View Full Version : Nikon D50 or D70 for student

05 May 2006, 11:24 AM
Hi guys

I am planning to purchase a digital SLR at the end of june, these two product have at least 100-120 price range, which means another day at work :(

anyways, I was interested on these Nikon guys, either D50 or D70. but because their pixel resolutions is the same (6.1M) I can't decide which to go for. I had a 600 budget limit, but this only works on D50.

Here's what I mean:

- Nikon D50 Black + 18-55mm Lens + 55-200mm Lens = 595


- Nikon D70s + 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Dx Lens = 669

The D50 comes with that 55-200mm lens, so, if there's anyone who knows about these two products or owns then, what are your views and can you help me out with choosing them in quality wise.

Also do they have built in light meter or do I have to buy external one


05 May 2006, 01:02 PM

05 May 2006, 01:44 PM

the hell is that suppose to mean?

wow, now I didn't know about that canon

cheers man

05 May 2006, 04:58 PM
And both are excellent, it just depends on which preferences you have. D50 lacks some features like the second command dial (e.g. D70 has a dial for Aperture and another for Shutter speed, while D50 has only one so you have to switch between modes), D70 can use an external flash iTLL wirelessly, while D50 needs to have in mounted on top of the camera.

D50 is a newer design so it does a few things better, e.g. better high ISO, far better jpgs straight out of the camera (I really recommend shooting raw only with D70.) Therefore, I would recommend D70 to people who like to shoot raw and process to jpg in a computer, while jpg shooters are better off with D50 and also people who use high ISO much.

The Canon is probably fine, but I dont like it since it just dont fit into my hands (the worst grip ever and too much plastic feeling for my likings)

I hope this helps!

05 May 2006, 07:04 PM

First link ;-) Im not a real photographer, but from the large amount of reviews ive read, and from having had a good play with the canon, it is a very nice piece of kit, and youll have more luck finding the lens you want on the second hand market.

05 May 2006, 07:13 PM
Yep, the XT is a great way to go. If you can afford it, go for the Canon 30D. It's got some improved features over the XT, for $300-$400 more though ;)

05 May 2006, 09:04 PM
yeah the canon rebel XT is the best value bar none is digital slr's today. The mid-level canon lenses are better than most mid-level nikon lenses, and the picture quality of the rebel xt is EXACTLY the same as the 20D under most conditions, and is $400 less. I've used canon's a lot and I've used both a D50 and D70, and I can say that from a user perspective canon works at least twice as well for things like menu layout, button placement, and even simple things like in playback mode, where the Nikon D70 is atrocious. If you can, buy the body only and but a different lens, because the kit lens isn't worth buying. The lens is perhaps the second most important thing about the camera, because the package is only as good as the sum of its parts. A kit lens will turn any 8MP DSLR into a very large 5MP compact, and you really need a good lens to take advantage of the extra pixels.

Here's the full review:

body only:,39033135,23761547,00.htm

Get the canon 28-135 IS USM zoom lens if you can afford it, which is sharp, has image stabilization, and an ultrasonic motor for fast autofocus. Runs about $400 in the US, which is about the minimum cost for a good lens (and you need a good lens for 8 megapixels, or else your images will look muddy) Here's a review/overview:
Here are sample pics:

If that's a bit too much then the canon 28-105mm II USM lens is only $230 US, but doesn't have as much zoom, and isn't stabilized. Make sure though that you get the II USM version, which is f3.5-4.5, and not the regular 28-105mm (no USM) is a crap lens.

If you want the best image quality for the price, and don't mind a fixed lens, then the canon 24mm f2.8 lens is $300 US and is very very sharp. 24mm on a 1.6x digital body means that it behaves like a 38mm lens, which is in between wide-angle and "normal." It's also very fast at f2.8, which means it's better in low light than most lenses. Downside is you can't zoom, but to get a zoom lens with the same image quality you'd need to pay four times as much. Here's the review:
Here are samples of the 24mm, very sharp as you can see:

Here you can see that the 20D and the rebel XT are just about identical in terms of image quality:

05 May 2006, 09:41 PM
I really prefer the XT over the d70...

im a 20D happy owner but find my 24mm 2.8 quite soft...

you should look at the new Tamron 17-50mm 2.8... (

its better than sigma similar offerings (18-50 and 17-70) and even shine compare to the famous 16-35 2.8 L professionnal L lens!

