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Nikon D200
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 17236 Thu February 8, 2007
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers £947.25 9.2
Nikon_D200_front_M.jpg


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Description: Nikonís new prestigious D200 is ideal for those looking for a camera to bridge the gap between the professional and the entry level Digital SLRs. The D200 delivers the incomparable quality of professional pictures whilst offering exceptional versatility, creative responsiveness, accuracy and full manual control. The D200 is the perfect camera for the semi-professional and freelancer who want an affordable SLR that integrates the right portion of diversity, quality and reliability of Nikonís professional high-end models.

Comparison to D300 here :- http://www.pixalo.com/community/came...pec-17131.html


Key Features

1. The advanced 10.2 megapixel DX format CCD sensor produces exceptionally detailed, high resolution images with pure, vivid colours, suitable for printing in large formats.
2. Adopts the industry-leading advanced imaging processing engine of the D2X.
3. Newly developed 11-area AF system (same as the professional D2-series), which enables the photographer to select individual focus areas from 11-area wide and 7 wide-area AF.
4. 3D Color Matrix Metering II (AE) with Nikon's 1,005-pixel RGB exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor, used in the D2X.
5. Near instant power-up of 0.15 seconds. A mere 50-millisecond shutter time lag, and 105-millisecond viewfinder blackout time.
6. Connection possible to a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit via the optional available GPS Adapter Cord MC-35.
7. The camera comes with the newly developed high-energy EN-EL3e rechargeable lithium-ion battery (1,800 images on a single charge).
8. The optional available MB-D200 Battery Pack adds extended shooting capability. Able to run on either six AA-size batteries or two EN-EL3e batteries, it also features additional main- and sub command dials and alternative buttons for shutter release and AF start. (Compatible AA-size batteries comprise alkaline, NiMH, lithium and nickel-manganese batteries.)
9. The optional Wireless Transmitter WT-3 adds all the convenience of IEEE802.11b/g capability. (Available only in countries that approve the use of thirteen frequency channels.)
10. The D200 is compatible with Nikon's Total Imaging System, including Nikkor lenses, i-TTL Speedlights, remote control, close-up photography and powerful software for practically all creative needs.
11. Durable magnesium body.
12. i-TTL Flash Control and 1/250 sec. Flash Sync. speed.
13. 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD Monitor with brightness adjustment.
14. The viewfinder has a fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1), an eyepoint of 19.5mm (-1.0m-1), a Viewfinder Frame Coverage of approx. 95% (vertical & horizontal) and a Viewfinder Magnification of approx. 0.94x (with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0m-1).
Keywords: Nikon D200 Digital DSLR Camera


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evilowl
Been here a while


Registered: September 2005
Location: Marlborough
Posts: 377
Review Date: Thu June 8, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £1,149.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: An excellent step up from the D70
Cons: Banding issues, battery life

Have owned my D200 for 3 months now and I was immediately impressed as soon as I opened the box and picked it up for the first time.

It feels a much more "grown-up" camera to the D70 with all the controls and vital functions laid out in easily accessible places, certainly something that the D70 lacked with useful functions being hidden within menus and submenus.

Build quality is excellent, and the camera has a great feel and weight to it.

LCD screen is great and well lit, but saps battery power if you use it frequently. I have turned off automatic review of every shot to save power and only use it when absolutely necessary.

The addition of a decent histogram that can be split into each R, G & B channel is great and I find this very useful.

The LCD top display is excellent, and could not display anymore useful information if it tried. If you rotate the ON/OFF switch past ON you get the top LCD illuminated for around 7 seconds which is useful at night.

Image quality is simply excellent and the extra megapixels are a very welcome inclusion. The camera also seems to get exposure and whitebalance correct 95% of the time when set to Auto so I seldom need to change or override those unless I am shooting something that I know would benefit from manual intervention.

4 fully customisable shooting banks are also very useful. You can pre-program various presets such as focusing modes, metering and whatnot into the camera and change between them as you wish.

