Nikon D80 review

At the moment Nikon D80 is an outdated camera, but many amateur and professional photographers continue to use it. The camera was released in the fall of 2006, but is still popular, this is due to the huge set of useful functions and its trouble-free operation. The camera usually comes with one of 3 lenses

  1. Nikkor AF-S DX 18-135 / 3.5-5.6 G IF-EDthat was announced with the camera
  2. Nikkor 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, one of the best station wagons
  3. Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 F3.5-5.6G, a pretty whale lens.
Nikon D80 body

Nikon D80 body

Advantages of the device to which you should pay attention:

  1. An excellent viewfinder, more than its predecessors, but still does not provide 100% coverage.
  2. Optional liquid crystal display. This is not a relic of the past, but a convenient thing that allows you to quickly configure the necessary little things and save battery in contrast to the large main display. Also, there is a backlight mode, which is very easily turned on by the on / off button of the camera.
  3. Focusing drive. He is "motor"In common people or" screwdriver "- will work with all lenses from Nikon that have autofocus. This will significantly expand the range of possible optics and save some money. The motor turns focus pretty quickly on my Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D.
  4. Matrix in 10MP, type of CCD sensor, working with different cameras, I can say that CCD has sometimes more pleasant colors than CMOS. Also about 10MP - today it is not much and not a little. Don't chase megapixels at all, even professional full-frame cameras Nikon D3, Nikon D700, Nikon D3s have 12MP. I advise my article Battle of Megapixels.
  5. Many focus points (areas) (total 11 zones), as much as in the newer Nikon D90 or old semi-professional Nikon D200This is a really useful feature when taking pictures. After 3 focus points on Nikon D40, 11 points on the D80 are just a huge amount.
  6. The custom menu, it would seem a trifle, but you can customize the menu for yourself. I usually put out there ISO control functions, the built-in flash mode, battery power and shooting modes (portrait, standard).
  7. Great battery, same as in Nikon d200, d300(s) D90, D700 making it easy to change batteries between cameras. On average, the battery can withstand 1000 to 1500 frames, depending on the lens and shooting method.
  8. FP Flash Sync Modeallowing you to shoot with an external flash with shutter speed up to 1/4000. An indispensable function, how to use, read in my article "how to take pictures with flash during the day»
  9. External flash control mode. An indispensable feature - allows you to remotely control external flash units at a distance in i-TTL mode. S, S, S, S и S Ideal for such control. It is enough to switch the built-in flash to the control mode (C - Comand Mode) and set the synchronization settings.
  10. A programmable button on which you can hang a number of functions, I personally set it to focus modes - by point, auto, dynamic zone.
  11. A separate button for bracketing will always allow you to simplify the setup and selection of the frame with a successful exposure. By the way, there is an opportunity bracketing by BB and by flash.


  1. Joystick (multi selector) without central button - quite unusual for our time. This slightly reduces the ergonomics of the camera. Even on small Nikon D40 the joystick has a central OK button. In the D80, the "OK" button is taken out separately and to press it, you need to move your fingers from one place to another.
  2. Metering does not work exposure with manual lenses, a rather inconvenient thing if you, for example, use Soviet optics. And any manual optics from Nikon will work only in manual mode - this means that the camera cannot measure exposure with lenses that do not have a chip.
  3. The camera does not show as fast a reaction as we would like it to be (although this does not apply to the shooting process itself). There is no info button. The overall reaction speed (menu, switching modes) as in Nikon D40. But then, navigation on the secondary display is just great.
  4. Not necessary and not programmable button for viewing depth of field. On the cropped matrix, it does not really allow you to peer into the DOF (DOF). It would be better if the company spent on such a pleasant trifle as vibrational cleaning of the matrix or increased the shutter speed to 1/8000.
  5. On my copy, after 20.000 frames, the gum on the rear panel began to peel off - most Nikon's problem. It is solved by repeated gluing, and sometimes by complete removal from the camera. After 128.000 frames on the camera, the frame counter turns off and starts counting in the opposite direction. But the mileage of over 100.000 on my copy only says that the camera is really very high quality.

