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Wife's D80 vs. My D200....hmmmm

Agentsmith

US
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Agentsmith Registered since 12th Sep 2006
Tue 19-Sep-06 03:45 PM




First post here for us....
I bought my wife a D80 last week, body only as we have lenses. I use a D200 and D50 for a second body. I generally keep the 18-200VR mounted on the D50 and the 17-55DX stays on the D200. A second 18-200VR is on her D80.
I feel, after shooting for several months with the D200 that I've gotten pretty good with it. At least compared to the better stuff I see online, my images look pretty good. I also do occasional event shooting and the D200 has been really solid.
Last week my D50 died without warning, almost like a BGLOD problem. LCD dead and camera came back to life once then made a odd clack sound and stayed dead. Sent it to Nikon. I had a party to shoot and grabbed the D80. It was not a critical gig, so I did some lens swapping there and came home to compare images. I shot mostly fine Jpegs, but also some RAW.
The results were shocking. Everything from the D80 had more snap, obviously better sharpness and, at higher ISO's was less noise. The D80 gave me some images that the D200 could have matched, but only with PP across the board. I made more than 50 8X10 prints and the D80 photos also looked better there. Specifically, they looked smoother and more like film to my eye. My wife agreed and had already felt the D80 took better shots.
Shooting outdoors, I still felt like D200 gave me a tad more latitude in DR. The D80 seems curved towards that "pop" that can also cause blowouts easier.
My bottom line is that the D80 is giving more pleasing images than the D200, even in RAW. I don't know exactly what Nikon did, but I sure wish the D200 had this ability. Some groups claim you can curve the D200 to do the same thing, but I don't see anyone doing that yet. My D80 shots look better in a very natural and unprocessed way. I'm very impressed.
I'll keep the D200 because it's still better when shooting motion due to it's frame rate. And in no way would I say that the D200 doesn't take stunning images. It's just that the D80 takes them a bit easier and there's just no getting away from the D80's excellent in camera processing. While some pixel peepers and D200 owners will claim otherwise, I feel that the D200 owners would love to see their pics, especially Jpegs, looking like the D80's.
Someone shot some bills at DPreview and posted the crops from D80 and D200. The D80 shots look much nicer. As a long time semi pro I really can't defend the D200 image quality against the D80. I guess it's just the newer more refined unit and perhaps the D60 will be even better and cost even less. That's progress for you!
Well, those are my observations. My wife loves her D80 and now I know why. BTW, the D80 MUST have the grip for proper handling, especially with larger lenses like the 70-200vr.

Duane and Fee in Ohio

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