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Compared to...

For our studio scene comparisons we have selected the Nikon D70s (which supercedes the D70 but has identical image quality) as well as Canon's two "Digital Rebels" the six megapixel EOS 300D / Digital Rebel ($100 less than the D50) and the eight megapixel EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT ($100 more than the D50). Prices correct at time of publication.

Camera Kit Price Sensor
Nikon D50 $899 6 mp CCD
Nikon D70s $1199 * 6 mp CCD
Pentax *ist DS $799 6 mp CCD
Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) $799 6 mp CMOS
Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT) $999 8 mp CMOS

* D70s kit includes the more expensive AF-S DX 18 - 70 mm lens

Studio scene comparison (vs. Nikon D70s)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings:

  • Nikon D50: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
     
  • Nikon D70s: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
Nikon D50
Nikon D70s
ISO 200, 1/40 sec, F9
ISO 200, 1/40 sec, F9
2,575 KB JPEG (3008 x 2000)
2,772 KB JPEG (3008 x 2000)

As you can see the D50 image contains virtually the same amount of detail as the D70s but has a slightly softer and less 'crisp' appearance. As mentioned earlier in this review we are currently assuming that this is due to a lighter anti-alias filter and/or different image processor. Color balance is bound to be different because the D50's default color mode is mode III where as on the D70 it is mode I. Otherwise there are few surprises, if you look really closely you can see that the D50 image has fewer moire / maze artifacts.

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