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Old Dec 15, 2007, 12:38 AM   #1
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I am a technically adept photographer, but not a great photographer. I find I average about 1 KEEPER (i.e. would print in 8x10+) for every 200 shots. All my 35mm equipment was stolen many years ago and I chose the high-end point-and-shoot route for a long time. I've been using a Sony DSC-F828 for the past 3+ years and have about 27,000 images in storage. I love this camera, and will keep it as a back-up, but I want to move back to SLR.

Should I go for the "Entry-level" D40X or spend the extra coin for the D200? Most of my photography is outdoors and I like the magnesium body of the D200 for its durability - but it costs more 2X as much as the D40X with a good lens. Which ever camera I settle on, I will also purchase the 18-200mm VR because I like its versatility. (I will add other lenses later to get myself back to where I was with 35mm.)

Peter


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Old Dec 15, 2007, 1:12 AM   #2
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It all comes down to one thing... will you use those extra features? There are many of them, that's for sure, but you will have to asses their value to you.

Have you considered the D80?
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 8:05 AM   #3
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There are some significant differences between the D40x and the D200, as described in Nikon's own http://www.nikonusa.com/fileuploads/...SLRCompare.pdf

The D40x allows you to adjust the ISO in 1 EV increments, while the D200 allows you to adjust the ISO in 1/3 EV increments.

The D200 allows White Balance Bracketing, Exposure Bracketingand Flash Bracketing.

The D200 uses a pentaprism viewfinder, while the D40x uses a pentamirror. Pentaprisms are brighter but heavier, and pentamirrors are more fragile.

The D200 has Focus Tracking.

The D40x has only 3 focus points, while the D200 has 11.

The D200 is capable of shooting 5 frames per seccond, while the D40x is only capable of 3 frames per second.

The D40x has programed exposure modes that the D200 does not, and the D40x is capable of more in-camera post processing than the D200.

The D200 has an available battery grip, while the D40x does not.

The D200 is heavier.

The D200 has full control of all Nikon lenses, but the D40x, which does not have an internal autofocus motor, can only autofocus about a third of Nikon's and Sigma's lenses that have their own autofocus motors.

The D200 is clearly intended for the more advanced photographer. It allows much greater control over most aspects of the camera's operation. The D40x, on the other hand, with it's programmed exposure modes, is intended for less esperienced photographers.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 9:01 AM   #4
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I have a friend who has a D200 and loves it. However, he found that he was leaving it homefairly oftenwhen he didn't want to carry around a heavy camera, so he ended up buying a D40 (not the D40X) to use for those times, he uses it like most would a p&s camera. In your case it will come down to how much you want the added features of the D200 - it's a real work-horse of a camera and will take excellent pictures, but do you want the features or do you want the extra money for something else? The weight and size become less of an issue for you since you'd be keeping the Sony for those times you don't want to take a heavy camera.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 9:44 AM   #5
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As David French mentioned, why not consider the D80, too?

It would be in between the D40x and D200 in the Nikon lineup.

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Old Dec 15, 2007, 1:25 PM   #6
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Perhpas the most important difference is the metering. The D40x and D80 both have inaccurate meters, whereas the D200's meter is bullet proof.

The D40x can use 1/3 EV ISO, but only in auto ISO mode. And, it can do some focus tracking. It works fairly well when a subject is moving directly toward or away from you, but it is of limited worth when a subject is moving across the frame since there are only three AF points.
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 12:54 AM   #7
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Wow!

I'm truly impressed with the speed of everyone's responses!

Thanks for all the great advice - I'll wait until after christmas before making my decision (and maybe some sales). I'm still leaning toward the D200 for the "growth potential" as I plan to take a few advanced digital photography courses at the college where I work.

I will continue to follow this forum, and keep you posted on my decision.

Thanks again,
Peter
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 1:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for directing me to the Nikon document.

I just printed it on my new brand new (today) Canon Pro9000 printer. This document gave me a good idea of what I can expect from this printer - I think I am impressed.

The D200 seems to offer me a lot of room to improve as a photographer.

Thanks again,
Peter
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 3:05 AM   #9
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The advantage of getting the best camera you can reasonably afford is that you can thereafter concentrate on taking pictures instead of worrying about equipment.

Effectively - if the pics aren't good enough the problem is the photographer, not the camera.
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 3:33 AM   #10
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Both the D200 and the D40x are fine cameras. The difference is the greater amount of flexibility and control that the D200 provides, over that available in the D40x.

Neither camera will make a better photographer out of you.

Digital cameras (all digital cameras) offer features and capabilities not possible with film cameras. (I still haven't gotten used to the fact that I can change the ISO setting in the middle of a 'roll'.) If you come to unsderstand and are prepared to take advantage of the additional features and capabilities that the D200 offers, then it will be money well spent. Otherwise, you'd be better off spending your money on the D40x (or the D80) and a good lens or two.
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