Kind of dissapointed with my D200

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by panocho, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    As the title says, I've got a Nikon D200. I must say I am happy with it; I am very happy indeed... or should I say I was very happy?

    I've recently purchased a Nikon D40 to give as a present. Before giving it, which won't happen until a few weeks later, I have been trying it out. I must say I was completely amazed by the quality of this little camera. But the "worst" came today, when I started playing "comparison" with its older brother the D200. For a moment it seemed to easily surpass it! :crazy:

    I'll explain a little more: I put both cameras in "P" mode and shot the excelent old-town view I have from my appartment. Both cameras were also set for JPGs. It was a night shot. So, the D40 treated it wonderfully, giving it a really beautiful blueish-night tone, whereas the D200's shot had a dull brownish tone to it. The JPG direct out of the camera was far better from the D40.

    The D40 was set in "auto" for optimizing image; since the D200 has not such thing, I tried different options. None would give the great JPG the D40 did.

    That's the end of the story. If I continued, I would have to add how -expectedly, luckily- the D200 treated better more complicated shots. And, I know, I know, you're most likely going to shoot RAW and process yourself the JPGs, as I normally do (not always! that's when this "discovery" bothers me), but it still puts me down how the D40 can surpass the D200 at in-camera process. I mean, does the one year difference between the two explain that? Did Nikon develop a better conversion in that lapse of time?
     
  2. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ooops, never mind....
     
  3. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    The D40 does a great job on jpg's on Auto. It is specifically targeted at that market.

    If that's what you are after, then sell the D200 and go for it. There is no shame in that!
     
  4. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Any dSLR does a great job on AUTO-the only reason you leave it is for ego... Auto takes perfect pictures until you want to stop motion, etc...

    You need a camera that has AUTO for the days that you just want good pics with no effort or thought... If the egotists look at your exif, they may dog you for shooting in AUTO, but the pictures can't be challenged.... If you are comfortable with AUTO. sell your D200 and get a D40.. It's a fine camera, unless you want to make posters...
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D200 is a camera made for a professional. If one's photography is weak, this camera *will* display this in your pics VERY fast. One has to know the camera perfectly, understand photography VERY well. Once you do both, this camera will impress. It has won more awards than any other camera in Nikon history... and that list includes cameras like the D3 or D700.

    I own the D200 and D700 and both have a place in my bag anytime.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Auto is great... for people that lack understanding and skill. Manual is where true mastery (or lack thereof), of a camera is displayed. ;)

    The D200 doesn't even have an auto mode, just a P-mode... and let me tell you, as an owner of a D200, the P-mode of this camera is... WEAK.

    I will happily put up my D200 in full manual or aperture priority mode against the auto mode of the D40 any day of the week, and my pics will come out better. My understanding of this camera is SOLID and my understanding of photography is not half bad either.

    One has to know what they are doing with the D200, it is VERY unforgiving and if your "kung fu" is weak... this camera will make that blindingly obvious. :D
     
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly on both of your posts. You have to tweak the settings in the camera to get what you want. Like you said it is a pro/prosumer camera which ever you choose to call it. Read the manual fully then read it again. You will find it is by far beeter over the D40. It was never meant to be pulled out of the box and, just shot as is.
     
  8. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. I was not really envying the D40. If you read my post, it starts that way but soon it comes happily back to the D200. I have the D200 and am really happy with it. I'd never use auto mode; I even dislike a camera just for having "situations" modes (portrait, landscape, etc.). I'm kind of old-fashioned (wish you could just insert a digital cartridge on a F2!) and like and enjoy the D200 for letting me take greater responsibility in taking a picture, as well as allowing me to try much more things in order to take a nice picture.

    Now back to my "complain" (kind of): although I shoot that way, there still are some occasions when you just need one picture, I guess you know what I mean. That's why the camera has the Program mode, AF, matrix metering etc It allows to, in those occasions, just point and shoot. I think it's OK that a camera like this offers that as just an occasional alternative for most of their users. So, the day you resorce to that, why is it that an entry-amateur camera does it better? The comparison was kind of fair: I did not use Auto mode on the D40, but Program, as in the D200. How come Program mode plus in-camera jpg process did a better job in the D40 than in the D200? The fact that the D40 was created to do that, whereas not the D200, doesn't convince me. I mean, you're going to be doing something different with the D200, but the day you do that, why should it not give those great results? I just don't get it. Unless, as I said, Nikon had changed in-camera JPGs process from one camera to the other.

    A final note: the comparison was just "kind of " fair, since it refers to just one shot.

    And the final note: I am REALLY happy with my GREAT D200. I would only change it for the combination above mentioned of F2 and "digital cartridge"
     
  9. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Would that challenge include letting both cameras directly give you a JPG? Because that's where I suspect some significant differences are. In such case you'd have to add "and process myself the RAW files afterwards".
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it comes down to the target market of the D40. It's aimed at people who would really buy a point and shoot. But people who then get a D40 and are used to over-saturated and high contrast photos from point and shoot would be disappointed. I personally believe that the D40 is biased slightly towards this kind of image and there's nothing at all wrong with that, just that the higher end cameras have a more neutral default setting. I often flick my D200 to +1 for sharpens and +1 for saturation when snapping JPEGs (which is rare) but then again when processing my RAWs my defaults settings are slightly different from the standard too.

    It comes down to not only what you are used to but what your style is. Certainly both cameras can do whatever you want, just that out of the box they are slightly different.
     
  11. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It sounds more like a white balance issue (and not knowing how to use it).

    Also, I don't use optimization settings. I just shoot it flat (RAW or JPEG) and do what I want to it on my computer afterwards.
     
  12. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    Barring any enormous issues I may have with this statement, I am left wondering why many cameras intended for working professionals completely lack an "auto" mode (notably the D200). It seems to me like people putting food on their tables with their cameras couldn't afford to shoot in such an ego-dictated manner.

    Otherwise, I agree with epp_b: The D200 has very advanced white balance controls, and color casts would probably be corrected here. Even if you shoot it wrong, I think it's to say that the D200 is targeted towards the sort of photographers who shoot RAW and can correct such an issue in a matter of seconds in their post-processing workflow.

    That said, it does sound frustrating. If you want to make yourself feel better, compare the ergonomics and build quality.
     

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