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Nikon D60 or D80??

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I would love to know some of your opinions between these two cameras. I've narrowed it down to these two but when comparing them on the Nikon site, there doesn't seem to be much difference so I would like to know if there is besides price. I would consider myself a novice to the photography world but I do take a lot of pictures. I travel to Alaska every year, so I'm looking for a camera that will do me justice for trips like this and also with having two small children too.

Also, what lense would you recommend too, if you were going to Alaska, what lense would you want in your bag and or on your camera??

Also, I did search through the first 30 posts but didn't see anything regarding the questions I'm look for so sorry if this has been something in the past.

I appreciate all your opinions and look forward to buying one of these very soon!!

Thanks!

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I just got the D60 kit with the 18-55 lens. I will admit that I am a novice. But so far I love it.

Unfortunately, I cannot help with the difference between the D60 and D80. Although price is a big one. If you have more to spend, you could use that money on lenses.

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Well, I can help some I hope. I don't know a lot about the D60 but I have the D80. The D60 has live view, the D80 does not. The D60 has a sensor cleaner(don't know how it works), the D80 does not.

The D80 has Creative Lighting System Commander mode, D60 does not. The D80 has in camera editing, I don't think the D60 does. I believe the D80 can shoot more frames per second( honestly not that important until you get a really fast one).

The D60 wasn't available when I bought my D80 but I still would have gone with it because of the advanced features.

I hope this helps a little.

Good luck and welcome to the world of Nikon. It'll be nice to have another Nikonian.

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Well, I don't know much about the Nikon lenses. I am on a tighter budget so I have been buying Sigma equipment which I have had very good luck with. If I was buying a new set up I would probably go with the 18-135mm Nikon. I sold my cheap short lens and have been borrowing a friends and I've been very happy with it. If you have the budget, Alaska could really justify a nice wide angle.

If you're going to be shooting wildlife(I would imagine you will be in Alaska) you'll need something with some length. Of course the big boys would be good, like a 300mm F2.8, 400mm f2.8, but for the budget minded, you could go with a 70-200mm f2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter or the Nikon 70-300 with Vibration Resistance. I chose the 70-200 f2.8 because I already have a Sigma 170-500mm which serves me well. Or if you want to wait a couple months, Sigma is coming out with a 150-500mm with Optical Stablization. I'm hoping to upgrade to that this year after I read some reviews and save up some cash.

Lenses are like sports cars. The more you spend the better you'll get, usually, and everybody has their opinions on them.

Don't be afraid to look into the other brands (Sigma, Tamron etc.). They're not Cheapo lenses. Of course, Sigma and Tamron do make cheapo lenses but so does Nikon and Canon. You just have to buy the best you can afford and it'll suit you until you decide you need to or want to upgrade.

I hope this helped a little.

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I own a D60 with the 18-55mm lens as well. I love it. Many of the features found on the D60 are also found on the D80. D60 does however have Digital Lens Cleaning, Active D-Lighting and a new user interface that adjusts to the way your holding the camera (i.e. horizontal vs. vertical) which I've found to be really useful. The D80 has more customizable features for setting up photos that's important if your serious about your photography. I think the color processing within the camera on the D60 tends to be a bit more saturated than the D80's processor. Resulting in more vivid color, but it depends on what your going for. The biggest difference between the two is size. In retrospect, I enjoy the fit of the D60 in my hands a bit more than the D80 because of the way I hold it, ergonomics etc. I suggest going to National Camera or West Photo and getting your hands on a few and just go with what feels right in that price range. Good luck, Nikon makes great products.

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Mike..thanks for the info, so much appreciated!! I've been doing a lot of reading and internet surfing and have decided to go with the D80..personally I think I will like this a lot better in the long run. As for the lens piece, I'm leaning on the 18-200mm VR (mother nature stuff) and the 50/1.8 lens (indoors/kids). I ready that the 50mm would be better for little kids that are quick and on the move when in the house under low light. If I am wrong on this please let me know since I have just started getting in the new camera world and I'm still a greenhorn on the lens subject. Also, appreciate the lens manufacture choices..wasn't sure if or how that worked when trying to find what lens would work for a nikon that is off label.

