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Nikon P50: Downtown man

The Nikon Coolpix P50 is a salt-of-the-earth, stripped-down take on the high-end P5100, with a chunky shape and AA batteries rounding out its everyman appeal

The Nikon Coolpix P50 has arrived in Crave, and it's a blue-collar, down-to-earth workhorse of a camera. Modelled after the uptown, high-class P5100, the P50 is a stripped-down, straightforward Billy Joel of a point-and-shoot.

The P50 packs an unremarkable 8.1-megapixel resolution, but the optical zoom is a 3.6x with a satisfyingly wide 28mm wide-angle Nikkor lens.

It's no slender supermodel, the P50, but we like the chunky grip, substantial mode wheel and big buttons. Unusually for a compact, there's an optical viewfinder as well as the 61mm (2.4-inch) LCD screen.

Image stabilisation is electronic rather than optical, sadly. ISO speeds go up to 2,000, but as always we take this number with a pinch of salt, and we'll be looking at the P50's ISO performance in our forthcoming review.

Completing the P50's honest-to-goodness, salt of the earth specifications is its power supply: old-fashioned AA batteries. Never worry about recharging again, wherever you are.

The Nikon Coolpix P50 is available in a choice of black or silver body colours -- depending on regions -- and costs about £160. -Richard Trenholm