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View Full Version : D200 vs D80, current D50 user...



Classic96
08-10-2007, 06:57 PM
I've made the decision to upgrade, now it's just a matter of to what. I am definitely staying Nikon and the D200 and D80 are in the correct price bracket.

Now, I do not shoot fast sports and I rarely use multi frames per second. I am also not really worried about the material that the body is made out of. I typically shoot portraits and automotive and I am extremely careful with my equipment.

I've read the side by side comparison PDF on Nikon's website. Some of the major differences are in FPS, exposure bracketing, shutter speed range, exposure metering, flash sync speed and overall body construction.

When I read the specs, it seems to me that the 2 cameras utilize the same image sensor. If I am shooting in RAW, am I wrong to assume that I could get very similar results with the less expensive D80 assuming I meter/expose my shot correctly? It doesn't seem to me (on paper) that the D200 offers a lot to me considering the type of photography that I do.

Do any of you here have some input that may help my decision?

Thanks!

Rooz
08-10-2007, 07:08 PM
the d200 meters better and is the most ergonomically perfect dslr out there. the only downside is that its iso performane is not as good as either the d50 or d80.

if i were you, i'd be going th d200. the price points are much closer now. if the prices had been as close when i bought the d80 i would certianly have gone for the d200.

Stoller
08-10-2007, 07:10 PM
Now, I do not shoot fast sports and I rarely use multi frames per second. I am also not really worried about the material that the body is made out of.

I think you answered your own question, Get the D80 save the extra cash towards good glass.

XaiLo
08-10-2007, 07:10 PM
Sounds like you've already built a good case for going with the D80 if the extra options of the D200 are of no real importance to you then I'll say it's a no brainer. I'll have to second the metering with the D200. Put the extra towards something you need congrats and happy shooting.:)

jcon
08-10-2007, 09:18 PM
I think you answered your own question, Get the D80 save the extra cash towards good glass.

Agree 100%.

K1W1
08-10-2007, 09:35 PM
I know it's not a major cost issue but if you have a D50 you have SD cards and the D80 uses SD whereas the D200 uses CF. If you get the D80 and keep the D50 at least you will only have one sort of media to worry about.

Rooz
08-11-2007, 03:22 AM
lol a d80 user saying go for the d200 and d200 users saying go for the d80. no wonder people get confused !! :eek: :D

Stoller
08-11-2007, 07:41 AM
lol a d80 user saying go for the d200 and d200 users saying go for the d80. no wonder people get confused !!

If it was not for the 5fps I would have got the D80.:cool:

erichlund
08-11-2007, 10:17 AM
If it was not for the 5fps I would have got the D80.:cool:

I wonder how many people really use the 5 frames per second. I've used it once in a while, just for grins. But all I usually get is a bunch of the same shot. I do occasionaly use it for bracketing.

I suppose it can help with action shots, but to my way of thinking, that leads more to crapshoot technique. You can't wait for the right moment, because then you might miss it and get nothing, so you start early and hope that the camera catches the right moment.

I don't know what the D80 uses for ISO and WB, but I swear I'm going to wear those to buttons out. It is really nice having dedicated buttons for those tasks. For me, the D200 is extremely well laid out.

If you like a hefty camera, the D200 has that in spades. The D80 is smaller and lighter. I don't know how that would balance with my fairly heavy lenses, but it is something to consider in terms of your own shooting preference.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my D200, but I certainly have nothing bad to say about the D80. I'm sure it's a fine camera, but it's not what I have.

TNB
08-11-2007, 10:58 AM
I've made the decision to upgrade, now it's just a matter of to what. I am definitely staying Nikon and the D200 and D80 are in the correct price bracket.
I was in that same situation months ago and waited for the D80 to come out. After the D80's release, I hit the camera stores and tried out the D80 with several different lenses. The end result was the same as I anticipated and that was that I chose the D200 over the D80.

Despite owning a D50, I simply prefered the feel of the D200 over both the D50 and D80, especially when using heavier lenses. To me, the balance of the D200 is much better. Unlike you I have shot a lot of sports though I've also shot a lot of things that I never really anticipated shooting when I first purchased a camera. Consequently, to me it's nice to have additional options to be used later even if not initially used.

I guess it just depends on how much one prefers the feel of the camera body and how much one wants to "grow" with this hobby.


