Nikon D60/D80?

First off, sorry this is so long! Ok, so I’m looking to buy my first DSLR and some lenses for it. I have it narrowed down a bit but could still use ANY advice you guys can send my way. To start I’ve read every review online & in print that I can find on the D60 & D80 and I’ve even watched the demo videos and used both in store at B&H.

I’m sticking with Nikon’s mainly because I’m used to them. I’ve got a 35mm N80 that I love. Plus, I own a Nikon Speedlight SB600 which is less than a year old. I thought about the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (aka 450D) due out in April but my flash won’t work with it & I don’t think I’ll have time to learn how to use it before my 2 weeks in Hawaii late May.

Now here’s the thing, every time I go to B&H they ask what I plan to use it for and what cameras I’ve owned in the past. The moment they hear that I have an N80 they force the D80 on me. My big issue is that while I loved my N80 I never used even half the features on it. I only just started using it in manual so I’m hesitant to get another camera with all these features that I’ll pay for but might never use.

Using it for – People (inside & out), Landscape & Scenery, Sports & Travel (no where extreme like Everest!)

My overall goal is a camera that takes good quality, sharp pictures. One where I have some freedom to utilize the shutter speed & aperture creatively – as I just started to learn. I realize that this mostly depends on the lens so I was thinking of investing in the D60 and adding on some good quality lenses. Then if I want to upgrade the body to something more advanced down the line I could.

My thoughts on the D60:
– LOVE the weight & size (I have small girl hands!)
– Screen turns off when you look thru the viewfinder
– Antidust system (could be a marketing gimmick though?)
– Easy buttons & menu on back
– Like the simple in camera editing/effects you can do
– Neg = only has one dial and a button for manual mode ss/f-stop controls BUT I didn’t find it difficult to maneuver this or things like the ISO changes – just a matter of getting used to it more than anything else.

My thoughts on the D80:
– Feels pretty heavy with just an 18-55mm lenses, afraid to try with a bigger 70-200 or 70-300?
– Grip is large but not unmanageable
– Plus = has 2 wheels, one for shutter speed & 1 for aperture like my N80
– Plus = has the LDC screen on top to view settings

I guess my biggest concerns are am I selling myself & my picture quality short by getting the D60 or will the D80 be too cumbersome in weight and features that it will deter me from using it?

Lenses –
These are the lenses I’m thinking about but it seems like every review I read at B& is mixed. Everyone’s always talking about how this lens creeps and that lens isn’t as sharp or it has vignettes?

All I’d like are 2 or 3 lenses that give nice sharp pictures under most conditions. I know nothings perfect 100% of the time and the higher my ISO the more noise etc. But I don’t know if I sacrifice some sharpness for the VR feature. I know it’s not the same as the image stabilization in point & shoots but a little help with camera/hand shake sounds nice if it works.

18-55mm AF-S VR (included with the D60 kit)
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S (great reputation – but no VR)
**some reviews swear by the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S for sharpness over the 18-55 lenses**
50mm f/1.8D AF (think this only works in AF on the D80 but could be wrong)

18-200mm AF-S VR (am I sacrificing quality & sharpness for convenience of an “all in 1” lens?)
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S
55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S VR
70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR


One thought on “Nikon D60/D80?

  1. Niloy says:

    Two major points for the D80:

    D80 will autofoucs AF lenses too. The D60 is limited to newer lenses that are AF-S. (These lenses got the autofocus motor built into the lens.)

    So that means you’ll be able to use the 50mm F1.8 on the D80, which is incredible value for money. 

    Also if you’ve got lenses from the N80, those lenses will autofocus on the D80, but not on the D60.

    You’ll be able to fire the SB600 flash off camera. Quality from photos improve radically when you play with off-camera lighting. You can’t do this on the D60 without additional equipment.

    The D80 also has a tougher body, etc.

    The salespeople had more reasons than just simple profit to recommend you the D80. 🙂

    If the D80 isn’t much more expensive, or too inconvienent, it’s a better choice. 

    As for the lenses, you’re considering some really good zoom lenses. If you feel like it, you could try out prime lenses. Sharper, superios image quality at the cost of inconvienence. 

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