Nikon D80 SLR Review

Click for Steve's Digicams Main Menu

Nikon D70

Features & Controls

Nikon-F Mount Lenses

Nikon D80 SLR

The D80 is compatible with about 90% of the F mount Nikkor lenses made. Because its DX format imager is physically smaller than a 35mm film frame you need to use a picture angle conversion factor of 1.5x to determine proper focal length coverage when using 35mm format lenses.

Closeup of the all-metal Nikon-F lens mount. Upper left is the focus-assist illuminator lamp, also used for red-eye reduction flash mode. On the left side of the lens mount is the FUNC. and Depth of Field (DOF) preview buttons, on the right side is the lens release lock button and the focus mode switch.

Nikon D80 SLR

Focus Mode selector switch (AF or Manual). The D80 employs Nikon's High-speed, high precision 11-area AF system with predictive focus tracking and Lock-on™ to ensure quick response and sharp focus, while an AF-assist illuminator helps ensure performance in low-light situations.

Nikon D80 SLR

When you purchase the body and lens outfit, it includes the new 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S IF-ED DX Nikkor Lens (see more info below.)

Nikon D80 SLR

The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens is compatible with all Nikon D-series digital SLRs and is the standard zoom lens in the Nikon D80 digital SLR camera outfit. With an equivalent coverage of 27-202.5mm in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Internal Focusing (IF) for convenient and balanced handling. It also incorporates a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability.

Nikon D80 SLR

The AF-S VR Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF is yet another new lens for Nikon D-series digital SLRs. With an equivalent coverage of 105-450mm in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's enhanced Vibration Reduction (VRII) technology for steady shots as well as Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Internal Focusing (IF) for convenient and balanced handling. Other features include a distance information guide window, a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability, and a M/A mode for seamless switching between autofocus and manual modes.

Nikon D80 SLR

Designed exclusively for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras, DX Nikkor lenses deliver a versatile range of angle-of-view, higher performance, and outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner image quality, while realizing smaller and lighter designs. The current lineup of DX Nikkor lenses includes:

  • New AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED

  • AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF

  • AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED

When used with a Nikon digital SLR camera and Nikon Capture NX software, images shot with the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm lens can be transformed into ultra-wide angle rectilinear images with a choice of 100° and 130° horizontal angles of view.

i-TTL Flash

Nikon D80 SLR

The speedlight automatically pops up and fires when natural lighting is inadequate or to add balanced Fill-Flash when there is strong backlighting. i-TTL technology improves the accuracy of fill-flash exposure and white balance in a picture, by seamlessly integrating color information from the speedlight's monitor pre-flash with information from the 420-pixel RGB sensor. It has been improved to provide coverage for up to 18mm wide angle lenses.

Nikon D80 SLR

You can shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/200 second for great fill effects under bright light conditions. FV Lock maintains the measured flash value while recomposing the shot so you still achieve the appropriate flash output for the subject. Manual Mode with Power Ratio from full output to 1/64 power in ½ step increments puts you in control of flash output to match your needs, and flash exposure compensation lets you increase or reduce flash output for even finer control.

Nikon SB600

The D80' built-in Speedlight offers a level of performance that is unrivalled in any other digital SLR camera in its class. Designed to be a part of Nikon's growing Creative Lighting System, the built-in Speedlight adopts Nikon's exclusive i-TTL flash control technology. In addition to normal on-camera use, it can be used in Commander Mode to remotely control one group of multiple SB-600 or SB-800 Speedlights wirelessly. An SB-800 can be mounted on the D80 and used as the Master Speedlight to control up to three remote groups of wireless Speedlights, with each group consisting of any number of Nikon SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlight units.

Nikon SB600

The D80 controls the SB-600 or SB-800's motorized zoom head and makes use of its more powerful AF-assist beam. The output of the flash is controlled precisely thanks to the new i-TTL flash exposure control system. And nothing beats the natural look of bounce flash.

Nikon D80 SLR

The D80 does not have an integral PC sync port so you need to use the optional Nikon AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter to connect to external studio flash units (shown here mounted on the D100.) It slides on the flash hot shoe and gives you a standard PC sync connector. (Note that the AS-15 does not contain an isolation circuit so be careful of strobes that use high trigger voltages.)


Nikon D80 SLR

The eyelevel pentaprism viewfinder shows approximately 95% of the captured frame. It has dioptric adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1) and a comfortable 19.5mm eye relief with a fairly wide viewing angle. It employs a fixed Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and on-demand grid lines. Nikon also offers the DK-21 replacement rubber eyecup and the DK-21M magnifying eyepiece.

Nikon D80 SLR

The D80 viewfinder display:

    1 - Framing grid (can be disabled via the custom menu)
    2 - 8mm (0.31 in.) reference circle for center-weighted metering
    3 - "No memory card" warning
    4 - Battery level indicator
    5 - Indicates Black and White exposure
    6 - Focus brackets (focus area)
    7 - Normal-frame focus brackets
    8 - Wide-frame focus brackets

Nikon D80 SLR

    9 - Focus indicator
    10 - Flash value (FV) lock
    11 - Auto exposure (AE) lock
    12 - Shutter speed
    13 - Aperture (f/-number)
    14 - Electronic analog exposure display
    15 - Flash compensation indicator
    16 - Exposure compensation indicator
    17 - Number of exposures remaining
    18 - Flash-ready indicator
    19 - Auto ISO sensitivity indicator
    20 - Battery indicator
    21 - Bracketing indicator
    22 - "K" (appears when memory remains for over 1000 exposures)

Go to
Page Three

Return To Steve's
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.