When I read the specs, it seems to me that the 2 cameras utilize the same image sensor.
If I recall correctly, the specs used to provide that the D80's sensor was "based" on the D200. To me, "based" upon does not necessarily mean the "same". I also just checked Rockwell's site and though I know there are those who don't care for it, I only bring it up because it does have a little tidbit about the sensors used though it doesn't go into much detail, yet the article itself may help someone decide which camera body is more suited to their wants and/or needs.


The D80 has the D200's 10 MP image sensor,*
* * * * *
(* OK, it's the Sony ICX493AQA sensor, which is a two-channel version of the four-channel Sony ICX483AQA used in the D200. The difference is one has more pins so it can read out data quickly enough for the D200's 5FPS, otherwise it's the same data and image quality.)
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/vs-d200.htm

Classic96
08-11-2007, 09:18 PM
I really appreciate everyone's input here. I think you all confirmed my suspicions and I will be going with the D80.

Now to find a buyer for my mint condition D50 ;)

XaiLo
08-11-2007, 09:43 PM
Cool enjoy;)

Turo
08-12-2007, 07:13 AM
Just out of curiosity, what caused you to upgrade? Why not pt the cash towards some good glass? The D50 may not be as nice as the D80 or D200, but it is still a VERY capable camera. Id love to own a D200, but I know the D50 is capable of better shots that I can take, so there is no real reason for me to justify the price of an upgrade.

erichlund
08-12-2007, 09:52 AM
Just out of curiosity, what caused you to upgrade? Why not pt the cash towards some good glass? The D50 may not be as nice as the D80 or D200, but it is still a VERY capable camera. Id love to own a D200, but I know the D50 is capable of better shots that I can take, so there is no real reason for me to justify the price of an upgrade.

Of course, under that theory, none of us would ever buy a new camera again. As you grow as a photographer, you will always be able to take a better photo, even with the equipment you already have. So the question becomes, what does the new camera give you in terms of capability that the old camera does not.

For me, it was simple. The D70 was wonderful, but it was stolen. The D200 was "Almost" everything I wanted in a camera, so that's what I bought.

Turo
08-13-2007, 09:58 AM
For me, it was simple. The D70 was wonderful, but it was stolen. The D200 was "Almost" everything I wanted in a camera, so that's what I bought.

Yes, but from nothing to D200 is a much larger jump than from D50 to D80 ;)

erichlund
08-13-2007, 11:36 AM
Yes, but from nothing to D200 is a much larger jump than from D50 to D80 ;)

Well, it wasn't really nothing. I had the insurance money from the stolen D70, and was familiar with the D70, so I could have chosen no upgrade at all (D70s, at the time), but instead, I chose to upgrade.

IMHO, I consider the D80 to be a significant upgrade from the D50. Image quality is not the issue here, though progress has continued, but camera handling is significantly upgraded. There are, of course many more items, but the two keys for me are the dual command wheels and the much superior viewfinder. The dual command wheels continue from the D70 and the viewfinder improvements come from the D200. The programmable button is another advantage from the D200. I use it as spot meter on demand button, but others may have different uses.

The real question is will the person upgrading use the additional capability. If there are features of the D80 that will really be used and benefit the user, then there is reason to upgrade. If not, then the image quality, while marginally better, may not justify the cost. In the end, it's something of a personal decision, and I'm not going to discourage someone from upgrading to what they want in a camera.

Turo
08-13-2007, 12:30 PM
The real question is will the person upgrading use the additional capability. If there are features of the D80 that will really be used and benefit the user, then there is reason to upgrade. If not, then the image quality, while marginally better, may not justify the cost. In the end, it's something of a personal decision, and I'm not going to discourage someone from upgrading to what they want in a camera.

Ohh I absolutely agree, I don't mean to sound like I was discouraging the original poster (I'm not at all!). I was just asking out of curiosity, because depending on his current lens lineup, he may see better results from upgrading lenses instead of camera bodies. But to each their own! :)

TNB
08-13-2007, 06:31 PM
Yes, but from nothing to D200 is a much larger jump than from D50 to D80 ;)
One of my friends went from "nothing" to a D200 and spoke to me about it before he purchased the D200. Sure there may be a steeper learning curve, but the fact of the matter he preferred the feel of the D200 much more than either the D50 or the D80. And since he is a "techy" and can contact someone he knows with a D200, he also believes that he can handle the learning curve. And he also doesn't have to purchase SD cards to only later purchase CF cards if he goes to something like the D2Xs. Another important fact is that since he prefers the feel of the D200 and wants to shoot sports, he will probably use the D200 more and for a lot longer than if he would have purchased either the D50 or the D80.

erichlund
08-13-2007, 10:56 PM
I've never really bought into that steeper learning curve thing. OK, the D200 doesn't have the Auto setting like on the D70, but it has P, and that's pretty close to point and shoot.

