I'm not one to rave about camera gear but occasionally something comes along that has proven itself over time and stood out from the rest - like the humble D50 !
Taken a few days ago with the D50 and 18-200VR lens ...
This image had a levels adjustment in photoshop - nothing else .
The D50 produces very sharp images straight out of the camera , it has been suggested that this is because it was aimed at beginners who wouldn't know how to process the images . It is advisable to turn down the sharpening and do that later if you edit your own images .
D50 , 85mm F1.8 lens .
Many pros keep one as a second camera .
I bought mine years ago when they first came out , as back-up for my original D70 .
When it was time to 'upgrade' to the D80 I got rid of the D70 since the D50 had better image quality .
When I bought a good used D200 I got rid of it within two weeks - mainly because it was so different to my other cameras but also because it had more noise than the D50 .
I eventually traded in my D80 for two "brand new" D70s bodies that had been hidden on the shelf of a store that closed down . One of them had 1500 shots on it and the other was genuinely brand new .
I got rid of them both and kept the D50 when I upgraded to the D90 .
I also have a D40 now and on the local online auction sites the used D50s are commanding a higher price than used D40's - mainly due to the fact that the D50 has the focus screw-drive that the D40 lacks .
If I had to get rid of one camera I would keep the D50 and part with the D40 - mainly because of the lack of a focus drive in the D40 .
One day I shot a sports event with my D50 , the battery life is rated at 2700 per charge but took mine to 3000 before putting the battery on charge .... actually the battery hadn't started showing that it was getting flat yet but it would have probably dropped quickly when it did . I carried on and shot another 1000 images with it that day - 4000 in total .
Since the D50 has an electronically switched sensor/shutter rather than a focal plane shutter it can do things that no pro camera can do . I explain "realsynch flash" on another blog .
When using flash with the D50 [ and the D40/ D70 ] you have a maximum flash synch speed of 1/500th sec - as opposed to 1/200th on the D90 and 1/250th on the D300 .
This gives you twice the flash power as a professional camera . The flash power itself doesn't change but the fact that you can go to a higher speed means that you can open the aperture more , or increase the iso more , which both effectively make the flash twice as strong .
If you click that link to my other blog you will find out how to use the flash at any speed - and even have it working at 1/4000th sec and putting out 6X more power than a D300 and SB800 in auto-fp mode .
So : The D50 has better high iso performance than a D200 , faster flash synch speeds than any pro camera , good straight out of camera' jpeg output and is one of the few cameras that has never needed a firmware upgrade and people are selling them because they are 'only' 6 megapixels ?.
Forget the megapixels , 6 is enough for almost any use - they used to shoot weddings with the 2.7 meg D1 and the 5 meg Olympus E1 so 6 meg is enough !
My trusty D50 has become my 'hack' camera which goes into the mountains with me and anywhere else I am scared to take my D90's .