Newer is not necessarily better
The Nikon D80 is getting a bit long in the tooth as digital SLRs go, having been superseded by the D90. That's not a reason to write it off though. Sure, the newer digital SLRs have more megapixels and Nikon have moved from CCD sensors to CMOS, but that doesn't alter the fact that the D80 does a great job at providing a bridge between the point and shoot and pro models. Pick one up and it fills the hand nicely. Not too heavy, not too light. Beautifully balanced. It can take any Nikon lens made after about 1979 (i.e. AI and beyond) the only catch being that any manual focus lenses won't link with the metering, but that gives you a huge choice. Moreover, Nikons have a flash trigger voltage of 250v. Now whilst the D80 lacks a pc sync socket, you can get hotshoe to pc sync convertors. This means that you can use a large number of external flash units.
Why did I buy mine ? Well, I'm a Nikon fan and have a couple of vintage models (F and FT2) although I knew that the lenses would not fit any digital camera, I wanted to make maximum use of some of the other bits I had. I also wanted to be able to use any new lenses on my film cameras. The options open were the D80, the D90, the D200 or the D300. The piggy bank wouldn't stretch to a D300 and the D90 was a bit of a squeeze. Ironically, the video option on the D90 put me off. Why burden what is otherwise a decent SLR with a gimmick like that ? So it became a shootout between the D200 and D80. I liked the fact that the D80 uses SD cards, no pins to get bent through dodgy handling. The two cameras have the same resolution and the CCD chip is similar. To be honest I plumped for the D80 on the basis that a used one would probably have had less wear and tear. I managed to pick up a nice one with low shutter actuations (4K) for under £300.
Do I regret it ? Not one bit. The D80 may have only 10Mp compared to the D90's 12Mp. It doesn't have the shiny new CMOS chip, but consider this. The difference in resolution is slight and for the majority of shots will make no impact. OK so the D90 can be pushed a bit further in ISO rating, but that is where you start to get image degradation. The killer punch is that D80 used prices are about £200 less than those of the D90. That's enough to buy you a nice fast lens or two.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Superb advanced camera
I spent weeks looking through page after page of camera reviews as I had decided to upgrade from my bridge camera, the Lumix DMC-FZ50. The Lumix had everything I needed except the larger sensor, so it was time to move up. My budget was limited, but I wanted to make sure I pushed it to the limit and get the absolute best I could afford as this was gonna be a one off chance. I eventually narrowed it down to the Sony A200 or the A300, the Pentax K20D. No way was I gonna buy any camera that I couldn't first hold in my hands, so off to the shops to try them. First the Sony range, not impressed at all, VERY cheap plasticy feel to them, a definate no no there. I also tried the Canon 450D, again horrible cheap feeling body and the cheapest feeling kit lens ive come across, aweful! OK, so what about the Pentax K20D...could I find a stockist? Could I heck as like! AARRGH!!! I want it but no way im spending in excess of £500 on something ive not tried. The guy in the local Currys Digital suggested a small independant dealer elsewhere in the town, didnt even know they were there! Anyway, went there, he didnt have one BUT he showed me a Nikon D80...WOW! Beautiful camera, very comfortable in my hands..I was converted! His price was too expensive so I decided to look on ebay. I decided the best thing was to buy a body and buy a lens or two seperate. Word of warning...the Nikon kit lens is absolutely pathetic, so cheap and nasty I found it hard to believe Nikon could produce something so crappy!! I decided to go for a Sigma 18mm-55MM and a Nikon 75mm-300mm TheSigma is 200% better than Nikons kit lens, a gorgeous lens, plenty of weight in a solid build. Now, back to the D80...point and shoot on auto is 'ok', put it into programme mode and make some adjustments in the menus and the pictures begin to show some quality. Im still on a learning curve but I absolutely love the camera, menus are easy to follow, controls are all easy, battery life is excellent. I dont have VR lenses and camera shake is sometimes a problem, I find im using my monopod and tripod far more with this camera to ensure sharp images everytime. So, all in all im very pleased with my D80 (cost me £350 April 2009) I suggest you look for a body only and go for a Sigma lens unless you're prepared to shell out a few hundred on the higher spec Nikon lenses cos the kit lens is PANTS! Hopefully this will help you decide if the D80 is for you.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
nikon d80 digital camera..
