Nikon D200 SLR Review

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Nikon D200 Professional





Body Construction

Nikon Professional D200

The D200 is designed with long term durability, ruggedness and precision in mind. Built on a magnesium alloy chassis and body cover, the D200 combines light weight with high-level durability and protects performance integrity. It also features an enhanced environmental sealing system that helps protect exterior seams from potentially damaging moisture and dust.




Image Sensor

Nikon Professional D200

The 10.2 effective megapixel DX format CCD image sensor incorporates a high-speed 4-channel data output and a new Optical Low Pass Filter that significantly reduces any incidence of moir´┐Ż as well as color fringing and shifting. Furthermore, 4-channel output allows the D200 to inherit the advanced image-processing engine of the Nikon D2x professional digital SLR that combines color-independent preconditioning prior to A/D conversion with advanced digital image processing algorithms to deliver fine color gradations with smooth, consistent transitions.

Photographers can take advantage of the D200's advanced image optimizing functionality that allows them to fine tune image characteristics such as sharpness, tone, color, saturation, and hue. Photographers can also select from preset options like Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait and Black-and-White.

The D200 is faster than any other camera in its class, making its handling exceptionally responsive. The D200 can shoot continuously at up to five frames per second, capturing up to an impressive 37 JPEG images or up to 22 NEF (RAW) images, making it ideal for action, wedding and event photography. Featuring an industry leading power-up time of 0.15 seconds, the D200 is ready to shoot when the photographer is ready. Its reduced shutter release time lag of 50 milliseconds is nearly undetectable and when shooting in its continuous burst mode of five frames per second, its shortened viewfinder blackout time (between each successive shot) of just 105 milliseconds proves especially useful in keeping an eye on a moving subject.


Buffer Write Times (1GB SanDisk Ultra II)
Nikon Professional D200





Image Processor

Nikon's new generation system LSI greatly improves the precision of processing during the analog/digital conversion. After digital conversion, a new processing method has been added to increase image-processing precision in the ASIC for smoother display of tones from highlight portions to shadow portions of the image. With optimized distribution of analog and digital white balance gain, the new engine produces smoother gradations with consistent and smooth transitions, all with exceptionally pure color rendition.

Two new Adobe RGB color modes further expand professional color space options with the new engine achieves beautiful reproductions of skin tones. Support for sYCC color space produces JPEG files with a gamut wider than sRGB to fully exploit the output capabilities of the latest color printers.

An improved metering system in the D200, called 3D-Color Matrix Metering II, allows Nikon's acclaimed 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor to better determine the position and size of shadow or highlight areas and achieve optimum exposure for each shot.



Shutter and Mirror

Nikon Professional D200

The D200's double-bladed shutter unit is tested to well over 100,000 cycles, ensuring highly reliable performance year after year. The shutter unit also employs a refined mirror balance mechanism that allows the mirror to complete its motion cycle and reach a complete stop with virtually no image degrading mirror bounce.

The shutter release time lag of 50 milliseconds is nearly undetectable and when shooting in its continuous burst mode of five frames per second, its shortened viewfinder blackout time (between each successive shot) of just 105 milliseconds proves especially useful in keeping an eye on a moving subject.





Focus System

Nikon Professional D200

One of the most notable new features of the D200 is its all new 11-area AF system, convertible to a 7-wide area AF system, both based on Nikon's advanced Multi-Cam 1000 AF Sensor Module. Not only does this AF system support the photographer with fast and precise auto focus under a variety of shooting conditions, but it also offers a pleasing array of functions for greater flexibility - allowing an individual area to be selected from either the 11-area AF or 7-wide area AF sensors for Single AF or making use of multiple sensors to enable Dynamic AF, Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF and Group Dynamic AF.

The AF system provides for a selection of different operating modes, each designed to ensure maximum speed and accuracy that action photographers require.

    Single Area AF lets you choose any of the eleven AF spot sensors, the selected area is displayed on the top LCD and is confirmed in red in the viewfinder.

    Dynamic AF with Focus Tracking and Lock-on sounds like something from Star Wars but it means that the AF system will follow a subject as it moves from a priority focus area to any of the other AF areas. Focus Tracking follows a moving subject and Lock-on continues to track the main subject even if the subject is blocked or moves off an AF sensor.

    Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF will automatically identify one or more focus areas as needed to capture the subject closest to the camera.

    Group Dynamic AF lets you narrow the AF range to a group of three or five active sensors and have the AF system focus on the closest item in the group.

Taking this remarkable autofocus system one step further is its capability for 'extreme focus detection.' A typical camera can detect focus in a scene up to a certain 'defocus' limit, beyond which the camera enters a scanning mode. During this mode, the camera's autofocus system scans through the entire focusing range of the lens before detecting a focus point. This process can waste precious time, especially when photographing high-speed action. The D200's autofocus system can detect focus in scenes with about twice the defocus limit of other cameras, ensuring more accurate and consistent operation.

AF-Assist Illuminator

The built-in AF assist illuminator enables the camera to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. The camera must be in Single-servo AF with the center focus area or focus area group selected or closest subject prioirty in effect and you must be using an AF-Nikkor lens with a focal length of 24 to 200mm without a lens hood. With most lenses the range of the AF assist illuminator is approx. 0.5 to 3 m (1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.) See the user manual for specific lenses and working ranges.




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