DigitalCameraReview.com
Nikon D80 Digital Camera, Two New Lenses Announced
by Ben Stafford -  8/9/2006

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
(view large image)

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
(view large image)

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
(view large image)

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.


(view large image)

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.


(view large image)

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.


(view large image)

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:

* 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)