Page Type Gear Review
Object Title D80
Manufacturer Nikon
Page By Alpinist
Page Type Feb 27, 2007 / Feb 27, 2007
Object ID 2722
Hits 6257

Product Description

10.2 Megapixel Nikon DX format CCD imaging sensor: Effectively optimized by Nikon to deliver a wide dynamic range, producing outstanding images with high resolution and vivid detail yielding 3,872 x 2,592-pixel files.

New high-resolution Nikon image-processing engine: New 12- bit Image Processing Engine combines color independent analog pre-conditioning with improved image processing algorithms.

Instant 0.18 sec. start-up with fast 80ms shutter response. With a power-up time of a mere 0.18 seconds and a shutter release time lag of only 80ms, responsiveness is extraordinary.

Continuous shooting at up to 3 frames per second and up to 100 consecutive JPEG images: Fast framing rates contribute to the ability to capture moments in time instantly. Sophisticated systems throughout the D80, including high-speed buffer memory handling, fast image processing, high-speed memory card access and large system bus bandwidth help make this possible.

Up to 2,700 images per battery charge:* High-Efficiency power systems featuring reduced power consumption and Real-Time Fuel Gauge with Nikon's EN-EL3e Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II, plus Variable Center-Weighted and Spot Metering: Substantially more sophisticated than traditional multi-pattern metering systems, Nikon's 3D Color Matrix Metering II instantly and accurately evaluates brightness, color, contrast, selected focus area and subject-to-camera distance information, referencing the results against an onboard database of 30,000 scenes from actual photography. Vary the size of the center-weighted area reading and spot metering readings correspond to 11 focusing points.

In-Camera Image Editing with Retouching Menu: Highly versatile in-camera editing features include Nikon D-lighting, Red-eye Correction, Image Trimming, Image Overlay, Monochrome Black and White, Sepia and Cyanotype along with Skylight, Warm Tone and Custom Color filter effects.

Built-in Speedlight with Nikon i-TTL flash metering and two-group Wireless Commander: Nikon’s acclaimed i-TTL flash control evaluates flash exposure with greater precision to achieve better automatic flash balance and deliver outstanding results with SB-600, SB-800 or SB-R200 Speedlights.

2.5” LCD color monitor with 170-degree, wide-angle viewing: Playback images can be viewed easily from all angles with extraordinary color and clarity.

11-area AF system with Wide-area Center Segment and Auto-area AF functions:Nikon’s Multi-CAM 1000 provides maximum flexibility and optimum performance under varied shooting situations. 11-area autofocus system features a cross-type sensor in the center, broad frame coverage, as well as class-leading low light detection and convenient AF-assist illuminator to aid in low-light conditions. New Wide Area AF option gives greater compositional freedom when shooting sports and action.

Seven Digital Vari-Programs plus Programmed Auto with Flexible Program, Shutter-Priority Auto, Shutter-Priority Auto and Manual: Digital Vari-Programs include: Auto Portrait, Landscape, Macro Close up Sports, Night landscape, Night portrait each of which adjust automatically for optimal results under varied conditions—automatically.

Image Optimization Mode: Optimize color, contrast, sharpening as well as other image settings according to the type of scene or output desired. Options include: Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait, Custom, Black and White

Large, bright 0.94x viewfinder: Optical glass viewfinder features large (0.94X) magnification making composing frames easier while overall viewfinder brightness makes low-light photography possible.

Built-in Slideshow function with Pictmotion: Select a range of images, pick a style and add music for beautiful picture presentations delivered from the D80 to a television or simply view on the camera’s 2.5 inches LCD. Effects include: slide-in, slide-out, fade-in, and fade-out

Technical Specs

Type of Camera: Single-lens reflex digital camera

Effective Pixels: 10.2 million

Image Sensor: RGB CCD, 23.6 x 15.8mm; total pixels: 10.75 million, Nikon DX format

Image Size (pixels): 3,872 x 2,592 [L], 2,896 x 1,944 [M], 1,936 x 1,296 [S]

ISO Sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index): 100 to 1600 (ISO equivalent) in steps of 1/3 EV, plus HI-0.3, HI-0.7 and HI-1

Storage Media: SD memory card

Storage System: Compressed NEF (RAW): 12-bit compression, JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant

File System: Exif 2.21, Compliant DCF 2.0 and DPOF

White Balance: Auto (TTL white balance with 420-pixel RGB sensor), six manual modes with fine-tuning, color temperature setting (Kelvin), preset white balance; white balance bracketing also available

LCD Monitor: 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment allows up to 170-degree viewing angle.

