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Nikon debuts D200 10.2MP digital SLR camera

updated 09:50 am EST, Tue November 1, 2005

Nkon D200 digital SLR

Nikon today introduced its new , a new high-performance digital SLR camera that combines new technologies with advanced features inherited from Nikon's venerable D2X professional digital SLR camera. The camera offers a newly developed 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor as well as a sophisticated 1005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II system. Nikon says the camera powers up in 0.15 seconds, features a 50 millisecond shutter release lag time and can shoot five frames per second with a "drastically shortened" viewfinder blackout time of just 105 milliseconds between shots. It features a bright viewfinder that offers 0.94x magnification and a 2.5 inch LCD screen with ultra-wide 170 degrees viewing angle. The D200 also offers new 11-area autofocus system, robust control of Nikon's i-TTL Creative Lighting System and advanced Wi-Fi image-transmission options. The D200 will be available in late December 2005 for $1,700.

The 10.2 effective megapixel image sensor on the D200 incorporates a high-
speed 4-channel data output and a new Optical Low Pass Filter that significantly reduces any incidence of moire as well as color fringing and shifting. In addition, the 4-channel output allows the D200 to inherit the advanced image-processing engine of the Nikon D2x professional digital SLR that combines color-independent preconditioning prior to A/D conversion with advanced digital image processing algorithms to deliver fine color gradations with smooth, consistent transitions.

Nikon also said that photographers can take advantage of the D200's advanced image optimizing functionality, which allows them to fine tune image characteristics such as sharpness, tone, color, saturation, and hue. Users can also select from preset options like Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait and Black-and-White.

The new 11-area AF system, convertible to a 7-wide area AF system, is based on Nikon's advanced Multi-Cam 1000 AF Sensor Module.

"Not only does this AF system support the photographer with fast and precise auto focus under a variety of shooting conditions, but it also offers a pleasing array of functions for greater flexibility -- allowing an individual area to be selected from either the 11-area AF or 7-wide area AF sensors for Single AF or making use of multiple sensors to enable Dynamic AF, Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF and Group Dynamic AF."

The D200 offers a high-battery capacity of 1800 shots per charge and delivers an intelligent power management Fuel Gauge feature that continously monitors the battery's precise remaining power in 1% increments. It also displays the total number of shots taken on each charge as well as overall life of the battery, so photographers can easily tell when to replace a battery.

The D200 features Nikon's advanced i-TTL wireless Speedlight control built right into the camera, as well as wireless image transfer over an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network built into the optional WT-3 Wireless Transmitter (available Spring 2006). The camera's powerful built-in Speedlight, capable of coverage for lenses as wide as 18mm, features a Commander Mode that can wirelessly control up to two separate groups of an unlimited number of i-TTL speedlights such as the SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200. The Commander Mode in the D200 can adjust flash compensation settings for each of the two groups on the fly, making light output control from speedlights placed in hard to reach locations simple and effortless.

Software bundle

The D200 will include a complimentary copy of Nikon's PictureProject software and will be compatible with Nikon Capture 4.4 software (sold separately), a new version of Capture that has the specifications to open NEF files from the D200 and all other Nikon digital SLR models. Version 4.4 features greatly enhanced NEF (RAW) processing capabilities as well as Nikon Capture Camera Control that allows remote camera operation when connected to a computer via the included USB cable or wirelessly using the new Wireless Transmitter WT-3 (sold separately).

The NEF (RAW) files from the D200 comprise not only the RAW image data captured by the 10.2 effective megapixel image sensor but also a thumbnail image and a Nikon "Instruction Set" of the cameras settings at the time of shooting. NEF allows the Instruction Set data -- such as white balance, color balance and tone curves and more -- to be adjusted for each recorded image at any time after shooting through the use of Nikon Capture software. Nikon Capture also enables an NEF file to be saved as an NEF, ensuring a record of the original Instruction Set is always preserved, even if several newer Instruction Sets are saved to the file--helping photographers save the original settings and image data of an NEF (RAW) file (for easy reversion back to the original).

Version 4.4 of Nikon Capture software offers a flexible, stable and creative workflow approach for any photographer in both professional and personal use through Nikon's unique approach referred to as the "Camera to NEF to Capture Dynamic Link" performance. Newly added features for Capture include automatic highlight recovery when using Exposure Compensation at values lower than 0 EV and Black and White conversion support in Tone Compensation.

by MacNN Staff



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