Did you say Nikon?
Yes I did. So what! After buying a second hand Nikon N75, I decided to buy an 11 year old Nikon D80.

Why?
Because I want to try the Nikon system to see if works for me. Rather than spending a ton, I’ve spent as less as I could. I’d figured I would use my Canons for professional use including my T5i for video work. This would be less wear and tear on the Canons. I’d figured I would use this $100 D80 for everyday use, so I don’t have to haul around a heavy full frame DSLR or my other Canon DSLRs all the time.

What lenses did you get?
When I first got my N75, I bought the Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1.8G that was on sale. I also acquired a Nikkor 28-80 F3.5-5.6 from Ebay so that my N75 would have an general kit lens. As I bought the D80, I bought a Nikkor AF-S 18-55 F3.5-5.6 VR and Nikkor 70-300 F4-5.6G. The 18-55 is surprisingly sharp for a low budget kit lens. 70-300 I find to be finicky with the autofocus at times and image quality not all that great.

How does it hold up to today’s¬†cameras?
In terms of speed, it definitely shows it’s age. It takes a tad longer to write pics to the SD card even though I’m using a high speed UHS 1 card. It’s 10 megapixel which is perfectly fine for me. That’s how I started was on an old Digital Rebel XS. There’s no live view, no HD Video and no sensor cleaning. But, it does what it’s intended to do and that is take photos. That’s all it needs to do. I feel like I’ve gone back to basics with this camera.

What about Image Quality?
For an 11 year old camera, it still has good image quality. The dymanic range is not as good as the Canon 7D. Shadow and highlight detail can be a bit of an issue. If you’re not careful, the shadows will look like solid black blobs or highlights will look like white blobs. Any ISO past 800 suffers too as there’s way more noise compared to modern DSLRs.

If want to get into DSLR photography but on a low budget, this could be the way to go.

Here are samples from the D80 and some careful post-processing.