Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D50

  • APS-C
  • 16 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 43
    Overall
  • 17
    Imaging
  • 47
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 1
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 6 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 37
    Overall
  • 9
    Imaging
  • 14
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D50: 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 overview, we are going to take a look at two different camera models that fall into different categories: the first model we are about to review, Nikon D5100 is a camera from Entry-Level DSLR category. It features CMOS sensor with a resolution of 16.0 MP. The second model we are looking at, Nikon D50, falls into a Semi-Pro DSLR category and it is equipped with CCD sensor that has a resolution of 6.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50.

Nikon D5100 Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 128 x 97 x 79 mm
  • Weight: 560 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D5000. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D5200. Compare

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

Since Nikon D5100 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D5200. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
Nikon D5200 vs. Nikon D50

Being a newer model, Nikon D5100 substituted Nikon D5000. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D5100 vs. D5000
Nikon D5000 vs. Nikon D50

Why is Nikon D5100 a better choice than Nikon D50

Wireless Connectivity Eye-Fi Connected vs No Better connectivity
Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP vs 6.0 MP 62.5% more pixels
Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 vs 367.35 mm2 0.9% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 4 fps vs 3 fps 1 fps faster
Flash Range 12 vs 11 1 better flash range
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 3″ vs 2″ 1" larger screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type Flexible shooting positions
Screen Resolution 921k dots vs 130k dots 85.9% higher resolution screen
Weight 560 g vs 620 g 60 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 23.5 vs 20.9 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.6 vs 10.8 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 1183 vs 560 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.52 vs 0.5 0.02 better magnification

Key PROs of Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50

Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) | Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 921k dots | 130k dots Small screen resolution
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP | 6.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps | 3.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization
Environmental Sealing No | No No environmental sealing

Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D50: 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 D5100 and Nikon D50 from the front view.

Nikon D5100
Nikon D50
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D5100
Nikon D50
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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 D5100 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 60g less than the Nikon D50. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50 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 D5100 and Nikon D50 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 D5100 features a 16.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Nikon D50, in its turn, comes with a 6.0 MP APS-C sized CCD sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D5100
Nikon D50
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Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D5100 and Nikon D50 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 D5100 and Nikon D50 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 D5100 Nikon D50
Portrait Photography
62%
40%
Street Photography
74%
66%
Sports Photography
57%
74%
Daily Photography
49%
89%
Landscape Photography
92%
64%

Nikon D5100 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

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

Nikon D5100 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

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

Nikon D5100 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (1)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1183)
  • Small battery life (660 shots)

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)

Nikon D5100 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (560 g)
  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)

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

Nikon D5100 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.6)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1183)

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)

Comparison of Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D50: 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 D5100 or Nikon D50, 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 D5100 and Nikon D50 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D5100 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 D5100 vs Nikon D50 Table Of Technical Specs

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

Nikon D5100 Nikon D50
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D5100 D50
Announced Apr 26, 2011 Jul 23, 2005
Body Type Compact SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CCD
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.7 x 15.5 mm
Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 367.35 mm2
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP 6.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 3008 x 2000
Max Native ISO 6,400 1,600
Max Boosted ISO 25,600 n/a
Min Native ISO 100 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes No
AF Face Detection Yes No
AF Contrast Detection Yes No
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 11 n/a
Number of Cross Focus Points 1 n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 2″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 130k dots
Live View Yes No
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror) Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.52 0.5
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps 3.0 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 Yes
Flash Range 12 11
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes No
Average No No
Spot Yes No
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 80 55
DxO Color Depth 23.5 20.9
DxO Dynamic Range 13.6 10.8
DxO Low Light ISO 1183 560
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps) n/a
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4 n/a
Microphone Port Yes No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes No
HDMI Yes No
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 560 g 620 g
Physical Dimensions 128 x 97 x 79 mm 133 x 102 x 76 mm
Battery Life 660 shots n/a
Battery Type Battery Pack n/a
Battery Model EN-EL14 EN-EL3
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes No
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC SD card
Storage Slots 1 1

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