Nikon D200 squares up to Sony R1

Nikon's just upped the stakes again in the high-end camera war.Little more than a month after Sony dropped the curtain on its 10 megapixel semi-pro ca

Nikon's just upped the stakes again in the high-end camera war.

Little more than a month after Sony dropped the curtain on its 10 megapixel semi-pro cam [the R1, story here] Nikon has retaliated with the D200, announced today.

Like Sony's hulker, this beast is a 10MP shooter - 10.2, to be precise - and it's squarely aimed at beginners who want to start taking serious snaps.

Where this new Nikon differs, however, is that it's a digital SLR. What that means is a choice of screw-on lenses - from paparazzi-style long zoomers to wide-angle jobs for close-ups - and photos with a composition identical to what you see in the viewfinder.

There's nothing groundbreaking in terms of features but the tech specs are impressive on paper. Beyond the huge sensor, it has a 2.5in LCD for playback, a massive info screen on the top and a mighty impressive 1,800 photo battery life. Storage comes via CompactFlash, which is handy - you can pick up a 4GB Microdrive for the incredibly cheap price of £110.

The D200's due in camera shops across the land before the end of December. It'll cost £1500 with a lens - more than twice the price of Sony's R1, which should be reflected in its results - and £1300 if you just buy the body.

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