Nikon D200 - Opinions, complaints & answers

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by markst33, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Hi there,
    I am in the process of upgrading from my Nikon D50 and after some research I have 99% decided on the D200 as I can afford it if I buy a 2nd hand body and it fits into my requirements as in Faster AF, faster shutter reponse, better field of view and additional functionality.
    However before I part with my hard earned cash I was hoping to get some opinions from people here who have one. Do they recommend as an upgrade, what sort of problems they have encountered that I should be aware of and also what number of shutter actuations I can expect from it so as to know what to look for in 2nd hand models.
    I am not particularly technically minded so please keep the jargon to a minimum (or at least accompany it with an easy to follow explanation :)
    Thanks in advance everyone.
    Mark S.,
  2. I've upgraded to a D200 from a D50. Main differences for me are the faster handling speed, the more sophisticated AF, dedicated function buttons rather than having to access the menus to set certain settings, better build quality and larger viewfinder, plus the ability to meter with older (AI, AI-S) lenses and the flash commander mode. I haven't had any problems with both the D50 and the D200, though if you're used to the saturated images of the D50, you'll probably find the D200's images a bit lifeless at first, at least in the default settings. The D200's images respond very well to post-processing though.
    You may expect a shutter life of 100k, which is what the D200's shutter was tested for. Things to watch out for are nearly dead batteries (the D200 has an intelligent battery monitoring system which checks the condition the battery is in next to the charge level), intermittent AF (check whether lenses focus smoothly and reliably) and I'd also avoid cameras showing excessive wear and tear. Just in case.
  3. In the three years and 8500 shutter activations since I've owned a D200, I have not had one problem with the camera.
  4. The ony - only - problem I've had with my well-used D200 (now playing second fiddle to a D300) is a rear command wheel that gets a little stiff to turn when it's cold. Apparently that's a problem that some people have seen, and Nikon can fix it easily enough. I've also replaced all of the rubber grip surfaces on mine (which was cheap, and easy) since I use my gear out in the field, and things get grubby. The camera's a tank, though, and performs well despite my beating the hell out of it. I've got about 30,000 shutter activations on it, and so far so good.

    Definitely get yourself at least one extra EN-EL3e battery, though. They can die unexpectedly (which has nothing to do with the D200, per se). And the D200's a bit of a battery hog, especially in colder weather, especially if you're using VR and a lot of busy AF, and chimping your shots a bunch.

    You'll really enjoy the solid construction, externalized controls, more nimble AF system, and higher frame rate. It will feel like a lot more camera than the D50, because it is. Have fun!
  5. I upgraded from a D70 to a D200. It is a great camera. Its heavy and I wanted better high ISO preformance so I have upgraded again to a D700. The D700 is heavier and more expensive and I miss ISO 100 so its still give and take. I think the D200 can give many years of excellent service.
  6. I've had no problems with two D200's. You won't regret the decision.
  7. Great camera. I had one (30000 exposures, still used by a friend) before I upgraded to the D300. The D300 is a step up, but compared to the D50, the step that you take now is much, much bigger. You'll be surprised by how good it is :)
  8. Mark -
    D200 is truly a work horse and built like a tank compared to the D50.
    The first thing that you will notice is the increase in weight. The 2nd is the increase in performance and handling ability.
    The only limits that I have found with the D200, which the D300 improves upon significantly is in dynamic range, especially in high contrast (think weddings) situations.
  9. I used to own two D200's (now own a D300 and D700) and was always very very happy with the D200's. I had upgraded from a D70 and there was no doubt that the upgrade was worth it. Enjoy!
  10. pge


    As Frank points out jpegs out of a d200 are different than out of a d50. As the camera was more intended for pro use the jpegs handling is more conservative. One suggestion I have is to increase your sharpnes level to +1 in your Shooting Menu >> Optimize Images. Another suggestion is go buy some old ai lenses.
    IMO the d200 is the very best bargain in cameras right now.
