Nikon D70s or D50?

June 18, 2005

I was fully prepared to purchase a Nikon D70s digital SLR camera today, but I just couldn't get myself over the hump. While I made the decision to go with the D70s over the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (300D) a while ago, I'm now torn between the D70s and the to-be-released (next week) Nikon D50. From what I can gather, the D50 will not have the following features of the D70s (otherwise they are very similar):

  • Compositional grid option for the viewfinder
  • Depth-of-field preview button
  • Wireless flash attachment option
  • Clip-on screen protector
  • Maximum shutter speed is half as slow
  • LCD status window on top of camera is not illuminated (wtf?)
  • Burst mode does 2.5 f/s instead of 3

However, there are a few features that militate in favor of the D50:

  • Rubber eye piece is larger (and ostensibly more comfortable)
  • Uses SD cards instead of CF
  • Lighter
  • Slightly smaller form-factor
  • Can adjust ISO directly in full stops (not thirds)

The other thing I'm kind of taking into consideration is price. I've seen the D70s kit (with a Nikkor 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G lens) for as low as $1100 (and the D70 for as low as $882). The cheapest I've seen the D50 kit (with a Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens) is $830, but the thing hasn't even been released yet; I'm sure it will drop at least $100 not long after it's actually available and might also push down the price of the D70/s a little more.

If you have any information on either of these cameras that you think might push me toward one or the other, please e-mail me and let me know.

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