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Old Jun 11, 2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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I'm in a purchasing decision in terms of the D50 versus D70 right now, as I am new to the world of DSLR. Due to the rebate and price drop on the D70, both can be had for about the same price of $900.

My question for everyone is in regard to noise differences between the D70 and D50. Many may have already seen it, but a D50 versus D70s Japanese review came out and the D50 looks pretty impressive as it clearly has lower noise at higher ISO's than both the D70s and Rebel XT. This is subjective of course depending on the review, but taken at face value again is pretty impressive. The in-camera processing also is very effective, but is this preferred?

Would this lessoning of noise be a reason to seriously look at the D50? With less noise does the photo lose anything in exchange? Can I still perform all of the post processing on PS with the D50 in the same fashion as the D70, despite the D50's in camera processing?

Thanks for all input!

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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:13 PM   #2
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I saw the comparison photos you looked at, and I'm not convinced that there's that much difference yet. The photos from the D50 appear to have been exposed brighter (which will impact noise), and the camera's default processing appears to be tuned differently from the manufacturer.

Since this camera (D50) is not shipping here yet, it's kind of hard to give an opinion on how they compare.


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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Jim. Any idea when the D50 will have a formal review? Is it usually before or after the release date? Thanks!
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:30 PM   #4
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I have no idea when Steve will get the D50 for review (he does not have one yet).

BTW, I just noticed the other question you had (wanting to know if you could still process the D50 images in PS in the same manner as the D70).

Well... That depends. ;-)

More than one source has indicated that Nikon plans to encrypt the metadatarelated toWhite Balance in .nef (RAW Files) from the D50. If Nikon goes ahead with this encryption, then Adobe Camera RAW is not likely to be able to use the "as shot" White Balance information from it.

Also, you'll need to wait and see if an upgrade to PSCS2 is needed for this model to be supported. For example, the new D2x requires an upgrade to PSCS2 and ACR 3.1 to get support for it's .nef files (and the "as shot" White Balance from the D2x is not supported by Adobe ACR due to the encryption issue).

So, if you plan on setting White Balance for the lighting conditions with the D50, shooting in RAW and using Adobe Camera RAW to process the images, this could be an issue.




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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:40 PM   #5
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I was thinking the same thing as I did read a press release on the D50 and it specifically states that the Nikon software will be needed to process RAW images. The idea of purchasing the Nikon software doesn't bother me as much as perhaps having to update my Photoshop to CS2, as now we're talking some money.

I'm curious as to why the D70s is not falling into the same fate?

Now I'm kind of bummed out! Where is that review!!! :=)
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:53 PM   #6
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cmvsm wrote:
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I was thinking the same thing as I did read a press release on the D50 and it specifically states that the Nikon software will be needed to process RAW images. The idea of purchasing the Nikon software doesn't bother me as much as perhaps having to update my Photoshop to CS2, as now we're talking some money.

I'm curious as to why the D70s is not falling into the same fate?

Now I'm kind of bummed out! Where is that review!!! :=)
I feel reasonably confident that Adobe will add support for the D50 in Adobe Camera Raw... The question is whether or not they'll require an upgrade to PSCS2, and if ACR will support the as shot White Balance.

Even though Nikon is enrypting the metadata related to White Balance in the .nef files from the D2x, ACR 3.1 (which only works with PSCS2) does support the camera. So, I'd expect something similar for the D50 support.

But,ACR does not read the White Balance information in D2x .nef files. Instead, Adobe is using an internal Auto White Balance algorithm for this model (and you can still adjust the White Balance in ACR).

We'll just need to wait and see how this plays out (if Nikon goes ahead with the encryption or not, and what Adobe decides to do as far as supporting this model).

As for the D70s, it's my understand that Nikon is not going to encrypt any portion of the metadata, based on user reported correspondence with Nikon. But, I don't think this model hasbeen added to ACR yet, either.


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Old Jun 12, 2005, 2:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input Jim. It is greatly appreciated as I'm trying to make heads or tails out of this stuff.

In light of our conversation, maybe the D70 is looking pretty good?
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 3:21 PM   #8
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I dunno guy...

The D70s does offer some improvements over the D70. Whether or not those improvements would effect you is the question (and Nikon has also released a firmware update so that the D70 has some of the D70s improvements).

I'd be inclined to get one of the newer models, all other issues aside. But, if you plan on shooting a lot of RAW (and prefer to use ACR to do the conversion), then I'd make sure to take things like upgrade costs into consideration. We'll need to wait and see if the D70s is added to ACR 2.x (and whether or not it will need an upgrade to PSCS2 using ACR 3.x).

Apparently, the .nef files are different in some way with the D70s (versus the D70), since I've noticed users complaining about ACR not working right with the D70s (even though it does try to, it's not a supported model at this time, and things like preview are problematic trying to use D70s .nef files at this time).


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Old Jun 12, 2005, 3:31 PM   #9
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One other question while on the topic. Say for arguments sake that both cameras, the D50 and D70s, are unable to use ACR for the conversion. Worst case scenario would be that I would have to use Nikon's software for the conversion and then import to Photoshop...correct?

Of course, this is provided that PSCS is going to work. I guess I could see Nikon wanting others to use their software for the conversion, but to force everyone to upgrade to PSCS2 for manipulation, seems like a bad PR move, especially when you're talking about a lot of your consumers being enthusiasts, and not hard core photographers with these two models.

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Old Jun 12, 2005, 3:36 PM   #10
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Nikon has a free plug in that will do the conversion (but it doesn't offer the flexiblity of ACR). Nikon also sells Nikon Capture (which has more flexibility). Some people don't like it though (speed of operation, workflow considerations if they prefer to use PS for editing, etc.).

There are a number of third party conversion tools, too (and some of them do decrypt the white balance info in the D2x, so I suspect that they'll do the same thing for the D50 .nef files if Nikon goes ahead with the encryption).

Added:

I've been thinking about the entry level Nikon models, too (my wife still shoots a lot of film with a Nikon SLR, so it would make more sense for me to go that route).

But, given Nikon's actions with encryption, I've removed them from consideration until this mess sorts itself out (over principal, since I think the only legitimate reason for encrypting the metadata is to stifle compeition), even if there are other solutions for reading the data.

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