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Hmmm, I am afraid this question will be asked a lot. Before we can give any conclusive answer, we will have to wait and see how the AF and viewfinder of the D200 will behave underwater.

 

Having said that, if you have the money and will be using the housing during the next few months, I would say you should get a D2x. I think the first few housings for the D200 won't appear before March or April of 2006. Realistically, May.

 

Now, if you can wait, if AF performance and viewfinder are not that important to you and/or if you can't afford the D2x, then the D200 is the camera for you.

 

Luiz

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The D2X has a killer AF system and a very nice viewfinder. Perhaps the two most important attributes in an UW camera.

 

But; it is very expensive and the housings are very expensive.

 

As mentioned above you will have to wait for real life reviews of the D200. It looks very nice. The housings for it are likely to be much more affordable. The excellent Ike dSLR housing probably can be adapted to it.

 

Do you want to flood a 5000$ dollar camera or a 1700$ camera?

 

You can get two D200 systems for the cost of one D2X. Set one up for macro and one for WA.

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Here is a quote from my D2X review, published in March here on Wetpixel. Unusually I still believe what I said then, in fact if you substituite D200 for D70 then the arguments for the cheaper camera are even stronger.

 

The downside of the D200 is you will have to wait until March for housings.

 

"In conclusion the Nikon D2X is a massively capable camera – with strengths well suited to underwater photography. But (and I do not mean to sound patronising) the D2X is not the camera for everyone. It is expensive. It costs $5000. And if you fill it up with water it is worth $0. The Nikon D70, for example, can produce stunning A3 (18†by 12â€) prints and even when cropped, D70 images are easily good enough for magazine covers. And it costs less than 15% of the price of the D2X. If you do not have a need for even larger output sizes, you do not need the D2X. Furthermore you have to be on top of your game to realise its full potential. The megapixels and image quality of the D2X will not save you from poor underwater photographic technique. Indeed cheap lenses and poor dome ports, that look fine on the D70, will curtail the potential of the D2X. "

From http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/nikon-d2x-a...bal-nd2-review/

 

Alex

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Actually, the introduction of the d200 has made me happier with my D2x purchase. Had I not spent the extra money and gone with it, I'd probably now be upgrading to the D200.

 

If in 8 or 9 months Nikon were to announce the D300 or whatever, (and I'm sure they will ;) ) maybe a 13MP camera for $2000, I'd of course have to be upgrading to that as well. This of course would require a new housing too. So, in the end, I'd be spending about the same amount of money trying to stay "Up to Date" with the latestest and greatest.

 

Maybe this is just me, and I can't speak for others. It just feels good to sit back and not have to be looking at an upgrade every year. Now, if I could just figure out how to make the flash pop up, I'm set...

 

Rand

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That's a good way to put it Rand, I agree, and I probably won't be tempted to upgrade to the D300 either! ;)

 

Do you want to flood a 5000$ dollar camera or a 1700$ camera?

 

The real question is, do you want to pay $300 or $600 for insurance? If you own any camera that costs more than $1000 you should have insurance for it! If it floods, it doesn't matter if the camera costs $1700, $5000 or $8000, the insurance company will send you a check! :)

 

Luiz

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Maybe this is just me, and I can't speak for others. It just feels good to sit back and not have to be looking at an upgrade every year. Now, if I could just figure out how to make the flash pop up, I'm set...

 

Rand

 

You're missing out. Half the fun in photography is buying new toys. :):D

 

Don't need no stinkin flash. Just dial the ISO to 3200 ;)

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If in 8 or 9 months Nikon were to announce the D300 or whatever, (and I'm sure they will ;) ) maybe a 13MP camera for $2000, I'd of course have to be upgrading to that as well. This of course would require a new housing too. So, in the end, I'd be spending about the same amount of money trying to stay "Up to Date" with the latest and greatest.

 

I think you are confusing Nikon with Canon. I wouldn't be worried that Nikon will obsolete this new camera so soon. Nikon cameras seem to have a much longer shelf life and your comment prompted me to take a look back in time.

 

While I agree with your decision to get the D2X, I think that others that are trying to make up their minds should not fear that the 200 will have such a short life. Nikon cameras have a longer lifespan than you'd think.

 

Let's review (with the help of DPreview)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Nikon/

 

Here is a time line of dSLR camera announcements from Nikon

D1 June 1999

D1x Feb 2001

D2x Sept 2004

 

D100 Feb. 2002

 

D70 Jan 2004

 

D50 April 2005

D200 Oct 2005

 

Of course the actual release dates were later than this and a bit more varied, but you get the idea.

 

D1x to D2x 3 1/2 years

D100 to D200 3 1/2 years

 

It can be argued that the D70 replaced the D100 in 2004, but it was a lateral movement, not an upgrade. The D200 is the true replacement for the D100.

 

Of course past events are no guarantee of future behavior, but it would be fair to speculate that the D2X and the D200 will be the top Nikon cameras for the next few years.

 

Now, how often you decided to upgrade your UW system is up to you. And if you make a bug jump in class from D70 say to D2X, then you can jump anytime. But if you are a D100 guy (like me) and have enjoyed it for the past three years, the D200 is very attractive and I'd be happy with a good three years out of it.

 

Dan

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I just spoke with the sales dep. at Light & Motion. They said they have no current plans for the D200, and that their main focus for the forseeable future will be HDV. Has anyone tried putting a D 200 into the Titan housing for the D 100? Just wondering if it fit and/or the controls are in the same locations.

 

Andy

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Jeez Dan, do you really have to cloud the issue with facts...

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Sorry. We're all trying to make ourselves feel good here, I know.

