Nikon D80 Conclusion
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Nikon D80 SLR - Page 5/15
Wednesday 9th August 2006
Written by Dennis Hissink
3D-Color Matrix Metering II
Nikon D80 - Casing
Nikon D80 Body Nikon D80
Nikon D80 Casing Nikon D80 3D-Color Matrix Metering II
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. The new Nikon D80 has taken many techniques from the Nikon D200 and with it directly from the professional D2Xs digital SLR camera. A technique like the 3D-Color Matrix Metering II, an advanced and optimised exposure that uses a special colour matrix metering sensor. Clarity, colour, contrast, selected focus area and the distance of the camera from the subject are measured for every photograph. This measuring refers to an on-board database of more than 30.000 photographic scènes that can decide the final value quickly and accurately. This technique can be traced directly back to the D2Xs camera. To have even more control, you can check the RGB histograms for saturation and high contrasts in the picture you have saved. It is then possible to fine tune the pictures via the Nikon D80's menu; the picture can be adjusted by processing the picture in Normal, Softer, Lively, Extra lively, Portrait, Own or in Black and White.
Depth-of-field Dioptre Quick charger
Nikon D80 Depth-of-field Nikon D80 Dioptre Nikon D80 Quick battery charger
The depth-of-field button of the Nikon D80 digital SLR camera is beside the handgrip under the AF assistance illuminator. This function creates a preview of the effects of the aperture. The lens will stop at the aperture value selected by the camera (P and S settings) or the value selected by the user (A and M settings), to show the depth-of-field in advance in the viewfinder. The viewfinder is an important element in a digital reflex camera. In fact, the viewfinder is the picture that photographers see and that they use to determine the final composition. To guarantee a clear view it is necessary that the viewfinder can be adjusted to the photographer's eye. If the sharpness needs to be adjusted, you can turn the control button to the right of the viewfinder until the focus frames are sharp or you can focus via the shutter release button. The dioptre control button announces the new settings with clearly audible clicks and is simple to adjust. The Nikon D80 comes with an EN-EL3e Lithium Ion battery and a Nikon MH-18a quick charger. This type of battery has been used since the introduction of the Nikon D200 and is more advanced, and transmits detailed information about the number of times the battery has been charged and the condition status to the D80. Of course, the battery has to be fully charged before use. Place the battery in the charger and the Charge light should flash until the battery is fully charged. This process takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, after which the Charge light stops flashing.
Centre weighted metering LCD screen Retouch
Nikon D80 LCD screen
Nikon D80 Centre weighted metering Nikon D80 LCD screen Nikon D80 Retouch
As with the Nikon D200, you can adjust the centre weighted metering until it meets your requirements. The centre weighted metering often provides a solution when making a composition where the light metering must be more accurate or selective. With a centre weighted metering, the most emphasis is placed on the middle of the composition. This 'circle' has a fixed diameter in most cameras; the Nikon D80 DSLR makes it possible to set the diameter at 6, 8 or 10mm. This is an extremely useful function for creative photographers! 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 2.5 inch LCD screen shows the pictures clearly and is very nice to use. Software is becoming more and more important to (DSLR) cameras. A special retouch menu which can be used to process the picture directly has been integrated into the Nikon D80's menu. It includes the famous D-lighting function with which you can add light and detail to dark parts in the picture, while the correctly lit parts remain untouched and other functions like red-eye correction, cropping of pictures, filter effects, picture-on-picture, etc. They are small processes but they come in handy. This part of the menu really proves its worth if you first retouch the pictures and then play them in a slide show with the Pictmotion function.
Dennis Hissink
Nikon D80 Verdict
Editor's conclusion:
Nikon D80 Verdickt "The Nikon D80 is an extremely interesting digital SLR camera and offers both amateur and hobby photographers lots of creative possibilities to be able to practise digital photography in all its aspects. If the Nikon D200 was just a bit too advanced, the Nikon D80 has a perfect combination of high resolution and top quality reflex techniques. For the time being our observations are based on experiences with a pre-production model and we will have to wait for the production model before we can draw a definite conclusion. Our first experiences with the Nikon D80 were overwhelmingly positive and it looks as if Nikon will repeat the successes of the D200 with the Nikon D80. I am pleased to see that Nikon can react quickly to the rapidly changing DSLR market and produce a camera like the Nikon D80 that can demand a prominent place at this time. The Nikon D80's multifaceted character and techniques say a lot about the speed with which Nikon can integrate high quality techniques from the professional range into the amateur series of cameras. The DSLR market fluctuates continuously and by breaking into the high resolution DSLR segment, Nikon has made it interesting for consumers to step into it. In any case, Nikon is ready for them!"
Nikon D80 Digital SLR
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Tom Boné, Chief Editor of Nikonians, took a dive into the Nikon D80 specs and features and made up his mind about the new Nikon D80