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Is it me or is our Nikon D80 camera faulty?
PLEASE help. My partner and I bought a D80 last year (10 months ago) and I am yet to be impressed or even happy with any photo's. I am a novice photographer but my partner has had many camera's over the years and has taken great photo's. I keep thinking that we just don't know how to use the camera but no matter what we try the pictures tend to be out of focus (or rather the bits we want focussed are not) and the bits around the central point of the photo tends to be clearer . Also with every photo we have to go in and change the colour as the photo is too light. We haven't used the sun "cap" because it shows in the photo..

How can I check if there is something wrong with our camera?..

Comments (18)

For general purpose and and not special type pics(such as astromonmy, macro, stopping very fast objects, etc) you sghould be using a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster and an fstop of f5.6 or smaller. yoiu should get acceptable pics at these settings with the lowest iso speed outdoors.read your owner's manual on setting the focus settings in the menu..

I wrote the following posts some time ago, they may be of interest..

No matter which dslr you buy..

Heavily consider the following. there are NEW DSLR owners' writing in all over these forums on this subject.when changeing from a p&s to a dslr, there is a huge difference..

When you take p&s out of the box add a memory card and a fully charged battery you can now shoot and take very good pics..

BUT, you cannot do this with dslr. the camera HAS TO BE SETUP first. you have to adjust the contrast/saturation/sharpness/shooting modes(color style or whatever it is called) to your likes. if you don't it is quite likely you will disappointed with results. your p&s will likely outshoot the dslr..

To setup-you have shoot a test shot make ONE adjustment reshoot check pc screen readjust, until you are satisfied. and you do this with each of the adjustment types. then you have all the custom adjustments in the menu to check and if wanted change..

When done you can put the camera into AUTO or PROGRAM and get reasonably nice shots. I would advise at first staying with jpeg. as you learn about the camera and photography you can then go to the other shooting modes and try RAW if you wish..

Dslrs are made to see the shot through the optical viewfinder not through the lcd. this is true of almost all dslrs including the k10d. there was a thread.

Not to log ago about who would want a dslr with a preview lcd, al,most noone wanted one.dslrs and color..

If you mean heavy saturated colors then no dslr is going to do that. they are not made to give strongly saturated colors. they are made to give ACCURATE COLORS. not heavy saturated colors..

This is not the same thing at all. too many people who come from a p&s are very disappointed in th dslr colors, because they are not bright and saturated. this is because they are and have been using a p&s which has been giving them saturated and incorrect clors for so long that they think it is the right look. nothing could be further from the truth. the p&s colors are wrong, wrong. the camera manufactures know that the public buys high megapixel and heavy saturated colors and is what they make and sell to the public..

But the slr/dslr is a whole different world. for the dslr accuracy of the scene in terms of view and color is a religion rpt religion. you want accurate color that is what you are going to get with dslr. but they will not be the bright saturated colors of a p&s. ytou can with adjustments in the menus up the color is dslr, but it will not look the INACCURATE CARTOON COLOR of the p&s..

If you are wishing to buy a dslr for more and brighter color, save you money the p&s is what you want..

Not too long ago a new owner of a dslr was on these forums talking about the poor color of his new dslr. it seems as if he was shooting on an overcast day. many many people replying to him told him that cloudy day shots give the most accurate color, which they do. he couldn't believe and get over that idea. he also owned a p&S previously.you might be interested in this; which I posted a while back..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257..

Comment #1

LesleeB wrote:.

PLEASE help. My partner and I bought a D80 last year (10 months ago)and I am yet to be impressed or even happy with any photo's. I am anovice photographer but my partner has had many camera's over theyears and has taken great photo's. I keep thinking that we justdon't know how to use the camera.

Chances are that there's nothing wrong with the camera. If a camera is faulty, 99% of the time it doesn't take pictures at all or they are half-black or something..

But no matter what we try thepictures tend to be out of focus (or rather the bits we want focussedare not) and the bits around the central point of the photo tends tobe clearer ..

Assuming you have read the manual and know your camera, check the settings for dynamic area, AF mode and AF points. If you have selected AF-C and dynamic area, it's possible that focus "jumps" from one AF point to the other while you're recomposing the scene.

Also with every photo we have to go in and changethe colour as the photo is too light. We haven't used the sun "cap"because it shows in the photo..

