Why I love my D200

Started Jul 24, 2013 | Discussions
Stacey_K
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Why I love my D200
Jul 24, 2013

OK people keep asking for examples of why I like the output of this camera over my D7000 at base iso. I know I "just do" but today shot some red flowers on my front porch with both cameras, same lens, same tripod and picked two shots that had the same tonal curve as an example. The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience and the two shots with the exact same exposure made the D7000 look even worse. Please don't C&C the shot, this was just a quick point the camera at some begonias picture.

Below is a crop from both shots, first notice how much more saturated the D200 shot looks. Look at the subtle colors in the right petal in the D200 shot, the D7000 doesn't show this and looks washed out. Then note in the D7000 shot, while it looks less saturated on the right petal, it has a portion in the center of the left petal blown to mush and it's not from over/under exposure. If you desaturate the red channel (even in the raw file) trying to find the detail in the left petal, it just further desaturates the right one.

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either. If you try to use an in camera picture control with more saturation, it just blows more of the image into mush. Actually any picture control other than neutral blows more of the image into mush, especially reds. If there were skin tones in the image, doing this desaturation of the red channel would ruin the skin tones, so you can pick having good skin tones or a red flower that isn't blown into mush but not both. Also note the green leaf behind the red looks exactly the same color/tone in both images.

Also the D200 has better mid tone contrast, if you try to add contrast to the D7000 image it just starts blocking parts of the image up. Same with trying to increase the saturation to equal the D200, the reds just go crazy. The reds in the D200 shot are rich without looking cartoonish.

Both cameras are set to neutral picture control with no boost to anything other than in camera sharpening. I've done zero PP to either image. Maybe some people like the look of the D7000 image but at base iso, I much prefer what I see out of the D200. Obviously in low light the D7000 is the camera to choose and I just live with/deal with the color issues as it's better that nasty salt and pepper color noise.

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Cytokine
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 24, 2013

The D200 red and yellow seem more contrasty while the green top right hand side leaf also seems a more natural green, which is closer to the actual plant?

John

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rubicon
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

All of a sudden, the D200 comes out of obscurity and is a hot topic, we'll I also find my D200 a great camera, about time i get to thinking "maybe it time to sell it" I get photos, that just say don't do it, and I'm in love all over again, I intend to keep clicking it till it no longer "clicks" I don't care how many MPX cameras go to, mine has grip and Kirk "L" bracket and feels just perfect in my hand, maybe Nikon never did make a replacement for the D200??

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Trevor G
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either.

Any chance of seeing the RAW file, please?

I use a different tool which will probably give a different result.

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Pangloss
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The D200 just gets it right without too much fiddling
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either.

Any chance of seeing the RAW file, please?

I use a different tool which will probably give a different result.

Of course it will give you a different result. But the point is that Stacey likes the output she gets from her D200 without having to use a different tool and without too much fiddling with a raw developer and curves, etc.

So do I with the output from my D200.

Het Binnenhof, The Hague, Netherlands

Delicate light for a delicate flower

Just some blue in bright sunlight

Dutch things

Zero postprocessing work with exposure, tonal curves, etc. Also you should check the portrait that Stacey posted in the other thread, the skin tones are just perfect.

Just sayin'...

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Andrew
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Trevor G
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Re: The D200 just gets it right without too much fiddling
In reply to Pangloss, Jul 25, 2013

Pangloss wrote:

Trevor G wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either.

Any chance of seeing the RAW file, please?

I use a different tool which will probably give a different result.

Of course it will give you a different result. But the point is that Stacey likes the output she gets from her D200 without having to use a different tool and without too much fiddling with a raw developer and curves, etc.

Perhaps you missed Stacey's comment above mine: "You can't do anything in a RAW file to fix this, either."

I like playing with RAW files - I'm always interested to see what happens in my experience.

I'm not asking Stacey to use a different tool - I would like to try a different tool myself, for my own practice and experience.

Also you should check the portrait that Stacey posted in the other thread, the skin tones are just perfect.

Actually, I prefer Fuji skin tones to Nikon, even on the D200. Fuji are a little warmer...but it's OK to be different.

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Trevor G
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

OK people keep asking for examples of why I like the output of this camera over my D7000 at base iso. I know I "just do" but today shot some red flowers on my front porch with both cameras, same lens, same tripod and picked two shots that had the same tonal curve as an example. The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience and the two shots with the exact same exposure made the D7000 look even worse. Please don't C&C the shot, this was just a quick point the camera at some begonias picture.

