At the risk of starting a small religious war, I want to share my experiences with my new Nikon D80. In short, I am very impressed with what has been packed into the camera at the price point they sell it at. I bought mine from B&H with the Nikor 18-135mm lens and a spare battery. I have to say that Nikon is being cheap not including some size of SD card at all. I personally have read many of the pro/con posts on Compact Flash vs. SD card and one of the reasons I chose the Nikon was in fact, the support of the SD card format even though my last three cameras were CF based. I like the fact with the slim and small SD card, the camera has more room for features, circuits, size reduction etc. I did a 10 day trip in Europe and found that the SD cards were easier to keep around and that after a few days, the CF cards just felt kinda of klunky in my hands. That is just me and your milage will vary
Anways.. I love the size and weight of the D80 but I am still adjusting to the plastic nature of the body and that the lens just has a cheap feel/look to it. Dont get me wrong, it works great but I am concerned to how much abuse it can take vs. my old Canon 35mm lenses (but they did weigh a ton). My images have been very sharp even hand held and shooting on the move. The built in flash does a decent job and compared to my Sony 828, the red-eye effect is greatly reduced for a given shot. The images (very fine JPEG) comes out sharper than the Sony (sensor size related?) and the colors are more accurate. The 828 tended to have a red cast to everything. So far I have not seen the infamous purple fringing that my Sony had and was getting worse after 3 years of steady use.
I am still getting used to the menuing system and I miss turning off my flash by a simple twist of a knob (Sony) but other aspects are nice. The viewer adjustment for us with glasses sucks. My eyes are not nearly as bad as many but I can not get a clear image with using my glasses.. ugh. Why bother putting the adjustment there if it's too limited to be any use for the masses.
I did play with the in camera so-called B/W conversion. Unlike my old 950 which would shoot a real B/W image and do a fair job of it, this is just a converter that flips the color image to B/W. And it doesnt not work all that well. I mean, I got a decent image but I had to diddle with it in iPhoto to really get B/W and not just a middle grey muddled print. Oh well..
The surface of the camera gives me a decent grip and it appears that the right hand grip might actually stay put unlike my 950 and even the more expensive Nikons where the orange grip would slide off and peel away in time.
I hate the strap hooks and miss the small swivel mounts of my old Canon AE1. It just one of those little details that bug me.
I miss the tilt lens of the 950 and Sony828 but I will get over it I'm sure I still shoot at times with the 950 even though it's only 2.1 mega pixel because of the angles I can get with the tilt lens arrangement.
Anyways.. I feel like I finally have come home again with a real SLR after being away since 99 from SLRs waiting for the prices to finally come down to earth for a digital SLR.