D200 to D300 upgrade? is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Dukemantee, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Dukemantee

    Dukemantee TPF Noob!

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    Hello Folks,

    I just wanted to get some feedback on what I'm planning to do. I currently own a d200, but i'm thinking about selling it and getting the D300.
    I was all gung-ho about it a week ago. But after reading different sites online I'm really concerned with the 2 major problems users have been reporting:

    1) DBS which is "dead battery symptom" or whatever they're calling it. What is occurring to d300 owners apparently is that the battery( although fully charged) is appearing as empty or almost dead on the screen.

    2) The second problem is linked to the lens mounts. Some people have singled out the 18-200 mm VR lens (but this may occur to other lenses) and a failure to Autofocus... or contact problems.

    I've also heard that Nikon has not acknowledged these problems...and offers no fix at the moment. I'm confident they will if it is deemed a defect on the model itself. I am concerned because I don't really have a second camera, I only have a d200 now which i'll have to sell for this D300. So I don't want my only camera recalled, or in repairs for a while. Also, others who have not experienced any trouble have all this to think about as their image count climbs.

    I'm still a student so this is a big purchase for me.... and i don't want to be using it afraid of bugs popping up. That said, I purchased my d200 last year, so pretty late compared to others. The d300 is still under a year old. I don't usually buy first gen. gadgets (especially high priced ones) because I wait for a price drop, and don't want to deal with the first batch bugs.

    Is anyone else making this jump from the d200? or already have? Maybe some d300 owners can put my mind to rest? If i was getting the d300 as a second unit I wouldn't care as much. But I'll have to go through the hassle of selling my d200 for this.... I just don't want to be stuck up a river....


    thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Well i like to think of it this way. The only people that talk out about the problems are those who have experianced them. But there are thousands and thousands of people who dont have problems so they have to need to post things on the internet. Im sure some d300's have problems, but all camera have problems. And the probability of yours having a problem is probably ridiculously small.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have had my D300 for 4 maybe 5 months now. No signs of DBS.

    I have 9 Nikkor lenses and they all work flawlessly (apart from operator error) on the D300.

    I don't want to burst your bubble, but judging by your comments, it doesn't seem to make much sense to upgrade from a financial point of view. Since the D200 is only a year old, hang on to it and shoot the lights out. After you have completed your schooling, have a steady income and are still wanting to keep photographing with the best cameras (Nikon), then upgrade. During the interim, buy good glass that will transfer to the new body and work well with the D200.

    Just my 2¢.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm a Canon guy, so I don't keep up on Nikon like I do Canon bodies, but I would ask you this. What do you really get for going from a D200 to a D300. Are the few improvement that much different/better than what you have or is this a case of it's newer, cooler, I want it? Is it worth the money spent? I could understand if this was a question about going from a D200 to a D3. A lot of differences and improvements. That is a question only you can answer, for you know your shooting style and needs.

    I owned a 30D. 18 months later I had a 40D. Difference was, I was not looking to trade up. I needed a second body. My original intent was a 2nd 30D as I just didn't see spending the money to move up to a Eos-1 series camera at this point. I ended up with a 40D, however the 30D still sees a lot of use. It is my second body for shooting sports. I didn't sell one to get another, I just added a body and went with the newer one. I few more dollars, but I know that when it is time to add a new body the 40D will stay in the mix.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I bought my D200 the only thing written about them online was some apparently very bad branding issue in the shadows. If you're going to do research you need to realise the stats above. I believe some marketing lecturer once said for every 1 person who bothers to rave how good a product is. 10 people will post about their bad experiences, and that's the same across all industries.

    Btw permit me to try and talk you out of it. The D200 is a very very very capable camera. It is miss-guided in my opinion to spend money on a D300 body unless your D200 is broken and you need a new body anyway. I have some $7000 worth of lenses on my D200 and none so far outperform the body's capabilities. The D300 won't give your ability to take creative photos any greater latitude.

    Do you have a flash? Maybe 2 or 3 with wireless triggers?
    Do you have f/2.8 zooms?
    Or maybe an excellent tripod?
    Do you have macros (if you're into that)?
    What about lenses ranging from 10mm all the way to 300mm allowing you to get every type of photo you can think of?
    Or even some fixed focal large apertures like the 80mm f/1.4?

    If you answered yes to all of the above then I would consider possibly upgrading the body, but only if you can't save for a D3 or wait for a D400 which would be a much larger step up from your current body.
     
  6. Dukemantee

    Dukemantee TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input. No there is absolutely nothing wrong with the d200 body, pristine/ mint quality, and it's still under warranty. JimmyO I was always thinking that, and I guess your right about the vast majority not posting views on the net.

    I do agree with you Garbz, and Kundalini, I should just go for better glass. I currently have two lenses the Nikkor 18-55 and 55-200 mm DX. I also have a couple non-digital lenses that I use too. I don't have a speed flash yet, but want to get one as well. I have another flash again from the analog days that I use through the port, but no shoe flash yet. I have a good tripod, decent head both manfrotto. But the next accessory I am going to get is a remote. Unfortunately, I can't save for a D3, I don't have the cash, and I doubt I need that. I'm also really happy with the d200/d300 mid range category of cameras.


    That said, the reason why I'm still thinking about a body change is because of the re-sell value on the d200, and the $150-300 difference I need to pay to get the d300 (thanx to a deal from a friend :). So i'm just trying to get the most money from selling my used d200. I love the camera but i'm thinking spending $200 more now can help protect my investment. I know that Garbz is right, the D300 won't give me a greater ability to take creative photos in any greater latitude. But it's only because of my deal that i'd consider the swap, or else I would wait for a model with big changes like the d400 in the future.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Re-sell value? Where are you getting those figures from? Ted's Cameras here in the city had a new D200 body for $450 less than the D300. I'd be very much surprised if you could get that much for a second hand one.

