Previous page Next page

Compared to...

The D200 really sits in a very interesting position, a few hundred dollars more expensive than the eight megapixel Canon EOS 20D but with a significantly more advanced feature set and two more megapixels. Costing almost twice as much the Canon EOS 5D offers a full frame (35 mm sized) sensor with 2.6 more megapixels but not as 'professional' feeling or featured. As I mentioned on the previous page the compact design and features provided by the D200 will make it attractive to segments above its price point. Hence we're comparing it to the EOS 20D and EOS 5D and have also thrown in the D2X for a same-brand 'sibling rivalry' match. .

Camera Body Price Sensor
Megapixel
difference
Canon EOS 20D $1,399 8.2 MP CMOS (1.6x crop) -20%
Nikon D200 $1,699 10.2 MP CCD (1.5x crop) -
Canon EOS 5D $3,299 12.8 MP CMOS (FF) +25%
Nikon D2X $4,999 12.4 MP CMOS (1.5x crop) +21%

* At the time of publication the EOS-1Ds Mark II was available at $6999 from some stores

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down (typically to F9). For the 'cropped' sensor cameras we used 50 mm lenses (EF 50 mm F1.4 for the 20D and the Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 for the D200 and D2X) and for the full frame EOS 5D the EF 85 mm F1.8.

Nikon D200 in-camera sharpness

As we've already commented the D200's default in-camera sharpness (Auto or Normal) is too mild to deliver the detail actually captured. Hence in these comparisons we have provided comparisons to a D200 shot taken using the 'Normal' parameters preset and also one with sharpness set to 'High' (+2) which helps to equalize the difference in sharpening between it and other cameras.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Nikon D200 vs. Canon EOS 20D

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D200: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer
     
  • Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Nikon D200
Canon EOS 20D
4,236 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
2,987 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

With default image parameters ('image optimization') the D200's 20% megapixel advantage isn't obvious. In this comparison the EOS 20D appears to resolve at least as much detail with better 'per pixel sharpness'.

Nikon D200 (High sharpening) vs. Canon EOS 20D

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D200: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Custom Parameters (High sharpening), Self-Timer
     
  • Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Nikon D200 (High sharpening)
Canon EOS 20D
4,586 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
2,987 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

Turning up the in-camera sharpening to a level which better matches the EOS 20D brings the D200 very slightly out in front, while not a giant leap in resolution there are some areas of the image which exhibit finer detail. It's clear however that there's not a huge resolution advantage in moving from eight to ten megapixels.

Previous page Next page

Comments

CagomoC
By CagomoC (2 weeks ago)

Two of awesome creative machines that I still use. I'll never give them up. I haven't reached 20,000 shutter counts yet! had these babies since 2006.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes