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Nikon D50 DSLR

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Dallas


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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:09

What is your opinion of the Nikon D50? Please keep your comments related to your experiences with the camera. This page will be indexed on our equipment pages.

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#2 Antoinette


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Posted 09 November 2007 - 19:08

Like the size, it's not to big. Feels sturdy, have mine for 2 year without any problems. What I would have liked is a bigger iso range (100 and 50) and more focussing points.  I think it's a nice camera for people who just start with their first dslr and want a camera that's not to difficult to figure out.
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#3 papa-g


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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:35

I did some 26000 clicks before handing mine over to my wife.

Build quality is superb and the battery lasts forever..!

My only wish was for a larger viewfinder and a depth of filed preview. The size and weight compared to the D200 make this a perfect travel DSLR.. (and low mileage models can be bought a good prices...excellent option..)

Couple this with a 18-200 VR you will not look back.


See my favourites: http://www.nikongear.com/alb/thumbnails.php?album=favpics

Hey Joe! where are you goin with that Nikon in your hand?
You wont catch me messin 'round with another brand......

#4 bikegod


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Posted 05 December 2007 - 01:28

I did couple mine with a 55-200VR and it was sweet.  Like everyone has said easy enough to figure out, many lens choices (unlike the D40) and not too big.  Would like higher ISO and it seems hard to find many accessories just for it (like a battery grip, or armor for the LCD).

I love mine to death, and the only thing I might trade up to is the D300 (or D3 but that would be some wicked pipe dream).

On the battery (papa-g) I seem to run my down (even with a grip) a lot.  I do use a fair amount of onboard flash for fill.  How often did you seem to be recharging (or maybe with what frequency).  I ran both batteries to the low charge indicator twice in one week (shooting almost 3600 at high res with Ultra2 cards).

I feel like mine uses batteries pretty well, but I shoot a lot (scattergun technique a lot).

slave to the wind...but at least I can choose my chains

#5 ntt

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 04:21

My D50 was my first DSLR and has served me well for almost 2 years.

The ISO800 performance has been better than that of D200s that I have used, and the features seem to be just right for an entry-level DSLR. In contrast, the D40 (which I have also used) seems too limited and less ergonomic. The battery tends to last me over a week - I average 30 shots a day, all with a shoe-mounted flash or SU800, and a non-AFS prime lens. Now at 21,000 actuations and still going strong.

The negatives as far as my shooting goes: 6MP is not really fantastic, newer cameras (D300, D3) have much better high ISO performance, the autofocus motor is a tad slow, having only 5 autofocus points and a slow motor makes action shots at close-range incredibly difficult, and the fact that it uses SD cards means that the step up to a pro or semi-pro body will require a switch to CF cards. The kit lens is also rather woeful wide-open and has poor contrast.

I might also add that to get the most out of the camera you need to shoot in RAW. The noise performance, sharpness and dynamic range are better in RAW, and the camera has limited WB settings in camera, meaning that it is often difficult to get perfect white-balance in-camera.

#6 JayKay


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Posted 15 February 2009 - 20:14

I love my little D50 to bits and often use it with an 18-200. It is the one camera that I may not sell. Some sample  shots:

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#7 gryphon1911


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 21:23

This was/is my first DSLR and a purchase that I researched into the ground.  At the time the closest competitor to the D50 was the Canon XTi.  I had also researched Olympus(disqualified because of the 4/3 system and a family friend had one and I hated the ergonomics of it) Pentax(disqualified because of the digital offerings at the time) and Konica Minolta(I really wanted this because it had everything I wanted - but 1 week before plunking down the cash to purchase it - I heard the news that Minolta was selling their DSLR business to Sony).

I went to a local camera store and held and used both the D50 and the XTi.  I preferred the location of the controls and the menu layout of the D50 over the Canon.  The build quality of the D50 felt superior as well.

I've since used the D50 for just about everything.  While the auto focus is a bit slower than the newer bodies out now(D300/D3/D3x) with a little pre planning, fast glass and AF-S lenses, you can definitely use this for capturing sports.  I've used it with the 50mm f/1.8 and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 to shoot martial arts competitions and have had no problems getting my shots.  It is all about using your gear and getting used to it - knowing what works and what does not.

I've never been a big user of depth of field preview, so I don't miss it here - and I don't use it on my D300 either.  The one thing that I do miss when going back and using the D50 after using the D300 is its lack of control switches on the body.  Barring the lack of controls, I wish that they would have had a "mymenu" option to place frequently used features there that are not a switch.

I use the D50 as a backup to my D300.  I also use it as a travel camera.  I throw on a 28-200mm Tamron as a walk around lens and that is all I need for 99% of the shots I want.  It has great hi ISO/low light performance up to ISO 800 and acceptable with post processing performance from ISO 1600.

I've got no problems with the 6mp sensor size for enlargements.  I recently took 3 images taken with the D50(two with the Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 lens and one with the nikkor 55-200mm VR) and enlarged them to 20x30.  I used Photoshop CS4 bicubic upsizing technique and smart sharpen filter.  THEY LOOK FANTASTIC and are mounted in frames and hanging in my living room.  Might I also mention that the images started life as JPG files not RAW!!!

I honestly upgraded my D50 to the D300 when I knew I was going to start my own business, needed something that had better low light/hi ISO performance and had a higher FPS(some of the martial arts competitions will benefit from this).

