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      30.05.2002 00:48
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      I've had an F80 for about 4 months now and I think it's great. I've shot eight rolls and it does all of the things which I can think of doing with a camera, but if you want to use it as a "point-and-shoot" just stick it into program mode and let the camera do the rest. The metering seems accurate in all of the situations I have been in so far - everything from a two second indoor with no flash to a 2000th bright sunlight outdoors. It seems to cope pretty well when there is a lot of contrast using it's matrix metering but I did a couple with centre-weighted and spot in these cases just to be sure. There wasn't a noticeable difference so I assume that the matrix mode got it right too. The exposure lock button was a little awkward a first but I got used to that pretty quickly. The auto-focus has been sharp for every shot (except for one where I was trying to pan with a moving car and I think that was more likely to be me) in both single- and continuous-servo modes. One problem I found was a bit of a lag between pressing the shutter release and the picture actually being taken which caused me to miss a couple of candid shots! I've found out that it does this in single-servo mode because it re-checks the focus before taking the shot. If you put it into continuous-servo mode there is no lag, but the manual says that this uses the battery quicker. I have read other reviews which seem to mark it down because the build quality is not as good as the F100. The F100 is a pro camera and costs 3 times what the F80 does. It isn't aimed at profesionals who could afford that price - if the build quality was the same, no-one would buy the F100 because the spec seems to be almost identical. One thing that I've been told (by my friendly camera shop) is that the metering doesn't work with some of the old manual focus Nikkor lenses, but since I've only just converted to Nikon (from Olympus, OM10, OM30, OM2-SP which I think is great kit bu
      t not auto-focus and my eyes are getting dimmer with age) that doesn't really bother me. The only other place that the F100 seems to have the edge is that it uses standard AA batteries. The ones used by the F80 cost far more, although they last a lot longer, and are not as widely available. Some of the custom functions are difficult to get your head round at first but not too bad. I've heard that someone has designed a summary sheet for the functions which fits inside the lens cap - good idea. The built-in flash is Okay for occasional use but I think I will invest in a proper one shortly - some pictures of my daughter against a light background had a very noticeable shadow - one of the bounce flash things would have made a much better job. The price I put in was for the standard kit with the 28-80 zoom but included a second hand 80-300 as well.

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