Playback Function: 1) Full frame; 2) Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments); 3) Zoom; 4) Slideshow (Standard or Pictmotion); 5) RGB histogram indication; 6) Shooting data; 7) Highlight point display; 8) Auto image rotation

Delete Function: Card format, All photographs delete, Selected photographs delete

Video Output: Can be selected from NTSC and PAL

Interface: USB 2.0 (Hi-speed) (mini-B connector); SD card slot: supports firmware updates via SD cards

Text Input: Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in Exif header

Compatible Lenses: Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Picture Angle: Equivalent in 35mm [135] format is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length

Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1)

Eyepoint: 19.5mm (-1.0m-1)

Focusing Screen: Type-B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and On-Demand grid lines

Viewfinder Frame Coverage: Approx. 95% (vertical and horizontal)

Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.94x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0m-1

Viewfinder Information: Focus indications, Metering system, AE/FV lock indicator, Flash sync indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, ISO sensitivity, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures

Autofocus: TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5m to 3.0m); Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C/68°F)

Lens Servo: Instant single-servo (AF-S); continuous-servo (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); manual (M); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF

Focus Areas: 11 areas; any single area can be selected; center focus area can be switched from normal to wide-frame

AF Area Modes: 1) Single Area AF: Focuses only on subjects in the selected area. Selection can be made from any one of the eleven AF spot sensors. 2) Dynamic Area AF: Focuses on subject in the selected area, but follows the subject if it moves from its original position, shifting instantly and automatically to the focus area into which the subject has moved. 3) Auto-area AF: measures all 11 focus areas, automatically determines which of them are on the primary subject, and activates only those areas.

Focus Lock: Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Exposure Metering System: Three-mode through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering; 1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); metering performed by 420-segment RGB sensor; 2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, or 10mm diameter circle in center of frame; 3) Spot: Meters 3.5mm diameter circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used, or if Auto-area AF is selected)

Exposure Metering Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F): 1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering); 2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)

Exposure Meter Coupling: CPU coupling

Exposure Modes: Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Macro Close up, Sports, Night Landscape, Night Portrait); Programmed Auto [P] with flexible program; Shutter-Priority Auto [S]; Aperture Priority Auto [A]; Manual [M]

Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

Exposure Lock: Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

Auto Exposure and Flash Bracketing: 2 to 3 exposures in increments between 1/3 to 2.0 EV

Shooting Modes: 1) Single frame shooting mode; 2) Continuous shooting mode: approx. 3 frames per second; 3) Self-timer; 4) Delayed remote mode; 5) Quick-response remote mode

Shutter: Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 30 to 1/4000 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb

Sync Contact: X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/200 sec.

Flash Control: 1) TTL: TTL flash control by 420-pixel RGB sensorBuilt-in Flash, SB-800, SB-600: i-TTL balanced fill-flash (except when using spot metering exposure mode), Built-in Flash, SB-800, SB-600: standard i-TTL flash (when using spot metering); 2) Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 with CPU lens; 3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27, and 22s; 4) Range-priority manual; available with SB-800

Flash Sync Mode: 1) Auto; 2) Fill-in flash; 3) Red-eye Reduction; 4) Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync; 5) SlowSync; 6) Rear-curtain Sync; 7) Off

Built-in Flash: (Auto, Portrait, Macro Close up, Night Portrait) auto flash with auto pop-up; Manual pop-up with button releaseGuide number (ISO 100, m/ft.): approx. 13/42

