Nikon D80 in Hudiksvall

I’ve been wanting (certainly not needing) an old Nikon DSLR for quite some time. Many years ago I used to have a D90, then a D300, and now I’ve been wanting something like that again. So, when a D80 presented itself at a good price, I got it.

The Nikon D80 came out in 2006, soon twenty years ago. It’s a DX camera, 10 megapixels, and lacks many of the things we take for granted in more modern cameras, like video recording.

But it can take beautiful photos, even in 2024.

There’s a lot of interest in these old DSLRs, evident from the amount of videos about them on YouTube (here’s one example). One reasons is that many of the older cameras have a CCD sensor and the newer have CMOS sensor. Some people say that CCD produces a look akin to analog film, I’ve yet to be convinced that’s the case. Apparently, the D80 has a Sony ICX-493-AQA (CCD) sensor, same as D40x , D60, and D3000.

What I’ve noticed is that it seems to have a tendency to blow out highlights. I try to keep track of the blinking white areas, and dial down exposure a bit (using exposure compensation). It seems the D80 preserves more in the shadows, so under exposure is not as big a problem as over exposure.

For the most part so far, I use my Nikon 35 mm f/1.8G on the D80, and it’s a very nice partnership. If I’m just going out for a walk with the dog, often in the woods, that’s the kit I grab, rather than my Nikon D5500 and some lens.

I like the simpleness of the D80 and the fixed lens, there’s something almost therapeutic about it. It has the controls you need most of the time on the outside, and you hardly ever have to get into the menus. The body is slightly larger and heavier than the D5500, but not enough that it makes a huge difference.

The D80 has a built-in autofocus motor, the D5500 does not. That may affect your decision to get one or not.

My D80 does not even have 4,000 exposures, so almost new.

All the shots in this post are taken with the D80 and the 35mm f/1.8G. I took them in Hudiksvall while visiting there for work.