Nikon D80 Comparison Review
The Nikon D80 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in August 2006 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 10 megapixel.
Is the Nikon D80 a good camera? The D80 has a Camera Elo of 1085. This rating puts the D80 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the D80 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon D80 is more than 15 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2006.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses|
|10 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 1 600 (100 - 3 200)|
|2.5 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second|
|600 shots per battery charge|
|132 x 103 x 77 mm, 668 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon D80 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D80 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|2.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|3.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|4.||Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|5.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|6.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|7.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|8.||Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|9.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|10.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|11.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D80 was launched in the US market at a price of $999. 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.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon D80 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D80 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the D80 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D80 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.62x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D80 and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7 / 230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|4.||Nikon D60||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D90||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D40X||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|9.||Nikon D50||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D70s||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon D70||optical||n||1.8 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n|
One convenient feature of the D80 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 D80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Nikon D5000||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Nikon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D90||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon D40X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D2Xs||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D50||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D70s||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D70||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-|
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D80 handle or 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|2.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|3.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|4.||Nikon D60||..||80/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|5.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|6.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||..||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|7.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|8.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|9.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|10.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|11.||Nikon D70||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|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.
Nikon D80 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D80.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the D80 based on?
The camera is build around a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D80?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D80?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the D80. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D80 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my D80?
Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D80 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the free online shutter count finder app.
Does the Nikon D80 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The D80's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Which battery does the D80 use?
Is there a vertical grip available for the D80?
Yes, Nikon offers the MB-D80 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
|Camera Model||Nikon D80|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 999|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||373 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3 872 x 2 592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.69 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1 600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3 200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||61|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||524|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Size||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||No front-flip|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3e power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge|
132 x 103 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||668 g (23.6 oz)|
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