Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • APS-C
  • 6 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 37
    Overall
  • 9
    Imaging
  • 14
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 21 megapixels
  • Canon EF
  • 47
    Overall
  • 24
    Imaging
  • 47
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Nikon and Canon. Models we are reviewing in this article have different types of sensors, Thus, Nikon D50 is equipped with a 6.0 MP CCD sensor. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, on the contrary, features CMOS sensor with a resolution of 21.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Nikon D50 Key Features:

  • 6.0 MP APS-C CCD sensor
  • ISO 200 - 1600
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 133 x 102 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 620 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Nikon D40X. Compare

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Key Features:

  • 21.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 50 - 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 152 x 114 x 75 mm
  • Weight: 850 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Canon 5D.
  • Replaced by Canon 5D MIII.

Nikon D50 was substituted by Nikon D40X. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D50 vs. D40X
Nikon D40X vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Why is Nikon D50 a better choice than Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 11 vs No 11 better flash range
Weight 620 g vs 850 g 230 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Canon EOS 5D Mark II over Nikon D50

Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Sensor Resolution 21.0 MP vs 6.0 MP 71.4% more pixels
Sensor Area 864 mm2 vs 367.35 mm2 57.5% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 4 fps vs 3 fps 1 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 3″ vs 2″ 1" larger screen
Screen Resolution 920k dots vs 130k dots 85.9% higher resolution screen
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Dxo Color Depth 23.7 vs 20.9 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 11.9 vs 10.8 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 1815 vs 560 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) vs Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71 vs 0.5 0.21 better magnification

Key PROs of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 130k dots | 920k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Sensor Resolution 6.0 MP | 21.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps | 4.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II from the front view.

Nikon D50
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
HTML
BB

Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D50
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
HTML
BB

After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D50 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 230g less than the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D50 — 76 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark II — 75 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D50 — 620 g
Canon EOS 5D Mark II — 850 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D50 features a 6.0 MP APS-C sized CCD sensor . Canon EOS 5D Mark II, in its turn, comes with a 21.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D50
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
HTML
BB

One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with a sensor that is 0.4x larger than the one featured in Nikon D50. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D50 Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Portrait Photography
40%
100%
Street Photography
66%
74%
Sports Photography
74%
92%
Daily Photography
89%
80%
Landscape Photography
64%
94%

Nikon D50 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.5 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D50 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Large APS-C(23.7 x 15.5 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (133 x 102 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (850 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Nikon D50 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (133 x 102 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (560)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1815)
  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)
  • Small battery life (850 shots)

Nikon D50 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.5 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (620 g)
  • Big size (133 x 102 x 76 mm)
  • Video is not available

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (850 g)
  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D50 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.7 x 15.5 mm) sensor
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (6 MP)
  • Bad Dynamic Range (10.8)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (560)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (11.9)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1815)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Comparison of Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D50 or Canon EOS 5D Mark II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Canon EOS 5D Mark II deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D50. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D50 Canon EOS 5D Mark II
General
Brand Nikon Canon
Model D50 EOS 5D Mark II
Announced Jul 23, 2005 Feb 13, 2009
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CCD CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 23.7 x 15.5 mm 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 367.35 mm2 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 6.0 MP 21.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 5616 x 3744
Max Native ISO 1,600 6,400
Max Boosted ISO n/a 25,600
Min Native ISO 200 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Canon EF
Number of Lenses 287 256
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View No Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection No Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points n/a 9
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 2″ 3″
Screen Resolution 130k dots 920k dots
Live View No Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95% 98%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.5 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps 4.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash Yes No
Flash Range 11 0
Flash Modes Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow no built-in flash
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing No Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment No Yes
Average No No
Spot No Yes
Partial No Yes
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 55 79
DxO Color Depth 20.9 23.7
DxO Dynamic Range 10.8 11.9
DxO Low Light ISO 560 1815
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats n/a H.264
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No No
HDMI No Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 620 g 850 g
Physical Dimensions 133 x 102 x 76 mm 152 x 114 x 75 mm
Battery Life n/a 850 shots
Battery Type n/a Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL3 LP-E6
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD card Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
Storage Slots 1 1

Most popular cameras

Olympus OM-D E-M10 16.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Pentax K-5 IIs 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Canon EOS 70D 20.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Nikon 1 V3 18.0 MP CMOS
1"
Pentax K-5 II 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C