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Nikon D50 SLR Digital Camera Review

Category : Digital Cameras, Nikon

The Nikon D50 is one of the cheapest digital SLR cameras available in the market right now, this is an attempt by Nikon to capture the entry level digital SLR market such as those considering upgrading from a compact digital camera. For the D50 Nikon have simplified the controls making menu navigation more user friendly and have used SD memory cards for storage rather than the Compact Flash cards used in higher end models. The Nikon D50 also has a much lighter plastic body when compared to the sturdy alloy construction of the more expensive Nikon D300.

However, just because the D50 is a cheap (relatively speaking for digital SLR’s) camera, that does not mean it is a bad camera. The Nikon D50 shares many of the features of its more expensive siblings, it simply has a lower specification so is more suited to enthusiastic amateurs as opposed to semi-professional photographers. The Nikon D50 has an amazing spec for a bottom of the range model, including 6.24 megapixel resolution, 23.7mm x 15.6mm RGB CCD (charge-coupled device or electronic light sensor), four advanced exposure modes,  3 image size and compression settings, auto-exposure and auto-focus lock buttons, 4 ISO speeds, auto shutter and aperture priority,  and an AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G DX lens as standard.

The Nikon D50 uses a TTL phase detection 5-point autofocus system ( for comparison the D300 has a 51 point system), continuous shooting modes with a maximum shooting speed of 2.5 frames per second, self-timer mode and there are a total of 20 custom-programmable functions available. The built-in flash has a range of modes including normal sync, Red-eye Reduction, Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync and Rear-curtain Sync. The Nikon D50 has a hotshoe fitted so will easily accept Nikon flashguns (either auto or manual).

Images are composed using the optical viewfinder monitor and played back on the main 2 inch LCD screen with 130k pixel resolution. PictBridge support is included which allows direct printing with compatible printers. At 133 x 102 x 76mm, and weighing just 540g, the D50 is good sized. The Nikon D50 ships with a rechargeable Li-ion battery, Charger, Video out Cable, USB Cable, Strap, Lens Cap, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual and PictureProject software on CD-ROM. As with most digital SLR cameras, no memory card is supplied so add this into your budget.

If you are a keen photographer and are looking to take your hobby to the next level, the Nikon D50 will be perfect for your needs. This camera fills the gap between compact digital cameras and expensive digital SLR’s designed for professionals. Nikon deserve to sell tons of these cameras as they offer all the features and capabilities hobby photographers require from an SLR without breaking the bank!

Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera Review

Category : Digital Cameras, Nikon

The Nikon D300 is the new mid-range SLR model from Nikon aimed at the professional (or talented amateur) photographers. The D300 is a 12.3 megapixel digital SLR (single-lens reflex) with effective ISO range of 100-6400, continuous shooting mode of 6fps (frames per second), next-generation 51-point AutoFocus system and a 3 inch, 920k pixel LCD screen. The Nikon D300 is a well made unit benefiting from magnesium alloy construction which is both water and dust resistant. Brand new on the D300 we have the debut of Nikon’s EXPEED image processing engine and “Advanced Scene Recognition System”, both of these next generation technologies promise to deliver higher image quality than ever before.

The 12 megapixel CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor – pronounced seamoss) DX sensor boasts tank like protection, rugged construction and is sealed against dust and droplets and features built-in sensor cleaning too (using ultrasonic technology). This sensor provides better colours, composition, highlights and shadows when compared to previous models. The Nikon D300 actually has two LCD screens, in addition to the large high resolution 3 inch colour screen, there is a smaller additional screen on top of the unit which displays shooting options and selections. The Nikon D300 is fast in terms of power up (0.13 seconds) and shutter speed (45 milliseconds) with a frame advance of 6 frames per second (or up to 8fps with an optional multi power battery pack). A huge 51 point auto focus system compares well with cameras twice this price (in fact this system is shared with Nikon’s much more expensive D3 model).

