Nikon D80 Review Round-Up

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Get information and user reviews for this camera from Amazon: Nikon D80 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-135mm AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

Imaging Resource

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. By any measure, the Nikon D80 is a superb photographic tool, offering value well beyond its relatively modest price point. … It’s solidly built, well-balanced in the hand, highly responsive, and delivers excellent image quality. The Nikon D80’s combination of build quality, image quality, extensive configurability, rich post-capture processing features, and excellent kit lens make it a genuine bargain. This is a camera that’s quite approachable for complete novices, thanks to a very capable fully automated “Green” zone and handful of Scene modes, yet offers the serious amateur a range of creative control and sophisticated operating features unparalleled in its price class. Very highly recommended, and a slam-dunk as one of the better cameras on the market. READ FULL REVIEW

Other Nikon D80 Reviews

Camera Labs

In terms of features, the D80 doesn’t actually look particularly strong against the competition. Unlike the Canon and Sony rivals, it has no physical means to combat dust, and indeed its software solution only works with RAW files and demands a program you’ll need to pay extra for. At this point, many buyers would unsurprisingly eliminate the D80, but it’s crucial to look beyond these features. At its core as a photographic tool, the D80 is simply a superb performer. The build quality and handling are a step above the Canon and Sony and its viewfinder experience (for a cropped sensor DSLR) is rivaled only by the D200. The metering and flash systems are excellent and there’s a wide degree of control and customization for the money. Ultimately the D80 takes great photos and handles very well, but is it worth paying extra compared to the Canon and Sony, especially considering there’s no physical anti-dust or anti-shake? Before our final verdict, here’s how it measures up against several key models. READ FULL REVIEW

Digital Photography Review

The D80 features a ten megapixel DX format CCD, the metering sensor from the D50 and numerous other items taken or modified from the D200. It’s one of those cameras which just feels right from the moment you pick it up. Things just get better the more you use the camera, you will begin to discover the usefulness of major features like the customizable automatic ISO and the subtle touches like being able to tap the DELETE button twice to delete an image. In-use, performance also feels as though it’s a step above its price class, instant power on time and on to shot time, very fast auto focus, short shutter lag and ‘just-about a blink’ viewfinder blackout (160 ms), fast record review and playback as well as fast SD card write performance. … Resolution is as good as other ten megapixel digital SLRs, color response is vibrant, yet accurate, images are more contrasty than some other manufacturers … In my opinion, its customization, performance, build quality, comfort and design are worth the price difference between it and the competition. READ FULL REVIEW

Steve’s Digicams

I was very impressed with the D80. It can be a powerful photographic tool with its Manual, Aperture priority, and Shutter priority modes, however, even the least experienced photographer can pick it up and capture beautiful photos using the Auto, Program or one of the Digital Vari-Program scene modes. I was very pleased with our image quality results. The D80’s 10.2-megapixel sensor captures beautiful photos that, when using the in-camera JPEG/Fine mode, show accurate exposure and pleasing color saturation. It’s a bit more expensive than its competitors, however we feel it offers an outstanding value for such a capable model. READ FULL REVIEW


Nikon has given the D70S 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. Performance was among the fastest we’ve seen so far. Image quality from the Nikon D80 is quite impressive. Colors were accurate and neutral and the camera’s meter did an excellent job of reading the scene and providing an accurate exposure. … 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. If you already own some Nikon lenses and have been waiting for an affordable 10.2-megapixel dSLR, this one is a sure winner. READ FULL REVIEW

The Nikon D80 single-lens reflex digital camera is the least expensive current Nikon digital camera that provides autofocus with older Nikkor AF and AF-D lenses. The Nikon D80 offers a similar image-processing engine and the same 10-megapixel resolution as the D200 at approximately two-thirds of the cost and two-thirds of the weight (1.3 lbs versus 1.8). The Nikon D80 is compact and solidly built around a metal chassis and lens mount. It has a comfortable, ergonomic design with rubber around the hand grip and at the rear of the camera for the thumb. The D80 is Nikon’s cheapest digital body with two control wheels, useful for metered manual exposure control or exposure compensation in automatic exposure modes. The Nikon D80 has the best price/performance of any digital SLR in the Nikon line. This is the cheapest Nikon body with two control wheels. This is the cheapest Nikon body compatible with older autofocus lenses. READ FULL REVIEW

Ken Rockwell

When the D80 came out in mid-2006 I bought one immediately because it gave the same resolution as my D200 in a more portable package. My D80 is as small and light as my D70 with the same sensor as my D200. Whoo hoo! Time marches on, and the D40 came out at the end of 2006 at half the price of the D80. The D40 is even smaller and lighter, with the same perfectly good image quality as my D70, so for me, I prefer my D40 for the great majority of times I don’t feel like hauling my D200. I bought my D80 for portability, and my D40 is even smaller. READ FULL 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. Perhaps you’re thinking this is One Complicated Camera. Absolutely not. Pick it up, put it on Program, choose a resolution, and shoot. When you need advanced controls or after-shooting tweaks, they’re there, but they don’t intrude on the shooting experience. After testing this camera, we began to suspect that the people at Nikon have simply gone crazy. The D80 in many instances equals the performance of the $700-more-expensive D200. Sure, the D200 has a tougher body and tougher shutter, but that’s still quite a gap. READ FULL REVIEW

Thom Hogan

I’ll repeat what I said earlier: we now have four 10mp DSLRs in basically the same class, with similar feature sets. All of them perform well, and the differences between them in terms of image quality are almost non-existent at ISO 100. At higher ISO values, the image quality differences start to become more obvious (note that I haven’t yet tested the K10D using my usual test suite, so I won’t comment on its image quality). To my eye, the D80 is at the top of the heap with the Canon close behind (the Canon tends to sacrifice shadow areas and lose color saturation at the highest ISO values). … The more clear differences come in ergonomics, usability, and other performance. The D80 simply doesn’t get anything wrong in any of those categories. It’s a well-rounded design that does everything well, but nothing perfectly. The bottom line for a dedicated Nikon user is this: the D80 adds nicely to the D70 series feature set, yet doesn’t exactly sacrifice a lot from the D200 feature set. READ FULL REVIEW

Photo Review

An interesting mix of point-and-shoot and serious camera, Nikon’s D80 has been touted as a ‘little sister’ to the D200 model and offers many of the same features and the ‘quality’ feel users have come to expect from Nikon DSLRs. Like most recently-released competitors it sports a 10.2 megapixel sensor (CCD type) and a 2.5-inch LCD. Another function inherited from the D200 that sets the D80 apart from most competitors is full RGB histograms plus a tonal graph. This lets users see whether all colour channels are correctly exposed and reveals potential colour casts. The test camera produced the kind of images you expect from a high-resolution DSLR: sharp, clean and colour accurate with an adequate dynamic range. … That said, Nikon aficionados now have a 10-megapixel DSLR that is more affordably priced than the D200 and offers a higher level of customisation than most competing models. Its build quality, handling and performance will make it a great buy for anyone with a suite of Nikon interchangeable lenses. READ FULL REVIEW

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