Flash Compensation: -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

Accessory Shoe: Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided

Self-timer: Electronically controlled timer with 2 to 20 seconds duration (2, 5, 10, and 20 second selectable)

Depth of Field Preview: When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or value selected by camera (P and S modes)

Remote Control: Via MC-DC1 Remote Cord (optional) or ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control (optional)

Power Source: One EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MB-D80 battery pack (optional) with one or two rechargeable Nikon EN-EL3e Li-ion batteries or six AA alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or nickel-manganese (ZR6) AA batteries, EH-5 AC Adapter (optional)

Tripod Socket: 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)

Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in. (132 x 103 x 77mm)

Weight: Approximately 1 lb. 5 oz. (585g) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover

Supplied Accessories*: EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-18a Quick Charger, EG-D2Audio Video Cable, UC-E4 USB Cable, Strap, Body cap, DK-5Eyepiece Cap, DK-21 Rubber Eyecup, BM-7 LCD monitor cover, Accessory shoe cover, PictureProject CD-ROM* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.

Optional Accessories: MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery Pack, DK-21M Magnifying Eyepiece, EH-5 AC Adapter, ML-L3 Wireless MC-DC1 Remote Control, Remote Cord, SB-800/SB-600/SB-R200 Speedlights, Capture NX, Camera Control Pro


The estimated US retail cost is $999.95 (body only).



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Alpinist - Feb 27, 2007 2:36 am - Voted 5/5

I'm not a camera techie, but this is one awesome digital camera. I bought it in Feb 2007 for a trip to Tanzania. I used it for a 3-day safari and 7-day climb of Kilimanjaro and was very impressed with it.

I picked up a Tamron 28-300 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR DI LD ASP AF Lens to go with it for the versitility that I needed on this trip. The camera is very easy to use and the pictures came out crisp and clear.

I used it on the summit of Kili (19,340ft / 5895 meters) in temperatures around 10(F) and it performed well. Battery life is mediocre. The first battery lasted 5 days, then I switched to a back-up battery. I took about 50 shots per day with that camera, used the LCD screen minimally, and kept the batteries in my sleeping bag at night to maximize their life.

The D80 is also very comfortable to hold. So far I am very happy with it. I'll update this review as I get more familiar with the camera.

Here is another very detailed online review from DPReview.com that you might find helpful.

peninsula - Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm - Voted 5/5

Re: Wow!
I agree! My D-80 will meet my needs for years to come. My first D-SLR was the D-50, and I knew it was falling short of the mark early on. But the D-80 gives us non-professionals a professional-like camera with a considerably less expensive price tag. I did not purchase my camera for action photography, but the HI ISO settings came in very handy for low-light action photography at my son's football games, something my D-50 could not have handled. And at the other ISO extreme,100, we have an equally huge improvement. Picture review magnification is one of many improvements in the user-friendly nature of the D-80. My only negative on this camera is the battery life. It does not hold up nearly as well as my D-50... a relatively small compromise.

lingana - May 30, 2007 12:38 pm - Hasn't voted

D80 in Alaska
I recently bought a D80, which I wanted to but for quite some time now. And, I took it on a 2200 mile long road trip throughout Alaska. The highlights of the camera
1) It works well under low light conditions
2) Even in moderate rain, I used it (on cruises), and the continuous shutter release option gave me some good whale shots. I had to dab and ry it out everytime I came inside the cruise.
3) I found the focusing pretty good, if not very fast (I used a 18-135mm f3.5/5.6 lens)
4) The shutter priority worked fine in a lot of cases, where the shutter speed adjustments helped get much better images, although sometimes you lose on the DOF aspect.

The lowlights, which I found were
1) The "Auto" and Landscape option does not work very well for landscapes. I saw that A LOT of photographs were getting overexposed. The sky looked brighter than usual. I had to delibrately underexpose, in order to get good results.
2) Sometimes, the lens seems slower. In case of shots like whales and their fins, it seems slower.
3) The battery needs to charged pretty often.

