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Nikon D200 versus Canon 40D

The Nikon D200 and the Canon EOS 40D are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2005 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 10.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D200 vs Canon 40D

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D200 and the Canon 40D is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D200 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Nikon D200 vs Canon 40D
Compare D200 versus 40D top
Compare D200 and 40D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 40D is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Nikon D200. Moreover, the 40D is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the D200. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D200 is splash and dust resistant, while the 40D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D200) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (40D).

Concerning battery life, the D200 gets 400 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the 40D can take 750 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack.

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D200» 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i
Canon 40D« 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i
Nikon D90« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i
Nikon D2X« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i
Nikon D100« » 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999- i

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 40D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the D200, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D200 vs Canon 40D

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 40D is 11 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D200) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D200 and Canon 40D sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the 40D offers a slightly higher resolution of 10.1 megapixel, compared with 10 MP of the D200. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 6.11μm for the D200). However, it should be noted that the 40D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the D200, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

D200 versus 40D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Nikon D200» APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364
Canon 40D« APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461
Nikon D2X« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659
Nikon D100« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-----
The 40D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D200 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Nikon D200 vs Canon 40D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D200 and the 40D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D200 and Canon 40D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Nikon D200»optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon 40D«optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y n
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D2X« »optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Nikon D100« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n

Both the D200 and the 40D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D200 was replaced by the Nikon D300, while the 40D was followed by the Canon 50D.

Review summary: Nikon D200 vs Canon 40D

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D200 and the Canon 40D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Nikon D200:

  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2005).

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 98g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 40D is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

D200 02:06 40D

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D200 or the 40D. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D200»HiRecHiRecrev5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i
Canon 40D«HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D300S« »HiRec82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i
Nikon D90« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Nikon D300« »HiRecHiRec5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i
Nikon D2Xs« »---rev- Jun 2006 4,699- i
Nikon D80« »RecHiRecrev4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i
Nikon D2X« »-HiRec-rev- Sep 2004 4,999- i
Nikon D100« »-HiRecrevrev- Feb 2002 1,999- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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