It's a great shot for comparison purposes.

The D7000 needs -0.3EV on a shot like this - if you view the histogram (attached) you will see that the red channel is blown, which of course helps to turn red to pink or magenta.

Below is a crop from both shots, first notice how much more saturated the D200 shot looks. Look at the subtle colors in the right petal in the D200 shot, the D7000 doesn't show this and looks washed out. Then note in the D7000 shot, while it looks less saturated on the right petal, it has a portion in the center of the left petal blown to mush and it's not from over/under exposure.

Well, as my histo overlay above shows, the D7000 shot actually is over-exposed.

Reducing exposure in a "blown" jpeg does not do a perfect job but it does improve the red petal colour somewhat.  I also increased saturation by 10%.  I know you don't want to have to do that in PP, but what happens when you select the standard, rather than neutral, colour profile in the camera?  Something similar, I believe.

It also appears that the focus point between the two camera shots is not the same.

Here is the D200 with histogram overlaid:

If you desaturate the red channel (even in the raw file) trying to find the detail in the left petal, it just further desaturates the right one.

No need to desaturate - just reduce exposure in-camera, or when processing the RAW.

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either. If you try to use an in camera picture control with more saturation, it just blows more of the image into mush. Actually any picture control other than neutral blows more of the image into mush, especially reds. If there were skin tones in the image, doing this desaturation of the red channel would ruin the skin tones, so you can pick having good skin tones or a red flower that isn't blown into mush but not both. Also note the green leaf behind the red looks exactly the same color/tone in both images.

I believe most issues with the D7000 will be solved when you try the same exposure at -0.3EV and the standard profile.

I would really love to see RAWs from any shots, if possible, please?

Also the D200 has better mid tone contrast, if you try to add contrast to the D7000 image it just starts blocking parts of the image up. Same with trying to increase the saturation to equal the D200, the reds just go crazy. The reds in the D200 shot are rich without looking cartoonish.

I think they are using a tone curve in the D7000 to lift the lowlights (and boost DR) more so than was used on the D200, just by looking at the two histograms above.

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Pangloss
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Re: The D200 just gets it right without too much fiddling
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor,

Trevor G wrote:

Pangloss wrote:

Trevor G wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

You can't do anything in a raw file to fix this either.

Any chance of seeing the RAW file, please?

I use a different tool which will probably give a different result.

Of course it will give you a different result. But the point is that Stacey likes the output she gets from her D200 without having to use a different tool and without too much fiddling with a raw developer and curves, etc.

Perhaps you missed Stacey's comment above mine: "You can't do anything in a RAW file to fix this, either."

I like playing with RAW files - I'm always interested to see what happens in my experience.

That's exactly my point: you like playing with RAW files (or "fiddling"), whereas Stacey and I would rather just spend time shooting with a camera that doesn't require so much fiddling with exposure and tone curves to get things right - the D200, as it happens.

I'm not asking Stacey to use a different tool - I would like to try a different tool myself, for my own practice and experience.

Also you should check the portrait that Stacey posted in the other thread, the skin tones are just perfect.

Actually, I prefer Fuji skin tones to Nikon, even on the D200. Fuji are a little warmer...but it's OK to be different.

Indeed! Glad you acknowledge it.

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Andrew
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Trevor G
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Re: The D200 just gets it right without too much fiddling
In reply to Pangloss, Jul 25, 2013

Pangloss wrote:

That's exactly my point: you like playing with RAW files (or "fiddling"), whereas Stacey and I would rather just spend time shooting with a camera that doesn't require so much fiddling with exposure and tone curves to get things right - the D200, as it happens.

Actually, if people use the onboard histogram they can get any camera exposing correctly.  That's why the +/-EV control is included.

You use the on-board histogram don't you?

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Stacey_K
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

OK people keep asking for examples of why I like the output of this camera over my D7000 at base iso. I know I "just do" but today shot some red flowers on my front porch with both cameras, same lens, same tripod and picked two shots that had the same tonal curve as an example. The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience and the two shots with the exact same exposure made the D7000 look even worse. Please don't C&C the shot, this was just a quick point the camera at some begonias picture.

It's a great shot for comparison purposes.

