Nikon has today announced their new affordable and easier to use D50 digital SLR. The D50 has the appearance and control layout of the D70, the major physical differences are size, weight and control layout. Under the skin the D50 has the same six megapixel CCD sensor as the D70 (and the D70s announced today). The D50 will be available in black and silver bodies and as a kit with the new AF-S DX 18-55 mm lens. The D50 Kit (including the 18-55 mm lens) will cost around US$899 (£649.99/€971) when it's available in June. Body only price will be £549.99/€821. We have posted our exclusive detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D50.

Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D50 - EXCLUSIVE
(includes full specifications and a comparison to the D70)

Jump to:

Press Release:

Nikon D50

Extraordinary Nikon digital SLR picture quality in a camera that is smaller, lighter, easier to use, and more affordable than ever. Seeing is believing with the Nikon D50.

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of a new entry level interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera designed to make it easier than ever to enjoy the thrill of outstanding digital SLR picture quality easily and instantly. Combining the outstanding response of Nikon's patented digital and photographic performance with optical performance available only from renowned Nikkor interchangeable lenses and expanded shooting options only available in a quality digital SLR camera, the new Nikon D50 makes exceptional digital SLR photography a reality for everyone.

The next evolution of Nikon's scene-optimized Digital Vari-Program modes simplifies picture taking, freeing the photographer to concentrate on capturing the evanescence of special moments. Selecting one of the seven easily distinguishable icons from the handy exposure mode dial optimizes otherwise complex settings and ISO-equivalent sensitivity to produce consistently remarkable results. Newly added is "Child" mode, which makes it easier to take memorable pictures of the little ones complete with ideal vivid color and contrast – ready to print beautifully without the fuss of later adjustments at the computer. Full manual exposure control is also available, allowing more advanced photographers all the creative freedom they desire, while also making it possible for all photographers to expand their enjoyment of photography.

The D50 features a new 6.1 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor and a highly advanced image processing engine that team together to create truly faithful image files capable of significant enlargement, yet remain manageable in overall file size, making it easier to take and store more great pictures. These optimized components produce more consistent results, even under shooting conditions that challenge other digital cameras, such as when working with light-colored subjects or long exposure shots.

Distinguishing itself over lesser systems, the Nikon D50 is always ready to shoot when that special moment or expression presents itself. When the power is turned on, the camera is ready to shoot in just 0.2 seconds for near-instant readiness. The shutter's release lag time is also minimized for near-instant response that virtually eliminates a common frustration of digital photography.

Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames per second can be maintained for bursts of up to 137† pictures, making action photography a reality. Pictures taken are instantly processed and recorded to the photographer's compact SD (Secure Digital) memory card. A new USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface supports faster transfer of images when connected to a compatible computer.

Shutter speed choices extend from 30 sec. to an action-stopping 1/4,000 sec. A high-speed flash sync speed up to 1/500 sec. makes great fill flash photography possible, and Nikon technology makes it automatic. A bulb setting is also included for long exposures. The shutter is designed to ensure fast curtain action for consistent operation and accurate, predictable results, even at high shutter speed settings. AUTO ISO maximizes available light by automatically setting ISO-equivalent sensitivity across the available range of 200 to 1600. D50 photographers can also opt to set the ISO sensitivity manually for personal control.

The D50’s 5-area autofocus system inherits Nikon's proven cross-type center sensor, broad frame coverage, and class-leading low light detection found only in the award-winning Nikon D70 camera, and delivers even greater AF precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking. The new system adopts AF-A mode for smooth automated operation that switches between AF-S (single-servo autofocus) and AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) depending on the movement of the subject in the framed shot. An AF-assist illuminator is also included, which helps maximize performance when shooting in low lighting conditions.

The D50 produces consistently natural coloration by measuring the entire frame of the shot and matching white balance to the light source. Advanced auto white balance handles most lighting situations, but the flexible options include a choice of six specific manual settings, white balance bracketing for added creative choice of results, as well as a preset option for using a gray or white object as a calibrating reference under mixed lighting conditions.

Nikon's new 3D Color Matrix Metering II ensures accurate exposure control in most types of lighting situations by automatically comparing input from its frame-wide 420-pixel sensor for each scene to a large onboard database of over 30,000 scenes from actual photography. Professionals and amateurs alike rely on Nikon's exclusive light metering technologies that produce ideal exposures instantly. Newly developed exposure evaluation methods detect highlights and shadows in the frame, and compensate for them to help minimize under- or over-exposure by comparing the lighting pattern of the frame with the onboard database of scenes, thus enhancing performance for more accurate and consistent exposures.

