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Nikon D50 Digital SLR Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 8.77 (out of 10)
A hands-on preview was originally posted on 4/30/2005. Now DPReview.com has finished their review on a production version of the Nikon D50. Here's the opening paragraph: "Digital SLR's are quickly becoming the fastest moving segment of the digital camera market, this means more new digital SLR's, more competition and lower prices. The Nikon D50 is introduced as a more affordable and easier to use version of the D70 which was released just under fifteen months ago. Anyone who has seen or handled the D70 will immediately see a strong resemblance in the D50, it's only when you start to examine the camera in a little more detail that you notice the differences (we've detailed them below). Clearly the D50 is designed to compete with other affordable digital SLR's such as the Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Pentax *ist DS and Olympus E-300."

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
byThom 9.67  10-12-05 Read Full Review
"Overall, the D50 posted very good results with Imatest (both on JPEGs and converted-through-Capture NEFs) with one caveat: black. Underexposure with the D50 can be fatal to your image. First, black is being rendered a bit lower in value than it should be, so those shadow details you're looking for may require more alteration to get into "visibility." But when you make big changes in bringing up black, you'll get a color drift that's opposite of the rest of the tonal ramp and significant noise. Bad things lurk in the D50's invisible shadows, so don't underexpose."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Info 9.25  09-22-05 Read Full Review
The Nikon D50 is a solid contender among entry level DSLRs, providing users with a 6 megapixel APS-format sensor, 2.5 frames-per-second burst mode, vibrant color rendition, and excellent noise performance. Available at an MSRP of $899.95 and selling for around $700 or even below online, the D50 falls into an increasingly crowded segment of the DSLR realm. Supplying a 2-inch, 130,000 pixel LCD and strong autofocus system, the rugged consumer-level DSLR is even smaller than the D70 and contains a very deep feature set and host of manual controls that will help first time digital SLR owners hone their skills and grow into the medium.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
PC Magazine 9.20  08-16-05 Read Full Review
When it comes to the digital SLR market, Nikon has always focused on high-end, professional models like the D2X. While the company has not ignored consumer D-SLRs, its primary mission has always been serving pro shooters. That is why we were pleasantly surprised by the introduction of the D50 and what seems to be more of a commitment to the consumer. The D50 has a great price and includes helpful, user-friendly features. These, combined with excellent quality and performance, made it easy to single out this camera as our new Editors' Choice for D-SLRs.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Megapixel 9.00  08-27-05 Read Full Review
The Nikon D50 is designed as the company's entry-level digital SLR, yet many of its features and specifications are comparable to some of Nikon's very successful D70. The camera is sold body only, or with a variety of lenses. The D50 tested here was supplied with an AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G ED, an AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm f4-5.6G ED, and with an SB-600 Speedlight.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Outback Photo 9.00  08-01-05 Read Full Review
Despite the headline of the review over at Digital Photo Outback that reads "Nikon D70 Experience Report," this is actually a Nikon D50 Experience Report. Uwe Steinmueller's experience report is a review diary that reports on Uwe's day to day findings as he tests out the camera.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Shutterbug 8.67  12-09-05 Read Full Review
"The most affordable 6-megapixel digital SLR at the time of this writing, the Nikon D50 sells for about $250 less than the new/improved D70s. In spite of that substantial difference, the entry-level model incorporates much of the same technology and many of the same capabilities. And as a bonus, it's a bit smaller and lighter, more likely to appeal to those switching from a compact digicam or a lightweight 35mm SLR.

