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Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:06 am

Hi there,

I've started looking into upgrading from my Nikon D80, and have come across the Nikon D90 & Nikon D300.

Now, looking at both cameras the Nikon D90 doesn't seem that much of an improvement over the Nikon D80 to warrant upgrading... however, the Nikon D300 is looking very appealing.
I was just wondering if anyone else here has any experience of upgrading from the Nikon D80 to the D90 or D300; and if anyone can recommended taking the plunge. It’s either upgrading the camera itself, or upgrading my lenses.

Many thanks,

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RE: Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:21 am

I upgraded from D80 to the 35mm DSLR D700 (which is way above the D300 in ability).

So I can't give you any real proper comparisons on performance.

I only ever once used a borrowed D300 to test a new 24-70mm F/2.8 lens before I purchased it, so not really a proper comparison or evaluation - but from what I did try, the D300 in operation was mostly identical to my D700 - which means that it is very good. It will however be worse in low light conditions, but you'd expect that - and what remains is still very good anyway.

But what I can say is that the handling and ability to customise the D300/D700 is worth the expense to upgrade. They are much higher quality. I particularly like Active D Lighting too. The ease of use is much better, all the major functions are right where you want them, they don't have silly portrait, landscape or sports mode dials- and they are far more rugged cameras.

You might also consider the D300s if it is in your price range, it will save you money on memory cards. Remember that the D300/D700/D3/D3x use compact flash, while the D80 uses SDHC cards. The D300s can use both. While not a primary worry, the D300s can also do 720P video if you want to experiment with that.

The battery grip is very much worth the expense - it improves the balance and feel of the camera, and when coupled with the EN-EL4a battery and BL-3 combination increases the frame rate by a very useful amount, getting you up near the D3's speed.

The D80 is still good, but you can reach its limits - while the D300/D300s/D700 are far better. I don't know what lenses you have at the moment - but if you have half-decent ones, the D300 will complete the package.

[Edited 2009-08-27 03:43:15]

[Edited 2009-08-27 03:44:57]
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RE: Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:21 am

I went from the D50, to the D300. And am very happy with it.....this was alomst 2 years ago and am not planing on upgrading yet......
D300 has much better autofocus etc so I would say the D300 is for you...or maybe the D300s...if you want video! The D300 may start coming down in price as well?????
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RE: Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:50 am

In accordance with the first reply, it a big step with Nikon if you go from crop to full frame. You will HAVE to get all new glass if they are already not ED or accepted for the FX format. Otherwise the camera will crop the image and it will drop down to about 6 or 8mp. This has been holding a lot of Nikonians back from going to FF. I love my D300, went to it from a D50 as well and there is a bit of a learning curve but not that much. Just have to get used to the new top buttons for controls that used to be on the back. But thats about it.

I would say if you can afford it go with the 300s, I'm very tempted to pick one up now, mostly because I'm doing a few weddings now and the video would be nice, as would the CF & SD card slots. Store the RAW images on CF, jpg on SD.
Flying runs in the family : )
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RE: Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:00 pm

Quoting Mjlewis (Reply 3):
it a big step with Nikon if you go from crop to full frame.

However, be aware I didn't recommend the D700. I only mentioned it because it is very much similar to operate to the D300 - justifying my recommendation of the D300. The D700 is clearly far too costly for someone considering the D90/D300.

I didn't really have any expensive "pro-grade" DX lenses, all of mine were for FX format, so the transfer was painless. Otherwise, I might have gone for a D300 instead.

Also - the author of the thread should check out the Nikon support website, you can download the manuals for the D300 and get a bit of a feel for it before you go to the store and look at the camera.

[Edited 2009-08-27 05:11:40]
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RE: Upgrading From The Nikon D80

Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:45 pm

Thank you for all the feedback guys, it's most appreciated!

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