Customer Review

474 of 484 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest body/lens combo in the competition!, September 21, 2006
This review is from: Nikon D80 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-135mm AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens (Electronics)
[Following is a reprint of my body only review. I placed a review of the lens at the end.]

The Nikon D80, destined to replace the popular D70 series, is a great camera for Nikon fans who wish to upgrade from their D50s, 70s or 100s. It's also attractive enough to maybe get a few people to jump ship!

Here's the highlights:

1) 10.2 megapixel. A substantial upgrade from the 6mp of the older cameras, performance should be very comparable to the highly regarded D200 camera;

2) 11-point AF system. Similar again to the D200 in performance (though not as easy to change);

3) Large viewfinder (.94x magnification). Again, taken from the D200, this is a clear improvement over the previous cameras. Spec wise, this is also better than all the competition, even though other, personal preference factors need to be taken into consideration (such as layout of LCDs and focusing points).;

4) 2.5" LCD. Not only is it larger, it can also be viewed at a much wider angle--particularly handy when locked to a tripod.

The camera is small for Nikon (about like the D50), but has a good, firm grip for those with medium to larger hands. Controls are well thought out--easy to get to and use. Dampening of mirror noise is better than its competition.

Nikon's use of the SDHC format should be commended. These small cards will have no real disadvantage to the older CF hards once the HC versions start hitting the shelves, and should relieve the danger of "bent pins".

Things you've liked about previous Nikons have been retained. The D80 uses inexpensive wireless & wired remotes, and it still allows the built-in flash to control other Nikon Speedlights remotely.

Compared to the competition, the Canon Rebel XTi & Sony Alpha 100, the Nikon starts a bit in the hole, considering it's the most expensive camera (by $200 & $100, respectively). The XTi offers a nice "anti-dust" hardware & software solution; while the Sony offers in camera stablization. Both use the rear LCD for info status. While many may prefer the traditional LCD on top (like the D80), the rear LCD does have the advantage of being considerably larger text for older eyes (and on the Alpha, rotates when you rotate the camera for verticals). Too bad the D80 doesn't give you this option as well.

The XTi is smaller and lighter, maybe too small for many people. The XTi also does not offer wireless capability with the built-in flash (like D80/A100). It's battery (hence capacity) is a bit smaller.

The Alpha 100 being Sony's first modern digital SLR means that getting lenses and accessories my be a bit more difficult (even though it uses a lot from the older Maxxum cameras). It's also a bit noiser in its operations.

The D80 adds more AF selections than either of the above cameras, has nice enhancements like grid lines and double exposures. It also comes with a protective cover for the rear LCD.

Lens wise, they greatly outnumber those offered by Sony, particularly in any considered "Pro" grade. While Canon can compete in "Pro" grade with Nikon (particularly in longer length lenses), Nikon has a bit of advantage in wider angles for digital. Nikon only offers one size digital sensor, where as Canon must offer two series (for 3 different chip sizes).

Is the D80 worth the money? For anyone with Nikon lenses, undoubtedly. My recommendation for anyone with Canon EF or Minolta Maxxum lenses: look at those cameras first...but be sure to look at the D80 before you buy.

Lens review: Tremendous! The Nikkor 18-135 gives everybody what they want, an affordable lens with above average quality.

First, the 18-135 range is excellent for a kit lens, equivalent of a 27-200 in 35mm photography. It looks great, zooms smoothly, and balances well. The Silent Wave focusing motor is quiet, quick and smooth, and allows immediate manual focus (no hunting for switches). The internal focus is great for anyone using polarizing filters, and allows for a more efficient tulip shaped lens hood (supplied).

Second, the image quality is very good. The aperture is of average size, so don't expect images to jump out like large aperture lenses, but quality is good throughout the range.

Third, Nikon always includes a better than average 5 year warranty in the US on their lenses.

The only negative is that I always prefer a metal lens mount to a plastic one, although the latter keeps both the weight and cost down.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 21, 2007 5:30:50 PM PDT
Curt Story says:
"The only negative is that I always prefer a metal lens mount to a plastic one."

The D80 body does have a metal lens mounting ring. Perhaps you're thinking about the mount of a particular lens?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2007 6:40:48 PM PDT
That commment is found under the reviewer's "Lens review:..." He is specifically speaking of the AF-S lens that is included in this kit, not the D80 camera body itself.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008 3:59:09 PM PST
"First, the 18-135 range is excellent for a kit lens, equivalent of a 27-200 in 35mm photography."

This is incorrect. The lens is a DX lens designed for the smaller sensor size of the D80 so there is no perceived increase in focal length. You would be correct if the lens were a regular 35mm SLR 18-135 lens but since it is a DX lens, it acts exactly as a 18-135 lens on this camera.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 3:37:58 PM PST
R. Wentworth says:
The D80 has a large camera body, particularly when compared to the D40. I find it very nicely sized. If you need a larger camera body than the D80 has, you probably have really BIG hands.

Posted on Jan 28, 2013 5:10:43 PM PST
Please can you tell me if it was made in the U.S, Japan or China?
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