Nikon D200 Review
|The D200's viewfinder is bright with no distortion. Despite the DX (1.5x) crop the view through the viewfinder is surprisingly big. To the right side is a dioptre adjustment dial. Note that the D200 does not have an internal viewfinder curtain.|
The D200 has two AF area modes; Normal Zone (11 area) and Wide Zone (7 area), as shown in the diagrams below. In Normal Zone mode you can select from any one of the eleven areas and the camera will focus on the center of the selected area, this mode is generally used for mostly static subjects. In Wide Zone mode you can select from any one of seven areas which cover a wider area of the frame, this mode is more useful to focus on the general area of a moving subject.
|Normal Zone 11 Area Focus mode||Wide Zone 7 Area Focus mode|
The image below represents an example viewfinder view (apart from the status bar which has all information displayed for descriptive purposes). Here you can see we are using the normal zone 11 area focus mode with the center area taking the AF lock (as indicated by the brackets). Also shown are the grid lines and three status overlay items; B/W mode, battery low and no CF card inserted.
|1||Focus indicator||10||Electronic analog exposure display / compen.|
|2||Metering mode||11||Flash compensation indicator|
|3||Auto exposure lock||12||Exposure compensation indicator|
|4||Flash value (FV) Lock||13||ISO / Auto ISO indicator|
|5||Flash sync indicator||14||ISO sensitivity|
|6||Shutter speed||15||Exposures remaining / buffer / exp. value|
|7||Aperture stop indicator||16||Thousands indicator|
|8||Aperture (f-number / number of stops)||17||Flash-ready indicator|
Diagram reproduced with permission from the Nikon D200 user manual.
Battery and Charger
The D200 uses a new version of the EN-EL3 battery first seen in the D100. This new battery has the nomenclature EN-EL3e and is specified as 1500 mAh at 7.4 V (11.1 Wh). Interestingly the D200 user manual is very specific that the D200 is not compatible with EN-EL3 or EN-EL3a batteries for the D100, D70s, D70 or D50. We can only guess that this is because the new battery provides information back to the camera for its excellent battery status display (confirmed by Nikon).
The EN-EL3e battery is charged on the supplied MH-18a quick charger. The battery simply slides onto the charger and an indicator light will blink until the battery is fully charged.
Battery information available on the camera:
- Top control panel has a five segment battery life indicator
- Camera Menu: Set Up -> Battery Info provides:
- Battery meter (as a percentage)
- Picture meter (estimated frames on current power)
- Charging Life (a scale from 0 to 4 indicating if the battery has come to the end of its useful life)
The battery compartment is located in the base of the hand grip. The compartment door is opened by pulling on a small lever, inside the battery holds itself part of the way in without dropping and without the use of a catch.
Battery pack / Vertical grip (optional)
With the introduction of the D200 we also see the introduction of a new battery pack / vertical grip. The MB-D200 fits into the camera via its battery compartment (the door can be unclipped and removed) and screwed in place via the tripod mount. The MB-D200 has an additional main and sub command dial as well as alternative buttons for shutter release and AF start. The battery compartment can support two EN-EL3e batteries or six AA's (via the provided MS-D200 cartridge).
Compact Flash Compartment
The D200's Compact Flash compartment is set in the side of the camera as part of the hand grip. To open the door you turn a small dial on the rear of the camera below the AF area mode selector. The door opens automatically on a spring loaded hinge and when closed fits flush into the body contour. The door itself has a rubber gasket around its edge to form a water resistant seal. The D200 can take Compact Flash Type I or II and supports FAT32 (for cards over 2 GB).
All of the connectors are located on the left side of the body (from the rear). On the front of the camera is the 10-pin remote terminal, on the side the Flash PC Sync terminal (normally protected by screw caps). On the left side of the body covered by two rubber covers are the A/V out, DC-IN and USB 2.0 connectors. The D200 also supports GPS units which conform to version 2.01 of the NMEA0183 protocol, these can be connected to the remote terminal using the optional MC-35 GPS adapter cord. When connected GPS data is recorded in the header of the image taken.