D50 vs D80 and D200 in low light

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Tien, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Tien

    Tien Guest

    I had a D50 once but swapped it in for a D200 for various reasons. I
    believe the D50 had nicer color and better grain when shooting handheld
    in low light at 1600 ASA. Anyone else with this opinion? Considering
    the smaller pixels on the D200, it would not seem surprising. I am
    looking into getting a cheaper backup for the D200 for these low light
    situations. Should I go with the D50 or D80? I have no experience
    with the D80. Any thoughts appreciated.

    Tien, Nov 8, 2006
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  2. Tien

    bmoag Guest

    I think you are in the minority on this one.
    bmoag, Nov 8, 2006
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  3. Tien

    chasfs Guest

    chasfs, Nov 8, 2006
  4. Tien

    frederick Guest

    frederick, Nov 8, 2006
  5. Tien,

    Sensor analyses for a D50 and D200 are here:


    The read noise for both cameras is on the order of 7.4 electrons,

    The the ISO at unity gain, shown at Figure 6 at:

    shows the D50 at ISO ~1500 versus the D200 at ISO 800.

    So with raw files, which gets you to the sensor performance,
    the D50 outperforms the D200 with its larger pixels.
    Amateur astronomers have found the D50 to be a good performer
    for astro photos.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 9, 2006
  6. Tien

    Bill Guest

    Bill, Nov 9, 2006
  7. If someone wants to bring one by, or take the data for me.
    I have data for a D70, I'll analyze when I get time.

    It takes an hour or so to take the data, including some setup.
    If interested, I can add it to a web page for instructions.
    Then it takes me a couple of days of work analyzing the results,
    so, having a real job, I can't do too many of these.

    I'd also like to do the new Pentax and Sony. I'm also looking for
    a 4 megapixel camera to fill in the hole in Figure 6.

    I would also like to get a smaller pixel camera than the S70
    (2.3 micron pixels) to see what happens at the low end.
    The camera must have raw output.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 9, 2006
  8. Tien

    Pete D Guest

    If you lived locally I would be happy to bring around the Pentax.
    Pete D, Nov 9, 2006
  9. Tien

    DD Guest

    If you're planning on using the camera to take pictures of actual
    subjects instead of measurebating, perhaps this review might help you
    decide on the D80:

    DD, Nov 9, 2006
  10. Well, that is about the most useless review I have ever seen.
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 9, 2006
  11. Tien

    DD Guest

    Lemmee guess: you like measurebating instead of photography?
    DD, Nov 9, 2006
  12. I understand my equipment in order to push the limits
    of the technology. If that means measuring some properties,
    so be it.
    Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com

    Where are your photos?

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 9, 2006
  13. Tien

    Bill Guest

    The D80 would be a better choice for a backup as it has many of the
    features of the D200 and it's a much nicer camera with the same
    viewfinder as the D200 and same 10mp. As a backup, it would be very
    similar to the D200.

    Then again, if the backup is for personal use, and the user can deal
    with the feature set of the D50, then the D50 is a much more
    cost-conscious solution.

    Is the D80 a good camera? Yup, it's a great camera and I think it's
    the best 10mp model available. It's so good, I bought the company!
    [actually I bought the D80]


    I have to agree. The "review" wasn't very detailed nor did it expound
    on the many virtues of the camera. There was little mention of image
    quality, lense performance was not with the 18-135 kit lense, and his
    sample images are too small to evaluate at all - even a cheap 3mp
    camera looks great at those sizes.

    Perhaps calling it a "brief encounter" or a preview would be a better

    And his "Problem Areas" is off the mark since the camera comes with
    Picture Project and supports the D80 RAW files. True it doesn't come
    with Capture NX, but then neither do the other consumer models. The
    other nitpicks are silly, such as his dislike of SD cards, and his
    complaint about not metering with AI lenses. What did he expect for
    the price, everything?
    Bill, Nov 9, 2006
  14. Tien

    Bill Guest

    Sorry, I can't drop by since I'm in Canaduh...bit too long of a drive.
    Please post the instructions...I might be able to help.
    Bill, Nov 9, 2006
  15. Tien

    Tien Guest


    Tien, Nov 9, 2006
  16. Tien

    DD Guest

    Oh come on, are you telling me you were on my website and you didn't see
    any of my pictures there? Look in the Albums for a few.

    I'm afraid they aren't the sort of thing you'd like. They're mostly of
    human subjects.
    DD, Nov 10, 2006
  17. OK. I'll do it tomorrow. I just got home from being on a trip.
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 10, 2006
  18. Your web site, which appears to be biased to selling nikon gear,
    has an "NEF Albums" button that shows a few images from several
    people. You have not identified yourself, so it is not clear
    which, if any are yours.

    And since you seem to use a camera AND a computer, you should be
    happy that people you call "measurebators" exist, for without
    them none of your toys would exist.


    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 10, 2006
  19. OK, here it is. The first link gives the data processing steps
    to do these evaluations, the second gives more details on taking
    the data.

    Procedures for Evaluating Digital Camera
    Sensor Noise, Dynamic Range, and Full Well Capacities;
    Canon 1D Mark II Analysis

    and a more specific write-up:


    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 10, 2006
  20. Tien

    Paul Furman Guest

    Paul Furman, Nov 10, 2006
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