a700 or D200

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sud, May 17, 2008.

  1. sud macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    I am in the market for a dslr, I have been looking at the Sony a700 and the Nikon D200, not sure which is best for my applications, I travel a lot and and don't really care what brand I buy cause I think that I could be happy with any of the big brands. For me what matters is the ergonomics and the integration of the camera with my mac, I have aperture 2 and will be shooting mostly in raw, so i guess the transfer must be fast.

    Another very important factor for me is sharp images which body system would produce the sharpest images?

    I intend using a fast 50mm lens for night shots and a nice wide angel lens possibly a 12mm for buildings and the outdoors. as far as long reach lenses go wont need anymore then a 200mm lens.

    I know that most of you will probably say use the D200 with the 18-200vr lens but am not to keen on the 1 lens for everything.

    Or is the D300 worth the extra almost one thousand dollars?
  2. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Image sharpness will not be brand dependent.

    You don't mention previous SLR experience. If you're new to this, I think you'd be better off with a less expensive body and spending more on lenses - unless money isn't an issue for you (in which case feel free to ignore this comment).

    If money isn't an object, I'd get the D300 and the lenses you want. If money does matter, then consider getting a D80 and the lenses you want. Given that you think you want a prime lens, I wouldn't recommend the lowest end cameras - they don't have an in-body lens motor.

    You might want to wait until mid-June though. Nikon is supposedly going to announce new cameras and lenses in the next couple of weeks.

    I don't know the Sony cameras, so I've stuck with Nikon in these comments.
  3. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    It doesn't matter. Pick which one feels better in your hand. the A700 and D200 both have Sony sensors in them and hte few images I get to process that are shot with the Sony look just as good or bad as the D200.

    The D200 does a really good job with noise at high ISOs when shooting in RAW, in JPEG they are pretty outstanding up to ISO 1600. I don't know how the A700 fairs.

    The D300 is worth the extra cash only if 1 or 2 stops of exposure/noise handling are very important for you. The body and features are hard to resist, but from what many (those not sucked into the hype) are seeing it's only about a full stop or two, like getting the IQ from an ISO 800 image at ISO 1600. The 18-200 is nice but I can understand the one lens thing. If you want the WHOLE range from 11mm - 135mm or so, Tokina makes a great series of lenses (11-18, 16-50, 50-135) all at f2.8. Or there is the Nikon 18-70, 70-300 and 12-24 if speed isn't your thing.

    Your best bet in regards to lenses is to mix them up a bit. Buy a Tokina here, a Nikon there, and a Tamron over here if you are looking for your best combination. Sharpness depends mostly on the quality of glass, bot the body.
  4. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I haven't used either, but Nikon lenses are more readily found than Sony and old Minolta.
  5. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    You should figure out the lenses you want to use, pick that brand that has the best to offer, and then select a body you can use with the lenses.

    Given that, you can't go wrong with Nikon. The D200 is a great camera and Nikon lenses are first rate. I have no experience with Sony, so can't comment one way or the other.
  6. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I wouldn't call Sony one of the "big companies" in the dSLR market. That's usually reserved for Nikon/Canon.
  7. sud thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the comments, I have had some experience some time ago I owned a Nikon D50 but sold it with all the 2 lenses I had being the kit lens which was the 18-70 and the 50mm f1.8.

    I want to get back into photography again, yes price matters but don't really want to spend more then 2K on a body. I know the lenses are expensive for good gear and planned on getting the 50mm again with 12-24mm or the 17-55mm with the 12-24mm I think that would cover most of what I like to photograph. I am by no means a pro or try to pretend to be I just like good gear and hope it will assist in taking better photos?

    This is a link to some pics I took with the D50 a while back, would be good if you could comment.


    There are only 4 pics but its the type of photography I like.
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    I think the D300 is worth the extra thousand dollars, but I don't know if it's worth it to you.

    Nikon will have a broader array of lenses available. As to sharpness, probably makes no difference - Sony makes a competent sensor, no doubt. However, I'd give a significant edge to Nikon for their associated image-processing electronics, even in an older camera like the D200 (one reason D300 would be better, IMHO). I think a fair part of the reason for the IQ of the D300 and D3 is Nikon's Expeed concept, and your NEXT camera after the D200 is likely to have some variation of that Expeed processing.
  9. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2007
    While the implementation certainly differs, the a700 and D300 share the same Sony image sensor. I do agree, however, that the D300's image processing gives better results (though there are tests out there that indicate the a700 has slightly better low light abilities).
  10. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    If you have a decent budget you may want to consider the alternatives to the 17-55. I have used it and it's by far a great lens with great image quality and sharpness.

    Tokina makes a comparable lens in every way except the construction. The Tokina 16-50 f2.8 extends when at 60mm while the Nikon doesn't. Everything else is pretty much the same; the Tokina however, is half the price. Tamron and Sigma make 17-50 f2.8 lenses as well, but they aren't built as tough, and the cheaper ones lack the motor, but the sharpness is still spot on, yes I have used the Tamron.

    If you are a shooter that has to have Nikon written on the side then go for the Nikon, but if you want as much good gear as you can get for your dollar then grab the 3rd parties.
  11. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Another point to consider about using Nikon lenses is that their resale value can be much better than third party lenses, especially the pro models. I've seen the 70-200/2.8 VR often go used for 90% of it retail price.
  12. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I have used Nikon D200s through school for the past two years, and I currently own a Sony A700, so I guess that puts me higher in the experience category so far in this post, but I'm still young.

    Personally, I love my Sony. I used to love the Nikon D200s at school for their speed, quality and noise reduction, but that was until I picked up my A700 as an upgrade to my A100. The quality went through the roof. They both shoot at the same 5fps, have a comparable 10 and 12 megapixels, respectively, and rate quite high in noise reduction.

    The few things that I find put the A700 ahead of the D200 are:
    large, bright, high-def 3-inch screen (I don't like top LCD's)
    incredible noise suppression - i just shot an indoor mass at ISO1600 with very little visible noise. even my teacher (a hardcore Nikon user) was amazed.
    sensor-shift image stabilization (applies to all lenses, and reduces cost)
    ergonomics and ease of use - I find the A700 much easier to use, and it doesn't cramp my hands up as much as the D200, due to it's light weight.
    efficiency - I get way better battery life out of my Sony than the Nikon.

    Ultimately, it's up to you. I don't think the D300 is worth that much extra money, unless you have it just floating around. In terms of lenses, Sony just released a lot of Zeiss optics that soar way above any Nikkor lens.
    Not to mention Sony will be releasing the 24.4mp full-frame DSLR any time now, giving you the option to upgrade in the future and keep your accessories.

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free. :]
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If I was you, starting with a clean slate and only planned on getting 2 lenses right now (a 50 mm and a wide angle lens), with the possibility of buying another type of lense at some point in the future (its inevitable, isn't it?), I'd probably get the Sony A700. I'd also rather get a D300, but since you're talking about the D200, I'd rather get the A700. D300>A700>D200. I don't believe that the brand and lens lineup will matter a lot for most people, since you already know what you want, and you know your needs aren't particularly exceptional and difficult to satisfy.

    Once you start using the cameras, you won't care what name is on the camera as long as you get the shots you want. You're going to be very happy with the image quality from ALL cameras on the market today, but I've never been particularly impressed with images from the D200, even when compared to a camera like the D40X. Its colour is seems superior to the D300, but I'd rather tinker with the colours of a D300 image.

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