The Nikon D200 - the successor to the Nikon D100; it looks the part and has the specs to match. So how does the D200 fare when put to the test? The What Digital Camera Nikon D200 DSLR review investigates...
Image Quality & Value for Money
Nikon D200 Review – Image Quality
There’s something odd going on under the hood of the Nikon D200, especially as regards the JPEG images. Images are generally underexposed, but I don’t think it’s because the meter is wrong, but because the camera is trying to save the highlight information. Whenever there is a certain amount of whites in the image it seems to underexpose. However, the images can be corrected and perfect results obtained. You can compensate in-camera by following the retrospective histogram, but it depends on a wide range of experience of knowing how the D200 will react in different situations. You expect to do a certain amount of work with RAW images – so this is not really a problem, and in this respect I think the D200 is a camera that is designed for, and should be primarily used as, a RAW shooter. In fact, most users will probably prefer to shoot RAW anyway to gain maximum quality.
One of the most impressive things is the D200’s lack of image noise; even at ISO 1600 the results are remarkably good, with very little of the luminance noise I’d normally expect to see, even in shadow areas. The D200 has a boost function which, at ±1EV, has some interference but still less than we’re used to seeing. This is an outstanding strength of the camera, and one worth shouting about.
The image quality of the D200 is difficult to judge – the camera performs in different ways than we normally expect, with some strange-looking histograms, but exceptional images are possible, they just need work to achieve them.
Nikon D200 review – Value for Money
A 10MP DSLR for little over a grand seems pretty good value to me, especially if you consider the leap in price to the next camera class, such as the Canon EOS 5D or the Nikon D2X. Obviously the Nikon D200 doesn’t have the build quality of the D2X, but the build and performance are impressive nonetheless. If you are a dedicated Nikon user, maybe upgrading from the D70, then the D200 is a good value leap.