Nikon D80 Review

 
Camera Reviews > Nikon Cameras > Nikon D i Full Review

Nikon D80 Feature Comparison

The exceptionally rich feature set of the Nikon D80 begs comparison against many pro-level cameras. Given its price point though, we'll resist that temptation, and limit our comparison to current consumer and prosumer models from Nikon and Canon.

The chart below compares the D80 with other current Nikon cameras. Constructing this table was a little tough, because the most natural comparison is relative to the D70S, its immediate predecessor. That said though, many people will be trying to make up their minds between a D80 or a D200. What we've done below is to present something of a hybrid comparison between these three models. A red cell means that a given camera performs below the other two, a green cell means that it performs better than the other two, and a yellow cell means it falls between the other two. In cases where two cameras share a superior capability, both their cells will be colored green. Sharp-eyed readers may find some areas where we haven't chosen to highlight a particular difference (such as the D200's offering exposure compensation in 1 EV increments). Those cases are simply ones that we don't feel are significant in typical use of the camera. Also, in some cases we colored cells yellow where we noted a difference but weren't sure of which parameter really constituted a benefit. Finally, we've marked in dark grey cells for parameters that we haven't tested for ourselves as yet.

We also have a table comparing the Nikon D80 with competing models from other manufacturers. This table is a bit wider though, and breaks the page layout in some browsers, so we're simply providing a link to it here that will open in a separate browser window. See the Nikon D80 vs the Competition comparison table for more info.

