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  1. #1
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    Some questions of concern before I purchase a D200 please.

    I have many Nikon 'D' lenses so I am leaning toward purchasing a new D200, migrating away from my Nikon N90s. I also like the Nikon D200 due to the fact that I like to enlarge and frame some of my pics. I have been doing some extensive research on this D200 camera and to finish up my research, I have a few questions please.

    1st concern with the Nikon D200: The reviews state that the D200 has significant noise at ISO 800 and above and also has problems with low light. Seeing that I enjoy shooting night scenes, my question is why would anyone really need to shoot at ISO 800 or above? Could'nt ya just shoot at, lets say, ISO100 with a slower shutter speed? What would be the difference between a lower ISO/slower shutter speed verces ISO1600/fast shutter speed when shooting in low light? One review stated that the camera had lots of noise at ISO1600, but why in real life would you need to shoot with ISO1600 when you can just change the ISO down to 100 with a slower shutter speed. Please explain this to me?

    2nd concern: Reviews state (or I misunderstood) that the widest lens the D200 can handle is a 28mm. Is this true? Will I not be able to use my Nikon 24mm f2.8 'D' lens?

    3rd concern: Reviews state that this camera does not handle RAW as well as it handles JPEG. I was hoping to start shooting RAW...So how bad is the RAW on the D200?

    4th and final: When doing side by side picture comparisons with pictures taken with the D200 verses the Canon 5D, I notice that pictures of people seem to have a slight blue hue (cool) on the pictures taken with the Nikon. Anyway to not have the Blue (or any) hue?

    5th and final concern about the D200: Reviews also state that the D200 is a dust magnet and "Some" D200 cameras have a banding issue. What is your experience with these 2 issues?


    Do you like the D200 after using it for a while? Have ya done any side by side comparisons?
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  2. #2
    Moderator Didache's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions of concern before I purchase a D200 please.

    I am not a D200 user (nor even a Nikon user) but maybe I can answer your first question. I too do a lot of night photography - I use a low ISO and mount the camera on a tripod. As you say, no problem. But what if you shoot things like music gigs? Or in jazz clubs? Or night-time sporting events? Or at bonfire parties? In these scenarios a flash might be impossible and a slow shutter speed might not be appropriate. Hence the need, sometimes, to boost the ISO.

    Hope you get help with your other queries.
    Mike
    Mike Dales ARPS
    My website: www.mikedalesphotography.co.uk

  3. #3
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    Re: Some questions of concern before I purchase a D200 please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Didache
    I am not a D200 user (nor even a Nikon user) but maybe I can answer your first question. I too do a lot of night photography - I use a low ISO and mount the camera on a tripod. As you say, no problem. But what if you shoot things like music gigs? Or in jazz clubs? Or night-time sporting events? Or at bonfire parties? In these scenarios a flash might be impossible and a slow shutter speed might not be appropriate. Hence the need, sometimes, to boost the ISO.

    Hope you get help with your other queries.
    Mike

    You did an excellent job answering this concern. Thanks

  4. #4
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions of concern before I purchase a D200 please.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKSinAZ
    1st concern with the Nikon D200: The reviews state that the D200 has significant noise at ISO 800 and above and also has problems with low light. Seeing that I enjoy shooting night scenes, my question is why would anyone really need to shoot at ISO 800 or above? Could'nt ya just shoot at, lets say, ISO100 with a slower shutter speed? What would be the difference between a lower ISO/slower shutter speed verces ISO1600/fast shutter speed when shooting in low light? One review stated that the camera had lots of noise at ISO1600, but why in real life would you need to shoot with ISO1600 when you can just change the ISO down to 100 with a slower shutter speed. Please explain this to me?
    I think they did a pretty good job of answering it. Situations where subject motion might play a role and/or tripods are impractical come to mind.

    Noise is relative. the D200 is far better at high ISOs than some of the cameras from previous generations, at a much higher resolution. Noise may show up on your computer screen at 100%, but in a print it's far less noticeable. For high ISO work, I'd seriously suggest you use Nikon Capture 4/NX to process your images rather than say Adobe Photoshop's Adobe Camera RAW. Capture 4/NX not only reads the High ISO NR tag from the camera settings and applies an appropriate amount of Noise Reduction, but it has a much better rendering of noise without artifacts, significantly less color noise, and better sharpness even with no NR enabled versus other converters.

    If you're coming from film and/or digital P&S cameras, the D200's noise at ISO 800 and above will seem quite low. It really isn't bad, as long as you expose properly, and if you get the White Balance correct it's even better. I always leave in camera high ISO NR on Low or off. Low gets rid of basically all the color noise in shots up to ISO 2000-2500 or so. What's left is film grain-like, though with the amount of grain of a film shot at a much lower ISO rating than the camera is set at. Converting high ISO shots to black and white is a great tool when you don't need the color, because what noise there is gives it the film grain look. The D200 is especially good at generating noise with a grainlike quality versus some other cameras.


