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Old Feb 26, 2006, 8:03 PM   #1
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Hi, this is my first post. I have a collection of Nikons starting with a 1974 F2A, an F3, F100 and F5. I also have a few point and shoot digitals my favorite being the Coolpix 5700.

I'm looking to get into my first digital SLR and finding difficulty getting good advise. These day's i'm basically a recreational photographer. Portraits, sports, vacations etc. Of utmost importance is quick focus for action shots centered around jumping horses and basketball.

The 50 seems like a great buy, unsure of the advantages of the 70s over the 50, and of course i'd love the 200, though I don't understand a majority of the available features. Money is certainly an issue getting into the 200 as it's a major price jump from the the 50 or 70s. Keep in mind that glass isn't an issue. I have 6 lens that I use with the F100 that should work well including the 80-200 2.8 silent wave.

My questions are:

1. Will the 50 meet my short term needs of good color and fast focusing for action photography. (is the 2.5 frame rate a disadvantage?)

2. Is the high cost of the 200 worth the added expense for a recreational photographer.

3. Will my existing lens work as well as the newer lens designed for the digital camera bodies?

4. Will my SB-28 flash work well with the digital camera or do I need to upgrade?

Thanks to all for your help.

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Old Feb 26, 2006, 8:42 PM   #2
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rmessinger wrote:
Of utmost importance is quick focus for action shots centered around jumping horses and basketball.
This is where the D200 will shine over the other cameras. With 5fps, you can take a dozen pictures of something like a basketball shot, and choose the one that was taken at the best moment.

the D50's 2.5 fps is an seriuos disatvantage, because if you try the same strategy with it , you could miss thebest moment of the shot, and if you use single shot, you risk that even more.

I don't know directly of the cameras your talking about, but just about any lens that was made by nikon after 1990 would work. those that predate that areno longer used, and will not work.

If your lenses will not work,I also reccomend you look at the 20D from Canon. It is a better fast action camera than the D200, and is cheaper ( $1250 USD ).
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:42 PM   #3
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Differences b/t the D50 and D70(s) are rather minor. I'd go to a store and see how you like them, and make a decision based on that. For me, I get good use out of a second control wheel and the lit top lcd. Otoh, the DoF preview and higher top shutter speed get no use from me.

The D200 is a different beast. Unlike the D50 and D70(s), it will meter with AI-lenses, and its build quality and AF are also in a different league. What it has on the other two in terms of action shots is not just the 5fps, but also a much deeper buffer and faster AF.

That out of the way, to your questions:

1. Depends on what you shoot. I don't find the 3fps of my D70 limiting, but I sometimes need a larger buffer (I shoot raw, so the buffer size is rather puny (4 frames)). The advantage of the D50 is that it has the lowest noise of the Nikon line, so you can more readily bump up the ISO for faster shutter speeds. I understand that the AF advantage of the D200 is not as pronounced when using AF-S lenses.

2. Again, it depends. Imo, the D200 is the best-bang-for-buck DSLR on the market right now. Do you need the capability it provides? I don't know, but I suspect that if you're currently pushing your F100 to the limit, you will not be satisfied with less than a D200 (you might even yearn for more).

3. Unless you own any pre-AI lenses, the D200 will meter and AF (if it's an AF lens) any of them just fine. If you opt for a D50 or D70(s), AF and metering will work with AF lenses (the regular ones, not the special ones for the F3), AI lenses will mount, but will require manual metering (focusing, too, obviously).

4. I believe that the SB-28 is a D-TTL flash. Nikon has since moved on to I-TTL, so TTL metering will not work with the D50 and D70(s) (and probably not the D200, either, though I'm not certain). You can use your camera in Auto or Manual mode for them only. If you want to use the I-TTL capabilities, you'll need to get an SB-600 or SB-800.
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