| Nikon D200 verdict
There's very little to fault about the Nikon D200. It's very robust, has great
ergonomics and a wide array of features, while handling superbly and delivering
excellent image quality. In use it performed very well and we struggled to find
any downsides to list at the end of the verdict - indeed we felt almost churlish
criticising Nikon for the way it zooms-in on images during playback, although
it has to be said, simple zoom in and out buttons really are much more intuitive.
D200 really is a world apart from its predecessor the D100 and is measurably
superior to Canon's EOS-20D. Of course to be fair, the 20D is now showing it's
age, and following Canon's track record we'd be very surprised if a successor
isn't announced for the PMA show at the end of February.
The more recent Canon 5D is a tougher rival though, boasting higher resolution,
lower noise levels at high sensitivities and of course the expensive full frame
sensor. In the D200's favour, it's cheaper, handles quicker, has greater features
and feels more robust too. Ultimately though, we believe the 5D is a unique
proposition which will be bought by people who really want its full frame sensor
and can justify the price difference. The D200's true competitor from Canon
is surely the yet-to-be announced 20D successor - and without anything other
than speculation on that front, we'll have to move on.
So if it's better than the Canon 20D, and the Canon 5D isn't really a direct competitor,
what is the Nikon D200's closest rival? As far as we're concerned, it's actually the
Nikon D2X. From the first moment you pick up the D200, you know you're handling
something which can truly be described as a professional camera. The build quality
and overall handling are quite simply superb, there's little in terms of extra
features or accessories you could ask for, and the results are excellent. So
why would you spend almost three times as much on the D2X?
The main advantages of the D2X are its slightly higher resolution, built-in
portrait grip and high-speed 8fps cropped shooting mode. Beyond this the differences
are more subtle, with the D2X featuring an external white balance sensor, voice
note recording, 100% viewfinder coverage, and slightly superior build quality.
While these all make it a no-brainer for the most demanding professionals, almost
everyone else will quite simply find the D200 represents a much more compelling
purchase. Many will also prefer its more discrete, compact dimensions and be
happy to swap the external white balance sensor for a popup flash.
Ultimately until the market responds, Nikon has delivered the best mid-range
digital SLR yet, boasting professional quality at a highly affordable price
point. It'll appeal equally to those wanting a step-up from a budget model as
it will to Pros wanting a backup body. Indeed we wouldn't be at all surprised
to find many Professionals using D200 as their primary body, and that's high
recommendation for a camera at this price. Please visit our Semi-pro DSLR Buyer's Guide for an update of the best buys in this category.
Very good image quality, close to D2X
Superb build quality, close to D2X
Responsive handling, fast burst shooting
Excellent feature-set and accessories
Great value for money
Supplied RAW software is basic
Playback zoom overly complicated (to us)
No voice recording function
(relative to mid-range DSLRs)
19 / 20
18 / 20
18 / 20
18 / 20
18 / 20
Support this site by checking prices above or shopping via our affiliate stores