    Mind you there are plenty of idiots who don't do research out there. Like the guy who sold me a 105mm f/2.8 Macro for $500 when they were fetching an average of $800 on ebay, so you may get lucky.
     
  8. Dukemantee

    Dukemantee TPF Noob!

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    Disregard the last post guys. You folks were right, i'll stick with the D200, and wait for the next giant leap!
    I guess I got caught in "planned obsolescence" as they call it, not that the D200 is obsolete.

    So i'll start looking into a remote, and flash.

    thanks again !
     
  9. Dukemantee

    Dukemantee TPF Noob!

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    Well the figures are altered because I was getting the d300 for a lower price. I also thought i'd fetch a 1250 for my d200. But i'm sticking with the d200. Since you mentioned putting $7000 worth of add ons to your d200... i was wondering if you could name a few that are must haves. I'm looking for a remote, do you have the nikon one? or 3rd party? Also, i'm looking for a speedflash (or commander kit? ) maybe send this info through p.message?
    thanks !
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had an aftermarket remote. Cheap $15 ebay one. Lasted 2 years. I expected a new one yesterday but that didn't happen so I guess it'll be here next week. Again the new one is also ebay but it has a timer on it so I can actually set a 2minute exposure without using my stopwatch. That's about $45 inc shipping and still cheaper than Nikon's

    Must haves for me in order this list may be VERY different for you, it depends entirely what you're into:

    - Battery grip. I have huge hands and when using big lenses it's a god send.
    - Good stable tripod. I had a cheap one which almost caused my camera to topple into ocean at one point. Bought a new Manfrotto on the way home from that shoot.
    - Macro lens. Simply because I love seeing the world in this weird way.
    - A good flash (SB800 I am thinking of getting a few SB600s as slave flashes too)
    - Good f/2.8 telephoto lens. I opted for the Nikkor AF 80-200 f/2.8 because I didn't have lots of disposable income for the 70-200 at the time. Incidentally after I bought this I realised how much I like shooting animals.

    They are my must haves, but you know once you get addicted you end up with some ... other things. You know huge calibrated IPS LCD screen, more f/2.8 lenses. f/1.2 lenses. Other little things which for.. oh god I could easily afford a decent car and petrol too if I didn't have this hobby.
     
  11. Ben-71

    Ben-71 TPF Noob!

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    Dukemantee
    I currently own a d200, but i'm thinking about selling it and getting the
    D300.
    I was all gung-ho about it a week ago. But after reading different sites
    online I'm really concerned with the 2 major problems users have
    been reporting:

    1) DBS which is "dead battery symptom" or whatever they're calling
    it. What is occurring to d300 owners apparently is that the battery
    ( although fully charged) is appearing as empty or almost dead on the
    screen.

    2) The second problem is linked to the lens mounts. Some people
    have singled out the 18-200 mm VR lens (but this may occur to other
    lenses) and a failure to Autofocus... or contact problems.
    I had a D200, and replaced it with a D300, which works flawlessly with the 18-200.
    There's also no problem with the 2 batteries that I use.

    It's easy to mess up electrical contacts. Some users do not take care
    not to touch them, or just throw them, contacts uncovered, in a bag.

    I find it hard to believe that there's a problem with the camera's contacts.
    It's a camera maker with a lot of experience and the lens contacts aren't
    new. The bayonets are the same in different models.
    Over here, I haven’t heard of a single complaint.

    The D300 delivers better results than the D200 with the same lenses.
    While, in pic quality, the D200 is near the models down the list, the D300 is
    quite near to the D3, excluding the physically larger pixels that the D3 has,
    and its extra ISO (3200+, which is a range that's rarely used by most (people).

    I learned, fast, not to use the D200 at over 800 ISO.
    At 800 ISO, the D200 is quite noisy in shadows compared to the D300's
    silence at 3200 ISO.
    It seems to me that the in-camera image processing is better too.

    Having said that, and if you regard photography seriously, I'd suggest that
    you lay out a long-term strategy towards building a system.
    Like Garbs said, it doesn't stop with a body and a lens or two.
    It's either getting a D300 now, and waiting with the pro-grade lenses, or
    staying with the D200, and getting top glass earlier.
    (Not to mention other items, such as a real good tripod, etc').

    IMO, a 70-200 f/2.8, for instance, would have jumped you forward as much
    as a D300.
    There's no single correct answer to this, so it's up to how you feel about it.

    And, remember that most of the beautiful pics, along the history of
    photography, were made by much less advanced cameras than your D200.

    Just bumped into this:
    Jonathan Alpeyrie is a conflict-zone photographer, who works for
    Getti Images and other agencies.
    He could use a D3. He's using a D100, 28-200 f/3.5 Nikkor and a
    12-24 f/4 Tokina.
    True, that's what he's using, because he needs to keep a low profile
    among dangerous populations, but he gets some very good pics and
    good money for them.

    The bottom line is that the photographer is the most important part
    of the camera system.

     
  12. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    This is the second time that i read about lens mount problems with the D300, but most likely if there is a problem it is very rare and related to the early pieces out of the factory. They should be easily replaced or repaired under guarantee.


    That said, i too believe that you have a lot more to gain if you get gear for your D200 than with replacing it.
     

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