The Nikon D300 is larger than the Canon EOS 350D and provides a chunky grip enabling a good grasp, there is also plenty of room for your thumb without worrying about inadvertently selecting controls with it on the rear of the camera. Despite the endless list of features the D300 can be used as soon as powered up, you don’t have to use all the professional features, in a hurry just point and click using live view on rear screen and let autofocus do the rest!

The Nikon D300 does require some familiarisation to full use of all its features – not because the D300 is unnecessarily complex, rather it simply has such a huge range of built-in features and it takes time to work through them all to the point where it becomes second nature. However, it is worth spending the time mastering the Nikon D300 as although it may seem expensive, this digital SLR has everything a photographer will need (with the exception perhaps of top level professional photographers) . This is a direct competitor to the Canon EOS 350D and although Canon may currently sell more cameras, the Nikon D300 has to be near the top of the list for any discerning photographer.

Canon EOS 50D SLR Digtal Camera Review

Category : Canon, Digital Cameras

The Canon EOS 50D  is the successor to the very popular Canon 40D and as you would expect shares many of the features with the older camera along with a number of improvements. The main improvements over the 40D model include higher resolution sensor (up from 10 megapixels to 15 megapixels), a new image processor called the DIGIC 4 (Digital Imaging Core) with improved colour, startup time and responsiveness along with a higher resolution screen (now 640 x 480 pixels). The improvements in this latest model are probably a direct result of improvements and new releases from competitors such as we have seen in the Nikon D300 and Nikon D50 recently.

Standard features on the EOS 50D include 3.0 inch VGA LCD Monitor with “Live View” mode, selectable AF and metering modes, built in flash, PAL/NTSC/HDMI video output, USB 2.0 computer interface and compact dimensions of 146 x 108 x 74 mm with a weight of just 730 grams.

The Canon EOS 50D has a fast and positive autofocus action even when tracking moving subjects even with the standard 18-55mm kit lens. The 50D has a Live View system much like the 40D and 450D, however on the Canon EOS 50D there is an additional feature – Live AF with Face Detection mode. Essentially Live View allows you to use the LCD screen as the viewfinder while providing all the advanced information professional photographers have come to rely on with high-end optical viewfinders.

The higher resolution of the APS-C (Advanced Photo System type-C) CMOS sensor (an image sensor consisting of an integrated circuit containing an array of CMOS pixel sensors) means less background noise, more light and better image detail on the Canon EOS 50D when compared to previous model. The 50D is also better suited to hazardous environments as the memory card and battery doors are dust and moisture resistant.

The menu system is a simplified tab structure that eliminates the need for scrolling, with quick and easy access to all the options. The included documentation that ships with the Canon EOS 50D is comprehensive and straightforward with a detailed manual and electronic manuals ion CD’s. The Canon EOS 50D software suite is excellent, in addition to the basic image browsing program included, there is the simple but effective Canon PhotoStitch application,    Canon’s Digital Photo Professional and a Picture Style Editor software.

the Canon EOS 50D is a solid, well made camera with features and controls aimed squarely at serious photographers, this is not a camera that is used once or twice a year for special occasions and holidays – this is a serious piece of kit. Although it looks very similar to the previous 40D model, the Canon EOS 50D does offer a number of improvements that make a significant difference to camera performance.

Canon EOS 40D SLR Digital Camera Review

Category : Canon, Digital Cameras

The Canon EOS 40D is a 10.1 megapixel digital SLR camera. It was the successor to the well received Canon EOS 30D, and is now succeeded by the EOS 50D. Canon splits its SLR cameras into 3 separate ranges, each identified by the number of digits in the model name. For instance model numbers with 3 digits, such as the EOS 400D and Canon EOS 350D, are designated ‘amateur’ models, single digit model numbers such as the  EOS 1D and 1Ds are the professional photographer models, in between these ranges we have the 2 digit model numbers such as the Canon EOS 40D and Canon EOS 50D. These cameras are designed to appeal to keen
enthusiasts and semi-professional photographers with lots of advanced features and high quality construction but without the expense of the pro camera ranges.

