Art and Photography

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]
Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2007
121 posts
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Toronto
THINKPADT61 wrote:
Jun 27th, 2008 10:11 pm
Why not consider Sony body?
Maybe I'm flawed in my thinking, but I never considered the Sony as a serious contender in the pro-sumer SLR market. I based my choice on Nikon's reputation, testimonials from friends who stand by their Nikon D40 or D60, and reviews on the internet through articles and owners.

I considered the XSi because of my happy experiences with Canon point-and-shoots. I myself can testify about their great picture quality. I would imagine this translates well in their SLRs.

I also checked CNET.com before buying and found the D80 at the top-of-the-heap in their "Best entry-level digital SLR cameras" category http://reviews.cnet.com/best-prosumer-d ... /?tag=lnav, just beating out the XSi and the Sony A100 by a slim margin.

To be honest with you, if I could, I would love to spend a couple of weeks with different SLRs (in my price range) to see which I liked best. But I would rather spare myself the time and aggravation of going to the big box stores, having to explain why I was returning the product, buying another, only to repeat it again.

I suppose I could purchase three or four cameras at once for my consideration and take advantage of Future Shop and Best Buy's 14 day refund policy. But my judgment is getting the better of me.
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Apr 19, 2005
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Honestly, I don't know what you're fretting about. From the sounds of it, you've gotten a very good deal on a camera that's more than adequate for pro-sumer usage. I think that you could have done without the extended warranty but like someone else said if it was cheap then why not? D80s, though, don't normally break. In fact, I have yet to hear of any pro-sumer body breaking aside from my Pentax Superprogram.

While the 40D has more attributes I don't think they're that significant. They may be important for a pro shooter but is a prosumer really going to miss that 1/8000th of a second difference? Or that 1/50th of a second flash sync? Do you even know what a custom shooting mode is? hehehe

Stop wasting time on here and just go out...shoot intensively for 3 years and then decide what to do.
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Sep 3, 2003
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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.
The key there is speed - the 40D is much better than the D80 in that regard. It's just a lot faster all around. Framerate and max shutter come to mind. However, 1/250 versus 1/200 flash sync is really not a huge deal, as much as the framerate would be. Most entry-level bodies under $1000 are below 1/200 sync.

Also I've always questioned the real-world usefulness of 14-bit RAW files. They would provide more detail and colour handling in theory, but there are still so many variables in the real world that can skew those aspects completely.

The 3" screen is indeed bigger but the resolution still lags behind... you're not getting a whole lot more than a 2.5" screen, just more power consumption.

If you want to look at numbers, then this discussion will go on forever. The 40D just never impressed me. While it is a good camera, the competition has changed in recent years and has shaken up the playing field. I still know the D80 is a great piece to start with.
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
Wrong on the mark-up part... not totally sure if you're joking or not. While Konica Minolta continues on as Sony, they haven't been diluted by the "style" brand that the rest of their stuff is known for. Prices are about in-line with what everybody else has to offer.
Inspector Gadget wrote:
Jun 28th, 2008 12:25 am
Maybe I'm flawed in my thinking, but I never considered the Sony as a serious contender in the pro-sumer SLR market. I based my choice on Nikon's reputation, testimonials from friends who stand by their Nikon D40 or D60, and reviews on the internet through articles and owners.
Sony is serious about the entire SLR market. Konica Minolta (and Minolta before that) introduced a lot of clever designs but never really had enough marketing firepower to get everybody's attention. With Sony, they have a lot more firepower and are impressing a lot of people as a result. The entry-level Alphas (A200/A300/A350) are way better specified than cameras like the Nikon D40, for the same price. People just need to get over the fact that a big Japanese electronics giant (like Canon isn't one...) has gained so much ground in only two years.

Bottom line, just get out and shoot.
Deal with it.
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Dec 18, 2006
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Richmond Hill
If you have some Nikon lenses already just keep the D80 and be happy with it. No point mulling over the specs since all the cameras you've mentioned put out very good quality images anyways--I'm sure you'd be very hard-pressed to see a difference in the final product.

Anyways, if you feel you need more time to think about it, consider getting Black's to price-match FS's price since Black's gives you a 60-day price protection and a very good (30-day if I remember correctly) return policy. I got them to throw in the extended warranty with my D80 package (but then again I purchased a bunch of lenses and other stuff at the same time too).

good luck with your decision!
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looniepincher wrote:
Jun 28th, 2008 2:57 pm
consider getting Black's to price-match FS's price since Black's gives you a 60-day price protection and a very good (30-day if I remember correctly) return policy.
15 days on the return policy.
Deal with it.
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Nov 19, 2005
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Why not get a used Canon 30D? I just got one and it's great! Cheap too at $580. What you get for your money is a low-end-semi-pro camera that is speedy at 5 FPS, excellent noise handling abilities (crushes Nikon's lower end and earlier offerings).

I am a recent Nikon convert and can say that both Nikon and Canon offer their own pros and cons. Canon's have better noise handling and speed of file review, but Nikon have much better ergonomics, button placements, and software user interface.
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Mar 17, 2008
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I think you made a good deal, especially you already own nikon lenses, I don't see why you should buy other than Nikon's.
There are always faster, better quality cameras, but for a thousand dollars, I think you made a great deal.
I always want a Leica M8, but it is just tooo tooo expensive, so I stick with my Canon. My own my canon for 3 years now, cameras like canon and nikon are "built for tough",
I drop my camera three times, with two different lenses. free fall to the ground from my car trunk, and me camera is still good, but my lense is a little dent. as you can see it is really built for tough. and I think Nikon is just as good as Canon or even better! BTW I really likes nikon's D3 + 24-70mm f/2.8 combo......

your nikon will last you for at least 4 years without any worry, just go out enjoy your camera, it's a nice day today! :cheesygri
my Toronto photo blog
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:)
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KorruptioN wrote:
Jun 28th, 2008 7:40 am


Wrong on the mark-up part... not totally sure if you're joking or not. While Konica Minolta continues on as Sony, they haven't been diluted by the "style" brand that the rest of their stuff is known for. Prices are about in-line with what everybody else has to offer.


