D80 vs D200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tony_norvnaniani, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Contemplating on upgrading from D70 to either D80 or D200...
    Which one would you choose if money wasn't a problem and why???
    Tx for your time
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    We have already discussed this topic recently:
  3. If you are thinking of shooting sports or anything fast action, the D200 has a faster shooting rate. If you have, or are contemplating buying, older manual focus lenses, they will meter on the D200 but not the D80. The D200 build quality is better, but the D80 is no slouch. If you are not going to use manual focus lens or shoot anything fast action, you might be better off, however, to take the difference in price and buy yourself a good quality lens. It boils down to is there something you want to do with your photography that can't be accomplished with the D80, but can be with the D200.....
  4. I bought a D80 and then returned for a D200 because I have several good AIS lenses want to use (105 f1.8, 180 f2.0, and a 300 f2.8). In addition, D200 works with CF cards which I have total 20GB of those. The D200 feels much solid and feels great in grip. The D80 is light and very versatile. The image quality is as the same as D200 as I see on the screen (JPG files). I would keep both of them if finantially possible. If most of your lenses are AF/AFS nikkors, I would say go for D80 since it's cheaper, lighter, and produce same image quality. From just taking photo point of view, D80 is a good choice.
  5. I also bought a D80 and then returned for a D200 because I have a couple of manual focus lenses (35/1.4, 85/2.0).

    D200 feels much better in my hand, and I'm happy that I exchanged D80 to D200. However, there are two things in D80 that I liked. First, it is a lighter camera, second the battery holds three times as long as on D200.

    I think it is worth to pay $300 more for D200. I would suggest to go to a photo shop and hold for a while both cameras. I'm sure if you take D200 in your hand, you will go out with it.

    If you do a lot of travel you should consider D40. If you do assigments at home then D200. I would skip D80.
  6. I'm very very happy with my D80, and I bought it after having a D200 for a few days for testing. I prefer the D80 for many reasons, $500 less is one of the main reasons. I also prefer the smaller size and weight. I don't shoot with manual focus lenses at all, but if I want to, I can meter with the LCD and usually I can estimate exposure easily. I prefer SD memory cards over CF for size and price.

    The only thing I don't like is the D80 metering flaw, which tends to overexpose an image when using Matrix metering when the subject in the center is dark with light areas around it. Like a dark building with sky above and streets on either side. The D200 however, will underexpose in many situations which isn't great either! So digital metering isn't perfect in any situation, but my old D70s would nail more outdoor exposures on average than my D80 will when using Matrix. But indoors, the D80 is far better than the D70s, which consistantly underexposed.

    So the D80 wins in my book.

  7. This should be the standard D200 or D80 which to buy questionnaire
    <br />
    <br />

    1: Do you have 1400 dollars for a body only (yes/no)
    <br />
    2: Do you own or plan to own ai/ais lenses (yes/no)
    <br />
    3: Do you need weather sealing (yes/no)
    <br />
    4: Do you need 5 fps (yes/no)
    <br />
    5: Have you ever dropped or plan to drop your camera (yes/no)
    <br />
    6: Do you ever take time lapse photographs (yes/no)
    <br />
    7: Do you take a lot of pictures (shutter life) (yes/no)
    <br />
    8: Do you have a personal dislike for picture modes (yes/no)
    <br />
    9: Do you require quick access to camera functions (yes/no)
    <br />
    10: Do you like your camera to be built like a tank (yes/no)
    <br />
    <br />

    count up your yes and no marks
    <br />
    <br />
    6+ yes = D200
    <br />
    6+ no = D80
    <br />
    5 yes and 5 no then question 1 becomes tie breaker.
    <br />
  8. If money wasn't a problem, I'd buy both. Or two of each. Or the D2Xs. Or a D2Xs and a D2Hs. Sorry, just couldn't resist. The comments above should already answer the question. I recently faced the same question and decided on the D200 over the D80, mainly because I want to be able to use my MF lenses, expected a better AF speed and like the more solid build. You may want to check here for a detailed comparison (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/vs-d200.htm).
  9. I would add one more criteria that was important to me, but admittedly this is only of interest to a minority of shooters: GPS (geocode) capability.

    The D200 (and its big brothers) have it, the D80 doesn't.

    That, with the AI/AIS lense bit was what convinced me to go with the D200 over the D80 (and then to convince my wife...)