I am 70 years old and this is my first proper digital camera....In the past I have always had nikon film cameras, and I wanted to try digital....so, I read magazines to get all the information regarding their test results....not needing video mode I decided that it would be better to go for a good quality older model like a second hand D200 or D80....thats when I went to eBay and found the D80 I bid on and won....when it arrived I was very pleased whith its condition, and after reading the manual that came with it I started taking some practice pictures. Everything was in perfect working order,I was very impressed...Overall it seems to be a great buy at agreat price. I have already bought a couple of lenses to go with it, and hope to have fun using it more from now on....Since buying the camera I have enjoyed buying bits and pieces to go with it on eBay....
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Great camera that can be purchased for a great price.
I purchased this camera as an accompaniment to my Nikon D200, and it does its job well. The D80 is built well and although of plastic construction it feels solid in the hand. It is quite a bit lighter than the D200 and would probably be a lot easier to live with on a long sightseeing trip or holiday than the D200 would be. The functions available on the D80 would keep most keen amateurs happy and also has many ‘vari-program’ modes available for the happy snapper. The D80 is very configurable for more advanced photographers, and since it has an internal motor to drive focus on AF lenses the D80 is compatible with most (if not all) Nikon AF lenses made since the 80’s. The D80 is also compatible with AF-S lenses if you like a newer quieter lens.
The ergonomics of the D80 are first class (and why I am a firm Nikon fan), most of the functions a keen armature would want are on the body of the camera, the only difference between the D80 and the D200 is that the D200 has dedicated buttons where the D80 shares buttons with other functions. Having said that the D80 is still very easy to configure on the fly and shared buttons are a lot better than wading through menus (in my opinion). The D80 has a handy display on the top plate giving all relevant camera settings (I find this very useful and would not buy a camera without this).
Now there are some things missing that more professional or newer Nikon cameras have. The D80 does not have the sensor cleaning or live view functions. The display on the back of the camera is not as big or as clear as newer Nikons. Generally speaking if you minimise the risk of dist when you are changing lenses (keep the camera pointing down and clean the lens you are attaching) you should not have a problem. Live view would be useful but is it worth the extra £400-600+ that a D90 would cost, that’s a decision you have to make. Noise at higher ISOs is not as good as newer Nikons, but is manageable up to ISO800. I am sure there are other thing newer Nikons have that the D80 does not but you will have to read a professional review to get an insight into what these are.
Mint examples of the D80 are readily available for reasonable prices along with reasonably priced second user lenses makes this a good option for someone looking to get into photography or someone like me who wanted an inexpensive second body.
Parting shot, the D80 takes a good picture without a lot of pain while doing it and that’s what cameras should be all about.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Nikon D80 - Amazingly capable - A GREAT Camera
First of all, Nikon build quality, I mean, it's built like it means business, and after all, 10 million pro's will not look at anything else, so that's good enough for me. If Carlsberg made cameras, they'd probably come up with something like this. As it is, all the bells and whistles actually have a useful function,and that is to help you produce images that you will be proud of.
Compared to a bridge / compact, it feels big and heavy, but it is still extremely comfortable to hold. It does not take long to get used to the control layout,and all the buttons etc feel just right. I bought the body and lens separately, and went for the 18-200 VR. the lens is a great choice is you're scared of dust on the sensor, as it means you'll hardly ever need to change. I'll be looking for a macro at some stage, though.
So far I've not found anything to dislike about it, and the reason for purchase was one of practicalities. Why upgrade a small step at a time, when for a pretty reasonable cost you can go straight to the top in one jump?
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.