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SportShotsLive Sep 1, 2006 8:50 PM


I bought a Nikon D50 last Spring with the kit lens. Currently shooting with a Nikon 80-200D ED f/2.8 & Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6.

I shoot primarily HS sports - baseball/football/basketball as close as I am allowed.
(a few steps off the playing field)

I am considering the following - a Nikon D200 as my main camera body as I am looking for faster focus, a better built/weighted camera body & more options for ISO/White Balance etc.

Is this a smart move? Looking for folks' comments who have the D200 & shoot sports.

Thanks in advance for your help!

BenjaminXYZ Sep 2, 2006 2:09 AM

Just a few words of caution if you don't mind; (You can check out reviews if you want to).

I will try to summarize my findings here;

I believe that most of the time, sport photography often requires high ISO performance. Well, the Nikon D200 is not very good at high ISO performance because it gets rather noisy at the higher ISOs. It's native ISO level is from ISO 100 - ISO1600 with ISO 3200 as boost. (Not very ideal in my opinion because the ISO 1600 is noisy).

You would want a camera with a good quality native ISO of ISO 200 to ISO 1600 at least (For sports). ISO 3200 might be needed for lower lighting conditions. It will depend on the quality of the ISO 3200. Special features like image stabilizations or big aperture prime lenses will make things far improved in such a situation.

Your Nikon D50 have a very good ISO performance even at the max ISO 1600. I suggest that you concentrate on getting a lens with a wider aperture (Fast lenses) and preferably telephoto primes because zooms tend to be rather slow at the long end. These lenses will be rather costly because of their quality, but in my opinion; it would be better to buy the lens than the Nikon D200.


I am looking for faster focus, a better built/weighted camera body & more options for ISO/White Balance etc.

I will let the more experienced decide for you if the focus speed and ISO levels of the Nikon D50is sufficient or not. (Keep in mind that many dSLRs offers extensive WB controls)

Better build/weighted camera body is subjective, so I will let other people advice you further.

Regards. (Just my advice)

To ease things down a bit regarding theISO performance of the D200:

Sony A100 ISO performance = Nikon D200 ISO performance from ISO 100 - ISO 1600. (ISO 3200 on D200 is really noisy)

swgod98 Sep 2, 2006 3:08 AM

Keep in mind that much of sports photography is also about focusing speeds andburst modes. Many of the professional reviews will claim a camera is good for sports(or not) simply based on these two specs. In both cases, the D200 seems excelover the D50.

ISO 1600should not benecessary in daylight settings, especially with a good lens. On the other hand, as Ben stated, it will be very important to have a fast F2.8 lens along with ISO 800-1600 (I'm not sure if ISO3200will benecessary...) for basketball (indoor) and night games.

Ben, keep in mind: the D200 noise during high ISO, long exposures may not be that good. But, it appears that short exposures do not suffer the same problem with noise. And sports photography is never with long exposures. Noise levels are also relative (unless you're stating factual #'s), meaning what one person finds unacceptable, another may find acceptable.

The D200 is also 10mpx, so there's a lot more to play with in regards to resizing and fixing up the noise.

Without having used either of these camera's (for more than5 minutes in hand), I'd think the D200 was actually much better for sports, and probably worth the investment for the OP.

Those are my 2 grains of salt.

BenjaminXYZ Sep 2, 2006 3:39 AM

swgod98, thanks for clarifying. :)

So the Sony A100 doesn't look like a bad choice for sports as well. It has a very good (In my standard) multiple burst performance, same imagequalities as the Nikon D200 exceptthat it hasthe super-steady shot, and good focus performance.

The Sony A100 is priced at 750 USD here without the kit lens and it looks like a great deal. I think the lens matters more than the dSLR body IMO.

I am not saying that the Nikon D200 is a poor choice, it is a great dSLR and you won't go wrong with it if you are willing to pay for it.


swgod98 Sep 2, 2006 11:31 AM

The A100 seems to be a little noisier at 800/1600...I don't know...this is why it's important to have experience with the camera's. I'd really have to take a closer look at sample shots of the D200 and A100...but it's something I don't like to make solidconclusions about based on a few online pictures. If I owned both, I would certainly tell you what I felt! :D

The Sony is only 2.8fps according to specs. The D200 is 5. That's a nice difference IMO.

SportShotsLive Sep 2, 2006 12:39 PM

Thanks to all of you for the info & collective wisdom - I really appreciate your help!

Monza76 Sep 2, 2006 2:50 PM

Yes, with its high frame rate, good noise characteristics and very sturdy construction the D200 would be a good choice. The Sony is an excellent camera but fits more at the cutting edge of entry level, not the performance level of a D200 or a Canon 30D.


BenjaminXYZ Sep 3, 2006 1:34 AM


good noise characteristics
I will let you decide for yourself.

Enjoy. (I suggest you observe the bigcolor chart (big color squares) for easier judgments)

D200 ISO 1600 shots.

Check those out belowfor reference of good noise characteristics (great ISO performance)in my opinion>>> (All ISO 1600 shots)

Nikon D70s ISO 1600 shots>>> :cool: (I just like the crisps (per-pixel sharpness)and well defined images of it)

The Nikon D200's high ISO performance (1600)might satisfy someone else and it may be a great choice for them, but Ifeellikesharing what I thought. (Peace)

I would like to see how the Pentax K100D and theSony Alpha A100 fare later on when the test results are out.

Below are just my findings and they are not to be treated as solid facts;

After inspecting all the images above a few times over, I come tothe conclusionthat those (tested)dSLRs with really great ISO 1600 performance goes to the Canon EOS 20D and 30D, Nikon D50 and the Nikon D70s. The Nikon D70s looks a little bit better defined and crisp.

As for the Nikon D200 above, I begin to noticed some lost of details and noise reduction artifacts. Seems like the images went through heavy NR. (Some image detailswere destroyed by the aggressive NR).

SportShotsLive Sep 3, 2006 8:37 PM

Thanks for all the help & info Benjamin!!

Now my head is really spinning - I do like the new Nikon D80 too!! :?

BenjaminXYZ Sep 4, 2006 3:32 AM

The Nikon D80 seems to share very similar characteristics at high ISOs as the more expensive D200.

Check out it's ISO 1600 test shots>>>

Nikon D80 ISO 1600 test shots:

Allow me to explain my findings. (Again not to be treated as pure facts).

Compared to the Canon EOS 20D/30D and the Nikon D70s at that ISO level, the Nikon D80's images looks rather processed and plague by noise reduction artifacts. There are obvious lost of image details.

The more the noise reduction, the more the image detailswill belost.

Iwill suggest you the Canon EOS-30D as it looks good at high ISO performance. (I know you might want something higher inmega-pixels)

You can take a look at how it performs at the selected ISO 1600>>>

CANON EOS 30D ISO 1600 test shots: (You may have seen it)

The EOS 20D model also have identical high ISO performance at the same ISO level>>>

CANON EOS 20D ISO 1600 test shots: (You may have seen it)

Hope it helps.


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