Nikon D1X vs D200
The Nikon D1X and the Nikon D200 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2001 and November 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D1X has a resolution of 5.9 megapixels, whereas the D200 provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D200? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D200. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D200 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Nikon D1X. Moreover, the D200 is markedly lighter (16 percent) than the D1X. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D1X gets 1200 shots out of its EN-4 battery, while the D200 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D1X has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D200, Nikon provides the MB-D200 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D1X||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999|
|2.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|3.||Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|4.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|5.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|6.||Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|7.||Nikon D2X||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999|
|8.||Nikon D2H||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1070 g||2900||Y||Jul 2003||3,499|
|9.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|10.||Nikon D1H||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499|
|11.||Nikon D1||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D200 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 72 percent) than the D1X, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D200 is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 10MP, the D200 offers a higher resolution than the D1X (5.9MP), but the D200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 7.92μm for the D1X). Yet, the D200 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 8 months) than the D1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1X are 15 x 9.8 inches or 38.2 x 24.9 cm for good quality, 12 x 7.8 inches or 30.6 x 19.9 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.5 inches or 25.5 x 16.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D1X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 125-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D200 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|3.||Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D1X and the D200 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D1X offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the D200 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D200 has a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D1X and Nikon D200 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon D1X||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||3.0||n||n|
|2.||Nikon D200||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Nikon D4||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|4.||Nikon D300S||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|7.||Nikon D2X||optical||Y||2.5 / 235||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|8.||Nikon D2H||optical||Y||2.5 / 211||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||n||n|
|9.||Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D1H||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||5.0||n||n|
|11.||Nikon D1||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||1.5||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D200 has one, while the D1X does not. While the built-in flash of the D200 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Nikon D200 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D1X and the D200 write their files to Compact Flash cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D1X and Nikon D200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D1X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D200||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Nikon D4||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Nikon D300S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon D2Xs||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D2X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D2H||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D100||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D1H||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the D1X and the D200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the D200 was followed by the Nikon D300. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D1X or the Nikon D200 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon D1X:
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2001).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D200:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 5.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.53x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (147x113mm vs 157x153mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 180g or 16 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (72 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D200 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D1X or the D200. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon D1X||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2001||5,999|
|2.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|3.||Nikon D4||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|4.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|5.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|6.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|7.||Nikon D2X||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||4,999|
|8.||Nikon D2H||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jul 2003||3,499|
|9.||Nikon D100||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|10.||Nikon D1H||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2001||4,499|
|11.||Nikon D1||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jun 1999||5,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Nikon D1X vs Nikon D200
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2001||November 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 5,999||USD 1,699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||5.9 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 1960 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.92 μm||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.59 MP/cm2||2.69 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||64|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||583|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||96%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D200|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
157 x 153 x 85 mm
(6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
147 x 113 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||1100 g (38.8 oz)||920 g (32.5 oz)|
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