D80 Feel: Questions

Started Sep 20, 2006 | Discussions
Mike Waddington Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

I am sitting here with my old faithful D70 and a new D80 and to be honest the difference in feel between them is so small as to be totally insigniificant. I DO have large hands - well at least long fingers - and both cameras feel great.

The one thing that HAS changed is the mode dial on the left hand side of the top plate. The D80 version is much flatter and harder to grip than the old D70.

Having said that, the larger viewfinder is worth the investment alone. I can see!

CUTCOREINC1 New Member • Posts: 10
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

I personally like the feel of my D70. I like the slightly larger size. My pinky finger seems like it hangs off the bottom of my D80. Also the D70 has better rubber on the grip. I bought the vertical grip for the D80 which solves the pinky problem. But I think the build quality of the grip could have been much better. It feels cheap to me. Why would they use that shutter button and not use the one on the camera?

advid Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

..what about the density of the rubberised grip.... my D50 feels a little too hard to be perfect - is the D80 a more softer and 'squidgier' - more tacky type of feel ?
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Nikon D50 - Panasonic FZ5

Don Andre Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

I've not had a DSLR before, but to me the size and weight feels about right. I certainly wouldn't want it any heavier (with the 18-200 sigma and battery it doesn't really feel too light) and I wouldn't want it any larger. It doesn't feel cheap either, the plastic is surely a quality one.

DL4PLM Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

I think so .... it seems more pliable than my '50
rgds
Simon

advid wrote:

..what about the density of the rubberised grip.... my D50 feels a
little too hard to be perfect - is the D80 a more softer and
'squidgier' - more tacky type of feel ?
--
Nikon D50 - Panasonic FZ5

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Laurence60 Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: D80 Feel: Questions

As a matter of fact, the D80 weighs more than the D50, and is only 15 grams lighter than the D70. Weight without battery, lens, or card...D50--540g; D70s--600g; D80--585g. They're all in the same ballpark, but the D80 has nearly the weight of the D70 but in the package size of the D50.

J Mankila
J Mankila Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
I tried it once and forgot the D200 :)

dirtee1 wrote:

Feedback in all aspects is welcome eg. density, percieved
toughness, grip material, ergonomics, etc. I hope for this to be
the definitive D80 feel thread that I feel has been lacking from
the forums so far.

I was quite hesitant to decide on the D80 when I hadn't got to play with it - having tried D200, I couldn't believe any camera would fit my hands as nicely. And I had accustomed to the large D70 hand grip... Well, when I tried out the D80 first time at a Jessops in London, I have to say that my hands fell in love with it

I do have big hands and that was my nr. 1 concern about the D80 beforehand. Surprisingly the grip indeed gave all of my fingers a nice place to sit. I always put my first joint of my fore finger onto the shutter release rather than the tip, and this way I found D80 to be even more comfortable than D200! My long fingers wrap around the grip, which has slimmed down from the D70 to being very much like in D200 (I actually feel D200 grip has thinner feel to it than D70, and I think that's a good thing). The hooked area for the fingertips works as well as in the D200 - almost as well, at least, as I still prefer the soft rubber..

One thing that amazed me was the tough build. I mean, I read all the complaints about D80 having more of a toy feel when compared to D70.. And even though I find D70 sturdy, I find my new D80 even more robust. I think the new memory card slot plays a big part - it won't wobble anymore! The shutter release and on/off switch feels more comfortable, too. And the shutter sound more pleasing and not so high pitched. And the new viewfinder eyecup - D70 hurt my eyebrows when on a long shoot as I press the camera hard against it to stabilize it.

I hope this helps your curiosity!

Janne Mankila

J Mankila
J Mankila Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
It's not just a feel...

ad in md wrote:

I also think the D80 shutter is more "mechanical" in feel and has a
much faster response than the D70. I don't know if this is backed
up by any real data, or just an impression created by the different
sound.

Actually, there is a reason behind that feel In D70 the shutter was a mechanical and electric at the same time. The shutter never reached "faster" shutter speed than 1/250 sec, but when you shot with faster speeds than that the sensor turned on for that given amount of time.

The D80 shutter is all mechanical. I heard the 10mp sensor didn't give a possibility to do that trick. Hence you get "only" 1/4000 and 1/200 shutter speeds

I also think that mirror slap is more accentuated on the D80 -
which is why you may definitely need that "0.4sec delay MLU mode".

It certainly feels more of a slap than in D200 even though the D200 mirror swings faster... I think it's becase of the weight and construction differences between the models.