At the moment this is Nikon's cheapest and most practical DSLR APS-C camera, which will allow you to get almost all the necessary functions of a professional camera. At the moment, there are practically no new cameras on sale, but in the secondary market you can find a huge offer of Nikon D80. If the functionality is very important at work for minimal funds, then the Nikon D80 is the best option.

Nikon D80 rear view

Nikon D80 rear view

A brief comparison with a relative Nikon D90:

Nikon D80 has a basic ISO of 100, against Nikon D90 with his lo1. I Nikon D90 the maximum ISO is raised by one step, which is 6400. The Nikon D80 has a 2,5 inch screen with 230 thousand pixels, versus 3 inch with 920.000 pixels D90. And of course, D90 there is a Live View mode and video shooting. Nikon D90 also wins in terms of speed - 4.5 fps versus 3 fps. Otherwise, the cameras are very similar. I do not recommend upgrading from Nikon D80 to Nikon D90, D300, D300s without emergency. If you go already, then on Nikon D7000 or full frame Nikon D700 and others like that.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 586 MB, 73 photos in .NEF format (RAW) from the Nikon D80 camera.

Brief comparison with ancestor Nikon D200:

Nikon D80 same matrix as semi-professional camera Nikon D200. The only difference is the matrix kit, Nikon D200 it is double, which allows you to do 5 frames per second, while the Nikon D80 is single, which allows you to do only 3 frames per second. In general, they say that the matrices are different. The picture quality is very, very similar, I used a long time Nikon D200 and D80. Also, Nikon D200 has dust and moisture protection, it has more functionality, can work with manual lenses of the type AI-S, the shutter speed is two times shorter than that of the Nikon D80 - 1 / 8000c versus 1 / 4000c. The Nikon D200 also has a 1,005 sensor, versus 420 on the Nikon D80. The Nikon D80 uses SD cards, versus the large CFs of the Nikon D200. Well, ergonomics are different. With the Nikon D80 you get the same picture as the Nikon D200. When deciding between the Nikon D80 and the Nikon D200, the decisive factor was the battery life, which sits very quickly on two hundred. I do not recommend upgrading from Nikon D80 to Nikon D200.

Nikon D70(s), in my humble opinion, to compare is not practical due to the large difference in functionality. From D70 he took his classic design.

Sample photos on Nikon D80

All photos in this review without treatment. Size reduced to 2 or 3 MP and data from EXIF.

Features and recommendations for the use of Nikon D80:

The camera can very accurately show the number of spent frames for each battery and show the battery charge level with an accuracy of one percent. By the way, the battery is the same as the Nikon D90, D700, D200, D300, D300s, it’s convenient for me to change batteries between my D90 and D80 cameras.


  • I advise you to program a function button to select the focus mode, this will help you quickly switch between automatic and spot focus mode. Also turn off high ISO and long shutter noise reduction functions, since they greatly reduce the number of frames in the buffer, there are about three of them. With disabled features you can achieve 6 frames in RAW in the buffer.
  • I use the Nikon D80 and 32GB Class 10 SD HC memory card without problems, this suggests that the camera works adequately with new memory cards, so you can not worry about the age and compatibility of the camera.
  • Since this is still a DX camera, I do not advise buying expensive DX lenses for it, then you still have to switch to a full frame. Well, if the DX format is fine, then Nikon 35mm F1.8, Nikon 55-200 and classic Nikon 50mm f / 1.8D AF Nikkor will be a great addition to the camera for little money.

Prices for modern Nikon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.


Nikon D80 - an obsolete miracle of camera manufacturing with great functionality. Suitable for both amateurs and professionals. Recommended as a budget option for any need.

I advise you to look at the page recommendations for choosing an amateur Nikon camera.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 665, on the topic: Review of Nikon D80

  • Vladislav

    I also think it will be better with a flash, thanks for the advice.

  • Vladislav

    Hello Arkady!
    In the D80 review, there is the phrase “The Nikon D80 has white balance bracketing, flash bracketing, and flash combo, which is not the case in the D90 ″.
    The fact is that the D90 also has it all, in addition there is d-link bracketing, which the D80 does not have. So in terms of bracketing, the D90 will be cooler.
    PS. It's a shame for the D90 (I have it), why I ask you to adjust the review for the D80.

