Nikon D200 Review
The Nikon D200, introduced around 4 years ago is Nikon's follow up to their incredibly popular D100. It adds many upgrades, so there's really no point comparing the 2 cameras.
There's a lot of things in the D200 we really like. The sensor is not 10.2 megapixels, a huge upgrade from the older Nikon models. The LCD screen size is much bigger at 2.5 inches. The performance is solid, and even the battery life catches our eye.
Unlike most cameras, there's no lens that come with the D200, just the body. It also doesn't come with a memory card, so make sure you have enough dough for both the lens and memory card. For the lens, there are many choices, given this is Nikon. For our review we used the 18 - 200 vibration reduction lens, which is great for day to day shooting.
As mentioned the battery life is pretty darn good, and there's a reason why. This is because the D200 uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Nikon reports it should last for 1800 shots, which is outstanding. You certainly don't need to carry around a spare battery in most cases. But you're gonna have to pay a price - there's no free lunch because these batteries cost around $30-$40 each.
Let's get into the look and feel. Carrying the D200, we can tell it has a very solid build. We have a tendency to dismiss cameras as "newbie cameras" or professional cameras just by how they feel. Well the D200 absolute feels like a high quality camera. It has a magnesium alloy body, and everything is protected against weather elements like dust. The grip is comfortable, and after shooting with it for an entire day, you won't feel any discomfort with the Nikon D200. It does feel a bit heavy - in fact it's among the heaviest DSLRs in the market. But still, it's ergonomic and comfortable, and that's more important.
When we first tried out the D200, one of the first things that caught our eye was the 2.5 inch LCD screen. It's big (though not as big as modern LCD screens which are 3 inch), bright and pretty sharp. Make sure you buy a LCD protector with the D200 - it'll come in handy. We hear horror stories of people who broke the LCD accidentally. Better safe than sorry!
There's a ton of buttons in the D200. To the left of the viewfinder you got a button that activates the bracketing functions. The other button is there to delete your photos. On the other side of the VF, we have the AE/AF lock button and the AF-on buttons, plus the main dial. There are 5 buttons around the LCD screen which controls: playback mode, thumbnail mode, menu, help, and enter/playback zoom.
There's a ton of white balance options in the D200 as well. You have your usual presets, and each of these presets can be fine-tuned. If you're ambitious, you can tweak the color temperature manually with a range from 2500K to 10000K.
What about image quality? Well, it's gonna depend on what lens you use obviously. We took a macro test shot, and were pleased with the accurate colors, and sharpness. We used the Nikon F 1.8 50 mm for our macro tests, but there are a lot you can choose from. Just head to your camera shop.
We also took a few night shots, and they all looked great - sharp, clean, crisp and relatively little noise and fringing. With the night shots, we used the Nikon F3.5-4.6 18-200 mm VR lens. When we took shots using ISO 100 and 400, we noticed absolutely very little differences. But when we went up a notch to ISO 800, some of the details got lost, and this is definitely more noticeable at ISO 1600. You certainly won't be able to have large prints at this ISO. We didn't bother to test 3200.
So to summarize, when shooting in low light, you won't notice much noise until you reach ISO level 800. When you go up to ISO 1600 and 3200, you probably should keep your prints medium to low size. If you want the higher ISO performance, I'm afraid you will have to shell out the big bucks for higher end DSLRs like the EOS 5D.
Overall though, we were pleased the image quality of our photos, and we think you will too when pairing the D200 with any solid Nikon lens. Images were well exposed, had vibrant and accurate colors, and had the typical smooth look most DSLRs have. If you keep the ISO sensitivity low, the noise level won't be a problem.
The performance is outstanding in the D200, and earns top marks. Start to first shot is almost instant. Focus to shot is quick, and shutter lag is virtually non existent. Continuous shooting mode is excellent as well, especially when you use a high speed memory card.
The battery life is solid. Although we only had a chance to use it for a day for our test shots, we hear people never have to charge it for at least 2-3 months.
- 10.2 megapixels
- 2.5 inch LCD display
- Continuous shooting is 5 frames per second
- Supports ISO 100 to 1600
- Weighs 830 grams
- Outstanding photo quality
- Sturdy and durable
- LCD is large and bright
- Fast and speedy performance, top of the class
- Battery life is second to none
- Not newbie friendly
- Higher ISO can deliver a bit too much noise
Overall, we're happy with the Nikon D200. It produces excellent photo quality, delivers top-rate performance, and has an excellent battery life. Though it's aimed towards newbies and beginners, enthusiasts and more advanced users should love using the D200. There's a bunch of controls, settings and custom functions to play with. The price is pretty expensive, costing around $1400. If it's not a big issue with you, we would recommend the D200. The best price usually can be found in Amazon, but we do recommend going into a store and actually holding it to get a feel first - as we mentioned, it's among the heaviest DSLR cameras in the market.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $1599.00
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Prices last updated on: Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:06:59 PDT