Regarding what you said about the grip feeling thinner and that being a bad thing... Actually I feel that even the D200 has slimmer hand grip than the D70. I find both D200 and D80 much more pleasing than D70 - even though I have huge hands. By the way, I shoot with not the tip of my fore finger but the first joint.. I did this on the D70 also, to get a more firm and deeper hold of the camera. Out of these three cameras, I actually think D80 sits the most comfortably in my hands - although I would love the soft rubber on the D200..

Janne Mankila

miancu Senior Member • Posts: 1,530
Very satisfied

Since you asked especially for opinions from D70/ D50 users, I hope these will be usefull too:

I wanted to buy a D200 as my first dSLR. It seemed perfect for me. The problem was that I have never held one in my hands until last week when I noticed it was too big for me and this was impairing its ergonomics (in my hands). D80 is just perfect for my hands and cheaper. So I decided I should go for it even if I had to lose some advantages of D200. Moreover I'm an amateur not a pro. I can tell you now that I don't regret it.

The problem here is that everyone perceives this "perfect for my hands" in a very different manner so I have probably just one single advice that I think is useful: never buy online if you didn't hold THE camera in your hands. I was on the verge of doing this mistake with the D200. Moreover, I had the chance to hold in my hands both D50 and D70s in the same shop where I bought the D80. D70s is bigger so probably this is the reason that feels "more solid", but IMO it is not. It is just the same just bigger. As some other pointed out, D80 feels like metal not like plastic in your hands. Just remove the lens and hold it: no cranky plastic, feels solid and well built even without the lens (being heavier with the lens gives a false impression of solidity).

The D80 viewfinder look is huge compared to the D70s and D50. I've looked through all three and I was extremely unpleasantly impressed by the tunnel-look of D70s viewfinder.

The controls take a while to learn but in the end you'll get accustomed to use them quickly and painlessly. Although I have one constant problem with both selection wheels for white balance setup: I have hard time remembering which does what (the from one changes values, the back one changes modes or vice-versa). It seems you have to learn them by heart.

A bit cumbersone is also changing the metering - that I do often - and I have to pause and look on the above LCD. Same for drive modes. On the other hand, exposure bracketing has a display in the viewfinder but only for single bracketing. For multiple bracketing you have (again) to look on the LCD and use a separate button, located under the flash button. I don't know if I used the correct terms but I hope you understand.

Overall I'm very satisfied with it and with the IQ considering that I own a "poor"-rated lens (28-200 3.5-5.6 D). This is very good starter camera but I think we'll get together for a long while, I hope its guts will last (electronics & mechanics).

Hope it helped

miancu

Vandyu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,897
Re: Very satisfied

If your 28-200 is the Nikon version, I would not call it a "poor" lens. Prior to the announcement of the 18-200VR, this lens was very popular as a walk around lens. I believe it is well constructed and does pretty good work for the cost of the lens. Many people continue to use it, rather than pay about $800-900 for the 18-200VR. Go to the Nikon SLR Lens Forum and ask people who use this lens to post some of their results. I think you'll be pleased overall.

 Vandyu's gear list:Vandyu's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +9 more
miancu Senior Member • Posts: 1,530
Re: Very satisfied

Vandyu wrote:

If your 28-200 is the Nikon version, I would not call it a "poor"
lens. Prior to the announcement of the 18-200VR, this lens was very
popular as a walk around lens. I believe it is well constructed and
does pretty good work for the cost of the lens. Many people
continue to use it, rather than pay about $800-900 for the
18-200VR. Go to the Nikon SLR Lens Forum and ask people who use
this lens to post some of their results. I think you'll be pleased
overall.

Well, if you ask me, I am VERY satisfied with this lens. After I bought it I just had the curiosity to look for some reviews on the net and I saw that there were not raving about it. And I didn't understand why because, IMO, it gives veryy good results. Maybe a bit soft on the wide side and some fringing. But overall... I posted here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=20127977

...and here...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=20128057

...some photos with this lens and all are jpegs out of camera. I think results are quite good.

Here is a link with some info about the lens:

http://www.nikonimaging.com/global/products/lens/af/zoom/high-power/af_zoom28-200mmf_35-56d_if/index.htm

And this is the lens:

And is for film, so the APS-C eq is 42-300 (if I'm not wrong).

miancu

David Chin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,670
Vandyu, Miancu is referrring to the ...

... older 28-200 D lens, not the 28-200 G - even I was confused there for a while.