I really think buying one myself...

ho... and buy that cheap 50mm 1.8... (70$) its really a must! It will give you low light and portrait capability and very good sharpness overall compare with any zoom.

you can ask questions on in the canon eos forum

good luck


05 May 2006, 09:50 PM
Hell, for a non-kit excellent lens, Canon has a brilliant USM lens...28-105mm, internal focusing (which is nice), and the USM is practically inaudible. Sharp as all hell, too! :)

06 June 2006, 04:05 PM
Thanks alot guys

imashination: thanks m8, read those reviews, did help me a lot

validusername: Thanks m8, both D50 and D70 have pretty much the similar grip, judging from the images ive seen but thanks a lot m8

maX_Andrews: thanks man, the image samples did help a lot
tfortier: thanks m8

Valkyrien: thanks m8, I've found a body for canon EOS 350D ( for like 450 and a Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Mk2 ( for 190, together 640 which is sorta acceptable, plus a 1GB memory.

Also how about the light meter?

06 June 2006, 05:30 PM
Congrats on the purchase, I think you'll be really happy with it :)

I do need to second tfortier's recommendation of the 50mm f/1.8--absolutely necessary for anyone (especially in situations like an art museum, where you're not allowed to use a flash :)

First thing you'll want to do is pop on that 28-105, switch over to Full Manual and start playing with exposure/aperture settings. It's fun shooting everything around in every possible combination and seeing what comes out!

06 June 2006, 09:16 AM
Yeah you won't need an external light meter for anything much really, not with the metering on today;s cameras, and expecially because it's digital (if it's not right, you can fix it in about three seconds)

06 June 2006, 10:53 AM
Aw guys sorry for the misunderstanding, I haven't bought it yet, but I ordered it from my local Jessops store and will purchase it in excactly 3-4weeks time.

I haven't actually played with digital SLR, but at college, we use Film slr, and they have a built in light meter inside the viewfinder, which was green or red light, green ment good to shoot, so I was actually wondering if it had that. I must visit the store again and ask information

I'm so itching to play with it, can't wait, I must not shop for another 3-4weeks

just found out that you need to invest alot for todays digital slrs, from memory to tripods to lenses. :buttrock:

06 June 2006, 12:42 PM
Wish I saw this thread earlier. I own the D50 and love it. I have both the 18-55mm and 55mm-200 lens. The d50 is worth every penny. I compared for 6 months on cameras Canon, Pentax (Already had pentax lenses) I went with the D50 because the pictures looked better than the Canon or pentax, and of course the Nikkor lenses are much better quality glass. The D50 even has less digital noise then its big brother the D70s since the new CCD design. My d50 is easy to use and powerful. Canon would have been choice number two though.

BTW dont give in to the Gimick of high speed memory cards, unless you do sports photog you will never need the speed. My D50 shoots 5 RAW images without a having to access the card. Having a high speed cards gets you 8-10 I think. Not worth the extra money.

06 June 2006, 07:51 PM
Nikon makes fine cameras but something really bugs me about them. Same with the fuji s2. The interface is just a bit "off" in some aspects and it makes me have to think and hunt through menus when I shoot.

The rebel XT has excellent image quality. This guy shoots with it all the time and has some amazing images:

In terms of the light meters, the digital SLR's today have very advanced metering programs. You can choose betwwen spot metering, center-weighted metering, 35-zone focus-based metering, and full (taditional) average metering. WHat it will show in the viewfinder is a scale of four f-stops, with a little tringle on top, like this: -2______-1_____0_____1_____2
Zero means it's properly exposes for middle-gray based on the metering you chose. toward -2 means you are underexposed, towards 2 means you are over-exposed. In some lightig conditions like a foggy or overcast day or in snow, you usually want to over-expose a bit because the camera over-compensates for the brightness in the scene. On days like this you can lock an exposure that is a specific number of stops greater or less than the metered exposure. Very convenient.

06 June 2006, 09:21 PM
Nikon D70 is awesome. I have it and I love it. The cheaper Canon Rebel seemes too plasticy to me and not as well built. When I held the Canon I knew that it was NOT for me. The Nikon just felt so right in my hand. The menu on the Nikon seems very logical to me. I think it's question of taste ;-P Nikkor lens are awesome as well.

