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D200 or D300

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by mood, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    for anyone that has upgraded........

    so now that the D200 is $1000, the D300 is $1600
    and you are purchasing again, which would you buy ?

    shooting mostly static subjects, landscapes, street scenes
    will be keeping my D50 as back up , also will be for low light if D200 gets the nod
  2. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
  3. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    true , the D90 might be around soon also
    but I think this time I want the "beefier" feeling of an alloy body

    I don't like the base 200 ISO on the D300, and certainly won't be using 51 pt AF
    but I do love the high ISO performance..........
  4. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    heck i paid a grand for my d200 last winter (just 123 clicks on it and some extras thrown in) ....i say d200. personally i think it smokes the 300 for skin..fact, i just like the colors from it overall, PERIOD!

    ata grand for a new i think it's a steal of a deal .....;-))
    ...btw, still have my d50 for low light stuff and use my wife's d40 with sig 30 attached ..;-)
  5. That is a very tough call. You can purchase two SB-800 flash units (or SB-800 and SU-800) for that extra $600. It really depends on whether you need the features where the D300 excels above the D200. Low light wins the D300. High ISO wins the D300. About 20% more data wins the D300 (12MP vs 10MP). If none of those matter to you, get a D200 and buy lenses or lighting with the $600 you saved. You could also sell the D50 and buy two D200's for a little more than the cost of the D300. I upgraded from a D200 to a D300 because I do concert photography, which requires high ISO. I also like to shoot urban landscapes when light is low (dusk and dawn), which requires longer exposures. The lower noise of the D300 is an improvement over the D200.
  6. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    Nute and Walter, I agree both with you

    however I don't do much skin, and I'd love to shoot at 1600 ISO without a care
    something the D200 or my D80 are not very good at

    tough call for sure

    it just seems silly to buy 3year old technology in the D200

    kinda like buying a Pentium II computer
  7. Look for used D300 bodies. They are starting to show up since the D700 is shipping just around the corner.
  8. Based on what you said you shoot, D300 wins IMO.
  9. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    the more I read and think about it , the D300 makes sense
    sorry I missed jfentons used one on the FS forum...

    thanks guys
  10. TonyBeach

    TonyBeach Guest

  11. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    I'm with Nute. I worried about buying old technology too, but I couldn't escape the fact that I found d200 pictures more pleasing (by far). But I do shoot skin/people and I don't shoot high ISO at all. So i can see its a harder decision for you. There's a lot more great features of the 300 besides high ISO, I just wish it had come with a high rez CCD sensor instead. But maybe they couldn't get the high ISO then, I dunno.
  12. eeek, I was just going through this "argument" last night, in my head.

    They have a demo D200 on Adorama for $899. I want high ISO capabilities, though, but that's pretty solvable if I just get a sb800 or sb600, which I want to do anyway.

    How is the D300 not good with skin? What causes it not to be good with it?
    I'll be taking landscape/cityscape photos as well, but I'll also be taking people photos with it.

    IF the D700 causes the D300 to go down in price...ACK!
    What to do????!!!
  13. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC

    I shouldn't have read this. Every time I think I have decided, I have second thoughts. Maybe it is fear of regret - will I be sorry I didn't buy the D300; will I be sorry I didn't buy the D90?

    Although I am prepared to accept that the D200 is not a match for the D300 in many ways, it certainly offers a lot for me. I currently have a D40. While many features of the D300 are very appealing, the ISO feature is the most appealing. At one point, I thought the color was better, though I am no longer so sure.

    $1,000 is easier for me to swallow than $1,600. And the difference is one or two nice lenses.

    Oddly, I am troubled by a minor point - the low battery life of the D200.

    I do think the D200 will still be available and no higher than $999 in August, when I would expect (hope for?) an announcement of the D90. Of course, with cameras, like computers, you can wait forever for the next best, the latest and greatest, the inevitable lowering of prices . . . and you end up missing life.

    What to do?
  14. I had a D50 for 2 1/2 years and just got a D200 (ebay) for $740. My original plan was to save for a D300. But after some serious thought......I decided to see if I am up to the task on a D200. I may decide its too much camera for me....and better to do that for $740 instead of $1600. But so far I really like this D200. My first thought was.....what a monster. Its huge!! But my hands have adapted over the last several days and it feels pretty good.....so solid and fast (focusing, shutter, etc) and quiet!!

    BTW....I used two programs to determine the picture count on the D200 and my first picture was # 450 and there is not a scratch on it (except the LCD cover). Ebay bidding can get really weird. This camera only had 6 total bids....by 3 bidders. The guys "presentation" was nothing fancy....so it went under the radar of alot of bidders. So far so good.....as everything seems to be working great!

