Is a D80 still any good?

Started Nov 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Catallaxy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,724
Re: Is a D80 still any good?

If you shoot under ISO 400, and print no larger than 16x20, the D80 is a fantastic camera. The metering is slightly different than some other Nikon DSLRs in that in Matrix, it puts more weight to whatever is behind the focus point, but you quickly learn to adapt to that.

The D80 is fine from ISO 400 to 800, but you can see the noise if you look. ISO 400 on the D80 is about like ISO 640 on the D5100. ISO 800 on the D80 is about like ISO 1250 on the D5100.

From ISO 800 to 1600, you really have to watch your exposure to minimize noise. I would often overexpose by about 1/3 stop in RAW and then pull in post in order to minimize noise.

Above ISO 1600, you are going to struggle. ISO 1600 on the D80 looks worse than ISO 3200 on the D5100. In fact, if you get perfect exposure on both, the D5100 at ISO 6400 may look better than the D80 at ISO 2000.

The D80 does not use Picture Controls - which are Nikon's color profiles for in-camera RAW conversion. It uses the older color profiles, which have lower brightness and a bit more vibrance than Picture Controls, especially in the mid-tones.

I had the D80 and the D7000. I have a D60 now - which has the same sensor as the D80. I love the colors from the old color profiles for portraiture, landscape and macro. However I nearly always shoot at ISO 400 or lower (and really try to shoot at ISO 100 if at all possible).

If you plan on doing any high ISO shooting, do not get the D80, it is going to frustrate you. But at base ISO, the files will have a very nice color and saturation that is hard to get with the newer cameras.

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