Price: 1106 . 1957
Pros: Rugged, compact body with superbly versatile 11-point AF system. Large bright viewfinder and incredible range of custom options.
Cons: Basic RAW processing software, and the 1/250 flash sync is on the low side.
Sitting between the company’s D2-series and the popular D70s, Nikon’s 10.2-megapixel D200 is the long-overdue replacement for the D100 digital SLR. It uses the same DX-size CCD sensor as its six-megapixel forerunner, and is compatible with many Nikkor and Nikon-fit interchangeable lenses.
The D200 has a new magnesium-alloy body with environmental sealing and continuous shooting at just over 5fps, with a 37 JPG or 22 RAW file buffer. Other professional features include a wide sensitivity from ISO 100-1600, plus a ‘Hi’ setting, which is equivalent to ISO3200. A durable shutter, and a reasonably fast 1/250sec studio flash-sync also feature.
In terms of specifications, the new Nikon boasts the sort of headline grabbing features that imaging professionals expect. However, the D200 has a lot more to offer.
For a compact-bodied and feature-rich SLR, the camera boasts incredibly responsive handling. Compared to the D70s, the D200 is considerably larger and heavier – it weighs in at 830g. The build quality is high, and in terms of layout, it’s like a scaled-down D2X, both in operation and function. The most commonly used settings for quality, white-balance, and ISO can be found on the top plate, which simplifies selection.
In line with its rivals, the D200 sports a large, detailed, 2.5-inch screen with a 170-degree viewing angle. Better still is the large and bright viewfinder that makes the view from most other digital SLRs with cropped sensors look cramped and inadequate. The 11-point AF system, adapted from the D2X, is a revelation – it’s by far the finest at this level. The system is flexible in its various configurations, and each point or group of points is clearly lit, dispelling any doubt as to where in the scene the camera has focused.