People sometimes discourage a beginner from buying a good piece of equipment because it's somehow mysteriously more difficult to use. But the whole point of a good tool is that it is more competent at what it does than a lesser quality tool, which actually, in the long run, makes it easier to use.

For instance, in Auto on the D70, it would pop up the flash even if I didn't want flash. I had to either figure out how to turn it off, or figure out that I could just use P and get the result I wanted. With the D200, if I want flash, I just press one button before the shot (assuming I'm not using my SB-800.) I make the decision, not the camera.

Another example is white balance. With the dedicated WB button, I'm more likely to think about it and use it. Buried in a menu, I'm more likely to accept the auto setting. So the camera encourages you to learn its primary features by making them more accessible.

TNB
08-14-2007, 12:11 PM
I've never really bought into that steeper learning curve thing. OK, the D200 doesn't have the Auto setting like on the D70, but it has P, and that's pretty close to point and shoot.
Those numerous non-D200 "preset" settings do a lot more than just help calculate shutter speed and aperture. Consequently, it is not the same as just using the "P" mode on the D200 (even if someone else programs the memory banks for someone else). And since some people don't want to read or make the time to learn, a camera body without all those presets may simply frustrate someone away from photography all together. And yes, I know someone who gave up his D200 and purchased a D40 simply because "he" could take better photos with the D40. Again, I still believe that one important factor is the individual's preferrence for the feel of one camera body over another. As mentioned in my earlier post, my friend preferred the feel of the D200 over the D80. Did I discourage him from starting with a D200? The answer is no, but I just wanted to make sure that he knew what he was getting into before dropping a large chunk of change on his first dSLR camera body. After all, I don't want him to end up like the other guy I know and just dumping the D200. An informed decision can usually make a better choice.

erichlund
08-14-2007, 02:27 PM
OK. However, I never bought into those presets either. I never used them on my D70, and I'm glad my D200 doesn't have them. I figure I'll never learn to do it for myself if I let the camera drive. If I make a mistake, c'est la vie. At least I can learn from that.

As far as stuff buried in menus, I occasionaly change something if I find that I'm changing it more often than not in post processing, but otherwise, I pretty much leave the menus alone. Makes life simpler.

I shoot RAW in the Adobe RGB color space. I plan to post process. However, I find that post processing is minimized by good choices for basic exposure items (shutter, aperture, ISO and WB). None of those requires me to go any lower than the command dials on the camera (OK, I occasionally use the manual function button to spot meter).

TNB
08-14-2007, 05:04 PM
Although "you" never supposedly bought into the preset modes (and apparently never set up the D200 memory banks which I don't really use as well), I would guess that there are probably more dSLRs sold with the preset scene modes than without--even though both of us apparently own a D200, you yourself have and/or had a D70 and I still own a D50.

In your earlier post you also wrote, "But the whole point of a good tool is that it is more competent at what it does than a lesser quality tool, which actually, in the long run, makes it easier to use." Based on that statement, my question would be is a D200 really "more competent at what it does" than a D80 or vice-a-versa; or, are they just two slightly "different" tools with different purposes and different target consumers?

After all, one may not want the bulk of the D200, yet someone like me may prefer the bulk of the D200, especially when using a heavier lens like the 70-200mm VR. Then again, if I wanted to "sneak" a camera in or look less obvious, the D40/50/80 may be better suited for the intended purpose.

Just like choosing a specific type of color space or software program to manipulate photos, chosing the D80 over the D200 or vice-a-versa is really nothing but a personal preference. The thing nice, in my opinion, is simply having the opportunity to make a choice and not having something rammed down one's throat "just because" their friend owns something or their friend of a friend own's something.

jcon
08-14-2007, 05:15 PM
Just like choosing a specific type of color space or software program to manipulate photos, chosing the D80 over the D200 or vice-a-versa is really nothing but a personal preference. The thing nice, in my opinion, is simply having the opportunity to make a choice and not having something rammed down one's throat "just because" their friend owns something or their friend of a friend own's something.

