Which Nikon DSLR to replace a D200?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sim667, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    I have absolutely loved my D200, but I really think that half frame 10 megapixel sensor just isn't cutting the mustard anymore.

    The D300 seems very overpriced for what it is, so thats narrowing me down to a D610 or a D800, but there's quite a price disparity for them.

    Mostly I use my camera for travelling, the odd job shooting festivals, and making HDR images and the odd paid job (although I don't do many at all anymore).

    Im looking to replace it before easter as it looks like I'm either off to Japan or Vietnam for a couple of weeks.

    Sticking with Nikon as I've really liked my D200 and I think I can still use my AF-S 18-55 lens on these bodies, although I think there's a consideration to do with the cropping when you use a DX lens on an FX sensor.

    So what I'm really asking is do people think that the extra 12 megapixels and larger overall resolution is really worth nearly £700?

    I need to go and look at them properly aswell, because if the D610 is a purely plastic body, then that will put me off, I hate plastic camera bodies.


    Sorry, my lens is the 17-55 f2.8 dx not an 18-55
  2. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I would say go for the 610 - its a stunning camera. Handles excellent and image quality will blow your socks off compared to the 200.

    I spent a long time deciding between the 600 or 800 series and the 600 made a lot more sense as i don't earn from my nikon. Of course if you can afford it, grab the 800 as thats even more amazing. The only snag is the extra money.

    If you are not planning to print much bigger than A3, then the 600 is the star. And even at A2 its very very good indeed.
  3. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    D800 for sure. It's a great camera. Get the D800e if you don't take much pictures that are affected with moiré, you'll get extra sharpness.
  4. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    The 'cheapest' upgrade path for a camera that will match or surpass the build quality and controls you have is the D800. D200/300/300s users are in a hard place right now for upgrades. The options to upgrade within the Nikon family:

    1. Stick with our cameras (and live with whatever limitations they may have)
    2. Upgrade to a D7x00, and live with a downgrade of build quality and functions
    3. Upgrade to a D610, which requires updates to FX lenses to take full advantage of the sensor, and is a downgrade in terms of build quality
    4. Upgrade to a D800, which requires updates to FX lenses, is more expensive, and produces very large files that require improvements in your technique, more storage space, and possibly an upgrade to your PC's processing power.

    So your choices are a matter of your needs versus what you're willing to compromise on.

    (Nikon D300 user here, who isn't planning to upgrade any time soon)
  5. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    The D610 isn't plastic so it shouldn't put you off. It doesn't have a full metal body but it is metal in the right places and is weather sealed. That said, it isn't as well built as the D800/D4 or have as much weather sealing but it is also a bit lighter. My feeling is that if you don't need the D800 then you might as well save a bit of money and put it towards FX glass. Nice cameras as, well, nice but if you don't have the right lenses on the front then it can be a bit frustrating.

    I went for a D600 a few months ago (kinda wished I'd waited for the D610 but I didn't know it was coming). It's a lovely camera but I bought it via part exchange for my D90 and most of its lenses and I've got a serious hole still in my lens collection that annoys.
  6. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I don't have any answers... just the same conundrum: an aging D200 that will need replacing/upgrading sometime this year. I wish the idea excited me, but it doesn't. The D200 has been a reliable workmate over the years; it feels 'part of me' when I'm out taking pictures. There's bound to be a learning curve with any new camera, and I'm thinking to move full-frame. Best candidates look like the 610 or 800, though the 800 might be overkill, for me, in terms of pixels. I'm sure I'll get excited when I finally open a box and see some shiny new hardware... :)
  7. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    IMO...the D610 is an excellent choice with outstanding image and build quality. You're not giving up much other than image and file size over the D800. Some would even argue that the image quality of the 610 surpasses that of the 800 as 24 megapixels hits the sweet-spot for a ff sensor.

    You haven't mentioned upgrading your lens. I'm not sure I understand the wisdom of putting a DX lens on a ff body as it will only operate in crop mode and won't take advantage of that sensor.

    Perhaps the money you save by purchasing the 610 instead of the 800 could be spent on an FX lens. Either way, you don't have to go crazy with an expensive FX lens. The 50mm f/1.8G is outstanding and can be purchased new for $250.00.

    ~ Peter
  8. sim667 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    The D800 does feel a bit overkill for me, but then at the same time I could justify it on the basis of it being a little bit more futureproofed.

    Althought reading ken rockwell's review earlier, he did say on the 800 that the 610 worked better with exposure compensation, and that the 800 also had a magenta hue on images. He also mentioned that the compensation issue effecting manual shooting too and being problematic. So of course thats a big concern for me, as I basically only ever shoot fully manual, I dont bother with exposure compensation and all that because I learnt on film, so can do all that in my head.

    The lack of bracketing concers me on the 610, the D200 I use can be set to bracket to a 9 stop range, but the 610 can only bracket 3, which I find absurd...... that said I use bracketing for shooting HDR, and the 610 does have an HDR function, but I can't find out what stop range the HDR function works too. I guess you could bracket HDR images in camera that, which should give you a comparable if not more stop capture range?
  9. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2009
    It's absolutely not worth it for the resolution. The D800 is a totally different camera, it's larger, heavier, and tougher and aimed at a different market. The D800 has more professional style features and controls while the D610 is more consumer oriented, and you get a lot more camera for the extra money.