JPEG and RAW files can also be set to different levels of compression in-camera. Larger (or smaller) files are the result but personally I prefer to leave the compression off for better quality pics and then choose the compression later in post processing. A 1Gb card holds 112 photos in uncompressed JPEG (compared to 168 with compression on) and 60 RAW.

High-speed shooting. 5 FPS is pretty quick and certainly fast enough for me! In large JPEG you have a buffer of 25 shots and RAW you have a buffer of 11 before it starts writing to the card.

Now onto the bad(ish) bits.

My camera does suffer from the horizontal banding issue but I have only noticed this under extreme circumstances and when the photos are enlarged to above 100% of their actual size. To me this is not an issue and I will not be returning the camera to Nikon to get it fixed unless it is in for another reason such as a full service. Under normal circumstances it is un-noticable.

Battery life is not great. I used to be able to make a battery last a full day's shooting on the D70 but I need to take 2 with me to feel comfortable with the D200. An extra OEM battery was £50 so not the end of the world. The camera also has a very accurate battery life indicator so you can see how much power you have left.

Lenses. This camera really shows up poor quality lenses. You need to spend money on decent glass to make the most of it's functions. The 18-70 kit lense that was supplied with my D70 certainly gave respectable results but the camera really comes alive when paired with the 17-55 f2.8 - it's truly an awesome combination.

One other slight niggle I have is that when I put the camera back into my bag, the focusing mode toggle switch on the front near the lense often gets jogged round to manual (choice of C for continuous focus, S for single focus or M for manual) so I have to force myself to remember to check that every time I take the camera out.

Think thats about it for now
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VinnyP
Forum Regular

Registered: February 2006
Location: Surbiton Surrey
Posts: 1147
Review Date: Fri July 28, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, handling (with some annoying reservations) build quality
Cons: Positioning of ISO control, battery life, iTTL remote flash no viewfinder blind.

I'm new here and have only had a D200 for a few weeks as a second body that is fast becoming my 1st body for anywhere where bulk is at a premium. I really like this camera and if it had been around when I got my D2X I would have bought one of these and would not have regretted it. The battery life is a little disappointing after the D2x and the D2H before that but the screen is very good. The built in flash, weight and bulk saving for a non pro like myself outweigh the slight quality and speed increases, bomb proof build quality and 8fps crop mode with the D2X. Especially when you consider you can get 2 D200s with grips, spare batteries and an SB800 for one D2X. But that's always the case with the pro spec camera, durability in something as delicate as a modern camera costs. Having said that the D200 is a solid hefty alloy body and is sealed except on the lens mount. The battery and flash card doors are not as substantial as on the D2X but they do the job well enough for me. It seems more robust than say a 30D or D70s but I've never owned either of these so it's only from playing in shops or with friends.

The D200 handles really well and the metering and focusing are excellent. Image quality is good enough for me and any deficiencies are the guy pushing the button. My big reservation is the positioning of the ISO and WB buttons. If handholding they are fiddly because you need to take your hand away from the lens barrel. Thats annoying enough with a standard lens but very awkward with a long tele or zoom because of the strain on the lens mount. The D2X has them on the back where with a bit of practice you can operate them with the right hand thumb and keep your eye at the viewfinder. If the function button could do this it would be a big help. As it is for flash photography I have it for flash exposure lock and for normal shooting instant spot metering. I wish it could switch memory banks automatically for flash shooting. Incidentally the metering mode switch on the D200 is better placed than the D2X.

The viewfinder is very bright compared to others I have seen for a lot more money and it has plenty of information. WB would be useful in the viewfinder. I don't wear glasses but could see how that would be a problem with the D200.

