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Question about Nikon system upgrade
Kim Cox, Photographer
Franklin | TN | USA | Posted: 1:36 PM on 01.13.06
->> I currently have a NIkon D1X, and would like to upgrade my system. I shoot all types of sports for an university, but also do a lot of international traveling shooting local scenes and people. The images are mainly for magazines, but also for some posters. After reading a lot of threads concerning the D200, D2H and D2X, I am still confused as to what to do. What upgrade would you recommend?
D200 for travel work and a used D2H for sports? Or bite the $$$ bullet and buy a D2X for everything?
I appreciate your thoughts...
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Mike Ullery, Photographer
Troy | OH | USA | Posted: 3:20 PM on 01.13.06
->> Kim,
As with so many things,it boils down to dollars and cents. One of my first questions would be to define upgrade? Do you mean more pixels? Do you mean faster?

Any of the cameras that you mentioned would be an "upgrade" in terms of resolution. Argueably, the most important improvement would be battery life. The D2X is going to be the obvious first choice if money is no object. Of the other two, the D2H(s) is the best choice for action/speed but if just higher resolution is needed, the D200 is getting some good reviews. To me, the jury is still out, at this time, as to the D200, but all indications are that it should be a great camera. The D2H has experienced some growing pains, but is, for the most part now, a fine camera. The D2X, althought I don't yet own one, (darn), seems to be the answer to most photographers well as most of their fantasies!

So...what all of the above boils down to, to me, is money. How much can you spend of a new camera? Just keep one thing in mind. I am still of the opinion that high quality, ie: highly enlargeable, etc., photographs, with today's Nikon and Canon digital cameras, have more to do with acurate exposure than with the number of pixels. Just some food for thought.

Good luck with your decision.

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Andrew Mo, Student/Intern, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 3:28 PM on 01.13.06
->> Kim, do you need a backup body and does your budget support it?

You can probably obtain a D200 and used D2H body for less than a new or used D2X body.

While the D200 and D2H are different, if one breaks, you will have still have one functioning camera rather than none.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 3:36 PM on 01.13.06
->> I would look seriously at the D200 and the 18-200mm for a great travel abroad basic kit. Of course maybe 2 more lenses with a faster aperture for the low light situations to complement.

I believe the lighter you go abroad the more you look like a tourist and can get better intimate photos.

I have the D2X and really love it for sports. By going to the 2X crop mode on the highest resolution you end up with a 7mega pixel camera, but your 300 f/2.8 becomes a 600 f/2.8. I also like the 8fps rate.

Now if you are comfortable with 5fps and don't need the 2X crop I think the D200 will work just fine for everything else. 12 mega pixel is over kill for 99 % of all publication needs.

Hope this helps.
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 3:47 PM on 01.13.06
->> Buy a Canon?

(Oh geez, I'm kidding, I'm a Nikon guy, I just wanted to steal the thunder of some Canon user who thought such a dastardly thing to say would be funny)
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Jamie Roper, Photographer
Hays | KS | United States | Posted: 4:28 PM on 01.13.06
->> as a Nikon shooter, i am actually of the opinion that the best upgrade you could make would be a move to Canon. off topic, neither here nor there, cost prohibitive...but i suspect that it's true nonetheless. the 5D makes my mouth water.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:35 PM on 01.13.06
->> Jamie:

What does the Canon 5D have for twice the money that the D200 doesn't have?
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 8:00 PM on 01.13.06
->> I shoot both the D1x and D2x. Advantages to D2x over D1x: Far less shutter lag when timing for 'the' moment, along with shooting all day on one battery (1,000 frames).

This fall I made nine 11x14's for my walls of past weddings, half from the d1x, half from the D2x. They all look great. One of the 11x14's is from a 4inch x 6inch x 300dpi Jpg Small file from the D2x, print looks just as good as film. I also made a 12x18 from a jpg Large D1x file, looks super as well, no loss in detail.

If you've got the $, get the D2x, you'll never kick yourself when the frames-per-second is too slow with the D200, and you'll never wish you shot a bigger file with just a 4.1mp D2h.

The reason I was on the first shipment of D2x's, was that I didn't have a backup to my D1x, and I was unhappy with the TTL of the D1x/SB80, but the SB800 leveled the playing field for flash photography.
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Gary Williams, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:25 PM on 01.13.06
->> The new D200 is the best way to go now days. You can use it for everything. At 5-fps, even sports look great at 10.2 meg pixels. The huge rear LCD display is very nice touch. My old AI lens work now on the D200. Not like my former D70's. The auto focus is very fast with my Nikon 70-20 VR 2.8 even with a 2x nikon tele-converter. While shooting flag football for my grandson, every frame was tack sharp. It feels even better the then the D2h's. Plus you get a nifty flash that has plenty of power built in. Great for fill even in bright daylight with the 70-200 zoom. The D200 flash in commander mode can control all the Nikon Sb800 & 600 flash units you could possibly use on location. I still will keep and use the D2h for the voice captions, only because I have become used to this workflow. But for that, I would buy a second D200. Thank You Nikon for making a great comeback after being so far behind two years ago. Gary Williams
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Jamie Roper, Photographer
Hays | KS | United States | Posted: 10:41 PM on 01.13.06
->> Stanley,

is the answer 'full frame sensor' too obvious? probably. for several of the applications that Kim mentions (travel scenes...magazine work...posters), i don't think it's an out of line submission. and because i haven't had the greatest experiences with several nikon bodies (especially early production models), i would be leery about buying such a new product. experience tells me that if Kim had the luxury of time, waiting a few months (at least) to allow the D200 a little more real world vetting might be a good idea.

then again, the more people buy the D200, the more of a known quantity it yeah, Kim, buy several! and here's to hoping that Mr. Williams words ring as true in the months to come.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 12:22 AM on 01.14.06
->> The November/December 2005 Digtial Photo Pro has a great article titled:

"Do You Need A Full-Frame D-SLR?"
"There are significant advantages to D-SLRs that are designed around sub-full fram image sensors. Before you decide that only full-frame will do consider all the angles."