    2nd concern: Reviews state (or I misunderstood) that the widest lens the D200 can handle is a 28mm. Is this true? Will I not be able to use my Nikon 24mm f2.8 'D' lens?
    Not true. the D200 can take basically any lens your N90S could and a few more (DX nikkors). The one thing to keep in mind is the 'crop factor'- 1.5x- due to the smaller format of the sensor. Thus your 24mm f/2.8 will have the field of view of a 36mm or so on DX. I enjoyed using the 24/2.8 AF-D on my D200 and D70 as a nice walkaround lens. You may have been confused by reviews stating that an 18mm lens would have the FOV of a 28mm lens would on film on the D200. To get back your wide end you might consider any number of lenses, say the Sigma 10-20mm DC lens, which gives you the equivalent range ofa 15-30mm zoom, or any of the various 17/18-xx lenses, the best of which include the Nikon 18-35mm, 17-35mm, 17-55mm DX, 18-70mm DX, etc.



    3rd concern: Reviews state that this camera does not handle RAW as well as it handles JPEG. I was hoping to start shooting RAW...So how bad is the RAW on the D200?
    No idea what reviews you have been reading... but that's patently false. It really depends on your RAW converter and processing skills than the camera itself in this case. Like I said earlier, Adobe Camera RAW gives poorer results than Nikon Capture in many cases. Camera manufacturer's software is generally the only program that will read a camera's settings and apply them all 'as shot' and let you change them like you would in camera after the fact. I shoot RAW all the time on the D200- Compressed, since it's visually lossless and in my tests it wasn't worth 50% larger files- when I have anything important to shoot. I use JPEG when I do high volume, yes, but that's only because it reduces processing times, saves card space and so on.


    4th and final: When doing side by side picture comparisons with pictures taken with the D200 verses the Canon 5D, I notice that pictures of people seem to have a slight blue hue (cool) on the pictures taken with the Nikon. Anyway to not have the Blue (or any) hue?
    I think waht you're seeing is more of a color tinge from the 5D than the D200. Either way, you can do this in any number of ways. There is a 9 hue adjustment in camera, or you can fine tune your camera's white balance presents by 3, both for each preset, and for the auto white balance, which is very reliable except in incandescent light ( a common digital camera issue). You can also set direct Kelvin or custom white balance for your scene. Also, increasing saturation in camera can make a neutral image a bit warmer.

    I'd also check your monitor calibration if I were you... just to be safe.

    5th and final concern about the D200: Reviews also state that the D200 is a dust magnet and "Some" D200 cameras have a banding issue. What is your experience with these 2 issues?
    Dust magnet? they say that about every camera. I've had less dust bunnies on my D200's than I have on my other cameras, I can tell you that. Get yourself a Rocket Blower from Giottos and keep it IN the package at all times unless you're using it. then use that to blow off the dust bunnies. After a while you may have some that stick, so you may want to eventually learn how to 'wet clean' or have it done professionally. Don't use any of the tape lift systems out there- they've had many a horror story on all sorts of cameras.
    Banding was only a real issue on the very early production D200's. I have one from the very first batch- bought the first day it was out. It had the dreaded 'long banding' show up in some pictures, only in a few situations and only at ISO 400 and up. I sent it in and it hasn't banded since- it's been over a year.


    Do you like the D200 after using it for a while? Have ya done any side by side comparisons?
    I've been using the D200 since the very day it came out. It's always impressed me with its image quality, and its ability to bring out tons of detail (again, shooting RAW processed in Nikon Capture or shooting Jpegs with sharpening +1). It isn't for those afraid of controls or options, and it helps to really know your custom settings and camera settings... but it is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of someone who knows how to use a camera, and like on all modern high end DSLRs isn't too afraid to learn what settings work best. It is extremely versatile- many pros use it because it's so good, not too expensive, and is relatively compact yet built very well. I now own two. I've put at least 40,000 frames on them between the two, and they have been not only reliable but perform admirably in most any situation I put them in.

    I've pitted it against all sorts of other cameras both Nikon and other brands, and in terms of 'bang for your buck' the D200 is the undisputed champion. At under $1400 now, there's no real contest. I sold my D2Hs- the top professional Nikon high speed DSLR until it was just discontinued- because I liked the D200's better. the Canon 5D is twice as expensive, would require a massive change in lenses, and isn't built nearly as well and has less intuitive controls.

    Just match it up with some decent glass and shoot away!

    (you might also want to pick up at least one, probably two spare batteries, and consider the vertical grip if you do a lot of portrait-orientation shooting handheld or really long exposures- the D200 does take a bit more power than some lower-end cameras because of the high-end internal image processing electronics, inherited from the D2Hs and D2X. Power consumption of course will vary with your shooting style, I tend to be power hungry. You definitely will want a large CF card- I'd recommend at least 2GB, preferably 4GB, and a high speed card- Lexar Platinum II or SanDisk Ultra II at the minimum- long times writing to CF can eat battery power as well. Check out www.robgalbraith.com for the CF card database and see which cards are fastest in the D200.)
    Harrison
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