The Nikon D80 digital SLR, with its 10-megapixel sensor, borrows much technology from the more expensive D200 model. Is it the enthusiast photographers dream? The What Digital Camera Nikon D80 review investigates...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Nikon D80

Overall score:91%
Image Quality:90%


  • Handling, controls, excellent image quality, range of in-camera image processing, extended ISO range, bags of detail.


  • Really need a fast PC to quickly open large files, especially Raw.


Nikon D80 Review


Price as reviewed:


Image Quality & Value For Money

Nikon D80: Image Quality

Nikon D80 Review – Consistent Exposure and Colour

The D80 produces good Raw files, and the new NX software can really help to optimise these. Exposures throughout the test were consistent and the Raw files, before processing, demonstrated this admirably, with few images needing too much correction. In all the images have good colour, consistent exposure and plenty of detail. Which is all we could ask for.

Nikon D80 Review – Noise Control

Nikon D80<br />
review sample test image portrait skin test


The D80’s image noise is good throughout the ISO range, though obviously worsens as the gain is raised. At ISO 1600 and beyond it is quite severe, which we’d expect, but again, the in-camera noise reduction is good at reducing this, though we gained better results later on the computer. It’s nice to have control over the noise reduction, though.

Nikon D80 Review – Tone and Contrast


Pictures from the Nikon D80 have a very nice tonality, with smooth transitions, good shadow detail and, if exposed correctly, excellent highlights. JPEGs are practically ready to print, with very little adjustment needed.

Nikon D80 Review – Colour and White Balance


In terms of colour, the images from the Nikon D80 tend slightly to the warm side in the Normal setting, but not overly so, but the in-camera controls can help to correct this if necessary. There’s so much control within the camera, that minor niggles can be easily fixed.

Nikon D80: Value For Money


Nikon D80 Review – Nikon Delivers Again

While the D80 is not the cheapest model on the market, the results and handling from this camera speak for themselves. Nikon has done itself proud to offer this much control and quality for a price that’s not unreasonable. It also has access to the massive Nikon system, which for upgraders is a strong reason to stick with Nikon and consider the D80 for higher-resolution images.

  1. 1. Nikon D80: Features
  2. 2. Design & Performance
  3. 3. Image Quality & Value For Money
  4. 4. Verdict
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