The shooting menu banks and custom menu banks are useful but a couple more could help, I'd like it also if they could be locked so that any changes were discarded when the camera is switched off. The built in flash works (without big lens hoods) well especially for fill where it gets most use, but it's real standout ability is that it can control SB800 and 600 flashes so you don't need to carry a controller or mount an SB800 on camera. I am disappointed it doesn't have a viewfinder blind but it's easy enough to improvise. It's got a focusing illuminator which can be anoying but you can turn it off and focuses well without it.

So in conclusion this produces great pictures with big enough files for stock use, it is compact but well built and can shoot at 5PS with a 21 frame buffer. It handles well and just feels right with the small niggles I have mentioned. I haven't had the banding problem and it is now apparently fixed. No problems here with image quality.
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Dave
Pixalo Crew

Registered: July 2005
Posts: 18309
Review Date: Sun October 15, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £890.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, handling, functions to hand
Cons:

Only just got this camera after having Nikon D70 for last 2 years. Build quality appears to be very impressive & it certainly feels solid when in your hands.

From a handling perspective the camera sits well in the hand, with nice wieghted feel to it. Coming from the D70 I was impressed wit the amount of function that has now moved from menus to actual buttons or switches, giving you quick access to most useful functions on camera.

From first few test shots I'm very impressed with the focusing & exposure control Defintely improved over the D70.

Will post back more detailed findings as I get used to the camera.

http://www.pixalo.com/community/came...sops-8422.html
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pmueller
New here

Registered: December 2006
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Posts: 33
Review Date: Thu December 28, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: robust (like F100) build, great image quality, professional features, outstanding ergonomics
Cons: lacks viewfinder blind

I have been a Nikon guy since long before I bought my first Nikon. For some irrational reason I have liked Nikon cameras ever since I laid eyes on one (that was a Nikon F2), but it was only many years later that I could afford my first Nikon (the N80/F80).

The D200 was the first digital camera by Nikon (I have quite a bit of Nikkor glass) that offered everything I wanted within in a camera and was still in my budget (I had no fixed number but five kilodollars was not an option). I was contemplating the D70 for over a year but I was not willing to settle for a body without mirror lock-up (and some other features). The D200 is basically a digital F100 (no MLU on the F100, though -- I never understood that), which is a body I always liked a lot (and still do). Even after the introduction of the D80 I would not hesitate a bit and get the D200.

In contrast to what people told me about digital photography, it did not take me very long to get used to the D200. All controls are precisely where I expected them to be (outstanding ergonomics!) and the camera responds as I figured it would. The auto focus is very good and responsive, even in relatively low light (better than N80 or F100), metering is accurate and -- more importantly -- reproducible, the CCD chip gives me a resolution that leaves 35mm film in the dust (especially at high ISO) and the body feels like a "real camera" in my hands.

Not everything is perfect with the D200. Apart from the lack of a viewfinder blind (granted, it comes with a little plastic thingy that you can use to cover the viewfinder, but that can hardly be taken seriously), there are two ergonomic flaws. One of them may be related to my facial features and not be a real flaw, but I constantly change the auto focus areas with my nose. This is no big deal, as I predominantly use the center AF area (later more about that) and keep the AF-area selector locked, but still, it is mildly annoying. The second flaw is a real one: the focus-mode selector switches much too easily. Many a times has it happened to me that I took the camera out of the bag and the AF-mode was switched from S to C or even to M. I am now in the habit of always checking the AF-mode before shooting, but I don't like that.

Another missing feature is that you cannot combine the self-timer with mirror lock-up. There is an easy way out, though: if you use the normal MLU function, the camera flips the mirror up when you trigger the shutter release and takes the picture when you trigger the shutter a second time. If you "forget" to trigger the shutter a second time, the D200 sits there waiting. After some 20 second the camera gets bored and releases the shutter (thus taking the picture) without you telling it to. This is, in my eyes, a viable timer function and I use it frequently.

