Nikon D50 good buy right now? Former P&Ser, noob dSLRer :-)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Veritas&Equitas, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #1
    Hey guys...like the title reads, I've always been a P&S guy with nice Sony cameras. Yet, I travel quite a bit, and love taking nature shots and shots of my family. I guess I have a *tad* of an eye for decent shots/composition, but P&S cameras aren't the best for the photos I want.

    After checking out a few camera stores and reading weeks worth of information on the net, I've fallen in love with the Nikon D50 at the current price. I know it's being discontinued, but it's features, performance, compatibility with cheaper lens (non-AF-S) make it a great camera at it's price point.

    Based on my situation, would you say it's a good camera for me to dive into? I'm getting a used one (around 1000 actuations) with the stock 18-55mm lens with a bag and 1 gb card for around $465. Should I pull the trigger? Is there anything else I should know/worry about? Thanks guys!

    P.S. Should I also try to find a decent 55-200mm lens? Or just learn first with the stock one?
    P.P.S. Another reason I'm getting the D50 is for the exposure bracketing, b/c I want to get into a lil' HDR as well. And yes, I know I'll need a tripod:)
     
  2. b0tt094 macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #2
    Amazing camera, I use it for everything, from landscapes, to my favorite sports. Right now im useing the old 55-200 lense. I have nothing wrong with it... little slow for sports and alitle bit of lense vigger(I belive its called) but I heard the new one is better.

    Also this is an amazing entry level camera... I've had it for 5 months and Im still woking on accessing all the features
     
  3. techster85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    #3
    I agree, I have two D50s and i love them. The stock lense is a great lense to work on, but eventually you'll get an itch for some sort of telephoto and maybe even a faster wide angle zoom, but...for the price, I'd say jump on that used body (1,000 actuations is not that much in reality, both of my cameras go through that much use in a single wedding day...)
     
  4. xtopher macrumors regular

    xtopher

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    Feb 6, 2007
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    Ontario
    #4
    Its a great camera. get a Nikon VR 80-400F4.5-5.6 D ED AF lens its awesome!!!:p
     
  5. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #5
    A D50 is a great deal...I absolutely love mine. Try looking for an 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens and a D50 body. Its a bit better, optically and built, than the D50 kits lens and you'll have a little more zoom. They go for about $200 used, but in mint shape.
     
  6. Curren~Sea macrumors regular

    Curren~Sea

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    I bought a D50 just before Christmas 2006 and I love it. I was a p&S guy before also and I wish I would have bought this camera much sooner.

    My opinion is that unless you're a serious hobbyist or pro, this camera is perfect for you. Why spend hundreds of dollars more for features you would rarely, if ever, use?
     
  7. EastCoastFlyer macrumors regular

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    North Florida and Northern Delaware
    #7
    I have used my D50 to shoot everything posted on my Flickr page (see link below. You really can't go wrong.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Firstly, I'm not sure about US pricing, so forgive me, but from what I've read here in the past, is $465 really a good price? Can't you get a brand new D50 + kit lens for around $500?? Yes, the D50 you're looking at isn't very used, but it's still used and yet only $30-40 cheaper. Lexar makes a card equivalent to this.

    What type of 1 GB SD card does it come with? What speed? If it's the slowest speed, then forget it. Don't expect to shoot a huge burst of photos in continuous mode. At least get a decent speed. Sandisk sells Ultra II, which is middle of the range (in terms of speed) and is the fastest you'll need.

    Also, what do you mean by "It comes with a bag." Does it come with a flimsy, unusable bag or one of those small but very nice Lowepro AW (all-weather) bags that have a cube shape?
     
  9. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a

    OwlsAndApples

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    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I also got the D50 for Chrismukka and I have enjoyed every moment with it :)
    I thought before I got it (my first proper SLR) I would be put off by the size of this type of camera, but I take it everywhere...
    The D50 is perfect for its price category, and will be becoming rare to get hold of new now - I have asked in local stores, only D40's goin' around.
     
  10. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 18, 2003
    #10
    I've been very happy with mine; it's a lot more responsive than any P&S I've used, and also I find it actually easier to use than recent P&S cameras.
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
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    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    The Sigma 50-500 is a better lens IMO. While the Nikon is a little contrastier, the Sigma is sharper and covers a wider range- an oddity. I own both, other than having VR, the Nikon really doesn't have too much going for it. Both lenses are slow to focus though, being "screwdriver focus."

