Nikon D80 vs. Nikon D200 Studio Scene – Low ISO

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These two cameras are pretty close in their specifications. Still, it will be intersting compare their image quality and see if Nikon had improved it in the D80.

Nikon D80: Jpeg Fine, Optimize Image: Normal, AutoWB, ISO100, 1/8,
Nikkor 50mm@f9
Nikon D200: Jpeg Fine, Optimize Image: Normal, AutoWB, ISO100, 1/8,
Nikkor 50mm@f9

Nikon D80
Nikon D200


Nikon aimed the D80 for the less professional users than the D200 producing a lower sharpening level at the ‘normal’ setting. We see this setting as a better default and there is always the option to set the camera to a lower sharpening level if needed.


It seems that the strength of the anti aliasing filter is the same, creating very similar results in the detail level.

demosaicing, false colors

Both cameras show almost no false color problems. In some problematic frequencies there is some screen print pattern shown.

Contrast and color

The change in color and contrast in the D80 can be seen in our color database. Nikon created colors that are more saturated and are further away from Nikon has chosen a more contrasted curve that affects the dark levels. At the end of the day we get an image that needs almost no processing with the D80 compared to the D200 that creates images that need some work. With the D80 we can get the same contrast curve by setting the camera contrast in the menu.

Noise reduction

Noise is almost not a factor in low ISO, we discuss noise in our higher ISO comparison.


Most issues are pretty much the same in these 2 cameras. But it does seem like Nikon is aiming the D80 for the less professional market in the processing part of the flow. One can change his D80 setting to create the same effect as the D200 but the opposite is not possible as Nikon does not allow medium levels of the tone setting that creates the contrast.

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