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Coming from a D50 to a D80/D200...

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by baseballer, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. baseballer

    baseballer Guest

    I shoot with a D50, I love it, but I want more. I have held the D80 & the D200, I like the way they feel in my hands a little better. I want something a little better on the focusing department, along with better colors, if possible.

    I shoot automotive & landscape mostly, with some portrait & macro thrown in there. I have easy access to printing, so the bigger size will help a little.

    Has anyone been in my situation before? Which did you choose?

    I like that the D80 is SD cards, but that's not going to make or break my choice.
    I can get an 8gb CF card and be set with the D200.

    Is the D200 worth it?
  2. hkgharry


    Apr 1, 2007
    Hong Kong
    Of course the best person to judge the value of the D80 or D200 for you is you, but I'll share my experience...

    I used a D50 for a year and a half and loved it, but early on realized I really wanted mirror-up. The D80 unfortunately didn't have it so that set me onto the D200 (or a used "pro" series). I recently decided to go with the D200. The mirror-up is great, as is the non-CPU lens thing (didn't think I'd use it but do use it now that I have it). Aside from those, the D200 is a bit better in many ways. For example, bigger LCD with one button zooming, larger viewfinder which allows me to actually manual focus, more buttons on the outside, recent settings menu, ISO value shown in the viewfinder, even for Auto ISO (that alone my be worth the cost for some people), AF-ON button with release priority option and so on. To me it also just feels better too. :smile:

    The only concerns I had were that the larger files would slow post-processing unacceptably (I use compressed raw normally and Capture NX) and that the noise might be higher than the D50. To get the mirror-up I went for it anyway.

    The processing is slower, but not enough to bother me, and the noise at first look at 100% ISO 1600 or 3200 (Hi-1) was a bit scary, but I find that the files take processing well, better to me than the D50, but I've no scientific testing or evidence to back that up. Suffice it to say these turned out to be non-issues for me.

    I don't know if besides more cropping leeway the 10 mp make for a better picture, but sometimes it seems so to me. It also seems that the metering is more to my taste than the D50 (less blown highlights?) but I haven't really tested that side-by-side yet and if it is better, it's not by a whole lot in my opinion.

    Overall I'm glad I got the D200 and wish now I had done so earlier. I still love my D50 though and am keeping it.

    I read a blog somewhere about how dreaming about the new camera is sometimes better than what you feel after you actually get and start using it. Often true perhaps, but in my case going from the D50 to the D200 I must say the pleasure continues.
  3. kwork


    Jun 8, 2006
    I'm in the same boat. Might be adding another body in the fall
  4. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Same here...I have been leaning towards the D200 for a while...kinda holding out for the next rendition of that body though.
  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
  6. Both are fine cameras. I posted in Edwardneal's thread a few reasons, and there are a lot of pros and cons in that thread. He is coming from a D70.

    I had forgoten about the AF/ON button. Once you get used to this, you will never go back to one without it. Hands down. D200, better build, titanium case. D200, focus area selection has more options. D200 5fps, D80 3fps. I'm sure you have read the reviews and comparisons. You get what you pay for here.

    I had a D50, checked out the D80 in the camera store, and went with the D200.

    Different shooting styles, and pocket book will determine which way you go.

  7. I had the D50 for short while and loved it. Moved to D200 with some decent glass and an having a ball so far. The feel of the D200 is what will sway you. My pal bought the D80 and while its a good camera its only marginally ahead of D50.

    Enjoy whatever you end up buying.
  8. I'd just recommend that you keep the D50. It is a good 'complement' to the D200.

  9. randyr5


    Jan 14, 2006
    I kind of disagree that the D80 is only marginally better than the D50:

    2 command dials
    better AF and metering system
    flash commander mode
    DOF preview button
    programmable FUNC button
    larger LCD
    better viewfinder
    more custom functions
    ISO 100
    ISO 3200
    MB-D80 Grip
    10 MP

    and I'm probably missing a few things
  10. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    FYI, you can program the FUNC button of the D80 to display the ISO value in the viewfinder. I do, and yes having that in the viewfinder is extremely useful to me. I end up shooting my 35/2 in manual mode a lot, so it's essential to know what the light is doing before you take your shot. I've found that noise starts to get excessive around iso 1000-1250, which is when I start opening the lens up wider than f/2.8 or lowering the shutter speed, depending on what I can get away with.

    I considered the D200. A lot of the things I would have liked like the external AF zone switch and some other things (programmed time lapse picture taking, auto optimize JPG size, etc) but I figured I'd start with the D80, and also liked its smaller size, weight, and much better battery life. I put the savings into some additional lenses instead to get me started. :smile:
  11. hkgharry


    Apr 1, 2007
    Hong Kong
    Hello SP77,

    Thanks for sharing this, it's good to know.
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