The article makes some great points, it may help in making a decision.
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Joel Strickland, Photographer
Melbourne | Victoria | Australia | Posted: 8:23 AM on 01.14.06
->> Hi Kim

Go the D2x if you can afford it, Otherwise D200. I have D2x and I love it. Have had it 10months and its best camera ever owned.

I shoot sports and have had no problems. Sure its slower frame rate then D2hs but the files size is worth trade off

Go for D2x, you wont be disapointed !!!
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 9:15 AM on 01.14.06
->> Kim

My wayward D200s show up on Monday (Nikon shipped them in December without my NPS request and name on the ordered?). I'll give you an early test report. I'll compare them to my D2H cameras.

I don't have any D2X bodies, but friends do, so I know the camera. The D2X definitely has great advantages.

Personally I prefer the more compact body size of the D200. It is why I stopped using my F5 bodies to switch to F100 cameras. Sure I gave up stuff, but there are advantages to the smaller camera too. Particularly for travel photography.

For sports, the D2H and D2HS have the advantage of speed. I've had magazines use my D2H files as double trucks with NO problem. Once screened and off-set printed the images look perfect. So yes the sensor is 4.1, but I defy anyone to see a problem with the double trucks I've had published.

As far as full-frame, I don't see why this is ever an issue. It reminds me of the out complaints that shooters back in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, of whether 35 mm could ever compete with 2 1/4 cameras. I think we will eventually ignore the 35 mm "culture" as digital technology improves. There are still many questions left hanging about "full Frame" sensors and 35 mm style wide angle lenses. Remember, all Nikons have "Full Frame" digital sensors, they simply don't have to have the same window size as 35 mm film!

So let me put the D200 camera through its paces, and get back to you.
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Rainier Ehrhardt, Student/Intern, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 01.14.06
->> And while we are at it, can anyone give a first hand comparison of the D2H and the D2Hs in high ISO situations?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 6:42 PM on 01.14.06
->> Back when the widest lens most of us owned was the 20-35mm f/2.8 we were all disappointed with the APS size sensor when it came out.

But now there are 10-20mm, 12-24mm and other lenses which are smaller and sharper than the older 20-35mm.

The digital chip is like a waffle and not a pancake. Thus there are typically problems in the corners on most of the full framed sensors. Nikon chose to avoid this problem and work with the limits and create a system which IMHO has no draw backs due to size of the sensor.

I have 35mm Kodachrome slides from the old days and even drum scanned the D2X kicks butt.

But people all over the world are picking up publications and saying--look this was obviously shot on the Canon full-framed sensor with the 400mm f/2.8 using image stabilizer. :-)

When this starts to happen I will listen to the camera debates. Until then I will believe it is what is behind the eye piece and not what is in front of it which determines great photographs. We still haven't fully explored all the possibilities of the pin-hole camera.

You would think with all the technological advances in the past 20 years our images would be light years ahead of what was produced before. But this hasn't happened. It just proves my point. It is the photographer and not the equipment.
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Jamie Roper, Photographer
Hays | KS | United States | Posted: 7:41 PM on 01.14.06
->> hey Mr. Leary,

i really didn't mean to turn this into a pissing contest between full frame or APS size chips, and goodness-willing, Ms. Cox can glean something (anything!) useful from this. doubtful, though.

i'm not unaware of the good points you make, but...there still aren't funtional equivilants to, say, a 24mm 1.4 (fill in your fast/wide of choice); and, to my knowledge, the super-wides you mention start at f/3.5 or even f/4.0...not super functional, in my opinion. of course, feel free to point out to me the brilliant leaps that have been made in noise reduction technology so that higher ISO's would compensate for any light transmission loss.

p.s. the photographer means nothing; it's all the equipment. and i'm a god-fearing, republican-voting, heterosexual with many, many ocean-front properties for sale here in Kansas
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:45 PM on 01.14.06
->> I believe the smaller APS size chips especially allow the globe trotting photographer the ability to do more with less camera weight. There is a 39 mega pixel back for the Hasselblad if you want the bigger chip. But who really needs an image this size any way?

The lenses are smaller and weigh less. I believe the 18-200mm Nikon just introduced is a great all around lens for travel photography. Since most all the airlines have now cut down on the allowed amount of baggage weight this in my opinion make the D200 an even better solution.

I do believe when one states a camera is better then the results should be self evident in the image. My comments are not to get into arguments, but to ask for insights into where equipment will help me have a better image for the client.

I believe this should be a very apparant difference noticeable to the naked eye when looking at the published image in the end product.

Some of the discussions which have been quite important to most here are the higher ISO results between the cameras. It seems pretty apparant whoever introduces the latest camera usually, not always, is the leader.

The major difference in the quality in the higher ISO has typically been the difference between using CCD and CMOS. The CCD usually gets better results at higher ISOs. I believe the D200 has a CCD chip.

For the money, I believe the D200 is well positioned for most all shooting situations. For the money nothing is in its class.

Up till this camera the Mark II had pretty much the best results for most situations for the photojournalist.

I am very pleased with the D2X and hope to add the D200 as another backup.
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Thread Title: Question about Nikon system upgrade
Thread Started By: Kim Cox
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