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I've owned this camera for about 7 years now, and I've grown to love it. I chose it as at the time it was the cheapest in the range to have an LCD top panel, which combined with dedicated buttons for ISO, shutter mode, focus and exposure modes makes changing settings rapidly a breeze.
In addition, there are two wheels for adjusting settings, so you can change shutter speed and aperture easily without even taking your eye away from the view finder.
The image quality is great, especially with the supplied 18-135 zoom lens, which although being slightly prone to barrel distortion is incredibly sharp. I did have an issue with a few stuck pixels, but since moving to Adobe Camera Raw / Lightroom, the software takes care of these.
There is no dust reduction or shake reduction feature as found on more modern cameras, there is no video and the high ISOs are a bit noisy, but for the price you can get it for now, its a bargain.
I'm not a professional photographer, but I love taking good quality pictures. Please bare in mind that this will be a review from someone that doesn't know a lot of professional camera terms. This review will be based on my experience with the camera.
This was the first SLR i've had the privilege of purchasing and I will never go back to a normal digital camera again. This was way more than I expected, being only used to standard digital cameras, all the buttons were quite a bit confusing at first. But even with all the button confusion the picture quality doesn't lie. This takes HIGH quality photos, they look professional if you get a good shot which you do most of the time with the shutter speed. The body is also incredibly lightweight compared to other slrs'. After reading the manual and playing around it was generally easy to learn the aperture, white balance and other features.
All in all the D80 is amazing and I can't fault it, however, I wouldn't recommend it for first time users or people that aren't really keen on learning and using all it has to offer. For the price you really are paying for all of its features to get the best quality picture possible for your needs. Taking this in mind if you want to start taking professional quality pictures this is the camera for you. It really does have it all.
I've had the Nikon D80 for four years now and, despite the temptation of newer models coming out, see no reason to change my camera. Four years ago I was an amateur photographer, now I use this SLR for professional work. It is not a top class pro camera, to be sure, but it is entirely adequate for someone starting on pro work and is a fantastic camera to learn on.
Controls are well laid out, with everything easily to hand while you are shooting, and the menu system for more in depth controls is intuitive. Most important to me was the feel of the camera in my hand. I wanted a camera that felt sturdy and well built, and compared with similar models in other brands, this was the only one that felt anything other than plasticky. I think this is proved at least in part by my camera having been put through some pretty tough treatment - not least from my kids - but it is still in perfect working order.
Battery life, as some other reviewers have pointed out, is fantastic. I have taken a two week holiday, with around 100 photos a day, and not needed my spare battery. To achieve the best battery performance, turn off the auto-screen review function (ie where it puts the photo you've taken on the review screen as soon as you've taken it).
With the second hand deals you can get on this camera just now, I wouldn't think twice about recommending it.
I brought this camera body as a second camera when starting up a wedding photography business (since closed).
Much like Nikon's other camera bodies, this one is easy to use whether you are an avid Nikon fan or a Canon lover like I was. Unlike the very latest Nikon camera bodies though, it won't allow you to use the screen on the back to take the photograph. In a rather archaic way you need to look through the viewfinder to line up your shot thus increasing your eye wrinkles and lines!!
The display is plenty large enough at 2.5 inches and it has a 170 degree viewing angle. An additional product well worth the money though is a cover and flap for the screen as on many occasion out in the bright sunshine it is hard to see when the light reflects off it. A hand cupped to shade the screen will also work but not as well.
It has consistently provided me with clear images thanks in part to it's 10.2 million effective pixels although that said I can also get a quality image from my little Panasonic Lumix compact camera and that wasn't quite as expensive!
It weighs a comfortable 585 g (1.3 lb) without it's battery and 668 g (1.5 lb) with. The battery is worth having a spare of, though I only ever had to recharge my new battery at the end of the day but then I was using it regularly. If left to sit a while the battery will loose some of it's charge even though it hasn't been doing anything.
Tips for the amature, always remember to press down the shutter button to take the photo, (once to focus and then again to take the shot) and also remember to move the highlighted bracket (seen through the viewfinder) to the part of your image that you wish to be the sharpest. That way you should achieve a sharper shot!
