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D50 vs. D200

Royall Berndt , Oct 16, 2012; 11:02 a.m.

I'm thinking about trading my D50 for a D200. Would that be a worthwhile upgrade?


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Chris Letts , Oct 16, 2012; 11:15 a.m.

I've had a D200 for years and its a great camera. I upgraded from a D70 and found it considerably better in many ways but it takes a bit of getting used to - in RAW mode many people have said the images are a little soft and compared to my D70 I would agree, but a little post-processing fixes it all. Other than that the D200 wins hands down - you will probably find the more you use it, the more 'professional' it feels compared to D50/D70 - don't ask me to quantify that, I just feel I take much better pictures with it than I did with a D70, especially in less-than-perfect conditions.

Chip Chipowski , Oct 16, 2012; 11:40 a.m.


I made the D50 to D200 move about a year ago. As you probably know, the D200 sensor is very old by modern standards and obviously not state of the art. Aside from that, I love the D200. I like the larger size (easier to hold one handed for extended period of time). I like that it can meter with old manual focus Nikkors. I like the external controls. And the viewfinder is definitely an upgrade from the D200. Overall, I like that the D200 feels very "robust" in its build quality. I will probably keep mine forever, as it is not worth very much anymore. Feel free to follow-up with any more specific questions.

Rich Simmons , Oct 16, 2012; 11:52 a.m.

dpreview originally referred to the D200 as a baby D2x. That's a pretty good compliment. And while technology has moved along, I'm sure it takes shots just as well as when it first came out. You might want to consider upgrading your glass to get the most out of it though.

Wouter Willemse , Oct 16, 2012; 12:12 p.m.

Basically everything is better on the D200; it's not only the sensor that matters. Construction quality of the D200 is an obvious step up, as is the AF. One of the things that (to me anyway) was the nicest upgrade when I went from D50 to D80 (the baby D200...) was the viewfinder. You will find that judging focus on the D200 viewfinder is a whole lot easier and nicer.
Neither of these cameras is state of the art by today's standard, but the D200 is a tried and tested cameras that can work really well, unless you need very high ISO (but the D50 is equally limited in that respect). I'd say it's a worthwhile upgrade (well, it depends a bit on the price you have to pay, obviously).

Eric Arnold , Oct 16, 2012; 12:20 p.m.

they have the same sensor--10mp CCD--so there will be minimal differences in IQ, if at all. what everyone else said about the larger body/better build holds true. so from that standpoint, it's an upgrade. i would personally rather have a d7000, (or a used d300 for not much more than a d200) but at base ISO, the D200 can still produce quality images. i'd be sure and check the shutter count before purchasing, though.

Wouter Willemse , Oct 16, 2012; 12:32 p.m.

Eric, the D50 has the 6MP CCD sensor that was in the D70 - it's not the same one as the D200 at all. Judging from my D50 and D80 RAW files, the dynamic range of the D200/D80 sensor is better too.

Ariel S , Oct 16, 2012; 02:51 p.m.

It's a better camera in every way, and the D200 is my main camera. The only problem is that today, you're going to get an older one. That means that it is that much closer to failing, and also, there is just so much better on the market today. Unless you need a specific feature of the D200 such as metering with old non-CPU lenses, you're better off spending that money on a current model, since DSLRs, being so tied to computers, advance just as fast. The D5100 refurbished from Adorama is currently $500 with 18-55mm lens.

Peter Hamm , Oct 16, 2012; 03:03 p.m.

I think a D200 is too old to start using now, when you can get a D90 for a great price. A D5000 or D5100 would be a worthy upgrade from D50 as well, assuming you don't have tons of screwdrve-lens glass.

Craig Shearman , Oct 16, 2012; 03:08 p.m.

I've had a D200 for about five years now and love it. Baby D2x as described above. Biggest shortcoming is that digital noise starts to show at anything over ISO 400. I use it at 1600 for sports, where capturing the action is more important than smooth skintones, but try to stick to 400 or 800 otherwise. Just added a D7000, where the 1600 looks like 400 looks on the D200.
Don't know what your budget is, but from a D50 I would skip over the D200 and go straight to a D7000. But if a used D200 is more in your budget and you don't need high ISO, it's a very solid camera.

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