Nikon D50 (with 18-55mm lens)
Manufacturer: Nikon Inc. Part number: 25231
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as of 07/23/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $1,899.66
- Reviewed by: David D. Busch
- Edited by: Aimee Baldridge
- Reviewed on: 08/28/2005
- Released on: 06/20/2005
The good: Strong performance; excellent image quality; low visual noise; simple modes for neophytes; robust burst mode.
The bad: Simplified controls sometimes clumsy to use; small viewfinder; no depth-of-field preview; only one set of custom parameters; raw-file editing/control software costs extra.
The bottom line: Performance and features that rival those of more expensive digital SLR cameras make the 6-megapixel Nikon D50 one of the best entry-level options.
Original D70 Better Than D50 or D70S
by tkmtech on April 25, 2005
Pros: Larger LCD, Simplier to use? Performance improvements?
Cons: Nikon should have engineered this camera for a lower price since ease of operation claim
Summary: Even though the D50 has larger LCD than original D70, the D70 is far superior simply becuase of the features of last year's camera. I've been using the ...
Summary: Even though the D50 has larger LCD than original D70, the D70 is far superior simply becuase of the features of last year's camera. I've been using the D70 for a year now and find it let's me shoot like a pro or can point and shoot running on full Auto! The D70 is a complex camera and I can see why Nikon is trying to offer an easier to use camera with bigger LCD for consumers. Not sure if this marketing approach will draw that many new customers since the price is still high for the consumer looking for a better digital camera. Dslr's are still pricey but you do get a lot more camera.
I suggest anyone thinking about spending $1000 on a dslr review this link:
It's a very through discussion and fairly compares to the Canon Rebel.
There's lots of comparisons to Canon Rebel. I like Nikon's Lenses, not plastic. Nikon's camera body feels solid and balanced so the D50 should follow the D70 in that respect. If it's engineered as well as the D70, the camera should sell but not as well as the D70 intro. because of price and feature tradeoff.
Nikon is supporting D70 owners with a firmware upgrade to perform similar to D70S.
It took me over 6 months to become familarized with the D70 features and I'm still learning how to use advanced features. The features of the D70 attract some people so maybe Nikon feels a simplier camera will attract those who don't want to take the time to learn how to use the D70. I looked at the preview for the D70s and still happy with my original D70. I would not buy the soon to be released D50 over last year's D70 but it sounds like Nikon is responding to consumers.
53 out of 79 users found this user opinion helpful.
Awesome. Just read the on-line pro reviews.
by ajbbrun on August 9, 2005
Pros: Uses Sony CCD, Fast Shutter speed, 2inch LCD, vivid colour & brilliance
Cons: none whatsoever --Nikon specializes in one thing only!
Summary: Nikon has always catered to the enthusiast market. Now it is affordable and Digital. I love my new camera because it captures the image fast--no hesitation whatsoever. I can use ...
Summary: Nikon has always catered to the enthusiast market. Now it is affordable and Digital. I love my new camera because it captures the image fast--no hesitation whatsoever. I can use all of my old but super Nikkor lenses. Rapid shooting for 150+ shots at a time. Battery life is excellent. SD memory is a new upgrade from the D70 and D100 which are also great cameras. The controls are professional looking and easy to navigate. The manual over ride allows for excellent creativity. Simply beautiful but don't take my word for it, just google a D-50 review.
24 out of 24 users found this user opinion helpful.
by axnelson on April 22, 2005
Pros: Basically a D70 with a lower msrp
Cons: Price is still high for mainstream audience.
Summary: First of all I am not going to get into Canon VS Nikon debate. Both systems have its strong points. As far as Megapixels difference between 6mb and 8mb image ...
Summary: First of all I am not going to get into Canon VS Nikon debate. Both systems have its strong points. As far as Megapixels difference between 6mb and 8mb image is roughly 600 pixels vertical and horizontal out of 2.5k. I do think its a deal breaker eitherway. Image quality is far more important than pixel count. More pixels generally mean more bleedover and slower processing unless processing and filtering is greatly improved also.
From all reviews that I have red is D50 is basically a D70 with a few buttons removed and interface simplified for a beginner. I think its great. What I am having a problem with is that D50 is too close in price to D70. $100 difference is not enough. I think Nikon should be selling this camera for much less then its asking price to capture the audience. I am not sure why change to SD cards unless size was a major concideration. CF are cheaper and have greater capacity.
27 out of 33 users found this user opinion helpful.
Awesome First Digital SLR
by tdidawg on August 1, 2005
Pros: Lower noise than all cameras in it's class (DPReview backs this up!) Flash system second to none, and this includes Canon! Kit lens very good. Great build quality, again Best in Class.
