Ur-Leica Tamron Camera Comparison
Leica 1600mm Soligor Exif data
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Nikon D200 vs Sony A900

The Nikon D200 and the Sony Alpha A900 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2005 and September 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D200) and a full frame (A900) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D200 versus Sony A900
Nikon D200 Sony A900
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
10 MP, APS-C Sensor 24.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 200-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
400 shots per battery charge880 shots per battery charge
147 x 113 x 74 mm, 920 g 156 x 117 x 82 mm, 895 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D200 and the Sony Alpha A900? 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D200 and the Sony A900 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D200 vs Sony A900
Compare D200 versus A900 top
Comparison D200 or A900 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A900 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Nikon D200. However, the A900 is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the D200. 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the D200 gets 400 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the A900 can take 880 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D200 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Sony A900 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Sep 2008 2,999i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Nikon D500 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7000 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D300S 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D300 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D80 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D2X 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Nikon D100 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Sony A9 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A99 II 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i
 
Sony A7S II 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999i
 
Sony A99 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799i
 
Sony A850 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 43 percent) than the A900, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

ad

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D200 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A900 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A900 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D200 and Sony A900 sensor measures

With 24.4MP, the A900 offers a higher resolution than the D200 (10MP), but the A900 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 6.11μm for the D200). Yet, the A900 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 10 months) than the D200, 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 Sony A900 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A900 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.2 x 20.2 inches or 76.8 x 51.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.2 x 16.1 inches or 61.4 x 41 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.2 x 13.4 inches or 51.2 x 34.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D200 are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 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 Sony Alpha A900 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

D200 versus A900 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 consideration, the A900 offers substantially better image quality than the D200 (overall score 15 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
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 2592none22.311.558364
 
Sony A900 Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none23.712.3143179
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
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 D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Sony A99 II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792
 
Sony A7S II Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
 
Sony A99 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589
 
Sony A850 Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none23.812.2141579
Neither the D200 nor the A900 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.
ad

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D200 and the A900 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 A900 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D200 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the A900 has a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D200 and Sony A900 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
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
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony A900optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A99 II2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Sony A7S II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A992359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 6.0 n Y
 
Sony A850optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D200 has one, while the A900 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.

The D200 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the A900 uses Compact Flash or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A900 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D200 only has one slot.

ad

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 Sony Alpha A900 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
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
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
 
Sony A900Y----mini2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A7S IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A99YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Sony A850Y----mini2.0---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the D200 and the A900 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D200 was replaced by the Nikon D300, while the A900 was followed by the Sony A99. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.

ad

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D200 and the Sony A900? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Nikon D200:

  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (43 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2005).

ilogo

Advantages of the Sony Alpha A900:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.4 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.63x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (880 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D200 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A900 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D200 04:13 A900

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D200 and the Sony A900 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D200 or the A900 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

scroll hint
Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Sony A900+ ++ +4.5/54/55/5 Sep 2008 2,999i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Nikon D100..+ +oo.. Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A99 II..85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i
 
Sony A7S II+..4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999i
 
Sony A99..84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
 
Sony A850..75/100..4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D200:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A900:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Nikon D200 vs Sony A900

    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 Sony A900
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2005 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 1,699 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D200 Sony A900
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 24.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 6048 x 4032 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 583 1431
    Screen Specs Nikon D200 Sony A900
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.74x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D200 Sony A900
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF or MS cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D200 Sony A900
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D200 Sony A900
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL3e NP-FM500H
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge880 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 113 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
    156 x 117 x 82 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 920 g (32.5 oz) 895 g (31.6 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Nikon D200 vs Sony A900

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.



    If you like it, make sure you share it.

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.

    ';