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Nikon D200 Review

This review of the Nikon D200 was written and submitted by Randy McKown from New Image Photography.

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The Nikon D200 made its debut just over 3 years ago and has since been replaced by the D300. However, this doesn’t mean the D200 is completely out of the picture. We’ve been using the Nikon D200 as one of our primary workhorses in the studio for almost 2 years and I can safely say it has proven itself to be a powerful asset. Since the introduction of the Nikon D300, prices on the D200, which was originally priced just under $2000, have dropped as low as $799. This makes the D200 a very tempting purchase for any photographer.

At a quick glance photographers will notice the following features:

  • 10.2 million effective pixels
  • 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor
  • ISO range of 100-1600 plus three boost settings to a maximum of 3200
  • Shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 30 seconds including Bulb
  • White balance with nine modes and manual fine-tuning
  • 11-area MULTI-CAM 1000 autofocus system

First impressions mean a lot to most people. When you hold the Nikon D200 in your hands for the first time, you know you’re holding a top grade camera. With it’s high quality magnesium alloy body, professional design and weighing in at 2 lbs without a lens, you’ll be feeling like a pro before you even fire off your first shot. A heavy-built solid body has always been a major factor for me when purchasing a new SLR and the D200 definitely lives up to those standards.

Too often, photographers tend to overlook white balancing features when shopping for a new camera. As a working professional photographer, I don’t have a lot of time to waste on pointless image processing. I hear a lot of photographers complain about always needing to fix the blue washed out cast produced by their DSLR. Many of those photographers find it hard to believe when I tell them I spend less than 1% of my time correcting white balance. Nikons are known for reproducing vivid colors right out of the camera and the D200 is no exception. It actually uses the same advanced image processing engine as the D2x. This has saved me countless hours in photoshop, giving me more time to actually spend behind the camera.

Looking through the viewfinder, you will notice the D200 has two AF area modes. The Normal Zone (11 area) which is great for stationary subjects and a Wide Zone (7 area) which covers a wider area of the frame and comes in handy when shooting sports, action and any other moving subjects. The D200 has another feature, which has become popular in newer models, and that is the option of overlaying grid lines. This feature can be turned on or off but I recommend taking advantage of it. It’s a great tool to use when applying the rule of thirds, balancing a horizon, shooting architecture and overall composition of the scene.

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I personally don’t have much use for high speed shooting in my professional work. However, the 5 fps high-speed continuous shooting did come in handy when shooting my kids during soccer season last year. The D200 allows you to capture high-resolution images at a rapid 5 frames per second in continuous bursts of up to 22 NEF (RAW) or 37 JPEG (fine – large) shots.

When it comes down to it, my main concern is that my camera produces sharp, vibrant, images for my clients. The D200 does just that. You don’t even need to spend a couple grand on a top of the line lens to get it. To prove this, take a look at the images below. Here we have the original image, shot with a cheap $150 Nikon 28-100 zoom. Viewing the image at 100% you can see how sharp an image the D200 can capture even without the aid of expensive glass. Note that this image also has not been given any post-process sharpening.

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To sum it up, the D200 provides excellent quality and it’s built to last. I’m proud to say that after nearly 2 years of heavy full-time usage, the body used to take the image above still looks and functions like it did the same day it came out of the box.

If you’re looking for more detailed information you can find more specs on the Nikon D200 below.Sensor

  • 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD (DX format)
  • 10.2 million effective pixels

Image Sizes

  • 3872 x 2592
  • 2896 x 1944
  • 1936 x 1296

File Formats

  • RAW (compressed / uncompressed)
  • JPEG (3 levels)

Auto Focus

  • 11/7 area TTL
  • Multi-CAM 1000

AF Area Mode

  • Single Area AF
  • Continuous Servo AF
  • Group Dynamic AF
  • Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF

Exposure Metering System

  • Spot AF
  • Variable Center-weighted
  • 1,005-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II

Exposure Compensation

  • ±5EV

ISO

  • 100 – 1600
  • Up to ISO 3200 with boost

Shutter Speeds

  • 30 – 1/8000 sec
  • 1/250 sec X-Sync speed
  • Bulb

Mirror Lockup

  • Yes

Continuous

  • 5 fps
  • 37 / 22 frames (JPEG / RAW)

White Balance

  • Auto
  • Six presets
  • Manual preset (four)
  • Kelvin temperature
  • Fine tunable

Image Params

  • Six preset looks
  • Sharpening: Auto, 6 levels
  • Tone: Auto, 3 levels, Custom
  • Color: 3 modes
  • Saturation: Auto, 3 levels
  • Hue: -9° to +9°

Viewfinder

  • Eyepoint 19.5 mm
  • Frame coverage 95%
  • Magnification approx. 0.94x
  • B-type Bright View Clear Matte II

LCD

  • 2.5 ” TFT LCD
  • 230,000 pixels
  • Removable protective cover

Timelapse

  • Yes

Remote

  • 10-pin remote terminal

Wireless

  • Yes, optional WT-3 transmitter

GPS

  • Yes, NMEA 0183 with optional cable

USB

  • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Storage Media

  • CompactFlash (Type I/II)
  • MicroDrive

Battery

  • Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e (7.4 V, 1500 mAh)

Vertical Grip

  • MB-D200

Dimensions

  • 147 x 113 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)

Weight

  • 830 g (1.8 lb) without battery

The Nikon D200 is available at Amazon for around $800 USD.

Randy McKown is the founder of XposurePro, which offers photography tips and information relating to the business of photography. He also owns & operates a portrait studio along with his wife and fellow photographer Lisa McKown. Randy can also be followed on Twitter.

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Randy McKown
Randy McKown

is the founder of XposurePro, which offers photography tips and information relating to the business of photography. He also owns & operates a portrait studio along with his wife and fellow photographer Lisa McKown. Randy can also be followed on Twitter.

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