  11. If there will ever be a "classic" DSLR, the D200 may be one of them. I've got two. I recently bought a D300 and D700. I still use my D200's all the time. Great camera. No problems with the camera, but like many, the clip on the MB-200 (battery grip) that holds one of the batteries, broke for no reason and I curse Nikon every time I have to take out the battery to charge it. Like every other Nikon film camera I've owned, it has never had a single issue otherwise.
  12. Michael: After a gazillion battery changes in my D200's vertical grip, I finally broke one of those clips myself. I placed a small parts order with Nikon, took apart the grip, and replaced them myself. The replacement clips are much more heavy duty than the old ones.

    Here is someone else's quicky how-to page. It is a bit fiddly to do it. But it's just a few dollars' worth of parts, and I got it done in about 30 minutes. Beats sending the grip out to Nikon, paying shipping both ways, and paying them the $100+ to do it. I figure I was making about $100 an hour to do it myself! If only I could that all day long.

    I seem to have lost track of the list of parts involved. Nikon was easy to deal with on the order, though. Took me about a week to get the parts. It was on that same order that I got all of the replacement rubber body grip parts for the D200, since I was already paying shipping. Nice little face-lift for the well-used body.
  13. I had the D200 since 2006, and took it everywhere. Roughly 12000 actuations now, and still going strong like the first day. Did not feel the need to upgrade to the D300, but I probably will when the D400 comes about.
    The D200 is a beautiful camera, very pleasant to use, strong, dependable, and fast. I agree it might become quickly a classic (I guess it is already in the process of becoming it). I did not try the D50, but I tried the D70 and more recently the D40. The D200 is a clear step up in image quality, not to speak all the other obvious aspects.
    Drawbacks, it has some. The battery grip is not as well made as the camera. The D200 eats batteries, you will need surely two of them. THe AF is quite strong, but you better not use the outer AF points when shooting with fast primes wide open in low light; the center one is always dependable on the other hand. Noise was not the best of its class, and the D300 is really better. But I do not feel constrained by it.
    One thing to look after in an used one is the tendency of the rubber to detach from the chassis, in particular on the thumb rest betweek the joystick and the AF-L button, and below the front wheel.
    All in all, I think it is an easy choice.
  14. Mark, I have the D200 and battery grip attachment also. It is a great combination and the camera has been flawless in use. I can't tell you my shutter count because I alternate between film and digital camera and don't pay attention to such things . . but I'm very pleased with the D200's performance and have done weddings, events, model portfolios, and used it in the rain, in severe cold and windy conditions .. I avoid dust by limiting lens changing in those environments .. and have not touched the sensor .. no problems.
    I have four batteries, but have never used more than two on a day's worth of shooting. My batteries all charge properly and read 100% .. as a matter of practice, I change batteries when they go down to about #30-35% and have on occassion run them down to 0% .. but others have recommended not doing this. Newer cameras are better on battery cosumption .. but that's not an issue for me as the battery is a small price; and in a pinch there is the AA battery adaptor which I carry in the bag, but have never needed.
    I'm not as big a fan of the Nikon Creative Lighting System as heavily marketed with this camera. I prefer studio lights for careful shots, but have the speedlights for use in a pinch. It is nice to have a built-in pop up flash on a camera for casual shots without the need to set up accessories with menus but the D200 can grow with you if you desire this feature.
    The camera is indeed well sealed from the weather and has just the right amount of weight to remind you that it's more than a toy and it balances well in the hand. Erogonomics is the interface between the user feeling the camera and not being distracted by button/joy stick operation. The D200 is very good and I like it better for this over successive models.
    This camera is now "old-school" for digital but it shoots and handles well and produces great pictures. The key to getting everything to work for you of course is an understandnig of the menu system ... complex at first but for me is is now second nature. The only times I have experienced difficulty is forgetting about my exposure compensation settings and/or using an incorrect white balance (operator error).
    At today's prices, the D200 is a good deal. If I shot low light indoor basketball or other sports I would probably select a different camera for better ISO handling, but I tend to shoot ISO 100-400 for 99% of what I think is worthy of a photograph, so for me it remains a great value. It remains 4 stars on my 5 star rating list.
