View Full Version : D80 vs D200

29-10-06, 09:22
I am about to upgrade my D100. I have noticed a lot of grain at 800 ISO with a sigma 50-500 when comapred with a D50 under the same conditions. I cant decide on either the D200 or the D80. The spec sheets seem about the same apart from faster write speeds on the D200 and better build quality. I take mostly wildlfe pictures. Does anyone have experience with these cameras?

29-10-06, 09:32
One word, D200.
I know in UK Nikon has many of the bases including the press. But if your main complain is grain then I am sure you will hate me even more, to ask you to have a look at any Canon's images at highest ISO... Well some sensors are better than others and I am talking of ISO 1600 and plus.

29-10-06, 09:46
Thanks for that. I have a few nikon lenses and cant run to changing them as well. you dont say why the D200

Canis Vulpes
29-10-06, 09:54
Grain/noise can be reduced using programs such as neatimage. If shooting RAW images a RAW converter can also reduce noise. The larger filesizes of both D80 and D200 may permit more aggressive cropping which can be useful, particularly with wildlife photography. D50 employs in-camera noise reduction and is aimed at a different market sector to your D100. It therefore should be possible to produce the same smooth image as D50 from a D80/200 by employing post processing noise reduction.

29-10-06, 17:31
Im considering an update sometime in the future from my D50, im more drawn to the d80 as it uses the same type of cards which would save me a fair bit. Can anyone tell me if the batterys are the same or not?

29-10-06, 18:42
Im considering an update sometime in the future from my D50, im more drawn to the d80 as it uses the same type of cards which would save me a fair bit. Can anyone tell me if the batterys are the same or not?


A quick bit of research tells me that the D80 uses the updated EN-EL3e battery used on the D200. This battery has a specified capacity of 1500 mAh at 7.4 V (11.1 Wh). Neither the D80, nor the D200, is compatible with older EN-EL3 or EN-EL3a batteries such as the one used in your D50.

29-10-06, 19:14
Thank you for that.

30-10-06, 03:15
you dont say why the D200

D200 is stuffed with the pro features you find on D2X for 1/3 the price.
D80 is 10MP version of near entry but descent D70.
Choice if price is not an issue ($1450 vs $950) is obviously D200.
If budget an obstacle, best is to look at dropped price D70 itself...Won't make you the sheikhest or coolest one in the block but works well with math and logics.:cool:

30-10-06, 08:10
Thanks for the advice.

30-10-06, 09:51

Before you ask, the D70 uses the EN-EL3 battery, the same as your D50. The D70s uses the EN-EL3a battery which is compatible with the EN-EL3 battery.

Personally, I think it's better to invest in better lenses rather than fancier bodies. Unless you are regularly finding that there's things you simply cannot do with your existing body, I'd advise on better lenses rather than a new body.

30-10-06, 10:40
You're welcome Railman.

I am one hundred percent with Duncan.

Don Hoey
30-10-06, 23:13
I have to agree with Duncan and Sassan here.


I have had a D100 and can still use Stevies. Swapped my D100 for an X as I found the eye relief a bit short for me on the D200 as I wear glasses.

To take advantage of the increased resolution you really do need good glass. I have a mix of quality manual focus AIS lenses, and mid priced AF lenses. With the mid priced lenses on a high mp camera I find I have to shoot at f8 - f11 to max the image sharpness, but at times that can be a pain, so end up using M/F lenses if I have to go with a wider aperture.

Are you using RAW or Jpeg in the D100. I found a large quality increase when I had sufficient computer power to go to RAW. D100 obviously prefers RAW.

D80 or D200, then I would say D200 unless you do not require the extra features.

For images with a D200 and good glass, look at Avi and Leifs galleries.

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In your case the lens IS the weakest link. A move to D80 will not, I believe, give you any improvement that you will see in terms of image quality. The D80 sensor will out resolve your current lens.


31-10-06, 08:38
I have done some comparisons against both the D50 and the D70 (as other members of my family own these) in Jpg mode and the D100 loses when it comes to grain in the image. I will try Raw and see if there is an improvement in the quality.

07-01-07, 14:36
Took delivery of my D200 yesterday, and my word what a difference in performance compared to my D70 in lens action.
After a work out with the 18-70 and then the 105, went outside with the AFS 300 f4, a piece of kit which gave spasmodic, good - bad results on the old camera ( I had jammed the gap between the barrel and foot and have been considering buying the NC300) the first thing I noticed was the super fast AF lock on to the subjects (small birds) and when I uploaded the files to the PC was delighted with the consistent sharpness and colour , not a hint of vibration.
Just waiting for the rain clouds to pass and take it for a walk in the country.

I have also tried low light shots indoors at ISO1600 - no flash 8sec exposure and was amazed at the complete absence of noise and also the cameras ability to AF in extremely low light conditions.

I have an idea that when the weather is a little better, and I can venture out, I shall be able to produce some really acceptable images from the 70-200 with the TC 1.7 attached using ISO 800 at say f8 - f11 at speeds of around 300-1000 even in overcast conditions.


07-01-07, 21:08
Congratulations Brian.

Now that you have all plans for the clear days, did you think about moon too?

Have fun and treat us with the image to come soon.

08-01-07, 11:05
Hello Railman

The two cameras look close on paper, but in practice I am not so sure. Others have told you about AF speed. The D200 gives a higher frame rate (not that I care about that) and a better build, although Nikon cameras are all well built anyway. Where the D200 really scores IMO is the true mirror lock up. I doubt I could get as many sharp images without it. I know the D80 has a mirror lock up that can be combined with the self timer to fire 0.4 seconds before the exposure, but it's not the same as the subject might move and 0.4" is not always enough time to allow vibrations to die away.

However, by all accounts the D80 is a brilliant camera, and if money is tight, well you will get good results.

BTW I do not photograph birds, so if that is you key interest, take my comments with a pinch of salt. I tend to photograph insects, fungi and landscapes, and my needs might be different to yours.