why does the D200 seem to be the Rodney Dangerfield of DSLRs?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by james_kennedy|9, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. It doesn't seem to get any respect. My first DSLR was a new D70 purchased new in 2004, and with its kit lens, was a good performer. I considered a D70s when it came out, but it appeared to be a move sideways. A few years ago, I purchased a used D80, but after a few weeks, I took advantage of the local camera shop's buyer remorse option and returned it for a used D200. I think the D200 is a much better camera in all respects than the D80, in both build and performance. I liked that it would meter with older manual focus lenses. I recall that the D200 got very good reviews. Since then, I have further upgreaded to a used D300, which is clearly a superior camera, but the D200 is still a fine camera.
    Why doesn't it get more respect?
  2. James, I had a D200. It was a wonderful camera, but it was a battery hog. I took it with me to Death Valley, and right in front of us came a coyote. I grabbed my D200, turned on the switch, and the battery was dead. Luckily, I brought along a Diana F; one of those plastic 120 film cameras from the 1960's. I got in one great shot with that Diana.
    And in a few months, I got rid of that D200. I don't keep cameras that fail me.
  3. My current camera is the D200. I simply like its layout and ergonomics. It's a reliable and quality performer. So far I've taken 40,000 shots (almost). I have no reference for battery comparison of a peer, but I typicallly get 350 shots or so per charge (less if using onboard flash, of course).
    The ability to use older lenses 'effectively' and the CLS are two big positives.
    My grand daughter, below, is critical of ithe D200 however :eek:)
  4. I've always heard that the D200 is a battery hog but I have one and have often shot 200-300 images in a day with no problem. I don't spend a lot of time chimping - usually just a glance at the histogram to confirm exposure. I also shoot stabilized lenses which place more demand on the battery. Although I have a spare battery the only time I recall having to use it was on the third day after two days of shooting. It gives me about the battery life I would expect.
  5. I loved the D200, and I think in its day it was a fantastic camera, the first Nikon DSLR that followed in the tradition of the wonderful F100. But I now recognize that its autofocus was overcomplicated and its noise level at high ISO is relatively poor. If you can work within those constraints, it's just as good a camera as it was when it was new -- but today, there are certainly better cameras.
  6. While I use a D300 for most things these days, I still have and like a D200. It's particularly a favorite for certain tasks that can take advantage of its lower baseline ISO of 100. I use it for some product shots, and it serves me really well. But it sure can't hold a candle to its successor when it comes to AF performance and higher ISO work. That D200 is tough, though. I've knocked it around for years, now. Never skips a beat.
  7. Some find perceptions about cameras important. Others concentrate on photographs.
  8. The D200 is just an old school camera. Outdated technology and worth a fraction of it's new cost. The new gear of today is headed for the same fate. I have a D200 and I have always liked it pretty good. I still prefer E-6 myself so I do not use it very much but I take it out from time to time. I used it for a prom shoot a few months back and it worked out pretty nice.
  9. I owned a D200 too and I am quite happy with it, years before. Yes it is a bit noisy, but I didn't feel the battery was a problem since I always kept the grip on.
    The first time I sort of 'dislike' it, was the moment, that I saw a photo from D3/D700 for a music live, which was shot in dark scene with high ISO. Instantly, I know there is a huge gap between D200 and D3/D700, and I lived in a horrible world before.
    Well, not that horrible. :) Nowadays D200 is still good as long as the shooting condition is not too bad. Even it is bad, you can grab a picture which is better than nothing!
  10. Check out our own Rakesh Syal and note his ratings and comments on his images. Plenty of respect there.
  11. As with any camera one needs to observe the battery status indicator, have spare battery and anticipate, know the camera behavior, or configure the camera for minimal use of battery.
    My D200 battery was lasting for hundreds of shots, though not as many as other cameras.
    Running out of battery certainly would not be reason to give up this wonderful camera, as it is rather the user's fault.
    Look up Luis Triguez's great photos on photo.net, taken with D200.
  12. I started with a D70, and now have two D200 and one D300. On one D200 the flash failed a couple of months ago - and it took the metering system with it. Since the camera has nearly 100,000 clicks, I figured repair wasn't cost effective any more. Still use it though, as well as the other, still fully functioning D200 (about 60,000 clicks). Yes, the D300 gets 3 or 4 times as many shots on a battery charge - though I would never consider that the D200 failed me if I would grab it and the battery was empty - I know it is a battery hog and that it is wise to carry a spare.
  13. I never had a problem with battery life in the D200. In my opinion the ergonomics are excellent, and I really liked the ability to enter data for manual focus lenses. However, as already mentioned, "its noise level at high ISO is relatively poor." Indeed, in my experience a Canon 40D at ISO 800 gives a slightly cleaner image than a D200 at ISO 400 - based on one sample of each camera, to be sure. Seems to me that if you don't use ISO settings over 200 often, at the closeout price the D200 was an incredible bargain. On a tight budget I'd certainly select a used D200 over, say, the 15 or 18 mp rebels.
