Nikon D200 Just Died - now what

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dloringphotos, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. I'm leaving for Costa Rica in 4 weeks. I'd taken about a year off from photography and was checking my gear this weekend and my D200 shutter was not operating correctly. It is no longer under warranty and the repair estimate I just received is costly enough that it does not seem like it makes much sense to repair. I may still repair it, but I ask the following:
    I shoot mostly flower macro photography, some landscape. Nothing that requires superfast focusing or high FPS rate. High ISO is nice, but not really something I am concerned with. I'm not a megapixel junky -- in fact, I was ready to keep my D200 for the next 10 years if it continued to work. I like the weight of it and the image quality where I take most of my photos (ISO 100-400) is superb to me.
    What I do not want to give up is: (1) the DOF preview button, (2) the durability of the D200, and (3) the ability to assign one of the buttons on the camera a specific function (like exposure/shutter speed lock). My lenses are: Nikor 28-200VR; Sigma 105mm f/2.8; Tokina 12-24 f/4; and Nikor 50mm 1.8.
    I've played around with my friends D3000 and do not particularly like the small feel of it and the fact that it has all the amateur settings on the dial -- just stuff that I am not going to use and do not need readily available.
    Any suggestions? Or do I just eat the cost of the D200 repair (likely around $500).
    Regards,
    David
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One thing I would definitely recommend against is to spend another $500 to repair a D200. Even a fully functional, brand new D200 has a lot of limitations in today's standards.
    The alternatives will depend on how much your budget is. Keep in mind that with live view, the depth of field preview feature is not as important as before.
     
  3. A quick look on KEH's website has a number of bodies available for $415 to £499, making your repair look expensive to me - completed sales on eBay UK look to be even dearer.
     
  4. If you are on a limited buget - I'd suggest a used D300 or D300s. If budget is less of an issue - than perhaps a D7000 - although it has a small form factor that you may not like.
    Finally if budget is no object then look into a new or used full fram D700.
    No matter which of these ways you go - you will spend more than $500.00
    Dave
     
  5. If I bought something new (or used, but "better" than a D200), I'd aim to stay under $1500, but preferably $1000 or under. I'm not sure I'd like to go to FF -- i'd lose the crop factor which is nice for macro, and I'm not sure if my lenses would work well with a FF?
     
  6. I'm also not so certain I agree with live view vs. DOF preview. It's great while shooting through the viewfinder to have the DOF preview quickly, without moving your eye. I cannot see myself composing with the live view feature, but then again i've never really tried...
     
  7. J&R has D300 bodies for $1300. Given your wants, this would be the best way to go, IMO.
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    David, with a $1500 budget, today I would get a D7000 over a D300S, but that topic has been discussed many times in the last few months since the D7000 was available last fall. The D7000 is a smaller camera and only you can decide whether you like it that way or not. Otherwise, you can take a look at Louise Kennedy's thread and read about the various pros and cons. Louise is also moving up from a D200: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00YQgr
    If you have not used live view before, you need to get a newer DSLR with that feature to understand its advantages. I started using live view with the D300 back in late 2007. Today, I no longer look through a dim viewfinder with the aperture reduced to f8, f11 to check depth of field.
     
  9. Thanks. And I'm not trying to start one of the infamous "this camera is better than that" discussions. It looks like I'll
    have to go try out the d7000 and 300.
     
  10. D300, D7000
     
  11. One thing to note before we talk about new cameras: My D200's act really funky when the MB motor is not tightened down... especially in cold weather. Might that be your situation, or does the camera work with the battery pack off and using just the camera body with the battery in it?
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    David, there is no one camera that is always better than something else; otherwise, Nikon would only need to manufacture one model. Instead, there are always trade offs. My objective is to highlight those pros and cons so that people can make informed decisions.
    Two weeks ago, I would tell people who prefer the D7000's technology but a more upscale body such as the D200 and D300 to wait a few months for the successor to the D300S, but since you are leaving for Costa Rica in 4 weeks, you cannot wait, and given the current situation in Japan, who knows how the new product introduction schedule will be like this year.
    P.S. I was in Costa Rica back in January and I have lots of images from there on my personal web page.
     