  15. Ditto to everything Luca said.

    I'm very happy with my D200. I do however, refuse to buy the plasitcy toy of a battery grip for it. The local shop has about 8 of them used, gee I wonder why.
  16. You wont be sorry to buy D200. Still great camera.
    I know recently it was on sale in Best Buy for about $599, check it out.
    I own one and thinking to get me one more.
  17. When I changed from a D70s to the D200 I noticed its improved handling and robustness - you can hear it in the sound of the shutter which is quite different to the D70s. It "sounds" like quality. As the D200 is a battery hog I got myself a MD-200 battery grip to hold two batteries in the field. But I do not mind this as it adds to the balance and I like largish cameras in any event. I love mine. It is superb. I would not knock it at all. I would love a D700 only because of the sensor size but feel absolutely no compulsion to buy a D300 - the D200 is that great.
  18. It's the only DSLR I've owned and it'd been great. I trust it for any "pro" type work I have. I've dropped, had to return the 18-70 lens twice for it spontaneously coming apart and then finally, in a haze of beery fog dropped the camera and it fell on the lens. Lens is no a sculputure. not a mark on the camera. It's pretty fast and a very good all arounder. My only wants would be much much better higher ISO quality and the comment about exposure range. But it's an ace camera and a huge step up from what you have. It uses every lens back to AI days and there some great old lenses for not a lot of money. Plus, it's good enough to show the quality in today's "professional lenses" If you can ever rent or afford one, see what it can do with a 70-200 VR or a 17-35. Great results.
    Get it if it's in good condition. I think this was the camera that brought Nikon back to parity or better in the digital world with Canon for the niche it filled, if you ask me.
  19. Mark, I have had my D200 3 years now and it was the first digital camera Nikon made that made me glad I stayed with Nikon. I have had no problems with mine. I can produce large prints with it that satisfy my resolution needs. It will stay in my camera bag for the next couple of years with my D2X until I upgrade once again. The current price on this camera is a bargain and the vertical grip is nice if your shooting with a tripod mounted long lens or off hand. Good hunting. Andy
  20. Mark,
    I bought my D200 used with 50,000+ actuations on it for $500. Now it has almost
    60,000. Still no problems. This camera is the equivalent of my 1982 300SD
    Turbo Diesel Mercedes-Benz which ran like a freight locomotive for over 350,000. + miles
    until I finally begrudgingly gave it away. Since I use a tripod for my daily work, the
    high ISO problems have not been an issue for me. Enjoy!
    Marc M.
  21. I too upgraded from the D50 to D200. Pro's are the superb build quality, faster frame rate, and dedicated buttons/controls for everything important. Only cons are noticable after using my friends D300, and those are just how bad the high ISO performance is, AF isn't that great, and I hate the rubber falling apart.
  22. Most points have been raised already so i will just add something quickly. Basically you will be upgrading from a very amateur camera to a semi-professional camera. The D200 dosen't have the scenes modes that you get on the amateur camera's, and you dont need them! This camera which i still own should hopefully really get you into photography on a more professional basis. Its a solid piece of kit, its had so many excellent reviews and i even heard that Nikon made a loss on it as this was the camera that they really wanted to get people into their digital side. Its been a wonderful camera for me and withstood the very harsh conditions on a trip to UTAH and Arizona last year. An upgrade of huge magnitude for yourself. Happy shooting :eek:)
  23. Have used the D200 for 4 years now. Got the 2 battery grip at the same time I got the camera. As others have said, the grip not only eliminates any battery problem, but gives you better balance and feel for handheld shooting. Not a single problem. Except for high ISO, which it doesn't do well in, it's the a camera that has made me think twice, three times, four times, five times about upgrading and I always go back to the old saw...if it ain't broke don't fix it...and don't spend a fortune upgrading it until you really, really have to. One of Nikon's best in a long list of bests.
