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Showing 1-10 of 85 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 227 reviews
VINE VOICEon October 26, 2010
You won't find this camera new anymore, so why this review?

Well, the D50 is an excellent way to jump into DSLR photography without breaking the bank. This camera is well-built and even with "only" 6 megapixels, it'll still blow away most modern point-and-shoot cameras.

The key feature that the D50 has that NONE of the entry-level Nikons (ie <$1000) have had since is the "drive screw". What is it? Basically, it's a feature that allows this camera to autofocus lenses that don't have a focus motor built into the lens itself. On Nikon lenses, this is AF vs. AF-S. The AF lenses need the screw drive to work, whereas the AF-s lenses have the motor built in. One key lens is the Nikon 50mm f1.8 AF lens. It's a superb value lens that can be had under $100. Having the drive screw also opens up lens options from Sigma, Tamron, and other 3rd-parties and these lenses are often much cheaper as well.

Therefore, if you're hesitant about buying a DSLR because of the price, or you're not sure of which brand you want to commit to, try out a used D50, get a couple of these cheaper lenses, and you'll have a great kit for probably less than you'd spend on one of the newer entry-level DSLR's.

Where you will find this camera lacking compared to other more modern replacements is in continuous shooting speed, no SDHC capability, and poorer high-ISO (>800) performance. However, my advice is to learn how to use a DSLR and hone your technique with something inexpensive but still versatile, then you can determine which of those attributes are actually important when considering your next purchase.

Finding a good deal on a used D50 is a no-brainer!
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VINE VOICEon May 8, 2006
This camera takes great pictures... period. I bought it to use with the 18-200 VR lens from Nikon, and it is awesome. Some (like Ken Rockwell) insist that you should skip the RAW mode and just use JPEG (Ken even says to use Normal JPEG rather than fine). I couldn't disagree more. (although I LOVE Ken's reviews and think you all should read them before buying ANYTHING! Google Ken Rockwell and check it out.)

My tests showed that the quality difference between RAW and FINE Jpeg are noticeable, but subtle... so... buy some big old 1G cards. But then again... if you're going on vacation and can't bring a computer, don't fret... shoot at FINE Jpeg, and you'll be happy as can be.

The scene modes might be handy for the total amateur (that's NOT a bad thing, btw) but I don't use them, and the flexible program mode is so useful you may want to even skip the Aperture and Shutter Priority modes (although I like both from time to time so go figure...). Manual is manual ( I like it a lot, but I used to use purely manual cameras and I liked it, so there you go...) and the on-camera flash is uneven (I'm getting set to order an SB600) and inadequate. For simple snapshots, it's okay, but it tends to wash out your colors. For fill flash outdoors, it can work pretty great. Red Eye is EXTREME on a flash like this by the way.

The lack of depth of field preview, white balance fine-tuning, and wireless control are most of what distinguishes this from a D70. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, buy a D50 and forget about it. I know what they're for (I've used quite a bit of pro gear from Nikon and Canon), and I STILL don't miss them. (The DOF preview... yeah, I miss it a little, but being able to view my photo on the excellent LCD makes up for it.

Here's the bottom line. If you can afford a D70 and a decent lens (or set of lenses) or a D50 and a GREAT lens (or set) go with the latter.

All the Nikon DSLRs that are currently available are super, and the glass is way more important.

So...

I would say, instead of getting a D70 and an 18-70, get a D50 and one of those swank 18-200s from Nikon (which is TOTALLY cool) although you will wait for the 18-200 (Do NOT get a Sigma or Tamron... Stick with Nikon). That's what I did. I'm very happy with them!

Lastly... Get yourself one of those way cool plastic protectors for the LCD. 'Cause if you bust it or scratch it real bad, you're hosed.
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on April 16, 2006
I'm a casual photographer and used a Canon AE-1 SLR for years, then for a short time had an auto-focus Pentax SLR. Then I went digital and bought a point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix 2500 and really enjoyed being able to take a lot of photos and just delete the ones I didn't like. It was fun for awhile, but I began to miss the speed and versatility of an SLR.

I started reading product and user reviews about different brands and models of digital SLRs, including the Canon Rebel, and narrowed it down to either the Nikon D70 or D50. The D70 has a few more 'bells and whistles' but, for me, the differences didn't justify the extra cost. For instance, I never used the depth-of-field preview function on my old Canon so I knew I wouldn't miss that. The D50 also doesn't have a backlit LCD screen but I haven't had a problem with that, either.

I've used the D50 for a few months now and I couldn't be happier!! The day I got it I unpacked it, attached the lens and started taking photos and they turned out beautifully just using the auto setting. Since then, I've been using different modes, like aperature and shutter priority, and I'm totally blown away by the quality of the photos and what this camera is capable of.

I'm very happy with this 18-55mm DX lens. It focuses fast and the photos are very sharp. I wanted a longer lens, too, so I recently ordered the Nikkor 28-200mm G and I'm thrilled with it. Since it's not a "DX" lens, on a digital Nikon it's the equivalent of 42-300mm and I've gotten some great, sharp photos with it.

