For a beginner -- D80 vs. D70?

May 13, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Hi there,

I posted a thread about my beginner D70 setup, but I've been doing a little research on the D80 and I was wondering if it's worth the extra $$.

From reading previous threads, it seems that UPGRADING from a D70/s to a D80 is a toss-up...some say yes, some say it's not worth it.

More MPs, larger LCD, it worth the extra $440??

$720 shipped from Cameta for a D70 Nikon factory demo + 18-70mm lens.


$1,160 shipped from Cameta for a D80 Nikon factory demo + 18-70mm lens.

The $440 could buy me a Tamron 90mm macro lens with a little extra to put towards my SB-600 flash.

What I'm wondering is whether I should spend the extra money for the D80 or save some money and go with the D70 and put the money towards a macro lens I want...

I'm planning to use the macro lens for aquatic photography, mostly corals, fish, my aquariums so I don't know if the extra MPs in the D80 will make a large difference because of possibly cropping issues.

What does everyone think?
Dec 4, 2006
Beautiful Upstate New York
Honest opinion:
I was faced with the exact same dilemma last December. I thought I was ready to purchase the D50 or D70s. Pricing is very attractive for those two cameras. I too was a total beginner.
I went to various camera stores, held them, demo'd them, got different perspectives from the sales people went back a few times and did it all over again. Then, one salesman, who I started to really listen to, suggested that I demo a D80. I was immediately sold on the bigger view finder. This alone was probably the biggest selling point that would eventually lead me to buy the D80.
But the story does not end there. I can honestly say to you that I don't know if more pixels and bigger viewfinder is THAT important! The D70s at 6 mp is more than adequate for everyday and special occasion photography IMO. I have yet to see, on many digital photography forums that I peruse, a bad photo taken with either a D50, D70s or the D80!!
So, to you I say I am thrilled & happy that I ended up purchasing the D80. Would I have been just as happy with a D70s, at my level of photography?
Yes no doubt. Will it matter more as I improve? Probably.
If you feel unsure, but can afford the extra $$ of the D80, I'd buy it.
You can always shop for better and more lenses at a later time.


I didnt realize the D70s was a 6MP! A friend of mine bought one last year. So, if the D70s was a 6MP why did they make a a D40? Just to take out the autofocus motor I guess? I would LOVE to have a D80..maybe one day. I will keep my trusty D40 for the time being. I love it. Go for the D80 if you can Epicfish. You can also check out the used camera shops in your town where people trade in their D80's and they go for a D200 or something.
Jan 17, 2006
East TN
You can also check out for a D80 here in the for sale section, I bought one there, I saw one there very recently at a reasonable deal too. Not sure if it sold yet...


it all depends on how seriously you want to shoot

d80 has some really nice features, but you have to decide if they are worth the extra cost - based on what it is that you are shooting
Mar 12, 2007
I didnt realize the D70s was a 6MP! A friend of mine bought one last year. So, if the D70s was a 6MP why did they make a a D40? Just to take out the autofocus motor I guess?
The D40 was introduced to a different market of people who would want to make the jump from PnS cameras to DSLR cameras without the hassle of going through DSLR setup complications as with the D70s. Starting from the ground up, you need to get new lenses anyways. No problem with AF-S type lenses since Nikon came out with a few consumer type AF-S zooms with VR to boot.
Dec 31, 2006
The Frozen Tundra...aka south of the Twin Cities,
Buy a camera you can grow into...I own them both. The D70 was my first Digital SLR, when I decided to upgrade I looked at the D80 vs D200...The D80 won out for a variety of reasons. If I were to compare the D70 to D80, the viewfinder, screen size, ability to add a Nikon vertical grip with shutter release, low light performance make the extra $$'s worth it. The 10mpo sensor is nice, but surprisingly wasnt a huge deciding factor. YOu can get some pretty amazing and large prints (I've printed 24x36) off a 6mp D70. I still use my D70 as a back-up body.
Mar 3, 2006
Asheville, N.C.
if you mean the D70s, it's a fine camera and a good deal - if you need huge enlargements, go D80 ,; personally I'd rather have a D70s and a macro lens than the ability to enlarge huge (the 6mp will make wonderful 11X14, how much more do you need?)......

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji:
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom