Nikon D200 digital SLR body
A long time coming, is it worth the wait?
The LCD status screen is huge, occupying almost the entire upper right-hand surface of the body. Unlike many status displays which limit themselves to little more than basic exposure information, the D200's is packed with a wide array of shooting details. Alongside the shooting mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, battery life and shots remaining, you'll find details on the resolution, compression, white balance, flash mode and even focusing point.
The latter also indicates the current position of the focusing point, which in three of the four focusing modes can easily be adjusted using the four-way multi selector on the back of the camera. The only details missing are the ISO and metering mode, both of which are always shown in the viewfinder itself. It's great to see all this information at a glance without having to either enter menus or hold down a button.
Unlike the D2X, the D200 features a popup flash, and while many professionals deride their effectiveness, we feel they're a genuinely useful feature to have for basic shots, syncing or fill-in opportunities - certainly it's one of the aspects we missed most on Canon's 5D. Suffice it to say the D200's also equipped with a flash hotshoe for SB-series Speedlights and a standard PC-sync port for studio lighting. By holding down a button near the popup flash you can use the finger wheel to adjust flash compensation, or the thumb wheel to cycle through front curtain, red-eye reduction, slow-synchro (with or without red-eye) and rear curtain options.
In terms of connectivity there's (PictBridge-compatible) USB 2.0, DC-in and video-out ports, although unlike the D2X no facility to record voice clips; you can input text comments to images though. The ten-pin remote terminal on the front supports several optional accessories including the MC-35 GPS adaptor cord which allows latitude, longitude, elevation and UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time) to be stored in the image header. Many consider this a key advantage Nikon has over Canon digital SLRs.
The adapter is compatible with Garmin and Magellan GPS units which conform to version 2.01 or later of the NMEA0183 protocol; these include the popular Garmin eTrex series. Unlike the D2X though, there's no handy storage for the PC-sync and remote terminal screw caps behind the port doors.
Support for wireless connectivity is becoming a standard option for higher-end digital SLRs, and Nikon's optional WT-3 transmitter allows the D200 to wirelessly transfer images over 802.11b and 802.11g 2.4GHz networks.