    That looks like a fair price, KEH has a brand new kit for $800. You'll want to spend a fair bit on a tripod and head; I'd shoot with the included lens for 2-3 months first, and see where you like to be zoom-wise and what sort of photography you do the most prior to looking at other lenses.

    Avoid the "need" to "cover" the complete zoom range- you'll often find better lenses with "gaps" in coverage. With the ability to use AF-D lenses, you'll have a good range of lenses available on the used market- but figure out what you like to shoot first and get the tripod/head purchase out of the way.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Take a few thousand frames THEN buy a second lens. Maybe you will find you want a wide angle or a "fast" f/1.4 lens rather then a cheap telephoto. Keep track of the shots you can't get with the 18-55 then buy the lens that would have gotten those shots. After my 18-70 I use my 50mm and 85mm primes the most. Those low price 200mm f/5.6 zooms are not as useful as you might think

    Automatic bracketing is a gimmick. Just as easy to turn a dial with thumb to do the same thing Don't base decision on such a trivial feature.

    I have a D50. Only thing I can't do with it is make huge prints. But using the more expensive D200 you only get (about) 30% larger prints. For huge fine art prints use film. If your images are only to be viewed on an electronic screen then you may never need to upgrade the D50. I am seriously considering 4x5 format like an old Speed Graphic and scanning the film
     
  13. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    If you don't have alot of Nikkor lens already, check out the D40, it's better in many ways including image quality than the D50. D50 is noisier at the same ISO compared to the D40. Even though D50 has more auto-focus zones than the D40 (5 vs 3), the autofocus on the D40 works just as well if not somewhat better (check reviews). DPReview can give you the low down on image quality. There's alot of passionate debate about D40 vs D50 lately and I tend to find that people who've bought a camera want argue that they made the best purchasing decision... at the end of the day though, it's about how the unit feels for you and what you need. Coming in from a point and shoot background, I didn't need any of the advance features that they removed from the D50 but did need the big LCD and the better image quality (among other new features), which is great for on-location reviews of pictures (2.5 inches is big enough for you to tell if you've nixed your shot). The D40 stock lens is supposedly (according to some review sites) better than the old stock lens on the D50, but they feel pretty much the same to me. I'm in possession of a D40, but also is keeping my bro's things, including his D50 since he's doing doctors without borders. It's a great camera, but after using the D40, I don't think I would ever use the D50. But, that's my biased user experience. Make sure you check out the D50, D40, Pentax K110D, and the Rebel 350D. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and in the end it doesn't matter which camera you have... or if you have a D2X, it's more about lens and more importantly your skill as a photographer.

    That said, I still recommend the D40 with no hesitation.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    Speed Graphics don't have near the movements or extension of a modern view camera, though they are relatively portable. If you're serious about going LF, you should consider something with more movement and bellows extension. I have a Canham MQC, the DLC is its 4x5 little brother, and is a good field camera. There are a lot of good technical and field cameras out there that'll give you a lot more swing, back tilt, and other things that are a hallmark of LF photography. If you're just looking at studio use, then something cheap like a Calumet will do you just fine, but there's lots better options than the Speed Graphic for anything other than grab shots (which is where it excels.) I'd also highly recommend Strobell's (sp?) "The View Camera."
     
  15. filmamigo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    Agree with others regarding the lenses -- full coverage is less important than you might think. I find that I use 3 focal lengths: as wide as possible (for my lenses, that's 18mm in digital, 28mm in 35mm film), regularish (50-70mm in 35mm film) and telephotoish (135mm in 35mm film).

    It makes more sense for me to have faster lenses that give me less choices of focal length. Being able to shoot in dim light with an 50mm f/1.8 means I can get the shot -- a shot that I would have missed on a 28-300mm at f/3.5-5.6. Only experience can tell you what lighting conditions you usually shoot under, and what coverage makes sense for you.

    Now, about that camera. The D50 is a great performer, and fits in my hands much better than a D40. You need to hold both before you decide, because I believe ergonomics are one of the most important aspects of buying a camera. If you like using a camera, you will use it. It you don't like holding it, you will leave it in a bag at home.