Well said, TNB! Probably one of the most intelligent comments I have seen on here in awhile.:D

erichlund
08-14-2007, 06:39 PM
Although "you" never supposedly bought into the preset modes
No supposedly about it, never once used them.
(and apparently never set up the D200 memory banks which I don't really use as well)
I've played with them a little when the camera was new. I set up my one AI-S lens in one bank. Still, I don't have the need for it at this time. Maybe if I pick up some more lenses or start getting into some specialized stuff. Of course, I begin to see that perhaps that stuff is more useful to a jpg shooter, who needs to have certain things set in order to get good results, and may need different sets of settings for different shooting circumstances. In RAW, I'm really not concerned with all that. I can take care of it later.
, I would guess that there are probably more dSLRs sold with the preset scene modes than without--even though both of us apparently own a D200, you yourself have and/or had a D70 and I still own a D50.
Had, it was stolen in a burglary. There are certainly more sold with than without. Scene modes are not a particularly new thing, either. I bought a Canon A-1 because that AE-1 was just a little too gimmicky to me. That was my first experience with an SLR, so I'm not new to these feelings about a camera and going back to basics.

In your earlier post you also wrote, "But the whole point of a good tool is that it is more competent at what it does than a lesser quality tool, which actually, in the long run, makes it easier to use." Based on that statement, my question would be is a D200 really "more competent at what it does" than a D80 or vice-a-versa; or, are they just two slightly "different" tools with different purposes and different target consumers?
Well, in certain measureable characteristics, it is a better tool. Of course, you have to adjust for the passage of time. If they had been released at the same time, I'm sure the D200 would have had better high ISO performance (or the D80 worse, depending on which way you move on the time scale). OTOH, I'm certainly not saying that the D200 is for everyone. It fits me to a T. But I can certainly see that someone else may prefer a D80 or even a D40(x). I don't think I've said at any point that I think others should think or do the way I do. My preferences are "MY" preferences.
After all, one may not want the bulk of the D200, yet someone like me may prefer the bulk of the D200, especially when using a heavier lens like the 70-200mm VR. Then again, if I wanted to "sneak" a camera in or look less obvious, the D40/50/80 may be better suited for the intended purpose.
A Leica M-8. Now there's a camera to sneak with. It's even quiet. A tad pricey.

Just like choosing a specific type of color space or software program to manipulate photos, chosing the D80 over the D200 or vice-a-versa is really nothing but a personal preference. The thing nice, in my opinion, is simply having the opportunity to make a choice and not having something rammed down one's throat "just because" their friend owns something or their friend of a friend own's something.
If it's for a hobby, personal preference and family peace (cost must usually be considered). If it's for business, then the decision must be evaluated more soberly on need and profit/loss potential.

It should be noted here that the only reason I really got into this conversation was that I mildly objected to the concept of someone putting forth their opinion that the OP should perhaps choose good glass over a new camera. I certainly don't want to discourage someone from getting good lenses, but neither do I want to discourage them from choosing to upgrade their camera when THEY feel the time is right. The rest of this conversation has been an interesting side track, but I think we can agree that each of us should be free to choose our upgrade path without others attempting to impose their own ideas of a proper upgrade path upon us.

TNB
08-14-2007, 07:11 PM
If it's for a hobby, personal preference and family peace (cost must usually be considered). If it's for business, then the decision must be evaluated more soberly on need and profit/loss potential.
As far as a "hobby" vs. "business", I've also encountered numerous "business" photographers who use the "auto" settings on something like a Nikon D70s or a Nikon D80 and other "hobby" photographers who shoot with a Nikon D2Xs. To me, that is once again a "choice" of how much one wants to spend on a camera body and how many sacrifices one wants to make to get that camera body. More importantly at issue is that the difference in costs between a D80 and a D200 is almost a moot point now since the price drop of the D200. Consequently, it basically comes down to personal preference instead of expense.

Regarding ISO, I've tried shooting at 2500 though I don't know how high the D80 reaches off hand. I posted the tidbit below and link earlier. Either way, I'd suggest to anyone to read the article linked below, make their own comparisons, try both cameras out with various lenses, and if possible, catch a Nikon Rebate.


The D80 has the D200's 10 MP image sensor,*
* * * * *
(* OK, it's the Sony ICX493AQA sensor, which is a two-channel version of the four-channel Sony ICX483AQA used in the D200. The difference is one has more pins so it can read out data quickly enough for the D200's 5FPS, otherwise it's the same data and image quality.)
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/vs-d200.htm

Classic96
08-14-2007, 07:41 PM
I read through that link and found it very helpful in making my decision. I appreciate the help.

XaiLo
08-14-2007, 09:22 PM
Nikon has a real decent line up of DSLRs, for which we are all reaping the benefits there of. great pics guys... happy shooting. ;)