Nikon D80 Questions

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Guest, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi all,

    I have been doing so research on my next camera system purchase.

    I am new to Digital SLR camera so a lot to learn.

    Been doing a lot or reading, there is some conflicting advice out there.
    Good job I have been into film photography for 30 years and being a
    science teacher I have a reasonable understanding or the science and
    technology behind it all. So I was able to ignore some of the junk!

    Must be hard for new comes.

    I currently use a Canon T90 system but as the lens won't fit on any new
    Canon camera I can make a switch to an other manufacture.

    I am only a hobby photography, I just want good photos but a camera that
    is versatile. I don't make money from it is just a hobby.

    I use a digital compact for general stuff but there are times when an
    SLR is best.

    I was settled (90%) on the D80 (decided against the D40x - more or less)
    but maybe a D200 is possible but....

    I am going through the operating manuals for each camera at the moment
    but at times this raises more questions than it answers.

    I have never used Nikon equipment before.

    Looking at the specs there doesn't seem to be much difference:

    D200 has Bigger RGB sensor 1005 vs 420 segment,

    D200 1/8000 vs 1/4000 shutter speed,

    Bracketing D200 has 2-9 vs 2-3,

    D200 flash sync 1/250 vs 1/200,

    Size and mass are a bit different,

    and a few minor differences

    so my questions are:

    Q1 is there any point in a hobbyist photography like me spending the
    extra money on it?

    Q2 Why are the Raw Fine file sizes different as they have the same
    sensor size? D200 = 20/7 MB D80 = 17.2 MB

    Are RAW files compressed? So is the compression algorithm different?

    Q3 should I put the extra money to better lenses?

    Q4 Would I notice any difference?

    Q5 Regarding Storage media are their any functioning difference between
    different makes of card?

    I found out after I had bought a sandisk card for my Olympus u760 that
    if I had bought an Olympus card then I could have used the built in
    'stitching' function to make panoramic shots. No great loss as I can do
    it with software but...

    Would I not have access to any 'special' functions of the camera if I
    choose the 'wrong' card.

    I want to fit the biggest fastest card I can into it. Don't want to run
    out of space or be slowed down by it.

    Q6 is there any point is buying any Non DX lenses for it. I have no
    other Nikon camera?

    Q7 should I shoot general shots in RAW or JPG format. I think I would
    only uses the top settings resolution of either format anyway.

    Q8 If I shoot RAW can I view the pics on the display or do they need to
    be 'processes' first by software.

    If anyone has any other general advice I would most welcome it.

    I am going to get a few books on the subject also.

    Thanks taking the time to read though this and for any help
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
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  2. Only YOU can answer this question for YOUR needs, YOUR wants, and YOUR
    Yes, Nikon's NEF files are compressed and in a very recent discussion
    someone mentioned, that a) different cameras use different lossless
    compression algorithms and b) the cameras have an option to use RAW/NEF with
    a minimally lossy compression, too.
    Only YOU ....
    Unless you are using ancient lenses without AI-P then probably not.
    Not really except maybe in speed, reliability, and price.
    Sorry, but aside of forgeries memory cards are just that: a storage place.
    They really don't do any stitching or whatever.
    Maybe that Olympus card (I've never seen a SD or CF card with that brand
    name) came with some additional software. But that has nothing to do with
    the abilities of the card itself.
    No. Memory cards are just that. The brand makes as much difference as Shell
    versus Exxon versus BP versus Arco when it comes to gasoline.
    Then you may want to go for Compact Flash. Historically CF cards have always
    been ahead of the other memory card formats wrt. speed and size. And they
    don't suffer from the infamous 2GB confusion as SD does.
    However with modern cards of any name brand and format you are unlikely to
    run into space or speed problems unless you are really pushing the limits,
    e.g. shooting long sequences in burst mode using RAW.
    Typically DX-lenses are designed and marketed for the average comsumer, read
    they are ok and compared to other brands often even better than those. But
    really good Nikkor lenses can typically be found in the non-DX group.
    That is a religious question and if you ask 5 people you will get 10
    different answers.
    The camera does a thumbnail processing internally.
    Take those cameras in your hands and actually play around with them in the
    store or even better if you can borrow one from a friend. Actually take
    photos (even if there is no memory card to store them) and change some
    settings to learn how the camera feels in YOUR hands.
    A camera that feels wrong for you will not produce good photos for you.

