Is the D200 Really Such a Bad Camera???

Started Apr 5, 2006 | Discussions thread
Busterman
Regular MemberPosts: 234
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Re: Is the D200 Really Such a Bad Camera??? - NO IT IS NOT!
In reply to Dayo, Apr 10, 2006

I have to admit that my lack of ggod post processing habits (I had become very lazy) and technical knowledge led me to believe that I had bought a really poor camera in the D200. I posted a really stupid note on this forum decrying the quality of the D200 against my old D1X and my carry around camera, the D70S and horror of horrors, the Canon contingent of 30D and 5D!

With the help of those who read these forums, I started to look more closely at my post processing work and decided to use Nikon Capture Editor rather than Photoshop and the my world has changed.

This camera punches out gloriously detailed shots in vivid and fantistically accurate colour. I am happy to shoot with NEF Raw uncompressed files up to ISO 1000 in any mode, any in-camera sharpening level, under any lighting conditions. Cropping down to the on-screen 100% produces huge detail from the large 10mp files. Post processing in Nikon Capture Editor ensures highest quality results as follows:

1. Unsharp Mask set at Intensity 20% to 50% depending on the lens used (70-200VR needs less sharpening and 24-120 needs more). Halo Width is set at 15% to 30% depending on the lens used. Threshold is set at 0.

2. D lighting is used for both over and under-exposed shots.

3. Cropping down to any size for printing is simplicity itself with "Keep the output size selected" using the "Size/Resolution" tool.

4. Noise reduction is used as necessary (never in-camera as it blurs detail too much and slows down post-processing - I've not required NR below ISPO 800, even in low light shooting.

4. Print at the highest resolution the printer will alow. I prefer matte paper.

5. Use Advanced Raw at any time to decide how I want the final shot to look.

I must say that files from any camera, post processed through Nikon Capture Editor can be made to look excellent, the D1X and D70S in particular but expecially my little point and shoot Canon A620, my wife's Fujifilm F700 and even my two Coolpix cameras, the CP 990 and CP 8800 (although this little beauty requires much less post-processing but ther is too much in-camera processing).

Huge apologies to Nikon and all you D200 users and huge thanks to forum contributors who put me on the right path.

No need to consider the Canon range now but I must admit that a jpeg shot at ISO3200 with Canon 30D prints almost as well after post processing in Nikon Capture as a shot taken at ISO1000 with the D200. The white balance however is a real nightmare to get right on the Canon.

Sorry this so long but in summary, if you are not asleep by the time you get to this point, I LOVE MY D200 because it is an outstanding picture making tool, with very intuitive controls (love the one button hold and adjust custom tool for adjusting WB, ISO, Qual etc. - especially with thick gloves on). Love the build quality -except for the pop-up flash, the on/off switch and the rubber grips (I suspect the rubber will come off as they did on my D1X). Love the excellent and unique flash system - will get a couple more SB 800s to use as cheap and light, on the move studio flash. Finally I love the splash resistant weather sealing - had cause to be thankful for this today when my dog on his usual walks decided to run into my camera as I was taking that all important shot of him coming towards me all wet after a soaking in the river - me and my camera got a real wetting.

So if you are hesitating over the D200 purchase, don't, but make sure you buy Nikon Capture or a good Raw converter and always shoot Raw files, you will not be disappointed if you follow the simple process I have outlined above although I do admit it works mostly for jpegs as well.
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Busterman

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