Nikon's D80 Digital SLR

Ah well, might as well write something about this new camera that was just released this week. There has been a lot of rumours and if you go around the photography forums, where people seem to be more interested in noise and megapixels and all those technicalities, and then showing off mundane everyday photos that could have been taken with a cheap point and shoot... there has been hits and misses. Anyways, DPReview has a nice preview and its amusing to see that they had a preproduction body before the info embargo was lifted... all these time and they didn't even leak anything to us underlings!!! Anyways... what do I think? I was hoping for something between the D70s and the D200... that would be nice. But looking at the sneak photos from Nikon's sites (what somepeople call the teaser photos) it does look amateurish... and it is. I see it now as something more of a upgraded D50 rather than a better version of the D70. It was not exactly a D70s with more features, but more D50 with more features.

- Compared to the older D70s, the top shutter speed has been reduced to 1/4000s from 1/8000s (not that it would make any difference to 99% of your shots!), flash sync as well (again, I can live with that), hmmm... that's all I can think off for the time being. - Oh and the metering uses a little less sensors on the D80, but with matrix metering II, maybe its going to be as well exposed as the D70, don't ask me. - The D80 still retains the dummy mode (the scene mode dial on the left side of the camera if viewed from the back), which I never touched when I had the D70 years back. - The body is made of plastic and I bet water will seep in like a sponge if you get it partially wet so it doesn't look nice at all (If you remember that's how I destroyed my D70! in 2004). - SD card? I dont know about this. My CF cards are rotting since I have not used a DSLR for 2 years already, and I could make the change to SD, but if CF is going to remain on the top of the range DSLRs I would rather spend all those hard earned dollars on CF rather than SD. Ok, CF/SD is cheap now. Don't bother me too much this one. - I saw something about AI coupling and I thought it would mean that the D80 does AIS lenses as well, but I didn't notice any AI couplers on the f-mount and it looks like it doesn't meter if you dont have a chip in your lens. Whatever that means. So it meters with AIS that's chipped? Or just AF nonD lenses? Whatever it is, its still not the F4s where it meters with lenses with or without chip, as long as it fits. D200 is close, and the D80 is far away from it. - I used a lot of shutter speed around the 1/15s range when doing landscape with tripod, so as a matter of habit, I use a lot of mirror lock up as well. That's one of the reason why I'm not going to go back to D70-ish camera anymore, and looks like D80 is going to be the same. No mirror lockup. - No comments on the new lenses. They're all point and shoot lens.. bet they're all superlight because its made of plastic in China or something. I like them heavy... its psychological! - D80 is supposed to be quite compact. I dont know how compact yet, but I hope its not to the point of being ridiculous like the Canon 350D... that's one small DSLR... I've got big hands and I Dont like them too small. Or too light. D2x is nice... - Vertical grip? I've not seen too much pictures of the vertical grip to know a lot about it. I hope it has more than just compartments for batteries and the shutter button. I wonder if they put the AF-ON button on it. I've just heard tips from pro sports photographer on how they separate the AF from the trigger with that button so that it gives them more flexibility (tripping shutter without subject being in focussed for eg), so I'm eager to try it out. So far I think D200 has it. D80 not sure. Oh, there's this rumour about wifi connectivity as option on the D80 vertical grip. Didn't hear about it either.

All in all. always interesting to get new products to scrutinize. But nah, dont thikn I will get one. Back to my F4s and FM2. Film is still being sold so I'm not in a rush.