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*April 8, 2005 *— Nikon U.K. released a statement today, confirming the launch of two unnamed digital SLRs at the end of April. One camera will aim to bridge the gap between compact digital cameras and high-end digital SLRs with an easy to use and affordable design. The other camera will be a direct successor to the popular Nikon D70.
Much speculation has surrounded Nikon’s digital SLR market in the past week since user manuals for the cameras were accidentally posted on the Nikon web site on April 1. According to the briefly posted manuals, the cameras will be titled the D70s and the D50.
The D70s is assumed to be the successor of the Nikon D70. According to the briefly posted user manual, the camera will have many of the same features, including 6.1 megapixels and the same body size and shape. The D70s will add 5 grams to its total weight and 0.2 inches to its LCD screen.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Nikon registered the trademark and logo for a D50 camera on February 8. The D50 is expected to be the more affordable camera that will aim to please entry-level DSLR photographers.
According to the briefly posted manual, the Nikon D50 will have 6.1 megapixels and a few minor changes from the D70. The body will be similarly sized, but lighter at 540 grams (the D70 was 595 grams). Part of this weight reduction will come with the switch to a Secure Digital card rather than the traditional DSLR format of CompactFlash. It will eliminate the Night Portrait scene mode and add a Children mode and tack on a slightly larger 2-inch LCD screen, as opposed to the D70’s 1.8-inch screen.