If you’ve been putting off making your transition from film to digital or you’ve been holding out for a suitable upgrade from your existing digital camera, the Nikon D80 is very likely the camera that you’ve been waiting for. At a price under $1,000, the camera offers a lot in a compact, lightweight package that’s sure to satisfy the serious and passionate photographer.
1) The replacement for the D70s, the D80 increases the resolution up to 10.2 megapixels, allowing for quality 16x20-inch enlargements and larger for your favorite photographs that are just begging to be displayed big.
2) Nikon promises truer color and tones with color-independent preconditioning prior to the A/D conversion. The handling of the data created on the sensor happens even before the camera's image processor takes over and saves the data to either RAW or JPEG. If you’re demanding in respect to color and tone details, this camera is built to deliver the goods.
3) The camera is ready for action immediately, with a startup time of just 0.16 seconds. Its shutter lag is only 80 milliseconds, making the camera a responsive tool for photographing either a fleet-footed soccer player or the inexhaustible toddler, both notoriously hard-to-capture subjects.
4) Incorporating the 11-area AF system found in the pro-level D2 series cameras, the D80 allows you to use AF sensors individually or under a wide-area setting. Its new Auto-area AF is a sophisticated feature that measures all 11 areas and automatically detects the primary subject, utilizing only the appropriate sensors. This helps to ensure sharp results even when you only have enough time to bring the camera to your eye and press the button.
6) The camera’s D-Lighting is one of several features to enhance the image after it already has been recorded but before it's downloaded to your computer. D-Lighting automatically draws out detail from underexposed or severely backlit scenes, helping to ensure good results, even under the most challenging lighting conditions.
7) Cropping doesn't have to wait until you get your images into the computer. The camera's Trim function allows you to crop your image in-camera to produce a smaller file for image improvement and to create a smaller file for e-mailing.
8) Along with black-and-white modes, the camera allows you to apply a variety of filter effects, including Skylight, Warm and Color Balance. The difference is that you can apply these to existing files in the camera, which are then saved as duplicates along with the original file. You can fully explore the different photographic possibilities directly in-camera while you're still in the field.
9) Sharing your images has been made more fun by the inclusion of Advanced Pictmotion, which allows you to create a slideshow in-camera, complete with transitions. And when you connect your camera to a television, the slideshow comes accompanied with background music.
10) Thelarge 2.5-inch LCD makes it easy to view and navigate the newly enhanced menu system on the D80. With a 170-degree viewing angle and a dedicated zoom button, you can magnify a preview image up to 25x magnification to make sure you got the focus right, saving you frustration when you get home.
11) For fans of cameras with a secondary shutter-release button, the D80 offers an optional MB-D80 battery pack that can accommodate two EN-EL33 batteries or six AA batteries. This promises to provide better handling when composing images vertically as well as offering the possibility of using widely available AA lithium batteries in emergencies.
Image Sensor: 10.2-megapixel (effective) CCD
Sensor Size: 3872 x 2592
Viewfinder Coverage: 95%
AF System: 11-area TTL Phase Detection AF System
Lens Magnification Factor: 1.5x
Shutter Speed: 1/4000 to 30 sec.; X-sync at 1/200 sec.
ISO Setting: 100-1600 (1/3 increments)
Continuous Firing Mode: 3 fps with 100 frame burst (JPEG) or 6 NEF files
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW
Metering: 3D Color Matrix II/Center-Weighted/Spot
Computer Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Storage Media: SecureDigital (SD)
Dimensions: 5.2x4.1x3.0 inches
Weight: 19.9 ounces
Power Source: EN-EL33 lithium-ion, 6 AA (with optional MD-D80)
Estimated Street Price: $999 (body only)
Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
Tricks Of The Trade:
The Nikon D80 takes full advantage of Nikon's advanced i-TTL flash system, allowing you to control the output of multiple flash, either individually or in up to three separate groups. Compatible with the SB-800, SB-600 and SB-200 Speedlights, it offers a complete wireless system for creating an advanced lighting setup virtually anywhere.