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Nikon D80 - did I make a good choice? Is there a better choice for under $1000?

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  • Jul 3rd, 2008 8:05 pm
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[OP]
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Dec 25, 2007
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Toronto

Nikon D80 - did I make a good choice? Is there a better choice for under $1000?

I just purchased a Nikon D80 with a 18-135mm lens kit from Future Shop tonight. I originally went in to get a price match for the Canon XSi and was persuaded to change my choice. But I was determined to get a deal and got a price match with Aden Cameras. I paid $949.98 for the D80 (the same price for their XSi kit) and opted Future Shop's four year warranty (lots of things can go wrong with machinery that have moving parts).

This is my first SLR purchase since my Nikon F801 for college back in the 90s and am told that the D80 should be able to make use of my old lenses, so that played a part in my choice. I intend to use it for hobby-purposes and take some photography classes to advance what I already know.

After reading some of the threads here on RFD, I realize now that my camera is actually a couple of years longer into the market than I originally thought and may be soon on it's way to obsolescence. I fear I may go through buyer's regret within a couple of months if they release a newer model, resulting in a drastic price drop of what I thought was a good deal (I know, it's the nature of the beast).

Thanks to Future Shop's 14 day policy, not only can I return my purchase if unsatisfied, but I can also opt for a price adjustment should a better deal from a competing store arise.

I'm looking to get the best deal I can, so I ask you:
- does anyone know of a better deal in the Toronto area (and surrounding GTA) for the D80 with the above mentioned kit?
- is anyone aware of a better DSLR camera in the sub-$1000 range?
- or have I made a good choice at a decent price and should be happy with my purchase?

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!
34 replies
Deal Guru
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Dec 3, 2004
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I'm going to play devil's advocate and say... you could have found a Canon 40D body only for under the sub-1k range on Craigslist...

Yessss...turn to the dark side... :twisted:

Kit lenses generally aren't that great, and you could have done without the 4 year extended warranty as Nikon cameras from what I remember have a 3 year warranty anyway. And the chances of a DSLR breaking on you is very slim...
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May 27, 2007
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How much did the warranty cost you?
The problem is that the D80 won't be worth that much 4 years from now.
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Jun 25, 2003
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Natsuiro wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 2:41 am
How much did the warranty cost you?
The problem is that the D80 won't be worth that much 4 years from now.
thats true for almost most of the current market cameras.

I think the D80 is an amazing camera.
I have one myself and ive taken amazing shots with it.

Especially if your starting out, its fairly easier touse then some of the other models.

Enjoy it.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2007
121 posts
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Toronto
CSAgent wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 2:06 am
I'm going to play devil's advocate and say... you could have found a Canon 40D body only for under the sub-1k range on Craigslist...

Yessss...turn to the dark side... :twisted:

Kit lenses generally aren't that great, and you could have done without the 4 year extended warranty as Nikon cameras from what I remember have a 3 year warranty anyway. And the chances of a DSLR breaking on you is very slim...
Thanks for the suggestion, CSAgent. I just checked Craigslist and there is what looks to be a good deal for a 40D with a 17-85mm USM lens for $1150. But I'm hesitant to hand over so much money to someone who can't guarantee the product will continue working shortly after I hand them the money.

What I am happy about with the D80 (thus far) is compatibility with my older Nikon lenses. And I can certainly get some use out of the kit lens.

The body comes with a 2 year warranty, and 5 years for the lens. I normally would have shunned away from an extended warranty, but a friend who once worked for an electronics store advised me to purchase only if the product contains moving parts. I heeded his advice in this case.

My first digital camera purchase was with Future Shop eight years ago and I opted for the extended warranty then as well. It came in handy after a couple of years when I wore out the menu button and was allowed to upgrade to a newer camera.

I find electronic items are not as durable as I would like them to be, and I am (for the most part) buying peace-of-mind in an extended warranty. But it's great to have when I really need it.
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Nov 5, 2005
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Inspector Gadget wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 3:20 am
Thanks for the suggestion, CSAgent. I just checked Craigslist and there is what looks to be a good deal for a 40D with a 17-85mm USM lens for $1150. But I'm hesitant to hand over so much money to someone who can't guarantee the product will continue working shortly after I hand them the money.

What I am happy about with the D80 (thus far) is compatibility with my older Nikon lenses. And I can certainly get some use out of the kit lens.

The body comes with a 2 year warranty, and 5 years for the lens. I normally would have shunned away from an extended warranty, but a friend who once worked for an electronics store advised me to purchase only if the product contains moving parts. I heeded his advice in this case.

My first digital camera purchase was with Future Shop eight years ago and I opted for the extended warranty then as well. It came in handy after a couple of years when I wore out the menu button and was allowed to upgrade to a newer camera.

I find electronic items are not as durable as I would like them to be, and I am (for the most part) buying peace-of-mind in an extended warranty. But it's great to have when I really need it.
I do agree on buying used stuff online. I don't know if I could ever trust the previous owner on how well they've treated the equipment. Buying new gives peace of mind with warranty/money back guarantee. As for extended warranty, I personally would of shunned away from it but it all depends on how much it is compared to the equipment value. If you got the extended warranty for cheap, why not. If expensive, I would of taken a risk not buying it. With all my extended warranty purchases (except for my car) I have never used it... but that is another story.
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Nov 17, 2003
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If you already own Nikon lenses there isn't a better choice for under $1k.

