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Nikon D50 First Look - Page 3
AF System and Custom Settings

Nikon D50 Intro, Features and Screen Shots, AF System and Custom Settings,
D50 Compared to Nikon D70s and Canon Rebel XT, Nikon D50 Image Samples

Fast, precise 5-area AF system

The Nikon D50 features a fast 5-area autofocus system that inherits Nikon's proven cross-type center sensor, broad frame coverage, and class-leading low light detection found only in the award-winning Nikon D70 camera (D70s), and delivers even greater AF precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking.

The new system in the Nikon D50 adopts AF-A mode for smooth automated operation that switches between AF-S (single-servo autofocus) and AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) depending on the movement of the subject in the framed shot.

An AF-assist illuminator is also included, which helps maximize performance when shooting in low lighting conditions. Low light performance is excellent (the Nikon D50's focus detection range covers -1 EV to 19 EV)

Focus Area Selection
The handy multi selector on the back of the Nikon D50 makes it easy to select a specific focus area, and the selected area can be confirmed on the top control panel as well as the focus indicator in the viewfinder display. (Active AF area is highlighted in the viewfinder).

For some reason Nikon has choosen to remove the multi-selector "lock" feature found on the Nikon D70. A useful feature which prevents the possibility of accidental movement of the multi-selector.

Multi Selector on back of camera
Nikon D50 viewfinder display

When shooting moving subjects with the Nikon D50, predictive focus tracking and Lock-on™ help you achieve accurate focus by shifting instantly and automatically from your selected focus area to the one into which the subject has moved.

The AF area modes on the Nikon D50 include; 1) Single Area AF, 2) Dynamic Area AF, 3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF.

According to Nikon, the D50 offers improvements in AF tracking technology compared to the Nikon D70, with advances in both Dynamic Area AF and in Closest Subject Priority Mode. (See today's Nikon D70 Firmware Update notice.)





Built-in pop-up Speedlight with i-TTL flash control
The built-in Speedlight automatically pops up and fires when the natural light is inadequate or to add Balanced Fill-Flash when there is strong backlighting.

A big bonus of the D50's built-in flash is that it adopts Nikon's exclusive i-TTL flash control of the Creative Lighting System. i-TTL improves the accuracy of the monitor pre-flash used by the system's 420-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate flash exposure and perform an automatic balanced flash.

The Nikon D50 lets you shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/500 second for great fill effects under brighter light conditions. Another feature FV Lock, maintains the measured flash value, so while recomposing the shot you still achieve the appropriate flash output for the subject. The Nikon D50 offers flash exposure compensation as well, which allows you to increase or reduce flash output for yet finer control over results.

The Nikon Speedlight SB-600 is part of Nikon's Creative Lighting System, and looks like an ideal complement to the Nikon D50's built-in pop-up speedlight.

The Nikon D50 is compatible with Nikon's optional SB600 and SB800 external speedlights. Available flash modes supported with various Nikon speedlights is outlined below.

  • i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash for Digital SLR: Nikon Speedlights SB-800 *1, *2; SB-600 *1, *2
  • Standard i-TTL Flash for Digital SLR: Nikon Speedlights SB-800 *1, *3; SB-600 *1, *3
  • Auto Aperture (AA) flash: SB-800 *1
  • Non-TTL auto flash: SB-800, SB-600, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, SB-28, SB-27, SB-22S, etc.
  • Range-priority manual flash: SB-800 *4, *5

    *1 Available only with CPU lenses.
    *2 Available when metering mode is set to "Matrix" or "Center-weighted".
    *3 Available with all metering modes.
    *4 Adjusted automatically according to camera aperture setting when CPU lens is used.
    *5 Must be adjusted manually to match aperture selected with lens aperture ring when non-CPU lens is used.

Remote Release
Remote shutter release of the D50 is possible with the optional ML-L3 Wireless (IR) Remote Control. The user can choose between "2-second delay" and "instant trigger". The Nikon D50 does not have a connection terminal for attaching a cable release as on the D70s, nor does it have a shutter button release socket as found on the Nikon D100.

Nikon ML-L3 Remote

See the useful guide book "A Short Course in Nikon D70s Photography"

Nikon D50 Camera Menu System

Changes to a variety of camera settings are made through menus that appear in the camera LCD monitor (accessed by using menu button on back of camera). The Nikon D50 offers four main menus.

Menu Descriptions

  • Playback: Adjust playback settings and manage photos.

  • Shooting: Adjust shooting settings.