    • Arkady Shapoval


    • Vitaly P

      Maybe I'm wrong, since the D90 was a long time ago, but it doesn't seem to have white balance bracketing.

  • SashOK

    I shot on many different Nikon models (except for the most prof.), And I want to say that the 80th gives the coolest and most pleasant colors. Which often do not even need to be processed (especially if there is enough light). Something similar to Fuji S5, S3 Pro

    • Vladislav

      I completely agree with SashOK! Just as Arkady is in love with the Nikon D40 because of its pleasant, juicy, vibrant picture, so the D80 is impossible not to love for the pleasant colors of the photos.
      Despite her age and lack of modernity compared to the gigapixel and high-standard masterpieces of our time, I do not want to part with it.
      On the contrary, you begin to appreciate this kind and cool camera for the soul more and more !!!

  • Alexey

    Hello ! I'm thinking about upgrading from d80. Confused ratings with DxOMark d7200 are better on a sensor than d500.d7500. Can you trust them?

    • Michael

      Not worth it. But it should be taken into account

  • juris

    Shit! on a run of 6000, the gear grunted, repair = 4-5 tons. !! the gear on Ali costs 200r.

    • juris

      now I sell it with a lens for 5 tr ……… ..

      • Roman

        That's why I do not like the low mileage technique. Or a new one and with a guarantee, or used and moderately used, so that all factory defects get out right away.

    • Alexey

      but what or who prevents to replace it yourself?)

  • Viktoria

    Good afternoon, advise the lens for Nikon D80. Kitovy arranged 18-135. But it cannot be repaired. I want an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140MM F / 3.5-5.6G ED VR lens. Suitable or better to take simpler. Shoot while traveling. And children

    • Ivan

      18-140 will do, 18-105 is easier.

  • К

    1. Arkady, many thanks to you for the site and the answers to your questions. And to everyone who answers too
    2. Are your custom settings applicable from d70s to d80?
    The question is related to the fact that the sharpness can be raised only by "own settings"

    • Michael

      2. You can. Custom settings are Custom. Everything is the same as on D70

      • К

        Matrices are different, even if both are CCD. What's custom and own. the settings are the same, and so it's clear

  • Kostiantyn

    Please tell me how to set up d80. I want the data from the monochrome display to be visible on the main display (there are d60 and d90 there, but I can't figure it out with d80, maybe some kind of difference?)

    • Oleksandr

      The “difference” is that the camera does not support this function.

      • Gregor_S

        @ Oleksandr
        You can’t say better

  • Anton

    Good day. Please tell me which lens to choose for Nikon D80 Body. this one will fit Nikon 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor. thanks.

    • Victor

      Of course it will do. But it's probably better to take 18-105

    • Ivan

      Will do.

  • Azake

    I recently bought this miracle for 1000 rubles because of the CCD matrix. compared to my canon 350D Nikon in appearance is just a Mercedes! why they are compared on tests is not clear. these are different classes a little i think. Nikon has what I always wanted to limit the maximum ISO for working in semi-automatic modes A and S and limiting the minimum exposure to prevent smearing. Even my Canon 5D MII doesn't have this! I put on a Nikkor 3.3-5.6 lens which I removed from an old film camera and I still manage with it. If I get involved, you can buy something like 17-50mm F2.8, for example, and that will be enough for such a camera. I wonder, of course, what inexpensive lens you can take with FR in the region of 30-35mm. you can and non-autofocus.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Nikon 35 / 1.8 DX, Yongnuo 35/2, Sigma 30 1.4 HSM (first version)

      • Azake

        Thank you!

    • Victor

      If you are interested in the fix, the most acceptable option is 35 1.8dx

      If the zoom, you can look (oddly enough) "push-button" 18-55 VR (only not AF-P, but the usual AF-S) - uncontested glass in terms of price-quality ratio, also oldies 35-105 and 28-105 (the latter has excellent macro for zoom) - lenses of the film era with a "bold" picture, can be useful when switching to fullframe, if Nikon goes over Canon)))

      • Azake

        Thank you!

  • Igor

    I bought 1.12.2020 for 1000gryven with a 55mm 1.2 lens and two akb. I am happy as an elephant just a song, the OLH website choir flight is normal, I also took a samyang 85mm 1.4 and 135 2.0 and 20mm 1.8.

    • B. R. P.

      Thanks for the wish.

    • Victor

      UAH 1000 for a set of d80 and 55 1.2?

  • Alexander

    Good afternoon! I have been using D80 for 15 years already. My main glass is 18-200. Outdoors, on hikes, trips, etc. I would like to go to 20 megapixels and it is very annoying that the D80 has difficulty focusing at dusk. It is clear that the camera is old and once it was super ...
    I still can't figure out what to change - for FF or crop? Stay F or go Z?
    I like the bundle Z50 + DX50-250 - light, compact ... repetition of mine, but modern. But DX lenses for Z are few. I don't want to use the adapter. On the other hand, FF with light glasses beckons. And then it's probably a used DSLR.
    Can you give your opinion - what would you switch to?
    Thank you.

    • B. R. P.

      You can't get enough of the battery on the trip with the battery, there were reviews from the owners of the Z50 that it is difficult to find a spare battery, there are no Chinese ones yet. If there is enough glass for ff + ff, why not go.

      • Alexander

        Well, the problem of electricity was solved a long time ago - a set of accumulators in the assembly + "vampire" + solar battery + crocodiles with wires ... Everything mobile is charged. Depending on consumers, route and weather forecast, I take different variations of this economy. Even when there is no need for a dynamo on the food.
        The battery park is probably relevant for those who shoot long bursts all day. And I have a maximum of 100 frames per day. And while I sleep - recharging.

        • John

          You-professionals are sometimes difficult to understand ... Lens-you have a lens or glass, and then what is in your vocabulary of lenses for macro?
          A glass or what?
          And how is it on the food?

          • "Joe"

            Professionals do not distort the language.
            To call lenses lenses or glass, and cameras like carcasses, are people who are poorly guided in technology and technical terminology, who believe that by distorting speech in this way they show their “deep” knowledge of the subject under discussion.

            • Seladir

              In English, lens is used, and it migrated, this does not apply to professionalism.

              • Oleg

                The British are not professionals

            • Victor

              2Joe is not a “professional” himself, but he is familiar with many comrades who are involved in that area - and so, “professionals” speak in the way that is convenient for them, and as everyone else understands. If one person says “carcass” or “lens”, to another who is in the same circle of interests, it is immediately clear that this is not a raccoon carcass or a magnifying glass in a pocket magnifier.

              And to find fault with the slang usual for photographers can only complete formalists, who are often not very good photographers, but are not lazy to throw ordinary photos in flickr of 60-70 + groups, for the sake of collecting ten to fifteen likes, right?))

      • Alexander

        And for the Z50 - yes, only relatives (and terribly expensive batteries), the Chinese so far only sell chargers for them. I've already looked ...

    • Jury

      Take z50 for such tasks will go

  • Peter

    Yes, the resolution is not high ...
    But the colors are fabulous! This device is for the production of postcards :) The eye will not take away from the stand with them.
    It's a pity CCD is no longer in use, a full-frame with good resolution - and imba, even despite the disadvantages of CCD.

    • Victor


    • Pokemon

      Peter, I agree!
      I could not resist and bought a second Protroyka and I am thinking about one more Proyatka.

  • Azake

    Please tell me how to take pictures on Nikon D80 with manual lenses. what modes to expose? As I understand it, this camera does not know how to meter exposure with such lenses.

    • B. R. P.

      In M mode, manually set the exposure.

      • Azake

        Nikon has a very sad situation with old lenses. and the segment does not fit and the metering does not work.

        • Michael

          Yes, it's better not to take Nikon under manuals at all

          • Avvakumov

            Rather the opposite. Nikon is better than other cameras adapted to manual glasses.
            1. the jump rope works
            2. There is confirmation of focus
            3. With D90 there is exposure metering
            4. With the D7000 (of course, we are talking about amateur cameras), automatic metering works
            5. There are a lot of manual optics with an F mount, both native and third-party, and even soviet. All of it becomes without adapters, without alteration.
            Canon is deprived of all these charms

            • Ivan

              With D90 exposure metering does NOT work!

