Nikon D80 Digital Camera, Two New Lenses Announced

by Reads (69)

After all the teasers and “leaks”, it seems like everyone knows all the details about the new Nikon D80, but now that it’s officially announced, you can get the full, confirmed specs for Nikon’s new mid-range digital SLR.  The 10.2 megapixel Nikon D80 is meant to replace the D70s in that price bracket above the D50.  It brings many features from the higher end D200 and D2Xs cameras but at a $999 body only price ($1299 with the new 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor lens).  Look for the D80 in September.

nikon d80
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Since there is a lot to this camera, I’ll give some top level features and then give you a nice bulleted list to drool over.  The D80 captures images with a 10.2 megapixel DX format CCD and uses the same processing engine from the D200 and D2Xs.  A 2.5″ LCD with a 170 degree viewing angle and 230K pixels of resolution provides plenty of real estate to review your images.  A 0.94x viewfinder provides a large, bright way to frame your shots.

nikon d80
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Power up time is only 0.18 seconds and the camera has an 80 millisecond shutter release time.  When you need to shoot continuously, you can capture 3 frames per second (fps).  If you’re capturing images in JPEG Normal mode, you can shoot at 3 fps for up to 100 images.

nikon d80
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A new 11 area auto focus system provides precise focus and confidence in your shots.  An “Auto-Area AF” mode will automatically select the auto focus areas which are on the selected subject and will show the selected areas in the viewfinder.


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The D80 also features Nikon’s 3D Color Matrix Metering II metering system.  A 420 pixel, frame wide metering sensor references the current scene against a database of 30,000 scenes to make a good choice about what the metering settings should be.  The camera also has a variable center-weighted metering mode, and spot metering with spots that correspond to each AF area.

The D80’s rechargeable battery can take up to 2700 shots on a single charge.  A real time fuel gauge shows the percentage of charge left, how many images have been taken on the current charge, and statistics about the battery’s health.


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Images from the D80, where JPEGs can run 35MB and Nikon NEF (RAW) files can be 70MB, can be stored on SD or SDHC media.

In addition to the nice hardware, Nikon has included plenty of “soft” features as well, to appeal to a wide range of people using the camera.  Seven Digital Vari-Programs provide optimized settings for: Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close Up, Sports, Night Landscape and Night Portrait.  For more control, use the PASM (program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual) modes.

A Retouch menu lets you adjust your images after you shoot them.  You can apply D-Lighting, red eye correction, you can trim pictures, perform an image overlay, apply monochrome effects, and apply filter effects.


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Nikon has also included their Pictmotion slideshow technology, as seen on some of the Coolpix models.  The Pictmotion slide show lets you add music and transitions to a slideshow that plays directly from the camera.

Nikon D80 Specifications:

