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Nikon D80 Digital SLR Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 8.52 (out of 10)
Review: "The Nikon D80 DSLR camera is aimed squarely at the enthusiast user. This new 10 megapixel model replaces the highly rated Nikon D70s and D70 and fits into the lower end of Nikon's DSLR product hierarchy, above the D50 and below the D200 and other professional camera bodies like the D2Xs.

The primary concern of any photographer should be the quality of the final image. The Nikon sports a large 10.2MP CCD DX format sensor (3,872 x 2,592 pixels) that won't disappoint even the most passionate quality fanatics. Capturing images as high-resolution jpeg at 300ppi means that they can be printed out at 32.78x21.95cm and it stretched to A3 size without any noticeable image degradation. Once images are printed at A3, a close inspection reveals that there is superb definition, color depth and saturation in the Nikon image file..."

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Camera Labs 9.07  09-20-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The D80 inherits or tweaks many aspects from both the D50 and D200, along with introducing a few new features of its own. Starting with the headline specifications, the D80 shares the same 10.2 Megapixel resolution, 2.5in screen and user interface of the D200, although as we’ll explain in the review, there are some differences. The body itself is physically very similar to the D50 and inside there’s the same metering system.

The Nikon D80 is without a doubt a very classy camera. It feels great, handles well, performs superbly and has one of the best viewfinders around. At times when rivals struggled with various lighting conditions, the D80’s metering remained unfazed and quite simply delivered great-looking images every time."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Megapixel 9.00  10-17-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Nikon D80 is the replacement for the D70/D70s, positioned between the D50 - Nikon's entry-level digital SLR - and the D200, which is much more complex. This new SLR offers a DX type CCD with a 10.2 megapixel resolution.

In summary, the D80 is an important step beyond the D70, and is an excellent alternative to the more expensive D200. Compared to its predecessor, the D80's autofocus is much faster, its sensitivity range is greater and it is equipped with a 2.5-inch LCD monitor. Just as important, the 10.2-megapixel resolution of the D80 allows it to capture even finer details than had been possible with the D70. Last but not least, the D80 can be mated to a vertical grip that supports a second shutter release for vertical shots, something that was unavailable on the D70."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Shutterbug 9.00  12-04-06 Read Full Review
Review: "Is it possible that one day we might be able to bypass basic, global in computer editing for our digital images, and rely instead on the powerful on-board microprocessors in future digital SLRs? That's the implication of some of the new features in Nikon's latest enthusiast-aimed camera, the D80...

All in all the D80 is an excellent traveling companion. It has a solid feel and strong body build, yet is not a drag on your shoulder or pack. Just about everything you need for field work is accessible right from the body, with the menu offering other layers of goodies. At 10+ megapixels it certainly delivers enough resolution for large-scale prints, and the color rendition and sharpness out of the box is excellent..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
LetsGoDigital 8.52  08-09-06 Read Full Review
Preview: "The introduction of the new 10 Megapixel Nikon D80 is precisely on time. Just after Sony, a newcomer to the DSLR market, launched its Megapixel after the takeover of the camera division of Konica Minolta, Nikon was able to answer back at once with the Nikon D80, a magnificent, fully equipped digital SLR camera. Although the Nikon D200 was an immediate hit, in the sense that it heralded a new class of cameras with an attractive price tag, many beginning photographers were left out of the race due to the relatively high purchase price. When the Nikon D80 becomes available, many of these consumers can be reached and I anticipate success and a warm welcome for the Nikon D80 DSLR. We will have to wait and see what Canon has in store for us on the 24th of August, but there is sure to be a reaction from that side also.

The Nikon D80 is a great tool for anyone interested in the creative aspects of digital photography as well as the AUTO stand. If you have an eye for the different light values that can crop up in a single composition, you can act directly by locking the exposure despite maintaining a change to the composition."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DCResource 8.50  09-13-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Nikon D80 is the long-awaited replacement the the best-selling D70 and D70s digital SLRs. It's basically a D200 with a slightly different CCD sensor (though still 10 Megapixel) and a slower burst rate. And at $999 for the body only and $1299 with the new 18 - 135 mm lens, it's also substantially cheaper than the D200.

The Nikon D80 is a fairly inexpensive digital SLR that packs spectacular performance and excellent (though somewhat soft) image quality into a well-built, solid camera. . For under $1000 you get quite a lot of camera, and it will certainly make people think twice about spending hundreds more on a D200. The D80 was a joy to use, and I'm certainly going to miss it when it goes back to Nikon. In other words, the D80 easily earns my recommendation."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Info 8.50  12-13-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The Nikon D80 is a 10.2-megapixel DSLR for just under $1,000. It's a successor to the 6.1-megapixel D70s, Nikon's wildly popular consumer model. It's also competition for the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, the Sony alpha A100, the Olympus EVOLT E-500 and the Pentax K10D. In other words, it's in a crowded field, populated mainly with cameras that have advanced features like dust reduction and image stabilization. The D80 lacks both, yet costs more than its cohorts.