    Jürgen Exner, Jan 6, 2008
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    that's for matrix metering, and you probably won't ever notice a
    difference. even 420 segments is *way* more than canon and pentax use.
    minor, but if you need it you need it.
    also minor.
    true, and price too.
    that depends on whether you need some of the features that the d200 has
    that the d80 does not. you won't notice much of a difference in the
    image between the two cameras. however, some features, such as the
    faster frame rate of the d200, might make it easier to get a particular
    shot. of course, if you shoot landscapes or still life, the faster
    frame rate won't matter much.
    the raw file does not have fine/normal/basic -- that's for jpeg.
    however, the raw file could be compressed.
    they can be. and other than the d300 and d3, nikon's raw compression
    is 'visually lossless' which means that you will probably not notice a
    difference, despite there being a mathematical difference.
    absolutely. lenses are what matters. it's all too common that people
    buy a fancy camera and slap a budget sigma or quantaray lens on it.
    you'll have much better results with a nikon d40 and a 70-200mm vr as
    opposed to a d200 and a sigma 70-300, for example.
    that depends what you intend to do with the images. if you plan to
    print 20" x 30" posters you will need higher quality equipment than if
    you intend to only display them on screen.
    there's more of a difference between the speed ratings of cards rather
    than the manufacturers. just beware of counterfit cards -- there's a
    lot of those floating around, especially on ebay.
    that's a stupid limitation with olympus cards (and it can be hacked
    too). however, it is *much* better to do panorama stitching
    no, other than olympus panorama. the only issue i can think of is some
    cameras that take sd cards might not be shdc compliant, and thus may
    have issues with 4 gig or higher cards. the d80 is sdhc compliant and
    the d200 takes compact flash, so that's not an issue for you.
    the advantage of a fast card is more for reading the images into a
    computer. unless you shoot a shitload of pictures in rapid succession,
    the camera should be able to keep up and buffer them, even with cards
    that aren't the 'fastest.'
    sure. there's zillions of full frame nikon lenses, both new and used,
    and just about any of them made in the last 30 years will mount and
    work on either camera. on the d200, the exposure meter will work with
    old manual focus lenses. there's no reason to avoid them if you find
    one that fits your needs. in fact, some of nikon's best lenses are
    non-dx, such as the 70-200vr.
    with modern software, such as adobe lightroom, there really isn't any
    difference between raw and jpeg as far as the user is concerned, in
    which case, there's no real benefit to shooting jpeg and no downside to
    shooting raw.
    all images need to be 'processed' to a certain extent. raw images have
    to be demosaiced and jpeg images have to be decompressed. fortunately,
    modern software handles all of it transparently so there's no downside
    to shooting raw. as mentioned above, adobe lightroom handles raw just
    as easily as it handles jpeg.
    visit the nikon forums at <> as well as
    reading the comprehensive reviews elsewhere on the site for the various
    cameras in which you are interested. you might find their reviews are
    a lot easier to follow and understand than the user manuals. and most
    importantly, go to a camera store and see how the cameras feel when you
    use them. also consider a d300, which although it is even more money
    than a d200, it has a *lot* more to offer, including lower noise,
    faster frame rate, live view, 51 point autofocus and autofocus fine
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    olympus cards have a special signature written to specific blocks on
    the card, and if the camera sees that, then the camera will show part
    of the previous image on the display so you can visually line up the
    next shot when shooting a panorama. with a non-olympus card, this
    'feature' is disabled, but of course you can just guess the overlap and
    stitch it later. at least that's how it used to work.

    if you take a generic card and copy the required bits to the right
    blocks (which requires a low level disk editor), the camera will think
    it's a genuine olympus card.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  5. Depends on where the intersection of your discretionary budget and your
    interest in photogrpahy lies.
    I'm not sure where those numbers come from. On my D80, RAW files run
    around 9-10 MB each.
    They are compressed. I don't know whether the algorithms are different.
    Depends on whether you need the extra features of the D200 (or D300)
    over the D80. A more robust body, faster burst rate, and live-view on
    the D300 come to mind. If those aren't things that you think would be
    useful to you, get the D80 and increase your lens budget.
    Probably not.
    No brand dependence that I'm aware of. A fast card will help, but most
    of the card brands offer high-speed product lines.
    There's no reason not to look at the full-frame Nikon lenses as well as
    the crop-factor lenses. For instance, a 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 will work very
    well with either the D80 or the D200.
    Up to you. Different people have different opinions.
    They show up on the display.
    Find a store that stocks both and see whether there's a big difference
    in which model feels more comfortable to hold, shoot, change settings,
    etc. Ergonomics matter, and things like how big the grip is compared to
    the size of your hands can make a real diffeerence in how comfortable
    the camera is.

