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2nd Camera - D200 or D80?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by ftslogger, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. ftslogger


    May 4, 2007
    Currently I have my main and only workhorse, the D50. I am doing a lot of wedding photography, and I am finding myself needing a 2nd body for two lenses. Now...with that being said, which body would be a better choice?

    I hear that the D80 is 85% of the D200, but the D200 surpasses it with build, FPS, etc. I don't mind having two types of media for the memory, but going to a D80, I don't need to get CF cards.

    Everyone that I know raves about the D200...is it worth the hype?

    Convince me, Nikonians/Cafeians!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2007
  2. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    We are the "Cafeians", but seriously, the D200 is head and shoulders above the D80. I shoot D2X and D200; my wife shoots D200 and D80. She has small hands and prefers a light camera. Yet she uses the D200 95% of the time. The solid feel and performance make it much closer to the D2X than the D80 IMHO. I'd buy the D200 and not look back. Your D50 will be an excellent 2nd body! CF cards are very inexpensive now. Buy a large enough card (I like the 16GB Extreme III because I shoot RAW and jpeg fine, so figure 14MB or so per click...) because the D50 will be sitting on the shelf while the D200 will go everywhere with you...
  3. ftslogger


    May 4, 2007
    I don't argue that the D50 will be in my bag if I go with the D200...it'll get used, but not as often. I have already put about 20K clicks through it right now, and I am looking, because I don't want to be without a camera. As far as the word on the street, are we thinking there might be a "updated" camera in the fall? Like a D300 or a new D3Xs or its equal?
  4. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    I don't think anyone has mentioned that the D80, uses SD cards, whereas the D200 uses CF cards.

    Maybe that won't make a difference in your decision, but I thought you should be made aware of it.
  5. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings. I've owned both the D80 and the D200, I upgraded to the D200 for the frames/sec and the light meter. I found that with the D80 that for shots with largish dynamic range it tended to meter for shadows more and blow highlights. I found I was adjusting down about 2/3 fstops most of the time and varying the adjustment over a range of about a full fstop during most of my shoots. Constantly monitoring highlights and histogram. I've found with the D200 some fussing required but greatly reduced from the using the D80.

    I love the frames per second and the increased buffer size... I now rarely fill the buffer shooting raw. I don't shoot jpeg. For tripod use the true MUP for the D200 is better than the delayed release of the D80, but the D200 only has an electronic cable release (and expensive, too) rather than cableless remote.

    I think there are some differences in flash sync that might be of some importance to you (given your avatar has a flash attached). I don't do flash but know there are differences between the D50, D80 and D200.

    I am happy with my choice to go from the D80 to D200, but as always... your mileage may vary.



    Oh, by the way, I really like the sound of the D200 over the D80 click, click, click... :wink:
  6. I don’t like to offer advice, but having said that the D80 and D50 are both very capable cameras and that they are merely tools of the photographer, I might toss in a couple of points. I chose the D200 as a second body (as I don’t use the D70 much) because of a couple of things, and if it were not for these then I would be happy with a D80 as a second camera.

    -RAW buffer. This is mainly a concern for sports and wildlife. If you are going to shoot RAW and continuous, than the D200 is the way to go. The D80 buffer will fill and the frame rate will drop quickly after a couple of seconds if you are shooting RAW. With the D200, the extra fps is nice, but the buffer is a huge advantage (D80 RAW buffer is 6 frames – D200 is 22). This is great for sports and wildlife, but for wedding photography probably a null point.

    -On body controls. I used a D70 for a year (still have it…great camera). When I upgraded to the D2H the number one thing I liked…besides the speed and all the tech stuff…was the controls that are available on the camera vs. going into the menu. I change focus mode and metering mode quite a bit, and focus area mode from time to time. Having these options at your finger tips is great. I even like the placement of the metering mode better on the D200 than the D2H/D2X (it is on the back of the body around the AE-L/AF-L button where on the D2H/D2X is on the top side of the viewfinder where I find myself having to look for it).

    Either way, good luck and have fun!
  7. OnlyJess243

    OnlyJess243 Guest

    ive had both. i used the d80 for 3 months and decided that i wanted somthing better. there was nothing wrong with the d80 but the d200 had the features that the d80 couldnt do for me. i went back to the store and got the d200. im soooo much happier with the d200 but i have to say its a bit more complicated then the d80. took me about 2 weeks to get all the features down. i would definately say that if you have the money get the d200 but if you dont the d80 will serve you just fine. they're both great cameras. i could never let go of my nikon.. :) 
  8. stefan_elf


    Jul 18, 2007
    The D200 has got some awesome features that give you full control over your photography. It's a matter of reliability, sturdiness and customisation mostly.
    With regard to JPGs, the D50 will almost always produce smoother, nearly noise-free pictures, whereas the D200/D80 both will give you more noise (using the same ISO setting as on D50). If you want to use manual lenses - most often sold cheaply on eBay and often providing superior image quality to consumer-grade AF lenses - the D200 is your best choice.
    The D80 has kindof been left in the middle between D200 and the new D40x - they all use the same sensor, but have differing target groups. However, the D80 doesn't have any superior strenghts that makes it stand out from the rest IMHO.
    Anyway, perhaps I'm simply biased because I'm in love with my D200...
  9. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm a great fan of the D80 and prefer it over the D200 for my personal use. However, if I were a professional wedding photographer and was going to have two cameras working on a regular basis, I would opt for the D200 because of its superior build.
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