First DSLR - Nikon D80 or D5000? Recommend?

Hi All,

Contemplating my first DSLR.

I prefer Nikon cameras and have got my short list down to the D80 or D5000 as they are within my desired price range etc.

Any recommendations? Advice?

D5000 has higher pixels but not all the features of the older D80.

It will generally be used for shooting pics of kids/parties and outdoor activities.

Many thanks!

I have owned a Nikon D5000 for a couple of years and have not even begun to use all its features. Instead of the standard lens I bought the body and the 18 - 105 lens as it is flexible enough for my needs. I am very happy with it.

Good luck with your good decision.

Done! Have purchased the D80 and will now be eagerly awaiting its arrival…

Expect lots of questions from me when it arrives…

Thanks to all for the info.

Hi Linda
I too have looked at the sigma and tamron lenses but the only way to know if it really works is to try it. Failing that I look at the reviews on the internet (not just forums). Also, you get some honest opinions on Amazon from people who have bought them. I look at the lowest ratings to find out any pitfalls, eg compatibility, speed of focus etc.
Honestly, I think I will try to stick with Nikon, but maybe due to budget I will have to go for a Tamron where the 70-300 is concerned (next purchase I think). I will also be buying a 1.7 or 2.0 converter and will go for Nikon on that one.
Oh, one last thing, go for the fastest you can. (I’m learning James)

Hi Ron
Not easy when you’re living in the sticks. Even finding what you want displayed in a shop to try on the body is difficult. At least where I am. I certainly miss living in Paris for that.
But I do agree on the importance of the lens now that I have experienced a better one, and the stabalisation, with an S ;), especially where longer focal lengths are involved.

In fact, the lens is more important than the body; if you go 18-200, I would suggest that you get a lens with image stabilization. At the very least, rent several lenses for a weekend and see which works best for you.

Thanks Stuart. That’s helpful. I’m also pondering Tamron/Sigma versions. Do you know anything about these lenses?

Hi Linda
My 1O5mm is the old version autofocus micro F2.8 with no VR. I use manual focus mostly for macros.
I bought it second hand and it was classed as excelent ++ so not mint. It is fine, if a little expensive at £450 (including the £25 delivery) but look at the price of the new one around 800€ gulp. It is definitely a better lens than the 18-105 supplied with the camera, but then again it should be. It is meant for macros and portraits and even if I say it myself, it works quite well.


Just adding my pennyworth here. I bought my first DSLR Nikon in December. I chose the D3100, which for my needs is wonderful! I bought new from DIGIXO, a Paris company, and was very satisfied with the service. My only regret is that I only bought the one with one kit lens, the standard wide angle lens. In retrospect, I would have been better off getting the kit with the 200mm lens as well.
Stuarts suggestion above looks well worth investigating since you don’t mind second-hand.

Stuart, how much did you pay for the 105mm lens? it manual focus?

Happy hunting Natalie

I bought a 105mm macro lens from them and I love it.

This is a goodcompany recommended by James. Found this.

SLR Kits
Nikon D80 + 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G DX AF-S VR kit
New condition. Nikon’s most versatile lens. Ideal as the one lens taken for travel where a batch of interchangeable lenses would be awkward or would allow dust into the body cavity. Exceptional price. MINT £445.00

They guarantee second hand equipment. Youn would pay £25 delivery.

Thanks for the replies, good to hear about your thoughts on the D80 Ron.

I am looking at second hand, upto the £400 mark really. Not too fussed on video. We have a fairly new camcorder that we rarely use so it doresn’t figure too highly on my must have list.

I am new to DSLR cameras but from what I have read this camera should offer what I want at a good price etc.

They seem to be going for around this price or under inc delivery on ebay at present.

I have been using the D80 since it was introduced and am generally very satisfied with the results in B&W, I find that the color shots often have to "boosted"a bit to get results that truly depict the image, but that can be done in camera. It is user friendly and offers a generous range of options. it should be good for the action shots you are contemplating. Pixel count will only be important if you contemplate Printing significant enlargements.