 

Some people are optimists (god bless them)

Others, a bit delusional

Many are in denial

as for myself...

I personally rely heavily on rationalization.

I can make it work for just about anything with the right set of facts ;)

 

(just joking around)

 

I really do hope the D200 has long legs and goes far.

 

danb

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Don't need no stinkin flash. Just dial the ISO to 3200  ;)

 

I know that this is totally off topic, but given the amazing high ISO perfomance of the 5D I think it might even make macro with filters a viable technique. Normally filter macro shots are light limited and you are always trading off DOF with shutter speed. I'm really looking forward to seeing some very different types of shots.

 

Alex

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Alex, the 5D will make your magic filters famous. Great foresight on your part on the timing of its development. ;)

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Having long product cycles is good and bad. According to Dan't post (hi Dan!) it took Nikon 3 1/2 years to announce a replacement for the D100. I personally don't look at that as a good thing - even though I owned a D100.

 

As our hobby is evolving very quickly, people are jumping in with gusto into the underwater DSLSR scene. If they jump in in the middle or toward the end of a 3 1/2 year Nikon product cycle, when Canon has a 12 month cycle, which system are they going to buy into? :-)

 

Cheers

James

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James, I think you are right and wrong at the same time. ;)

 

I think the Nikon cycle makes sense from the standpoint of not overloading the public with mid level upgrades, and the marketing folks at canon must run that ship.

 

As someone who's career is based on technology, I often have to deal with vaporware and/or twice annual upgrades. If these upgrades were not available, the business would be more stable and less costly. If it is available, many will "demand it". Which forces me to buy it...

 

I think the same applies to cameras. If ALL of the manufacturers released new toys on the same cycle, overall, the users would be happy. The battle we face is the battle created by the marketing departments. I applaud Nikon for taking the higher road in this case.

 

My humble $.02.

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I think it depends on where you get your kicks. One of the main draws for most of us in underwater photography are the cool toys - and depending on how important these are to you, it may influence which brand you prefer. Some (strange) people don't really care about the toys and are just interested in taking pictures, although I think that they are missing half the fun!

 

That said, just because a camera has been replaced it doesn't mean that it is useless.

 

I certainly think that Canon is the right choice for you, James! :)

 

Alex

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I certainly think that Canon is the right choice for you, James! ;)

 

 

Everybody picks on poor James. :):D

 

It's good to have the choices to upgrade. You can always say no.

 

Depends on how you count changes.

D70 was replaced by D70s and D50 in a short time with little change.

Ditto D2h

 

Even if you don't count these, I think it's likely that the D70s will be replaced with a camera that has most of the innards of the D200 sometime in the next 12 months.

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Is there any camera in the last 5 years (other than the D2X) that James hasn't upgraded to? B)

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I don't know if Nikon average of 2.5-3.5 years cycle is actually that much difference than Canon approach. Sure Canon comes out with new models a lot

faster but I would hardly call Digital Rebel to XT350 bit significant enough upgrade on the same level as D100 to D200. I also see 10D to 5D as more of a significant upgrade rather than 10D to 20D. I think a lot of people went from 10D to 20D mainly because of housing availability rather than as a true upgrade path. In term of 1Ds to 1Ds MkII, 10D to 5D, I don't see a big difference in timeline except for the introduction of some intermediate models here and there.

It also took awhile for Nikon to introduce a high end model to compete with Canon but now the playing field is a lot more level than it used to be a couple of years ago.

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Alex wrtoe: "The megapixels and image quality of the D2X will not save you from poor underwater photographic technique"

 

I thought that the more expensive the equipment you own, the better photographer you are. :)

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Hi Gang,

 

Believe you me - now that I have a Seacam housing for my Canon I won't be changing my housing anytime soon. I bought it with the clear goal of upgrading to a 1DsmkII at some pt in the future so y'all can expect that and start preparing your jokes now...:-)

 

Remember folks, the D100 and D60 came out at the same time about 3 yrs ago. There have been many Canon prosumer upgrade options since then, and really NO Nikon upgrade options. Many Canon shooters opted to go from the D60 to the 20D, since it delivers lower noise higher megapixel images and does it MUCH faster. So, I'd call that a "worthwhile upgrade" if not a necessary one. Nikon shooters didn't even get the option - one which I would have liked - being a frenetic upgrader...:-)

 

Cheers

James

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This whole subject really just comes down to how much money you have to spend, I think...

 

For 99% of non-professional photographers, the difference in the quality of the pics they can get with a D2x versus a D50 is very small. Sure, more megapixels are nice, but only if you're cropping or printing posters.

 

 

As our hobby is evolving very quickly, people are jumping in with gusto into the underwater DSLSR scene. If they jump in in the middle or toward the end of a 3 1/2 year Nikon product cycle, when Canon has a 12 month cycle, which system are they going to buy into? :-)

 

That is a great point, however I think the longer product cycle is also going to make new DSLR users take a serious look at buying used gear. The cost of getting into a DSLR is pretty intimidating once you start looking at buing a half dozen lenses, ports, extensions, zoom gears, etc. I was looking to buy a D70 for my first camera, but ended up with a pre-loved S2 and 4 good lenses with all the ports, extensions, gears, etc. for less than I could have gotten into a D70 with one lense for. And, the S2, though old, is still way more camera than I can handle.

 

This will help the equipment we already have hold it's value a lot better, making it easier for us to upgrade once we truly grow out of our current gear.

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The S3

 

That's about all I can think of :)

 

Doesn't count. No housing.

 

I expect James' upgrade coverage will actually increase in the future now that he can justify it as "doing it for Sarah". :D;)

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