The 10-megapixel Nikon D80 is a success in a conservative way. Nikon didn't add the dust reduction system or stabilization that many competitors are introducing this year. Still, it has most of what the D200 has for hundreds of dollars less, and adds features to woo snap shooters. It's a solid DSLR that's easy to use and a strong performer. It should appeal to casual shooters who aren't price-sensitive, and some professionals who are."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DPReview 8.38  09-23-06 Read Full Review
Review: "Announced and previewed just last month this is the second of our 'Photokina reviews' (the first being the Panasonic DMC-FZ50). The D80 takes the D70 to the next level with a smaller body which doesn't compromise on comfort or ergonomics, a wide ranging feature set and range of customization options, fast performance and above all great image quality. As you can probably tell we liked the D80....

So we've established that the D80 is a great 'photographers camera', but how good are the images? The answer is, really very good, Nikon appear to have shaken off the soft-image demons of the past and are also using a slightly stronger (more consumer friendly) default sharpening level than the D200. Resolution is as good as other ten megapixel digital SLRs, color response is vibrant, yet accurate, images are more contrasty than some other manufacturers but of course if you prefer a slightly flatter response you can always create your own custom parameter set."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Think Camera 8.25  12-07-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The first thing I noticed about the Nikon D80 was the size. It fits nicely into my hands and all the buttons and wheels are easily accessible. It has a lovely balanced feel to it and although it's heavier than my other cameras it's not so heavy that it gives you neck ache. I bought mine body only as I'd bought a lens second hand but it's the same lens as comes in the kit and that's the Nikkor 18 to 70mm lens.

Although Nikon D80 is supposed to be an entry level SLR you're actually getting a camera that is better than, or equal to, some more expensive SLRs. It's got some of the same features as the Nikon D200, like the same quality settings, 11 autofocus zones with an auto-select mode and some features that the D200 doesn't have like the seven scene modes and a customizable menu. If you are new to SLRs then this is an ideal first camera."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Imaging-Resource 7.89  10-24-06 Read Full Review
User Report: (Posted: 09/03/06, Updated 10/24/2006) "The new Nikon D80's combination of high-end features and its 18-135mm DX kit lens make a killer photographic tool for the amateur and intermediate photographer who can't afford or justify the extra cost of the Nikon D200. While it is very similar to its predecessor, the Nikon D70s, and sports the higher 10.2 megapixel resolution of the D200, the Nikon D80 is replete with new features and advances in overall quality that make it a great upgrade for D50 and D70 owners, plus a compelling "other choice" for those who've been looking at (or waiting for) a Nikon D200....

Until we can test the image quality of the Nikon D80, we can form only preliminary conclusions about its value and position in the marketplace. Given that it uses a close variant of the CCD sensor employed in the D200 though, it seems safe to assume that it's basic imaging characteristics will be at least roughly comparable. Taking that as a given, we're confident in predicting that the Nikon D80 will be an enormous hit."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Info 7.73  11-06-06 Read Full Review
Head-to-Head: "There are choices for the photographer who wants a combination of manual and automatic options in a 10-megapixel sub-$1000 DSLR. In this comparison review, we're looking at the three most prominent cameras - the Sony Alpha A100, The Canon Rebel XTi and the Nikon D80. The Canon and the Sony are both under $900 online with a lens, and both offer dust removal and reduction features. The Sony has in-camera image stabilization - Super Steady Shot technology that moves the sensor in response to camera shake. The Nikon lacks dust technology and stabilization, but goes for about $1100 with a similar lens (it's under $1000 for the body alone). Is there a separate niche for each of these, or is one simply a better buy?

There will be plenty of buyers for each camera, and many happy owners all around. The cameras are not equivalent, though, and their differences are reflected in price, appropriate owners and features. The Sony Alpha A100 is intended for buyers who don't plan to buy more advanced equipment soon. The Canon certainly could be, and the Nikon is not just an entry camera, it's an appropriate backup body for prosumers and pros on a budget."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Rob Galbraith 7.22  08-10-06 Read Full Review
Preview: "Nikon's 20-day teaser campaign has culminated in the unveiling of the D80, a replacement for the D70s that incorporates a number of the key features of the D200 in a body that is considerably more compact and less expensive than its midrange sibling. Features the two models share include a 10.04 million image pixel CCD sensor, 11-area autofocus system, sharp viewfinder, 2.5 inch rear LCD and full-featured Commander Mode for controlling external Speedlights. While the D200 is better-specified in a number of areas, we think there will be plenty of photographers who have had their eye on a perpetually-backordered D200 that will opt for the D80 instead. It may be a replacement for the D70s, but on the inside the new model is really D200 Lite."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Hardware Zone 7.00  08-17-06 Read Full Review
Review: "Sporting a new and improved 10.2-megapixel image sensor, the Nikon D80 immediately poses a concern and a challenge for Sony's infant A100 DSLR. The competition from Nikon's latest DSLR is all the more urgent considering some of its specifications such as the image processing engine, AF system, ISO sensitivity, noise reduction levels, metering system, viewfinder, and LCD monitor are all plucked from the company's higher-tiered professional models. However, with barely a year gone since the D50 and D70s were unveiled, the arrival of the D80 seems to have come a little earlier than expected. Nevertheless, new is always a good thing, especially for budding photographers contemplating in taking their passion to a more serious level.

