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Old Jan 5, 2008, 2:12 PM   #1
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Hello,

I have recently become very interested in photography and am looking to purchase a DSLR. I have been looking at the Nikon D80 and the D200. (Wait....Be kind, I know the D200 is a lot of camera for someone who is new. Let me explain) I know that a common mistake a lot of newcomers make is to buy a D200 and expect that they will be taking great looking pictures. They are then surprised that the $2000 camera they purchased is taking awful looking pictures, when in fact the problem is the user not the camera.

I plan on using the camera to take all kinds of photos. I am most interested in photographing people, landscapes and still objects. I will not be using the camera to take family photos and such in the begining. I have some nice point and shoots for that.

I guess what im trying to say in a nutshell is that i know i must learn the camera first. I know at first it will be difficult but I find the process of understanding and learning all the ins and outs of the camera fun. Right now i have some cameras that can go full manual and I enjoy messing with the settings and learning how to manipulate the camera to take the best possible shot or effect that i was looking for.

I am looking to get into this as a hobby. I find it enjoyable to go places and take pictures. Im not expecting to take great photos out the box. I am approaching this as i have with all my past hobbies...a learning process. I have a couple of great resources to help me out. (brother in law is hobby photographer who uses a D80, classes at my local school, and photography clubs throughout the area) As with prior hobbies of mine I suspect that i will go into this one full blast. Ive been wanting to purchase a nice dslr for a couple of years now.

OK heres the question.

I know you can do a lot with the D80 and it takes great pics. However as with past hobbies of mine, I always ended up upgrading to the better stuff and find myself wishing I would have just bought the better one from the begining. Is this the case with the D80 vs the D200. After i have become proficient with the D80 will i find myself wishing i had bought the D200 from the begining or will the D80 be more than enough?

also can someone explain in a nutshell, what the d200 can do that the d80 cannot. Im not asking for a full list...just a couple of bullet points.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 2:26 PM   #2
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Thom Hogan has a table comparing some of the main diffferences between the D80 and D200 on this page:

http://www.bythom.com/d80review.htm

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Old Jan 5, 2008, 7:15 PM   #3
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To be honest you probably don't need anything more than a D40. It will take many many years before you'll "need" anything close to a D200, and the reality is that many people who have been into photography their entire lives feel the D40 is more than enough for them. It's very unlikely you'll need a D200 anytime soon.

Don't get me wrong. If you have the money and want the camera then by all means go for it. However you should realize that in five years the D200 will probably be outdated and you'll wish you'd had spent less on your starter because by that point you'll want the next biggest thing.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 7:24 PM   #4
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( Be Nice ) is rather rude from a newcomer, IMHO.

We are all nice here at Steve's-Digicams, and very helpful too.

Nicholas


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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:03 PM   #5
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( Be Nice ) is rather rude from a newcomer, IMHO.

The very fact that you would even comment the way you did on this, justifies my putting in (be nice) in the topic. Ever hear of the saying "if you dont have anything nice to say then dont say anything at all"?

Anyways...i dont want to fight about something so petty.

Thanks to those who have commented. I would love to hear some more opinions.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:10 PM   #6
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The D80 is more than enough camera for the typical user. The D200 does offer faster performance and a more robust build among other things, but should yield similiar image quality to the D80. If need the speed and build quality, then go for the d200. Otherwise save your money and get the D80 and spend the extra dough on lenses or a speedlight. I doubt that you could outgrow the D80.
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Old Jan 8, 2008, 2:08 AM   #7
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I guess the big question with me is, how seriously you take your hobbies. And it sounds like you take them pretty seriously. One consideration is build quality.. The D80 has a plastic body, whereas the D200 - or D300, have metal bodies. The D300 being the latest and greatest model in that generation. ($1750.00 without lens). Metal is a substantially better build, and has better weather seals. You should be able to pick up a new D200 at a very reasonable price, now that the D300 is out. The D200 will hold you in good stead for a long time, and will give you - once you learn, beautiful pictures. Chris
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Old Jan 8, 2008, 2:48 PM   #8
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I would agree with quick5pnt0 (probably because my requirements were similar to yours and the D40 meets them) with the qualification that if you got the D80, you should get the best out of the camera more quickly due to your brother in law's experience with the D80. Camera size and handling are very important, and remember that the camera is only part of the Nikon system. There will be a lot of accessories you will need. You will find that you will spend quite a bit more on lenses, flash units, tripods, bags, etc, etc, than you did on the original camera body.

But if you want a D200 and can afford it, why not get it?
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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rjseeney wrote:
Quote:
The D80 is more than enough camera for the typical user. The D200 does offer faster performance and a more robust build among other things, but should yield similiar image quality to the D80. If need the speed and build quality, then go for the d200. Otherwise save your money and get the D80 and spend the extra dough on lenses or a speedlight. I doubt that you could outgrow the D80.
I tend to agree here. You have to keep in mind that the camera body is only a part of the equation. A d80 with quality lens will get better results than d200 with poor lens. If you're doing a lot of landscape work then a good tripod will again add more to your success.

Having said that though, ergonomics of a camera is important. I think people overlook that very often. I would strongly suggest handling both cameras and seeing which is more comfortable to you. Some people prefer the size/weight of the d80 and some will prefer the D200.

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