Although the Canon EOS 40D is more expensive than most entry-level digital SLR cameras, this is reflected in the build quality. Most cheaper cameras use plastics for the casing whereas the 40D has a magnesium light alloy construction. This heavy duty construction makes the 40D a tough and resilient camera which bodes well for long term ownership. Additionally, the memory card and battery doors are dust and moisture resistant. There are two LCD displays on Canon EOS 40D, a 3 inch colour LCD (used as viewfinder) on the rear and a smaller status panel display on the top. This is another distinction between the semi-pro 40D and the cheaper cameras where the LCD on the rear usually has to do both jobs.

The Canon EOS 40D’s menu system is clear, easy to read and works well, supported by a detailed written manual and electronic back-ups on CD. However the software on the 40D is intuitive and will come easily to anyone that has used a digital camera in the past (which should cover all 40D users as novice photographers would be unlikely to purchase a Canon EOS 40D as their first camera!)

if you are interested in taking pictures of sports events the Canon EOS 40D is one of the best models in this price range due to the speed of the DIGIC III processor. The speed at which the 40D can process images and save them to the memory card is incredible for a camera in this price range. An amazing 6.5fps continuous shooting speed (most similarly priced rivals offer 3fps). of course, there are cameras that can shoot much faster than this, however they cost several thousand pounds as opposed to the sub £1000 price of the Canon EOS 40D.

Canon EOS 40D is a well made semi-professional camera with controls and features to suit any serious photographer or keen enthusiast alike. In this price range the EOS 40D obliterates the competition just in terms of speed alone.

Canon EOS 350D SLR Digital Camera Review

Category : Canon, Digital Cameras

The Canon EOS 350D is the successor to the mighty EOS 300D (the first digital SLR for the masses). However the 350D is a much improved camera in every respect. It has more pixels, is smaller, lighter, quicker and quite a bit cheaper! The Canon EOS 350D has a host of improvements and features including 8.0 megapixel resolution, DiGIC II image processor, E-TTL II distance-linked precision flash system, Simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 30 seconds, Compact Flash type storage, 3 frames-per-second continuous shooting, Mirror lock-up, Selectable AF and metering modes and USB 2.0 interface.

EOS 350D is small for a digital SLR camera, measuring just 9.5cm tall, 12.5cm wide and 13.5cm deep. At the rear of the camera, there are two LCD displays. A monochrome display at the top for exposure, balance modes and settings, with the bottom screen displaying the images taken, along with other menu features and functions not displayed the other screen. On the top of the camera is the exposure mode dial (providing access to the various pre-set scene modes and the manual exposure modes) and power switch. An excellent feature on the 40D (in fact on Canon cameras in general) is the automatic depth-of-field mode. This basically allows you to manually select the closest and furthest points of your image that you wish to be in focus. The camera then auto sets the appropriate exposure to shoot the necessary depth-of-field automatically.

Canon’s new flash system is called E-TTL II. This system uses distance information provided by the lens to ensure the flash exposure is accurate even for close-ups. Compact Flash cards are used for storage in the Canon EOS 350D and the camera will support capacities up to 8GB. Autofocus performance is very fast and accurate with different autofocus points selectable by holding the AF selector button on the back and turning the dial. Image quality is pretty good using the Canon EF-S lens which is bundled as standard (although there are better lens options more suited to this camera) and digital noise levels are acceptably low. The colours produced by this camera are accurate, but perhaps not quite as crisp as they could be. In fact some of the images look as if they would benefit from a little sharpening.

The Canon EOS 350D is a very capable semi-professional camera which provides all the features needed to started photography with a digital SLR. This camera is ideal for a enthusiastic amateur looking to progress with advanced techniques as their skill grows. The only negative points are that this camera is so small some may find it difficult to hold comfortably and securely and the bundled EF-S lens is not the best lens option for this camera.