I bought this camera just over a year ago now and it is fantastic! Before buying this camera i had never owned a DSLR camera before, so this was a first for me. It's easy enough for an amateur to use but it still produces top quality and professional outcomes. Comparing this with a D200, it's a lot Lighter and easier to carry and obviously cheaper too. Personally i find that the battery lasts for a very long period of time so it's great if you're planning to take quite a lot of images during the day. Because it's a DSLR, you have to expect that it might be a bit bulky carrying around, but for a DSLR, it's very light and compact. I haven't had any problems with this since i've purchased it; it's a great, beginners/semi-professional DSLR camera and i would recommend it to anyone who's thinking of taking up photography.
When released this was probably the best camera Nikon have ever produced, value for money.
I used this camera over a period of 2 years in a professional capacity at well over 30,000 frames. Compared to the latest releases this camera does lack in a few features, however if you get to know this camera and it's functions you can produce photographs well beyond what would normally be expected.
The camera does have a few limitations to be aware of. The noise at high resolutions can be prohibitive and render photographs unusable, however at low resolutions it is fine. The frame rate of the camera isn't very fast but if you're looking for a sports camera this is an unlikely choice anyway. Definitely capable of sideline shooting at a small sports match though.
Camera accepts very cheap SD memory cards which is a bonus and produces 12-bit RAW files at around 10-12 Megabytes each. Providing the photographs are technically good you should have no problem printing the files at A3 or more.
Additional features such as Speedlight control through the on-board flash are a big bonus and the function button is also very handy. Screen may be seen as slightly small compared to others but should be sufficient for most photographers and the camera can easily be connected to a laptop for tethered shooting.
One area which lets the camera down is the lack of quick access to some of the features. Having to scroll through the menu system can take a while and disrupt a shoot when trying to change ISO for example. Otherwise a great camera with lots of potential and easy to use. Never let me down.
The nikon D80 is a few years old now and has been replaced by a newer model (the D90). As such it is possible to get a D80 for a very competitive price whilst still maintaining the image quality you desire and expect from a dslr.
While the D80 is not a 'top of the range' dslr, and was never designed to be, it is none the less excellent at what it does - the image quality is, generally speaking, very good although in low light conditions images are noisier than may be desired when upping the ISO to avoid the use of flash.
The D80 also provides the ability to shoot in a number of jpeg quality settings as well as NEF (nikons version of RAW) or NEF+ jpeg fine, which gives the user great versatility.
The D80 comes with a built in flash - while not the most powerful of flashes it does have its uses and is something that higher end models are not equipped with.
The grip is of a decent size to those with larger hands and the menus are easy to navigate - there is also a handy feature to add comments to individual photos, in camera, which can prove a useful way to make notes in the field.
I've had this camera for around 2 and a half years now and never experienced a single issue with reliability - the shutter is still going strong after a substancial number of clicks and despite being dropped several times it has never broken - excellent durability.
The D80 is a decent weight and even manages to feel a little heavy when carried around for long periods of time. That said it is much lighter than, for example, the D300 and the D3 and as such may prove a better choice for those who wish to take a camera 'out and about' but want enhanced user controls that point and shoots don't have, or dont want to lug heavy higher end equipment everywhere.
The viewing screen is a decent size and allows the user to see information such as the photos histogram which can be very useful for checking whether the highlights have blown etc.
The D80 uses SD cards which are easily available from a great variety of sources.
In conclusion - this was a great camera when I bought it and a couple of years on it still performs well so at the reduced prices the D80 is often now available for, it is still a competitive option over the D90 and would also make an excellent back up camera.
*I have posted this review before on ciao*
I have always been a keen photographer, although I do not profess to be an expert but have had my eye on the Nikon D80 for a while now. Having moved on from a compact digital camera of only 4 mega pixels I found this camera fantastic. It was so easy to use and whether you set all the functions at automatic, or decide to have a play around yourself you will find that this camera has exactly what you need and delivers a quality far beyond general expectations. It is very stylish and although it is designed to use Nikon accessories, other makes of Lens and Filters fit extremely well. I had have a lot of attention when using this DSLR and family members in particular were so impressed that they decided to get the same one. I was extremely flattered by this and soon realised that this could work to my advantage as they could buy the accessories that I really wanted and we could interchange then! I love this camera and would never go back to a compact camera.
My brother-in-law suggested I go for this when I first mentioned to him that I was after a new Digital SLR, and for this, I am eternally grateful to him.
