The Best summary of Nikon D200 vs. Canon EOS-5D
Nikon D200 Review: 31. Conclusion: Digital Photography Review. Probably the best summary of the D200 vs. the 5D. The net is that they have about the same image quality, with a slight edge to the 5D, its interesting to see they like others like the ergonomics of the D200 better. In low noise, the 5D clearly wins at ISO 800 and above.
From a design, build, features and performance point of view this camera really creates its own niche, it would be a pity to label it as ‘semi-pro’ because in use you soon realize that it’s a professional camera. Which brings us to the competition, from a build/features point of view it’s clearly ahead of the Canon EOS 20D/30D and in my opinion a step above the EOS 5D, a baby D2X.
Next we’ll talk megapixels, or I guess the marketeers would like that, but to be frank there’s really little to gain or lose in two megapixels either way, hence in a neutral comparison (as we did here, shooting RAW and using the same converter) you really can’t see any significant advantage or disadvantage going either way (8 to 10 or 10 to 12). You really wouldn’t be able to see a difference in print even at very large sizes.
What can make a difference however is how what’s captured is developed. Which brings us to the D200’s default sharpening (for JPEGs), there’s a difference between avoiding sharpening artifacts and not resolving detail captured by the sensor because of weak processing / sharpening. A first time user of the D200 may well feel it is ‘soft’ simply because of this decision made to have low default sharpening. Turn the sharpening up or better still shoot RAW and introduce a subtle unsharp mask into your workflow and D200 images are as sharp and crisp as you could expect.
Issues, well yes, unfortunately the D200 has one or two. Firstly noise, it’s easy to argue that a camera isn’t designed to have a particular high sensitivity performance but unfortunately there’s a benchmark out there and people now have an expectation of performance with a digital SLR at this level. That’s not to say the D200 is particularly bad, but that the competition is particularly good. Certainly if you do a lot of shooting at ISO 1600 or higher you should spend a some time studying our noise tests and high ISO gallery samples.