06 June 2006, 01:20 PM
I will choose the D70 over the old rebel if its same price but the XT now is just amazing for the price. no question!

anyway, you will end up happy with both nikon or canon I think... those slr will bring you way further in your skills!

I wish I start with digital few years ago... I spend so much thousands for film devellopement of so-so pictures! digital slr will make you learning better on both system!

have fun!


06 June 2006, 10:43 PM

Your link changed my life. I clicked on it and found myself on google. From there, I wound-up on: There is where I found the supreme "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and I'm now converted. Did you do that on purpose?

06 June 2006, 11:26 PM
You have been touched by his noodley appendages I see. Are you more fulfilled now that you can see how pirates fit into everything?

06 June 2006, 12:23 AM
guys can I ask what are the benefits of a lens hood?


06 June 2006, 01:18 AM
minimize flare... quite useful but I have to admit I rarely use it... you will get better color rendition outdoor with the hood on.

...and its more cool looking on the lens! :)

06 June 2006, 03:06 AM
Plus without it you don't look like a real photographer :p Obviously. :)

06 June 2006, 07:52 AM
Yeah basically what happens is that in bright or direct light, some of the light enters the lens off-axis, and bounces around inside the lens and inside the camera, which washes the image out. The hood blocks this off-axis light from entering by only allowing the lens a window large enought to fully capture it's focal length. Thus, a lens hood for a telephoto lens will be a lot larger and longer than a lens hood for a wide-angle lens.

06 June 2006, 10:21 AM
BTW I found the rebel XT body for only $419!!! (equivalent is about 250)

That's as cheap as many consumer digicams. This place has good reviews too, 95% positive ratings. I'm ordering one tomorrow.

They've also got the Nikon D50 for $419 and the D70 for $499, and the canon 20D for $740, all several hundred below retail.

I feel bad for all the UK people, they get the jacked-up international prices and on top of that the VAT, which makes all cameras about twice as expensive as in the US. I'm itching for some quasi-illegal triangle trade scheme here...cameras leave port of long beach, land in bonded warehouse in england, mis-labeled as non-tax souvenier item and corporate gift, cameras sold at discounted price, income buys rum in the carribean, then is traded for sla...oh could just keep the money...

06 June 2006, 10:19 AM

thanks max,
I too found out that sells these slrs for half the price in UK

These are the body only:

Nikon D70S for $699, that is about 350-370
Nikon D50 for $520, that is about 280-300
canon EOS 350D for $695, that is about 370-400

exchanged it by using

and all these are brand new, hmmm, too good to be true, what are your views guys, why do we loose out the most :buttrock:
I was planning to get a mp3 player and seen was selling it for 65.99 and tried it at and found out it was $65.99, about 30-35 :curious:

what in the world?... I can get two of them

06 June 2006, 10:36 AM

You can also order from Germany and get European warranty and no import taxes or VAT. Check e.g.


06 June 2006, 12:22 PM
Some great info in here. I am tossing up between the D70s, D50 and EOS 350D as well.

Due to cost though probably will just be between D50 and EOS 350D as I want to get a normal and a telephoto lens as well.

Are there any good sites to read up on lenses?

06 June 2006, 01:18 PM

06 June 2006, 06:21 PM
:drool: wishing right about now I had enough money to buy the Canon 16-35mm ....:drool:

Hell, even the 17-40 would do!

06 June 2006, 06:06 AM
I have the 17-40, it's a very very nice lens.

06 June 2006, 02:24 PM
From what I have read, Nikon smokes Canon in wide angles. From my own experience: No 35mm zoom beats my Nikkor 17-35 2.8. I even read a shootout between it and a Zeiss prime where they both performed equally, and it also beats all the Nikon primes in the same range.

I know Canon makes many good lenses, but their strenght is more on the tele side.

06 June 2006, 01:02 AM
Depends a lot on the lens. Both companies make something like 75 or so lenses. The canon 16-35mm is very very very sharp (resolved everything on a 1ds mark-II body, which is 16.7MP). Going on sharpness alone, the canon is sharper by a hair:
and it also is 1 degree wider and has less pincushion distortion. But you'd not notice any difference if the same scene were shot with both lenses.

