Nikon D200 SLR Review

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Nikon D200 Professional


Review posted 3/28/2006

Click to take a QuickTime tour of the Nikon D200 SLR
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the D200


The Nikon D200 is a high performance digital SLR camera designed to satisfy the requirements of demanding photographers. It combines brand new technologies with advanced features inherited from the D2X professional digital SLR camera. The D200 employs a newly developed 10.2-megapixel DX Format CCD image sensor, a sophisticated 1005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II system and an advanced Nikon image processing engine to render images with superb clarity and smooth color gradations. With an all new 11-area Autofocus system, robust control of Nikon's i-TTL Creative Lighting System and advanced Wi-Fi image transmission options it's a natural choice for wedding, event and action photographers.

Strong and Powerful: The camera's mechanisms are housed in a rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy chassis and body with additional sealing for dust and moisture. The D200 powers-up in a mere 0.15 seconds and allows you to capture any shot with a very brief 50 millisecond shutter release lag time. High-speed continuous shooting captures five frames per second (up to 37 JPEG or 22 NEF images) with a viewfinder blackout time of just 105 milliseconds between shots. Its large, bright viewfinder offers 0.94x magnification for comfortable and precise composition and the new 2.5 inch LCD screen provides ultra-wide 170 degrees viewing angle from all directions.

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.

Running out of power on the D200 is harder than ever, since in addition to its remarkable capacity of up to 1800 shots per charge, the D200 also features an intelligent power management Fuel Gauge feature that constantly monitors the battery's precise remaining power in 1% increments. It also displays the total number of shots taken on each charge as well as overall life of the battery, so photographers can easily tell when to replace a battery.

The D200 is a wireless whiz, and features Nikon's advanced i-TTL wireless Speedlight control built right into the camera, as well as wireless image transfer over a 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network built into the optional WT-3 Wireless Transmitter (available Spring 2006). The camera's powerful built-in Speedlight, capable of coverage for lenses as wide as 18mm, features a Commander Mode that can wirelessly control up to two separate groups of an unlimited number of i-TTL speedlights such as the SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200. The Commander Mode in the D200 can adjust flash compensation settings for each of the two groups on the fly, making light output control from speedlights placed in hard to reach locations simple and effortless.


D200 Major Features:

  • 10.2-Megapixel effective DX format CCD imager
  • High performance: 0.15 sec. power up and 50ms shutter release time
  • Continuous capture @ 5fps up to 37 JPEG/22 NEF
  • Accepts Nikon F-mount lenses (with 1.5x/2x FOV multiplier)
  • Compressed RAW, JPEG and TIFF file formats
  • Program AE, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual exposure modes
  • Creative in-camera effects, Image Overlay and Multiple Exposure
  • Advanced 3D-Color Matrix Metering II prevents highlight blowouts and loss of detail in shadow areas
  • Shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 30 seconds, flash sync up to 1/250
  • 11 area AF with 7 area Wide AF with dynamic tracking, single or continuous servo modes
  • Adobe sRGB and 2 sRGB color spaces with support for sYCC color range
  • 2.5-inch color LCD with 170-degree viewing angle
  • Onscreen menu for Playback, Shooting, Custom functions and Setup
  • ISO sensitivity from 100 to 1600 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
  • Noise Reduction for long exposures, High ISO Noise Reduction for ISO 400 and above
  • i-TTL with the SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlights for Nikon's Creative Lighting System compatibility
  • CompactFlash Type I or II storage, Microdrive and FAT-32 compatible
  • Faster CF read/write speeds than any previous Nikon dSLR
  • Secure interface with memory card via Lexar LockTight CF cards
  • Selectable video output with NTSC or PAL format
  • USB 2.0 hi-speed data and control interface
  • High-capacity Li-ion battery for up to 1800 shots per charge
  • Support for the new Wireless Transmitter WT-3


The D200 is bundled with Nikon's PictureProject software, an intuitive software application that provides image transfer, image organization, simple image editing (NEF plug-in included), and print layout functions. The D200 is also compatible with Nikon Capture 4.4 software (optional), that features improved functions as well as Nikon Capture Camera Control.