Again, assuming you have read the manual and know your camera, change the settings affecting contrast, sharpness and saturation and see if it affects the results. Don't use Auto modes; use e.g. (P) mode instead.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #2

Does the camera do better in different modes?.

Could you post one of the problem photos so that we can see what's going on? If you don't have free webspace from your ISP to upload to or have not yet joined a photo sharing site (Flikr.com is a useful free one), then if you like you can email a copy of an original one to me. (Visit my PBase galleries to find address)..

It will be necessary to see the full exif information and for you to try to remember what you were focusiing on at the time..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #3

Please do one thing for us, please..

1/ Set the camera at ISO 200, set the exposure mode at P, set the lens on autofocus and go outside on a sunny or at least bright day, point the camera at something multicolored and multi-toned, like a house with a lawn and a garden and a road in rfont and a sidewalk, with the sun shining on it, and take a picture..

Take the card fromthe camera to a store like Walmart or Costco or similar whereever you are, and make an 8x10 print..

Report back..

Thanks.

BAK..

Comment #4

Problem 1: You need to have a look in the manual and check out how to tell the camera which autofocus point to use. Then you can choose which autofocus point you need in order to focus where you want.

Problem 2: From all accounts the D80 has an exposure system that favors shadows, so the photos will look quite light and washed out. I wouldn't like my photos like that either. Once again, have a look in your manual at Exposure Compensation. You can set it to minus 1/3 or minus 2/3 and see if that improves the photos. You should also refrain from making critical exposure judgments on the LCD on the camera as your brightness setting will influence how the photo looks, I'd download to the computer and have a look there..

LesleeB wrote:.

PLEASE help. My partner and I bought a D80 last year (10 months ago)and I am yet to be impressed or even happy with any photo's. I am anovice photographer but my partner has had many camera's over theyears and has taken great photo's. I keep thinking that we justdon't know how to use the camera but no matter what we try thepictures tend to be out of focus (or rather the bits we want focussedare not) and the bits around the central point of the photo tends tobe clearer . Also with every photo we have to go in and changethe colour as the photo is too light. We haven't used the sun "cap"because it shows in the photo..

How can I check if there is something wrong with our camera?..

Comment #5

Something else you could try is to set the JPEG image qualtity to Vivid. It does give a punchy result - I am sure many here would say too punchy!.

Also, I seem to recall thatthere is a good default set up guide on KenRockwells site..

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/users-guide/index.htm.

Also try this - Thom Hogan guide for the D80:http://www.bythom.com/d80guide.htm..

Comment #6

LesleeB wrote:.

PLEASE help. My partner and I bought a D80 last year (10 months ago)and I am yet to be impressed or even happy with any photo's. I am anovice photographer but my partner has had many camera's over theyears and has taken great photo's. I keep thinking that we justdon't know how to use the camera but no matter what we try thepictures tend to be out of focus (or rather the bits we want focussedare not) and the bits around the central point of the photo tends tobe clearer ..

The probability is this is user error. But you do not give us enough information to be sure..

I suggest you do the following:.

Do a two button general reset (Manual p.44) (This may not be necessary but it makes sure you have not altered settings that would affect the advice given and restores all settings to what they were when the camera arrived).

1. Set the ISO to 400 (manual p.83)2 Set the Autofocus to AF-S (single servo AF) (p.29 manual).

3. Check the AF selector is set on the centre focus point and lock it there (p.30)4. Select Single Area AF (p.87)5. Select Wide Zone centre AF area (p.87).

6. Set LCD brightness at -2 (SETUP MENU & p. 103)(the LCD is far too bright at default)7. Set Sharpness to +1 (Custom options - Manual p.79/80)8. Set the camera to "Jpeg Normal" (p.81).

9. set the camera to "P" (Program mode) (p. 47 (and do read the bit at the bottom of the page).

Now go and take some photos and report back..

I have suggested ISO 400 because the most common beginner's problem is camera shake. ISO 400 should allow you a high enough shutter speed and aperture to stop slow action and camera shake and give you a larger aperture number to give you adequate depth of field so that things around your main subject are in focus..

Also with every photo we have to go in and changethe colour as the photo is too light..