Don't we all love our G version

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(D.7.0. & C.P.4.5.0.0.)

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james vornov Regular Member • Posts: 137
Like the N80

I was getting ready to buy a D200, but then the D80 came out and was available locally. The D80 is very much like my old film N80 in weight, although the lens is offset, so the dimensions are a little more compact.

I was one of those who stuck with the N80 rather than move up to the F100, which size and weight-wise was more like the D200. Since I travel a lot for business and photograph on the trips, I can't see carrying so much more camera for so little gain. I think I was influenced by the late Galen Rowell in this. He often used an N80 (later an N65) with small primes or lightweight zooms for field work. With the D80 image quality and automation being so close to the D200, I didn't have any reason to go with the heavier camera.

Here's a link to an article by Rowell discussing the virtues of lighter weight, "consumer" Nikons.
http://www.vividlight.com/Articles/403.htm

NikonMike Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
Re: Like the N80

You're right. Galen was much more concerned with getting the photograph than getting caught up on owning and showing off big, fancy equipment, as many amateurs are. I also own the N80 for the very same reason you mention. The D80 seems like a very perfect DSLR companion to the N80. Surprisingly, the D80 weighs more (something like 585 grams to 515). It always amuses me when I hear those saying it's too small. I've never understood the fascination in lugging a big, heavy camera, when the image results are no better.

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Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +2 more
Dave Beaman Senior Member • Posts: 2,357
Re: Like the N80

To each his own. I am sure if a lot of my images were made at over 12000 Ft dangling from a rope I would want a light compact camera. I don't do that. I wont' do that. So I like a bit more camera. Meaning I prefer a camera with more mass and taller and wider so I can get a grip on it.

I dont carry a 28-300 zoom or even a 18-200 zoom. I come from the old schhool that zoom lens with long zoom ranges are not as good as the ones with shorter ranges. Hearing owners of the 18-200mm rationalizing zoom creep as normal convinces me that I probably won't have one either for that reason alone.

At weddings it's normal for me to have two bodies hangling form me.

But if I am wakiang around and want to have a camera that is unobtrusive then I would like a smaller p&s

dave

OP dirtee1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: I tried it once and forgot the D200 :)

J Mankila wrote:

I was quite hesitant to decide on the D80 when I hadn't got to play
with it - having tried D200, I couldn't believe any camera would
fit my hands as nicely. And I had accustomed to the large D70 hand
grip... Well, when I tried out the D80 first time at a Jessops in
London, I have to say that my hands fell in love with it

I do have big hands and that was my nr. 1 concern about the D80
beforehand. Surprisingly the grip indeed gave all of my fingers a
nice place to sit. I always put my first joint of my fore finger
onto the shutter release rather than the tip, and this way I found
D80 to be even more comfortable than D200! My long fingers wrap
around the grip, which has slimmed down from the D70 to being very
much like in D200 (I actually feel D200 grip has thinner feel to it
than D70, and I think that's a good thing). The hooked area for the
fingertips works as well as in the D200 - almost as well, at least,
as I still prefer the soft rubber..

Thanks Janne, I definitely share 50% of your experience. The D70 was always just that tiny bit oversized for my hands, I just couldn't wrap my fingers around snugly because it was a few mm too large. When I tried the D200 it definitely felt better and like you said - slightly thinner than the D70, and the rubber was amazing. Looking forward to the D80. My only regret is that I lack the fine crafting skills to replace the rubber grip on that to more closely resemble the give, grip and softness of the D200 one.

One thing that amazed me was the tough build. I mean, I read all
the complaints about D80 having more of a toy feel when compared to
D70.. And even though I find D70 sturdy, I find my new D80 even
more robust. I think the new memory card slot plays a big part - it
won't wobble anymore! The shutter release and on/off switch feels
more comfortable, too. And the shutter sound more pleasing and not
so high pitched. And the new viewfinder eyecup - D70 hurt my
eyebrows when on a long shoot as I press the camera hard against it
to stabilize it.

Hmm, from what I hear sounds like Nikon did these little adjustments that went into improving the feel of the D80 over the D70, but hasn't been widely appreciated.

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OP dirtee1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: Very satisfied

Thanks Miancu your comments are certainly appreciated.

miancu wrote:

I wanted to buy a D200 as my first dSLR. It seemed perfect for me.
The problem was that I have never held one in my hands until last
week when I noticed it was too big for me and this was impairing
its ergonomics (in my hands). D80 is just perfect for my hands and
cheaper. So I decided I should go for it even if I had to lose some
advantages of D200. Moreover I'm an amateur not a pro. I can tell
you now that I don't regret it.

