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D50 --> D80 users...

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by sbruno, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. sbruno


    Jul 20, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    So I'm thinking about making the move. My reasons inslude more functions on the body of the camera (I hate delving into the menu system to do seemingly elementary things), better viewfinder, bettter focusing system, more cropping room, etc. Unfortunately, I can't afford to keep two DSLRs, so I'd need to sell my D50.

    I have read some threads about the learning curve of the D80 and how people don't get as many keepers until they really learn the D80's ins and outs. Before I make such a move, I wanted to hear from other folks who have made this change. What did you have to do differently to get good images out of your D80? I know the matrix metering is different, but what else does one need to be aware of in order to make this a smooth transition?

    Many thanks,

  2. steve, i did the same thing as you last year. you're going to love the d80 and find its not much different than the d50. definitely learn how to, if you already dont, use ev compensation and for sure check out auto-iso. it's great. you will also be able to use higher isos like iso 3200. they turn out awesome if you put them in b/w (i mostly shoot only in b/w anyway). the viewfinder is much more impressive too.
    i wouldnt worry about the "smooth transition." if you know how to operate a camera you should be in the clear to produce some great photographs.
    hope this helps some.
  3. I intended to do the same thing because I wanted more defined focal points, dual scroll wheels and a few other features.

    Unfortunately, the D80 doesn't handle noise as well as the D50... nor does it produce as accurate colors and skin tones. My advice would be to hang on to the 50 until there is a true upgrade available.
  4. this is nonsense.
  5. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. I had a D80 but upgraded to a D200 after about 6 months. I found that at least in my copy the D80 tended to blow highlights unless you adjusted the exposure down between 1/3 and a full fstop. One review that I recall called this exposing for shadows (a more benign description than I would use). This, again in my experience, required monitoring highlights and histogram a fair amount in order not to blow highlights, because the best adjustment varied over the above mentioned range.

    Joe, perhaps, you may think this is just more nonsense or do you experience something similar?

    In any event it was one of the motivating factors for me upgrading to the D200. Your mileage may vary.


  6. danmab


    Apr 26, 2007
    I was on the fence on this for a while back towards the end of last year -- the D50 took great images, that was for sure, but I decided to get the D80 based solely on the 10mp images. It has made cropping so much better without any loss of quality. the D80 can be considered less of a P&S style camera because it does feel like it needs more attention to the details to get better pictures, but that's part of the joy that I felt relearning photography techniques.
    Once I got the D80, I have not looked back at all.
  7. Do you have proof to back your claim :rolleyes: 

    I owned both and did back to back testing with it and the D2X if you'd like me to dig the photos up... :wink:
  8. Ed, this confirms my experience with both the D50 and D80. Oh, and the color from my D80 is excellent. As far as overexposing, well that happens in matrix mode but not in well metered center or spot mode. To fix the problem in matrix which I don't use much, I have the high contrast D200 tone curve installed in my camera!
  9. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    the d50 has superior metering system and better colors
  10. Uh, okay if you say so!

    D80 shot:
  11. I'm no expert on the fine details but own both cameras . I have used the D80 for 11 000 images in 8 months , about 6000 of them at weddings and haven't seen any need for a "transition" of any sort . What I really like about the D80 is the function button on the front which I set to "cancel flash " . That way I can take two pictures of each 'debatable "[flash or no-flash ?] wedding photograph . Just a press of the function button 'click' , release button 'click' and you have a picture without flash and one with flash .
    The custom iso is also really nice . One negative is that its flash synch speed is only 1/200th while the d50 is 1/500th but i would still recommend a D80 to anyone .
    With regard to metering and colours etc. the cameras of today have so many settings people could be confused as to which camera takes better pictures if they don't know everything about each camera . Why one earth would Nikon bring out a camera with worse colours than its predecessor ? Accuracy in my opinion is more important than appealing colours that were not in the original image .
  12. kperry


    Aug 7, 2007
    Huntsville, AL
    Since I'm just getting started what are the main limitations pushing D50ers to upgrade. I'm looking to get a D50 but maybe I'll grow out of it too fast.
  13. But then there is Andreas' tests here which tend to support Brian:


    Tests done with and without high-iso noise reduction turned on on the more advanced cameras.
  14. I guess it's a matter of opinions then Ed. Looking at those charts doesn't help the 80 in my opinion.

    I did testing back to back with the D80, D50 and even the D2X and up to iso1600 the D50 reigned supreme. Colors on all cameras with default settings showed the D50 did skin tones better than the other two out of the box and that is what is important to me because I only shoot peeps.
  15. I disagree. On paper yes there is less noise on the D80. But if you look at the pic from the D80 taken at 1600ISO it is like you are looking at a Rembrandt. All the color seems to be smudged like a painting without much detail. My D50 may have a bit of noise but it is also much sharper and more detail. And yes I did own both. Sold the D50 actually to get the D80 and then I sold that and went back :smile:
  16. This makes me think of the post "How do you respond when someone says "your camera take nice pictures !"" . If you don't explore the capabilities of a new camera that has customisable features it's like saying " Your camera doesn't take very nice pictures " . Here are two pictures , one from each camera . Different lighting , different brides , ; can anyone tell just by looking at the pictures which was taken with which cameras ? If I went back and changed some settings in each camera they could both look very different .
    Personally I want a camera that is accurate , not just gives "pleasing" colours and I find them both to be close enough .

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