Nikon Coolpix P50 Concise Review
The P50 has five white balance presets (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy and Flash), in addition to an Auto mode and the ability to manually measure a preset.
|Auto White Balance||Fluo Preset||Auto White Balance||Incandescent preset|
|Fluorescent light - Auto white balance poor,
Preset white balance average
|Incandescent light - Auto white balance average, Preset white balance poor|
The P50's built-in flash has a quoted working range of 0.5m - 5.9m (1.0 - 11ft) at the wide end of the zoom and 0.5m - 2.8m (1.0 - 9. ft) at the tele end, which is about what you'd expect. And these figures are for Auto ISO mode, so the range will be reduced still further if you limit ISO down to its better settings.
The flash does also have a slow-sync function that uses a longer shutter speed to let in more background light. There is also a rear-curtain sync mode that fires at the end of the exposure and all these options allow exposure compensation - giving an excellent degree of control over the flash behavior. Our only complaint - common to all cameras powered by two AA batteries - is the recycle time. When shooting at anything other than the wide end of the lens / short distances, the flash can easily take 10 seconds to refresh between shots.
|Skin tone -
Good color and exposure
Slight warm tone, slight underexposure.
The P50 is happy to focus as close as 5cm at the wide angle end of the lens, though this rapidly rises to around 35cm at the telephoto end. At 5cm away from the subject, the P50 captures a 61x46mm area, which is pretty average. The results are distinctly distorted geometrically and are distinctly soft away from the center of the image. At the long end of the zoom it's only possible to capture an image of an 141x106mm area. The distortion isn't so prevalent but the soft corners are still there and it's not really terribly close-up by this stage.
The P50 has a wealth of movie modes, offering 640x480 pixels at 30 or 25fps as well as 320x240 and 160x120 at the slower rate. Sepia or black and white movies are possible at 320x240 and a time-lapse movie mode allows 640x480 frames to be strung together at 30fps.
Overall quality is very good, with movies running smoothly and showing few compression artifacts. The AVI files are average in size - at the best quality setting (640x480 / 30fps) you're burning around 1.1MB every second. However, they still exhibit what is becoming a familiar Nikon quirk - the sound cuts out around a second before the video stops. The lack of optical image stabilization also puts the P50 at something of a disadvantage compared to its peers.
The optical zoom locks in position once you're pressed the record button, but you can continue to use digital zoom throughout.
Sample movie: 640 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)
As we'd expect from Nikon resolution is pretty good and, aside from a little moiré the output is very clean (if a little on the soft side, no surprise as this is something of a Nikon trademark too). The output may lack the immediate 'punch' of some of its competitors, but the low sharpening means that it is better suited to post-processing.
|Click here for the full resolution test chart||
resolution 1650 LPH
resolution 1700 LPH
Distortion and other image quality issues
Not helped by its wideangle lens (always a challenge for lens designers), the P50 exhibits a lot of distortion at the wide end of the zoom with the 1.1% barrel distortion clearly visible (click here for test chart). The less challenging telephoto end of things is much better, showing 0.3% pincushion distortion (click here for test chart).
One of the things Nikon should be applauded for in the P50 is its metering which is generally very reliable - this isn't a camera that will cause you to play around with exposure compensation very often. It does a good job in all but the most high contrast situations.
Softness and noise reduction
The P50 that we tested has a lens that appears distinctly soft down the left-hand side, suggesting it could be slightly misaligned. The unfortunate effect of this is that the camera's processing seems to be identifying the area as an out-of-focus region and is allowing noise reduction to run riot, even at the lowest ISO settings.
|100% crop||28mm equiv., F2.8|
|100% crop||28mm equiv., F5.6 (F2.8 with ND filter)|
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.