I originally bought this for me as I'm the one into photography but it is so good, and easy to use, that my husband now uses it even more than me!
I would recommend this to both serious photographers and complete amateurs alike. It has all the features that a professional photographer may require but is so easy to use that anyone can take fantastic pictures even with no prior formal photographic training.
There are only two downsides that I feel I have to point out in order to give an honest review. Firstly, that this is definately not the lightest camera in it's class. Secondly, the cost. The body itself is pretty pricey, and any additional NIKON accessories or lens will also set you back. That said, having owned one for almost 2 years, I would definately buy this again knowing what I know about it.
Pros - Fantastic quality photos, lots of good settings and AWESOME battery life.
Cons - Heavy, expensive and confusing if you aren't used to cameras.
What a sexy piece of equipment! I have to admit I had my doubts when I at first saw the price tag on this. But after my partner talked me into it, I went ahead and took the plunge. I had a Nikon F60 before but this one really made my old faithful seem ancient and outdated. I loved the way it was easy to work out, and I didn't even need to go through the manual, just a little trial and error as well as common sense and we were ready to rumble. I use a a 28-105mm lens and its great for the basic photo, but looking into a wide angle lens in order to get a fuller shot.
You can get these cheaper now then when I got mine, so it is better value for your money, and I would recommend this product to any friend.
Having owned two Nikon SLR's in the past, an F301 and an F90x, the F90 I had to sell to help pay 'Mr Tax Man', I was ready for a DSLR. I'd been using a digital compact for a couple of years but when I saw the D80 on the cover of a magazine, I knew I had to have it!!
The D80 has that classic 'Nikon look and feel' to it. Nice and chunky and a good balance in your hands but not too heavy. You feel that if you were to drop it it'd be fine.
On first using the D80, I set it to its 'Auto' setting, just to get used to it. The auto setting does everything for you...anyone buying a camera like this won't be using auto though....you only use auto if your drunk or give it to someone else to use.
I then fired some off on the other modes. I found the images 'lacking in contrast' and a bit dull. They didn't have that 'omphh' out of the box that I was expecting. This was easily sorted out though by tweeking the settings in the menu. You need to go to 'optimise image' then select 'vivid'. You have to do this if you want 'punchy' images out of the camrea and don't want to be spending ages post processing on Photoshop. These settings will only apply to the manual modes though..'P' 'A' 'S' & 'M'.
I only have one lens that I use and thats the 50mm F1.8 lens that I got of ebay for about £40. Best lens you could have! Its compact, brilliant images and fast! which is good as the built in flash is not that good...it has a tendancy to under expose a lot.
You can use the older Nikon lenses with this Camera which is another advantage. With the D60, you can only use the new Nikon lenses I believe.
Its a very impressive piece of kit...your friends will be impressed but I'd not really recommend it to someone just starting out...a D60 would be a better bet i feel.
I have updated this review, now there are a couple of new cameras in the Nikon line-up. The D90 is the replacement for the D80, but the D80 is still available and at a reduced price, it is still a great camera and better value than ever. The D700 has also bee added between the D300 and the D3.
I have been using Nikons for many years and the D80 camera is quite light and compact compared to some earlier Nikon film cameras although not as small as the less expensive D40, D50 and D60 models. It fits nicely in the hand despite being small (I actually prefer cameras to be bigger than this, but I am probably quite old fashioned and in a minority) and all of the important functions are easily accessible even while looking through the view-finder. In fact the main functions are in exactly the same place they have always been on F series film cameras for the last few decades. The D80 is very well made when you consider the price and the lens-mount feels solid and robust when changing lenses. It also seems to be nicely sealed from the elements with rubber seals covering the important connectors etc.
My only complaint is that is doesn't allow me to use the aperture ring on my old lenses. It's not a big problem as the aperture is now set using a very useful finger-wheel which seems to have become the new standard for all SLRs. The old lenses work very well with the D80 body. I just need to remember to lock the aperture ring to minimum aperture setting. Also of course the sensor is smaller than a 35mm slide, so wide angle lenses are a bit less wide-angle than they would have been on a film camera and telephoto lenses a bit more telephoto, but that too appears to be the new standard except for very expensive professional cameras such as the Nikon D3 and now the new D700 "prosumer" model, which both have a full-frame sensor.
