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Nikon D80 preview
Ilse Jurriën : August 12th 2006 - 22:00 CETupdated
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NikonNikon D80 preview : Since the introduction of the acclaimed Nikon D200, Nikon has earned itself a strong position in the high resolution segment and caused a shockwave last year in the market for advanced semi-pro DSRL cameras. Today, Nikon is repeating that remarkable feat with the introduction of the 10 Megapixel Nikon D80. We had access to a pre-production model of the Nikon D80 DSLR camera and will discuss the functions and special features in the following preview. Maybe we are being overhasty, but the only conclusion we could come to was that future owners of a Nikon D80 will get good value for their money. This new model has incorporated a lot of technology that was previously used in the Nikon D200 and the professional D2X.
Nikon D80 previewNikon D80 reflex camera - Casing
If you have ever used a Nikon D50, you will recognise the Nikon D80's casing. It is a bit bigger and heavier but the similarity to the D50 is unmistakeable. The Nikon D80 has some extra buttons but apart from that, the casing is practically identical. The similarity, however, is purely cosmetic and does not mean that the Nikon D80 is in the same league as the entry-level D50. On the contrary, the Nikon D80 seems to be the product of the results achieved by the Nikon D50 and D70s and has adopted several of the features of the Nikon D200; a new generation has been born. The hand grip has a rubber layer which gives a good grip and enables you to hold onto it firmly. When you are holding the camera, your fingers fall in exactly the right places and the most important buttons are right under your fingertips. The casing is and feels solid. It is typical of the sort of casing you would expect from Nikon; always based on quality and never seduced by a trendy design or by materials that are lighter, but feel inferior.

Nikon D80 dSLR camera - LCD screen
The 2.5 inch format LCD screen on the back has been renewed and has a high resolution of 230.000 pixels. The LCD monitor screen has a fine feature that the picture can be looked at from every angle of 170°! As well as the LCD screen, there is a new Zoom button with which the pictures can be reproduced, enhanced to 25x. It is also possible to show the pictures in an index alone or in groups of 4 or 9. The LCD screen shows the pictures clearly and is very nice to use.


Nikon D80

Nikon D80 SLR camera - 10.2 Megapixel CCD image sensor
The Nikon D80 digital reflex camera is Nikon's second DSLR with a high resolution of 10.2 Megapixels. The only camera with more resolution than the Nikon D80 is the top model D2Xs with 12.2 effective Mega pixels. Once more, Nikon has chosen the CCD image sensor which may be logical in the context of the Nikon D200. The CMOS sensor, the standard sensor used by the competition is not considered a realistic option by Nikon at the moment. Of course, we do not know what the future may bring, but I wonder if the CCD sensor will be a constant factor in the high resolutions race. The Nikon D80's DX format CCD gives an effective image resolution of 3872 x 2592 pixels and has a high sensitivity series from 100 - 1600 ISO. The series of ISO values can be set in stages from 1/3 EV and also has three levels of noise suppression for the high ISO values. Thanks to the DX format, the Nikkor lenses can offer the highest possible quality by just making use of the centre of the lens that gives the highest resolution.

Nikon D80 digital SLR preview
The introduction of the new 10 Megapixel Nikon D80 is precisely on time. Just after Sony, a newcomer to the DSLR market, launched its Megapixel after the takeover of the camera division of Konica Minolta, Nikon was able to answer back at once with the Nikon D80, a magnificent, fully equipped digital SLR camera. Although the Nikon D200 was an immediate hit, in the sense that it heralded a new class of cameras with an attractive price tag, many beginning photographers were left out of the race due to the relatively high purchase price. When the Nikon D80 becomes available, many of these consumers can be reached and I anticipate success and a warm welcome for the Nikon D80 DSLR. We've been able to preview the Nikon D80, our experiences with this brand new digital SLR camera can be read in the following Nikon D80 preview, including a D80 comparison chart and a product gallery.

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