|The image quality requires correct settings and the Nikon D50 offers an abundance of possibilities. The main functions are directly accessible through the buttons on the camera. And for the remaining settings you have to use the menu. A well-organized menu that benefits from the large monitor everything is clearly shown and can be read effortlessly. If something is not completely understandable, you can obtain extra information via the menu. You can almost leave your manual at home! To review every single setting is impossible, there are that many available. One of the most important settings to select is the image quality. You have the choice from a number of JPEG modes and RAW (NEF). The RAW file lets you also store JPEG files, but then you can't adjust the quality of the JPEG file. Also important is to select the correct colour space. If you are planning to edit the photos and use them for prints, you are best off selecting the broad AdobeRGB. If you use the Nikon D50 mainly for the Internet, sRGB will do fine. During the testing I worked mainly with AdobeRGB and the RAW format. It delivered outstanding images. The shooting scene modes give you the opportunity to select a correct setting for every situation. But you can also keep the control in your own hands. This makes the Nikon D50 also suitable for the enhanced photographer who likes to manually control his or her camera.|
|Nikon D50 - Exposure
A good picture starts with good exposure. The Nikon D50 digital reflex has a large range of light metering systems: spot metering, centre weighted metering and matrix metering. To select another light metering you have to go into the menu to adjust it, this is strange. Not Nikon-like, because you'd want to change the light metering rather frequently, right? Fortunately matrix metering gets it right most of the time and delivers useful images. If you work with NEF files you have some extra room to play with. In order to prevent the white areas of a picture becoming completely bleached, it is advisable to have the Nikon D50 underexpose a little, about 1/3 or 2/3 steps.
Nikon D50 - Auto focus settings
Also to be able to adjust auto focus settings on the Nikon D50, you have to dig into the menu. There you'll find the choice between continuous focus and single focus. This latter one locks the focus when you keep pressing the release button half way down. Unique for Nikon is Dynamic AF. Normally you would select one of the five focus points yourself. Dynamic AF lets you also select your focus point, but if the subject leaves the focus area, the camera will automatically select another area. This way of working is so good; I made it the default setting. Focus is also excellent, it occurs quickly and correctly. Only on few occasions focus wasn't right, but that was me deliberately creating 'impossible' situations as always when testing a camera.
|Nikon D50 - ISO range
Finally Nikon removed the ISO sensitivities from the command dial for exposure programs. The range of ISO commences at 200 and goes all the way up to ISO 1600. ISO 100 is lacking, a characteristic issue on the Sony sensor that Nikon has been using for many years now. From ISO 800 noise is getting visible, at ISO 1600 noise is clearly visible. But never really inconvenient. Of course all this depends on the shutter speed used; slow shutter speeds tend to show digital noise sooner.
Nikon D50 - White balance
In order to get a fine colour rendition, the Nikon D50 offers a number of preset white balance settings. Fine adjusting of the white balance is not possible on the Nikon D50 unfortunately; only the more expensive models offer it. Nevertheless, selecting a required white balance manually belongs to the possibilities. Adjusting that white balance is very easy. In general the automatic white balance will be sufficient, in most cases the colours were reproduced correctly.
Nikon D50 - Dust reference
A unique setting on the Nikon D50 is 'dust reference'. You make a picture of a white surface which will serve as a reference image for dust in the Nikon Capture mode. The software will detect dust and immediately correct the images. It might not be as great as the dust filter from Olympus but it sure is better than nothing at all.