  24. Right now, Best Buy has the D200 on sale for 649.00. I have a D300 and D70 backup(weddings) I'm going tomorrow to get the 200, and retire the D70 (Just giving it a rest, not getting rid of it. Great walk around camera) Go get your's before they are gone
  25. We've had excellent results with our D200, with both auto and manual focus lenses. It is more of a professional camera, not designed to produce semi-finished JPEGs in the camera like a D50. A camera for someone who is more contemplative with composition, light and color vs. a snap-shot DSLR like the D50. Not hard to learn; if you are willing to take the time to learn how to work with the major features, it's a fine choice.
    I see it on sale new for less than $650 of late.
  26. However before I part with my hard earned cash I was hoping to get some opinions from people here who have one. Do they recommend as an upgrade, what sort of problems they have encountered that I should be aware of and also what number of shutter actuations I can expect from it so as to know what to look for in 2nd hand models.
    Only main issue I can think off with my D200 is the battery lifespan. Much less shots per battery compared to the d40x I "upgraded" from. It helps to learn the camera's meter, trust the meter, and shoot with the instant playback off. The D200 meter is generally quite good anyways. Additional batteries (I have 3) help alot. Especially since I use it quite often in commander mode to trigger a sb600 in wireless mode.
    I bought mine used with about 17k shutter count. I'm pretty certain it is currently close to the 100k shutter count. Stlil kicks ass but as I bring it everywhere it's pretty worn out but holds up. See this .
  27. Get a most respects a far superior camera to the D200...its a 3rd gen sensor. The D200 is almost two generations behind now. I bought a D300 very cheaply...The D90 is almost as good.
  28. I have had the D200 for a little over two years now. It's been everywhere with me. Hiking, sailing and basically everywhere I go. It's a workhorse and a very nice camera. Best Buy as mentioned above has them for $649.00 which is a bargain for a new D200. IT's a strong camera with weather sealing, strong magnesium frame, lossless NEF file, ISO 100 (nice to help with slow shutter speeds for capturing motion). It also will function fully with AIS lenses..Basically at $649.00 it is a great bargain. I always carry a second battery.
  29. My only problem with this camera is the rubber tripod base peeling away, it niggles the hell out of me, but other than that i love it.
  30. I'm very happy with my D200. I do however, refuse to buy the plasitcy toy of a battery grip for it.​
    Well, this is perhaps a bit harsh. I actually treated the battery grip pretty harshly, and it kept going. Only once, after a hour and a half under continuous rain, when I dryed the camera the only part which showed some vague sign of water infiltration was the MB-D200 battery door. But I have to say that even then it performed just fine. Sure, it does not have the feel of robustness (and the secundary joystick!!!) of the new MB-10. If I'm not mistaken, introduction prices were quite different as well.
  31. I totally agree with Stephen Asprey, I had a D200 for a couple of years and it was a great camera except for the average AF system which has now been replaced. Here's a clue, Nikon totally changed the AF system with the advent of the D300, D90 meaning the D200 AF system needed overhauling. I now have a D90 and D300 and the AF system and ISO capabilities/results far exceed that of the D200. I wouldnt buy a D200 - its a backward step. The D90 is probably the best value digi SLR out there, fantastic images and great high ISO results plus a precise and smooth AF system.
  32. Mark Stewart: A D50 to a D200 is essentially the same generation technology. I would skip it. Look at a D300. If it's too expensive right now, the summer may bring a D400, so the 300's price will drop. Be patient. IMO, buying a D200 would be a mistake.
  33. I have had my D200 for just under 2 years now and I am still really happy with it. The contstruction is excellent, very rugged. I have not experienced the problems with short battery life like some of the other posters. That being said, I am live where it is really warm most of the time and I don't use a flash very often. The only thing about the D200 that bugs me at all is the higher ISO performance is poor, lots of noise. I never set it above ISO 400 unless I have to.
    I held out on switching to digital from film for some time. The D200 was my first DSLR and I'm glad that I held out for it. It is probably the best deal for that price range. However, Tito has a point. Check to make sure that Nikon isn't going to release a newer model anytime soon that might push down the price of the D300. I don't keep up with that kind of stuff and bought my D200 only 1.5 months before they released the D300. I could have kicked myself for that one.