The last piece is...where to buy. I was actually thinking of going into a big box store since I know I can negotiate a better price since I know some internet sites are less and I'm sure they would like my business since I'm spending over 1000 dollars. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm going to give it a shot. If you have a better option, please let me know.

Thanks again for the advice and I can't wait to start shooting!!

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Glad to be of some help. Sounds like you have a good set up in mind. I know a lot of guys don't use the 50mm anymore and I don't have one either, but, you made a very good argument for it. If you plan to be shooting a lot indoors, the f1.8 will be very nice to have. I don't have my camera handy as I'm packed for a trip, but just be careful that 50mm (75mm if you figure in the 1.5 crop factor with Nikon) isn't too long for what you want to do indoors. It should be ok but just play around with it before you buy.

As far as a place to buy, there's lots of good places online but there are some very bad places also. If you decide to buy online, go with the big guys like, Adorama, BH Photo, Canoga camera and some others. You can check on a place called Resellerratings .com to check out any online store.

If you decide to buy in person, make sure the person knows what they are talking about. My experience has been that usually at the big box stores they don't have a clue what a mega pixel is much less have any idea what an f-stop is. Verify the info from several places to be sure you can trust it. I'm sure you already know all that, but I thought it should be said anyways.

Good luck and have fun.

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Mike....what would you use instead of the 50mm for indoors and close range for family and friends during special gathering and holidays?? Would the 18-200 VR be good enough?

Thanks!

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I would use that indoors. That should be a good indoor lens. It's not going to allow you a very fast shutter speed to stop action indoors but the VR will be very good indoors. If it were me, I would try it for a while and see how it works. If it works, you saved yourself some money, if not, you'll have a better idea what you'll need.

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I think in the end the f1.8 will rule indoors with no flash, but since you're already getting the 18-200 VR, I agree with Mike. See how well the Vibration Reduction functions. I don't know the aperture the 18-200 has at 50mm (likely not as wide as 1.8 though) and it's possible the VR will account for the difference.

If it does, you've saved the money, as Mike said . . .

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When I bought my d80 I wanted the VR lens until I saw the price which was almost as much as the camera. The salesman actually talked me out of it. He said the only difference it would make would be under low light conditions. So I decided on the 18 x 135 which has worked out fine for the 5 days I have had it.

Ritz/wolf camera had a fantastic "fathers day" special on these last week and there price is not that bad after the sale either. The had a better deal than national camera! Sams club also has a pretty nice "package" price also. I did about a year to a year and a half of research and price shopping before I finally made the purchase. I wish I would have done it sooner.

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It is true that the VR is most helpful in low light, but, with those lenses they are f3.5 to f5.6 which isn't very fast. You will notice the difference with a VR in a lot of situations. There is a big price difference but if you can swing it the VR is a great way to go.

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Mike....what would you use instead of the 50mm for indoors and close range for family and friends during special gathering and holidays?? Would the 18-200 VR be good enough?

Thanks!

The 18-200VR works fine indoors, just use a flash if you need more light. You'll probably be at the wide end most of the time indoors and at or near F/3.5, also both the D60 and D80 work pretty well at high ISO so you can crank it up to help get more shutter speed. An external flash bounced off the ceiling works better though.

The 50mm 1.8 is a great little lens - keep in mind it won't auto focus on the D60, any lens that doesn't have a built in motor won't auto focus with that camera they will with the D80. Maybe your house is bigger than mine, but 50mm is a bit long most of the time indoors. It works great for things like shots of blowing out a birthday cake, but is to long for much more than one person at a time.

What lens would I want on my camera in Alaska? 17-55 F/2.8 for wide stuff, maybe the new 14-24mm. For wildlife I'd want the 600mm VR. Of course once budget realities come crashing down I wouldn't have those. smile For Alaska on a budget a good 2 lens combo would be the new 16-85VR and 70-300VR. The new upcoming Sigma 150-500mm HSM OS lens is looking promising for the Canon shooters so far, I'd love to take something like that to Alaska, that lens is retailing for almost $1,000 though and might be outside of your budget.

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