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Nikon D200 vs D50

The Nikon D200 and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2005 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D200 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the D50 provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D200 VS Nikon D50
Nikon D200 Nikon D50
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 200-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 2.0" LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
147 x 113 x 74 mm, 920 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D200 and the Nikon D50? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D200 and the Nikon D50. 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.

Size Nikon D200 vs Nikon D50
Compare D200 versus D50 top
Comparison D200 or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Nikon D200. Moreover, the D50 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the D200. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D200 is splash and dust resistant, while the D50 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. 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.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D200» 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699iNikon D200
 
Nikon D50« 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749iNikon D50
 
Canon 30D« » 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Nikon D500« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7000« » 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D60« » 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D300« » 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D40« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499iNikon D40
 
Nikon D80« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999iNikon D80
 
Nikon D70s« » 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899iNikon D70s
 
Nikon D2X« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
 
Nikon D70« » 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999iNikon D70
 
Nikon D100« » 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999iNikon D100
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 D50 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 56 percent) than the D200, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D50 is 1 percent smaller. 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.

Nikon D200 and Nikon D50 sensor measures

With 10MP, the D200 offers a higher resolution than the D50 (6MP), but the D200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, the D200 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the D50, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

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 inch or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inch or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inch or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inch or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inch or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inch or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D200 versus D50 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D200 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D50 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364Nikon D200
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055Nikon D50
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265Nikon D60
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........Nikon D100
Neither the D200 nor the D50 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D200 and the D50 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D200 has a higher magnification than the one of the D50 (0.63x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D200, the Nikon D50, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D50
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D100

One feature that is present on the D200, but is missing on the D50 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

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.

The D200 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D50 uses SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 D200 and Nikon D50 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D200Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D200
 
Nikon D50Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D50
 
Canon 30DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 20DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 20D
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D60Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D60
 
Nikon D300Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2XsYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D40Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70sYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D2XYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D70Ynonenone--none1.0---Nikon D70
 
Nikon D100Ynonenone--none1.1---Nikon D100

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D200 (unlike the D50) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D200 and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D200 or the Nikon D50 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D200:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 6MP) with a 29% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.50x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • 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 130k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the D50).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D50:

  • More compact: Is smaller (133x102mm vs 147x113mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 300g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (56 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2005).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D200 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 4 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.

D200 14:04 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D200 and the Nikon D50 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D200 or the D50 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699iNikon D200
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749iNikon D50
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499iNikon D40
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999iNikon D80
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899iNikon D70s
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999iNikon D70
 
Nikon D100..+ +oo.. Feb 2002 1,999iNikon D100
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D200:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D50:
Check Ebay offers

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 D200 vs Nikon D50

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2005 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 1699 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 200-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 583 560
    Screen Specs Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.50x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D200 Nikon D50
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL3e EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 113 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 920 g (32.5 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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