The Nikon F80/N80 Review
Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)
Carry it with you everywhere! That seems to be the philosophy behind the Nikon® N80 camera. It is a well made, small bodied camera that is light and strong enough to carry with you on a daily basis. Slide it into your purse or briefcase, or do like I do and carry a small camera bag with a couple of lenses.
When you combine the N80 with Nikon's 2.5 inch long 28-80mm f3.5-5.6G zoom lens, it is a very powerful and flexible camera system, but it remains light in weight.
Please realize that the USA N80 and non-USA F80 are identical cameras. In the USA, Nikon chose to segregate their "professional" cameras such as the F2, F3, F4s, F5, and F100, from the "consumer" cameras such as the N60, N65, N80, and N90. Around the rest of our planet there is no special "consumer" rating, and virtually all the Nikons have the "F" designation. As you read this article remember that all of this information applies to both the N80 and F80.
The N80/F80, is very similar in look and feel to the F100 and F5, although it is considerably smaller in size and weight. It now seems that Nikon intends the camera controls to stay comfortable and familiar as one moves up the Nikon line. Starting with the N80, you are using a camera that has most of the same features and controls as the top-of-the-line professional models. If you are an average camera user, and have no professional photography intentions then the N80 is probably all the camera you will ever need. If you are a professional, the N80 is an excellent second or back-up body for your F100 or F5, since the control layout is very similar.
The N80 is by no means a cheaply made camera. If you pick up this little camera, you will be surprised by its solid feel. It certainly doesn't feel like the other brand's "plastic-fantastic" cameras that cost about the same. When you hold this camera, you realize that it is very substantial in build, and will take more abuse than other cameras will. It isn't a tank like the Nikon F4 or F5, but it certainly can take being carried around everywhere, and used frequently. Just think of the sunsets you've been missing by not having your camera with you always. Your excuse is now gone! For about $500.00 you can carry a fine automatic Nikon® multi-mode camera and superb Nikkor® lens.
Originally written on May 30, 2010
Last updated on June 12, 2016
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jay yutzey (jyutzey) on June 24, 2013
Although I have largely converted to digital, I still do film, and the N80 with the last Tamron 28-200 for film (the A03) is what I typically use, although I have several other Nikon film lenses (50, 28-80, and 75-300). I typically use Fuji Superia X-tra 400 film, and have it scanned at 5000 dpi after processing. I duck the film to digital comparisons, since they are different media with different looks. Whether I use film or digital depands on what I'm shooting and the look I want. The Fuji can also be converted to B/W in PhotoShop with surprisingly pleasing results. So I applaud your review of the N80 which in my view is also a quite capable "digital" camera with hybrid processing. Yet another tool in the photographic toolkit.