Nikon D80 Camera Review

The entry to the D-SLR world was an exciting opportunity for a new camera and from reading countless reviews I settled on the Nikon D80. I love this camera so much I still have it and can't see any reason to give it up just yet. I purchased mine from Jessops but I would also recommend Amazon, Calumet, Simply Electronics,or Digital Rev.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Resolution: 10.8Mp (APC DX sensor)
ISO Range: 100-1600 Extended to 3,200
Frames Per Second: 3fps
Processor: EXPEED 14 & 16Bit conversion
Focus Points: 11 point AF Coverage
LCD: 2.5inch, 230,000 Dot Monitor
Memory Card: SD Single Slot
Weight: 668g

Nikon D80 Overall Review


The Nikon D80 is a great little camera and this isn't really a review but a history lesson as the D80 has been succeeded by the D90 and is probably only on sale on eBay now. This camera serves me well, racking up thousands of shots and I still use it even today and it comes along to weddings as well.

At 10 megapixels and with it's DX sensor, this camera when equipped with my 70-200mm f/2.8 and 1.7x Teleconverter has an effective 35mm zoom equivalent of 180mm-510mm f/4.8 which is incredible. Although I find that I do miss the full frame optics of the D700 and the D80's noise levels are quite noticeable at high ISO's. However in well lit situations this camera produces really good quality images.

I purchased the MB-D80 battery grip for this camera. The D80 is a relatively small body and also quite light so the grip adds some extra weight which helps it balance better when fitted with heavier lenses and allows you extra shooting power with the double battery set up.

The LCD screen is a good size at 2.5inches. A lot of the features are menu based on the D80 unlike some of the professional cameras which use dedicated buttons and switches on the camera body to speed up these adjustments so you tend to use the LCD a lot.

There is no video recording, live view or info screen on the D80 which was typical of the time when this camera was released. The 3fps is also a tad slow for doing any great action shooting but for general usage this is adequate.

The camera came with the Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 lens which had a good range from wide to telephoto although the 18-200VR would have been a better inclusion to the kit. I tend to not use this lens very often, it is very sharp but the slow apertures can become a pain and therefore I use the f/2.8 lenses with this camera in order to reduce the need to bump up the ISO.

For those who are looking to get serious with photography, you have the choice of a lot of cameras. It's widely regarded that you spend money on the lenses and not worry so much about the camera but if you are looking for an entry level camera, the price difference may be £200 from the entry level model to a camera like the D90 but spending that £200 more goes a long way in terms of what you'll get out of the camera. I was between the D40x and the D80 when I was purchasing and I have never regretted buying the D80 despite the added cost.

So if you have found this review because you are looking at buying a D80, although this camera is really good, unless you're getting it for a very good price I'd recommend purchasing a D3100 or something similar as technology has come a long way since the times of the D80.

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This blog is written by Paul Nimmo, a freelance website designer and photographer based in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

Click to find out more about my design & photography services.


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