Cons: Would like second control wheel (like D70 & D70s) for manual use.
Summary: For the money you can't go wrong. I've had mine for about six weeks and am having the time of my life. I also purchased the SB600 flash ...
Summary: For the money you can't go wrong. I've had mine for about six weeks and am having the time of my life. I also purchased the SB600 flash unit and am waiting for the 55-200mm DX lens to arrive. Much better build quality than the Canon and feels much better in your hand. Battery life is awesome! Another reason to pick this over the 350xt Drebel. Why did Canon switch to the smaller battery?
This is my fifth Digital camera and my first Nikon. I have had an HP, Kodak, and two Canon's. Nikon has a real winner here!
10 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
This is a very good camera that can produce stunning results.
by mmhs19 on May 26, 2006
Pros: Image Quality; Low Noise Levels (go ahead, use ISO 1600); Intuitive, Well-Designed Controls; Bright LCD; Full Manual Control AND Helpful Presets; Build Quality and Feel
Cons: No Depth of Field Preview; Unlit Upper LCD
Summary: I purchased mine in February, 2006 and I love it. I have owned five other digital cameras, including a Canon 20D (more on that later), and this is first camera ...
Summary: I purchased mine in February, 2006 and I love it. I have owned five other digital cameras, including a Canon 20D (more on that later), and this is first camera that makes me want to use it.
Full manual control for creativity? Check! Settings for cheaters? Check!
I've gotten stunning sunrises over Lake Michigan by fiddling with the manual settings and creating just the right effects. I've also spun the dial to sports/action and gotten every movement of my daughter's leg as she made her first soccer goal; a priceless picture I might not have gotten if I was busy pushing buttons, rotating wheels and reading menus.
Last fall I bought a Canon 20D because I felt I had graduated into the world of "real photographers" and needed the "right" equipment. Boy, was I wrong! My skills and understanding did not match the abilities of the 20D; it was the right tool for the wrong guy. I sold it because I lost pictures to fiddling with a camera I didn't understand; I became consumed by the equipment I was using, rather than the photograph I was trying to make.
If you choose the D50, be sure to get the 18-55 kit lens. It's sharp, admitedly not razor sharp, and yes it has a plastic mount, but it is very good and makes a great "walk-around" lens. I have this lens, a Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro (wow is it sharp) and a Nikon 70-210mm zoom (again really sharp). These were purchased based on recommendations by Ken Rockwell (www.kenrockwell.com), who runs a site dedicated to Nikon photography.
I was a megapixel snob before buying this camera, the more, the better. Now, I see the error of my ways. Noise, image quality and white balance are far more important. More often than not, it is the photographer, not the camera who is responsible for making a great photograph or, conversely, taking a crappy shot.
This maybe the perfect camera for someone still using the photographic equivalent of training wheels, or for someone looking for a simple, no nonsense D-SLR for more responsive photography. Buy it, you'll love it.
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Judge Camera Based On Fact/Experience - Not Speculation
by zojirushi on August 26, 2005
Pros: Excellent 2" LCD, D70s in a more affordable package with only minimal sacrifices (and even an improvement or two)
Cons: RAW White Balance information proprietary encryption; No Depth of Field Preview
Summary: I find it VERY silly that users have rated this camera before it was released or they'd even used it (especially the rating of 3 - that's just ...
Summary: I find it VERY silly that users have rated this camera before it was released or they'd even used it (especially the rating of 3 - that's just ridiculous).
Regardless, I've had this camera for close to 2 months now. It's been precisely what I was hoping for. The build quality is excellent (one of the reasons I strayed from the Rebel XT I was initially contemplating). The camera is exceptionally responsive, takes beautiful images and as another reviewer noted - has one of the least noisy pictures when using higher ISO settings.
This camera has rekindled my enjoyment of photography. I'd stopped using my old film SLR after getting my previous point and shoot digital camera since the cost of film development was too much and I'd been spoiled by instant review of the images. But I was missing using an SLR and had begun to take fewer and fewer images. My biggest annoyance with my digital camera was the standard shutter lag of most digicams. I'd see the picture I want to take and by the time the camera actually captured it (even after I'd focused) the moment was gone. With the D50 - that problem is a thing of the past. It starts in the blink of an eye and captures images almost instantaneously.
The USB 2.0 connection (high speed, not just the USB 1.1 - "full speed" of some USB 2.0 products) is excellent. No need for an external card reader - I just have my usb cable connected to my computer, sit down and plug it to the camera. It's instantly recognized (no drivers need to be installed on WinXP) and with a couple minutes the full camera is offloaded - all 512MB of images. Easy-peasy.
