A pro DSLR by any other name is still a pro
Unlike the D2x, the meter pattern select switch (for 3D-color Matrix II, centerweighted, and spot metering) is now located next to the viewfinder, surrounding the AE lock button, instead of on the prism housing. That was done to accommodate the pop-up flash, which includes the i-TTL Commander Mode functions found in expensive Nikon Speedlights. With this sophisticated multiflash feature, you can now control two remote flash groups from the camera, with the pop-up acting as a third.
On top, the D200 has one of the largest LCD data panels of any DSLR. The main control dial on the left is the same size as on the D2x, but includes three different buttons--ISO, image quality, and white balance. On the left side, the D200 also has a PC-sync connector and rubberized doors over the Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connector and other jacks (including one for attaching a GPS device). But there's no microphone for voice recording.
The D200's inner features are as impressive as its outer ones. Its bright, clear viewfinder (Nikon claims the optical viewfinder features a 95% accuracy and 0.94X magnification) shows 11 selectable AF zones and a variable centerweighted metering circle, plus a very easy-to-read data display packed with useful indicators. A 2% spot metering mode is also available, and can be linked to the active AF zone or center AF zone. Unlike the D2x, the D200 doesn't allow for optional focusing screens, but the viewfinder can be set to display helpful on-demand grid lines.
The D200's 11-point AF system is all its own, and powered by Nikon's new Multi-CAM 1000 TTL phase detection AF module. With fast speed and low-light sensitivity (down to -1 EV, says Nikon) the 11 AF points can now be combined into a wide-area AF system with seven zonesÑmore useful for tracking motion. Otherwise, the D200 has all of the AF choices found in the D2x, including the Dynamic Area AF with closest-subject priority mode.
Nearly all exposure and metering controls and capabilities are similar to the D2x, including advanced 3D Matrix II metering, multiple exposure control, 45 custom functions, and advanced image-quality controls. Standard flash sync is 1/250 sec and maximum shutter speed is 1/8000, similar to the D2x, but the D200's shutter lifespan is rated at more than 100,000 cycles (compared to over 150,000 cycles on the D2x).
As for image quality, the new 10.2MP (effective) resolution DX-format CCD sensor has the potential to capture images with excellent image quality and low noise, even at higher ISOs. The CCD's smaller APS size gives the D200 a 1.5X 35mm lens factor, but ensures compatibility with all Nikkor lenses (including the new DX series). At its highest-res setting, the D200 creates 3872x2592-pixel files with 12 bits per color (when images are stored in Nikon's RAW-NEF format), and a 2:3 aspect ratio.