The best things in life are free.
Would you rather spend the next few months building a good foundation in photography, plus having lots of fun, by just simply carrying along an extra battery weighing no more than 100g? Or wait for months and months and months for the d300 2nd hand to drop to your budget, so that you can take more (is it even that much more) shots per outing?
Photography, or battery, or less noise high iso, or bragging rights. Your choice =)
what you gotta ask yourself is whether you are really into this...
if you're those "3min hot" kind den i suggest a D40 D60 D80 range. but if you are really serious in photography, get a better body so there's more to learn n explore. dun let technology restrict your learning curve.
unlike me, my understanding n learning cant even out beat a D80. been a yr and i'm still learning n shooting often to understand more abt photography. i'm tempted to upgrade to a D300 but by asking myself "will i even use higher end performance in that body?" with that, i doubt i would upgrade for now.
d200 d300 both has higher fps n ISO den d80. but will i make full use of them? i realise i dun even shoot more than ISO800 on my d80. sometimes when i look back at the shots that i take, i think someone with a PnS can take the same or in fact better than mine. and wat some guys here mentioned, its the skill n not the cam. a pro with d40 can take better shots than me with a D3.
just my 2cents worth.. its just wat i feel. i could be wrong.
What i need is the skill and vision of a pro... not a pro camera!
d300 for the noise control. iso400 an above on d200 and u start to see grain.
but d200 is still one of the best I feel.
end of the day,get something that you like and can afford with your budget.
it doesn't have to be new actually. They are some really good 2nd hand ones ard.
The bod is important, but equally if not more important would be the Lens you are using, and how you use it. It's the person who compose and take the picture, not the camera
Hope this helps.
Hm aiyar, ultimate rule is: as long as you don't end up eating kaya and bread for every meal, or grass and water, or file for bankruptcy, or get pig head hung on your doorstep, can liao. =)
Do you really need the D300? The D80 is a perfectly good camera in it's own right. If so, get the D300, don't compromise to get the D200. The D300 IMO is good enough to totally surpass the D200.
f/8 and be there.