Random D200 Thoughts--after 3 days

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by efusco, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. For anyone still waiting, or still considering, or just bored out of
    their mind enough to care what I think.....

    1)Become concerned when I failed to find the pre-printed warranty
    service card and hard copy mail-in card for the warranty. Searched
    the house frantically in case I'd misplaced it but it was not to be
    found. Called the camera shop who checked another box and said there
    was none in there either. Further reassurance came from Nikon
    directly that it wasn't need, only a copy of the sales reciept. Maybe
    this is standard, but it's been 2 years since I bought a camera and
    the lens I bought at the same time did have these and it seemed
    logical that the same warranty process would apply.

    2)I finished reading the manual--a lot of stuff in there most of which
    I'm sure I won't remember. Seems that all the juiciest details are
    always hidden at the bottom of a page and hard to find later. And
    there's a lot to know/learn about this camera. Moving up to this from
    the D70 is a bit bigger of a step than I'd imagined and the menu
    options are dramaticly more than I'd expected. I've set things up how
    I think I'll most often use them for now, but haven't yet gone back to
    store my various custom settings--I think there are 4 user
    customizable 'banks' in the "Menu Bank"--didn't even realize that was
    there until I got to the end of the manual.

    3)I think that Function button is going to be handy. I wish it had a
    little different texture than the DOF preview button as the location
    is more where I'd expect the DOF preview to be and they feel identical
    and neither is even labled. I'm sure with time and use I'll get used
    to their locations. That button is just one example of the high
    degree of flexibility in setting up the camera to one's own needs. I
    guess it's one of the benefits I knew I'd get from a higher end body
    than the D70, but only truely appreciated once I started setting the
    camera up.

    4)Non-CPU lens--somehow when I'd previously read that the D2X was
    compatible with non-CPU lenses I thought it was nice, but that the
    practical application of such would be more cumbesome than it was
    worth. Honestly I didn't even know that the D200 was going to be
    compatible with non-CPU lenses. Once I got to that section I thought
    "heck, I'll grab my old 50mm/1.4 and just set it up to try out."
    Dang! I'm glad I did! It was quite easy to set up and it works
    perfectly. F-stop is read nicely, focus is easy to set in the
    improved viewfinder (compared to D70) and the availability of matrix
    metering and TTL flash with a non-CPU lens was something I hadn't even
    appreciated would ever be possible. Now one of my favorite creative
    lenses will be easy to throw on and use any time.

    5)Still trying to decide what I want to do about the Auto-ISO. I
    chose not to use it on the D70, but I currently have the D200 set up
    to use it. I guess I'm concerned it'll go to ISO 200 at times I would
    prefer 100 before I even realize it's doing it. I think I'll just
    play with it for now and see how it works out. I don't like giving up
    that control, but one issue I've always had with the DSLRs and never
    had with film is forgetting to reset the ISO. If I do one shoot
    inside with flash at ISO400 then the next time I'm outside shooting
    scenics I often get several shots or even the entire shoot in before I
    remember that I hadn't reset the ISO. I'm hoping the auto-ISO will
    substitute well for my senility.

    6)Built in speed-light nay-sayers. Some folks seem to see that thing
    as a label that says "I'm not a real pro". Well hell, I bet a lot of
    "real pros" would love to have that little stobe on there. Be it as a
    trigger for a remote speedlight, for a little fill flash or for the
    occasional special affect (repeating strobe) it's there. Heck no it
    won't substitute for a real speed-light for times when that's needed,
    but there are an aweful lot of times that having that speedlight
    mounted or carrying it along is impractical or impossible and the
    built in light is a nice convenience. IMO the DxX series bodies ought
    to have one of these too, considering the price of the camera and the
    convenience of the feature.

    7)I'm exceptionally pleased...the first time in a long time that I've
    felt this way with Nikon since the digital era has taken off. I can't
    honestly say how well this camera compares to the 20D (suspect it's a
    bit better), but it doesn't really matter to me. This body will last
    me for many years (I'm estimating 4-5 yrs) before the inevitable urge
    to upgrade to something new and improved. Pros or pro-wannabes can
    poo-poo this if they wish, but it's the rare PJ or sports guy that's
    going to need anything better on a regular basis and this is one hell
    of a good camera for an advanced amature like myself.

    Anyone still awake?
    Thanks for listening/reading.
  2. Evan,

    What about the pictures you're getting? Why don't you post some so we can drool.

  3. I don't think the built-in flash is ever going to find its way to pro bodies. I haven't run into any situation where I'd want to use mine on the D70. You want one, you have one. I recommend that you take a portrait with an SB-600 or SB-800 with an appropriate diffuser, and one with the built-in flash. The color of the light from the built-in flash is off, and there's no way it could be used with bounce or reflectors or diffusers because of it's low power. Also, it's prone to causing red eye because of its location. Worst of all you can see all the wrinkles etc. on the subjects because it's so point-like. I've only once found a built-in flash useful and that was for macro shots of some leaves. Thankfully Nikon and also Canon realize that there are people who definitely don't want one.

