A First Look at the Nikon D200|
(Friday, January 20, 2006 - 15:54 EST)
We've (finally) gotten our hands on a full-production Nikon D200! Editor Shawn Barnett spent a fair bit of time shooting with it (he likes it a lot), and I dug into the "corduroy" banding issue reported by some users on web forums in recent weeks.
After a long delay, we've finally gotten our hands on a full production sample (two of them, actually) of the new Nikon D200 SLR, and are putting it through its paces.
For the impatient among you, the short summary is "Wow!"
While the D2x still holds an edge in several areas, there's no question that the Nikon D200 delivers the most performance for the money of any camera Nikon has created to date. This is a camera that just feels right in your hands, with well laid-out controls making for very fluid, intuitive operation, and it makes absolutely beautiful images. Editor Shawn Barnett spent a fair bit of time with it, and was greatly impressed. Given that Shawn's been almost exclusively a Canon shooter for years, it's noteworthy how quickly he felt at home with the camera, and how much he enjoyed using it.
I also took a deeper look at the "banding" issue reported by some D200 owners on web forums recently. I found that I could reproduce the behavior, albeit under a rather limited set of circumstances. Is this a mountain or a molehill? I'm personally inclined toward the latter, but read my report for the full details, and decide for yourself. (Full JPEGs and NEFs provided for your scrutiny.)
We'll have our usual full review of the D200 in another few weeks, but from what we've seen so far it's clear that the Nikon D200 is a truly exceptional digital SLR, the fourth "home run" in a row for Nikon, and arguably one of the best cameras they've ever built. Read our Nikon D200 User Report for all the details!