A key advantage and one source of the fun associated with Nikon digital SLR photography is the ability to take advantage of the creative possibilities offered by interchangeable lenses. The new D50 offers seamless compatibility with Nikon's extensive family of high-performance AF Nikkor lenses, as well as the expanding family of digital-dedicated DX Nikkor lenses, providing superb color reproduction, razor-sharp image clarity and fast and accurate autofocus performance.

The compact, light-weight design of the new D50 makes it easy to carry on any outing, while its body contours and easily accessible controls provide handling efficiency and easy operation. Newly designed on-screen menus present clear and helpful user information in plain language on the D50's large 2.0-inch LCD monitor, and intuitive help dialogs are available for on-the-spot reference to the respective menu selections. The high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery helps extend mobility and convenience by delivering the power to shoot up to 2,000 images†† on a single charge.

The D50 is an outstanding performer, right down to its diverse playback options, versatile custom settings, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface for easy connectivity or direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer with in-camera page setup, and Nikon's complimentary PictureProject software that will extend anyone’s photographic experience with easy image transfers, effective image organization and editing, creative page layout design, plus printing and sharing. PictureProject’s new version 1.5 provides customers with an exceptional added value topped only by its excellent performance.

These inherit advantages combine with the empowering and creatively inspiring components of Nikon's Total Imaging System, including high-quality AF and DX Nikkor lenses, the SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlights, which enable use of Nikon's Creative Lighting System, as well as versatile software options, to deliver a new level of operating ease, expanded creative possibilities, and pure enjoyment. The Nikon D50 presents the perfect opportunity for anyone to start enjoying the advantages of Nikon digital SLR photography today.

Sales release schedule: Nikon Corporation will launch the D50 worldwide in June 2005.

Note: Specifications, design, product name and standard accessories may differ by country or area.

Major Features of the Nikon D50

Vivid color and sharp details straight from the camera

  • New 6.1 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD imaging sensor that produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images with accurate color, high resolution and sharp details for great pictures capable of significant enlargement, or cropping for creative effect. File sizes remain manageable, making it easier to take and store more great pictures.
  • Advanced digital image processor that marks a further evolution of analog and digital processing and pre-conditioning technologies, producing images that are ready to print straight from the camera. Image quality is optimized, including auto white balance, auto tone and color control, and real-time processes diminish digital noise to produce beautiful long exposure shots.
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II ensures accurate exposure control and white balance.

Instant, precise response

  • Near-instant 0.2-second power-up, and quick shutter response.
  • Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames per second for continuous bursts of up to 137 pictures† without having to wait for the camera to record the images to the SD memory card.
  • Fast 5-area AF system with predictive focus tracking and Lock-on™ delivers greater precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking to capture the action as it happens. Automatic AF-assist illuminator helps ensure top AF performance in dark situations.
  • Fast shutter speed with a range from 30 to 1/4,000 sec.
  • Fast flash sync shutter speeds up to 1/500 sec. for great fill-effects under brighter light and back-lighted conditions.
  • Fast data transfer and recording to SD memory cards keeps the D50 ready to shoot whenever a special moment presents itself.

Accurate automated and manual control for predictable results

  • Seven Digital Vari-Program selections for automatic adjustment of settings necessary to produce incredible digital photographs, including ISO-equivalent sensitivity, white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue for crisp and vivid results that match the intended shot. Selections include Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, and Night Portrait.
  • Image enhancement options provide versatile sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation or hue while using Auto Multi Program [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A], or Manual [M] exposure modes to help match picture taking situations. The easy-to-set choices include Normal, Vivid, Sharp, Soft, Direct print, Landscape or Custom optimization.
  • Automatic control over ISO-equivalent sensitivity from ISO 200 to 1600; can also be set manually.
  • To maximize performance throughout the infinite range of potential picture scenes, D50 provides a choice of three TTL (Through The Lens) exposure modes: 3D Color Matrix Metering II for quick changing conditions, Center-Weighted for strong backlighting and more personal control, and Spot Meters that give you total control of exposure when you have lots of time to set up the shot.
  • Auto exposure bracketing helps achieve the exact results desired.
  • Flash exposure compensation.
  • A choice of three color modes ensures the best match for the shot when operating the camera manually.
    Mode Ia: Renders natural-looking skin tones out of the camera. (sRGB)
    Mode II: Realizes a wider color range suited for processing or retouching. (Adobe RGB)
    Mode IIIa: Renders vivid landscape and flora colors out of the camera. (sRGB)
  • Simultaneous recording of Compressed RAW (NEF) and JPEG image files for the same shot helps by providing a smaller JPEG image file that can be quickly sent via email, along with a Compressed RAW (NEF) file for more creative flexibility to enhance pictures using Nikon PictureProject or Nikon Capture software.

