First impressions of the d200

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Uncle Frank, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. It's a kick being in the first wave of d200 owners, but it leaves me having to learn the camera by myself... kind of like paying to be a beta tester.

    I've taken a few hundred shots in the past 24 hours, and here's what I've figured out so far. The d200 is a very demanding and unforgiving camera. Due to its greater resolution, it requires I pay much more attention to technique than I've had to do with my d70, and my yield of keepers has plummeted. As an example, I had no problem handholding the 85/1.4 on the d70, but I'll definitely need a monopod or tripod to get the same results with the d200. The increased demand for technique probably means the d200, like the d2x, would be a bad choice for the new or casual shooter.

    The good news is that the ergonomics of the d200 are spectacular. Everything is just where it should be, and the camera feels wonderful in my hands. Those familiar with the d70 will be able to hit the ground running without ever opening the manual... mostly. I hate to admit it, but I had to look in the manual to figure out how to open the cf card bay <blush>.

    If you'd like to track my progress, here's a link to my gallery of d200 test shots.
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. Frank,

    Not trying to argumentative or "difficult" or anything negative, but what exactly do you find more demanding about the D200 as compared to the D70? I looked at your test shots and they're all static shots. What about shooting portraits demands a better technique? I mean, basically you point the camera at the subject, hold it steady, focus, and push the button.

    I'm just really curious to know where all this "more demanding of my technique" talk comes from. What exactly does this mean?

    Hey, I'm hardly an expert at taking pictures but I went from a D100 to a D2x and never missed a beat, and find the talk about how more resolution means a person has to re-learn how to take a picture confusing.

    I'm just really confused, so please don't think I'm on you. I just want to know what I'm misunderstanding.

  4. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    It should also be demanding on glass just like the D2x. Those using consumer lenses may not get the most from thier new camera purchase. I expect demand for primes to rise.:smile:

    Just my opinion.
  5. I'm anything but a lens/camera reviewer. This is a d200 blog, and I'm basing my comments on my personal observations as I go. There are only three variables... the camera, the lens, and the photographer. Two of those haven't changed, so my conclusion is that coaxing a good picture out of the d200 is more difficult than with the d70. What else could it be?

    Here's a theory propounded by skip tesch over at dpr:

    DMillier wrote:
    Skip Tesch responded:
  6. I think there is some sort of adaptation that takes place. I saw this going from the D70 and 20D to the D2X. Didn't see the same thing using the 5D after that.

    Thing is, now I get what I expect from the D2X, and I can't say I do anything different so far as camera support goes. Maybe shutter speed?

    Or maybe we just shoot differently with a new camera. More often? Without as much instinct as to the settings? Something like that.
  7. PS, I sure like the rendering in your images. The more examples I see, the more I keep thinking the D200 has some great stuff going on. Nice colors.
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Frank, Paul, and others,

    An excellent point and one I would probably tend to agree with, my cam is scheduled to arrive next tuesday. First lens on it will be my 85! And I will be shooting lots of low light images at high ISO to check things out. Then the next thing on it will be the big gun out on the river for some birding.

    I also have found that going from a lens with VR to a non VR lens, the same problems with blurred images cropped up until I demanded better technique from myself. Operator error in this case.


  9. I'm familiar with the theory that pixels being closer together results in a medium that's more sensitive to movement. My problem is, I don't buy it.

    If that were so then ASA 25 film would have been inherently more prone to blur than ASA 1000 film because of it's higher resolution. That may have been true in theory but it's my assertion that the difference is insignificant. If the camera is held still enough to take a sharp picture with 1000, it can take a sharp picture at the same shutter speed with 25 film.

    In 25 years of shooting film, I've never once heard the theory that the finer the resolution of film grain, the more inherently likely it was not too be sharp. If anything, the opposite was true.

    It's quite possible I'm overlooking something that will throw my logic out the window, so if there is I'd like to hear it.

  10. I'm hoping Bjorn will drop in and comment, Woody. In his review of the d2x, he made the following comments:

    I'd image the reasons the d2x requires good glass and good technique would apply to the d200 as well.
  11. Frank,

    More than anything else, you're right. This isn't the right place to discuss this. It needs to go in the Technical Discussion forum. Here's it's just raining on everyone's parade.

    Peace out...

  12. Wouldn't the logic that applies to focal length also apply to megapixels?

    I don't think of it as pixel size at all, I think of it as the number of pixels across the image. Camera movement is amplified as magnification is. For example, I see the same sorts of shutter speed limits with the 5D as I do with the D2X.

  13. I concur with those who say that doesn't' make sense that more megapixels requires better technique. BUT, I believe something must be going on here and I appreciate the heads-up so that when my D200 arrives I will know to check for this phenomenon. I encourage everyone to post assessments, whether it makes sense to all of us or not.
  14. The problem is viewing at 100%. When printed, all the pixel become smaller and right to their place. So in fact, if the same technique is used, the D200 and D2X will be same or sharper then D70 or D100.

