Nikon Coolpix P50 Review

High Specification Compact Digital Cameras

Picture
Nikon Coolpix P50 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 7
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
8 Megapixels
3.6x Zoom
2.4 inch LCD Screen
106 x 62.3 x 20.9mm
160g

Overview

The Nikon Coolpix P50 is an 8 megapixel camera with a wide angle, 3.6x zoom lens. The camera comes with one or two advanced features such as a manual exposure mode. The Coolpix P50 also carries popular features such as image stabilisation and face detection technology for portraits. It is likely to appeal to someone who is looking for a step up from a typical point and shoot camera without going over the top.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

8
3.6x
2.4 inches
106 x 62.3 x 20.9mm
160g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

5cm
No
Yes
AA
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

This is a pleasing shot, with plenty of contrast in the photo. The Coolpix P50 is able to handle glare from the sun without much of a problem. Focusing is some way above average and the photo is bright and clear.

I like the colours and brightness of this shot. When it comes to focusing, I would like to have seen the photo a degree or so sharper. It does seem to be that bit harder to get a really sharp image with a wide angle lens when the zoom is not used at all. I can also see some blue and purple fringing towards the outer edges of the photo. It is not to a level to give serious cause for concern, but you may find it creeping into shots and showing in larger prints.

Focusing picks up with the lens zoomed in to its full capacity. Here you can see the downside of the wide angle lens. Although the lens is slightly longer than the minimum 3x it is still more distant than many cameras manage.

Portraits

Despite using the white balance setting of cloudy, this photo has less colour in it than most cameras manage to produce. It is a matter of personal taste as to how strong you like colours. The advantage here is a more natural feel to the shot than I am used to seeing. This Coolpix P50 has produced a sharp photo.

The lighting was good when I took this shot. Therefore it is disappointing to see such high levels of noise in the shot. It looks like you will need to revert to using flash as soon as the light starts to fall.

The Coolpix P50 is much better with flash. The photo is bright and plenty of colour has been retained. This shows that the flash is strong enough, but not overpowering.

Macro, Colours and Noise

My macro test shot produced a shot that is about average. There is some purple showing around the edges of the watch. This problem could crop up if you are planning to take similar, jewelry type photos, but should not trouble you if you are planning to take nature based close up shots.

I am happy with the colours in most of my test shots. Perhaps here and there I would like to have seen colours a bit stronger.

Picture quality is on its way down at ISO 400. This confirms my finding for my indoor portrait without flash. The Coolpix P50 fails to match other cameras in this area. As with many other digital cameras once you reach ISO 1600 picture quality has all but gone. This picture does not compare well with test shots taken with other cameras on the same setting.

Summary

The Coolpix P50 produced a fairly solid set of test photos, especially if you leave the higher ISO tests to one side. Nikon cameras produce bright photos and this is one produced bright photos in my outdoor scenic tests.

See sample images link arrow

Style

The Coolpix P50 is a neat and tidy compact camera. It has a grip on the front to help you hold the camera steady.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Slow

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.46 seconds
9.92 seconds
1.48 seconds
15.35 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par Despite one or two extra features the Coolpix P50 is quite easy to use. The menus are well thought out and easy to read.

Points I Like

Large internal memory - bright photos - ease of use - design

Where it Could Improve

Lower light - shutter delay

Verdict

On balance I like the Nikon Coolpix P50. It offers fair value for money and is pleasingly easy to use. It may not fit into a pocket, but I like the design and style of the camera.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu menu 2

playback quality

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Related Pages

Nikon Coolpix P50 Review Nikon Coolpix P50 Specification Nikon Coolpix P50 Sample Images Nikon Coolpix P50 Features Nikon Digital Cameras

Review Date

December 2007

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