I’ve been having problems with my D80 for over a year now. It’s really hindered my desire to shoot and I’ve used it just a few times in the last 6 months. Yesterday I headed to Nikon’s corporate offices in Hong Kong to see if their service department could provide me with an accurate diagnosis for my camera’s problems. Just to give a bit of background; my camera has a mind of it’s own. It switches to bracketing mode as it’s default setting and regardless of whether or not I reset all the camera’s functions or manually turn off bracketing mode, it always comes back on. This causes me to reset the camera for nearly every picture taken. Those of you who shoot know how time consuming that can be, especially at events or when trying to capture a moment with limited time. After speaking with one of the techs at Nikon’s service department, I found out my D80 has an internal circuitry issue and needs to spend 1-2 weeks in repair. Even though I did nothing to cause the problem, it’s not covered under the company’s limited warranty and the repair will cost at least $250. The repair cost and the time to fix will leave me out of a camera for my entire visit in Hong Kong and to Indonesia next week. I’m deciding if it’s even worth the money to fix the camera at this point. A D80 in good condition won’t go for more than $350-400 used and because of that, I’m not sure I can justify investing the money.
This situation has got me looking at upgrades, specifically Nikon’s D7000. It’s their most advanced DSLR to date and would be a massive upgrade to my D80. The D7000 is loaded with great features like Active-D Lighting which enhances detail in low and high light conditions, perfect for shooting at night and in the middle of the afternoon. The 16 MP DX sensor isn’t as high as Canon’s 5D Mark II, but for my needs it won’t be noticeable, since I rarely do large format printing. The D7000 also has dual SD slots for expanded memory, but the feature I may be most excited about is the 1080 HD video mode with Autofocus. Unlike the limited D90, the D7000 records stereo sound and comes with an external mic jack. Unlike the Canon 5D Mark II, it also shoots 24 FPS giving off cinema quality footage. The D7000 is nowhere to be found in America, it’s sold out everywhere. They are available in Hong Kong and I’m tempted to pick one up while I’m here. Unfortunately, because of demand, there’s currently a $300 mark up on the price. I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend the extra money or wait it out when I get home. Yesterday I headed off to Wan Chai Computer Center to check out the D7000 firsthand and it’s an amazing camera. The body construction is of the best quality and it has a nice weight to it. The functions are extremely accessible and the menus easy to navigate. I guess at this point I have a decision to make. Send the D80 in for repair or pick up the D7000?