Sat 31-Oct-09 12:30 AM | edited Sat 31-Oct-09 09:13 AM by markscamera
As much as I'd love to buy a D300 or D300s to accompany my D700 as a 2nd camera/backup the best I can do is find a $1329 refurbished D300 from Cameta on that auction site and even more for the D300s. I was browsing Adorama tonight and found a refurbished D200 for $799 which includes a Nikon 90 day warranty. Would the D200 without grip make a good general purpose backup to my D700? I still have one remaining DX lens, the 18-200VR plus all my FX lenses. I'm looking for a backup but also a little more reach when using my Signa HSM 300f2.8 EX DG or 70-200. I'm currently using a D2H and D1x for DX bodies but when going out with 2 bodies it makes for a very heavy bag! Bottom line, looking for a smaller 2nd camera and would prefer a prosumer body and not pay big $$$ unless the D200 isn't a good choice. Mark Stephan NAVY
A backup camera, to my way of thinking, is a body that hangs around, mostly collecting dust, until the unfortunate moment when your D700 fails and has to be sent it for repair. If that's what you're considering, the D200 is a perfectly good choice. Good photographers have made (and continue to make) award winning photos with the D200. Better still, the D200 and the Nikkor 18-200 VR work beautifully together IMO.
Howard is right about the D200. Yet another Nikon to study is the D80. The D80 is lighter and smaller than a D200. It collects less dust and uses fewer calories traveling to a disaster. The D80 has the same image "engine" as the D200.
Due to size and weight the D80's build is less robust than the D200. The D80 is not as tightly sealed. Still, if one wraps a D80 properly, it will wait patiently at the bottom of a rucksack.
I have a D80 and use it to back my D700. When shot at low ISO it collects very good images. Most of my early Nikonians Gallery files are from a D80. Recent eBay sales for D80 bodies range from $500 - $700. An added benefit - the D200, D80 and D700 use the same battery. Along with the D200 the D80 is a very good D700 backup.
I have a D700 and a D200 and I use both in tandemfor the following reasons:
i. The D200 is excellent up to about iso800. ii. I use the D200 in combination with the 70-200 lens, often with a TC. This results in longer reach and excellent IQ. iii.Often I use an FX and a DX body in parallel plus two lenses which gives you the same effect as carrying four lenses but reduces the need for lens changes. iv. I have never felt that an upgrade from D200 to D300 was worthwhile.
Sun 01-Nov-09 02:17 PM | edited Sun 01-Nov-09 02:20 PM by jerry r
I'll add my two cents to the above. Having a back-up body is great. I, too, keep a lens on it that I may need for the shoot. As stated this saves time and reduces the danger of letting in dust when lens changing in the field.
I eventually converted my D200 back-up to an infra-red dedicated camera and bought a D300 back-up. The D200 makes a great infra-red camera. I might not have sacrificed a more expensive body.
Sun 01-Nov-09 07:32 PM | edited Sun 01-Nov-09 07:41 PM by markscamera
Thanks for all the input. I always carry a bag with two bodies with lenses on them and just switch when I want something else. I like DX and the longer reach it offer with my FX lenses. I'm ready for something smaller/lighter than the very capable D2H or D1x that keeps my D700 company. The D700 and D200 or possibly D300/300s without grip would make a nice pair. Im just torn about whether to spend $800 for a refurbished D200 at Adorama or more than twice as much for the newer body. Have the cash for one but not the other. Mark Stephan NAVY
Having shot for some time each with the D200 and with the D300. I would recommend the D300.
At least with my samples, the D300 seems to have a shade better dynamic range and a more consistently accurate autofocus. The picture control settings on the D300 are much better that the D200 if you shoot JPEG. Other functions and controls would be more similar. The only thing I liked better about the D200 than the D300 was the small matter of the dedicated bracket button. Didn't work any better, but was a tad faster to turn the bracketing on and off.
I've just ordered a D700 as a backup body to my D200. However, as you are on the other side, already have a D700, I'd rather buy a D5000 than a D200. The D5000 has better IQ than D200/D300/D300s/D90 and it's a 2nd generation camera, like the D300/D300s/D90 for the same price as a used D200.
Just my two hundred cents.
There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary code and those who don't.
Mark, Hi, I noticed in today's "I want to sell" forum there was a listing of a brand new Nikon D200, did you happen to notice it? I sold my D200's when I upgraded to the D700. Originally, I was going to keep one of the D200's as my 2nd body, but the more I used the D700, the less I used the D200. So, I took the plunge and now own 2 D700's. I think if you buy the D200 you will be quite happy with it. And like one of the previous posts stated you can use the same battery in both your D200 and D700. Best of luck with your buying decision.
If your back does not need high ISO's the D200 will work out just fine. You can probably find one used on the forum in the $500 to $600 dollar range. The D300 is better in some situations, but it is double the cost. So if your looking for a more rugged backup or a good general purpose camera the D200 is a good choice.
In many ways, yes, but it would not be such an obvious choice for me.
The D200 still has some advantages, including a Mirror-up facility, 1005-pixel (rather than 420-pixel) Matrix Meter, CF card compatibility with the D700, more rugged body construction, 10-pin remote socket, and slightly more familiar control layout.
I'll put my 2¢ in here recommending the D300 for a backup/DX body (especially since it shares the grip & has better range in ISO than the D200) if you can swing it. If not, then the D200 is a great camera for a backup/DX body. You may want to shop around a bit more for your DX backup body. Cameta Camera refurbs are excellent deals though, I bought a D2X and a F100 refurb from them and they were practically like new.
I like having a DX option to my D700/FX body for the longer lens reach when desired.
I have 2 D200s', an older one I converted to IR when I bought a new one from Best Buy almost a year ago now (for $599.99). Unfortunately I'll be sending the BB D200 body in for repair, the internal clock battery never charges and it drains batteries in weeks even just sitting idle/off, while my older D200 IR battery is fine. Even if the battery still has a charge, the second I pull it out & put in a fresh battery the date & time is gone. Oh well, this is the 1st Nikon body I've ever had any issues with ever, and it works fine otherwise.
>having handled both, I would have to nix the D80/90 >suggestions. > >You'd want a back up with the most "familiar" set of >controls/menus. > >To that end, you are limited to the D300s, which is pretty >darn close to the D700 in menu layout and buttons. > >The D200 is excellent (my only primary camera, but will soon >be relegated to backup when I get a D700), but only between >ISO 100-400 (when compared to a D700). > >A DX backup makes TONS of sense given the extra reach with a >70-200 IMO. > >g/l!
Yes, the D200 is a great camera. Having had all 3: D200, D300, and D90, I still recommend the D90. It is the best value for the money. It beats out the others in size, weight, and is almost the same as the D300s in image quality. My second choice for a D700 backup would be the D300s. You will spend a lot more for a slightly more compatible camera. If money is not a problem, get a second D700, it will be 100% compatible.
If handling is an issue, go into a camera store and handle them.