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Nikon D200 Digital SLR
First Look Preview

Nikon D200 Digital SLR

Nikon D200 Digital SLR above with MB-D200 Vertical Grip and New
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II IF-ED Zoom Lens




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Nov 1st , 2005

Nikon has today officially introduced the 10.2 megapixel Nikon D200 digital SLR. The Nikon D200 is a successor to the popular Nikon D100 (2002) and is positioned as an upgrade to the
Nikon D70s, that will appeal to a wide range of advanced hobby photographers, semi-professionals and those who are looking for a durable back up to their Nikon D2X, Nikon D2Hs or other Nikon digital SLR.

The Nikon D200 incorporates a newly developed 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor combined with high-speed 4-channel data output and features a new Optical Low Pass Filter, which according to Nikon will allow D200 photographers to benefit from a significant reduction in the possible occurance of moiré as well as color fringing and shifting. The 4-channel output allows the Nikon D200 to adopt the advanced image-processing engine of the Nikon D2X that combines color-independent preconditioning prior to A/D conversion with advanced digital image processing algorithms to deliver fine color gradations with satisfyingly smooth, consistent transitions.

Nikon D200 Image Processing
Nikon D200 incorporates similar image processing engine to Nikon D2X

The Nikon D200 features Nikon's 1,005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II for highly accurate exposure metering. The D200's 1,005-pixel RGB-enabled sensor captures scene elements including brightness, contrast and color content, while improved algorithms based on Nikon D2X technology provide for better evaluation of large area highlight and shadow detail. The camera also utilizes an onboard database of over 30,000 images to evaluate rather than simply measure the true light content of each scene.

Having had only a few days so far to familiarize ourselves with an actual pre-production Nikon D200 digital SLR combined with the new AF-S DX 18-200mm VR IF-ED Nikkor zoom lens, we must say that the handling and response of the Nikon D200 is quite impressive.

With a fast 0.15 second power-up, a shutter time lag of only 50 milliseconds and a shortened viewfinder blackout time of 105 milliseconds, combined with a high-speed continuous shooting capability of up to 5fps, with continuous bursts of up to 37 JPEG images or up to 22 shots in NEF (RAW) format, the Nikon D200 is designed to capture those sudden unexpected moments.

The Nikon D200 features a new 11-area AF system in addition to 7-wide area AF - both of which are based on Nikon's new Multi-CAM 1000 AF Sensor Module delivering fast and precise auto focus.

The Nikon D200 also stands out in terms of its general look and feel. Menus, dials and buttons are all logically laid out and the magnesium alloy body construction provides for a rugged design with a solid balance and a comfortable grip. For those users that seek an even greater "pro" look and feel there is an optional MB-D200 vertical release battery grip available for the Nikon D200, which provides additional depth and heft to the camera as well as some practical features.

The Nikon D200 digital SLR is due to be released in mid December, and will retail in Canada for an expected manufacturer's recommended retail price (MSRP) of $2200 Canadian. The new AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR IF-ED Nikkor zoom lens is expected to retail for an MSRP of $950 Canadian. The expected street price of the Nikon D200 in the US is $1699. To learn more about the Nikon D200 read through our First Look review below.

Nikon D200 Digital SLR

Nikon D200
Major Features

  • Newly developed 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor with the power to capture exceptional sharpness and faithful color at 3,872 x 2,592 pixels size. Incorporates high-speed 4-channel data output that contributes to 5fps continuous shooting performance and employs a newly developed Optical Low Pass Filter that helps prevent moiré, color fringing and shifting while improving resolving power.

  • Nikon D200 Image Sensor

  • Adopts the advanced imaging processing engine of the D2x, which allows color-independent pre-conditioning prior to A/D conversion to work in conjunction with digital image processing algorithms to achieve fine color gradations with smooth, consistent transitions.

  • Newly developed 11-area AF system packs the same number of focus areas available for the professional D2 series into a space-efficient system, with the photographer able to select individual focus areas from 11-area wide and 7 wide-area AF for Single Area AF, Dynamic AF that delivers precise Continuous servo AF mode operation for moving subjects, Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF and also Group Dynamic AF. All the AF options in the Nikon D200 are supported by refined lens-controlling algorithms that realize improved focus precision, better subject acquisition capability, keener subject tracking ability and overall improved system response.

  • Nikon D200 AF Areas

    The 11-area AF points as seen in the D200 viewfinder, with the brackets covering the 7-wide area AF points

  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II (AE) - as used in the D2x - delivers optimized exposure that is able to more precisely determine the position and size of shadow or highlight areas through new technology developed for the Nikon 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure / Color Matrix Metering Sensor. Also offers variable size center-weighted metering which concentrates 75% of sensitivity within the center-weighted circle, as well as spot metering supporting each individual sensor of both the 7 wide-area AF and 11-area AF groups.

  • A magnesium alloy body construction gives the D200 lightweight resilience, while an enhanced sealing system helps protect all exterior seams from potentially damaging dust and moisture.
  • New image optimization modes enable photographers to produce results more closely matching the intended results, with a range of choice comprising optimization of sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation, and hue, with choices from Normal, Softer, Vivid, More vivid, Portrait, Custom and Black-and-white optimization.

  • Near instant power-up of 0.15 seconds lets photographers respond to sudden opportunities.

  • A mere 50-millisecond shutter time lag on the Nikon D200 promotes fast handling, while a 105-millisecond viewfinder blackout provides a response that is especially useful during continuous shooting.

  • Fast continuous shooting performance at 5 frames per second enables the shooting of up to 37 JPEG (Fine-Large) images* or up to 22 NEF (RAW) images*, with shutter speeds ranging from 1/8,000 of a second to 30 seconds.

