Published by: Lim Zi Yang

I was browsing carousell one day and I chanced upon a bargain Nikon D200. I made an offer and the deal was done. I’m now the proud owner of a used D200, albeit its in quite a poor condition. I put in some time and effort to tidy up the camera and successfully bring it from a condition 6/10 to 8/10. #patback. It’s now fit for the road once again. So, came our excursion to Botanic Garden on 19th August. I decided to bring it out for a test run.

Fun fact: The D200 was released in the same year as the D70s in 2005. It was marketed as the professional range of crop sensor DSLR. Its current successor is the Nikon D500.

Below are some basic specifications.

Max resolution 3872 x 2592
Effective pixels 10.2 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Sensor type CCD
ISO Auto, 100 – 1600, expandable to 3200
Max shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Continuous 5FPS

 

While the specifications are not fantastic compared to a relatively modern DSLR, this camera stills produces good image.

These are images from the camera.

 

Focusing

The camera has 11 autofocus points. The auto focus is fast and accurate. Although a ted slower than what we have in modern DSLR, the D200 will still focus accurately for streets and events. For continuous focus, or focus tracking, well, still quite a lot of miss shot which is not in focus. Not ideal for sports photography by today’s standard. This can be attributed to the limited number of AF points in the camera.

 

Image Quality

The 10.2mp CCD sensor and image processor produces image with decent dynamic range. And I believe this is the same sensor that Nikon eventually put into the D80 in 2006.

At ISO 1000, the image quality degrades with more noise. Compared with today’s standard, you may think that the photo was shot with as ISO 12800. The D200 ISO comfort zone is between 100 to 800 only.

 

Frame Rate

The D200 does a decent 5fps and I love to just hold down the shutter in burst mode to hear the crisp shutter snap away. 5fps is not sufficient for sports photography or any form of photography requiring high frame rate. But this is sufficient for most daily use. From slow moving animals to general events. 5fps will do the job just fine.

The D200 does not suffer the same buffer issue as the D70s. it allows me to continuously shoot for at least 20 shots before the memory starts to run out, all in uncompressed RAW format.

 

Ergonomics

Constructed out of magnesium alloy body and weather sealed (though I think I broke the seal while restoring it), this DSLR is a heavy chunk of metal. It feels solid in my hands with comfortable rubber grip.

The buttons are nicely laid out on the side of the LCD, and features a 9-way D-pad. More importantly, it has 2 dials, a main dial for shutter speed, and sub dial for aperture. The 2 dials are conveniently located where your thumb and index finger will be resting. The D200 also features an independent AF-ON button. Great feature for those who like prefer back button focusing. This was not seen in its predecessor, the D100.

The top panel has the distinctive button layout which indicates that this camera was made for the professional. There is no rotating dial on the top panel for scene selection, but a few buttons to press for mode, image quality and ISO selection. In fact, the buttons layout seems inherited from the Nikon D2x professional DSLR released a year earlier.

 

Verdict

  • Still relevant in today’s standard, but with limited applications.
  • For best image quality, you’ll need good lens.

 

 

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