    The D800 is not a higher res D610. Go into a camera store and handle both cameras.
  10. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ken Rockwell is best avoided for any rational decision. bythom.com and dpreview are much more objective.
  11. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    I'm a D600 owner whose previous camera was a D200.

    Build quality of the D600 should not be a concern, it is tough - modern plastics are incredibly strong, I don't understand the constant criticism of anything made of plastic being fragile. Without a doubt the D800 will be tougher, but if you do anything that could damage the body then the lens is going to be in a far worse state anyway. Protect your equipment first rather than worry about how much of the body is metal.

    The D600 is sealed against the elements, although from what I understand the D800 has better seals against moisture. Again, the lens fitted may well be limiting factor here and not the body.

    Resolution, only you can decide what is best for you. Both cameras are a massive increase over the D200. For my needs (wedding/portraiture) I'm finding the D600 is fine. Files are a size my computer is happy dealing with (a Mac Mini 2012 i5 with 10Gb RAM). My old 2007 Macbook wasn't happy with processing the RAW files however. The D800 files are 50% bigger than the D600 files.

    Image quality - they are both incredible (a friend has the D800 and I've seen the files/results). Both are an outstanding improvement over the D200 - I will never look back. Even files (jpeg and/or raw) straight from the camera are far, far better in colour reproduction, depth of shadows, tonality, grain (noise). I find working on the D600 files in post production is much easier/quicker than compared to the D200 files.

    Dynamic range, I seem to be able to get a lot more from a raw file using Aperture from the bleached out highlight areas - there is a lot of hidden detail in the files.

    Bracketing - the D600 does indeed only have a 3 shot range. I can't remember what the D200 had (7 shot range?). it was a shock to me when I first used this function on the D600. A 7 shot range is useful, but it isn't a function I use much s I live with it. The D800 can take a lot more shots in a sequence which is very useful if you need it and use this feature a lot.

    Motor drive speed - the D600 is a bit quicker than the D800. Depends on your needs. I rarely use the full speed setting so not a big concern for me.

    High ISO - both the D600 and D800 blow the D200 out of the water. Absolutely no comparison. IMO both the D600 and D800 are about the same quality at high ISO. Pixel peeping fanatics may disagree and I'm happy with that.

    The HDR function on the D600 - it combines two shots into one jpeg for you. A raw file is not produced. You can set the range of the two shots from 1, 2 or 3 stops or there is an auto option too. I've never tried the HDR function, not something I really use.

    Top shutter speed of the D600 is 1/4000. I looked at my Aperture library and searched for all images taken at 1/8000 (which the D200 and D800 go up to), it was something like 500 shots out of 120,000 images. Clearly not a shutter speed I use a lot. The D600 goes down to ISO 50, which is a stop slower than the D200 so would solve that problem anyway.

    Weight - I like to travel light. The D600 saves some weight over the D800 (must be all that metal!)

    Flash sync - the D600 is limited to 1/200th sec, which I feel is a feature Nikon have deliberately crippled. D800 is 1/250th sec I believe (same as the D200). I have hit this limit and do find it frustrating.

    The new D610 has a new shutter option called 'silent mode' (or something like that) - if it is anything like the similar mode on the Canon 5DIII then this would be amazing for my use.

    D600 - you can't change the aperture when in live view - a real pain. You have to leave live view, change the aperture, and go back in.

    Both D600 and D800 have a DX crop mode which puts crop lines into the viewfinder for your 17-55 lens - obviously the resolution of the sensor is cropped too, but it works well. I've set the fn button as a shortcut to use this feature.

    I expect you'll finding changing all your lenses to FX will cost far more than the cost of whichever body you choose.

    Ignore Ken Rockwell, he talks utter drivel and constantly contradicts himself.

    Hope that helps.
  12. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    D300s user here, same conundrum. Mine is a fantastic camera, and my images have yet to do it justice as I have only been into photography for a relatively short time (4 years or so).

    You may want to check out Thom Hogan's reviews of the D600/D610 and D800. Very well written, very informative.
  13. sim667 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    I do feel that the lack of stop range is going to be an issue for me, but apart from that the 610 seems pretty good..

    My issue with it is I quite like making images like this using the D200's bracket feature
    Benches by simbojono, on Flickr

    Its a 7 or 9 (I cant quite remember) stop HDR, output into raw and then processed with photoshop. If the D610 "HDR" is only 2 stops and can only be output into JPG, to a point that renders the camera pretty useless to me, unless I carry a tripod around and do the exposure range manually.

    Can anyone tell me the bracketing stop range available on the D800 and if its got an HDR mode (and whether thats as rubbish as a D610).

    It is starting to sound like a D800e refurbed might be the way for me to go.

    And ignore ken rockwell...... duly noted.


