A perspective on the D200

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Commodorefirst, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Just some initial notes after a full day shooting with the camera. These reflect me and my shooting methods, and your impressions and notes will probably be different.

    1. Battery life - Mine is not bad at all, I got over 400 jpg shots, large, fine with still 43% left in the battery. Camera was left on all day and just picked up to shoot the images as needed. Used in the warm car, and also in the cold outside air 20 degrees F. About 50-50 each way. I had the LCD turned off, and I only reviewed after each burst of shooting for clipped highlights or other problems. I have the display set to turn off after 10 seconds after I use it

    With focus set on single, dynamic, matrix metering, gave me much faster focus than my d70 under all conditions except flight. I didn't have any flying birds to really judge things on this first day, so no comment on this matter. The camera has a much better matrix metering for blown highlights on birds than my D70. I was able to get better whites on the swans and birds than I usually do with my d70. Granted, I still had some blown whites in matrix mode, but I found it better than the D70. With my usual shooting style for metering, center or spot, things were very very nice for metering.

    WB was set to auto, and the color and appearance seemed to match my current setting on my d70 of Auto WB -2. Everything in the camera was set to normal. In the next few days I will be switching over to compressed nef for all of my shooting. The 5fps even in nef is what I have been waiting for. I had been shooting jpg on the d70 for birding, and Raw on everything else, but now I can be a nearly 90% raw shooter due to the camera speed.

    Results: Well, here is where I had many many problems. Due to my operation of the camera, I had a very large number of blurred images. They weren't the obvious blurred images, but instead the just not sharp type of blur. Even with VR on the 200-400 lens, I found that I couldn't get the sharp photos at shutter speeds less than 1/200 down to 1/80 when using the camera handheld or on a monopod like I could with my D70. Big big difference for me.

    If I used a tripod or had the ISO bumped to 400 or so and got the shutter speed up over 1/500 of a second, then the images became much sharper. My percentages of keepers though, even at the higher speeds, was still lower than with my d70.

    I feel that I am experiencing what others have stated about the pixel density issues and that camera movement or shake would possibly be emphasized with the higher MP cameras. In other words less forgiving to operator error.

    Even with the 1.7 tele off and just shooting as a normal 200-400 lens and with shutter speeds over a thousand, my keeper percentage was still lower than the D70.

    On the good shots, the level of detail is much greater than the d70, cropping still having a large image is fantastic, and I am very very satisfied with the camera and layout of the controls. I feel that with a bit of time under my belt the results and percentages will go back to my D70 levels. I just need a bit of practice.

    Indoors that evening, with my 85mm 1.4 and 35mm lenses, I didn't seem to have as much blurred image problems, probably because I was very aware and concentrating on keeping my shooting technique proper. The low light focus grab was much superior to my d70, and I find ISO 800 superior to the D70 ISO 800. The auto WB on the D200 indoors is also superior to the D70 auto WB, even though I always shoot raw indoors and on landscapes.

    Please understand that these are only my results and views, and your results can and will vary. This is not designed as any kind of review, just my first day impressions and my own personal experiences with the camera. Day one of a new user learning curve. (by the way, I do plan on checking for backfocus issues with my lens and camera combo, just to make sure i am the guilty party)

    Cheers,
    Respectfully submitted,

    Wade
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2005
  2. Wade, very much the same as I have seen this weekend, the only difference has been with my Auto WB. Currently set to 0 and I have found that this is producing images which are on the "cool" side.

    I also noticed that I had a higher keeper rate Sunday than on Saturday, attributable to a few things I think, mainly me :wink:

    Are you running AWB - 0 at this time with good results? I have been thinking about tweaking it to the plus side to see if it makes a difference. Given that I shoot NEF it is not a huge deal for me.
     
  3. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Bill,

    First day was at Auto WB 0, and I found it matched my D70 set at Auto WB -2, I am also shooting in aRGB too FYI.

    Time to head to the river to try again, back later,

    Wade
     
  4. Good luck, our weather here really sucks this week, so no chance to get out and try some more.

    I really like what I see at ISO 1600 as well from this camera.
     
  5. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I guess I'm missing something, but why should the ISO difference affect the impact that using a TC has on maximum aperture :confused:
     
  6. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    John,

    gosh, you are right, my supidity, was in a hurry, and just thought wrong, Yes I know that the f stop is just the ratio of the hole that the light goes through. Duh.... or another way of putting it the f stop is a ratio of the focal length to diameter.

    why I wrote the above, god only knows, ??

    But help me with this why on my D70 my fastest aperture is 7.1 with the 200-400VR and 1.7, on the D200 it is 6.7? Thoughts?

    Wade
     
  7. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Check how you have set up the camera. f/6.7 is on the 1/2 stop scale, f/7.1 is on the 1/3 scale.
     
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Hmmm, still a mystery, both set up at 1/3
     
  9. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    You can't get f/6.7 reported on a 1/3 scale because the number isn't there!

    The 1/3 stops between f/5.6 and f/8 are as follows, f/5.6, f/6.3, f/7.1, f/8.

    The 1/2 stop series is: f/5.6, f/6.7 (sometimes reported as f/6.8 which is more accurate), f/8.
     
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