I thought I'd start a fresh thread for this as it's a pretty serious concern to know-nothing D80 users like me
Elsewhere Thomas wrote of his D80 set up which I think is identical to mine, 'I leave everything at factory default and shoot at fully auto or aperture-priority. I never experienced overexposure, and never lost any highlights in my pics'.
This means either I'm doing something fundamentally wrong with my camera (this is very likely!) or the matrix meter on Thomas' D80 works better than mine...in which case I want a word with Nikon!
Let me stress, I AM a complete beginner, so it could be that I have unrealistic expectations of what the camera can do in bright conditions, or even that I don't know a 'correct' exposure when I see one, or I'm doing something dumb.
To illustrate the problems I'm experiencing I've put 6 sample images here, 3 with -0.7 EV and 3 just as Mr Nikon intended. At this point I was shooting in P mode. As I've said elsewhere, I have now knocked this on the head and tend to shoot in manual as I find it the easiest way to overcome what you will see below....
To save you the trouble of going through the 'more properties' link I've noted the main info for each shot in comments below each pic..apologies if I've noted anything down wrong.
I'd be really interested in fellow Nikon users' comments and experience. As I say, I'm learning so forgive me in advance if it's something obvious!