Both novices and some photo enthusiasts will love the Nikon D50 for its versatility, speed, and reliability. Others will gladly pay extra for the larger D70s in order to get slightly more rugged construction and specific extra features that they consider essential. There's really no wrong decision but the D50 clearly offers maximum value for the money. On the other hand, the D70s is more of a serious shooter's camera that will expand to meet new needs and pay dividends for a willingness to experiment with additional capabilities."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Camera Labs 8.50  12-02-05 Read Full Review
"Ultimately the D50's biggest problem is the same facing Pentax and Konica Minolta: namely the 8 megapixel resolution of Canon's EOS-350D. While these extra pixels make little or no difference for the vast majority of prints, it's still hard to buy a camera knowing there's another with higher resolution for pretty much the same price, with faster continuous shooting, better RAW software and a smaller, lighter body to boot. And while some see the 350D's compact dimensions as a negative, there's equally plenty who don't."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Photography Blog 8.13  08-15-05 Read Full Review
The Nikon D50 is currently the cheapest digital SLR camera that you can buy, costing £550 / $750 at the time of writing. The D50 is Nikon's attempt to capture a large slice of the entry-level DSLR market, tempting both those people who have held off buying a DSLR because they are too expensive, and those who are upgrading from a compact digital camera. Nikon have simplified the controls somewhat and the D50 uses SD memory cards rather than Compact Flash cards to provide an easier upgrade path. The Nikon D50 also has a much lighter plastic body than the more expensive D70s that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Having said all that, Nikon haven't tried to cripple the D50 by removing lots of features - indeed, it's pretty hard to spot where the D50 has less functionality than the D70s. So should the Nikon D50 be on your shopping list, and is it a viable alternative to the pricier D70s? Carry on reading my extensive review to discover the answers.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
LetsGoDigital 8.09  06-20-05 Read Full Review
All in all the Nikon D50 is an excellent digital SLR camera. Ideal for those who have outgrown their compact camera or for those who want to take their first steps into digital photography. The Nikon D50 may be a so-called entry level model; nevertheless it offers the user almost everything. Nikon offers a model of the lowest priced segment; this will make us meet more Nikons in the street. The Nikon D70 already did very well, and the D50 will do equally well or even better!
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Ken Rockwell 8.08  04-25-05 Read Full Review
The D50 is 90% of the D70 and D70s for a lower price. I have the blow-by-blow list further down. Otherwise the D50 is pretty much the same as a D70s and thus it's a great camera. The D50 would be an ideal backup since it even takes the same battery and is smaller and lighter than the D100 or D70 or D70, however it uses SD instead of CF cards. The missing 10% is nothing my mom or many people would miss, but personally I use those features so I'm sticking with the D70/D70s. Thus for photographers as a prime camera get the D70 or D70s, but as a spare or a camera for friends who just want great photos get the D50.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DCViews 8.00  07-04-05 Read Full Review
Compact users who are looking to make the step to DSLR photography could do worse than buy the D50. The camera is a pleasure to work with, with excellent handling and with all controls in exactly the right place. It is an outstanding performer thanks to its many versatile custom settings, high speed USB 2.0 interface and direct print options. Images show plenty of detail with good sharpness across the range and nice punchy colours.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
About.com 7.50  01-23-06 Read Full Review
"Color photos taken with the D50 turn out vibrant and bold, and the camera is especially good when it comes to skin tones. This makes the Nikon D50 the ideal camera for anyone who enjoys color portrait photography. If you don't want to draw attention to yourself when you're taking candid portraits, the D50's quiet shutter is going to suit you well.

I like this camera, but would not recommend it to anyone who enjoys using manual controls due to the difficulties adjusting camera settings while taking photos. For these photographers, there are other cameras that are easier to use.

For photographers who are looking for the advantage of digital SLR but don't want to use all the manual settings, this is a fantastic camera."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Imaging-Resource 7.37  08-11-05 Read Full Review
The Nikon D50 is just an excellent match for the aforementioned "family photographer," or for anyone wanting exceptional value in an entry-level digital SLR. This is a camera that will get you started in the world of d-SLRs at an affordable price, but one that will also give you plenty of room to grow over the years, as your skills mature.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DPNow 7.33  06-27-05 Read Full Review
Hands-on Preview: Nikon UK kindly provided DPNow with a pre-production D50, with its new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens for a hands-on session and product photo shoot. Being a pre-production unit with beta firmware, we did not use the camera for taking test pictures. That will wait until we get our hands on a production sample.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Trusted Reviews 7.21  12-09-05 Read Full Review
For about two years now there has been a race going on between Canon, Pentax, Konica Minolta, Olympus and Nikon to produce the first truly mass-market digital SLR. The price point that they have all been trying to beat is £500 for a camera and a lens, and the competing models all have 6 megapixel sensors. Pentax has come close with the *ist DL plus an 18-55mm lens available for £599. Canon has come closer still, pricing the EOS 350D kit at £579, and Konica Minolta's Dynax 5D can be found for £524.49 if you shop around. However Nikon has finally done it. You can buy a D50 complete with 18-55mm lens for just £474.94, a price which compares well to the current crop of high-end fixed lens cameras, making the D50 a real low-cost alternative to and an ideal entry-level D-SLR. That £474.94 is the High Street price; if you shop around online you can find the same package for as little as £460, although of course the usual caveats about grey imports and long delivery times apply.