Both companies have very good lenses in all ranges and it really comes down to the intangibles, like how the camera feels when you use it, if you like the menu structure, if the images from one or the other look better to you etc) For me canon fits, for other's it's nikon. And for others still it's olympus, sony, etc. I tried the nikon D70 and D50 and I did not like them as much as the 350D, the only way to tell for yourself is to try both of them out in a photo store and go based on how the pictures look and what your gut tells you.

06 June 2006, 06:48 AM
Yes I guess this all depends on individual preferences. I held 350D in a store and it just felt like a toy in comparison to D70 and D50 (I have owned both.)

My friend (old photographer) has been buying cameras for his relatives who live abroad and he owns Olympus E-1 and has used both 350D and D50 for a week each. He was pretty disappointed with the Canon while he got better results with the Nikon and feels it to be much more solid.

Each lens has its strenghts and stopped down the Nikkor is outstanding. Its not made for high apertures anyway. I have tried using WA on a high apertures, but the bokeh is awful, so you always want to stop them down. The Nikon shooters who like good performance at F 2.8 buy the 17-55 2.8.

06 June 2006, 07:38 AM
Don't listen to Canon mafia :) Nikons are very well made and excellent cameras. You won't regret buying one. Seriously Nikon and Canon both are awesome. Buy each :thumbsup:

06 June 2006, 08:27 PM
D-50 and Sigma 17-70 digital macro used most of the time.

Awesome combo. No regrets in buying this camera. very solid. Might have entertained canon if i didn't have a bag full of nikon glass.

07 July 2006, 03:21 PM
aakkhhhh:D sorry for the trouble guys

I have not YET ordered any slr, you know, money comes and goes, it doesn't even rest for a bit, cmon money take a sit, have a tea, lets talk... but it goes woossshhhhhhh!

I decided to go with this slr like, Panasonic DMC FZ7, according to this review site, it recieved 4.77 stars.
also by looking at the sample images, it looks perfect

07 July 2006, 04:54 PM
Just buy the camera body you feel most comfortable with. It might be better buying a cheaper body and spending more on a decent lens, going the SLR route anyway.

I would personaly go for the nikon over cannon because i own a Nikon f90x and alot of the nikkor lenses can be used on both the D/SLR. Buying the cannon would mean having to replace the same lenses, which is a waste of money. (Saying that i would happily buy cannon if i could afford the 1DSMK II)

Someone mentioned earlier that digital photography being cheaper than spending money on developing film. Digital photography can end up being just as expensive as using film.

Edit:- What you going to be using the camera for? I realise i sound daft saying it, but is it for getting textures for your 3d models?

Also seems to have good prices for second hand stuff. Jessops is over priced, I discovered my second F90x was 100 cheaper on mifsuds -_-

07 July 2006, 10:41 PM
Make sure the FZ7 is what you want. It's a different camera from a standard D-SLR, more of an ultra-zoom prosumer point-and-shoot. The sensor is much smaller, which means greater depth of field; good for landscapes, not for portraits where you want a blurred background to separate the foreground subject. Also, the ISO performance is very noisy at higher levels, as you can read in the dpreview article you linked.

Me, I have a Pentax DS. It has a much better viewfinder than the Canon XT/Rebel, Nikon D70/50, and pretty much anything from Olympus. While nowhere near as good a viewfinder as a film camera, it's the best thing short of a Canon 5d. Plus the camera is compatible with lenses dating back to the 60s and 70s. While Pentax doesn't have the lens selection of Nikon and Canon, they make some great glass such as the FA 77/1.8 Limited, FA 50/1.4, and others. Other considerations were price, small size, and the upcoming 10mp model(s) in the fall.

You really need to hold the cameras in your hand, see how you like the size, menus, and ergonomics. I almost bought a Nikon D200 - a very nice camera - but after testing them out chose the Pentax DS because of its smaller size and weight, which was important for hiking in the nearby mountains. (Plus I could put the $1k+ I saved towards lenses...)

Of course, it's largely a personal preference (not unlike, say, 3D programs). Some like the big dogs, Canon and Nikon, but some like Pentax, some like Olympus, etc, and sometimes it gets to an almost religious level. Pick the criteria that are important to you and buy the camera that meets those criteria best. I know the Canon and Nikons beat the Pentax in some areas but not in those most important to me.