As for the photographic results, I certainly can't complain. The metering and focusing are excellent and colours appear very vibrant and images very sharp.
Overall this is a very good mid-priced DSLR sitting between the inexpensive new D60 and the more expensive "prosumer" D300, in terms of price, functionality and robustness. It is a widely available product and very popular. The built-in auto-focus motor allows it to be used with a very wide variety of lenses from Nikor/Nikon and several other manufacturers (The D40, D50 and D60 do not have an auto-focus motor and can only be used with the latest lenses with internal motors)
Have had an eye on a digital SLR for some years, but never got around to taking the plunge until this chap came along.
I'd been using two Sony cameras, which were very good for general family shots. However, as my sons got older and started playing rugby and football, they just couldn't keep up. DSLRs don't suffer from a delay from pressing the shutter to taking the picture, and so the moment isn't lost. Also, it has a three frames a second speed, which is brilliant for sports shots. I use with a 4Gb card, which will take over a 1000 shots, even at max resolution. Don't think I've ever used more than 500, but it's nice to know there's still plenty of room!! It will take the newer SDHC cards, but not all computers can read them directly [most come with an adaptor].
Obviously a bit heavier that compacts, but there's no comparision in quality.
If you're considering buying on of these, I assume you'e already read about DSLRs in general, and I guess you'll be looking at this, probably a Canon EOS and possibly a Sony. I chose the Nikon because, although it's heavier, it is a better build quality [unless you move up to the EOS 30D, which is much pricier]. Realistically, they will all give very good results, and unless you're a serious pro, you might not see the difference (I'm sure I wouldn't!)]. At the end of the day, you need to pick them up and see how they feel for you.
Battery life is excellent, will easily shoot 500 shots outside [I don't use the flash much, so can't comment on that]. I took it on hols for two weeks, and didn't need to re-charge when I was away.
You can buy the camera as a body only, or with an 18-70mm zoom, or a 18-135 zoom. The 135mm version is only £10 more at Jessops and, since it will enlarge almost twice that of the smaller zoom, I can't really see the point of the smaller one.
You can then buy extra lenses, either Nikon branded ones, or from third parties - you can pay anything from £100 to thousands. That's why I went for the 135mm, as it will delay the need for a new one.
Remember, an expensive camera doesn't guarantee great pictures, but this will certainly give you a fighting chance of getting pictures which you might not get with a pocket camera.
[This is an updated version of some comments I've written before]
Wow what a fantastic camera, after having various digital cameras, that all seemed to do something great, but this has the whole package. User friendly, with great features for the expert to the enthusiast. Although a larger camera, I have been able to take it to various events for close up work to long distance shots for stage events. it offers compatable software for most PC's to be able to download with ease on to your computer. Although the price for the inital purchase is pretty high, i feel this camera will be able to grow with your experience that you gain from using its various features.
The picture quality seems to be extremely high, and although it does struggle with darker surrounds the auto focus switch is a must have for all budding photographers, I totally recommend this as a worthy investment to a business or just a hobbie.
I have had this camera several months. I am a young enthusiast photographer who upgraded from a digital compact. The camera has worked very well in all kinds of photography situations, from gigs, sports events and parties to fine art, close up work and portraiture.
The picture quality is excellent and don't be fooled by a need for a greater pixel count. Some rival camera's have more, some cheaper have more too but pixel count is no rival for picture quality and this provides it in leaps and bounds.
Ease of use is superb, amateurs will be overjoyed with the simplicity of this camera and the standard of the results provided. In camera editing is as you would expect, simple, but does occassionally come in handy. More serious photographers will be overwhelmed with just how well this camera handles and responds. The manual use of this camera is a joy. The buttons are all in the right places and taking photographs.
Very occasionally I find the camera struggles with focusing in auto focus mode, but this is to be expected as even the best of cameras cannot know what you are wanting to focus on.
The price is a bit steep and those looking for an slightly cheaper alternative should turn to the canon eos 400d or the nikon d40x but this is camera well worth forking out just that little bit more for.
Don't expect miracles and for your photographs to suddenly become better if you purchase this camera, they might even look worse! But that's only because this camera produces such sharp and accurate results you might not like what your other cameras never showed you before.
An absolute joy to use, worth the money if you have it.
(Note: This review is also featured on my ciao account)