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Nikon D50

By: Dave Etchells and Shawn Barnett

Nikon develops an "entry-level" SLR loaded with features for less than $750. (Body only)

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 05/20/2005, Updated: 08/10/2005

Price breakthrough brings high-quality digital body for under $750.
6.1 megapixel CCD, 3,008 x 2,000 pixel images
ISO from 200 to 1600
2.5 frames per second with instant power-up
Part of Nikon "Total Imaging System"
Compatible with >90% of all Nikon F-mount lenses ever made!


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Nikon D50 Manufacturer Overview

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As I always seem to say, Nikon is truly a name that needs no introduction in the world of photography, long associated with superior lenses and rugged, functional cameras. In the digital world, they arguably kicked off the era of the mass-market professional digital SLR with their original D1 several years ago. They went through a bit of a lull a bit over a year ago, which ended with the breakthrough D70, a particularly strong product that combined an excellent feature set with an excellent "kit" lens and equally good picture quality to become one of the leading cameras of the last year.

Now, the Nikon D50 extends most of the capabilities of the D70 down to a lower price point and in a somewhat simplified format that seems intended to capture the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of the vast "family photographer" market. As you'll see in the review that follows, the Nikon D50 provides a superb combination of ease of use and advanced features, in a trimmer, more compact package than the previous D70. As the digital SLR market continues to move more mainstream, the Nikon D50 appears perfectly poised to capture a broad segment of it, providing great ease of use without "dumbing down" its capabilities for more advanced users.

There's still clearly a place for the D70 (now updated as the D70s), but from what we've seen in our tests, the new Nikon D50 seems poised to be another huge success for the company as the SLR market expands into the more purely consumer realm.


High Points

Article: Digital SLR or All-in-one Digicam?
By Shawn Barnett

With the price of digital SLRs finally within reach, should you stick with the All-in-one digicam or move up to an SLR? Why buy a high-end digicam when digital SLRs are so close in price? Do digicams still have a purpose? What are the pros and cons? An avid photographer, I spent some time thinking about that myself. Come see what I discovered about digital SLRs versus all-in-one digicams.
  • 6.1 megapixel CCD delivering a maximum image resolution of 3008 x 2000 pixels.
  • 1/500 flash sync, 1/4,000 second top shutter speed.
  • SLR design with true, TTL optical viewfinder.
  • 2.0 inch 130,000 pixel TFT LCD with adjustable brightness.
  • Polycarbonate body over a metal frame for strength with low weight.
  • Interchangeable F mount lens design accommodates a wide range of Nikkor lenses, type D and type G recommended. 1.5x multiplier applies to focal length.
  • Body supports both mechanically-coupled and all-electronic AF-S lenses.
  • Program, Digital Vari-Program (Scene), Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual exposure modes.
  • New 3D color matrix metering II exposure system, integrating 420-segment RGB white balance sensor.
  • AF system offers single and continuous servo modes, as well as new Auto Selection (AF-A) mode, in addition to manual focus.
  • TTL flash exposure metering in three modes (with the SB-800 or SB-600 flash units).
  • ISO 200 - 1,600 exposure range.
  • White balance has auto, six manual modes, and preset option.
  • Three color modes, plus contrast, saturation, hue, and sharpness adjustments.
  • Built in, five-mode popup flash.
  • External flash hot shoe.
  • Continuous shooting, Auto Exposure Bracketing, and Self-Timer modes.
  • JPEG, RAW (NEF) and JPEG + RAW (NEF) file formats.
  • Uses SD memory cards.
  • USB cable for computer connection.
  • Five-area AutoFocus.
  • Included CD-ROM loaded with PictureProject software.
  • NTSC Video cable for connection to TV. 


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