If you're a first time digital SLR consumer, this is a superb option. The controls are VERY intuitive and easy to use. Most of the most used functions (ISO, quality, flash, exposure, etc) are available with a simple press of a button and flick of the dial. You don't need to use the LCD screen and navigate menus to change these - saving both time and battery. Its obviously a little more limited than the D70(s) that has 2 dials for even more seamless control - but for the level of function I was looking for - this strikes the perfect chord.
In conclusion, this is a fabulous camera that does just about everything required of it with ease. I wouldn't spend more than eight-hundred on it (and probably should be able to get it if you're patient for seven-fifty or so) - although I think its worth its full retail (just don't think folks should spend more than they have to).
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great performace for better price
by ohoersch on August 2, 2005
Pros: Great built, excellent image quality
Cons: Wish the price was lower
Summary: Beautiful images, easy to use, but with lots of advanced option available. Very few people will care about the few features that are removed in cmparison to the D70s. More ...
Summary: Beautiful images, easy to use, but with lots of advanced option available. Very few people will care about the few features that are removed in cmparison to the D70s. More importantly, the D50 does not have the feel of a cheesy point-and-shoot camera like the Canon. Had my D50 for about 2 weeks now and had lots of fun using it, but also produced excellent looking pictures.
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
by BraxIrwin on November 27, 2005
Pros: Ability to change lenses, simple menu system, awesome flash.
Cons: Wireless remote not included?? I'm reaching here.
Summary: Absolutely love this camera. I have owned a number of digital cameras, Sony DSC-F707 and the Nikon 8800 were the most recent, and this camera literally blows them away. Super ...
Summary: Absolutely love this camera. I have owned a number of digital cameras, Sony DSC-F707 and the Nikon 8800 were the most recent, and this camera literally blows them away. Super fast start up time, great build quality and phenomenal battery life. The onboard flash yields amazing results. Reading some of the reviews, I don't understand the big problem with the one function wheel and the fact that it uses SD media instead of CF. Everyone, (including the CNET reviewer), needs to ease up a bit on the camera. It is what it is. It's an excellent quality entry level dslr. You're right, it's not a D70. It wasn't designed to be a D70....that's why they call it the D50. Personally, I highly recommend this camera. Thanks.
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Better than Olympus E-300
by m.riley on November 15, 2005
Pros: Excellent focus speed, great color accuracy, nice top side LCD display
Cons: Can't lock white balance in auto (perhaps)
Summary: First off, I am a casual photographer, not a pro, so view points are from an amateur's perspective.
While researching the purchase of my camera (my first digital SLR) ...
Summary: First off, I am a casual photographer, not a pro, so view points are from an amateur's perspective.
While researching the purchase of my camera (my first digital SLR) I narrowed down my search to 2 cameras, the Nikon D50 and the Olympus E-300. I couldn't find the E-300 in my town to actually play with it, so I bought the Nikon D50 (from our local Best Buy). As luck would have it my sister in-law bought the E-300 a couple weeks later from a camera shop in New York. We spent a few hours comparing the cameras and here's what we found.
Although both cameras are vary nice cameras, the Nikon three areas where it is superior, color accuracy, the flash, and a 2nd display on the top of the camera for information on current settings.
After taking several pictures with each camera of the variety of things using the same settings the Nikon D50 exhibited better color accuracy in almost all cases, although usually subtle, some times it was very noticeable with the Olympus having problems with reds (the D50 was dramatically better with color taking outdoor pictures of cars). The color accuracy of the Nikon was better in all the settings we tried, macro, landscape, and auto (Auto for Nikon, program for Olympus). The difference was most prominent in macro setting where the Olympus' pictures would occasionally have the colors washed out.
The flash on the Olympus does not pop-up automatically when needed, you have to push a button to get the flash to pop up. As a casual photographer, that is unacceptable, although a pro might appreciate that for some reason I can’t think of. There is also no indication that the flash is or isn't desirable with the E-300. You just have to remember to push the flash pop-up button any time you are taking a picture that might require a flash. The Nikon D50 will pop the flash up when it's focusing if it's going to flash. It's nice that it does this because you don't have to remember to push a button and it lets you know it's going to flash, so if you don't want it to flash, you can turn it off. Also in the comparison pictures the amount of flash produced by the Nikon was always equal to or better than the amount of flash produced by the Olympus and by better, I don’t mean more, I mean more appropriate. The Nikon's flash was slightly less in macro pictures, reducing glare and preserving natural shadows whereas the Olympus made reflective surfaces sparkle because of excess flash. In portrait mode the Nikon's flash was far better, lighting the background as well as the foreground, whereas the Olympus portait was too dim, especially the background. It made the face appear to float in darkness.
