Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:24 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:17 pm 
A first quick look at the Nikon D80:

After a lot of doubts and second thoughts, I made my decision and picked up the Nikon D80 last week.

The greatest rival for this body was the Nikon D40x. I chose the bigger D80 because of the better build quality and extra features you have. Also, the feel was very nice. The D40x didn't seem to "fit" in my hands, whereas the D80 fits like a glove. I really enjoy holding it and playing around with it.

In auto it shoots very easily, and if you still don't know what you're doing you can use the "?" button on the screen to see what everything does. After a while I started playing around with the vari program settings a they all work quite nicely. It's also a good way to learn which settings to use later on when you start working with the P,S,A and M configuration.

I haven't gotten around to the more advanced features yet, but for now I'm one happy D80 owner.

I also still have a lot to learn, but I think the D80 is an ideal companion. Easy to use, but advanced if you want it to be.

I'll write a bigger review in the weeks to come, I'll post some pictures as well. Next week I'll be of the south of France where I can extensively check out the D80.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:20 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Great stuff, thanks Yves! Yep, it would be great if you could update this review as you discover more of the things you like - and don't like! - about your camera and lens!

Be great to hear what you think of the 18-135mm too... especially in terms of power - is it enough? And do you miss stabilisation?

Gordon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:01 pm 
And we're back with a larger review:

I started building interest in photography when I turned 19. We had a photography class during the first 2 years of my studies, where we mostly used analog SLR's to shoot. It even included working in a dark room to actually do everything yourself, which was a lot of fun. We had all kinds of cameras there, but I mostly used Canon Eos models. I graduated and photography got a bit lost in my stuffed agenda, but nonetheless I got myself a compact Canon Ixus V3 with 3.2 megapixel. Fun, good pictures but nowhere nere a real SRL. Still I'm a very satisfied Ixus user.

Sadly a few weeks ago my Ixus broke down. There was some kind of problem with the sensor (a problem Canon seems to reckognize). At first the shop where I got it told me it would cost 160€ but eventually another shop (with excellent service) told me that Canon would fix it free of charge because apparently the problem seemed to occur more often. But the damage was done: I was into the DSLR world and my photography passion was back in full force. After a lot of twists and turns, going from the 400D to the D40x, I chose the (in my opninion) ultimate affordable DSLR:

The Nikon D80

A friend of my always tried to get my to buy a Nikon, and after testing the Canon I soon realised it wasn't my kind of body. Small and lightweight, but that's just what I don't want. I don't mind the fact that the body is heavy, it just gives me a sense of quality. In addition, I didn't really like the camera's I tested with everything on the big screen on the back. It's great to have an extra screen that has all the necessary info on top of the body. Another reason why the Canon (but also the Nikon D40X) where out of the game. I do have to admit that, although the D40x is too small for me, it still was and is a great alternative. It has great features at an affordable price! That's also why I first ordered the D40x. There was a considerable price difference and it's an a-ok camera, but eventually I thought: "I'll regret the fact that I didn't pay 150€ extra and got the D80"...and so I did.

So, why did I pick the D80:

*Great build quality, sense of quality of sturdiness when you pick it up
*Dedicated buttons
*Second screen on top of body
*I loved it from the first moment I picked it up :mrgreen:

The price I got at the shop was well below rival shops I visited, so I instantly had the opportunity the choose some extras as well:

Nikon D80
Nikon AF-S 18-135mm lens
2GB SD Card
Lowepro mini bag
UV filter Sigma
Cleaning set
Additional camera insurance for 3 years (full coverage)

All of this came to around 1200€

One of the major differences compared to rival DSLR is the build quality. It feels like a pro camera, has nice buttons, is solid... Absolutely fabulous. Some rival models have a more "plastic" feel, and that's something you really don't want when spending so much money. As for the design and ergonomy: another ace in the hole for the D80. All the buttons are exactly where you want them to be. It takes a while to figure everything out, but once you get to "know" the camera it's quite easy. It has a good grip and some might find it somewhat heavy, but that's just what I like about it.

The D80 is a great camera for both beginners and experienced photographers alike. At first I thought maybe the D80 is a bit too much for me and I should better go for a budget model, but now I'm confident that this was the right choice. The D80 really is the best of both worlds: you can shoot in full auto and get great pictures instantly, or (when you're up for it) start playing with all the settins and really get to know the camera. There's a "?" button to tell you what everything does, which again makes it quite easy for beginners to start out. The vari-settings (like sports, portrait,...) are very useful for me: I always see what settings the camera automatically uses while in such a setting, which teaches me a lot about how the use stuff like aperture, shutterspeed,...Not that I don't know what they do, but it's nice because you're never too experienced to learn more about all that. It really is a machine that rewards your effort both as a beginner and pro.

