Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
10 Megapixel DSLR group test Gordon Laing, October 2006

10 Megapixel DSLR group test design and controls

The Canon EOS 400D / XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A100 are pictured below from left to right. The Canon’s clearly the smallest of the group, measuring 127x94x65mm, although the Sony’s only a few millimetres wider and deeper at 133x95x71. The Nikon’s the largest of the three at 132x103x77mm.

Canon 400D / XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A100 front view

The Canon’s the lightest too at 510g for the body alone compared to 545g for the Sony and 585g for the Nikon. Of course few people carry around a DSLR without a lens, so it’s important to also take this into consideration. Canon’s EF-S 18-55mm kit lens for example is unusually light at just 190g, making the 400D / XTi a much lighter overall package than either the Nikon or Sony with their kit lenses. So if you’re after the smallest and lightest DSLR of the three, the Canon’s the way to go. It can make a big difference if you travel light, are into hiking or used to a smaller and lighter point and shoot.

That said, larger size and weight are no bad thing for a DSLR. The Canon 400D / XTi may be the smallest of the group, but it's arguably the least comfortable to hold. The space between the grip and lens barrel is particularly tight and those with larger hands may find their fingers being pinched. The grips on the Nikon and Sony though are noticeably larger and more comfortable to hold, as can be seen in the picture below. Their additional weight also gives them a better balance in your hand and lends a greater air of confidence.

Canon 400D / XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A100 top view with kit lenses

In terms of build quality, all three are very solid without any creaks to worry about, but the Nikon D80 is definitely a step above its rivals. From the hooked area inside the grip for your fingertips to the rubber surface under your right thumb, it’s simply a very well thought-out design that combines strength and good ergonomics. As an additional example, while all three have finger dials, only the Nikon has an additional thumbwheel, allowing independent control over aperture and shutter in manual mode.

Ultimately while we prefer the feel of the Nikon D80 overall, it’s very much a personal thing and as with all cameras, you should pick them up for yourself. Whether it’s the size, weight or even the touch of the shutter release, we assure you one will almost certainly look and feel better to you. So long as the quality and feature-set’s right, we’d always recommend going for that one.



Nikon D80 built in flash commander mode   Nikon D80 built in flash strobe mode  
Free Shipping on ALL Products  

All three have built-in flashes with red-eye reduction, compensation and rear curtain options, although the Nikon and Sony additionally support wireless flash control. The Nikon takes this one step further by allowing its popup flash to act as a Commander to a pair of Speedlights with refined control over each. You can alternatively fire the D80’s popup flash like a strobe for special effects. The Canon and Nikon support flash sync speeds up to 1/200, while the Sony offers 1/160 or 1/120 if it’s Super SteadyShot anti-shake is enabled.

Certainly if you’re really into using flashes, the Nikon D80 is the most powerful of the group, although all three can deliver very natural results using their popup units and also support more powerful external options through hotshoes.

Memory and battery

The Canon EOS 400D / XTi and Sony A100 both take Compact Flash memory, while the Nikon D80 takes SD cards; the Sony additionally takes Memory Stick Duo cards, but via a CF adapter. All three support cards with capacities above 2GB.

Today it’s possible to buy larger and cheaper Compact Flash cards than SD, but for capacities of around 1GB, there’s not a great deal in it. If you have a significant existing investment in one format though, it may sway your choice of body.

Nikon D80 Fuel Gauge menu

All three are powered by rechargeable Lithium Ion battery packs, rated at 720, 1150 and 1500mAh for the Canon, Sony and Nikon respectively. Under CIPA testing conditions, Canon and Sony claim 360 and 750 shots on a full charge respectively. Nikon doesn’t quote CIPA figures, but claims between 600 and 2700 shots per charge.

In general use we managed around 300 and 500 shots with the Canon and Nikon per charge, and about 300 on the Sony, although to be fair this was with its anti-shake system switched on all the time.

The Nikon D80’s Fuel Gauge system gives the most accurate feedback with an actual percentage of battery life remaining, along with general condition, although annoyingly you’ll need to enter a menu to see the details. From the outside, you’ll have to make do with a six-segment indicator, although it’s still better than the four segments of the Canon and Sony.

Support this site by checking prices below or shopping via our affiliate stores
Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi

Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi

Nikon D80

Nikon D80

Sony Alpha A100

Sony Alpha A100
USA readers

  USA readers

  USA readers

UK readers

UK readers

UK readers

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs