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Nikon D80 vs Sony H200

The Nikon D80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and January 2013. The D80 is a DSLR, while the H200 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D80) and a 1/2.3-inch (H200) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 15.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D80 versus Sony H200
Nikon D80 Sony H200
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
10 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge240 shots per battery charge
132 x 103 x 77 mm, 668 g 123 x 83 x 87 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D80 and the Sony H200 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D80 vs Sony H200
Compare D80 versus H200 top
Comparison D80 or H200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H200 is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Nikon D80. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D80 nor the H200 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H200 has a lens built in, whereas the D80 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D80 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D80 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon D3000 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D5000 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749i
 
Nikon D60 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D90 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Nikon D40X 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D300 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D50 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999i
 
Sony H400 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.8 in 22.2 oz 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300 5.0 in 3.5 in 3.6 in 20.8 oz 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The H200 was launched at a lower price than the D80, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 D80 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony H200 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H200 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D80 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the H200 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D80 and Sony H200 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H200 offers a higher resolution of 15.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the 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 1.36μm versus 6.11μm for the D80). However, it should be noted that the H200 is much more recent (by 6 years and 5 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 H200 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 14.7 inches or 65.8 x 37.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 11.7 inches or 52.7 x 29.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 9.8 inches or 43.9 x 24.8 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 Nikon D80 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

D80 versus H200 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The H200 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D80 does not. The highest resolution format that the H200 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond 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 H200 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D80 and Sony H200 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The D80 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the H200 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the D80 has a hotshoe, while the H200 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H200 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the D80 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D80 was succeeded by the Nikon D90. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D80 better than the Sony H200 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Nikon D80:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • 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 (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D80 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x83mm vs 132x103mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D80).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D80 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D80 comes out slightly ahead of the H200 (12 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D80 12:11 H200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D80 and the Sony H200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D80 or the H200 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon D3000+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D80:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H200:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D80 vs Sony H200

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D80 Sony H200
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
    Launch Date August 2006 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 249
    Sensor Specs Nikon D80 Sony H200
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 15.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 5184 x 2930 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 1.36 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 54.10 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 524 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D80 Sony H200
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.62x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D80 Sony H200
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D80 Sony H200
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D80 Sony H200
    Battery Type EN-EL3e 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    123 x 83 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.3 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 668 g (23.6 oz) 530 g (18.7 oz)

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