Intuitive handling and operating ease

  • Light and compact:
    Dimensions (W x H x D): 133 x 102 x 76mm (5.3 x 4.1 x 3.0 in.)
    Weight: Approx. 540g (1 lb. 3 oz.) without battery.
  • Intuitive and familiar operation with ergonomically designed and sensibly located buttons and controls, including the handy multi selector and mode dial
  • Quality optical viewfinder features diopter correction and information display.
  • New large 2.0-inch LCD monitor located directly below the viewfinder displays the large fonts of the easy-to-view, easy-to-understand menu design, and the intuitive help system dialogs that make understanding camera settings easy.
  • Versatile LCD playback options include Single image playback, Thumbnail image playback (4 or 9 pictures at a time), Zoom playback, Slide show, easy Histogram indication for determining highlights and shadow values, and Highlight point displays for even quicker highlight information, with automatic image rotation for vertical shots
  • LCD control panel on camera top makes it easy to confirm settings and camera status.
  • Long-life rechargeable lithium-ion battery with power to shoot up to 2,000 images†† on a single charge.
  • Custom Settings for personalizing camera operation to match the individual's shooting style, or different picture taking conditions.
  • Wireless remote control of the D50 is available with the optional ML-L3 remote control.

Easy image handling

  • New Small Picture function for saving photos within the camera at the reduced sizes of 640x480, 320x240, or 160x120 for Internet use - either for mail attachments or placement on web pages.
  • In-camera page setup support makes it easy to print directly from the D50 to any PictBridge compatible printer via the supplied USB cable.
  • Up to 36 alphanumeric characters can be entered in each image's EXIF header (file information) for personalized identification when images are viewed on a computer.
  • Video connector and supplied video cable makes it easy to connect the D50 directly to a television for playing slideshows or viewing individual images

Creative and versatile system components

  • High-quality Nikkor lenses: The unrivalled performance of AF, AF-S and DX Nikkor lenses greatly expands creative possibilities.
  • Built-in auto pop-up flash features exclusive i-TTL flash control, fast 1/500 sec. flash sync shutter speed, and coverage for lenses as wide as 18mm.
  • Supports Nikon's Creative Lighting System when using a SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlight mounted on the ISO flash shoe for additional on camera flash output in large rooms, or for longer distance shooting situations. Also allows off-camera multiple flash lighting with iTTL Technology with SB-800 and SB-600.
  • Integrated Nikon Software Solutions:

    Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.3) with Capture Control is an optional software that provides a comprehensive image processing and remote camera control package that supports all Nikon NEF††† (RAW), TIFF and JPEG data. Among other features, the package offers Image Dust Off sensor dust and particle shade removal control, D-Lighting for scene-specific automatic dodge and burn control, the LCH editor, plus a wide selection of high-precision tools that extend every opportunity to perform effective image processing in-computer while creating the idealized archive file.

    PictureProject is Nikon's versatile software that extends the enjoyment of photography into your computer. Simplified image transfer helps move images easily from camera to computer, where PictureProject's intuitive interface lets photographers effectively organize and edit, apply selected effects, design album page layouts, or share their images. Adding to the fun, a complimentary copy is included with the purchase of any Nikon digital camera. The combination of direct printing with Pictbridge technology and in-computer PictureProject technology empowers users with great picture performance. Optional Plug-in software can be added to PictureProject for added creativity. Plug-in software that will prove useful to any photographer includes nik Color Efex Pro filters and Muvee –software that enables you to prepare very creative slide show presentations with special effects, music added and more.

† Using JPEG NORMAL - Large settings, and a SanDisk Ultra II SD Card (256MB). The number of continuous shots possible in a single burst may be fewer depending on the type of SD card used.

†† 2,000 images per charge achieved under following test conditions:
Fully charged EN-EL3 battery; temperature of 20°C (68°F); Zoom-Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G SG IF ED lens; continuous shooting mode; continuous-servo autofocus; image quality set to JPEG BASIC; image size set to Medium; shutter speed 1/250 sec.; shutter release pressed halfway for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times with each shot; monitor turned on for five seconds after six shots and then turned off; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off.

††† NEF images taken with the D50 require Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.3) or later.

Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D50 - EXCLUSIVE
(includes full specifications and a comparison to the D70)