 for about 3-4 months, having bought it after many years of Nikon ownership. I started with a manual Nikon 35mm body years ago, went to the 6006 which served us well for the last 15 or so years, and had bought a Coolpix 4300 a year ago. The near $1000 price of the D70 got to the price point where I saw DSLR as a real option, but quickly dwarfed that in other expenses for all the stuff you guys can list as good as me. The thing that the D70 did for me was let me learn things I always wanted to spend time learning, but didn't have the patience for with film... and that has made me a "better" photographer for sure.

Anways, the point of this thread is to give you a few comparisons between the D2H and D70, after a few days of use. Note that this is biased towards what I see as the important differences, and not necessarily what the specs say... I picked up the D70 last night for the first time after less than a week, and it felt like a toy to me. It was like picking up a point and shoot, after using the D70. The difference in size and weight is that big.

The most notible things that I've discovered about the difference between the cameras after just a few days of use.

* Did I say it was big! I can't see my wife EVER using this camera... its just too big and would make here a major geek which she hates. So if I keep the D2H, then I'm going to have two bodies... no if, ands, or buts, about it. Anway, the D2H is 50% taller and about 15% wider than the D70, and all the controls, grip, etc, are noticabley larger.

* Did I say it was heavy! I am not comparing apples to apples really, because I'm comparing different lenses with the body, but I think its fair to say you'd want a pro level lens on the D2H. The fact is I had this same lens on the D70, but I'll use the kit for comparison.
D2H w/ 17-55mm DX - 4 lbs. 11 ounces
D70 w/ 18-70mm DX - 2 lbs. 9 ounces

* LCD - this is one of my favorite parts of the D2H. I found when showing pictures to people on the D70, it was very hard for them to see unless they held the camera up to their nose. If you were off to the side, forget it. It was also tough and slow (in comparison) to zoom in and navigate around. The D2H LCD is huge and bright. I actually turn it down a little. The ergonomics of zooming in and navigating around are I'd say about 3x as fast as on the D70. You can instantly zoom and navigate without fumbling around.

* Vertical Grip - this is one of the primary reasons I wanted this camera. I shoot the majority of the time vertical, and the D70 is awkward to do this. D100 owners have the advantage here because I'd prefer to be able to remove the grip when using it for candids, but then it wouldn't have the same build toughness and integration. I did dislike this in some ways because I kept hitting the vertical shutter release and accidentally taking shots. That is until last night when I noticed you can turn it off... duh... I assumed that switch was to turn the camera off... silly me.

* Curve or No Curve - on the D70 forum, there is a ton of dialog about creating, loading, and using custom curves. I was not happy with the D70 pictures until I started using the White Wedding curve all the time, and after that I just forgot about it and was happy. This is kind of silly to me. Well, you don't see that same discussion on the D2H forum because it isn't necessary. The D2H pictures are fine out of the box.. no curve needed is my conclusion.

* Is this an Uzi or a Camera? - i thought the D70 was plenty quick with 3 shots per second, and I was getting some good action shots with it. Well, after one game with the D2H... I can admit I didn't know what I was missing. With 8 shots per second, it is almost like you are going frame by frame with a video camera when you look a the pictures. I've only done one game, but I can see that this will allow me to get a lot more good action shots without a doubt.

* Focus speed - I haven't really noticed the effect of this yet. I know its faster, but the D2H has a ton more focus options that I haven't had a chance to get though.

* No Built-in Flash- I know this is taboo on a pro body, but I still would like to have it. I had started using the SB800 remotely on the the D70, and the built-in flash could either trigger it, or be used together with it... very nice and compact. Can't do that with the D2H. It was also nice to have it there as fill flash in a pinch when you found yourself in a darker setting than you anticipated, and didn't bring the bag with you.

* Switches - The D70 had put in menus, some things that my 6006 had in switches... and had also used some buttons/dials for dual purposes. The D2H does a nice job of giving you plenty of switches for all the stuff you'd want to control during a shoot. The one thing I don't like is I feel like I'm playing a childs motor skills game at times. It seems that every button, dial, and switch is a totally different design. Some you have to push in a center button and twist (which I can't seem to do easily on one of them... have to use two hands), some are just a switch, some are a button with a separate dial, some are a dial with a button built in, some have a separate lock. The D70 has some of the same, but with so many more controls its very obvious. This is a real nit, because believe me that I like having things exposed in hardware controls.

* No Hot shoe Accessory for Strobes Needed - I use studio strobes, and I had to use a hokey little hot shoe adapter to connect the sync cable. The D2H has this built-in, but they added a really cheap plastic threaded plug to keep dust out of it... I would have preferred to have had a plug that would last a little longer.. or for them to include 3 of them so that you can easily replace it when it gets lost or cross threaded.

* High ISO Noise - This is all the rage around here... and it is fueled viciously by Canon folks. There is a difference in noise sensitivity, but I have yet to conclude how big a deal it is. I have gotten good results with high ISO in some shots... even at ISO 3200, and I have gotten crappy results at much lower results. I think the key is exposure, which everyone is saying. At present, my D2H is tracking about 0.7-1.0 underexposed. I don't want to over-react to that, since I can compensate for it. I want to have a chance to get more shots under my belt and then conclude if this is a problem. I'm used to noise, because in low light high school sports, I was already using Noise Ninja on a regular basis.

* Megapixels - 6 vs. 4... if you are confident in yourself, then maybe size doesn't matter This is what it is. I would obviously rather have more, but I almost always end up reducing the file sizes at some point and never print the big stuff... so 4 is fine with me for now. The only thing this may hurt me on is cropping, because I do crop sports shots all the time. The things it that I didn't get good sharp results on the D70 when I did heavy cropping, so I don't know that there will be a huge difference in actual use... and the improved focussing and frame rate should buy back sharpness for me.

Well, that is what comes to mind. I mostly wanted to get the pictures up because I honestly didn't realize the D2H was this much bigger than the D70. Most of the comparisons on this site and others don't let you see relative size differences, and I didn't look that closely at the specs.. and there are no camera shops near where I live that carry this kind of stuff.
For the D2H critics, PLEASE don't now turn this into a thread of "the D2H" stinks replies. I'd love to have this see replies from others with D70 or D100 eperience that actually have a D2H, or are considering buying one. There are plenty of threads already with the other stuff.