1) If possible, try to purchase a faster lens (something like the 18-200mm VR by Nikon). I know it costs a WHOLE LOT more too !
2) Immediately after buying it, try to set the exposure on the negative side (underexpose settings), so that none of the photos get overexposed.
3) ALWAYS take the lens hood with you (I didn't take mine)
4) ALWAYS buy a lens cleaning kit, which will be of immense help.

Michael Hoyt - Jun 4, 2007 6:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Great Purchase
I recently purchased a Nikon D80, and so far, I love it. I was looking for a near-professional level digital camera to take on long hikes and climbs. (I’ve been using a Fuji FinePix but wanted higher resolution photos.)

Other than wanting a higher-quality output, my two other requirements were, comparatively light weight, and the ability to work with Nikon’s older auto-focus lenses (non AF-S). Nikon’s re-release of the D40 almost fit the bill, but it won’t auto-focus with older lenses.

I’ve owned a Nikon F4 for years, and still take it along when I want to use film – but it weighs a ton. By comparison, the D80 is a featherweight.

I have also invested in some good Nikon lenses over the years, all auto-focus. With the amount of money I’d already committed to lenses, I didn’t want to be forced to spend even more for duplicates just so I could go “digital.” The D80 works with my old lenses – perfectly.

The menu system of making and changing setting is fairly complex and takes some getting used to. But for the most part, you fix most of the settings one time and only change a few on a day-to-day basis as you’re shooting.

I highly recommend this camera to anyone who wants to go “high-quality digital” yet stay lightweight.

Cedar - Nov 30, 2007 9:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Very nice and rugged camera. Had one until a year or so ago.

BSPclimber - Apr 28, 2008 7:20 pm - Hasn't voted

I like
I used a friend's D80 recently, and now I wish I had the extra cash to get one! A massive improvement on my D40, the only downside being the obviously heavier weight. I didn't use it enough to know about the battery life, but it makes sense that it wouldn't last as long. I see that it did come down in price recently...I may have to splurge!

cookedfish - Feb 27, 2009 7:58 pm - Hasn't voted

No need for anything else
The D80 has held up very well in a variety of outdoor excursions. Its light and rugged enough for backpacking, its survived -20F temps in the winter, dust has not been a problem on the sensor. I haven't had the same problem with battery life as others, in fact, looking at specs, the D80 has just about the highest battery life out there. Theres nothing to worry about in the image quality and focus areas, Nikon quality all the way. With the arrival of the D90 and D300 you can pick a D80 up for a fraction of its original price too.

Bergrot - May 8, 2009 2:25 am - Voted 4/5

Good camera with a little drawback
I like my D80 a lot for its handling, rather low weight and compatibility with older Nikon lenses and of course the pictures I can receive with it. I was absolutely surprised about the long battery life. I use the original battery and two 10$ copies. With each of them I can get between 600-1000 pictures per charge. This means, even for a longer weekend one battery is enough - though I always take two. Depending on how much you shoot, two batteries can even be enough for two weeks (who wants to store 2000 shots?).

The main drawback is the overexposure due to a poor metering. As already stated one should underexpose, usually 0.5-0.7 stops. This is not limited to images with large contrast, which is a problem for every metering algorithm and low contrast electronic sensors. The good thing about the D80 in this point is the low noise, which allows for a brightness enhancement of more than 2 stops later in the computer, without much recognizable noise in the darker regions.

Today (spring 2009) the D80 is out of date due to the D90 and maybe the D5000, but the lower price and the second hand market make it still a very good deal.

haywood77 - Nov 3, 2011 1:19 pm - Voted 5/5

Oldie but Goodie
I purchased my D80 in 2007 as an upgrade from an N8008. I love it so much that I have yet to upgrade again. The only exception would be to gain more megapixels as cameras evolve.
For now, it does exactly what I need it to do when and how I need it. I agree with a previous review about overexposure. I do 99.9% of my photography on the manual setting which helps fight that. The D80 is a good, rugged camera with a wide variety of lenses.
One issue you need to look out for, as with anything, is if you buy aftermarket accessories. Make sure they're real before you buy. Other than that, I'll be using mine for as long as it holds up.

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