Life after the D80

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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youta Junior Member • Posts: 26
Life after the D80

Just a post with my recent experience upgrading from a D80, it might serve those who are in a similar situation.

I've been using a D80 since 2008 and I love it, but lately it was starting to act up and I was worried it would die on me while overseas. Due to my lens collection and budget my options were the D7100, D7200, and D7500, of which I ended up buying the D7100. These are all great cameras, but ultimately my reasoning was as follows.

Prices, in Canadian dollars after tax, were respectively $1015, $1580, and $1920 (all body-only). My original intention was to get the D7200 as the latest model is just too expensive and there are invariably quirks which take a few months to iron out.

The 50% premium over the D7100 didn't seem worth it for me, however. As a slow, deliberate portrait/landscape photographer the performance advantages (processor, buffer) of the D7200 were pretty much lost on me. The sensor didn't seem to be overwhelmingly superior and the enhanced AF system, while nice, hardly seemed worth the rather large extra expense. Lastly, Wi-Fi was of no interest to me, so it was clear that I should save myself the $500 and go for the cheaper model.

I purchased the second-last new D7100 at my neighbourhood photo shop, and so far I've been quite happy with the camera. I've never been of the school of thought which thinks equipment makes a better photographer, but it certainly has made my life easier.

I often found myself struggling with cropping photos on the D80, as the low resolution meant that with lens and tilting corrections the pixel count started to suffer considerably. Going from 10MP to 24MP was actually a considerable jump and, coupled with the viewfinder virtual horizon, I end up with nearly all my pixels intact.

The LCD panel is also much improved, from 230,000 to 1,228,800 dots. In addition to being rather poor, navigating the D80 screen was glacial. Being able to immediately zoom 100% to the focus point after taking a photo is a godsend, no more laboriously trying to check if the eyes are in focus!

Noise is much also much better controlled, as the D80 really started to struggle above 320 ISO. Overall, the jump from the D80 to the D7100 (even though 4 years old) has been tremendous.

That all being said, I still find the D80 to be a fantastic camera. It took beautiful images, it just needed a bit more work to do so:

I would have kept using it had it not been for my concerns regarding its continuing operation. Nonetheless, the D7100 has so far (in the month I've had it) been a worthwhile replacement:

I will keep my D80, there are a lot of memories attached to it, but I wonder if I'll ever use it again. Time will tell.

Nikon D7100 Nikon D7200 Nikon D7500 Nikon D80
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