Nikon D50 Review
Review Date: August 15th 2005
The Nikon D50 has a 6.24 megapixel , 23.7mm x 15.6mm RGB CCD that delivers 6.1 effective megapixels. There are 3 image size settings (3,008 x 2,000 [L]; 2,256 x 1,496 [M]; 1,504 x 1,000 [S] pixels) and three levels of compression (Fine, Normal, Basic), which are recorded as JPEGs (8 bit). RAW (12 bit) format is also available, giving an image size of 3008 x 2000 pixels. An AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G DX lens is supplied as part of the standard kit. The camera supports SD memory cards.
The Nikon D50 offers four advanced exposure modes - Programmed Auto [P] with flexible program; Shutter Priority Auto [S]; Aperture Priority Auto [A]; Manual [M] - and 7 different scene modes (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait), plus a fully automatic Programmed Auto mode. Exposure compensation can be set up to +-5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV. There is also an auto-exposure and auto-focus lock button. The maximum aperture of the supplied lens is f3.5 at wide-angle and f5.6 at telephoto and the shutter speed range is 1/4000 - 30 sec with a Bulb option also available. There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 200 to 1600.
For focusing the Nikon D50 uses a TTL phase detection 5-point autofocus system. There are 3 different focusing modes available - Single Area AF, Dynamic Area AF, Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF - and 3 metering modes - 3D Color Matrix, Centre-weighted metering and Spot metering. There are 4 types of focusing - Autofocus (AF), single-servo AF (AF-S), continuous servo AF (AF-C) and Manual focus (M). The camera has 5 autofocus points which can be selected automatically or manually. Focus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button. An Auto-focus assist lamp is also available. For White Balance, there is an Auto setting, six manual modes, preset white balance and white balance bracketing.
The Nikon D50 offers single and continuous shooting modes with a maximum shooting speed of 2.5 frames per second. The camera has a self-timer mode, delayed remote mode with 2 seconds delay and a quick-response remote mode. 20 custom-programmable functions are also available. There are 2 colour space choices, sRGB and Adobe RGB, and various image parameters can be selected (Normal, Vivid, Sharper, Softer, Direct Print, Portrait, Landscape, Custom).
The built-in flash offers a range of different modes; Front-curtain Sync (normal sync), Red-eye Reduction, Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync and Rear-curtain Sync. It has a guide number of 15 and offers a Sync speed of up to 1/500 sec. The Nikon D50 has a hotshoe that accepts Nikon dedicated flashguns, either auto or manual.
To compose your images you use the optical viewfinder monitor. The Nikon D50 offers 95% scene coverage and 0.75x magnification. The viewfinder has built-in diopter adjustment. To playback your images, the camera has a 2 inch LCD screen with 130,000 pixels and brightness adjustment. PictBridge support allows direct printing with compatible printers, and the DPOF and PRINT Image Matching III features allow you to configure options for printing your images.
The camera's dimensions are 133(W) x 102(H) x 76(D)mm, and it weighs 540g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by one rechargeable Li-ion Battery. An optional AC adapter is also available which can be connected via the DC in jack. The camera can be connected to a television via either the NTSC or PAL video signal outputs. USB 2.0 allows for fast connection to a computer. There is a metal tripod mount in the bottom-centre of the camera in line with the lens mount.
Finally, the box kit that I reviewed contains a Nikon D50 body, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3, Quick Charger MH-18a, Video Cable, USB Cable, Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece Cap, Rubber Eyecup, Lens Cap, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual and PictureProject CD-ROM. You will need to budget for some SD memory cards (at least 512Mb in size), as there is no card supplied or internal memory, which is typical of most DSLR cameras.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Nikon D50 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.