The D7000 needs -0.3EV on a shot like this - if you view the histogram (attached) you will see that the red channel is blown, which of course helps to turn red to pink or magenta.

It's not blown from over exposure, if that was the case the white door in the sunlight would be blown. Here is 1/3 under and that mid tone is still blown, now you have an underexposed, flat, unsaturated image that still has blown a mid tone red. You do understand this blown red is a mid tone and not a blown highlight correct? I agree the red channel is blown but it's not from exposure and it's not from it being a overly saturated image.

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Trevor G
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

Trevor G wrote:

The D7000 needs -0.3EV on a shot like this - if you view the histogram (attached) you will see that the red channel is blown, which of course helps to turn red to pink or magenta.

It's not blown from over exposure, if that was the case the white door in the sunlight would be blown.

The doorway in the background is not as bright, luminance-wise, as the flowers in the foreground.  Hover over it with your cursor and take the readings, then compare with the flowers.

Here is 1/3 under and that mid tone is still blown, now you have an underexposed, flat, unsaturated image that still has blown a mid tone red.

What do you mean, 1/3 under?

How can you have a "blown" mid-tone?

Do you have a RAW file?  I can easily show you from that.

You do understand this blown red is a mid tone and not a blown highlight correct? I agree the red channel is blown but it's not from exposure and it's not from it being a overly saturated image.

The red is blown from over-expsoure in the D7000 image.  Here, for comaprison sake, is the D200 in ViewNX2:

The blue channel has crushed lowlights - all other channels are clear at both ends, although the red channel is just starting to get ready to clip at the highlight end.

Note that this is the same information that the in-camera histogram will show.

By comparison, the D7000 image shows definite highlight clipping of the red channel, while the blue channel shows lowlight clipping again. Lowlight clipping is usually nowhere near as critical to IQ for this sort of shot as highlight clipping is.

This is how it would show up in the in-camera histogram as well, and is meant to be a warning to reduce exposure, in this case 0.3EV would be enough.

Any red channel clipping will lead to reds becoming pink or magenta instead of being the rich red colour they are meant to be.

I don't mind if you like the D200, it produces a different tonal distribution to the later CMOS cameras, such as the D700.

However, since there is nothing wrong with your D7000 shot except:

1) slight over-expsoure of the R channel

2) a less pleasing red in the background due to pallette selection

May I then suggest that you retake the pics with the D700 at -0.3EV or whatever setting it takes to avoid channel clipping?

DPR reviews point out that the later 5000 and 7000 series cameras tend to clip highlights if not watched carefully and adjusted as required.  That's not so much a fault as a condition which is user avoidable by EV compensation.

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olliess
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

DPR reviews point out that the later 5000 and 7000 series cameras tend to clip highlights if not watched carefully and adjusted as required. That's not so much a fault as a condition which is user avoidable by EV compensation.

As an aside, I'd lean toward "fault" on the tendency to clip. Given the very good DR and good noise performance on the D7000, it seems to me the matrix meter should be helping you preserve highlights if at all possible.

Then again, people were complaining about a certain CCD camera's tendency to underexpose whenever there was any danger of clipping, so I guess you can't please everyone all the time.  

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Trevor G
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to olliess, Jul 25, 2013

olliess wrote:

As an aside, I'd lean toward "fault" on the tendency to clip. Given the very good DR and good noise performance on the D7000, it seems to me the matrix meter should be helping you preserve highlights if at all possible.

But it won't clip if you use the +/-EV Comp control!

That's why they include a histogram, so you can make adjustments as you go.

There is no such thing as a standard setting, unless you always take the same image from the same direction with the sun at the same elevation, and so on.

The best camera I have ever used in regard to leaving at 0EV Comp is the Fuji X10 in EXR and shooting RAW - since it has a phenomenal 2EV of highlight headroom I found that I very seldom, if ever, had to adjust EV to a minus value.  If anything, I increased it on a dull day.

Then again, people were complaining about a certain CCD camera's tendency to underexpose whenever there was any danger of clipping, so I guess you can't please everyone all the time.  

Ho ho - thanks for some balance. 

Still, it doesn't matter which way the metering goes, since a wise photographer will be checking the histogram on playback with every change in shot/scene and making the appropriate adjustment.