I would also like to say that I think that 5 is the minimum number of focus points a DSLR should have.  I frequently only use the 11 on my D300 and use 51 when I am doing portrait or macro work.

The camera is a great light travel package and when coupled with a good "do it all" lens would make 95% of photographers happy with it's landscape/nature/travel performance. Took the family to Disney Orlando in January 2009 and I have no regrets in taking the D50.

I got mine as a Nikon refurbished model(camera store demo) for $429.
Sample images taken with the D50

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Nikon D300, D700, Df, D50(sold) and N90s
Nikkor 24/2.8, 50/1.8D, 24-85/3.5-4.5VR, 35-70/3.3-4.8, 55-200/4-5.6VR(sold), 80-200/2.8, 300/4(non AFS)

Tamron 17-50/2.8(sold), 90/2.8 1:1 macro, 70-300/4-5.6VC
SB-600, SB-22/26/28 speedlight


Olympus OM-D E-M5
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Mamiya C33 w/ 80/2.8, Voigtlander Brilliant, Zeiss Ikon Ikonta A 520, Kodak Signet 35, Graflex Speed Graphic


Fuji X10(sold), Fuji X-E1(sold), Fuji 18mm/35mm/55-200(all sold)




#8 nikonfreak



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Posted 27 March 2009 - 18:36

Hmm a D50 thread.. > Love it , like it very much, use it , hug it , cudle it , feed it ( juice& pics) , enpty the cards in the pc , realy this is one heck of a amazing camera , perfect high iso's , enough speed, super handeling , perfect out of the camera jpegs. personally i like it so much i tend to lose the main goal. I think it is perhaps the best nikon ever made..
Nikon stuff ;-)

#9 DougJGreen


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 20:30

To this day, I would recommend any beginner looking for the best entry point into the Nikon system to get a D50, rather than a D40, D60, or D5000.  A lightly used D50 for $250 or so for the body is just a better value than any of those newer low-end Nikon bodies.  The IQ is superb for a 6 MP camera, and the high ISO performance is superior to that of the D80.  The fact that it has it's own focus motor opens up a world of inexpensive used and 3rd party AF-D lenses to the user that the Nikon bodies without focus motors can't take advantage of without learning to manually focus.

When I upgraded to a D90, I kept my D50 rather than my D80 as my backup body.  I just didn't think that the D80 which I could sell for $450, was any better than the D50 that I could sell for $250.

#10 oztotl


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 20:54

I am in complete agreement with Doug.  The D50 is the best, low-cost, entry DSLR.  I wish Nikon would make a black and white version of this camera/sensor.

One of the first jobs I did was for a professional photographer's surprise birthday party.  When he arrived, he looked at my rig and informed me that this must have been my first foray into professional photography, and that he wanted me to shoot RAW and give him the files so he could save some of the images.  I assumed he meant 'improve through PP'.

Being a surprise party, he didn't know that had already agreed to that arrangement with his wife.  But when I gave him the photos, I delivered two folders:  'D50_RAW' and 'D50_JPEG'.  The JPEG folder was Lightroom-processed versions of the RAW files.

His wife informed me later that after a dozen images or so (out of 300+), he gave up because he couldn't greatly improve over what I had delivered.

I still love my D50, and my daughter is learning to love it too.
"When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me." --emo phillips

#11 BourbonCowboy


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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:16

I keep a D50 as my lightweight/walkaround camera.  Larger than a D40/60, yet smaller than a D70.  Perfect size for my hands.  I use it with a Sigma 10-20, Tamron 17-50, Sigma 30 1.4, and 55-200VR.  It always gets the job done, and does it well.
Bodies: D700/D5100/FE2/D200IR  Lights: SB-900/SB-400/SU-800
AF Lenses: 24-70/70-200/55-200VR/70-300VR/Sigma 30 & 50/Tamron 17-35, 17-55, 24-135, & 90mm.
Old School: 28 3.5K Ai'd/50 1.4K Ai'd/55 3.5K Ai'd/85 1.8K Ai'd/105 2.5 Ai-S/135 2.8K Ai'd/75-150 Ai-S/200 f/4 Ai.
Cool Stuff: CS3; Lightroom3, Wacom Intuos3, Bogen 3021, Arca Swiss B1, and other stuff.

#12 NuteShack


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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:32

i've had 3 of these little jewels, put about 50k clicks on 2 of them and to the best of my knowledge they're still going strong ;D

#13 photojazz


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Posted 24 July 2009 - 14:26

Still got mine, still using it and will never sell it. Da 50 ;)
Nikon D300, D50
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Fuji S7000
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Bronica ETRSI
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#14 MNC

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:06

The Nikon D50 was my first DSLR and I bought mine in 2005 with the 18-70mm lens. I still use this combination today.

In my humble opinion this camera was one of kind and has never been really replaced by Nikon. What I mean is that it was Nikons entry-level cam before the D40, but still retained a focusing motor and the lay-out of the more expensive cams (e.g. top lcd display) both of which were dropped on the D40.

#15 Salmo

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 17:56

I've had my D50 body for about 5 years and never as in NEVER have had a speck of trouble. Built like a battleship. Wish I could say the same for the lens that came with it. It fell apart inside. After some haggling I returned it and they sent another one...Same thing happened. I switched to Sigma lenses and they are mating with the D50 just fine. The battery stays charged for a long time and extra battery and other accessories were easy to obtain.

Looking at another Nikon purchase soon.

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