Whether you are just getting into photography or you want a compact option to add to your collection, the Nikon D50 could just want you are looking for. This camera is similar to the popular D70, but it has some changes that allow it to stand out on its own as a fine piece of equipment. As you will see in this review, there are several points that make it a good choice for a novice, along with a few highlights that make it rise above when you want superior image capturing.
It is important to note that the D50 is discontinued. It has had various successors since its debut in 2005. The most current model, the D3400, has more advanced and updated features, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS geo-tagging. For the purposes of this review, though, we will focus on this model and comparable models released around the same time instead of trying to compare to the more high-tech models that came after it was discontinued.
Pros and Cons
While the pros and cons of any camera are often going to be based on personal preference, here is look at some specific things that people who have used this camera have found.
When comparing the pros and cons, remember to keep in mind what you need in a camera. Some of the items in the lists may be of no consequence to you, while others may hold more weight. For some people, something listed as a con may be a pro or vice versa.
There are no standout red flags when it comes to the cons of the Nikon D50. Most of the cons are based on personal preference. Some do affect quality, but, again, it really depends on what you want to do with the camera, where you'll be shooting and your level of experience.
What You Need To Know (Nikon D50)
The Nikon D50 is the most affordable SLR camera from Nikon that originally was in the sub-$900 price point. It's designed to be easy to use with a family-oriented slant. The special child mode encourages the littlest photographers to hone their craft. It is also praised for its fast operation and accurate exposure metering.
This camera wakes fast at 0.6 seconds, and its ability to take a picture a second ensures you won't miss any moment or special shot. Using the flash slows it slightly but not enough to really make a difference in accuracy and details captured. There is a counter in the viewfinder to let you know how many pictures you have captured and how much storage space remains.
The top note about this camera is just how perfect it is for a first time DSLR photographer to use. Its low price point and high quality coupled with the automatic control options make it a simple camera that pretty much anybody can use to capture amazing images. As an added bonus and another detail that makes it great for a beginner is the drive screw that autofocuses the camera without the addition to the price tag that a focus motor would come with. Plus, it gives you more lens options.
Overall, this camera is winning in plenty of categories. It gets high recommendations from customers and has shown to maintain its edge over time. As you learn more about its features, you will see what we mean and why we find it such a good buy.
The Nikon D50 Control Panel
When you first get a new camera, you always check out how it operates. The Nikon D50 is jam-packed with options and controls. There are seven scene modes, manual control, autofocusing, iTTl electronic flash control and a single command dial. The dial adjusts depending on the mode you are in to allow for simple use. Remember as well that this camera has a child mode that is perfect for getting kids interested in this art while also allowing them to take control and explore their talents. Modes besides the child mode include sports, portrait, close-up, night portrait and auto setting plus landscape. The dial to change the modes is located conveniently on top of the camera housing.
The back panel is where you will find the LCD. It is in color and two inches in size, which is generous for a camera at this price point. There are additional controls here for playback, white balance, resolution settings, menu access and ISO. The back also is home to the exposure/focus-lock button and delete key. When in playback mode, the other buttons serve to allow you to move through images and review your work. Do note that some options are locked out in auto or scene modes because the camera handles auto adjusting those features.
Focusing can be auto or manual. You also have the bulb setting that allows for longer exposures. Finally, there are synchronization modes. These give you red-eye control, slow sync, and rear-curtain sync.
The number of features and the ease of using them makes this camera stand out. It even has onboard help screens, which come in handy. You don't have to carry around a manual with you. You just tap a few buttons and find what help you need to keep you moving along.
How the D50 Measures Up
- 6.1-megapixel sensor captures enough detail for photo-quality 14 x 19-inch prints
- Compatible with AF and DX Nikkor lenses; kit includes 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G and 55-200mm f4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor...
- Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames per second for bursts of up to 137 pictures
The biggest comparison made with the Nikon D50 is to the Nikon D70. The D70 is more advanced and offers some protective features, such as a plastic screen cover. The D50 is a newer version that is considered a slight step below the D70. However, reviews have said the D50 with a nicer lens will stack up well to the D70 and other counterparts.
Looking at specifics, the Nikon D50 costs less than the D70. It also has better autofocus and a newer motion sensor, which makes a huge difference in the image capturing. It also has an improved eye finder cup, which filters more light and stops light leakage.
Overall, the Nikon D50 is smaller and lighter than comparable models. Plus, this camera is more user-friendly with easier-to-use controls and better features to make it produce quality images for even the least experienced photographers. Finally, the Nikon D50 has better image processing to allow for improved highlight detail than some of the direct competitors on the market.
While there are a few low points for the D50, the way it stacks up head to head with other options is pretty good. It is strong and holds its own, depending on the features you want and whether that missing screen cover really bugs you.
Taking it a step further to consider customer reviews, this camera comes in with a four- to a five-star rating. It is greatly beloved by users. Nikon did something right when it took elements from the D70 and fine-tuned them to churn out the Nikon D50. Most reviews highlight the user-friendly nature and price tag of the camera. They are drawn to its excellent image quality and the overall value they get from the camera. Many reviews recommend the Nikon D50 over any other option based on performance alone.
The Last Word
When looking at the Nikon D50, it is easy to see that it is a superior product. While it may not measure up to similar models when it comes to certain fine-tuning elements, the overall comparison has the Nikon D50 comparing nicely and, in some cases, better than its counterparts. It is ideal for someone who is starting out or someone who wants to get into DSLR photography because it is so easy to use and has many options and functions.
Customer reviews suggest this camera meets or exceeds expectations, offering amazing image quality and superior function. Perhaps the biggest take away about the Nikon D50 is it is a great value. The price comes in lower than comparable options, sometimes as much as $1,000 less. It gives you a chance to focus on finding a better lens, which you know is of the utmost importance. It is almost always better to go with a cheaper camera and more expensive lens if you have to choose where to spend your money. The D50 offers you the chance to spend your camera money wisely on a product that will take good pictures with minimal fuss and hassle.
Because of its many attributes and quality performance, the Nikon D50 is highly recommended. It works for pretty much any level of photographer, from kids to experienced. The D50 was manufactured in 2005 and 2006, so it is now sold at steep discounts, often used. This only adds to the value you get from this camera but may make it a little trickier to find in some areas.