  • A large 2.5-inch LCD monitor with a 170° viewing angle from every direction assists accurate assessment of sharpness by enabling image preview with up to 400% magnification. The Nikon D200's LCD monitor also offers RGB information as a single display or separate histograms for each color channel to enable better exposure-related decision-making.
  • Nikon D200 highlight area
    Nikon D200 Channel Histograms
    Nikon D200 highlight area display
    Nikon D200 colour channel histograms


  • Mirror Lock Up feature can be enabled in the custom settings menu. Especially useful for close up work.

  • The Nikon D200 features a built-in pop-up flash that supports i-TTL flash control. Wireless control over remote speedlights is possible with the built-in "Commander" mode similar to that found on the Nikon D70s. The enhanced commander feature on the D200 allows you to easily control up to 2 groups of remote speedlights wirelessly, with the built-in flash acting as the master. (Only with SB-800, SB-600 and SB-R200 Nikon Speedlights). 1/250 sec flash sync. FP High Speed Sync is available with the Nikon SB-800 Speedlight.

  • A new color-coded menu display features a color scheme that promotes easy viewing as well as the use of intuitive keywords that assist speedy navigation. There's also a Recent Settings list that displays the last 14 settings selected from shooting and Custom menus.

  • Playback options include single frame, 4- or 9-image thumbnail display, zoom with scroll, histogram indication and highlight point display.

  • ISO sensitivity settings from ISO 100 - 1600, and HI-0.3 (2000 ISO), HI-0.7 (2500 ISO), HI-1 (3200 ISO) which can be set in 1/3 stop increments.

  • An "ISO Auto" feature is available that allows the camera to automatically adjust sensitivity to achieve optimal exposure. The "ISO Auto" feature also controls sensitivity when the built-in flash or when the Nikon Speedlight SB-800 or SB-600 is used.

  • The Nikon D200 is equipped with a 10-pin remote terminal for various Nikon remote accessories (including the new Nikon Remote Cord MC-36) and a PC flash sync terminal for connecting studio strobes.

  • The Nikon D200 features a double-bladed shutter unit tested to well over 100,000 cycles ensuring highly reliable, highly durable performance. The shutter unit also employs a refined mirror balance mechanism that allows the mirror to complete its motion cycle and reach a complete stop with virtually no mirror bounce, providing the extended viewfinder visibility essential for fast, accurate focus tracking and continuous shooting.

  • The large top LCD panel makes it easy to read data at a glance, such as shooting mode, battery condition, card information, gridline display, shutter speed, F stop and number of remaining shots.

  • Nikon D200 Digital SLR Top

    Nikon D200 Top View

  • The newly developed high-energy EN-EL3e rechargeable lithium-ion battery delivers enough power to support the shooting of up to 1,800 images on a single charge, can be recharged at any time and features a handy real-time fuel gauge system display that shows remaining charge by percentage, number of shots since last charge and overall battery status.

  • Multiple exposure mode on the Nikon D200 enables up to 10 separate images to be used to create a single composite to produce imaginative and even surreal results.

  • The Nikon D200 image overlay function (first introduced in the Nikon D2X) creates a composite image in-camera from two selected NEF (RAW) images. The original files remain unaltered, opacity can be precisely controlled and the resultant image can be saved in either RAW, JPEG or TIFF format.

  • Connection to a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit via an optionally available GPS Adapter Cord MC-35 enables the recording of data including latitude, longitude, elevation and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) along with conventional shooting data for each image.

  • The optionally available MB-D200 battery pack adds extended shooting capability with an ergonomic design. Able to run on either six AA-size batteries or two EN-EL3e batteries*, it also features an additional command dial and alternative buttons for shutter release and AF start that make for more comfortable vertical shooting.
    * Compatible AA-size batteries comprise alkaline, NiMH, lithium and nickel-manganese batteries.

  • The optional Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-3* adds all the convenience of IEEE802.11b/g capability, enabling cable-free image transfer to a compatible computer while also supporting wide-ranging network and security protocols for added assurance. * Available only in countries that approve the use of thirteen frequency channels.

  • The Nikon D200 is compatible with Nikon's digital-exclusive DX Nikkor lenses as well as Nikon's 35mm/digital compatible AF Nikkor System.

    Nikon D200 Front

    Nikon D200 with the new AF-S DX 18-200mm VR IF-ED Nikkor zoom lens

  • The Nikon Creative Lighting System allows the D200 digital SLR to work seamlessly with the Nikon SB-800, SB-600 and SB-R200 Speedlights to deliver the benefits of i-TTL flash control's advanced monitor pre-flash, accurate measurement for bounce and versatile wireless operation. SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlights also offer a Wide-Area AF-assist Illuminator specially tailored to the D200's 11-area Multi-CAM 1000 AF Sensor Module.

  • Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.4, not included) unlocks the extensive potential of NEF (Nikon Electronic Format). Not only does it make smoother fidelity for tonal and other color corrections possible, but it also empowers photographers to reprocess images at any time and save the results to the original NEF file as a new Instruction Set, or as a TIFF or JPEG file, while retaining the integrity of the original data at all times.

  • PictureProject Ver. 1.6 (complimentary with camera) empowers the photographer with tools that help expand the enjoyment of photography.

    These include tools for Organizing the images to promote effective viewing, Automatic and manual options for image editing, Design selections that help make multi-image album and presentation pages, and tools to help photographers share images with others through CD/DVD burning, slide shows, muvee presentations, fast and effective e-mailing and access to Nikon's PictureProject In-touch. In addition to helping anyone enjoy their pictures, PictureProject also provides the means to make sure that the computer's hard drive won't turn into an "electronic shoe box" full of pictures - instead they can be kept as neatly ordered as the user like.

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