The Nikon D80 is a fantastic camera for its price. It is definitely better than its predecessor D70s but not quite the level as the mid-range D200 even though they share some similar features. And this is rightly so, because that's exactly how Nikon has positioned the D80 - the upper rung of budget DSLR cameras. However that doesn't deny the D80 from sharing certain attributes as its dearer D200 brother. For instance, besides some of the key specs, you can expect the same good quality build and a generous rubber cushioning on the grips for extra comfort."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Outback Photo 7.00  09-08-06 Read Full Review
Review Diary: "In March 2000 we bought our first digital SLR (with our first camera review ever). The Nikon featured 2.7MP, was quite noisy compared to todays DSLRs even at low ISO settings and had cost about $5,000. Now just over 6 years later you can buy the Nikon D80 featuring 10MP at about $1,000 and we don't get ahead of our review in saying that also the noise is way lower than with the Nikon D1."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
ePhotoZine 6.60  08-31-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The D80 is a surprise because, on the surface, the specification is quite close to the D200 which Nikon market as an advanced amateur to professional level camera. However, when you take a longer look, there is still a considerable divide between the two and as you dig deeper you find that the D80 is a worthwhile upgrade from the, now, two and a half year old D70 (D70s upgrade is 16 months old) not least because of the 67% increase in the pixels count.

Like the D100-200 upgrade before it, this upgrade from the D70 to D80 is a worthwhile step up, both in ability and performance. The jump in pixel count and autofocus ability alone warrants the change, but there are literally dozens of other tweaks as you delve further into the menus. The price also seems to be pitched about right, although market forces will soon see it settle into a slightly lower slot, which is all good news. Highly recommended.

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Popular Photography 6.33  10-23-06 Read Full Review
Review: "With the major camera makers drawing up battle lines in the 10MP DSLR war, Nikon just marched onto the field with a small but potent new weapon. As we noted in the October 2006 issue, the D80 ($1,000 street, body only; $1,300 with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G kit lens) represents a major upgrade from Nikon's aging consumer DSLR, the D70s: a jump to 10.2MP from 6.1MP, plus equivalent boosts in processing speed, burst rate, AF performance, and in-camera image controls.

The test numbers are stellar. The D80, which uses the same CCD as Nikon's higher-end D200, has similar resolution, averaging over 2200 lines -- indisputably Excellent. Color accuracy squeaked into Excellent, and noise suppression was exemplary: Extremely Low or Very Low right up to ISO 1600, and Moderately Low at ISO 3200 -- where resolution was still at the Excellent level..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
CNET Reviews 5.50  09-02-06 Read Full Review
Review: "The last time Nikon updated its sub-$1,000 mid-range dSLR, a handful of minor, but certainly welcome, updates gave us the D70s. Now, Nikon has given the camera a serious overhaul, including a new 10.2-megapixel CCD imaging sensor, an 11-area AF system (up from 5), the obligatory larger LCD screen (2.5 inches, up from 2 inches), and a pile of in-camera editing and custom functions. With this newest revision, Nikon has put the camera more in line with its expected audience, which spans lower-end enthusiasts, all the way down to SLR newbies who crave more power than they can get with the company's entry-level dSLR, the D50.

With the D80, Nikon has proven that it is very much still pushing ahead strongly. With 10.2 megapixels, lightning-fast performance, high-quality images with very low noise, and a heaping pile of convenience features, Nikon's D80 will not disappoint."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Review 3.80  05-08-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "The Sony A350 features a new 14.2 megapixel CCD sensor compared to the 10.2 megapixel CCD sensor on the Nikon D80. Both sensors are APS-C size which means that there is a 1.5 x multiplying factor that applies to the focal length of the lens in use to get the equivalent field of view (FOV) in 35mm terms. ...

... Under this very low light hand held test, the Nikon D80 with the 18-55mm VR kit lens provided us with images that we would classify as usable at smaller print sizes. In comparison, we found the sample test images from the Sony A350 with 18-70mm kit lens were all too heavily compromised by camera shake in this situation...."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Nikonians -----  08-30-06 Read Full Review
Preview: "After following the speculation in our Nikon D80 Users Group forum at Nikonians I'd say Nikon has delivered on many fronts. It's clear this new D80 DSLR can not be slotted simply as a straight replacement for either the Nikon D50 or the Nikon D70, but that's not to say it isn't. It's shaping up to be a lot like a Nikon D50 in terms of size, but these comparisons can no longer be simply made.

The fact that it will be using SD memory cards tells us Nikon could be setting up the bottom end of the family for SD to capture more of the "upsell" market switching from compact cameras. But it is also able to support the new generation of Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) providing, in due time, capacities of 4GB and up to 32GB."

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