Physical Views



Nikon D200 SLR

Nikon D200 SLR

Nikon D200 SLR Nikon D200 SLR

Nikon D200 SLR

Nikon D200 SLR





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Nikon D200 Specifications
Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Image Sensor RGB CCD, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; total pixels: 10.92 million
Effective pixels 10.2 million
Image size (pixels) 3,872 x 2,592 [L], 2,896 x 1,944 [M], 1,936 x 1,296 [S]
Sensitivity 100 to 1600 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV with additional settings up to 1 EV over 1600
Storage Media CompactFlash™ (CF) Card (Type I and II) and Microdrive™
Storage System Compressed NEF (RAW): 12-bit compression,
JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant
File System Exif 2,21, Compliant DCF 2.0 and DPOF
White Balance
Auto (TTL white balance with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor), six manual modes with fine-tuning, color temperature setting, preset white balance, white balance bracketing possible (2 to 9 frames in increments of 1, 2 or 3)
LCD Monitor 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback Function 1 frame: Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments); Magnifying playback; Slide show; RGB Histogram indication; Shooting Data; Highlight point display; Auto image rotation
Delete Function Card format, All frames delete, Selected frames delete
Video Output NTSC or PAL
Interface USB 2.0(Hi-speed) (mini-B connector); mass storage and PTP connectable; FTP file transfer and PTP/IP camera control/file transfer is also available with optional WT-3 (IEEE 802.11b/g); CF card slot Type II: supports firmware updates via CF cards
Text Input Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi selector; stored in Exif header
Compatible Lenses Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Picture Angle Equivalent in 35 mm [135] format is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length
Viewfinder Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1)
Eyepoint 19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and on-demand grid lines
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 95% (vertical & horizontal)
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.94x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Viewfinder Information Focus indications, Metering system, AE/FV lock indicator, Flash sync indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, ISO sensitivity, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures
Autofocus TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5m to 3.0m) Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C/68°F)
Lens Servo Instant single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); manual (M); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF
Focus Area Normal: 11 areas; single area or group can be selected; Wide: focus area can be selected from 7 areas
AF Area Mode 1) Single Area AF 2) Dynamic Area AF 3) Group Dynamic AF 4) Dynamic area AF with closest subject priority
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure Metering System Three-mode through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 3mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
Exposure Metering Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F) 1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
Exposure Meter Coupling Combined CPU and AI
Exposure Mode Programmed Auto [P] with flexible program; Shutter-Priority Auto [S]; Aperture Priority Auto [A]; Manual [M]
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Auto Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2, or 3
Shooting Modes 1) Single frame shooting mode
2) Continuous low speed (CL) shooting mode: 1-4 frames per second
3) Continuous high-speed shooting mode: 5 frames per second
4) Self-timer shooting mode
5) Mirror-up mode
Shutter Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 30 to 1/8000 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.
Flash Control 1) TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005-pixel RGB sensor Built-in Speedlight: i-TTL balanced fill-flash or standard i-TTL flash (spot metering or mode dial set to [M]) SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200: i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR
2) Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 with CPU lens
3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27, and 22s
4) Range-priority manual; available with SB-800 4) Distance-priority manual available with SB-800
Flash Sync Mode 1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync), 2) Red-Eye Reduction,
3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, 4) Slow Sync, 5) Rear-Curtain Sync
Built-in Speedlight Manual pop-up with button release Guide number (ISO 100 at m/ft and 20°C/68°F): approx. 12/39 (manual 13/42)
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2EV
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided
Sync Terminal ISO 519 standard terminal
Self-timer Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2 to 20 seconds
Depth of Field Preview When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or value selected by camera (P and S modes)
Remote Control Via 10-pin Remote Cord MC-30/36 (optional) or Wireless Remote Control WT-3 (optional)
GPS NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable (optional) and GPS Adapter Cord MC-35 (optional)
Power Source One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, MB-D200 battery pack (optional) with one or two rechargeable Nikon EN-EL3e Li-ion batteries or six AA alkaline (LR6), NiMH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or ZR6 nickel-manganese AA batteries, AC Adapter EH-6 (optional)
Tripod Socket 1/4 In. (ISO1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 147 x 113 x 74mm (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in.)
Weight Approx. 830g (1 lb 13 oz) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
Supplied Accessories* Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Video Cable, USB Cable UC-E4, Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-21, LCD monitor cover BM-6, PictureProject CD-ROM
Optional Accessories Multi-Power Battery pack MB-D200, Wireless Transmitter WT-3, Semi-soft case D200, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-21M, Remote cord MC-36/30, GPS Adapter Cord MC-35, AC Adapter EH-6, Speedlight SB-800/SB-600/SB-R200, Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.4)

(Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.)



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