If your photos are still "too light" set the Exposure compensation to -0.3 or -0.7 (p.2 & p.54).

We haven't used the sun "cap" because it shows in the photo..

This comment of yours concerns me. Either you are not fitting the lens hood correctly or you have a non standard (i.e not Nikon) lens. What is the lens on your camera? 18-70? 18-135? If you have a poor lens this would affect corner sharpness on your photos. The bits that stick out most on the lens hood shouild be top and bottom with the camera resting on a flat surface. Leave it off if fitting it is a problem..

How can I check if there is something wrong with our camera?.

If you cannot take decent pictures on the above settings then next check out your photos on another PC in case yours is set up badly but I doubt you will need to..

When you get consistently good pictures on the above settiings try reducing the ISO to 200. You can probably leave it at ISO 200 most of the time. I do..

Hope that helps..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #7

Well I should be used to it by now but it does gall me when seven people give of their time to post helpful a (and lengthy) replies to total strangers and one month on not one line of thanks! Sigh!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #8

You got me there Chris; I came to check the thread hoping for an update and a (late) "thanks" .

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #9

Ancient_Mariner wrote:.

You got me there Chris; I came to check the thread hoping for anupdate and a (late) "thanks" .

I bumped into the thread when looking for something else and decided to have a grumble!!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #10

I would have liked to know if any opf the suggestions and info the bunch of us stated worked. I wish the op had come back with a process, or how goes it, report..

Oh well, sigh...

Comment #11

Took her 10 months to get round to asking how to use her camera, maybe it will take 10 months to read the answers in this thread?? ..

Comment #12

Glad I didn't see it a month ago, as RTFM seems to get me short shrift around here....

I've pretty well given up on answering beginner questions - most of them (especially new dSLR owners) have no clue, no interest in finding said clue and seemingly, as you guys have found, no manners. If a question hangs around unanswered for a little while, I'll put something small there - if the OP wants to know more, they can reply and ask. When they do, I know that they're at least watching their post for answers..

Rob.

Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no shame in failure, only in failure to try...

Comment #13

A few thoughts-.

1. On the focus- the camera may be using wider apertures than you are expecting, which gives shallow depth of field, meaning that only the point you focus on will be truly in focus. This can be desireable in some situations (portraits) less so in others. This is generally not an issue with point and shoots, as they tend to have more depth of field2. On focus- make sure you are using the focus point you expected..

3. The meter in the d80 has a reputation for consistently over exposing (though I can't say I have noticed this myself). Try setting the exposure comp to about -.7 and just leaving it there (I have a d70 which consistently under exposes, so mine is always set to +.3)..

Comment #14

I will play devil advocate here and suggest that a lot of folks think when you sign up for a forum and are the OP you are automatically subscribed to the thread and will get a email notification of a post or a copy of the post. dpreview is the only forum I use that does not have this feature. By now they may have even forgotten where they posted..

The other side of this is that others that are having a similar issue, but were to afraid to ask, may stumble upon this post and derive some benefit from it..

Thank you all for contributing!.

"manners are the unenforced standards of conduct they are unlike laws in that there is no formal system for punishing transgressions, other than social disapproval"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manners..

Comment #15

Wchp wrote:.

I will play devil advocate here and suggest that a lot of folks thinkwhen you sign up for a forum and are the OP you are automaticallysubscribed to the thread and will get a email notification of a postor a copy of the post. dpreview is the only forum I use that does nothave this feature. By now they may have even forgotten where theyposted.The other side of this is that others that are having a similarissue, but were to afraid to ask, may stumble upon this post andderive some benefit from it..

Thank you all for contributing!.

I agree with above sentiment!! I spend a lot of time picking up tips and techniques from more experienced photographers..

But I agree - if you ask a question and people take the time to answer a small thank you is only polite...

Comment #16

Hi.

I am an amateur photography starting out with this great hobby and am usually lurking on this site reading great tips from everyone on this site. This will be my first post to this forum..

I want to personally thank you guys for your tips on the D80. I bought one a few months back and been trying to learn as I go. I love taking various pictures of my family and friends, my daughters sporting events, nature, anything you name it..

So thanks and keep the tips and advice coming....

Comment #17

I also think that the OP may not realize their questions were answered but I think the info that was provided has helped others. My thanks as well. Mary..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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