  14. it is still one of the well-respected dslrs out there. i still use it for studio work and home pictorials. nice to have 100 iso.
  15. The D200 is just an old school camera. Outdated technology and worth a fraction of it's new cost. The new gear of today is headed for the same fate.​
    That's just digital, nothing more. I owned a D200, and I think it is a great camera. Just check out flickr for images made with it. I went from a D200 into 2x D3's, and the image quality from the D3 average lighting conditions was no better (unless you want to pixel peep). High ISO, yes the D3 won out, but how many people actually need to take shots with high ISO. Alot of digicam users are happy to settle for zoom lenses, which are medium speed at best. They lust after high ISO, yet are more than content to stick a 2.8 lens on the front! Get yourself a couple of nice fast primes, and the D200 can handle most situations.
  16. One of the things I like about mine is the ISO 100. I would not be to happy to have a camera without it since I shoot 90% of my digital images at that speed. ISO 100 also helps keep the dynamic range at it's best for the camera. Probably my main issue with the camera is it's a bit heavy to carry on my bicycle. I like to go tooling around looking for old barns or trucks on the bicycle but excessive camera weight is not that great. On another topic if there is somebody that like to cycle, a Domke insert works pretty good in a bicycle pannier for your camera. I use a two compartment insert for a F6 Domkle on one side for my glasses, wallet and keys. I use a single compartment F2 on the other side to carry my camera and a single lens. However the camera respected or not is capable of great shots with an enthusiastic photographer. I intend to keep my and suck every last snap the camera has to offer before moving into another digital body. Hopefully it will take years to achieve that.
  17. WOW to the people that are happy getting 200-300 shots a day on a battery. I've shot a Canon Xti for well oer 1400 shots if avoiding LCD use.
    The D200 doesn't get much love because the image quality never felt like it was a huge step forwards compared to a D2x or even D70. DX series users have been enoying the ergonics of the camera for a long time, the D200 wasn't as big a step forward as the D3 is. The D300 gets a lot of credit for simply being of the same era and generation as the D3. It's a superb camera and better then the D300 in every sense and the D200 is quite old in digital years.
    I can't think of a good reason to buy one today for example...
  18. Great image quality at ISO100, 200 and 400, metering with manual focus lenses, excelent build quality, pretty fast AF would be some reasons I could thing of for buying one today.
  19. I own 4-5 of the D200 cameras. Excellent for UV or IR (in both cases, modified for that purpose), underwater work in a housing, and the general always-available-camera-in-the-car kind of work. Stands up to professional abuse in the field too. This is one Nikon I wouldn't be without, my D3s and D3X bodies notwithstanding. As long as you know its limitations you'll be fine.
  20. The D80 gets no less of its "Rodney Dangerfield" share of knocks, but it has been one of Nikon's best-selling cameras and works like a champ for me. I have read that is metering system is quirky; the truth of the matter is ALL cameras are designed to render everything a medium gray. I use manual exposure mode with it and I get perfect exposures since I know how to read and measure light.
    The D70 era and the D80/200 era use older sensors, technology has created less noise in newer models with higher MP count. Other than that, have DSLR's really improved since 2005?
  21. Yep I use the D80 and find the camera to be pretty good. Can't complain about the image quality from ISO100 to 400. ISO 800 is quite usable unless you wan't huge prints and ISO 1600-3200 will work with noise reduction like neat image. Newer cameras do also use noise reduction to achieve clean results at hi ISOs so I don't see the problem to use noise reduction with older ones.
  22. I believe the D200 was as well liked when it came out as the D300 is today. And it's the same camera today as it was then. Marketing departments need to sell new cameras. People believe that better cameras will make them better photographers.
  23. I remember many not being so happy with the noise at higher ISOs from most of the Nikon DSLRs until the arrival of the D3 and D300. I personaly felt Nikon got a bit of a bad rap for noise as many reviews often used some form of adobe camera raw and the Nikon DSLRs, at least for me did better with Nikon Capture.
  24. I always considered it a good camera that mainly just suffers in comparison to the D300 that came after it, which obviously has better technology in several areas. The high ISO noise level was respectable enough for the time, though Nikon really should have sorted out the power management issues that made the D200 such a battery hog (both the D70 and the D300 did much better). Giving the D200 a cut-down AF module with only a single cross-type sensor is less defensible - like the F100 and D300, it really deserved the top of the range module. Were Nikon afraid of losing D2x sales if they made the D200 too competitive?. When the D3 and D300 were launched they could differentiate the products on sensor size, but within the DX range a D200 with, say, Multi-CAM 2000 would have made the D2x look overpriced.
  25. On the positive side, the D200 had an excellent build. Structurally, it was every bit the D700's equal, plus I liked it's doors BETTER than the D700's rubbery plastic ones.
    When I look back at my D200 photos I'm impressed with the quality whenever I was using telephoto lenses (70-180 micro, 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 1.4x teleconverter). Sports photos taken in daylight, for instance, were quite nice.