  • Custom Settings: Personalize camera settings.

  • Setup: Format memory cards and perform basic camera setup.

Playback Menu: Contains options for managing the images stored on a memory card, and for playing pictures back in automated slide shows. Settings include;

  • Delete: Options include to delete selected photographs or delete all photographs on the card.

  • Playback fldr: Options include "Current" or "All". In "Current setting only images in the folder currently selected for storage in the setup Folders menu are displayed during playback. In "All", images in all folders will be visable during playback.

  • Rotate: Select Yes or No to have vertical (portraits) orientation images displayed in tall mode. (to fit in monitor, vertical orientation images are displayed at 2/3 size)

  • Slide show: Options include start Slide Show and Frame Interval were you can choose how long each picture will be displayed. (2sec, 3s, 5s, 10s)

  • Hide Image: This option is used to hide or reveal selected phtographs. Hidden images are visable only in the Hide image menu, and can only be deleted by formatting the card.

  • Print set: Used to create a digital "print order" that lists photographs to be printed, the number of copies, and the information to be included on each print.

Shooting Menu
The shooting menu contains options for setting the following:

  • Optimize Image
  • Long exp. NR (Noise Reduction)
  • Image Quality
  • Image Size
  • White Balance
  • ISO
Nikon D50 shooting menu

Custom Settings Menu
A total of 20 custom settings allow you to personalize the operation of your Nikon D50 to match your shooting style or the demands of different shooting conditions. The custom settings menu is displayed on the LCD monitor in easy to understand fashion, and selections are made using the handy multi selector. You can also display help dialogs with the press of a button that describe each setting.

Custom settings menu

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Set Up Menu
The Nikon D70 has a Set Up Menu that contains options for controlling the following:

  • Folders: Options include to create a new folder with a five letter folder name, rename an existing folder or delete empty folders

  • File No. Sequencing: This option controls whether file numbering continues from the last number used when a new folder is created, the memory card is formatted, or a new memory card is inserted in the camera.

  • Card format: select Yes or No

  • Custom Menu (CSM): Choose whether the CSM (custom) menu lists all twenty six Custom Settings or only the first ten options

  • Date Settings: Set camera date and time.

  • LCD Brightness Control: adjust brightness of LCD monitor from -2 to +2 (Brightest)

  • Mirror Lock Up Mode: Select Yes or No. Used to lock the mirror in the up position to allow inspection or cleaning of the low-pass filter that protects the CCD sensor.

  • Video Mode: Choose NTSC or PAL video standard

  • Language: Select language for menu display

  • Image Comment: Text comments can be added to photographs as they are taken (Up to 36 characters)

  • USB: Select PTP or Mass Storage

  • Dust Ref Photo: This option is used to capture reference data for the Image Dust Off feature in optional Nikon Capture 4 software.

  • Firmware Version: Displays current firmware version.

  • Image Rotation: Turn On or Off vertical image rotation feature.

Battery Supply and Power Options
The Nikon D50 comes supplied with a Li-Ion EN-EL3 rechargeable battery (same as D70), and the Nikon Quick Charger MH-18a.

An optional Multi Charger MH-19 (charge two batteries at a time), and AC Adapter EH-5 are also available for the Nikon D50.

USB, Video out and AC adapter connections are found on the left side of the Nikon D50 under a protective rubber hinged door.

Nikon Software
Nikon Capture 4.3 (optional) is a comprehensive image editing and remote camera control package that fully supports NEF* (RAW), TIFF and JPEG data. Among other features, the package offers Image Dust Off sensor dust and particle shade removal control; Digital DEE™ scene-specific automatic dodge and burn control; and transformation of shots from the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens to ultra-wideangle images.

PictureProject (included) is Nikon's bundled software that simplifies and improves data transfer to the computer, as well as browsing and editing of image files.

In the Box
The Nikon D50 ships with the following items:

  • Rechargeable li-ion battery EN-EL3
  • AC Quick Charger MH-18a
  • PictureProject Software CD-ROM
  • USB cable UC-E4
  • Video cable
  • Strap
  • LCD monitor cover BM-4
  • Body cap
  • Finder eyepiece cup DK-20
  • Eyepiece cap DK-5
  • User's manual
  • Quick Start Guide
  • 2 year in Canada Service Warranty Card

Nikon D50 Intro, Features and Screen Shots, AF System and Custom Settings,
D50 Compared to Nikon D70s and Canon Rebel XT, Nikon D50 Image Samples

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