  • Effective Pixels: 10.2 million
  • Image Sensor: RGB CCD, 23.6 x 15.8mm; total pixels: 10.75 million, Nikon DX format
  • Image Size (pixels): 3,872 x 2,592 [L], 2,896 x 1,944 [M], 1,936 x 1,296 [S]
  • ISO Sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index): 100 to 1600 (ISO equivalent) in steps of 1/3 EV, plus HI-0.3, HI-0.7 and HI-1
  • Storage Media: SD memory card
  • Storage System: Compressed NEF (RAW): 12-bit compression, JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant
  • File System: Exif 2.21, Compliant DCF 2.0 and DPOF
  • White Balance: Auto (TTL white balance with 420-pixel RGB sensor), six manual modes with fine-tuning, color temperature setting (Kelvin), preset white balance; white balance bracketing also available
  • LCD Monitor: 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment, allows up to 170-degree viewing angle.
  • Playback Function: 1) Full frame 2) Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments) 3) Zoom 4) Slideshow (Standard or Pictmotion) 5) RGB histogram indication 6) Shooting data 7) Highlight point display 8) Auto image rotation
  • Delete Function: Card format, All photographs delete, Selected photographs delete
  • Video Output: Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
  • Interface: USB 2.0 (Hi-speed) (mini-B connector); SD card slot: supports firmware updates via SD cards
  • Text Input: Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in Exif header
  • Compatible Lenses: Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
  • Picture Angle: Equivalent in 35mm [135] format is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length
  • Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1)
  • Eyepoint: 19.5mm (-1.0m-1)
  • Focusing Screen: Type-B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and On-Demand grid lines
  • Viewfinder Frame Coverage: Approx. 95% (vertical & horizontal)
  • Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.94x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0m-1
  • Viewfinder Information: Focus indications, Metering system, AE/FV lock indicator, Flash sync indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, ISO sensitivity, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures
  • Autofocus: TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5m to 3.0m) Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20 C/68 F)
  • Lens Servo: Instant single-servo (AF-S); continuous-servo (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); manual (M); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF
  • Focus Areas: 11 areas; any single area can be selected; center focus area can be switched from normal to wide-frame
  • AF Area Modes: 1) Single Area AF: Focuses only on subjects in the selected area. Selection can be made from any one of the eleven AF spot sensors. 2) Dynamic Area AF: Focuses on subject in the selected area, but follows the subject if it moves from its original position, shifting instantly and automatically to the focus area into which the subject has moved. 3) Auto-area AF: measures all 11 focus areas, automatically determines which of them are on the primary subject, and activates only those areas.
  • Focus Lock: Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
  • Exposure Metering System: Three-mode through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering: 1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); metering performed by 420-segment RGB sensor 2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, or 10mm dia. circle in center of frame 3) Spot: Meters 3.5mm dia. circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used, or if Auto-area AF is selected)
  • Exposure Metering Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20 C/68 F): 1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering) 2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
  • Exposure Meter Coupling: CPU coupling
  • Exposure Modes: Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Macro Close up, Sports, Night Landscape, Night Portrait), Programmed Auto [P] with flexible program; Shutter-Priority Auto [S]; Aperture Priority Auto [A]; Manual [M]
  • Exposure Compensation: 5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
  • Exposure Lock: Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
  • Auto Exposure and Flash Bracketing: 2 to 3 exposures in increments between 1/3 to 2.0 EV
  • Shooting Modes: 1) Single frame shooting mode 2) Continuous shooting mode: approx. 3 frames per second 3) Self-timer 4) Delayed remote mode 5) Quick-response remote mode
  • Shutter: Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 30 to 1/4000 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
  • Sync Contact: X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/200 sec.
  • Flash Control: 1) TTL: TTL flash control by 420-pixel RGB sensor Built-in Flash, SB-800, SB-600: i-TTL balanced fill-flash (except when using spot metering exposure mode) Built-in Flash, SB-800, SB-600: standard i-TTL flash (when using spot metering) 2) Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 with CPU lens 3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27, and 22s 4) Range-priority manual; available with SB-800
  • Flash Sync Mode: 1) Auto 2) Fill-in flash 3) Red-eye Reduction, 4) Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync, 5) Slow Sync, 6) Rear-curtain Sync 7) Off
  • Built-in Flash: (Auto, Portrait, Macro Close up, Night Portrait) auto flash with auto pop-up; Manual pop-up with button release Guide number (ISO 100, m/ft.): approx. 13/42
  • Flash Compensation: -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
  • Accessory Shoe: Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided
  • Self-timer: Electronically controlled timer with 2 to 20 seconds duration (2, 5, 10, and 20 second selectable)
  • Depth of Field Preview: When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or value selected by camera (P and S modes)
  • Remote Control: Via Remote Cord MC-DC1 (optional) or Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 (optional)
  • Power Source: One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, MB-D80 battery pack (optional) with one or two rechargeable Nikon EN-EL3e Li-ion batteries or six AA alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or nickel-manganese (ZR6) AA batteries, AC Adapter EH-5 (optional)
  • Tripod Socket: 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 132 x 103 x 77mm (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in.)
  • Weight: Approx. 585g (1 lb. 5 oz.) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
  • Supplied Accessories*: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, USB Cable UC-E4, Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-21, LCD monitor cover BM-7, Accessory shoe cover, PictureProject CD-ROM
  • Optional Accessories: Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D80, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-21M, AC Adapter EH-5, Wireless Remote Control ML-L3, Remote Cord MC-DC1, Speedlight SB-800/SB-600/SB-R200, Capture NX, Camera Control Pro

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.

New Lenses

Along with the D80, Nikon has announced two new lenses.  The 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor lens will be used as the “kit” lens with the D80.  The 18-135mm focal length range is the 35mm equivalent of 28-200mm, providing a good wide angle at the same time as a decent zoom.  Optimized for use with DX format sensors, the lens also has a Silent Wave motor, extra low-dispersion glass and internal focusing.  The lens, by itself will retail for $485.


18-135mm F/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX (view large image)

The second lens is the 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor lens.  The 70-300mm lens, when used with the DX format sensor provides a 35mm equivalent focal length of 105-450mm.  The VRII (vibration reduction) stabilization system will let you shoot at up to 4 speeds slower than is needed without VR.  The 70-300 VR lens will be available in October with an MSRP of $669.


70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR (view large image)

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