Nikon D200 Review

Sep 13, 2008 by

I posted one review regarding this camera in which I gave the camera two stars because of its tendency to consistently underexpose full green auto mode flash photos. However, after 3 emails to Nikon’s tech support, I’ve changed my mind. First of all, please allow me to say that Nikon’s tech support is top notch. Technician David D was great. He was very patient with me, an amateur photographer when it comes to digital SLRs, and he explained things in a way I could understand completely.

If you are a snapshot photographer who wants a nice camera to be able to point and shoot without worrying about attempting to create perfect photographs by fussing with settings, quite frankly, the Nikon D80 isn’t the camera you want. Get yourself a quality point and shoot camera that will take acceptable snapshots. If, on the other hand, your goal is to create beautiful, near professional quality digital photographs by adjusting and tweaking camera settings, then this camera is an excellent camera for you. The features that this camera comes loaded down with gives you such tremendous control that, if you take the time to learn this camera, you will be able to take detail perfect photographs that will make you proud, along with being glad that you bought a Nikon D80 camera.

The camera does indeed underexpose flash photos taken in the full auto mode so that they appear dark. However, Nikon has set up its metering system to do this for a reason, as Nikon’s technician, David D explained to me. The D80 automatically assumes that you, the photographer, will, most likely, desire to edit the photos you take, in some form or fashion. Nikon was very perceptive about digital photographers to figure things this way, actually. Even with point and shoot photographers, including myself, whenever photos are uploaded from digital cameras to computers, most of those photos are cropped, enhanced, red eye eliminated, etc. In a slightly underexposed digital photograph, all the data and detail is there. That photograph can then be edited, if you so desire, and, since you started with a photo that contained all its data and detail, you can produce a great picture. However, an overexposed digital photograph will lose data and detail. The data and detail lost in an overexposed digital photograph can’t be restored by any amount of editing. The D80 will give you a slightly underexposed photograph out of the camera so that you will have all the data and detail in that photograph, as opposed to a slightly overexposed photo with lost data and detail. You can then edit that slightly underexposed photo, if you desire to do so, and you will have a photo with all its data and detail to work with. This can’t be said for a slightly overexposed digital photograph, which will have lost some data and detail.

Nikon technician David D suggested to me that if I didn’t mind losing a bit of the data and detail in my photographs, that I could either do some photo editing with photo editing software and brighten them up, or, using the D80’s exposure compensation feature, I could set the camera to add a little exposure to each photograph it takes.

If you’re going to use a Nikon D80 camera, you have to think more like a photographer than like a tourist taking vacation photos. It’s a great camera if you understand it and know how to use it.

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1 Comment

  1. Harvey Mendelson

    I was looking into the underexposure problem with the D80. You shed some light on the situation and made it more understandable. Thanks

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