Nikon D80 vs other Nikon SLRs
Manufacturer
Nikon
Nikon
Nikon
Nikon
Model
D50
D70s
D80
D200
Imaging
System
Sensor Manufacturer Sony Sony Sony Sony
Sensor Type CCD CCD CCD CCD
Color Filter Array RGB RGB RGB RGB
Total Megapixels
6.24
6.24
10.75
10.92
Effective Megapixels 6.1 6.1 10.2 10.2
Effective Sensor Size (mm)
23.7 x 15.6
23.7 x 15.6
23.6 x 15.8
23.6 x 15.8
Focal Length Multiplier (approx.)
1.5x
1.5x
1.5x
1.5x
Image Processor
Not stated
Not stated
Not stated
Not stated
Viewfinder
Type
Eye-level pentamirror
Eye-level pentamirror
Eye-level pentaprism
Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage
95%
95%
95%
95%
Magnification
(-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
0.75x
0.75x
0.94x
0.94x
Eyepoint (mm)
18
18
19.5
19.5
Dioptric Adjustment Range (diopters)
-1.6 to +0.5
-1.6 to +0.5
-2.0 to +1.0
-2.0 to +1.0
Focusing Screen
Type-B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V
Type-B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V, with on-demand grid lines
Type-B BriteView clear matte screen Mark II, with on-demand grid lines
Type-B BriteView clear matte screen Mark II, with on-demand grid lines
Viewfinder
Info Display
5 focus area brackets/spot metering areas, center-weighted metering area, no memory card warning indicator, battery status, focus confirmation, focus area/AF-area mode, AE lock indicator, FV lock indicator, shutter speed, aperture value, electronic analog exposure display, flash compensation indicator, exposure compensation indicator, Auto ISO indicator, number of exposures remaining/buffer space/preset WB recording indicator/exposure compensation value/flash compensation value/PC mode indicator, flash-ready indicator
5 focus area brackets/spot metering areas, center-weighted metering area, on-demand framing grid, focus confirmation, focus area/AF-area mode, AE/FV lock indicator, battery status, shutter speed, aperture value, electronic analog exposure display, flash compensation indicator, exposure compensation indicator, Auto ISO indicator, number of exposures remaining/buffer space/preset WB recording indicator/exposure compensation value/flash compensation value/PC mode indicator, flash-ready indicator
11 normal and 1 wide focus area brackets/spot metering areas, center-weighted metering area, on-demand framing grid, black and white mode warning, low battery warning, no memory card warning, focus confirmation, FV lock indicator, AE lock indicator, Auto ISO indicator, shutter speed, aperture value, electronic analog exposure display, battery status, flash compensation indicator, exposure compensation indicator, WB/exposure bracketing indicator, number of remaining exposures/buffer space/exposure compensation value/flash compensation value/PC mode indicator, flash-ready indicator
11 normal and 7 wide focus area brackets/spot metering areas, center-weighted metering area, on-demand framing grid, black and white mode warning, battery status, no memory card warning, focus confirmation, metering mode, FV lock indicator, AE lock indicator, flash sync indicator, shutter speed, aperture stop indicator, aperture value, exposure mode, electronic analog exposure display, flash compensation indicator, exposure compensation indicator, Auto ISO indicator, ISO sensitivity value, number of exposures remaining/buffer space/preset WB recording indicator/exposure compensation value/flash compensation value/PC mode indicator, flash-ready indicator
Depth of Field Preview
Not available
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Live Preview on LCD?
No
No
No
No
Recording
System
Recording Media / Quantity / Slot Type
Secure Digital card
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Secure Digital card
 (SDHC compatible)
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Compatible File System
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
Recording Formats
RAW (NEF), JPEG
RAW (NEF), JPEG
RAW (NEF), JPEG
RAW (NEF), JPEG
Maximum Resolution
3008 x 2000
3008 x 2000
3872 x 2592
3872 x 2592
Reduced Resolutions (JPEG only)
2256 x 1496; 1504 x 1000
2240 x 1488; 1504 x 1000
2896 x 1944; 1936 x 1296
2896 x 1944; 1936 x 1296
RAW + JPEG Recording
Yes, basic JPEG only
Yes, basic JPEG only
Yes, selectable JPEG resolution / compression
Yes, selectable JPEG resolution / compression
Color Space &
White Balance
User-Selectable Color Space
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Processing Parameters
(Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Color Tone) / # of Increments
  7 options each for sharpness and contrast, 3 options for saturation. 7-step hue adjustment. Digital vari-programs preset various processing parameters as well. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat.
  7 options each for sharpness and contrast, 3 options for saturation. 7-step hue adjustment. Digital vari-programs preset various processing parameters as well. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat.
  7 options each for sharpness and contrast, 4 options for saturation. 7-step hue adjustment. Digital vari-programs preset various processing parameters as well. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat.
7 options for sharpening, 5 options for contrast, 4 options for saturation, 7-step hue adjustment. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat.
Preset WB settings
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade)
Manual Color Temperature Setting Range
(No Kelvin option, but very broad Preset WB range)
(No Kelvin option, but very broad Preset WB range)
2,500 ~ 10,000K in increments of roughly 10 mired
2,500 ~ 10,000K in increments of roughly 10 mired
WB Adjustment Range
Not available
±3 steps in 1-step increments
10 mireds per step
±3 steps in 1-step increments