  13. Some great shots Shun. Can't wait for the trip (actually debating whether to bring just my Nikon 18-200VR and travel light; or lug the 12-24 Tokina and 105mm Macro). I appreciate the advice. I am generally of the mindset that the best camera is the one that works well for you - thus my affinity towards my trusty D200 rather than upgrading to the "latest and greatest." I took a look at Ken Rockwell's review of the D7000 and he seems to like it; though I've heard to take his reviews with a large grain of salt. Time to head over to the local camera store (not too many of those anymore in Chicago).
    David
     
  14. +1 vote for the D7000. Alternatively you might rent a camera for the time you're vacationing and get the replacement for the D300/D300S whenever it arrives.
     
  15. If your budget is under $1500 then I see two choices.
    If you like the form factor of the D200 and you are used to the controls then I would suggest looking into the D300/s. Used and refurbished you can easily get below $1500.
    If you don't mind the smaller form factor of the D70/80/90 then I would suggest the D7000. It's Nikon's newest DSLR and it has a lot newer technology in it than the now 4 year old D300 and 2 year old D300s. The only reason I would not go to a D7000 was the form factor and controls I liked on my D300s (and now D700).
    RS
     
  16. Hi,
    I feel for you. How about this D200.
    Nikon D200 Digital Complete. Mint in box $625
    Go to this web site and scroll down after clicking on the "New Arrivals" tab.
    http://www.georgeury.com/
    I've purchased several used Nikon lenses from George and have been very pleased with my purchases.
    FredSG
     
  17. Look at it this way, now you can buy a
    d7000.
     
  18. Did you get a second opinion on the repair cost? i replaced the shutter in a D-300 about a year ago and thought it was only $ 250-300. While a D-700 is my main camera, the d-200 is the always with me camera to this day. I used my local camera shop , not sure where they shipped it to get fixed.
     
  19. I've got a D200 which I've owned for almost five years now. It has thoroughly depreciated and been superseded by newer models, but it still works very well for me. I've thought about what I'd do if it suddenly broke. I'd be sorely tempted to get another D200. They're available used for a good price, there would be no learning curve, and all batteries and accessories would work. I know the image quality is very good.
    A D300 would be tempting as well, of course.
     
  20. Last night at midnight after donating to the Red Cross for Japan, I decided I was going to push my finances to the edge and replace my two D70s bodies with D300s. Adorama has factory refurbs for $1249 US (no tax or shipping) and I figured I better grab them before the heart wrenching problems in Japan force upcoming camera prices to skyrocket and existing stock to deplete. (I hope this does not sound too mercenary.)
     
  21. If money is an object, consider a used D90.
     
  22. Nice Michael.
     
  23. That D200 just did you a favor. ;-)
    Look into the D7000 and enjoy your trip!
     
  24. David, the D300 has a build quality more like your D200, but the D7000 has better IQ over a greater range of ISO's. Both cameras have excellent highlight dynamic range, and if you were to shoot only at the D300's base ISO there would be virtually no difference in noise between the two. Everything I've mentioned holds true for shooting in raw, but I'm not sure about jpgs. Also the buffer of the D300 is much better, which doesn't sound like it would be very important for your type of shooting, but who knows. I had a D300, and loved it, but now have a D7000 which I love equally but for different reasons. If it were me for your type of photography I think I would go with the D7000, but think you would be nearly as happy with the D300 as well. The D7000 appears to be a well built little camera, but if you're tough on your cameras perhaps the D300 might be best. pith
     
  25. I had a D200 and decided to go with the D7000. It's the first (amateur?) body that really does it for me. Despite the D90 being a very competent camera I was never really able to like it all that much. The D7000 has taken care of that with a better build and a more profesional feel to it. I was tempted by the plasticky Sony translucents because of the superb live view focusing speed but the D7000 is not that far behind. Live view focusing is quite respectable and the mirror/shutter sounds are impressively quiet.
     
  26. I would suggest to go with Nikon D5000 Or Nikon D7000
    The information I share comes in part from personal experience and in part from reading reviews and information all over the web - not because I'm some pro photographer.
    Nikon D5000
    Nikon D5000 is a Great Camera. If you are new to the DSLR game (like myself) or you are upgrading and you can fork up the cash, it is definitely worth it. It has a very concise, simple, and easy to use interface, the buttons are very well placed, and the swivel LCD is very nice and useful in certain situations
    My main purpose for this camera is still photos so the video is a cool bonus and is surprisingly better than I thought (though if you are looking to do serious HD video, I'd go for an HD camcorder or something else instead).
    Nikon D7000
    Nikon D7000 camera is brilliant to hold and use.
    It has 100% view finder! Big bright with 100% coverage. No more guessing of your framing. (It is not as bright as the D700. However, it is 100% vice 95%) Or 016-Segment RGB Meter- for spot on exposure and white balance--No one touches Nikon on this and this one is fantastic.
    Nikon D7000 camera contains a ton of built-in settings : in addition to the basics like Standard, Normal, Landscape, etc, you also get all the various Scene modes, which are basically variations on those main settings. RAW processing allows you to see how the shot would have looked had you used one of those other modes.
     