    In the price range you are talking, you should also consider Pentax DSLRs. Pentax make great cameras (DSLRs, 35mm and Medium Format). Pentax tends to include pro-level features that Nikon holds back on -- like mirror lock-up, and image stabilisation. Nikon wants you to spend a lot of money to just get mirror lock-up. And they want you to re-buy image stabilisation in very expensive lenses, instead of including it in the body. Plus, Pentax respects their customers (and themselves) by maintaining compatibility with most every Pentax lens ever made. Compare that with the Nikon D40, which demands you only buy the very latest lenses. Nikon even disables light-metering with anything but a very current lens, unless you buy a top-of-the-line camera -- and suddenly they allow metering to work.

    Don't get me wrong, I actually own a Nikon, and they are very well built. But the Pentax are equally well built and worthy of your consideration.
     
  16. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #16
    weird that i came across this thread. i'm actually really considering the same camera used with the following for $400:

    " It comes with a 18-55 mm lens, 2 memory cards, a reader/writer to read the card in a computer, an USB cable and a CD-ROM. I also bought a 4 year extended warrenty which has 3 years left on it."

    pretty good deal if you ask me. this thread has been very helpful.
     
  17. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #17
    Pentax has features like DOF, etc etc... although D40's image quality is abit better then Pentax... a very slight bit.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #18
    Anyone who's trying to peep the difference in IQ between 6MP bodies is likely kidding themselves. There really isn't enough difference to worry about in the whole pack of current bodies unless you're seriously underexposing or at the end of the ISO spectrum.
     
  19. filmamigo macrumors member

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    Sep 17, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #19
    Absolutely.

    The biggest difference between cameras and between brands, is in how the image is profiled by default, when shooting JPGs. If you shoot RAW, they are all equivalent, and you can define the contrast and colour responses yourself. If you shoot JPG, each camera design will have a little different look "baked in" to the image.

    The D40 and D80 are set to really make the images "pop". They are colourful and contrasty. Probably because Nikon took some lumps from folks who weren't getting bright, contrasty pictures "out of the box" with the older Nikon cameras. (Even one of the most knowledgable photographers I know complained about his D70 when he bought it -- because he was shooting JPG and the colour profiles weren't to his liking. Once he learned to shoot raw and apply the look he wanted, he was tickled. The camera gives him the equivalent of a well-exposed negative, and then he can push the image around in photoshop to get the look he wants.)

    The D50 seems to be half-way between the D70 and the D40, when it comes to making JPGs that "pop." Other brands and models will have different looks too.

    The drawback of having these bright, contrasty JPGs straight out of the camera is that you run the risk of clipping highlight detail and not having as much headroom for postprocessing. The advantage is, if you aren't going to ever post-process, you get nice snapshots with no effort.

    If you will shoot RAW, it doesn't matter how the camera profiles your JPGs.
     
  20. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #20
    larger size print quality and display on large moniters or cropping.... all areas where image quality matters.
     
  21. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #21
    so i got my d50 today and as a beginner i can say that i think i will be very very pleased to learn on it. it's a nice camera, fits well in my hands, and is very comfortable. and, as a beginner, i'm glad it doesnt have all the bells and whistles of a better, more expensive camera.



    very pleased.
     
  22. Veritas&Equitas thread starter macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #22
    Well, funny that! I just got a D50 today as well off Craigslist! So far, I love it! Came w/the default Nikon 18-55mm lens, but I plan on getting the 70-300mm f/4-5.6G for around $100-110 off eBay soon.

    I also ordered a Tiffen filter kit for $24 (great deal IMO) off Adorama and a few screen protectors for the LCD. I really love the D50 so far! Thanks for all the input guys!

    P.S. I might hold off on the tripod for awhile, but can't decide between a tripod and monopod?
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    But compuwar is right in this case. The difference between the 6 MP cameras out today is so small that you may as well just get the camera you want without worrying about quality. They're all of extremely high image quality, and this is after reading all the reviews. I know the D40 is good (in terms of image quality), but lets not get carried away. The differences are marginal. I'd be just as happy with the Pentax than I would with a D40, maybe more so because of the Pentax body.
     
  24. Funkatation macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    #25
    I love my D40 and 18-200VR lens...

    18-200VR is why I went Nikon instead of Canon.
     

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