The lens is good is quite good for general use, but when you zoom in, it's hard to shoot without getting blurred pictures. I'm gonna start out with this lens and after a certain amount of time upgrade to the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens. Build quality is ok and at this time I haven't found anything wrong with it.

You might have all guessed I absolutely adore the D80. It took me quite a while to figure out which camera I wanted, but in the end I'm sure I made the right decision. It's a bit pricy, but in my opinion the D80 isn't really an entry level DSLR, it's much more than that. Athough I do have to add that I don't have any other DSLR experience to compare, and that people with more or other needs are better off choosing another model. In my case however, the D80 looks to be an outstanding camera that fits my every need regarding photograpy: it's easy to use, with very good build quality and is ready to grow with you as you get better at photography.

One happy D80 owner here. Great work Nikon! :wink:

I'll keep you updated as I keep exploring the D80 world :mrgreen:. As said before, I'll be testing the camera extensively during my holiday in France.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:11 pm 
A small question that I don't really know where to put:

How do you guys hold your camera and look through the viewfinder? Most guides tell me to use my right eye to look, but I always use my left eye... :?: Am I weird now? :D


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:18 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7962
Location: Germany
Everything about this topic can befound here: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=377

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
This is another excellent review. I have the same body and lens and concur with everything you say. If you find some extra cash you could do worse than splash out on a battery grip. The feel is superb.

Where are you going in the south of France?

Zorro.

P.S. Use whatever eye you're comfortable with. You're the photographer.

_________________
http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

Image

Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:18 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Yves, that's a great update and you've made me very happy by saying you prefer using your left eye! Same as me, but I was beginning to feel a bit in the minority here...

Gordon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:21 am 
Well, I guess if your nose doesn't get too intimate with the LCD and you can still reach the buttons to the right of the viewfinder there should be no problem! I use my right eye because of these two issues.

I actually read somewhere about an interesting shooting technique in which you keep both your eyes open - you look with one through the viewfinder to evaluate the framing, while with the other you can check the surrounding areas for any objects that might move into the frame and such.

I tried it a few times and it feels weird, but with a little more practice, who knows...

Darrin


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:03 pm 
Thx for your kind replies! I'll keep you guys updated.

zorro wrote:
This is another excellent review. I have the same body and lens and concur with everything you say. If you find some extra cash you could do worse than splash out on a battery grip. The feel is superb.

Where are you going in the south of France?

Zorro.

P.S. Use whatever eye you're comfortable with. You're the photographer.


I'll be visiting the "Languedoc" region, close to the Spanish border. Beautiful scenery and nature, peace & quiet. Great to relax for a week and to test out the full potential of the D80. 8)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:41 pm 
Here are some pictures I took yesterday using the D80:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10247102@N07/


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:13 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7962
Location: Germany
Well, "Shadows" was a tough nut to crack exposure-wise, wasn't it?
Did you do any exposure-correction or postprocessing?
If not, I think the auto-exposure of your D80 is great even in critical situations! What do you think?

Try shooting in RAW (plus jpeg). In that case it would be super-easy to correct "Shadows" up to +-2EV without loss of IQ in post-processing.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:21 pm 
I got my D80 for alot cheaper. Was only 2 weeks old, came with 50mm F/1.8, 4GB Card, Bag and the kit lens, and 2 UV Filters. All for 700pounds (NZD1800)

I am also in love with my D80 :twisted:
I pretty much got myself up to speed with dSLR about 2 months before I bought the camera. I was also crazy obsessed watching Gordons review, re reading reviews ETC. Was great though cause as soon as I got the camera I already felt I knew it inside out :)

I find the kit lens alright, it is just a kit lens after all. I have done much full zoomed photos with it, as I don't really feel the need with the kind of photos I've been currently taking. If you have an extra bit of cash the 50mm is great, great low FStop, really cheap, and really sharp.

As Gordon said in one of his reviews, most reviews sites use the 50mm to test the bodies because it's one of the sharpest lenses out there.


I'll plug my Flickr in here as well http://flickr.com/photos/antmanisfubar :wink:


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:40 pm 
tombomba2 wrote:
Well, "Shadows" was a tough nut to crack exposure-wise, wasn't it?
Did you do any exposure-correction or postprocessing?
If not, I think the auto-exposure of your D80 is great even in critical situations! What do you think?

Try shooting in RAW (plus jpeg). In that case it would be super-easy to correct "Shadows" up to +-2EV without loss of IQ in post-processing.


I didn't do any exposure-correction or poostprocessing, so you're absolutely right about the D80. :wink:


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:19 pm 
you probably already know it, but if u want any tips for using your new camera try this site :) http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d80/index.shtml


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group