D200 Nikon Review
Member of DIWA Awards LetsGoDigital Online Magazine - Your Online Magazine for Digital Imaging
Nikon D200 D-SLR Digital Camera Preview
D200 SLR - Page 4/20
Tuesday 1st November 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
Nikon D100 vs D200
During my preview of the Nikon D200 I compared the D100 with the newborn baby D200 D-SLR. I am using the Nikon D100 on a daily basis for product shots, like I did for this preview. Comparing the two Nikon D-SLR's is just like comparing apples and oranges. In other words, forget it. The only resemblance is the brand name Nikon,; there are just too many differences to mention. For example the Megapixel boost, from 6 to 10 and D2x features like color modes, white balance, 11 and 7-wide area AF and 3D-Color Matrix metering II. Other differences between the D200 and D100 are high speed shooting, 2.5-inch LCD display, responsiveness, body, flexibility, professional image processing, RGB histograms, in-camera image optimization, GPS support, USB 2 Hi-Speed, W-LAN support, etc. Think of a new generation with the latest innovative techniques inherited from its professional brother and you will think of the Nikon D200. Although I can still get a very fine result with my D100, the new Nikon D200 offers more versatility, far better responsiveness and a more direct way to be more creative.
Nikon D200 and Nikon D100 bodies
Nikon D200 and Nikon D100 bodies
Compared to the D100 the new Nikon D200 has a lot more to offer than just a Megapixel upgrade. It look and feel is totally different to that of the D100 D-SLR. The ergonomics are much more ideal and you are able to work in a more faster and instinctive way compared to the 'old way'. I have worked with the Nikon D200 for a short period, but after just some shots and navigation through the menu you experience immediate the benefits of the different menu set-up. It is a totally new generation, more accurate, and full of innovative techniques that were simply not there in the time of the D100. Just take the 2.5-inch display, it is so much comfortable than working with the D100. I cannot even imagine that I have worked in the field with just a 1.8-inch display, amazing? The wide AF feature gives me more freedom and more creativity during my daily shots, and the responsiveness impressive.
Nikon D200 3D-Color Matrix metering II Nikon D200 11-area AF
Nikon D200 D-SLR 3D-Color Matrix metering II Nikon D200 D-SLR 11-area AF
Nikon D200 D-SLR 3D-Color Matrix metering 2 Nikon D200 D-SLR 11-area AF
Another feature we have seen on the professional Nikon D2x is the 3D-Color Matrix metering II, which delivers optimized exposure using new technology developed for the Nikon, 1005 pixel RGB exposure/Color Matrix metering sensor. Each shot is evaluated using 7 parameters including brightness, color, contrast, selected focus area, and camera-to-subject distance. This evaluation refers to an on-board database of over 30,000 actual photographic scenes to instantly and accurately calculate the final value. The high speed image processing is also inherited from the D2x D-SLR. For added control, saturation and highlights of a captured image can be controlled using the RGB histograms on the LCD monitor. Furthermore new image optimization modes enable you to optimize sharpening, tone and contrast, color, saturation and hue in choices including settings like Softer, Normal, More vivid, Portrait and Black and White.
The D200 incorporates a newly developed 11-area AF system. Used to work with a Nikon D100 for my product shots I see myself often confronted with insufficient focus points forcing myself to change the composition to be able to focus. With the 11-area AF system the Nikon D200 packs the same number of focus areas that are available for, again, the Nikon D2x professional D-SLR camera. The new system enables you to select individual focus areas from 11-area wide and 7-wide area AF for Single Area AF, Dynamic AF (delivers precise Continuous servo AF mode operation for moving subjects), Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF and also Group Dynamic AF. No less than 5 AF options are available offering great flexibility to the D200 user. All AF options are supported by refined lens-controlling algorithms that realize improved focus precision, better subject acquisition capability, keener subject tracking ability and overall improved system response.
Total Imaging System Color Space Depth-of-field preview
Nikon D200 Color Space
Nikon D200 Total Imaging System Nikon D200 Color Space Nikon D200 Depth-of-field preview
Like all Nikon digital SLR cameras, the D200 supports the Nikon Total Imaging System, meaning: the Nikon D200 supports over 50 AF Nikkor lenses! Interesting to see is that it also supports non-CPU lenses. Activating the menu and entering the data of the non-CPU lens you are going to use (focal length and minimal aperture) the D200 is able to adjust the aperture if you set the aperture ring of the non-CPU lens to the desired value.
In the shooting menu you will find the color space feature. You may choose from sRGB or AdobeRGB. sRGB is recommended when you take pictures to be printed without modification. AdobeRGB is highly recommended for those who are shooting JPEG's and are taking advantage of the wider gamut of colors. This mode is the preferred choice for images that will be processed or retouched.
Next to the grip of the camera, between the lens and the grip to be more precise, you will find a depth-of-field preview button. This feature creates a preview of the effects of aperture. The lens will be stopped at the aperture value selected by the camera (modes P and S) or the value chosen by the user (modes A and M), allowing depth of field to be previewed in the viewfinder.
Nikon D200 AF-Assist illuminator Nikon D200 CompactFlash support
Nikon D200 SLR AF-Assist illuminator
Nikon D200 SLR AF-Assist illuminator Nikon D200 SLR CompactFlash support
It's bound to happen now and then that the environmental light condition is poor and the AF experiences some difficulties to focus. The Nikon D200 has a built-in AF assist illuminator which enables the D200 to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. The D200 D-SLR camera must be in focus mode S (single-servo auto focus), an AF-Nikkor lens must be attached, and the center focus area or focus area group must be selected or closest subject priority in effect. If these conditions are met and the subject is poorly lit, the illuminator will light automatically to assist the autofocus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. This feature is able to do the job whenever the following conditions are correct; the lens must have a focal length of 24–200 mm and the subject must be in range of the illuminator. It is best to remove the lens hood.
The Nikon D200 uses CompactFlash type I or II for storage. The support of this type of flash card and the FAT 32 support enable using 4GB and larger capacity CompactFlash cards. The D200's CompactFlash compartment is set in the rear of the handgrip. To open the compartment you must first unlatch it by pushing a button upwards. (Left to the LCD display). The compartment door springs open and you will be able to insert the card. The way it opens and closes feels solid and the compartment is nicely integrated into the handgrip. To be able to use the fast shooting mode of the D200 it is wise to invest your money in a fast card like the Extreme III series of SanDisk. Shooting 37 JPEGs or 22 RAW format files in sequence takes quite some processing power of the camera, but also of the card. To remove the card, open the compartment door, push the Eject button and remove it. Of course make sure to turn off the camera before doing so.
< previious page - Nikon D200
Nikon D200 - next page >
Digital camera magazine
Nikon digital cameras
Nikon digital camera reviews
Nikon SLR lenses
Digital camera magazine
Nikon D200 introduction
Nikon D200 camera body
Nikon D200 comparison
Nikon D200 versus D100
Nikon D200 adjustments
Nikon D200 lens and flash
Nikon D200 accessories
Nikon D200 conclusion
Nikon D200 photo gallery