The midpriced Nikon D200 D-SLR offers nearly the same image quality, and most
of the features, of Nikon's professional D2X -- in a smaller, lighter, and
much more affordable package.
Had Nikon not claimed the category with its D200, Canon's EOS 30D would be our choice for Advanced D-SLR. Buff successor to the EOS 20D, the 30D builds on that camera's strengths while borrowing features from its full-frame sibling, the EOS 5D.
At $300 less than the D200, the EOS 30D gives Nikon a run for its money. Its shooting speed is 5fps, same as the Nikon D200. The EOS 30D's burst depth is comparable, at about 50 Large/Fine JPEGs. And we think its autofocus is faster in low light.
Despite its two-megapixel disadvantage, the 30D actually does a better job of controlling noise. Add that to Canon's numerical lead in IS lenses and you have a top-notch tool for low-light shooting.
Canon EOS 30D
The 30D has a tough magnesium-alloy body, though it's not weatherproofed like the D200's; an ample 2.5-inch LCD screen with a 170-degree viewing angle; a 3.5 percent spot meter; improved long-exposure noise reduction; and an optional wireless file transmitter and battery grip. If the Nikon D200 is refined, the Canon EOS 30D is a scrappy challenger.