            • Ivan

              For Nikonov, the working length is such that you need to put an adapter with a lens, and this is already a deterioration.

              • Victor

                Why put an adapter with a lens on native F optics (which, in fact, are more than a hundred options, only manual)?

              • Ivan

                Avvakumov mentioned Soviet optics.

              • Victor

                “Soviet” obviously referred to the F mount.

  • Nikita

    Hello. I would like to ask what is better to take. There is a choice for 1,5t.r to buy Telear-N 200mm f3.5, fully working, and according to the seller's assurances, in good condition. Or Nikon AF-S DX nikkor 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6G VR with a defect, the focusing unit dangles if you move it specifically, and does not focus at 55mm, but already at 53mm everything is fine. I want any of this for the Nikon D80. It is planned to shoot close-ups, or portraits, and rarely anything else. Manual shooting is not scary, only the lack of exposure metering scares, and a little selection of the shutter speed on a 200mm lens (will it smear a lot?)

    • B. R. P.

      Neither one nor the other is suitable for macro. For a portrait, 200mm on the crop is too long, the blur will be strong, the shutter speed is from 1/320 and shorter. It makes no sense to take 18-55 with such a defect, you can find a working version for an inexpensive one.

    • Victor

      Maybe it's still better to include in the plans to collect more chuuut-chuuut and take something normal? Well, as an option.

    • Specialist

      18-105 as an option.

      • Igor

        Very sharp for a budget zoom. I use it myself with the D3100 as a travel option. Old camera, old glass with a plastic mount, but completely satisfied! Sometimes you get pretty decent photos.

      • Avvakumov

        18-105, the most unfortunate lens. It vignettes a lot.

        • Ivan

          Do you have examples of very strong vignetting?

    • Oleg

      Televik as the only portraitist is not suitable. The arms and legs of the models will be visually short in any poses where they are exposed to the side of the camera due to the flattening of the perspective by the lens. And in general, 200 mm as the only one, and even on the crop, except for those who like to shoot birds or for the paparazzi.

      If from affordable manuals, on Nikon as the only one for the first time, you can recommend Helios 81H. It has a Nikon mount, no infinity problems, and a good aperture ratio of 2.0. The portraits are good, but for macro you can buy macro rings.

  • Konstantin

    Good people, where to download raves with nikon d80? I want to buy a camera source nowhere. The link from the review is not working for some reason.

  • Alexey

    Having a desire to see what kind of vaunted colors are there))) I bought myself a Nikon D80 with a shutter speed of 6600 frames. I put a Nikon dx 35 F: 1,8 on it. I'll see))))

    • Victor

      Keep in touch, I clenched my fists so that everything worked out for you))

  • Evgeny Soloviev

    Ergonomically, the camera is much inferior to the D90

    For me, the most significant drawbacks in this camera are:

    1) The inability to invert the metering scale so that “-” was on the left, and “+” on the right.

    2) The inability to invert the operation of the tuning wheels, so that when rotating from left to right, there is an increase (aperture / shutter speed)

    3) There is no native display of ISO on the info screen and in the viewfinder (to view the ISO, you need to press the function key (having previously set the ISO to it), while you cannot change the ISO while the function key is pressed.

    4) You can change ISO only by pressing the “ISO” key, while the ISO value is not displayed in the viewfinder.

    5) You cannot change ISO in “A” mode without pressing the “ISO” key

  • Andrei

    Whale 18-135mm sold, I wish I did it earlier.
    I liked the D80 color with the 50mm 1.8D Nikkor and did not like it at all with the 50mm 1.4D.
    By the way, on Nikon D2Xs, on the contrary, I liked the picture with 50mm 1.4D, and with 50mm 1.8D in color, something is felt that is not right.
    IMHO D80 is imprisoned for a portrait, a reportage with people. Sometimes you get beautiful photos that do not require modification (I develop them in Photoshop because camjpeg and Capture NX2 give overwound blue and red).

    • Boke Bratyunya

      And what about fifty dollars in sharpness on the open?

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