The Nikon also has an LCD display on top that displays camera settings that the E-300 does not have. It displays picture count remaining, white balance setting, picture file quality, shooting mode, flash setting and more.
Both cameras felt very firm, with similar feeling buttons and controls, although the Nikon's button are larger making them easier to find and use. It wasn't a big deal, but I think the Olympus' buttons were too small. The Olympus did have a nicer fealing lens. Both cameras focused fast and are responsive. All-in-all, I think the Nikon D50 is a better camera even though it is only 6MP compared to Olympus at 8MP.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
A good alternative for DC users
by ccscho on April 26, 2005
Pros: SD, cost, size and weight compared to D70(s)
Cons: bundled lens, one command dial, no metering or auto with AIS lens
Summary: Finally a DSLR that uses SD exclusively. This is a good alternative for DC users to change to DSLR. There is no need to shell out money for a CF-SD ...
Summary: Finally a DSLR that uses SD exclusively. This is a good alternative for DC users to change to DSLR. There is no need to shell out money for a CF-SD adapter or to buy the CF memories all over. The SD card slot appears in Canon high-end 1DMkII only, see!
Features very similar to D70 except 1/8000s shutter speed, LCD illuminator and wireless TTL with built-in flash and a different CCD sensor. The cost saving features are very well concerned with image quality and essential features prioritised.
If the image quality is good with the new sensor, I would highly recommend it as a DC replacement or a film SLR preview tool or backup alternative.
5 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Nikon Inc.
- Part number: 25231
- Description: The D50 is the ideal introduction to Digital SLR photography, with a wide range of Automatic features to make great photographs easily. Whatever you shoot there is a Digital Vari Program that sets up the camera for the best exposure. Just select the mode dial and the D50 takes care of the rest. It's small, it's light, and it fits snugly in your hands and delivers clear, sharp results with extra possibilities of control and creativity.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Digital camera - SLR
- Resolution 6.1 megapixels
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Total Pixels 6,240,000 pixels
- Effective Sensor Resolution 6,100,000 pixels
- Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.7mm
- Optical Zoom 3 x
- Auto Focus TTL phase detection
- Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 5
- Image Recording Format JPEG,
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
Exposure & White Balance
- Light Sensitivity ISO 200-1600
- Exposure Metering 3D color matrix II,
- Exposure Modes I-TTL program flash,
- Shooting Programs Sports mode,
- White Balance Automatic,
- Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec
- Min Shutter Speed 30 sec
- Exposure Compensation ±5 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
- Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 steps in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
- White Balance Bracketing Yes
- X-sync Speed 1/500 sec
- Exposure Range EV 0-20 ( ISO 100 )
- Type 3 x x Zoom lens - 18 mm - 55 mm - F/3.5-5.6 G ED Nikon AF-S DX
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 27 - 82.5 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Min Focus Range 11 in
- Zoom Adjustment Manual
- Lens Construction 5 groups / 7 elements
- Filter Size 52 mm
- Lens System Mounting Nikon F
- Features Aspherical lens,
Silent Wave Motor (SWM),
- Camera Flash Built-in flash,
- Guide Number (m / ISO 100) 11
- Flash Modes Automatic
- Features AF illuminator,
Flash +/- compensation
- Continuous Shooting Speed 2.5 frames per second
- Self Timer Delay 2 - 20 sec
- Flash Terminal Hot shoe
- Status LCD Display Information Photo quality,
Memory card status,
Remote control indicator,
White balance indicators,
- Additional Features Display brightness control,
Depth-of-field preview button,
Auto power save,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Viewfinder Type LCD,
Eye-level mirror pentaprism
- Viewfinder Resolution 61,000 pixels
- Field Coverage 95%
- Magnification 0.75x
- Viewfinder Frames Autofocus frame
- Viewfinder Information Flash charge completion,
- Type 2.0 in LCD display
- Display Features Built-in
- Connector Type 1 x Composite video output,
1 x USB
- Software Drivers & Utilities,
System Requirements for PC Connection
- Operating System Support MS Windows ME,
MS Windows 98 SE,
MS Windows 98,
MS Windows XP,
MS Windows 2000,
Apple Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later
- Peripheral Devices USB port,
- System Requirements Details MacOS X 10.1.5 or later - 64 MB - 60 MB,
Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME/XP - 64 MB - 60 MB
- Included Accessories Lens cap,
- Supported Battery Nikon EN-EL3
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
Memory / Storage
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SD Memory Card
- Included Memory Card 256 Byte SD memory card
- Image Storage 3008 x 2000,
2256 x 1496,
1504 x 1000
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 5.3 in
- Depth 4.1 in
- Height 3.0 in
- Weight 540 g