We reviewed in the past all major
Nikon DSLRs. We bought this camera as we have no idea when we would
get a review sample and we wanted to help our readers early on. As
some readers may know we use both top of the line Nikon and Canon cameras.
Read our field reports:
It is clear that the D2x is the real benchmark for the D200. But while
the D2x costs about $4,500 US the D200 has a price of $1,700 US. What
are the main differences?
- D2x 12.4MP and the D200 10.2 MP (this 20% difference is not really
- D2x more rugged pro camera (though the D200 feels very solid)
- D2x features a 8 fps "High Speed Crop" mode and that
can make for a few photographers a difference (e.g. sports and birds).
D200 can do 5fps and also has a pretty large buffer.
- D200 has a built-in flash. This is not considered to be real "pro"
but comes handy once in a while.
- The chip in the D2x is CMOS and in the D200 CCD. We have the feeling
that in terms of image quality it does not make a difference. We
care about the result and only if technology shows makes difference
- D2x has higher frame coverage (100% vs. 95%).
For a more complete feature comparison read this page in Phil
Askey's D200 preview.
The overall handling (menus and buttons) are very much like the D2x and
this means the ergonomics are excellent.
Some Los Gatos test shots
Ristorante @ISO 100
Crop @100% magnification
We used for this test our top AF-S 28-70mm
f/2.8. This is one of the best zooms we know. The resulting image is
sharp (after sharpening with EasyS Plus) and the colors are very good.
You can download the original RAW from here (>10MB).
Note: Remember that the service we provide is financed
by selling our ebooks and PS
Antique store @ ISO 400
@ 100% magnification
Shadow noise at ISO 400 is really good
(the lens we used is slighly softer 24-120 VR).
We converted with Capture One 3.7.3 (noise
removal to zero) and then sharpened with the same level of EasyS Plus.
Bear Coffee Shop
Remember all these shots are with all noise removal off 9in camera
and raw converter). Up to ISO 200 very smooth with virtually no noise.
ISO 400 still excellent,
useable and if you need 3200 you still may risk it. For images at 1600-3200
we would use some good noise removal tools like Noise Ninja, Neat Image,
PS CS2 "Reduce Noise" or Helicon Pro.
Here is the ISO 3200 crop after some quick treatment in Noise Ninja
(and also befor the default Capture One noise removal):
Filtered with Noise Ninja
Some random observations:
- Shutter noise lower than D2x but louder than the Canon
is on the other side not that fast)
- very solid feel
- good viewfinder (image not as big as from a Canon 5D though)
- The LCD display is top class and the 3 channel and luminosity histograms
are first rate (much easier to evaluate than the Canon counterparts)
We think we are at an excellent start with the D200. We will try to
use the D200 with the Nikkor AF-S 24-120 f/3.5-5.6 VR (effective 36-180
combination may become our "body + single lens" travel kit.
Over the next weeks we will mostly use the D200 instead of our D2x.
We are very optimistic after these initial tests that the D200 will
not let us down in terms of image quality. Most of the time the
2MP resolution difference does not make or break images for us.
Note on Nikon Capture 4.4
Nikon Capture can deliver a very good image quality. We just find
the workflow way to slow compared to Capture One, RSP or ACR. We still
recommend to all Nikon shooters to also get Nikon Capture because in
many cases is is good to see the different color rendering of the alternative
raw converters. Read our article "RAW
Converters and "good" colors?".
12/22/2005 Sigma confirm issue with Nikon D200
If you use Sigma lenses with the D200 check out
D200 Gallery online
used the D200 the first time for some real photos and not just
tests. We are very pleased with our results. The D200 is a very
close match to the Nikon D2x which is a great camera too.
We ourselves did not yet experience this banding
so far but the banding is clearly confirmed by many sources.
Our friends at Imaging
Resource checked into the issue in more
1/21/2006 Nikon confirms banding
Best you read this note