    I was less enthused about its wide-angle and normal performance. I took thousands of shots with both the 18-200 and the 17-55 f/2.8. Maybe I had bad copies of both lenses, but those photos are always a bit soft. Maybe it was the fault of the lenses rather than the D200; I don't have it anymore, so I can't test it.
    Noise at high ISO - I took some candids at a friend's wedding without flash at ISO 1600. The noise was ridiculous. Thank goodness the D700 came along!
    Gluttonous battery usage. A bit of a disappointment after the D70 and another feature that made the frugal D700 seem like a huge step forward.
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When the D200 was introduced in December, 2005, it was extremely popular and there was shortage thru the early part of 2006. It was the first "affordable" Nikon DSLR (initially $1700) that can meter with no-CPU AI/AI-S type lenses.
    The main issue now is that Nikon put so many features onto the D300 such that the D300 not only far surpassed the D200 but also surpassed the D2X. I still own all three cameras; I haven't used the D2X and D200 much since I picked up the D300. And used values for the first two dropped like a rock in the used market.
    Now that the D300 is almost 3 years old, and the D300S is merely a incremental upgrade, adding video and dual memory cards. Nikon will have their own tough act to follow to improve the D300/D300S within that sub-$2000 price range.
  27. Well, even if my D200 is not worthy anymore I will keep it around. I am not that big on digital snapshot photography anyway but it does have it's usefullness. Especially for travel as you do not have to deal with film at the airports. I was going to take it with me to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk today but it's kind of heavy to lug around all day so I will take my N80. Besides I will take a few shots of some of my daughters and I want the positives for archival purposes.
  28. Gets respect here, I really like my D200 family. ISO 125, my old lenses and PS Elements 6.0 and I'm there... For anything the size of a ship I use the Hasselblad.
  29. I never noticed the D200 wasn't well respected, actually. Plenty threads where owners praise its ISO 100 and 200 performance over the D300. In its days, the D200 sure was to me the most desirable camera out there (but I couldn't afford it back then, so I had its tame brother the D80).
    That same D80 always seemed to get a lot of comments for its temperamental metering, though I never had much problems with it. It worked well.

    So maybe the internet buzz tends to hype things a bit, and that's just that ;-)
  30. The D200 isn't a bad camera, it was just eclipsed by the D80 and then by its successor, the D300. The D300 was so much better than the D200 in every area, it was dramatic. I had a D80 and for the most part I liked it very much. I went from there to the D300, which blew the D80 away. I had a D200 for a short time, and wasn't impressed with the short battery life and the poor high ISO performance. I feel the D80 had a slight edge over the D200 in terms of overall image quality. Now, I wouldn't buy a D200, but for those people who use them, keep shooting!
  31. D200 is a very good camera I was happy as long as not using High ISO as there was noise. D300 is better in that respect. D300 has better meetering. Controls are same on both cameras. I upgraded from D200 and still have it as a back up camera, Regards, ifti
  32. James,
    I started with a D100. 1st Nikon SLR; but very slow. I still have it. It was a while between the 100 & the debut of the 200. Not so much a time lapse from the 200 to the 300 & 700. I think folks opted out for the new equipment quickly. I still use the 200 regularly. It requires a lot of battery charging if not using the Nikon battery. It's a fantastic camera. The D100 was converted to IR use. Between the 200 & 300, I'm al happy camper
  33. I do not use my oldest digital cameras so much because of the battery problems. Cameras have changed, but batteries have changed even more, I think.
  34. As a happy F5 owner who gets 9 months on a set of batteries, it certainly seems like we went backwards for a while there with battery life on cameras
  35. I am happy with my D200 & D300 cameras, very much so. Have battery grip for both of them and love that way to get more shots from both, never had problem with D200 & battery grip to run out of juice, also have extra/spare battery's to replace when I shot wedding and such, so it's not a big issue for me.
    Love both cameras and will keep them for long time.
  36. My only digital camera is a D200 in the guise of a Fuji S5 Pro; it cost $550 brand-new 1½ years ago. As long as you understand its limitations it is terrific, very well-built and easy to use. The ergonomics are excellent and battery life is good too. The Fuji S5 uses different batteries so maybe that's the difference. Overall I'm very pleased and have no need to upgrade to a more modern body. Lots of respect here! :)
  37. I'm very happy with my D200. I use it in bright daylight situations, and have never felt that I lacked for anything versus the D300-D700 bodies.
    I noticed that as soon as the D300 came out, people ran towards it, a lot of them not thinking that for their particular photography they didn't need the D300, as the D200 was more than adequate. This is the mentality whenever new gear shows up, and which is how I have bought many nice lenses. For example, the 17-35 f2.8 and the 28-70 f2.8 were practically given away when newer replacements showed up. Today's magic bullet suddenly becomes a dog. The item itself has experienced zero change, it's all relative.
    I have a friend who always buys the latest and greatest coffee machine. I asked him what was wrong with the previous machine, his response was: "What's wrong with the old machine is that there's a new machine that just came out!"

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