    As for triggering other flashes, I believe that can be done without a built-in flash.
  4. "post some so we can drool"

    I hunted around during the weekend and generally found it hard to correlate available D200 images and my own drool. Had absolutely nothing to do with the camera's capability though. One person did take an awesome macro shot of a fine watch, which I should have bookmarked... couldn't find it later.

    As time progresses the good stuff will finds its way, I'm quite sure.
  5. Illka,
    I thought I did a good job of explaining my rationale for my support of the built in flash. There is no question that for a portrait and "Most" other flash needs that my SB-800 is and will be prefered.

    I'm sorry if I implied that the built in flash was an adequate substitute for a compatible speedlight. I thought I outlined the things for which the built in one would be handy, but I'll list them again for your clarification:
    1)trigger for off-camera remote speedlight
    2)fill-in flash for daylight work when harsh shadows are present and a seperate speedlight is not available.
    3)Situations where getting the speedlight on camera in a timely fashion is not possible.
    4)Situations where it is impossible or very inconvenient to have the accessory flash...ever do any mountaineering?
  6. Paul,
    So far my pictures have been very limited, mostly experimental snaps to test features and functions. In a thread below I posted 2 of my original shots just after getting the camera. More shots are not likely to be forthcoming since my wife insists on wrapping the camera and putting it under the tree since it is "officially" my Christmas present! There are quite a few photos posted by folks at DP review also.
  7. Evan, perhaps I'm overly aggressive about opposing built-in flashes. The reason for this is that many newcomers don't buy a separate flash and they get results with flash that are very little better than those from point and shoot cameras. This puts me off. If the camera didn't have built-in flashes, many beginners would get better pictures.

    I think the home photography world is crowded with bad flash pictures and I think it's a great pity as so many people get great timing every once in a while but have no idea about how to do the lighting.

    I'm sure there are legitimate uses for the built-in flashes but they really tick me off :) I have a friend who bought a D100 and shot with the built-in flash although I said the results wouldn't be great. Quite quickly he bought an SB-50DX and he was astonished by how much difference it meant. I can only hope that people would not use the built-in flash as a substitute for an external flash.

    Anyway good luck with your D200, I'm sure it's a fantastic camera.
  8. Ilka, I don't think those people would by an extra, dedicated flash unit if the bodies didn't come with one - either they would not buy Nikon or they would shoot without flash and get worse results and blame Nikon. After all, the much less expensive non-SLRs they could have bought instead have working flashes so why couldn't it have been included...
  9. You won't see a built-in pop-up flash in a "pro" camera because it would compromise the weather seals. That's the only reason, it's nothing to do with whether one would be useful or not, it just can't be done.
  10. Surely it's no harder to weather seal a pop-up flash than it is to seal a film door. Why do you think that it can't be done?

  11. Because there are no high-voltage electrical connections in a film door? Flashes are dangerous things if they aren't insulated, charging for 4-5 seconds then releasing all of that in 1/1000 second, that's a lot of electricity.
  12. Nonsense! The sparkplug wire on my lawn mower has remained weather sealed after
    years of sitting outside.
  13. Apart from weather sealing, which I'm sure could be done, although it would make the pop-up flash bigger, dropping the camera (or hitting something with it) with the flash open might compromise the functioning of the whole camera. It's easier to make a rugged camera without pop-up flash.

    It also compromises viewfinder quality by taking space from the optics. Many people actually like to see what they're photographing.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Pop-up flashes (in their current form) are simply too restrictive for serious flash photography. They are too close to the camera body and lens. For example, on my D100, any wide lenses such as the 17-35 AF-S blocks the bottom part of the flash. It is hard to add a diffuser dome or reflective card on them. You also can't have the same effect as having a flash bracket so that you can avoid side shadows in the vertical orientation.

    Canon's 5D is almost an exact copy of the 20D with a larger sensor. The body is proportionally larger with a larger LCD on the back. Otherwise, there are very few differences between the 20D and 5D, at least on the outside, but Canon did remove the pop-up flash such that the higher-end pro/semi pro 5D does not have one.
  15. rnt


    Pop up flashes may be unsatisfactory in a lot of situations, but if you need a flash but don't have one, the pop up is better than nothing. I also find them useful for occasionally filling shadows in outdoor 'portrait' shots where recognizability often trumps artistic perfection.
  16. would you guys be happier if it was just an infrared LED controller and no flash tube?

    I still don't see why other people's bad flash photos are your problem. Presumably you wouldn't use it that way if you had one, so why the complaining?

    I do think Nikon struck out with the SU-800. What an ugly bulky lump. Something like Canon's ST-E2 would have been worlds better as an accessory for a flash-less D200.
  17. Just an infrared transmitter would be fine for me. I really don't do much flash photography and compromising the camera (viewfinder, ruggedness etc.) because of one with limited use is just not a good thing. One of the things about cameras with pop-up flashes in the 35 mm format is that most of them have inadequate eyepoint. With the DX format it's possible to have a flash and good eyepoint but not so great magnification. Even the D200 viewfinder is quite a bit smaller than what is typical of 35 mm cameras.
  18. The 5D has no flash in order to make roon for the larger prism necessitated by having a full
    frame image.
    On a side note: Nikon, please make a Full Framd DSLR! I will gladly sacrifice the flash!

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