I was indeed joking about that part. As with Sony's other electronics that are non-camera related, you can often find a competitor offering the same specs if not sometimes even better for a lower price. (Remember the 1GB or 2GB chewing gum sticks Network Walkmans? They were twice the price as others on the market, used a single AAA battery. Competitors at the time were offering built in lithium-ions, bigger memory, half the price... just an example. ) It just seems anything that has a Sony name tag on it, the mark up is ridiculous.

A bit off-track in another genre, those Apple thin as hell laptops, competitor Lenovo offers the same with bigger drive, more memory, longer battery life, optical drive - but at $1200 less than Apple's offering. But I digress.

I do admit that Sony has gain some ground in the last 2 years, but still loses out in 2007 to top contenders: Nikon and Canon. Nikon notably gaining closer ground to Canon, out-selling Canons in 2007. Sony has some major catching up to do to be on the same level playing field - something that is possible within the next decade, however.
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IMO the K20D for $999 is the best camera under $1000 brand new ;-) unless you need high FPS (Puts Pentax system flame suit on).

I expect a Pentax/Samsung FF camera within a year.


D80 is a nice camera, don't look back, have fun with it!
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CSAgent wrote:
Jun 29th, 2008 2:59 am
I do admit that Sony has gain some ground in the last 2 years, but still loses out in 2007 to top contenders: Nikon and Canon. Nikon notably gaining closer ground to Canon, out-selling Canons in 2007. Sony has some major catching up to do to be on the same level playing field - something that is possible within the next decade, however.
Sony loves its margins like a fat kid loves cake, what can I say? This does apply to many of their products, but not all of them. Alpha body prices are fairly competitive, and lenses are usually a little bit more when compared to their Canon counterparts (most of which don't come with hoods).

In terms of the ground they've made in the past two years, I think they're ahead of Olympus. Four-Thirds really seems like a dead-end, but they are surely committed to it. Four-Thirds glass is really nice but the system as a whole is different enough to shy people away. The E-420/E-520 brothers are pretty well specified, but I think they compete more on price to get them off the shelves. I like the E-3 but that's too expensive - I'd rather get a D300.

I also think they're ahead of Pentax. While the K20D and K200D are great bodies, I feel that they (Pentax Corporation) don't have enough firepower to out-muscle the new "big three". I've heard of the FF rumours as well, but what does that do to all the nice crop-only lenses they have? They don't even have a new 70-200/2.8, instead insisting on selling a crop-only 50-135/2.8.
Deal with it.
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May 8, 2007
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I too bought a Nikon D80 Kit from Futureshop in Brampton on June 28. The sale price was $1049.99, however I was able to get an additional 10% off due to the Canada Day Sale they have coming up.

This is my first DSLR camera (previous camera is a Canon SD630). With the recent birth of my second child, I thought it was time for a DSLR. I am soo happy with the quality of the colours in my pics with the D80, my only concern as OP mentioned was the fact that this camera was release in 2006.

just my 2 cents.
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handaman wrote:
Jun 30th, 2008 12:36 pm
I too bought a Nikon D80 Kit from Futureshop in Brampton on June 28. The sale price was $1049.99, however I was able to get an additional 10% off due to the Canada Day Sale they have coming up.

This is my first DSLR camera (previous camera is a Canon SD630). With the recent birth of my second child, I thought it was time for a DSLR. I am soo happy with the quality of the colours in my pics with the D80, my only concern as OP mentioned was the fact that this camera was release in 2006.

just my 2 cents.
It doesn't matter when it was released. From what I see from DSLR camera bodies, they stick a longer time then point and shooters. P&S camera life span is average of one year and once the new models come out, they phase all the older models out. DSLR bodies like the Canon Rebel XT is till around and is still considered. I wouldn't be too concerned of when the camera was released. Just learn and love your camera and shoot lots of pictures.
Dec 31, 1969
How about a Sigma SD14 and Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro?

It depends on what you enjoy photographing though. I prefer to stick with prime lenses myself and haven't had a zoom lens on a SLR body for a LONG time.

Body for $549US, lens for $399US from Cameta Camera... It would run you a little more once you calculate in taxes and delivery.

The image quality from the combo can't be touched by anything else for $1000, pretty hard to beat it for $2000 even.
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selpats wrote:
Jul 1st, 2008 6:08 pm
How about a Sigma SD14 and Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro?
Cheap, but much steeper learning curve, IMO. It takes some skill to get the most out of that Foveon sensor.
Deal with it.
Dec 31, 1969
KorruptioN wrote:
Jul 1st, 2008 6:48 pm
Cheap, but much steeper learning curve, IMO. It takes some skill to get the most out of that Foveon sensor.
This is true but if image quality is what is most important to the photographer, than taking the time to make the camera shine is worth it.

That said the D80 is a very capable camera.

Sigma SD14 | Sigma 70mm Macro | 1/250th @ f6.3, -1/3 | ISO100 | Custom WB w/CBL
[IMG]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3259/262 ... d918_o.jpg[/IMG]

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