    Daniel Silevitch, Jan 6, 2008
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    there's a lot of credible evidence of a forthcoming nikon 16-85mm vr
    lens, probably announced at pma later this month.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    indeed. depending on its price, it could be *very* popular. the extra
    2mm on the wide end and 15mm on the long end versus the 18-70mm, plus
    stabilization, makes for a very compelling kit lens.

    here's another image of it:
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    eventually there will be, however, i think it is a little too soon for
    a d80 replacement right now. after all, the d300 *just* started
    shipping about six weeks ago and it was nearly a year between the d200
    and the d80.

    my guess is the d40/d40x will be replaced first, probably with one
    entry level camera rather than two. or maybe the d40x drops in price
    and replaces the d40 with possibly something else filling the gap.
    there's also rumours of an even higher end full frame slr along with a
    p&s compact camera with an aps size sensor.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for all the advice everyone.

    I have been to the web site and it was very useful

    lot of info and reviews

    it has given me a good feeling about the D80

    I think I will opt for the D80 and put the extra money towards lenses.
    Just have to deiced on the best lens to get with it.

    I current use a 35 - 70 & 70 - 210 on my 35 mm camera
    so that's 23 - 47 & 47 - 140 on the D80
    I would use a different combination of course.
    The two obvious ones are 18 - 135 or 18 - 70

    There are some users comments on the web site and I wondered if any one
    here had any thoughts on the following comment;.

    One user said the memory card door kept coming open - has anyone else
    experienced that problem?

    One said the noise even at 400 ASA was intolerably but while it was
    mentioned in the review that there was some noise at 800 ASA and about
    it was not too serious and could be controlled 'somewhat'

    the photos I have seen from it on the Nikon web site look great

    thanks for all the useful advice
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  11. There are two products that Nikon will have no choice but to produce once
    they become technologically feasible:

    1) A camera with the D3 feature set (including FX sensor, but perhaps
    less fast) in the D300 form factor.

    2) A camera with the D3 feature set but more pixels in the D3 form
    factor (because the D3 and D300
    now have the same pixel count). I wouldn't be surprised if this
    camera is also slower than the D3.

    What I don't know is whether either of these will be available in 2008. I
    am inclined to doubt it, but think that (2) is less unlikely than (1).
    Andrew Koenig, Jan 6, 2008
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    you're converting in reverse.

    the 35-70mm is a 52-105mm equivalent and the 70-210mm is a 105-315mm
    or the rumoured 16-85vr.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  13. If they come out with a lightweight 16-85 VR (presumably replacing the
    18-70), that will be enough to get me to buy a D80 (or whatever has replaced
    it by then).
    Andrew Koenig, Jan 6, 2008
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    true, but i was thinking he was going to use his existing lenses on the
    new camera (and if his 35-70 is the f/2.8 version, he absolutely should
    continue to use it). if he wants to duplicate his current range with
    new lenses, then his numbers are right.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
  15. If you know that you are going to do a lot of tele-photos then the 70-300VR
    offers a lot of lens for the money.
    Never had that problem on my D80.
    and neither this one.

    Jürgen Exner, Jan 6, 2008
  16. Actually your namesake probably meant that to get the same angle of view as
    he is used to on his 35mm camera he would need a 23 - 47 & a 47 - 140 on
    the D80.
    Jürgen Exner, Jan 6, 2008
  17. Very interesting. If true, I wonder what the price would be. A quick
    look at the 18-55s shows a $80 premium for the newer VR model. Since the
    18-70 goes for about $350ish, probably $450 or thereabouts. Maybe a bit
    more given the somewhat expanded focal length range.

    Daniel Silevitch, Jan 6, 2008
  18. Eventually, probably. The D80 is now the oldest body in the Nikon
    lineup, so it's presumably the next one in line for an upgrade. I
    imagine that Nikon will want to wait for a while so that they don't
    take away from D300 sales.

    Daniel Silevitch, Jan 6, 2008
  19. I have the 18-135, and find it pretty reasonable. Another lens to look
    at as a supplement to either is the 70-300VR. Only if you think you'll
    need telephoto, of course, but it's good value for the money.
    I've never had that happen to me. I'm not saying it couldn't happen,
    but I've never seen it.
    People's standards differ. I have no problem with running the camera up
    to 1600; above about 1000, you can see the noise, but it's not
    obtrusive. I try to avoid the boosted ISOs (above 1600), as they are too
    noisy for my tastes.

    Daniel Silevitch, Jan 6, 2008
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I meant to get the coverage as my existing 35mm Canon lenses

    I would need to get 23 - 47 & 47 - 140 Nikon lenses.

    I might just by a body and pick a lens rather than a kit but I haven't
    decide yet.
    If the kit is good value then I might do that and get a better lens
    later but...
    Might be better to use the money for a better lens in the first place.

    Like the idea about VR lenses though.

    I have been reading a thread about which or the two lenses is best
    18 - 70 or the 18 - 135

    this will be my first Nikon kit so I don't know the range of lenses yet.

    Have to go and have a look at them see how they feel etc.
    Guest, Jan 6, 2008
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