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Nikon D50 vs Sony H200

The Nikon D50 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2005 and January 2013. The D50 is a DSLR, while the H200 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D50) and a 1/2.3-inch (H200) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 15.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D50 versus Sony H200
Nikon D50 Sony H200
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.0 LCD, 130k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge240 shots per battery charge
133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g 123 x 83 x 87 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D50 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D50 and the Sony H200 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D50 vs Sony H200
Compare D50 versus H200 top
Comparison D50 or H200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H200 is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Nikon D50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D50 nor the H200 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H200 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
2.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
3.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
4.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
6.
 
Nikon D5200 129 mm 98 mm 78 mm 555 g 500 n Nov 2012 749i
7.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
8.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
9.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
10.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
11.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
12.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
13.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
14.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
15.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
16.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The H200 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 D50 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony H200 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H200 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D50 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the H200 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D50 and Sony H200 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H200 offers a higher resolution of 15.2 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the 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 1.36μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the H200 is much more recent (by 7 years and 8 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 H200 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 14.7 inches or 65.8 x 37.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 11.7 inches or 52.7 x 29.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 9.8 inches or 43.9 x 24.8 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 D50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

D50 versus H200 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
2.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
5.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
6.
 
Nikon D5200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
7.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
8.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
9.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
10.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
11.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
12.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
13.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
14.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
15.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
17.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The H200 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D50 does not. The highest resolution format that the H200 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond 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 H200 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D50 and Sony H200 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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 D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
2.
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
5.
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
6.
 
Nikon D5200optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
17.
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The D50 writes its imaging data to SD cards, while the H200 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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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 D50 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
2.
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Nikon D5200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
16.
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the D50 has a hotshoe, while the H200 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H200 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the D50 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D50 was succeeded by the Nikon D40. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D50 better than the Sony H200 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2005).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.2 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 65%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • 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 (460k vs 130k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D50 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x83mm vs 133x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D50).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D50 comes out slightly ahead of the H200 (12 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D50 12:11 H200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D50 and the Sony H200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D50 or the H200. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
2.
 
Sony H200......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
3.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
4.
 
Nikon B500..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Nikon L840..+ +..3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
6.
 
Nikon D52004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749i
7.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
8.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
9.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
10.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
11.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
12.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
13.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
14.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
15.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
16.
 
Sony H400..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H300..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D50:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H200:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D50 vs Sony H200

    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 D50 Sony H200
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
    Launch Date April 2005 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 749 USD 249
    Sensor Specs Nikon D50 Sony H200
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 15.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 5184 x 2930 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 1.36 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 54.10 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 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 D50 Sony H200
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 130k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D50 Sony H200
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SD cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D50 Sony H200
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D50 Sony H200
    Battery Type EN-EL3 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    123 x 83 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.3 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz) 530 g (18.7 oz)

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