    Annoyingly if I could afford it, I'd get a leica R9, as I've got loads of leica slr lenses that came with my two R6's
  14. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    Where is that? Hove?

    I think you will do fine with a D800.

    I have a friend who lives in Third Avenue. He's really a landscape man, though tinkers with other bits and pieces. He uses a D3 and D800.

    This is his website: http://www.dudleywilliams.com

    Under galleries, choose landscape. There are a few bits and pieces from Brighton at the bottom, I think he even has a B&W of the same shelter you posted. Just to give you an idea of what these cameras can turn out.
  15. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    It doesn't sound like you need 36 megapixels in the D800, so I would look into the D600/610. Really any upgrade to your camera body is going to improve what you're currently shooting with (D200). Plus, if you manually focus your lenses, then LiveView is going to be a great feature for you to use. Furthermore, if the only lens you have is the AF-S 18-55mm, you would be doing a disservice to yourself if you went with the D800. You would have to upgrade your lenses, and that doesn't seem like something you want to do since it appears as though you're just a casual shooter.

    IMO, I would purchase the D610 with the 24-85mm kit lens and call it a day.
  16. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    Some would say that in-camera HDR is not the way to go anyway.

    They would also say that a tripod and, if necessary, manual exposure adjustments are a good habit to get into that will produce better results.
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I recommend you also have a look at the D7100: it features a robust metal body, 6 fps and a powerful AF system that has been derived from the Nikon D4. I don't own the D7100 but its predecessor, the D7000, and can say it is plenty.
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    The D7100 is a great camera for the price. I guess the question is will the OP be happy with a crop sensor or FF?
    A friend of mine just had the sensor replaced on his D600 as he was having the well documented issue with oil spots. So no he has the same sensor as the D610 so he couldn't be happier.
    Personally I think either or would be great. Clearly the D610 is better, but is it worth the extra £700? Personally I think I would go or the D710 (as that would work with his current lens), and then has the extra cash he saved to spend on another lens 70-200mm maybe?
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    For almost all users it's a non-issue: there are only very few instances under most shooting conditions where you will have a significant advantage with a full frame sensor. I can easily use my Fuji X100s (which uses a current-gen sensor) up to ISO 4,000 and still get wonderful colors. My D7000 whose sensor is a generation old is not quite as good, but thanks to faster glass (f/1.4 vs. f/2) it's not an issue when I am out to shoot.

    Also note that the OP only mentions owning a kit lens -- he should really get one or two nice lenses, otherwise he won't see an improvement in image quality anyway.
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Actually he amended his post. He has a 17-55mm f2.8 which is pretty good.
  21. codymac, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    Just looked, but fair warning, I don't shoot HDR.

    It's a max range of 3 stops in HDR mode and JPG only (the shooting menu won't enable the mode until RAW is turned off).

    The bracket function is limited to a max of one stop per shot for 9 shots but lifts the RAW restriction.

    I replaced a D200 with a D800 (before the D600 was released).
  22. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    My progression was D200 --> D300 --> D800.

    Sometimes I have reason to go back and look at my D200 jpgs (I didn't start with raw until the D300) and although they're OK, they're only OK.

    I learned to shoot raw with the D300, and they are good solid images, but the D800 positively blows them away, by any measure. I've been using it for about 18 months.

    Yes, the file sizes are large (mine are usually in the high 40 mb range), the body's expensive, you won't get what you paid for unless you use FX lenses (I already had two of them), it's big and heavy, but everything about it is, to me, a joy.

    Live view works as you'd want it to, and it's hard for me to think about doing LV without being able to change aperture (because I almost always shoot aperture-priority). I have it on a tripod more often than not.

    The exposure system is fantastic. It's rare that I adjust exposure, unless I'm after an effect. With the D200 and D300 exposure was generally OK, but the D300 would stumble sometimes. The D800, never.

    I been shooting Nikon since 1965 (F --> N90s --> F5 --> D200) and the D800 is the best of the lot, by far. It lets me do any damn thing I want to, no fuss.
  23. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    I guess there's no right or wrong here - they're both great cameras and in terms of image quality alone, both will be a step up from the D200.

    Personally though, I think the D800 is the right choice for you. If you're used to the feel & handling of a D200 then I really think the D800 will feel "right" in your hands. Also, the autofocus alone on the D800 is worth the price difference IMHO. The D610 autofocus is capable, but the pro cameras are just in a different league.

    One thing to consider: You mentioned that you don't think a half-frame 10MP sensor is enough for you any more, but that's exactly what you'll have if you put your current lens on the D610. It's obviously a far newer sensor, but whichever body you opt for, you'll really want to buy some new FX glass to see the most from your upgrade. Alternatively, spend the money on a used D700 with 24-70. That'll get your full-frame lens collection off to a great start and will easily last you until next upgrade your body.

    All the best!
  24. fireman32 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I went from the D200 to a D7000 and I could not be happier. I want to go full frame but I am going to get better glass first. The D7000 is a fantastic camera and I could not be happier with the purchase.
  25. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    What's the point of going full frame if you're not going to upgrade your lenses?

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