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I have a question: What's the difference between a Nikon D80 and a Nikon D60? What should I consider if I were going to buy one or the other?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Oct 24th, 2008 at 03:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Bob. I was given a D-80 for my 70th birthday, by my family. It's an awful lot of camera for me. If you're not a real expert I would advise getting the D-60 and spend the money saved toward a Nikon 18-200 VR zoom lens. It's about $700 but in most cases it's the only lens you'll ever need. I wish I had it. In Wales has that lens as well as Millman.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 02:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Len! And Thanks guys, I had a concern that the D80 may be too much. We have been taking photos with the small point and shoot Nikon and have liked it a lot, but have had an increasing frustration with the inability to get either real close-ups or longer range photos. But we aren't experts, so an upgrade needs to be relatively easy. Good advice, and I will also go check those links Ted, thanks!!

Happy photography!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 05:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You might also want to consider the Canon G10 - though real photo enthusiasts might disagree, but it's more portable and I've found that to be a very important consideration; I'm much more likely to take the Lumix with me than previous SLRs. I'm thinking of upgrading to the G10. The quality of the images is "somewhat amazing" according to this pro:


I had become very impressed with the Canon G10 after just a few days of earlier light-duty testing. Each evening that week I would sit with my 15" Macbook Pro reviewing the day's files. At one point I found myself looking at raw files on-screen and not being sure if I was looking at Hasselblad P45+ files or Canon G10 files. That includes at 100% onscreen enlargements.

Now, I'm no newbe. After some 50 years in this industry I know what I'm looking at, be it a screen blow-up or a print, and I certainly don't confuse how something looks on a 15" laptop screen (though properly profiled and calibrated) with how it will turn out on a critically produced exhibition-quality print. But nevertheless, I was curious about what I was seeing. In fact I was more than curious, I was somewhat amazed [that's like being "a BIT astonished" :-)  - Friday open thread].

...

Over a two day period I invited photographers and local industry professionals to come to my print studio and look at a series of 13X19" prints
...

In every case no one could reliably tell the difference between 13X19" prints shot with the $40,000 Hasselblad and Phase One 39 Megapixel back, and the new $500 Canon G10. In the end no one got more than 60% right, and overall the split was about 50 / 50, with no clear differentiator. In other words, no better than chance.

In fact it was the H2 system's narrower depth of field that occasionally was the only clear give-away. Some viewers eventually figured out that the prints with the narrower depth of field were from medium format, while other photographers chose the G10 images because with its wider depth of field it created an overall impression of greater sharpness.

Needless to say there was much shaking of heads and muttering. Could this be? Could a $500 digicam equal a $40,000 medium format digital system in image quality, at least in prints up to 13X19" (Super A3)?
...
But, with all of these caveats, the take-away as I see it is that the new Canon G10 has crossed a threshold; one in which an inexpensive pocket camera can produce very high quality images, at least on moderate sized prints, which is what most photographers end up making.

Will I be selling my Hasselblad and Phase One back? No, of course not. Why would I? Each system has its place and specialized function. Indeed I'm really excited about testing the new Phase One P65+ and to acquiring one as soon as it becomes available.

 But, the next time I take a walk in the woods, or go on a family vacation, I know which camera is going to be along for the trip, nicely tucked away in my jacket pocket. The Canon G10.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

You don't get anything like focal range of the lens recommended by Len, but then this whole camera - with video too ! is cheaper than that lens, and another pro finds it OK:

Another change from the G9 is the lens. It has a shorter maximum focal length, but gets wider. Instead of the G9's 35mm to 210mm (equivalent) lens, it has a 28mm to 140mm (equivalent) lens. The wider angle is frequently appreciated, and I rarely miss the longer telephoto on the G9.
...
Canon has now demonstrated that a small camera with a small sensor can provide the ergonomics, speed, flexibility, and image quality that would please most serious photographers.

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/10/canon-g10-revie.html

From Amazon:


I was able to get extremely sharp photos in macro mode (closeups of bees in flowers, that kind of thing), again without a tripod.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 09:17:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd agree - I don't think anyone should buy an SLR unless they can see hobby or semi-pro (or pro) photography taking up a significant part of their time.

The cheaper not-quite-SLRs with fixed lenses give you 90% of the image quality with much less weight and bulk. You'll be able to shoot from tele to macro with just the one unit without needing to buy or carry around extra lenses.

A photo you miss because you didn't take out your camera because it was too heavy and/or valuable, or because you had to pause to swap a lens, is a photo that's gone forever.

