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Nikon B500 vs D50

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2005. The B500 is a fixed lens compact, while the D50 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B500) and an APS-C (D50) sensor. The B500 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the D50 provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500
versus
Nikon D50
Nikon B500   Nikon D50
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 200-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Nikon D50? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon B500 and the Nikon D50. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D50 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B500 vs Nikon D50
Compare B500 versus D50 top
Comparison B500 or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is considerably larger (53 percent) than the Nikon B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the D50 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 has a lens built in, whereas the D50 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D50 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
2.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
4.
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
5.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
6.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
7.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
8.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
9.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
10.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
11.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
12.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
13.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
17.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B500 was launched at a lower price than the D50, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D50 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D50 is 1221 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the B500 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D50 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Nikon B500 and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon B500 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the B500 is much more recent (by 10 years and 9 months) than the D50, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon B500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

B500 versus D50 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
2.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
3.
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
4.
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
5.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
6.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
7.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
8.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
9.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
10.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
11.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
12.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
13.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
16.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
17.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The B500 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D50 does not. The highest resolution format that the B500 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D50 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon B500, the Nikon D50, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon B500none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
3.
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
4.
 
Fujifilm X70optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon B600none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
6.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
8.
 
Nikon P900921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
9.
 
Nikon L840none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
10.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic FZ821166 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony H200none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D50 uses SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix B500 and Nikon D50 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon B500-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
2.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Fujifilm X70Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Nikon B600-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Nikon B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
8.
 
Nikon P900-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Nikon L840-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony H200-mono / mono---2.0---

It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support, while the D50 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the B500 and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon B500 or the Nikon D50 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 6MP) with a 59% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60i movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 130k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D50 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 133x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D50).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years and 9 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D50:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2005).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B500 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 17:09 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Nikon D50 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B500 or the D50 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon B500..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
2.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100F5/5+3.9/583/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
4.
 
Fujifilm X704.5/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
5.
 
Nikon B600..+....3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
6.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
7.
 
Nikon B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 499 i
8.
 
Nikon P900......77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
9.
 
Nikon L840..+ +....3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
10.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
11.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
12.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
13.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
14.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 349 i
17.
 
Sony H200........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D50:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Nikon D50

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 560
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D50
    Battery Type 4xAA EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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