Psst -- want a D200 at nearly half the price?
• The glass pentaprism viewfinder has a relatively high magnification of 0.94X, and the big 2.5-inch 230,000-pixel LCD monitor has a 170-degree viewing angle.
• Image optimization allows selection of preset profiles (Normal, Soft, Vivid, Portrait) and custom settings, as well as black-and-white capture with optional filter effects.
• In-camera retouching includes shadow and highlight adjustment, redeye elimination, image overlay, file size reduction, cropping, color filter effects, and monochrome effects. In each case, the camera creates a new file while the original stays intact.
• It can convert a RAW-NEF to a JPEG at any time, a boon for photographers who like to shoot in RAW but may not want to create a simultaneous JPEG for every shot (as in RAW + JPEG mode).
• An RGB histogram is added to the overall luminance histogram.
• Slide shows, including dissolves and limited musical themes, can be created in-camera and output via A/V cable.
• The D80 ships with the EN-EL3 Li-ion rechargeable battery, which has a CIPA battery life rating of 2,700 shots per charge, and has the "fuel gauge" battery-state indicator of the D200. It accepts a battery grip (the MB-D80), which can take two EN-EL3e or six AA cells and provides a vertical shutter release. A hard-wired remote release is available, as well as a wireless.
• It adds multiple-exposure capability and an assignable function button.
• Picture Project software is supplied; Nikon Capture NX is a $175 extra.
• A new digital-only kit lens, the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S Zoom-Nikkor DX (28-200mm equivalent), comes with it at $1,299 (estimated street). And another new lens is on the way (see The Goods).
Given its high-end features and low-end price, will the D80 cut into sales of the $1,700 D200? Nikon points to the D200's pro-oriented qualities-a well-sealed and tougher metal body, 100,000-cycle shutter, and greater burst capability-to maintain its market share. We think dealers had better order D80s early and often.
New & Noteworthy
• 10.2MP in a sub-$1,000 Nikon.
• Many features from the pricier D200.
• Lots of in-camera picture editing.
Consider This If...
• You've been waiting patiently for a more potent D70.
• You want a great backup for your D200.