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3
May

Nikon D50 SLR Digital Camera Review

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!


3
May

Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera Review

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.