    Viewing at 100% is never a good idea of one doesn't understand to what print size that 100% view relates to.
  15. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    BINGO. Do the math for your monitor size, and you'll probably find that viewing on-screen 100% is the equivalent to viewing a print 3+ feet wide. Of course if you blow it up that much more you're going to see more flaws. That doesn't mean you won't get great prints though, or that you somehow get worse results than you would with a 6MP camera. Think about it, if this were a pixel-density issue, what would that mean for all the point-n-shoot digicams, that have even smaller photosites than the D2x let alone the D200?

    So Frank don't get discouraged and think that if a shot doesn't look great at 100% that it's a throwaway. Even the less-than-perfect shots will make great prints at standard sizes. Of course, on those occasions when you do everything right and the image really does look good at 100%, that's a great feeling. And as you use the camera more you'll get more of those results.
  16. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  17. Best description of it I have heard, though density IS MP. I don't think sensor size matters.

    Take the 7 MP Fuji F10 I carry in my pocket. It has pixels half the size of the D2X, or a third that of the D70, on a sensor smaller than the nail on my pinky finger. But it takes perfectly good 7 MP images at 1/40 or slower if I try.
  18. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Hope everyone getting a D200 reads Ron's opinion

    because that very thing that's caused so much initial frustration amongst new D2X owners, is going to be rearing it's ugly head once again with the release of the D200. Thanks for posting that snippet from Ron, a very wise and savvy geek!
  19. Johan


    Jun 18, 2005

    First of all, thanks for sharing your experiences and insides on your new shooter Frank! Congrats with your new camera ... good luck with it !!!

    Further on, I have been reading these posts with great interest and there is one thing that I want to say here.
    I bought my D70 one year ago and I have been really really happy with it, although that I have already had the opportunity/luck to shoot with a D2X. I'm going to be honest here and must say that I didn't want to shoot too long with it because the virus was already on me the moment I held it in my hands :cool:  It won't serve me well shooting a few hours with such a camera and definitely not my bank account:wink:
    It is just an entire other league I guess. The D200 and D2X are far more professional than the D70. The viewfinder on those cams is just fabulous but that is probably one of the features and differences when it comes to a camera out of the pro-range compared to an amateur one. For that reason alone I would like to buy a pro camera.
    I share the opinion that you don't directly shoot better images with a D2X, D200 compared to a D70 ... PLEASE DON'T KNOCK ME OUT (yet) !!! Let me explain. I think that there is a huge difference between buying a professional camera (D2X, D200 vs D70) and ending up with better pictures. Like I have said before, the much better viewfinder might put you in the position to shoot other and maybe better images than with the D70. The software, built-quality, ergonomics, etc ... are better than those of the D70. But the files coming out of the D70 are very good. You get professional results from a D70 as well. So, I think that when you want the shoot better images with a D2X, D200 you will have to know a lot about the settings, a lot of the camera's possibilities to end up with better pictures. In other words you need experience, experience that I don't have.
    Now you can say that I have to keep my mouth shut because I don't know what I'm talking about. Well, I look at it from this point of view. I had to pay 1000€ for the D70 when a D2X will (would have) set me back 5000€. If you are or get more experienced you look at these things from another angle. I may already say that I won't buy an amateur camera again, but I will never forget my D70 ... never! I even hope my D70 keeps on going on for 2 or 3 years.
    The funny thing is that there are many people who have a D2X and a D70, knowing they love both of them. :Love:
    You need your brain to set your camera and your heart to shoot your pictures.

    I hope you get my point here and I hope I haven't sold any nonsense:biggrin: :redface:

    This might be a good reason to become a priest:biggrin:

    Kind Regards

    btw: Frank, I think that the D200 is stunning camera !!!


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2005
  20. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    I expect to have rocks thrown at me for this..... I'm sticking with my D70 for a while based on what has been said.

    I like the idea of the D200 and "had lust in my heart". I really enjoy taking photos, and do well with the D70. As Frank has demonstrated, the D200 (and the D2X too) requires extra skill and attention - even if I were physically up to that, which I'm not, at least for a few more months, I'm pretty sure I don't want to have to put that much effort into taking a photo.

    I know I don't need the extra features of a better camera, even though I would like them. The money is not an issue for me at all. And, since I just paid cash for my wife's new Prius (Option Package 8, with Leather seats - $34,000 with Tax, Tag and fees) for her Christmas present, she wouldn't say boo if I got any camera I wanted. So, for now I'll pass on the D200 and just get the new 18-200VRII to (maybe) replace my 24-120VR and 70-200VR. If my D70 dies, that would be a good reason to get the D200.

    Thanks Uncle Frank. You are one of the better photographers I've known, and I accept and respect your judgement. The D200 will work out well for you, as would a D2X or any other camera.
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