The D-Tundred

This post was originally created in May 2013, but was updated April 29, 2017 to reflect some changed in my photographic landscape.

This front view of the Nikon D200 with the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor mounted shows how the camera stands tall on its MB-D200 battery grip.
This front view of the Nikon D200 with the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor mounted shows how the camera stands tall on its MB-D200 battery grip.

I have a friend who always called the Nikon D100 the “dee hundred.” By extension, the Nikon D200 must be the “dee tundred,” or something like that.

Thanks to the upgrade culture and eBay, I now have two D200s in my possession, which I got mostly for magazine work. Both are equipped with the MB-D200 multi-power battery grip, both are in excellent condition, and as my readers have come to expect, I paid less than a sixth of their original retail price for them.

The D200 has strengths and weaknesses, but as with other older digital cameras, in the right hands they are excellent tools. So here is the good, the bad, and the ugly about the D200.

The good…

  • Enough pixels for anything, including magazine full-bleed double-truck and 20×24 inch posters
  • Excellent, accurate color
  • Nice handling with the battery grip
  • Handleable noise with raw files, even at ISO 3200

The bad…

  • Autofocus is not aggressive enough for sports
  • Battery grip feels a little flimsy in the hand, and the batteries are held in place with plastic clips that will probably break (Michael already had to replace some)
  • Raw files tend to be on the large size, even with raw compression turned on, making upload times long even with my fast card reader
  • Doesn’t make video (which no DSLR of that era did)
  • Very hungry for battery power combined with smallish batteries

There’s really nothing ugly about the D200.

I’m glad I have these cameras in my bag for when I need a little better resolution, and more importantly, when I need better color, than my D2Hs give me. If you come across one of these gems on eBay, I recommend it.

While the pixel-peepers are busy pissing away years worth of mortgage payments on $6000 "upgrades," I'm making gorgeous magazine covers and double-truck full-bleed images with their "outdated" Nikon D200s.
While the pixel-peepers are busy pissing away years worth of mortgage payments on $6000 “upgrades,” I’m making gorgeous magazine covers and double-truck full-bleed images with their “outdated” Nikon D200s.
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2 Comments

  1. And every day, people with 20-megapixel cameras start new threads in camera forums, asking: “How large can I print?” or: “Why aren’t my photos sharp when I zoom in to 500%?”

    “There’s really nothing ugly about the D200.”

    I must say that I never really liked the red triangle on the front. But that’s just me. 🙂

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  2. The red triangular insert was placed there by Nikon to frighten away flocks of birds on takeoff.

    No, wait. That might be the spiral on the spinner on jet engines. Let me get back to you on that.

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