Price: 470 . 595
Pros: D50: Compact body with responsive AF, 1/500 flash sync and bags of auto and manual control. Impressive buffer and file handling allow extended burst depth.
D70s: Super durable body with ultra-fast handling, plus there’s low-noise and great colour from raw files. Sophisticated metering works well to preserve dynamic range.
Cons: D50: Some handling quirks due to a single-command dial to the rear. Kit lens not a patch on the 18-70mm supplied with the D70s. Still only six-megapixel resolution.
D70s: cons Pricey for a six-megapixel digital SLR, but the kit lens is by far the best of its type. Picture Project software has limited raw processing options.
Nikon’s latest brace of digital SLRs lower the entry-price into the professional camera market still further. Both will challenge the wave of high-end, closed-system prosumer models, such as Sony’s Cyber-Shot DSC-F828 and Nikon’s own Coolpix 8800.
While the D50 is a completely new model, the D70s is a makeover of the popular D70, previously Nikon’s entry-level offering. Surprisingly, both eschew eight-megapixel sensors found on the likes of the recent Canon EOS 350D, and Olympus E-300 in favour of a six-megapixel CCD. If either one had matched the resolution, it would have been a first for an APS-C size CCD, as the Canon utilizes a proprietary CMOS chip, while Olympus’ E-300 features a smaller Kodak-sourced CCD sensor based on the new digital Four Thirds standard.
So, there hasn’t been an eight-megapixel CCD nor CMOS sensor at Nikon’s disposal. Nevertheless, while there’s a third increase in pixel count, the extra two million pixels equates to just a 15 per cent boost in image size. Most users looking to print A4 at 300dpi are unlikely to notice the difference.
If it ain’t broke