It's an excellent camera. The best advice anyone can give you is to go and take some pictures instead of worrying about whether you should have bought something else. :)
Deal Guru
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Sep 3, 2003
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Agreed, if you've already got a set of Nikon lenses (which do you have?), then the D80 is a great choice. It's a lot of camera for under $1000. Great ergonomics (I prefer it over the 40D), good build quality, good speed, good image quality, and it is well specified for the money (you don't get wireless flash with the 40D). You will be missing live-view, however, but that's not significant.

The 18-135mm kit is okay. Not terrible, but amazing.
Deal with it.
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KorruptioN wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 8:13 am
You will be missing live-view, however, but that's not significant.
Actually, he's also missing:

6.5fps compared to 3fps (great for sports photography)
3" LCD compared to 2.5"
14-bit photos compared to 12-bit
self-cleaning system via high vibration filter compared to none
Flash sync of 1/250 compared to 1/200
up to 75 continuous images (large sizes, 100+ for small) in the buffer compared to 23 (large size only, 100 for small)
maximum shutter of 1/8000 compared to 1/4000
3 custom shooting modes that can be switched on the fly - compared to none

Plus various other smaller differences. My assistant has the D80 though, and he enjoys his camera - though lately he's being tempted by the D300. I just find that his D80 can't keep up with my 40D in sports photos and at weddings where speed is key to capture some great moments.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2007
121 posts
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Toronto
CSAgent wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 11:49 am
Actually, he's also missing:

6.5fps compared to 3fps (great for sports photography)
3" LCD compared to 2.5"
14-bit photos compared to 12-bit
self-cleaning system via high vibration filter compared to none
Flash sync of 1/250 compared to 1/200
up to 75 continuous images (large sizes, 100+ for small) in the buffer compared to 23 (large size only, 100 for small)
maximum shutter of 1/8000 compared to 1/4000
3 custom shooting modes that can be switched on the fly - compared to none

Plus various other smaller differences. My assistant has the D80 though, and he enjoys his camera - though lately he's being tempted by the D300. I just find that his D80 can't keep up with my 40D in sports photos and at weddings where speed is key to capture some great moments.
Thanks for the recommendation, CSAgent. It sounds like a great camera and I appreciate your passion for the 40D. But the only thing that comes close to the D80's price is the 40D's body alone. And as I mentioned, I'm not willing to buy from second-hand dealers. I'll keep a look-out for the next two weeks for deals on a 40D. If I can find a good kit hovering around the $1G mark, I will certainly consider returning the D80.

Maybe rubberband's advice is the wisest so far. I will go out and use the D80 to see if I fall in love with it, and maybe you'll find me extolling the virtues of the Nikon D80 as passionately as you have with your Canon 40D.

I am just happy to get my feet wet in the world of SLRs again. The D80 might just be the beginning and I will surely upgrade again eventually.

But in the meantime, until Future Shop's 14 day refund policy expires, I wish to keep my eyes (and options) open for a potentially better deal.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2007
121 posts
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Toronto
KorruptioN wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 8:13 am
Agreed, if you've already got a set of Nikon lenses (which do you have?), then the D80 is a great choice. It's a lot of camera for under $1000. Great ergonomics (I prefer it over the 40D), good build quality, good speed, good image quality, and it is well specified for the money (you don't get wireless flash with the 40D). You will be missing live-view, however, but that's not significant.

The 18-135mm kit is okay. Not terrible, but amazing.
My collection of lenses isn't very significant at all. I only had a Nikkor 50mm lens that came with my F801 film camera, and a Sigma 70-210mm zoom. I was wondering what to do with them as I transitioned into the digital realm with my handy point-and-shoot. Knowing I can interchange my old lens with the D80 makes me feel better about my choice.
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If you already have a nice set of Nikon lenses from the past then stick with the Nikon system. It just makes more sense.

And as for used gear - there's no reason to be afraid as long as you're familiar with the equipment and know what to look for. I have dealt with thousands of dollars worth of used camera equipment, and rarely have any issues.
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I would probably buy a XSI instead... still away from Nikon entry level at this point... dont like the way they are going with non-motorize AF body...

in term of lens, Nikon been pushing some awesome lens in recent years! Fair to say to make some Canon user jealous ;)

Why not consider Sony body?
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THINKPADT61 wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 10:11 pm
I would probably buy a XSI instead... still away from Nikon entry level at this point... dont like the way they are going with non-motorize AF body...

in term of lens, Nikon been pushing some awesome lens in recent years! Fair to say to make some Canon user jealous ;)

Why not consider Sony body?
Sony bodies are just Konica Minolta internals re-labelled and with the Sony logo, marked up 400%... :D
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CSAgent wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 11:35 pm
Sony bodies are just Konica Minolta internals re-labelled and with the Sony logo, marked up 400%... :D
Is the re-label Carl Zeiss that I am sucker for~~

Being said that, such a good deal buying used nikon 28-70mm f2.8!

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