  34. i recently upgraded from a D50 to a Fujifilm S5, which is a D200 with a fuji sensor. The exposure latitude and color rendition of the fuji sensor is absolutely superior to its nikon counterpart. the image buffer, however, is very slow. for fashion, glamour, weddings, or figure work get the fuji. for sports or photojournalism get the nikon.
  35. Telling the OP about prices here in the US isn't much good, the OP lives in Dublin. Mark, Ffordes in Scotland have an EX++ D200 for £499. Brian above talks to the Fuji S5, Ffordes are still selling those new for £499! I bought an S5 from Ffordes last year and they were wonderful to deal with, I live in Boston and the body was here 3 days after I bought it.
    The S5 is definitely slower than the D200 but the dynamic range of the Fuji is awesome. I've never used RAW with mine, the OOC JPEGs are so good they require very little post-processing in Photoshop. The camera is just brilliant but if you absolutely have to have good speed get the D200, a great upgrade from your D50. If you don't use RAW with the S5 (and you really don't need it) get a new S5 because the speed with JPEGs out of the camera is more than adequate for all but the most demanding pro user.
  36. Cost vs. performance...D90 and D300, latest sensor, but cost 1.5-4X what he would pay for a D200. Does he want to pay that much right now?
  37. The JPEGs are not as vivid, BUT, that can be handled in a menu
    where you can set it for more vivid images. So it is really not a problem.
  38. I have my D200 for about 2 years now and it is always a joy to use the camera. No complaints. I think this is a real "entry-level" camera that can introduce you into Nikon DSLR territory without causing you a fortune now. You have every pro feature to experiment with. Consistent metering system that takes AI lens. If you need absolute higt ISO performance you may move to D300 or D700, but you need to pay for the extra duty (and other improvements, FF).
  39. Here's a clue, Nikon totally changed the AF system with the advent of the D300, D90 meaning the D200 AF system needed overhauling.​
    I was under the impression that the D90 shared the same CAM 1000 11 points AF sensor with the D200 and the D80... They might have upgraded the software, but its main flaw, the lack of off-center cross points, is still there in the D90. But I don't have a D90 so I have not tested for myself how it performs compared to the D200.
  40. I've owned by D200 for only a few weeks now, but I can say that I really enjoy using it. Have shot about 1,500 frames so far. I echo everyone's positive comments above.
    One comment about the battery life: With the genuine Nikon EN-EL3e batteries (I have two of them), I was alarmed at first that I only got about 300-350 shots per charge (shooting RAW+ JPG). However, if you turn off the auto-review of shots in the menu, then you can easily get 700+ shots per charge. Much more if you shoot JPG only.
    Good luck with your decision.
  41. D200 = A great camera. As stated above, get 1 or 2 extra batts. I upgraded from a D80 and the D200 may be the only dslr I will ever need. "Try it, You'll like it".
  42. About batteries: don't forget that a brand new (or only a couple of weeks old) EN-EL3e will improve its capacity over time. The first several use/charge cycles will see the workable use time increase quite noticeably. Just run 'em down to about a quarter or third of their charge, charge them back up, and repeat - you'll see the effective use time at least double in short order, and then stay that way for a good long time - through hundreds of charge cycles.
  43. Thanks Matt, that's good to know.
  44. Just to let everyone know, Bestbuys price IS very good. However I contacted them and they do NOT ship outside the US. Thanks for the feedback everyone. The D200 would seem to be the one alright. The D300 is way out of my price range and will remain so even if a D400 comes onto the market this summer. The same applies to the D90.
  45. Once again thanks to everyone. I got my D200 2nd hand with a battery grip from a pro in England who saw my postings on the forum. 8700 actuations on it and it was in great condition. 2 Batteries, all manuals, cables etc and inc posting it cost €580 so I was happy. have it about 3 months now and loving it.
    Cheers everyone.
  46. Just chiming in. I still use my 2+ year old D200 regularly, even though I now have a D700. You won't regret getting the D200, it is a fine camera and will serve you well for years.

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