Nikon D80 vs Sony HX80
The Nikon D80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2006 and March 2016. The D80 is a DSLR, while the HX80 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D80) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX80) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 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 D80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D80 and the Sony HX80 is provided 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX80 is considerably smaller (56 percent) than the Nikon D80. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D80 nor the HX80 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX80 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.
Concerning battery life, the D80 gets 600 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the HX80 can take 390 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX80 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|2.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|3.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|4.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|5.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|6.||Leica M8||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499|
|7.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|8.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|9.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|10.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|11.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|12.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|13.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|14.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|15.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|16.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|17.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The HX80 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.
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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 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 HX80 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX80 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 HX80 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX80 offers a higher resolution of 18 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 1.25μm versus 6.11μm for the D80). However, it should be noted that the HX80 is much more recent (by 9 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 HX80 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony HX80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 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-HX80 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|14.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|16.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|17.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The HX80 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D80 does not. The highest resolution format that the HX80 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX80 has an electronic viewfinder (638k dots), while the D80 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D80 and Sony HX80 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|16.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
The D80 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the HX80 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX80 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 D80 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|16.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the D80 has a hotshoe, while the HX80 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The HX80 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D80 better than the Sony HX80 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
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.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 390) 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).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 31%.
- 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 1080/60p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D80 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm 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).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D80 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX80 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 11 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D80 and the Sony HX80 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D80 and the HX80 in practical situations. 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 provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 D80||..||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|2.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|3.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|4.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|5.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|6.||Leica M8||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2006||5,499|
|7.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|8.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|9.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|10.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|11.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|12.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|13.||Nikon D70||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|14.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|15.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|16.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|17.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.
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 use the search menu 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.
Specifications: Nikon D80 vs Sony HX80
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 D80||Sony HX80|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||August 2006||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D80||Sony HX80|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3872 x 2592 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.11 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.69 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|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 HX80|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D80||Sony HX80|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||10 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D80||Sony HX80|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon D80||Sony HX80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||390 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
132 x 103 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||668 g (23.6 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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