Nikon 1 V3 vs D80
The Nikon 1 V3 and the Nikon D80 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2014 and August 2006. The V3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D80 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (V3) and an APS-C (D80) sensor. The V3 has a resolution of 18.2 megapixels, whereas the D80 provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 V3 and the Nikon D80? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 V3 and the Nikon D80. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D80 is considerably larger (88 percent) than the Nikon 1 V3. Moreover, the D80 is substantially heavier (75 percent) than the V3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V3 nor the D80 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799|
|2.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|8.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549|
|11.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799|
|12.||Nikon 1 V1||113 mm||76 mm||44 mm||383 g||350||n||Sep 2011||799|
|13.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|14.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|17.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The V3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the D80, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon 1 V3 features an one-inch sensor and the Nikon D80 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D80 is 222 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon 1 V3 offers a higher resolution of 18.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D80. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.52μm versus 6.11μm for the D80). However, it should be noted that the V3 is much more recent (by 7 years and 7 months) than the D80, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon 1 V3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the V3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 26.2 x 17.4 inches or 66.4 x 44.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.9 x 14 inches or 53.2 x 35.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.4 x 11.6 inches or 44.3 x 29.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D80 are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The V3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon 1 V3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D80 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D80 has a markedly higher DXO score than the V3 (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|6.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|11.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|12.||Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11.0||346||54|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The V3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D80 does not. The highest resolution format that the V3 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D80 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the V3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the V3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DF-N1000. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon 1 V3 and Nikon D80 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||n||n|
|13.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D90||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|17.||Nikon D70s||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The V3 has a touchscreen, while the D80 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon 1 V3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The V3 writes its imaging data to micro SDXC cards, while the D80 uses SDHC cards. The V3 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D80 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon 1 V3 and Nikon D80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D90||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Nikon D70s||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the V3 offers wifi support, while the D80 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the V3 and the D80 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D80 was replaced by the Nikon D90, while the V3 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon 1 V3 or the Nikon D80 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon 1 V3:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (18.2 vs 10MP) with a 35% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 132x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 287g or 43 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D80 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D80:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 310) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the V3 is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 V3 and the Nikon D80 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the V3 or the D80 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799|
|2.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|8.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549|
|11.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799|
|12.||Nikon 1 V1||..||+||..||69/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||799|
|13.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|14.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|17.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Nikon 1 V3
- Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon D80
- Fujifilm XP130 vs Nikon 1 V3
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Nikon D80
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Nikon D1
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Nikon D3
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Olympus E-P3
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Samsung NX500
- Nikon D80 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Nikon D80 vs Panasonic GH1
- Nikon D80 vs Panasonic S1R
- Nikon D80 vs Sony RX10 IV
Specifications: Nikon 1 V3 vs Nikon D80
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon 1 mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2014||August 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||18.2 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5232 x 3488 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.52 μm||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||15.71 MP/cm2||2.69 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||52||61|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.8||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.7||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||384||524|
|Screen Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||60 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||micro or SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Nikon D80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||310 shots per charge||600 shots per charge|
111 x 65 x 33 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
132 x 103 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||381 g (13.4 oz)||668 g (23.6 oz)|
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