A pretty good camera, even today, as it has a lot of features and customization. At base ISO it's more than capable of delivering great images. As its age starts to show, however, one needs to consider other factors as well (=price) to judge whether this would be a good purchase
+ superb customization and options/features
+ forget the "semi" prefix. This is a true pro camera, in its build quality, set of features, and complexity
+ very good value, you can get a very capable camera for very little money
- a very complex camera, clearly not for people who don't want to spend time on learning it
- old technology, although it can still deliver great images with the proper care.
- the 10MP CCD sensor is somewhat noisy at ISO 1600 - at least compared with modern standards. But it's the pleasant kind of grain-like noise.
|The D200 sensor can hold its own when there is good light. |
It would've been a far noisier image without the strong light source
- advanced users who need a photographer's camera with a lot of customization but are on a tight budget
- if you need a backup for your D300 and can't afford another similar, the D200 is the next best thing
- users who want to try a complex but wallet-friendly camera before committing to a more modern (=expensive) option.
- people who want to use cameras in auto mode - there is no auto mode(s) in this camera
- people not willing to spend time and effort to learn their camera
- people who want/need small/light cameras
Very good value. But not excellent - notice how on the "Great for" section, all three suggestions involve one's budget. The thing is, this is not the cheapest possible Nikon DSLR that still makes sense (that would be the D70 for me at least), but its technology is somewhat on the "getting older" side. Can you take great shots with this camera? You bet your blue eyes you can. If, however, you plan using it at ISO 3200 all the time, don't expect any miracles. Ultimately, this is the camera to get if you absolutely need the features and you can't afford anything better. If you don't, the D90 for about the same money is a better camera in a sense of overall balance, while the D70 is the cheapest possible option.
October 2014 update:
I decided to add a couple of words on the D200. You might find this weird. After all, it's an old camera, much older than other cameras, such as the D300 or the D7000. So, what's the reason. The answer is: You, dear readers! For one reason or another, the D200 article is quite popular on AmateurNikon - most people find it by Googling "Is the D200 still good in 2014", or similar queries in that direction.
The answer to this question is: Yes, it is still good value. In fact, I would tend to amend my 'Final Verdict' above, and say it's close to excellent value. Its price has fallen to new lows (I've spotted a good copy sold for $150 somewhere - that's a rare steal) and, remember, it's a very competent camera features-wise, with a sensor that can definitely hold its own until ISO 400. Things do fall apart at higher ISO values, but if you're looking for a feature-rich camera, packed in a robust body (better than the D7000 or anything below), and your budget is minimal, yes, the D200 is still great in 2014.