The sub-SLRs make it much more likely you'll get that photo. The differences in image quality aren't noticeable unless you know exactly what to look for.

I've used my Fuji sub-SLR far more than I've used my Fuji SLR, even though the complete SLR kit cost something like ten times as much.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 09:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That Brit Guy,
That is exactly how I feel also.
 Most of my images are taken with "sub-SLRs" & one of the reasons is, as you mention, the ease & convenience of its use.
 I would also point out that many people seem to think that buying an expensive SLR makes them better photographers.
It won`t, but more than that, it might tend to discourage one from pursuing a fantastic hobby, when those amazing images (that do not come with a new camera) are not forthcoming.
I`m a strong advocate for exactly what you say.
Get a small comfortable camera, that does not make you self conscious, & shoot the day away. To me a good example is this.
When electric guitars first became popular, many parents bought them for their demanding kids, only to have the things sitting in a corner unused, till they were given away or sold at a loss. I recommend the Coolpix 5400, the P5000, both Nikons & possibly only available online.
I just bought a P5000 a few months ago for $200.00 to replace another P5000 I had a mishap with. I also have a D2H Nikon  that I also use, mostly for large format panoramas & sunsets. I do always have both sub-SLRs & the D2H right at hand though.
For a comparison, see if you can tell which camera was used in the respective images I posted above.
 

The difference between theists and atheists is that the atheists don't set the theists on fire for refusing to agree with them.
by Knucklehead on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You take superb photos, Knucklehead. :)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously I agree with you. However:


For a comparison, see if you can tell which camera was used in the respective images I posted above.

 with 500 pixel wide jpegs at 72 dpi one wouldn't expect much of a difference - now with 13 x 19 inch prints, as in the review of the G10 - that was "somewhat amazing" :-)
 

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 04:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whataboutbob
What small Nikon are you talking about?
Maybe I could be of help.
I quite familiar with the Coolpix 5400 & the P5000, both of which are extraordinary cams for their size & price.

The difference between theists and atheists is that the atheists don't set the theists on fire for refusing to agree with them.
by Knucklehead on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 04:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get an SLR unless you really want to learn to fly a spaceship. People went to moon with less complicated devices.

My personal preferences in this stuff runs towards the Ricohs - Sam's pictures above were taken with a €299 R7 - and they specialize in  close up stuff - they'll focus down to a few cm on front of the lens. My sister-in-law bought the R8 when she started asking the same question as you and she's happy with it. These are tiny pocket cameras.    

I'd say a G10 would be too much as well, and I hate the interface on that class of Canons. Anyway, they're too goddamn big.    

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 05:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Digital photography review has very thorough reviews

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond60/

navigation is the via the drop-down menu above the main photo, e.g. to page 30 ! and the conclusion:

But let's not forget what the D60 has to offer; it's still one of the most affordable cameras in its class and it represents the perfect 'upgrade' camera for anyone who has outgrown their digital compact camera and is looking to dip a first toe in the world of the digital SLR. Its output is consistently good (the JPEGs are excellent and its raw files have lots of dynamic range headroom), it's a pleasure to use and, handles well and weighs very little. And as I've stressed throughout this review, it makes getting pleasing results incredibly easy.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond60/page30.asp

D80 at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the main reason to go for the D80 instead of the D60 would be lns compatibility. The D80 has in body autofocus engine, allowing you to take advantage of AF on many non AF-S lenses, like the cheap and great 50 f/1.8.

An advanced feature of the D80 is the ability to remotely command a flash unit.

But the lens compatibility is what made me go for the D80  some months ago. Today i would probably go for the D90, but thats one step above current price range of the 60's and 80's.

by Torres on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 06:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a good point especially for anyone who has invested in Nikon system lenses already or thinks they might want to be able to pick up some of the older (goodies) for less money.  I just bought a D40 and my only regret is that lack of compatibility (TTL) with my SB80 flashes and non-AFS lenses. I can still use the SB80s in manual and auto flash and most of the other lenses with manual focus.

I also am finding that digital has other issues.  Even the lowly D40 (6mpl) is more complicated than I like.  Too many menus.  In additon, digital's limited tonal capture range is annoying.  Still, with care (and ignoring the menu options) it's a joy to use and I love the near instant gratification that digital offers over film.

I believe the D40 is a twin, in size, of the D40.  If correct it's incredibly light and the new (non pro class) lenses are also small and light making the entire kit very easy to transport.  I believe the D60 also offers auto sensor dust removal whereas the earlier D80s (at least) do not.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:21:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry should read twin of the D60 in size.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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