Nikon D7200 vs D80 (with a bit of FE)

At most places that I go to, such as Scarborough Castle in the pictures below, I take both film and digital cameras (a Nikon FE and a Nikon D80) both of which are getting a bit long in the tooth. The FE was made in 1982 and is as good as the day it was made so who cares how old it is? The D80 (bought in 2008) is also as good as the day it was made but in some situations isn’t good enough (specifically in low light or when shooting action), in the majority of situations though it is fine. If you compare it with today’s equivalent Nikon model (the D7200) you could be justified in saying that the D80 is rubbish but again this is only true in the particular situations mentioned above. In most situations I suspect your would be hard pushed to tell this difference between photos taken with a D80 and those taken with a D7200.

Scarborough Castle 1
Scarborough Castle 1 – Nikon FE

Yes the D7200 has more pixels, yes it has more dynamic range, yes it has less noise, it has more focus points, possibly better colour rendition, it is faster focusing, etc, etc. But after you have processed the pictures in Photoshop, posted them to your blog or to Flickr, and viewed them on your 72dpi screen can you tell the difference? No.

Scarborough Castle 2
Scarborough Castle 2 – Nikon FE

So is it worth spending £500 to £600 replacing a D80 with a D7200? The answer depends on two things. Firstly and most importantly do you have £600 of disposable income? If not then you have no choice but to stick with what you have got. If you can lay your hands on that amount of cash are you going to get an extra £600 of value out of a D7200? If you don’t shoot wildlife or sports or if you don’t shoot much in low light then maybe it isn’t worth it? This is of course ignoring the value you can put on simply owning and using a nice new shiny bit of kit!

Scarborough Castle 3
Scarborough Castle 3 – Nikon D80

So where does the Nikon FE fit into this? Well nowhere really except to say that film cameras don’t develop inferiority complexes when they get old. This is probably because of the simple fact that they don’t make new film cameras any more and so the camera you bought doesn’t ever get replaced by a newer model.

Scarborough Castle 4
Scarborough Castle 4 – Nikon D80

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