by Rob Williams on October 2, 2006 in Miscellaneous
If you are looking to get into the D-SLR world but find it too expensive, then you may not know the value that awaits you. We are taking a look at the Nikon D50 6.1 megapixel camera, and given the pricerange, it packs a serious punch.
Truth: This is the first Digital-SLR I have used, and I walk away quite impressed. I would not hesitate to recommend the D50 to anyone looking to get into the D-SLR world, or those who just desire to have great looking photos for a reasonable price. I actually regret waiting so long before trying out such a camera. I can admit, once you use one, you will not be going back to anything else.
That said, this camera offers a lot for the price range. The 6.1 megapixel sensor is nothing incredible, but 3,008*2,000 resolution images are nothing to scoff at. The fact that most images still look crisp at the full resolution speaks for itself. In general, I have found the color output to be quite good also, though it’s not perfect. One of the biggest problems with cameras is capturing pure black, and shooting that as the result in the image. This varies on what it is exactly that you are photographing. If you are taking a picture of a black sports car, it should very well turn out black. However, I had a few close-ups of my black cats, and also a black t-shirt and they looked more like a very dark brown, rather than pure black.
As for the physical aspects, this camera delivers in the best possible way. It’s very comfortable to hold, and the button placement is intuitive. The only problem I have found to bother me is the viewfinder. The way it’s designed, my nose pushes against the camera more than I feel it should, and I always had to squint to make sure I was focused properly. Higher-end Nikon D-SLRs have combated this problem a bit. Purchasing a new eyepiece may also fix that problem.
If you enjoy instant gratification, then you’ll be happy to know that the camera has a 0.2 second power-up, and I have no reason to think otherwise. I have done many tests of snapping a photo immediately after power-on, and there’s no doubt the camera is faster than I am. The fact is… turning on a camera and pushing the shutter release in under 0.2s would make you super human.
I didn’t touch on the Menu system of the LCD in general, but will do so now quickly. I didn’t have another camera on hand at the time to snap photos of the menu system, but will have such shots in future D-SLR reviews. Overall, the LCD is crisp, but not as much when compared to their D70s or D80. The menu system is very easy to follow, but you’ll probably want to refer to the manual to full understand everything. Depending on which shooting mode you have selected, the options may differ.
Battery life… I have to say I am quite impressed with this aspect. I took near 1,000 RAW+JPEG images, in addition to regular camera use on a single charge. For me personally, I would never actually kill a battery while out shooting… 1,000 images in one session is a little extreme. But, for those who go on trip, such an extended battery life will be welcomed.
As for the lenses that can be included, I highly recommend the 18-55mm one. While the 55-200mm was good, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really need the extra range. As I mentioned earlier, the 70-300mm lens is just over $300. While I’ve never used it, I can imagine that it would deliver a much better effect and offer better performance at the $ per performance level.
The pricing is what sells the D50, and it’s easy to see why. As you can probably see by our affiliate ads, the camera with the 18-55mm lens is $700. Add the $200 SB-600 and you have a superb D-SLR setup for just under $1,000. If you hold off from the 55-200mm lens, you could spend around $100 for a good 52mm Polarizer filter and capture some amazing shots. For this price range, I consider the D50 to be a great value. You could either spend $500 for a standard digital camera with a fixed lens, or purchase a setup that’s mounds better.
After taking everything into consideration, I am awarding the Nikon D50 a 9 out of 10.
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