I mentioned above that I used only the center AF-region: What I do is I focus with the AF-ON button and never with the shutter release button (menu function a6 set to OFF). That way I completely decouple the activities of focusing and actual picture-taking. I believe these two operations have nothing to do with one another (well OK, they do, but not as much as people generally think) and should be separated. Therefore I aim my camera at what I want to focus on, then let go of the OF-ON button, reframe the picture and shoot with the shutter release button. That way I use only the center area (I think I read somewhere that the center area is the most sensitive and most responsive of the 11 AF areas -- I sure cannot tell the difference) and it does not matter that my nose gets in the way, because I can lock the AF-area selector.

In contrast to some other people's opinion I do not think that battery life is a problem. I can get more pictures from one battery charge than I generally shoot in a day. I have a second battery and have never run out of juice.

A feature I use less than I anticipated is the timed shutter release. You can set up your camera and tell it to take a picture every so often for as many times as you want. This is great, but I have used it only once (I intend to change that).

About the price: Within the three years prior to buying the D200, I spent well over $2500 on negative material and processing. Even taking into account the cost of data storage, shooting digital is so much cheaper that the D200 pays for itself within a few years (which is probably just about the time it'll takes for it to become technologically hopelessly obsolete). Therefore it does not even matter whether you spent $1000 or $1700. The D2x, on the other hand, was always out of my financial reach. In addition the I don't shoot enough to justify a 4.5 k$ digital camera.

Here is a picture of me holding my D200. Attached is the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D micro lens, one of the best pieces of glass I have ever used. As you can see I threw away the viewfinder eyepiece and replaced it with a round one. This gives a much better seal between camera and eye.



The D200 is a marvel of a camera! Robust, reliable, reproducibly precise -- everything you need to take outstanding pictures. Of course such a camera robs you of all excuses -- if the picture sucks it is your own fault... That is where this forum comes in: this is just the place to get advice and constructive criticism to improve your photographic skills (I joined a week ago and already learned a lot).
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silver
Forum Regular

Registered: December 2006
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 684
Review Date: Thu February 8, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: speed and ease of use, i.e. all the buttons, no need to dig in the menu to change settings
Cons: v few, 10mp requires more attention to camera technique than the 6mp d70

I'd had the d70 over a year when rumours started of a d100 replacement,. it wasn't long before the spec for the d200 was known but the price remained a mystery,. I was guessing it would retail for around 1500-1700 GBP,. when the street price was annouced at ~1150 I was amazed and put my name in the hat,. (normally I am a considered purchaser but I took a chance!)

over a year later and some 25000+ shutters and the thing still looks and performs like new (I don't throw it around but I don't baby it that much either),. it's a solid and reliable performer (based on my own personal experiance)

I'll try and break it down a bit what makes this camera worth at least looking at..

build,. the thing is solid,. I haven't tried a drop test but it feels durable

speed / ease of use,. no it's not a point and shoot,. what I mean is that if you know what settings a specific scene or subject will require you can very quickly change the camera settings - there's no digging in menus - you can move the switches on the back w/o thinking or really needing to stop and look at the camera,. whether this is important depends on how you use a camera - to me it's probably one of the main selling points

auto focus,. pretty quick and accurate, there's more focus options than you can shake a stick at,. I only really use 2 or 3 of them but that's down to the type of photography I do, other people will use a different 2 or 3 - whatever suits

viewfinder,. v usable size and brightness (better than most 1.x fov crop cameras IME) similar to the d80 except the d200 has the iso displayed, big plus if you use auto-iso or change iso settings a lot

one touch review playback zoom to 100%,. if you setup the zoom option, one click of the joypad button gives you a 1:1 view on the screen which is panned to the active focus point for that image, handy for checking sharpness

back lcd screen size and resolution,. v good

rgb histogram screen is nice and big,. also if you load a uniWB curve into the camera you can get it to show you the raw file colour balance to get more accurate exposures,. (I haven't done that but some might find it useful!)

all in all I'm glad I bought the camera,. it was a bargain price when it came out and now ~800 quid it's not far off what I paid for my d70.. which itself is still a very capable camera!

Sil
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