The D200's sensor features four-channel output which allows it to share the same image processing engine as the D2X. This allows the D200 to enjoy high speed continuous shooting, and in our tests with a SanDisk Ultra II 1.0GB CF card, it certainly performed very close to Nikon's quoted specification of 5fps.
With the D200 drive set to Continuous High and the quality set for Large Fine JPEGs, we managed to shoot a burst of 27 frames in 5.5 seconds before the buffer filled; this equated to a speed of approximately 4.9fps. Letting go of the shutter release at this point then took 32.5 seconds to clear the buffer and finish writing data to the card, although as the buffer was being emptied it was of course possible to fire off shorter bursts. If the shutter release was held beyond the buffer's capacity, the Large Fine JPEG shooting rate reduced to around 1.5fps.
With the D200 quality set to uncompressed RAW mode (without an accompanying JPEG), we shot the same composition and captured a burst of 21 frames in 4.5 seconds before the buffer filled; this equated to a speed of approximately 4.6fps. Letting go of the shutter release at this point then took around one minute to completely empty the buffer, although as before you could fire off shorter high speed bursts during this process. If the shutter release was held beyond the buffer's capacity, the RAW shooting rate reduced to around 1.5fps.
In terms of overall handling, the D200 is a dream: it starts in just 0.15 seconds and responds very quickly to any request or operation. The AF systems snap static or moving subjects into sharp focus, while the excellent 3D-Colour Matrix Metering II rarely requires manual compensation.