Saturday, December 17, 2005

Here Comes the D200 Onslaught

It's December 17,2005 and within a scant few days the D200 onslaught will begin in earnest. Be prepared for _potential_slowdowns and problems with pBase as people go searching for D200 photos there. Be prepared for slow,stuttering web connections to countless private servers hosting D200 photos from all across the globe, as web-heads seek out the latest underexposed, shot-while-standing-at-a-sales-counter "example photos" shot with D200 cameras by people who've only just recently managed to insert their flash cards into a store's demo D200, and who've then rushed home to upload a handful of "example photos" to show how good--or how bad--the D200's image quality is.
Remember, early "example photos" or "sample photos" often look like crap,no matter what camera they've been made with. Often this is because the cameras are set to factory default settings, and because the nut behind the eyepiece has absolutely NO FRICKIN' CLUE about how to use the demo camera,or how to manipulate its controls, or even how to take a fundamentally sound photo in the first place. Standing-at-a-camera-sales-counter "example photos" are often worthless. The more sophisticated the camera, the less likely it is for a person to be able to pick one up, stuff in a CF card, mash the shutter button 20 times in one minute,hand the camera back to the shop attendant,rush home and then to be able to post ANYTHING of any value after a mere sixty seconds' worth of snapping. So, be prepared to see this type of "D200 example pics" postings on the web over the next few weeks. Consider the source.
Also, be prepared to hear some severe criticisms of the D200's image quality by at least one or two or three disgruntled novice users, and also be prepared to hear the Brand Fanboi's and One Brand Zealots "dissing" the D200's image quality,its handling,or any one of its traits. There are bound to be _plenty_ of One Brand Zealots out to convince others of the superiority of Camera XXX or Camera YYY. Count on it. I recall one "Jillon Dames" who posted during the early release phase of the 5D that the Canon EOS 5D was a, "Low-ISO camera at best", with absolutely ,"unacceptable noise levels at any ISO above 400". What a laugh! Simply a seriously misguided piece of disinformation! The EOS 5D offers almost state of the art noise reduction and some of the current BEST-available low-light D-SLR performance, with numerous,sane,impartial testing organizations praising the EOS 5D as being among the very BEST at higher ISO shooting both in terms of focusing,and of image quality.
Anyway, be prepared for an onsalught of D200 photos shot in many case by very inexperienced D200 "testers" armed with their own CF cards, but no D200 to call their own. It's all part and parcel of the introduction of EACH new D-SLR. Whenever Nikon comes out with a new model, there are certain people who will always try to devalue the new Nikon, or to dismiss it, or to spread unsupported bullshit and lies about it. The same goes when Canon introduces a new model--there are Nikonistas who will do their misguided best to unfairly portray and mischaracterize whatever new camera Canon has.You know,bitching and moaning about how CMOS sensors are no good, bitching about corner vignetting on full-frame Canon D-SLR's, or critcising Canon's low-noise,high-resolution images for being "plastic",or carping about how the 1.5x FOV concept is inherently better than full frame 24x36mm sensor size. Same with the Fuji Boosters who will often criticize either Canon or Nikon cameras for any number of supposed faults particular to Nikons, or Canons.
Please gird yourselves for a bunch of lame comments on the D200's picture quality,much of it from sour grapes folks who are secretly very envious of the D200's sheer bang-for-dollar and wide,encompassing feature set. This world is full of people anxious to get the best deal in a Digital SLR, and of people who are looking to buy a camera that can really help them deal with whatever photographic tasks they want to fulfill. I cannot blame anybody for searching out sample photos from the D200, or for anybody searching for actual OWNER reports and User Reports on the new D200. But please, be aware that within the next few days there will be both innocent AND malicious information about the D200 circulating all over the web. It happens EVERY time a new D-SLR is released.Already,before the wide release of the D200, I have seen both very excellent and very poor world wide web "example photos" from the D200.The right guy can make the best camera look like crap.Or,maybe it's the wrong guy? Depends on who is trying to spin who,doesn't it?
Somebody posted a link to some EOS 1Ds Mark II (Canon camera with 16.7 MP, priced at $7999) samples which showed just how BAD a grandfatherly snapshooter could make the 1Ds Mk II look.Image after image of BAD results from the magnificient Canon flagship. Just God-awful stuff, and I mean that the pictures often looked very,very technically messed up. Bad WB, focus slightly off,camera shake problems,exceedingly poor color under tungsten theatre lighting, etc. And yet I personally have a few 1Ds Mark II samples which show the camera in a very,very favorable light, as in, "Among the very,very best images I've seen from a D-SLR over a wide number of frames of different subject matter". Yet, this single owner's $8k FF Canon's image results looked like crap.What was at fault--all that resolution and image quality? Does the 1Ds Mark II have too much resolution for its own good?
I actually expect thousands of very,very satisfied owners of the D200 to choke internet message forums within the next thirty days with tales of joy and pride of ownership, and as soon as March,2006 the D200 is going to be so,so popular that it will be a major feather in the cap of Nikon's design teams. I think the D200 might take over the D70's position as All-Time Sales Unit Leader for Nikon.

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