10 mireds per step
±3 steps in 1-step increments
10 mireds per step
Autofocus
System
Type
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM1000 autofocus module
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM1000 autofocus module
# of Focusing Points (Focusing Point Type)
5 points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 2 vertical-type)
5 points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 2 vertical-type)
11 normal points or 1 wide point (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 8 vertical-type)
11 normal points or 7 wide points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 8 vertical-type)
Superimposed Focus Point Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
AF Working Range
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
AF-assist Beam
Bright incandescent lamp, (Range approx. 3.0 m, 9.8 ft, depending on lens.) Not dependent on flash setting.
Bright incandescent lamp, (Range approx. 3.0 m, 9.8 ft, depending on lens.) Not dependent on flash setting.
Bright incandescent lamp, (Range approx. 3.0 m, 9.8 ft, depending on lens.) Not dependent on flash setting.
Bright incandescent lamp, (Range approx. 3.0 m / 9.8 ft, depending on lens.) Not dependent on flash setting.
Eye-start Focusing
No
No
No
No
AF servo modes
AF-S (single one-shot), AF-C (continuous tracking),
AF-A (for auto selection of AF-S or AF-C modes).
AF-S (single one-shot), AF-C (continuous tracking).
AF-S (single one-shot), AF-C (continuous tracking),
AF-A (for auto selection of AF-S or AF-C modes).
AF-S (single one-shot), AF-C (continuous tracking).
AF area modes
Single area, Dynamic area, Dynamic area with closest subject priority.
Single area, Dynamic area, Dynamic area with closest subject priority.
Single area, Dynamic area, Auto area.
Single area, Dynamic area, Group Dynamic area, Dynamic area with closest subject priority.
Exposure
Control
Shooting Modes
11 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, Manual, Auto, Portrait, Landcape, Close up, Sports, Child, Night Portrait.
11 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, Manual, Auto, Portrait, Landcape, Close up, Sports, Night Landscape, Night Portrait.
11 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, Manual, Auto, Portrait, Landcape, Close up, Sports, Night Landscape, Night Portrait.
4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode.
Metering Zones
420
1,005
420
1,005
Metering Modes
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 8mm dia. circle in center of frame.
3) Spot: Meters 3.5 mm dia. circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area.
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering (other CPU lenses); metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor.
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 12 mm dia. circle in center of frame.
3) Spot: Meters 2.3 mm dia. circle (about 1% of frame) centered on active focus area.
 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 10 mm dia. circle in center of frame.
3) Spot: Meters 3.5 mm dia. circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area.
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor.
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13mm dia. circle in center of frame.
3) Spot: Meters 3mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used).
Metering System Working Range
1) EV 0 ~ 20 (Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 ~ 20 (spot metering)
(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
1) EV 0 ~ 20 (Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 ~ 20 (spot metering)
(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
1) EV 0 ~ 20 (Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 ~ 20 (spot metering)
(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
1) EV 0 ~ 20 (Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 ~ 20 (spot metering)
(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
ISO Range / Extended
200 ~ 1600 / --
200 ~ 1600 / --
100 ~ 1600 / 3200
100 ~ 1600 / 3200
Exposure Compensation
+/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
Automatic Exposure Bracketing
3 shots, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps
2 or 3 shots, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps
2 or 3 shots, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV steps
2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV
Shutter Speeds,
Frame Rate, Shutter Lag
Shutter Type
Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
Electronically controlled mechanical
(We're frankly uncertain of what constitutes "better" in this case)
Electronically controlled mechanical
Shutter Speed Range
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
Maximum Frames Per Second / Buffer depth
2.47 fps / 16 frames (JPEG large/fine)
3.05 fps / 15 frames (JPEG large/fine)
3 fps / 9 frames (JPEG large/fine)
5 fps / 31 JPEG large/fine or 21 RAW frames
Shutter lag, full AF (sec.)
0.27
0.29 - 0.32
0.25
0.27
Shutter lag, prefocus (sec.)
0.114
0.106
0.083
0.057
Startup time (sec.)
~0.25
~0.40
0.20
~0.20
Flash
Built-in Flash / Guide Number at ISO 100.
Yes (12 meters / 39 feet)
Yes (12 meters / 39 feet)
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Max flash x-sync speed. (sec.)
1/500 (!)
1/500 (!)
1/200
1/250
Flash Exposure Compensation
-3 to +1 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
-3 to +1 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
-3 to +1 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
-3 to +1 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Slow-sync flash
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
PC Sync Terminal
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Yes
Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting support Only with attached SB-800 flash or SU-800 wireless controller Camera can act as wireless controller, single group and channel
Camera can act as wireless controller with multiple groups, modes and channels
Camera can act as wireless controller with multiple groups, modes and channels
Playback
System
LCD Size / Pixel Count
2.0 in LCD / 130,000 pixels
2.0 in LCD / 130,000 pixels
2.5 in LCD / 230,000 pixels
2.5 in LCD / 230,000 pixels
Enlarged Playback / Scroll
1.1 - 4.7x in 10 steps / Yes
1.1 - 4.7x in 10 steps / Yes
1.1 - 25x for large images, 19x for medium images, or 13x for small ones/ Yes
1.1 - 25x for large images, 19x for medium images, or 13x for small ones/ Yes
LCD Monitor Brightness Adjustment Range
5 steps
5 steps
5 steps
5 steps
Automatic Rotation for Vertical Shots
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Other Features
Computer Connection
Yes, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v2.0 speed)
Yes, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v1.1 speed)
Yes, USB 2.0, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v2.0 speed)
Yes, USB 2.0, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v2.0 speed)
Direct Printing (PictBridge-compliant printers)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Menu Languages
13 (Japanese, German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Italian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, Swedish)
10 (Japanese, German, English, Spanish, French, Korean, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, Swedish)
15 (Japanese, German, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
13 (Japanese, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean)
Camera Default Reset
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Custom Functions
(Quantity)
Yes (20)
Yes (25)
Yes (32)
Yes (45)
Multiple exposures
No
No
Yes
(2~3 shots)
Yes
(2~10 shots)
In-camera image retouching
No
No
Yes, D-lighting, Red-eye correction, Trim, Monochrome, Filter effects, Small Picture, Image overlay
No
Remote Control
Optional ML-L3 wireless remote
Optional, compatible with MC-DC1 remote cord or ML-L3 wireless remote
Optional, compatible with MC-DC1 remote cord or ML-L3 wireless remote
Yes, 10-pin remote terminal for optional MC-20/30/36 remote cords or WT-3 wireless remote
Info LCD Panel / Illumination
Yes / No
Yes / Yes
(dedicated button)
Yes / Yes
(power switch)
Yes / Yes
(power switch)
Number of Command Dials
1
2
2
2
Programmable function button
No
No
Yes
Yes
Ultrasonic CCD dust-removal function
No
No
No
No
Body Structure
Body Cover/Chassis
Largely Plastic
Largely Plastic
Unknown, feels more solid than D70 though
Largely Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals
Power System
Battery Compatibility
EN-EL3,
EN-EL3a
(Ships with EN-EL3, 1400 mAh vs 1500 mAh for EN-EL3a)
CR2 pack is an added-cost accessory
EN-EL3,
EN-EL3a
(Ships with EN-EL3a, 1500 mAh vs 1400 mAh for EN-EL3)
CR2 pack is an added-cost accessory
EN-EL3e,
optional MB-D80 battery pack
EN-EL3e,
optional MB-D200 battery pack
Rated Shooting Capacity at 20°C/68F
100% AE: 2000
50% Flash: 400
100% AE: 2500
50% Flash: 500
100% AE: 2700
50% Flash: 600
100% AE: 1800
50% Flash: 340
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (WxHxD, mm)
133 x 102 x 76
140 x 111 x 78
132 x 103 x 77
147 x 113 x 74
Weight (body only)
540 g
600 g
  585 g
830 g
Operational
Environment
Operating Temperature Range
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
Operating Humidity Range
< 85%
< 85%
< 85%
< 85%
Kit Lens
Focal length / aperture
18-55mm
f/3.5-5.6G ED
18-70mm
f/3.5-4.5G ED
18-135mm
f/3.5-5.6G ED
-
Lens Compatibility
Lens Mount / Compatibility
  1. DX Nikkor: All functions supported;
  2. Type G- or D-AF Nikkor: All functions supported;
  3. Micro Nikkor 85mm F2.8D: All functions supported except some exposure modes;
  4. Other AF Nikkor (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR;
  5. AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR and autofocus;
  6. Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
  7. IX Nikkor Lenses cannot be used.
  1. DX Nikkor: All functions supported;
  2. Type G- or D-AF Nikkor: All functions supported;
  3. Micro Nikkor 85mm F2.8D: All functions supported except some exposure modes;
  4. Other AF Nikkor (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR;
  5. AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR and autofocus;
  6. Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
  7. IX Nikkor Lenses cannot be used.
  1. DX Nikkor: All functions supported;
  2. Type G- or D-AF Nikkor: All functions supported;
  3. Micro Nikkor 85mm F2.8D: All functions supported except some exposure modes;
  4. Other AF Nikkor (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR;
  5. AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR and autofocus;
  6. Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
  7. IX Nikkor Lenses cannot be used.
  1. DX Nikkor: All functions supported;
  2. Type G- or D-AF Nikkor: All functions supported;
  3. Micro Nikkor 85mm F2.8D: All functions supported except some exposure modes;
  4. Other AF Nikkor (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR;
  5. AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR and autofocus;
  6. Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure mode A and M with metering; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
  7. IX Nikkor Lenses cannot be used.

Print the comparison page for the Nikon D80 digital camera reviewPrint this Page

Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

Follow Imaging Resource

Purchase memory card for Nikon D80 digital camera
Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate