What does the D300 do that the D200 doesn't?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by avincent52, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. avincent52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #1
    I'm thinking about a DSLR for my old Nikon glass, and I'm debating between a new D-300 (around $1800) and a clean used D-200 ($900).
    The simple question. What does a D300 do that the D200 doesn't?
    Is it worth the approximately $900 difference?
    Obviously the photographers selling their 200s to upgrade to D-300s think so.
    What am I missing?
    best
    Allen
     
  2. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    kidnapped by aliens
    #2
    just a few :

    bigger screen.
    self cleaning sensor
    live view on the screen
    12 vs 10 megapixel
    8 vs 5 shots per second
     
  3. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #4
    A big thing for me is the allegedly dramatic improvement in the quality of JPEGs coming straight off the camera. I really don't enjoy post-processing every image so I'm looking forward to this. (Batch processing does not help much because every image requires a slightly different tweak.)
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #5
    For me the key difference so far has been the amazing autofocus and how much more quickly it locks into and retains focus on, for example, a bird in flight. The faster frames per second definitely makes a difference, too. The 3" LCD screen is gorgeous and easily visible out in the field in bright sunlight, and the larger size makes it even better for quickly zooming in and checking focus right on the spot.

    Auto white balance seems to be much more accurate. I haven't needed to tweak + EV or - EV as much as with the D200 or D2Xs.

    I haven't fiddled much with Live View yet; I'll be doing that more with macros and probably on the D3 rather than the D300. I tried out the self-cleaning thing and I'm sure that will be useful but I'm not tossing out my Giottos rocket blower, which has served me well through all my other DSLRs and has kept them pretty clean!

    For me the 12 MP didn't really make a lot of difference as I've had that on the D2Xs anyway, but yes, compared to the D200, it does provide a little more latitude for cropping and retaining good resolution in an image. Someone coming from a 6 MP camera would be more likely to notice the differences, though.

    Like the D200 and D2Xs the D300 has that wonderful Non-CPU Lens feature where one can adjust the metering and set parameters for those oldies-but-goodies lenses. This is a very nice feature if one has favorite old AI-S lenses from the past.

    The vertical grip/external battery compartment (MB-D10) is superior to the one which is used with the D200. It fits much more securely on the camera body and feels much more integrated with the body. It is amazingly versatile,too, in that one can use an EN-EL4a battery (normally used on the D2X/s, D2H/s, D3) and get more "oomph" and even faster fps, or one can use two EN-EL3e batteries (the ones used with the D80, D200 and D300) and be able to be out in the field shooting away for a long time without needing to swap batteries. If one so desires, the battery grip also works with various alkaline, Ni-MH and Ni-CAD batteries, too. Take your pick!

    Speaking of batteries, the D300 seems to be better on battery life than the D200. That is a relief so that then one doesn't need to cram pockets full of batteries to go out for a day's shooting.

    If I were starting out fresh today and making a decision about which camera to buy I would not hesitate -- I would go right to the D300.
     
  5. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #6
    Thanks so much for the feedback.
    I carefully considered all the options and decided to ignore the consensus and buy a super-clean lo-mileage D-200 on the Nikonians classifieds. I like nice gear, but most of the bells and whistles beyond auto-exposure tend to be lost on me. And the D-200 is pre-depreciated, so if I need/want to sell it, it'll retain at least as much of its value as a new D-300.
    And the $900 difference will buy a nice lens (but which one?)--or a nice vintage watch.
    best
    Allen
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
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    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #7
    Chances are that the D200 is going to drop a LOT more in value as time goes on, but the fact remains that it IS a very nice camera and you should be able to get some good results with it and a really good lens. Looking forward to seeing your images in here one of these days!
     
  7. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #8
    A question for D300 owners: subjectively, how does the viewfinder compare to the D200's?

    I'm renting a D200 right now while waiting for my D70 to be repaired, and the first thing that struck me, aside from satisfying heft of the all-metal body, was how much better my beloved AIS lenses worked on the D200. Apart from being able to meter with AI lenses, the D200 provided a view that felt much fuller, and hence allowed for easier, quicker focusing.

    It's the one thing I'm going to miss the most when I have to return the D200, and it'd be great to hear if the D300 improved upon it yet more.
     
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #9
    IMHO the VF in the D300 definitely is an improvement on the one in the D200. The one in the D3 is simply amazing!
     
  9. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #10
    Here's the way I see the math. Maybe 18 months ago, my d-200 was about $1500 new, and it's $900 now.
    If a new D300 depreciates at about the same rate, my D-200 would have to drop to $300 in a year and a half to keep pace, which seems a bit extreme.
    That said, I don't worry about this too much. On paper my old Nikon film cameras are all but worthless, but as tools, they're still remarkably useful.
    I'm mostly bowing to the gods of convenience.

