Nikon D50 Review
The D50's automatic white balance performance was slightly better than the D70, with both good performance in outdoor and fluorescent light and a fairly typical performance in incandescent light. Switching to the incandescent preset helps you to overcome the lack of range available in auto white balance. Unlike the D70/D70s the D50 doesn't provide white balance fine tuning.
Outdoor - Auto WB
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 1.5%, Blue: -2.3%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 7.1%, Blue: -13.0%
Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots
The D50 provides the option of dark frame long exposure noise reduction. When enabled a second equal length exposure is taken immediately after the main exposure which is used to map out any fixed pattern 'hot pixel' noise from the image. As you can see from the samples below
|Noise reduction Off||Noise reduction On|
|ISO 200, 30 sec, F11||ISO 200, 30 sec, F11|
The D50's built-in flash performance was surprisingly good, well metered with accurate white balance and no noticeable color cast. Switching to an external flash (in this case the Nikon SB-600) also produced fairly good results although perhaps a little 'over powered' (perhaps our subject distance was a little short). Switching to bounced flash produced more natural looking results although perhaps a little more power would have helped here.
|Built-in flash||Bulit-in flash|
|SB-600 direct||SB-600 bounced (off ceiling)|
Along with the announcement of the D50 came two new AF-S DX lenses, the 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6G and the 55 - 200 mm F4.0 - F5.6G. The 18 - 55 mm lens destined to be the standard 'kit' lens, supplied with the camera when bought as a ready-to-shoot kit. The 55 - 200 mm an affordable complementary lens providing telephoto reach. Below are some simple tests of the 18 - 55 mm kit lens. (Note that due to distortion the 'size' of the resolution bar in the wide angle shot is larger than in the telephoto shot).
AF-S DX 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 G (at wide angle): 18 mm
|18 mm @ F3.5 (maximum aperture)|
|18 mm @ F9|
AF-S DX 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6 G (at telephoto): 55 mm
|55 mm @ F5.6 (maximum aperture)|
|55 mm @ F9|
As you can see from the resolution bar crops this lens performs well near its center at both wide and telephoto and even at maximum aperture. Corner softness and light fall-off however are a different matter, at full wide angle and maximum aperture the corners of the frame are soft and darkened, this improves if we stop-down to F9 but then chromatic aberrations (in the order of a pixel or two) are apparent. The lens improves at longer focal lengths and is acceptably sharp at full telephoto and maximum aperture. If you want to get the most out of your D50 I'd recommend spending a little more on a higher quality Nikon or third party lens.
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
When asked Nikon confirmed that the sensor used in the D50 is slightly different to that of the D70 / D70s, they haven't however explain exactly what the differences are. A quick comparison between D50 and D70 images shows similar levels of detail but a very slightly softer (plastic?) appearance to images, this could be down to either the sensor (I suspect a slightly stronger anti-alias filter) and/or a slightly less powerful onboard processor (as we saw in the Pentax *ist DS; although not to the same degree). We certainly noticed less moire / maze artifacts in D50 images compared to the D70.
The D50 uses a new metering system based on a 420 segment sensor, this appears to be tuned to deliver brighter images with more punch (where as the D100/D70/D70s are set up to avoid over-exposure). In our tests we concluded that the D50 typically exposed about 0.3 EV (a third of a stop) brighter than the D70. The choice of color mode III as a default produces images with punchier more saturated color with more emphasis on blues and greens, again targeted at producing a punchier image straight out of the camera, if that is not to your taste you can always select the 'D70 standard' Mode I.
Overall results from the D50 are very good (if not quite as crisp as the D70), noise is low, color balance bright and pleasing and exposure accurate if a little bright (it's worth checking the histogram).
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
If you had to choose one camera to bring along for the ultimate West coast road trip, what would it be? DPR's Sam Spencer choose the X100F. Read more
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more