Nikon has played it safe with the D50. It's conventional-looking and conventional in specification. On the one hand, Nikon has managed to cut costs to make the D50 very affordable without blunting its capability as a photographer's tool. But this does mean, inevitably, that Nikon will attract attention away from the D70s.
Then there is the issue of what I'd call 'showroom appeal'. The D50 is a fine-looking camera, but there is something about the Canon EOS-350D/Rebel XT that I feel has an edge in the 'must-have' style and looks factor when you gaze across the counter in a store. But on the plus-side for the D50, I found it more comfortable to hold than the Canon, which I find a bit too small for comfort.
Also falling under the label of "showroom appeal" is the megapixel factor. The D50 and, indeed, the D70s, are stuck at six megapixels. Both Canon and Olympus can offer eight megapixel DSLRs in the same price bracket. The difference between six and eight megapixels isn't that critical, but that won't stop Nikon losing some customers who must have thet extra resolution.
Another disappointment is that there is no option to fit a battery grip, something that both the Canon EOS-350D/Rebel XT and the Olympus E-300 list as options. A battery grip not only extends the time the camera will operate between recharging and it improves the balance and handling of the camera. It also makes the camera look more 'professional' - we're back that showroom appeal business!
Although our time handling the camera gives us some feel for the D50, the real test is yet to come when we get to take some pictures that we can evaluate critically. We're certainly looking forward to that opportunity in the near future.