The more I use this camera, the more I love it and I'm having lots of fun with it. There's been a definite learning curve for me because it's capable of so much, but it's also easy to use on the auto setting.

Some recommendations...

- For the SD card, the SanDisk Ultra II Plus is handier than heck because you just take it out of your camera, fold it and plug it into your computer's USB port - no need for a card reader.

- The wireless remote is great to have instead of using the camera's timer.

- The Nikon CF-D50 case is very nice and I use it all the time when I take my camera with me.
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on November 26, 2007
I don't know why this is considered a beginners DSLR -- sure it has a few less features, but it is capable of wonderful results with a minimum of work. I wish I had bought this first instead of the Olympus E510 I used to own. The D50 simply gets the job done! I bought the camera used but in good shape. I use the 70-300mm VR zoom lens with it and get great results. The images come out true to life with few anomolies or distortions. The shutter release is positive and professional feeling. Focus is accurate and fast (of course the lens is important here). The D50 fills an important gap between old world DSLR and modern: It has an iternal focus motor so older style lenses work perfectly. It uses an SD card instead of the clunky old CF. And while the D70 is considered more professional, the D50 corrects for sensor anomilies the D70 doesn't.

Some things you may want consider: The LCD is only 2", compared to 2.5" on most newer models. It is somewhat slower in processing, formating, direct downloads, etc. The number of sensor pixels is low (6.1MP) compared with newer models (8-10MP). The viewfinder doesn't see the entire frame. However, the viewfinder is bright enough for manual focusing, and a green light indicates optimum focus in the viewfinder when manual focusing. The lowest ISO is 200 (instead of 100 on most models). However, noise at higher ISOs is low compared with many cameras, and I regularly use 400 and even 800.

The D50 feels solid! I can't imagine a better feeling body. Compared with pro models it is a bit smaller, however it is full-sized and fits any hand well. With a good lens it's hard to imagine anyone being disapointed with this camera. Even with the many features newer cameras offer, none will produce better pictures (bigger, but not better).
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on February 6, 2007
Let me say first off, that I am an avid amateur when it comes to photography, and I love taking pictures. I was always a fan of digital as I am an impatient soul who needs immediate results, and digital offers that. I previously owned many different point and shoot digitals and have been pretty happy with them. My latest Kodak V550 was a joy to use and very compact with excellent picture results.

However, that has all changed for me now. My main reason for getting into DSLR is that I have recently dicovered Stereoscopy, or 3D photography, and I was looking for a convenient way to accomplish this.

I discovered the Loreo 3D Lens in a Cap system for Digital SLR cameras and decided this might be the way to go. In researchibg different models, I came accross the D50 and read tons of reviews for this camera which pretty much sold me. I purchased the camera with the 28-105mm AF D lens. Since my main object was to be 3D, I didn't really care what lens came with the camera, but this is a great lens. I also purchased a spare larger capacity battery (EN-EL3e) and a 2GB SD high speed card. I am GLAD I bought this kit. I was also fortunate that the standard battery that came with my camera was NOT part of the recall.

This is my first venture into SLR and it was a bit daunting at first, but I love to read manuals. I've read the manual from front to back several times over learning the ins and outs of this camera.

Since the 3D lens only operates in manual mode, I had a lot to learn. For regular photography, I basically use the auto settings and the photos taken with this camera are a HUGE improvement over anything I have ever used before. I use the LARGE Hi Quality JPEG files, and can get about 917 shots on the 2GB card. With 2GB, I can get over 5,000 standard size/quality shots, but I haven't used this setting yet.

I usually print 4 x 6 photos, so this setting might be overkill, but I am ready for larger prints if the need arises. I also love the fact that you can copy any photo in the camera to an email friendly size - which saves the step of doing this manually on the computer.

When using the regular AF lens attachment, there's not much to do. It's basically point and shoot, but may require some modifications for certain settings. On full auto mode, I have not been disappointed yet. I've had the camera for about a week and have already taken well over 1,000 photos, mostly in 3D. While the 3D lens has it's limitations and is somewhat of a disappointment, I can't blame that on this camera.

There are lots of menu options, which I learned pretty quickly. Menu navigation and camera settings are easy once you learn where everything is. The most important settings ISO/shutter speed/white balance, etc can be accomplished with the buttons on back of the camera. And the buttons serve different functions depending on whether you are in shooting mode or viewing mode. The buttons are clearly labeled as to their purpose. In shooting mode, just hold a button and turn the multi-setting dial to make adjustments on the fly without even looking at a menu. I also like the fact that there is an LCD panel on top that shows all camera settings at all times - no need for the LCD monitor to view settings. This is huge power saving option. I suspect, however, this would be standard on all SLR cameras.

I was very surprised at the price for this camera considering the quality of the photos, and range of settings available. This was the perfect choice for me, and I am THORUGHLY pleased! I'm also having fun learning about the various functions.