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olliess
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

olliess wrote:

As an aside, I'd lean toward "fault" on the tendency to clip. Given the very good DR and good noise performance on the D7000, it seems to me the matrix meter should be helping you preserve highlights if at all possible.

But it won't clip if you use the +/-EV Comp control!

That's why they include a histogram, so you can make adjustments as you go.

But they also include a matrix meter, so you don't have to!

Still, it doesn't matter which way the metering goes, since a wise photographer will be checking the histogram on playback with every change in shot/scene and making the appropriate adjustment.

In an ideal world, I guess we'd all be wise photographers all the time... (or we could redo important moments).

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BobSC
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience

I think this is the takeaway from the whole thread -- you have experience with the d200 that has taught you how to use it, but you don't have the same experience with the d7000.

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n057
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to BobSC, Jul 25, 2013

BobSC wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience

I think this is the takeaway from the whole thread -- you have experience with the d200 that has taught you how to use it, but you don't have the same experience with the d7000.

I don't think so. She bought a D7000 before getting a D200

JC
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Stacey_K
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to BobSC, Jul 25, 2013

BobSC wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

The D200 normally needs +1/3 stop exposure comp in my experience

I think this is the takeaway from the whole thread -- you have experience with the d200 that has taught you how to use it, but you don't have the same experience with the d7000.

LOL I've owned the D200 for about 2 weeks, the D7000 for about 1.5 years.

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Stacey_K
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

Trevor G wrote:

The D7000 needs -0.3EV on a shot like this - if you view the histogram (attached) you will see that the red channel is blown, which of course helps to turn red to pink or magenta.

It's not blown from over exposure, if that was the case the white door in the sunlight would be blown.

The doorway in the background is not as bright, luminance-wise, as the flowers in the foreground. Hover over it with your cursor and take the readings, then compare with the flowers.

Interesting that the same amount of sunlight is on the bright part of the white door frame as was on the red flower. How can it not be as brightly illuminated?

Have you looked at the histogram of the D200 image? The red channel isn't nearly as blown on it with more exposure. At the same exposure as this last D7000 one, the D200 shows zero clipping and actually all 3 channels are fairly even and have some headroom. On the D7000 the red channel is the only one acting this way and if anything, the WB on the D7000 is cooler which should help!

This is exactly the problem I am talking about.

Here is 1/3 under and that mid tone is still blown, now you have an underexposed, flat, unsaturated image that still has blown a mid tone red.

What do you mean, 1/3 under?

Look at the data, it's shot at f5.6 at 1/400. At least where I live that's 1/3 stop less exposure than F5.6 at 1/320. You said "just needs 1/3EV exp comp"  and this is 1/3 stop less exposure than the other shot. How far under exposed would I need to shoot to not blow out the red on this leaf petal?

How can you have a "blown" mid-tone?

It's "blown" from local over saturation. Turn the image to gray scale and see for yourself, this area that is blown is 50%ish gray. Hardly what I would call a highlight. Maybe blown is the wrong term, lack of color separation in saturated mid tone reds is what is happening. They over saturate into the same color while at the same time lighter reds look washed out.

If this was a blue flower in the same light, this wouldn't have happened. I can take the raw file and desaturate the red and bring detail back in this area (no exposure comp) but then the whole image looks different and not in a good way (shutter in the background changes color etc) This is the problem, mid tone saturated reds turn to mush on a D7000, but that doesn't happen with a D200.

I do find it comical you are working so hard to adjust the D7000 image using all sorts of software to look like what came straight out of the D200 If you didn't have the D200 image to match what would you do?

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Stacey_K
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Trevor G, Jul 25, 2013

Trevor G wrote:

olliess wrote:

As an aside, I'd lean toward "fault" on the tendency to clip. Given the very good DR and good noise performance on the D7000, it seems to me the matrix meter should be helping you preserve highlights if at all possible.

But it won't clip if you use the +/-EV Comp control!

Did you even look at the exif? It was 1/3 under from the other image and still is mushed. I used the camera in M so don't have to set exp comp. Some of us simply shoot in manual mode The highlights aren't clipped, the mid tone colors all blend together if it is a saturated red. Changing the exposure doesn't fix this.

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jimoyer
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Re: Why I love my D200
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 25, 2013

At least while he's playing with your images without at least the courtesy of asking he isn't cropping off watermarks, etc. then arguing that it's OK to do so since it was posted for "technical" evaluation.

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