  10. I bought my D200 last June and used it a lot during the summer - 5000 or 6000 exposures. I shot mostly in aperture priority and had it freeze on f22 on numerous occasions. Changing modes,turning it off and on, shaking it, cursing it; nothing would fix it until the third or fourth on/off when it fixed itself. I took it to Nikon but they wouldn't touch it until I brought in a CD with proof of the problem. Since I was aa 3 hour drive away and very busy, I couldn't do this until the end of the summer, by which time the camera had fixed itself. It hasn't done this for my last several thousand exposures so I haven't bothered to get it back to Nikon since there is nothing to fix. I wonder it any other D200 user has experienced this problem.
  11. I got a D80 instead of a D200 because I want a smaller, lighter camera. I'm not
    photographing war zones or rain-forests, so the build quality argument didn't sway me. I
    my time photographing with my manual focus lenses and can interpret a histogram, so the
    MF metering argument didn't sway me. I'm not into sports photography, so the fps argument
    didn't sway me. I travel a lot and want a small camera that will perform exceptionally well for
    me, which the D80 is doing.
  12. After debating for a couple of months between these two, I went with the D80 over the D200 and couldn't be more satisfied. Everything about the camera is top notch. To be honest, right now I would have a hard time not picking the D80 even if they were priced the same. I got mine for $799, so it was very easy decision to make. I know the D200 has some features the D80 does not, but the D80 has some features & qualities the D200 does not have. It really seems to come down to a matter of size more than anything else. If you like a larger camera, and many do, then you would probably be happier with a D200. Personally, I like the more compact D80 body style, which was another reason I decided to go with it.
  13. If you already have D70 and intend to keep it, then the choice is D200. I think you need more of a different camera, and a solidly built one.

    If yo will stop using D70, then the choices and trade-offs were already explained.
  14. Read this before you discuss further ... it's an interesting perspective . :)
  15. Since I shoot a lot indoors, natural light, using higher iso settings, I so far would choose the D80 because I think the D80 has better noise control. I shot a D200 and my D70 side by side in the camera store and compared at high iso. See here:

    Other tests I've seen online look like the D80 is closer to the D70 with high iso results.
  16. Agree that the D80 has superb high ISO performance. ISO 1600 is fully usable.

  17. hbs


    "Read this before you discuss further ... it's an interesting perspective . :)"

    That's got to be the best reason I've seen to go as high end as you can. Lemurs of the world, unite!
  18. Since 80-90% of my pictures are vertical it was a no-brainer for me: the D200 with MB-D200. For me the vertical shutter is worth its weight in gold.

    It may not seem like it but there is a big difference between the 3 fps of the D80 and the 5 fps of the D200. Shooting at 5 fps is highly therapeutic (I use this outdoors with my 4 year old a lot).

    I'm also a gadget freak. I love being able to hook up a GPS unit to the D200 and look up my pictures using Google Earth.

    Either camera will serve you well but I'm positively giddy with my D200 (keep in mind that I answered "yes" to 9 of Dan Park's 10 questions above, "no" for #2). I hope this helps!

  19. I liked this comment from Frank:

    "If you already have D70 and intend to keep it, then the choice is D200. I think you need
    more of a different camera, and a solidly built one."

    That's exactly the position I'm in. So I'm going to wait until the Fuji S5 Pro is around, see what
    it can do, and perhaps make a choice between that and the D200.
  20. "Read this before you discuss further ... it's an interesting perspective . :)"

    Arthur, that was a lot of fun to read. Being an economizer myself, that lemur, with that stare, started to look much like a human being after a while :)
  21. Looks like most of the users really want not much more than metering with their AI/S lenses. Maybe Nikon knows this too -- so they may be consciously making life difficult for them Luddites with their old clunky bits & pieces. But part of the joy of getting pieces of equipment is putting them together and seeing them work. Nikon is taking away that joy for their marketing strategy!
  22. I used a 300/2.8 AIS on a D70 without exposure problem. The viewfinder wasn't so nice though, it was the main reason I sold it.
  23. It depends on what kind of photography you are interested in. The most notable difference is weight, instead of plastic (which actually sometimes protects more effectively), the front of the D200 is metal. The only major spec difference you will find besides the shooting-rate is the White Balance sensor: the D200 is over 1,000 units while the D80 is, I believe, something like 460. I'm sure this makes no difference, especially if you adjust your white balance manually. Having owned an N80 and an F100 together (practically the original film versions of each of these cameras), I would say go light. 9 times out of 10 I got better shots with my N80 because I wasn't reluctant to grab it on my way out because of its weight...I can name dozens of times I missed excellent shots because I didn't want to haul around my beastly heavy F100. So if you do any sort of street photography or shooting that involves walking, remember that the D2000 is a bitch to carry, especially with a lens as heavy as the 17-55 that I've used. But if you're one of those people (like myself) who wants to buy the "professional" model even though you have no use for Swiss-Army durability or 5 frames a second, you won't be happy until the D200 (or worse, the D2x), is weighing down your tired hands.

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