07 July 2006, 11:24 PM
Hay thanks guys

my main purpose is to extract textures from it, but at the same time I will be using it to shoot personal images and references.

But yea landscape is my main pariority. I did a whole year course on landscape at college so I prefer that subject.

I used around 400 ISO, but thats alright I guess

07 July 2006, 11:57 PM
Both Nikon and Canon have great DSLRs models and both are able to produce great images.
There will always be the debate N vs C as with all products.
I think Canon may have a slight advantage when using higher ISO's in low light conditions, whereas Nikon may have better placed menus easier and faster to access for the field photographer.

We should not forget that it is the photographer who concives and creates a good image and not his gear!

Personally with my D70 I'm really happy, and the raw files produce excellent quality.
A good lens is what will make the difference in the very end, and since it the component that will outllive the body it is worth the investment.

I decided to go with this slr like, Panasonic DMC FZ7 , according to this review site, it recieved 4.77 stars.
also by looking at the sample images, it looks perfect

Do not base your opinion on only one source.
seek for real world photographers opinions rather than just specs and lab tests.
Great images can be produced with almost any camera-thing is how easy/fast is it to get the right settings, rather than diving in the menus, so if possible get the camera in your hand, an test if it feels right to you!
Finally, I'd choose a dslr any time over an even newer more mpx slr-like!
Once you go SLR you never go back, unless you want a small, light and unobtrusive camer for social events.

Over 6mpx, any camera can produce A4-A3 prints, so look for noise, iso settings and such.

For landscape picts, I'd go for a wide 12-24 lens as fast as possible.
There is a great Nikkor lens that costs around $1K- but Tokina has a good alternative at half the price...

08 August 2006, 02:03 AM
Thanks for the suggestions here.

In the end I went for an EOS 350D w 17-40mm F4/L and 70-200mm F4/L

Any tips on colour calibration and stuff?

My prints don't match the colours on screen. I don't want to spend too much money on hardware calibration though I might try to borrow some equipment.

I have tried tweaking the RGB values and contrast settings for my VX912 but that doesn't seem to work too well.

Any tips?

08 August 2006, 08:32 AM
Colour calibration seems to be quite complex, its a whole chapter in Martin Evening's Adobe photoshop for photographers. There is software to calibrate the monitour, but for more accurate prints it is better to do a hardware calibration.

Its not just the screen you need to configure, you also need to print out colour profiles on your printer too. (And if you use different papers, you need to make profiles for them as well.)

PrintFIX Pro Suite (600 euros) and pantone huey (70) are the only two calibration units i know of.

I hope it sounds like i know what im talking about. Im doing photography as my minor and on the whole i didnt do very well in my first year lol ^_^

08 August 2006, 01:28 AM
i found a guy who was willing to lend me a spyder. ot sure if its a 1 or a 2. From what I read Spyder 1 is not the best and 2 whilst a huge improvement does not do that well in Highlights. Either way it'll still be better than my current situation I guess.

I am printing at a lab so the printing is not totally in my control.

08 August 2006, 04:48 PM
hay guys, from painful research, nikon d50 to panasonic DMC FZ7, I finally went with Sony DSC H5 (Cypershot)

I am one of those people who if they want to purchase something, it should come with them the same day, meaning delivery is painful method. So I went to purchase this camera in store, which as we know is quite costy than from web.
I got 512MB card, a camera bag and the camera it self (H5) for 370, whereas if I would've got it from web, I would've paid 350 inc delivery. But I am happy in the end.

I have to say, to operate this camera is tougher than I though. 50 shots taken so far and only 1 image turned out okay :blush: :banghead: :D

08 August 2006, 02:20 PM
Here's the result. I have to take this back, the camera operation is ease-to-use type of operations.

you don't want to know what the fourt image is
I'm loving it :D

08 August 2006, 01:44 PM
Is it some meat that should really be in a bin somewhere?

08 August 2006, 01:57 PM
hehe yea, but I removed the pic, it just didn't look right

08 August 2006, 06:07 AM
New Nikon 10 Mpixel D80 has been announced. Should be around $1K for the body.


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