The D50 kit is a mixed bag. On the one hand it is a truly affordable, easy-to-use digital SLR that offers an entry point into the huge Nikon system. It is well designed, well made and performs admirably. On the other hand it has a sub-par lens and some problems with image quality. Maybe the D50 would be better with a more expensive lens, but there's no denying that at under £500, it is going to be found under a lot of trees this Christmas.

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Pocket-Lint 7.11  09-12-05 Read Full Review
The D50 represents an ideal D-SLR for those first time D-SLR buyers on a more modest budget. Image quality, handling, responsiveness and key features strike an excellent balance, and while the D50 lacks some of the more advanced bits of the D70s, it is no slouch and so should be at the top of - or at the very least - near the very the top of your list if your in the market for such a camera.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Camera Hobby 7.00  03-25-06 Read Full Review
Review: "Back in 2005, I was surprised that Nikon was going to produce another D-SLR, one aimed primarily at the entry-level consumer market. I was thinking, isn't that what the D70 and D70s cameras were targeted for? Well, foolish me to think of the D70 in that regard, but now with the D200 firmly ensconced as the D100 replacement (and then some) we can see what Nikon had intended with the D50 introduction.

I admit that I had some presumptions about the D50 before the review process, presumptions that went against the D50 as being a serious camera. Much of this presumptuousness had to do with the consumer orientation and the reduction of features and capabilities compared to the higher priced SLR offerings from Nikon. As I found, some of the assumptions held up and some did not not.

For those that demand more from the camera, they should be looking at the D200 or D2 series of pro cameras as being the appropriate tools for use in demanding environments with commensurate performance. For the intended market Nikon is catering the D50 towards, consumers wanting better quality than high-end digicams, the D50 has a good mix of features and capabilities and the various D50 kit prices are competitive with high-end digicams that can't match the speed, handling, and high ISO performance of the D50."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DCResource 6.33  06-28-05 Read Full Review
The Nikon D50 is a very good entry-level digital SLR that performs just as well as the more expensive D70s, though you'll lose a few features along the way. Even so, many people will be happy to ditch those features to get an affordable D-SLR that performs very well.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
TechNewsWorld 6.33  08-18-05 Read Full Review
If you've ever owned an SLR camera, you can probably remember the first time you held it in your hands. I do. Here, I thought, many years ago when I picked up my Minolta X7, is something of substance. Weighty, certainly, but also beautifully balanced - an inanimate object capable of animating its beholder. That feeling was rekindled recently when I picked up Nikon's latest digital SLR, the D50.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
CNET Reviews 6.25  08-30-05 Read Full Review
Seven worry-free scene modes augmented by a serviceable set of manual controls and advanced focusing options make this least-expensive Nikon digital SLR camera a viable alternative to the popular D70s. The family-oriented Nikon D50, which includes a kid-friendly Child mode that brightens colors while retaining accurate skin tones, joins the Pentax *ist DL, the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, and the original Canon Digital Rebel in the 6-megapixel SLR sub-$900 price arena.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Mac World -----  08-30-05 Read Full Review
If you're trying to choose between Nikon and Canon D-SLRs, the D50 might not be such an obvious winner, largely because it's missing both a depth-of-field preview and a backlit LCD, and it has a cumbersome interface. But if you already own or have access to Nikon lenses, and have been wanting to go digital but haven't liked the high prices, the D50's sub-$1,000 sticker should make it a slam-dunk.
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