Interesting to see how already a few responders prefer the D80 over the D200 which is supposed to be the king in ergonomics.

The problem here is that everyone perceives this "perfect for my
hands" in a very different manner so I have probably just one
single advice that I think is useful: never buy online if you
didn't hold THE camera in your hands. I was on the verge of doing
this mistake with the D200. Moreover, I had the chance to hold in
my hands both D50 and D70s in the same shop where I bought the D80.
D70s is bigger so probably this is the reason that feels "more
solid", but IMO it is not. It is just the same just bigger. As some
other pointed out, D80 feels like metal not like plastic in your
hands. Just remove the lens and hold it: no cranky plastic, feels
solid and well built even without the lens (being heavier with the
lens gives a false impression of solidity).

Oh darn, I done gone and bought the dang thing online already ;P I was hoping to be able to anticipate the feel because I'd previoulsy owned a D50, just more solid and more comfortable. What I didn't count on was the subtle differences you guys are reporting, but now that I've heard your stories I believe I should be at the very least satisfied with it. I'm definitely sitting in the smaller, denser, stronger camp.

The D80 viewfinder look is huge compared to the D70s and D50. I've
looked through all three and I was extremely unpleasantly impressed
by the tunnel-look of D70s viewfinder.

I took a look through the D200 the other day and it didn't seem a whole lot different compared to the D70, but that was probably because I was judging the D70 from memory.

The controls take a while to learn but in the end you'll get
accustomed to use them quickly and painlessly. Although I have one
constant problem with both selection wheels for white balance
setup: I have hard time remembering which does what (the from one
changes values, the back one changes modes or vice-versa). It seems
you have to learn them by heart.

I've been using the D70 and D50 for a year and a half now so I think I should do fine. Like you I'm also having trouble remembering which dial does what, I guess I just don't have much physical memory.

A bit cumbersone is also changing the metering - that I do often -
and I have to pause and look on the above LCD. Same for drive
modes. On the other hand, exposure bracketing has a display in the
viewfinder but only for single bracketing. For multiple bracketing
you have (again) to look on the LCD and use a separate button,
located under the flash button. I don't know if I used the correct
terms but I hope you understand.

I used to own a Kodak DX6490 which was basically a high-end superzoom digicam. It had an EVF (tiny by SLR standards ) through which I adjusted all the controls. The difference was the Kodak would bring up a menu that filled up the entire screen every time I wanted to adjust anything other than shutter speed and aperture. This may seem cumbersome to some but I quickly got used to it. When I started using the D70 I went from that to adjusting everything from the top LCD instead except exposure comensation. I just completely stopped using the viewfinder info because it was too hard to read. That said I don't find taking my eye away from the VF and looking at the top LCD to be a nuisance at all. I guess it's just a matter of adaptability and preference.

Overall I'm very satisfied with it and with the IQ considering that
I own a "poor"-rated lens (28-200 3.5-5.6 D). This is very good
starter camera but I think we'll get together for a long while, I
hope its guts will last (electronics & mechanics).

It certainly will, trust me on that

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'Life is not measured by how many breaths you take, but by how many moments that take your breath away.' - A friend

Vandyu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,897
Re: Vandyu, Miancu is referrring to the ...

Oh. I'm just familiar with the G series. I almost bought it, but decided to hold off when I heard the 18-200VR was being released. Of course, that lens is kind of like a greased pig in a pen with everyone chasing it. I suppose that's why I've termed it the elusive 18-200!

 Vandyu's gear list:Vandyu's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +9 more
OP dirtee1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: Vandyu, Miancu is referrring to the ...

Vandyu wrote:
that lens is kind of like a greased pig in a pen with

everyone chasing it. I suppose that's why I've termed it the
elusive 18-200!

I thought the right term was greased calf O_o

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'Life is not measured by how many breaths you take, but by how many moments that take your breath away.' - A friend

james vornov Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Like the N80

Dave Beaman wrote:

But if I am wakiang around and want to have a camera that is
unobtrusive then I would like a smaller p&s

I tried the P&S, even in film days I used an Olympus Stylus, but I missed the quality of an SLR. The D80 with my 24mm prime is light enough to just carry around in one hand. For now, I don't even have a strap on it.

There's definitely a place for the bigger more robust bodies, but for I don't really need them for what generally do. That goes for the big f2.8 constant aperture zooms as well, for my travel photography, it's overkill.

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