  27. Get a D7000, image quality is first rate. You won't regret it.
     
  28. Thanks all. I'm going to check out the D300 and 7000 this weekend. Much of it will be based on how it "feels" as if I don't like how the camera operates, I won't want to use it... I'm not overly harsh on my cameras (my D200 looks new), but I appreciate the feeling when I am out in the field that the camera can withstand a little dust/moisture and banging if it happens. I read that the D7000 is pretty well constructed (not flimsy plastic like I remember the D40 and the like), so hopefully I will like it.
     
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D7000 is very well constructed but it is definitely smaller than the D300, and the button layout is different. However, both 100% viewfinders are good and both have a high-quality 3" back LCD; once you get used to that 3" LCD, the one on the D200 will look tiny and uncomfortable.
    BTW, I assume we are talking about the D300S instead of the original D300, which was discontinued a year and half ago when the D300S was introduced. Both the D300S and D7000 use dual memory cards (CF + SD on the D300S and 2 SD on the D7000). Both have video capture but the D7000's video capability is much better. The original D300 has none of those features.
    00YR4q-341211584.jpg
     
  30. David,
    I wonder how many pictures you took with your D200.
    Try this link with one of the lates pictures you took and if you don't mind, let us know the result.
    http://regex.info/exif.cgi
     
  31. Didn't know you could check how many pics you have taken. I will do so out of curiosity. Shun - thanks for the pictures - the D7000 really is noticeably smaller. I have smaller hands; maybe the D7000 will feel right - though the focus toggle button and the righthand grip area seem low and small, respectively.
    I could care less about video capability; so for me that is not a selling point. I also need to see how the D7000 feels with some of my heavier lenses.
     
  32. You seemed to really have no complaints about D200. I'd pick up a nice used D300 (non s). You'll get a fantastic upgrade, and you can spend the difference on a crazy adventure in Costa Rica!
     
  33. I have to agree with Peter, if you like the D200 you will love the D300/s cameras,I just got another used D300 in mint cond with 8k clicks at a great price. I don't go above ISO 400 sometime 800,if you use the lower ISO's I don't think that your going to see a big difference in IQ going from 12 to 16mp at lower ISO's,but over 800 you will see the noise with the D300.
     
  34. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It looks like the OP hasn't used any newer DSLR since he got his D200. If he has a chance to use newer cameras, he might easily change his mind. For example, I also have a D200 and a D2X, and it is hard to go back to those small LCDs on the back as well as poor high-ISO results now.
    If one can afford the $1200 D7000, I don't think it is a good idea to get even a used D300 now; it is 4-year-old technology and the D7000 is much better in many ways. Once you get familiar with the workflow of using live view, pressing one button to switch on live view is far more convenient. The D7000 is also quiet, has dual memory cards and has newer battery technology. I have little doubt that the EN-EL15 will be the standard battery for the upper consumer and prosumer Nikon DSLRs in the next few years. The EN-EL3 family has exposed electronic contacts and Nikon is phasing them out.
    But if you don't like smaller cameras or you need to shoot 8 frame/sec with a deep RAW buffer, the D7000 will not cut it.
     
  35. I agree with Shun,if you need a new camera ASAP go D7000.
     
  36. If you like the D200 and budget is an issue (as it is for most of us) I recommend looking for a gently used D300. I have been seeing them locally (Maryland area) $850 to $1000 with under 13K cycles. I just picked one up that looks like new, box and everything for $800 with ~8K cycles. Yes, I saw the original sales receipt. Ok, I'll stop bragging.
    I had strongly thought about a D7000 or D300s but I wasn't that interested in video and it didn't seem like the tech advances were not worth another $400 to me, which also saved me from my wife whacking me over the head with a rolling pin. For others it may be worth the price (for the video and tech advances I mean).
    Stan
     

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