Battery life is very good, even when the camera is left on. I have not yet ordered the power supply, but I've had the camera ON for several hours at a time and it has not died yet. Once the weather gets warmer and I can go out and about, the supplied battery and the larger capacity battery will be fine for me. The charge cycle is pretty swift as well.

There's only 2 gripes I have with this camera, but only 1 with the camera itself. My apartment is very dusty and changing the lenses is a hazard for me. I know, not the camera's fault - a hazard with any SLR camera, I guess. I am worried about getting dust inside. No matter how many times I clean and vacuum, there's always dust floating around. What's the best way to clean the mirror?

The other gripe is with the included software. It is adequate, but you have to pay for software with better features. I prefer the Kodak Easy share software, but that is for a different class of user.

I do like the Camera Control software which lets you take photos from the PC when attached, and change the camera settings. I have taken many self-portraits this way, as well as with the self timer. To me, the software is worth the purchase price (however, Olympus cameras I have owned in the past were supplied with this type of software. Not sure if they still do.)

My next purchase will be the power supply, a good bag to carry thia all around and the remote, if I can find it. It seems to be out of stock everywhere.

I cannot say enough about this camera. This has to be one of the best investments I've ever made in electronic goods. I have a camera that I can use now, and in the future when I perfect my hobby. I would HIGHLY reccomend this camera to anyone who wants quality and an easy mix of ease of use and customization. You will NOT be disappointed. I give this camera a TEN star rating!

Now the questions.... Can anyone reccommend the following:

1) A good sized bag with lots of room

2) A lens case for my 28-105mm lens

3) Any place to find the remote (NEW)

4) How to keep dust off the mirror and the viewfinder monitor above the mirror, and the best way to clean it

5) A good book fro an SLR newbie that fully explains all settings/terms/etc. For me, one of the dummy series might do ;)
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on April 16, 2006
You will find plenty of detailed reviews of this camera on the net so instead of regurgitating them here I'll detail decision factors that made me choose this camera over the rest. Hopefully this will answer questions you have.

(1) Construction quality is good. The camera feels fairly solid despite being made out of plastic. The body is light and is well-balanced.

(2) It is bigger than the Canon Rebel XT (or 350D), which to me feels a bit too small. I usually prefer slim over bulky but in this case I feel that the Nikon's proportions are better. I have test-driven the Rebel for a week-end and I would say it's more geared towards smaller hands.

(3) The price is right as they say. With the lens kit you barely spend over 600 usd, a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the competition at the time of this writing. It is unlikely that the premium is worth it, esp. if you're looking into entry-level DSLR. The next thing you'll want to upgrade is the lens (check out the Carl Zeiss lenses)

(4) It uses SD cards, which is what most point-and-shoot use (well, some at least). Going for a Compact flash-backed camera (such as the Canon) means spending another 50 usd for memory.

(5) Mega-pixel count plays a lesser role in the quality of the pictures than the metering logic of the camera, your ability to compose and the printing proces.
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on March 4, 2017
Good camera, not too complex, not too simple.
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on June 25, 2007
If you use a Nikon autofocus SLR film camera and do not want to spend the "big bucks" on a DSLR that will accept your present lenses then this is the camera for you. Regretably Nikon is no longer manufacturing this camera and has replaced the D50 with the D40. Although the D40 will accept certain older autofocus lenses (G and D type), it will not autofocus them. The D50 will autofocus them. All of the D50s will eventually be all second-hand or refurbished, but I would not let that stop me from buying one (for mine is refurbished).

The beauty of this camera is that it operates almost exactly like my Nikon N65. The learning curve is very small. And even though it is only 6.1 megapixels (while so many are moving to the 10MP route) the standard prints I get are sharp and crisp. As one camera salesman and expert told me, it is not always the megapixels that make a good picture, it is also the lense. And again, I found the 18-55mm lense that came with it to live up to the Nikkor lense reputation. The other beauty of this camera is that you can correct your mistakes right away, with the instant preview on the LCD. Film cameras do not have that luxury. But the disadvantage is that the picture angle is not equal to a film camera. I can get a wider angle of view with my N65, so I will continue to shoot film under certain circumstances. But other than that the D50 is a great camera!
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on July 23, 2005
I also have a Nikon D-100 digital camera and the D50 is about equal in quality to the more expensive camera. I've also used a D-70 and the D-50 is equal to this one also. The more expensive cameras have a few bells and whistles that a professional or serious photographer would fine useful, but I've used these features rarely. The D-50 is more compact and slightly lighter in weight than the D-100 or D-70.One consideration is to get the D-50 body and buy a seperate lens of your choosing for the D-50. The lens that comes with the D-50 kit only goes to 55mm; a broader range might be a better choice.Besides Nikon, Sigma and Tamron make excellent lenses for Nikons at a reasonable price. For most of us this camera will do fine and is a joy to use.
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on April 22, 2017
Well the price was great, but I have to take two pictures each time because one is always underexposed and almost black. If there is a fix for it I'm not aware of it. I'm getting used to taking two pictures.
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