    Good luck!!
  15. TonyBeach

    TonyBeach Guest

    Good questions. There are a few people who bash the D300 and none of them own one -- although I know of one guy at the Cafe who likes the skin tones from his D2x better than his D300 (using identical Picture Control modes). I saw identical threads about people having trouble with skin tones on the D200 when it first came out. The D3 has nearly identical colors, but no one I am aware of has called its skin tones into question -- and that leads me to believe the reason is a lot of serious pros use the D3 but many less experienced photographers are using the D300 and their less than optimal choices in setting up the shots they take are making a difference in how the camera is perceived.

    After corresponding with Thom Hogan this morning on this topic, I am increasingly dismissive of these "bad skin tones" posts; and it's doubly ironic since many of the skin tone complainers are planning on buying D700 cameras which will produce the same colors as the D3, and Thom Hogan sees no appreciable difference between the D3 and the D300.
  16. Triggaaar


    Jun 15, 2008
    Interesting points Tony, thanks
  17. I dunno Frank

    The D300 has an amazing lcd screen, more focus points, better noise @ ISOs above 1200, and you can go on and on. It's more of a machine than the D200, but you have to determine whether you need those things or not. IQ wise I prefer the D200s output, but this is subjective and i know some people get mad when i say this (please don't be upset, it's just my opinion), but i just have always admired (lusted :tongue:)  the D200s output and metering and thus it was always the camera I desired (it's kinda like lusting after a classic car instead of a new one i guess)...i am not really your gotta have the latest greatest thing type of person mind you, so i am a minority here in many respects.

    You have to look how I shoot:

    -I am a daylight shooter; love the outdoors, so ISO is good enough on the D200. I tend to shoot @ ISOs 600 and below.

    -I don't shoot sports and I don't shoot wildlife - so I don't need 51 focusing points - hech I only use 3 on the D200 :wink:

    -I don't really use the LCD as much as I did on the D50 as the D200 is a pretty reliable machine, it nails focus and metering well and has buttons to access just about everything via the body and the most pertinent information can be found on the top lcd.

    -i wouldn't mind having live view, it's cool, but than again i don't know how much I would really use it.

    -the battery life of the D200 is a bit better than I expected, it's gets trashed quite a bit, but i can do a full days worth of shooting with one battery, then again i am a 'picky' shooter, so i don't shoot thousands of pics like some people here (more like 300-800 on a weekend)

    - fps 5 is more than enough for me. i don't do sports or birds in flight, i stay in single shot mode most of the time unless i need to work with changing subjects.

    i purchased the D200 for a couple of reasons:

    1) I wanted a better meter, the D200 has that.
    2) I wanted better image quality. The D200 produces better pics than my D50 (which I still love) - more dynamic range, better tonal an color graduations, better color output and better detail (cleaner IMHO).
    3) I wanted a better built camera with a noted shutter life.
    4) I wanted more accessibility via buttons on the camera body itself.
    5) I wanted to meter Nikon's manual lenses

    My only gripes thus far:

    1) The viewfinder is big (compared to my D50), but still not big enough for manual focusing (need that D3 screen I guess :wink:) 
    2) The camera is too heavy for my wife to hold when I need her assistance :tongue:

    My needs are quite simple and the D200 met them, as you can see i worked things out methodically, spending quite a bit of time thinking and researching for I made a decision. I think for you, the D300 might be a better choice as low light is key.
  18. Mike PDX

    Mike PDX

    Mar 13, 2008
    Portland, OR, US
    I owned a D200 for almost a year before upgrading to the D300. I was very happy with both bodies but the D300 wins out for many of the reasons already mentioned, the lower noise at high ISO, battery life, etc. I also like the additional manual controls. More camera settings can be changed without navigating through the menu. If the purchase of the D300 means that you will not get a flash... I do LOVE my SB800! I hope this helps!
  19. TonyBeach

    TonyBeach Guest

    The D300 has less noise at ISO 200 and even at ISO Lo than the D200 has at those ISOs. The differences are marginal and not generally noticeable at lower ISOs, but I see clear differences at ISO 400. At all ISOs the D300 has more acuity and DR than the D200.

    For the right price, the D200 is a great choice. I would consider $750-$800 for a low mileage body a good deal.
  20. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    It's just impossible for you to believe someone could have a different opinion than you, and not be a complete idiot huh? Would you buy an $1800 camera that you didn't like the pics from it you saw, and then take it home and spend time tweaking it, with full confidence you could make it perfect? I really think not. If you like the D300 skintones, why not just say you like 'em, without having to imply everyone who disagrees with you is uninformed?

    I agree. Anyone who doesn't like the 300 skin tones shouldn't like the D3 or D700 any better. I don't care for the D3/300 and I won't like the 700 either.

    See...it's easy for me to be stubborn on this because the D200 produces pictures that are, to me, perfect. If the D300 could do 'perfect' and also do it at higher ISO's I would have been sold. And the D200 is a boring cam feature-wise. But frankly, to my eyes, there is a huge difference in the output between the 2 cams, so big I'm surprised more people don't feel like I do. But I believe what I see, not what I read.
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