    Thanks for the hospitality. What do I need to do to post pics? I've actually got some nice shots I took for my last book.

    best
    Allen
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #11
    There is a thread called "Pic of the Day" or something like that. Post there if you like!
     
  11. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #12
    Got my new/used D200 today, and it rocks.

    The controls are very intuitive and it handles great and the styling is, well, kinda sexy. It is a serious hunk of camera though, as big and heavy as my old FE with the motordrive and eight AAA batteries. I would bet the MD200 grip makes it a boat anchor. Lots of these for sale in almost unused condition it seems.

    Just took a couple of quick and dirty trial photos, but I'm very happy with the results. It meters perfectly with my AI lenses, and once I reset the diopter, I realized I didn't miss the rangefinder/microprism (although it's nice to know that an optional screen is available.)
    It makes me want a D3 to use this glass full frame, but that'll have to wait awhile.
    thanks for the advice and inspiration. Here's a pic of my old F2 with my 55 macro and the pop up flash. Note what film I was using last.
    best
    Allen


    PS I also got censored on Nikonians for saying that the transaction was easier than Paris Hilton.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Every DSLR body will drop to near zero value in a decade. If not exactly 10 years then 9 or 12. So the way I figure it, a $1,800 camera costs $180 per year or $15 per month. Cheaper entertainment than cable TV. Should I tell you what I spent racing sailboats? More than $15/month.

    Collecting Nikon gear is cheap. Just be glad you don't have a Hasselblad or Leica addiction.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    I also have an F2 and the same micro-nikor lens. Try doing a resolution test and tell us if the D200 can capture the same detail is the F2 and film using the same lens. My D50 looses to the F2 but I wonder how much better is the D220 and D300. Have the top of the line DSLRs beaten the older film bodies yet?
     
  14. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #15
    Chris
    You're right, of course. If you can plug it in--or charge a battery--it will be landfill eventually, sooner rather than later.
    I'm a tad disappointed my old Nikon film gear hasn't held its value a little better, but since I'm not selling it, it doesn't make a difference. (That's why I put my real money in vintage guitars and watches, which hold their value and even appreciate.)

    Which gets to the whole point of functional value vs. resale value. Up until last month I was using a G3 ibook as my primary laptop. It works great, did everything I needed (and most of the stuff I wanted), and helped me to make thousands of dollars every month.
    It's resale value? About $100. Maybe.
    Which led to a funny scene. A mom at my kid's school was watching me work and admiring my ibook. She used it as a springboard for a diatribe about how she used to be "with it" technologically.
    I didn't have the heart to tell her that this computer was pretty much a boat anchor.

    Reminds me of these words of wisdom from Abe Simpson:
    I used to be with it.
    But then they changed what "it" was.
    Now, what I'm with isn't it.
    And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you


    As for the F2-F200, it's not a completely fair comparison in one way, in that the F200 slices the sweet center out of every old AI lens. My quick and dirty answer without doing a test is that the resolution on the d200 might still lag behind a bit, but there's plenty for anything I'm doing. Then again, I wasn't complaining about the resolution on my 5mp point and shoot, just the shutter lag and the flash performance.

    best
    Allen
     
  15. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #16
    Chris
    You're right, of course. If you can plug it in--or charge a battery--it will be landfill eventually, sooner rather than later.
    I'm a tad disappointed my old Nikon film gear hasn't held its value a little better, but since I'm not selling it, it doesn't make a difference. (That's why I put my real money in vintage guitars and watches, which hold their value and even appreciate.)

    Which gets to the whole point of functional value vs. resale value. Up until last month I was using a G3 ibook as my primary laptop. It works great, did everything I needed (and most of the stuff I wanted), and helped me to make thousands of dollars every month.
    It's resale value? About $100. Maybe.
    Which led to a funny scene. A mom at my kid's school was watching me work and admiring my ibook. She used it as a springboard for a diatribe about how she used to be "with it" technologically.
    I didn't have the heart to tell her that this computer was pretty much a boat anchor.

    Reminds me of these words of wisdom from Abe Simpson:
    I used to be with it.
    But then they changed what "it" was.
    Now, what I'm with isn't it.
    And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you


    As for the F2-F200, it's not a completely fair comparison in one way, in that the F200 slices the sweet center (Mmmmmm. Sweet centers....) out of every old AI lens. My quick and dirty answer without doing a test is that the resolution on the d200 might still lag behind a bit, but there's plenty for anything I'm doing. Then again, I wasn't complaining about the resolution on my 5mp point and shoot, just the shutter lag and the flash performance.

    best
    Allen
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #17
    My goodness- 10 years? I'm looking at about 3-4- still cheaper than cable if you do the Dn00 series, but not by much! Of course, cable can't make any money- so there is that, but then I caved and traded the D200 on a D2x too...
     

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