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Cameras

Nikon D80: Gold! Always believe in your dSLR

Nikon's new D80 digital SLR improves on the D70 and D70s, adding more pixels, a bigger LCD, smaller memory cards and a shedload of new editing options

The 70s was the kitschy decade that taste forgot, but in the 80s it all got so much worse. Flares get trendy again every few years, but no-one's bringing back big hair and shoulder pads. Nevertheless, Nikon is turning a blind eye to history and upgrading the D70/D70s to produce its new D80 digital SLR. Hopefully it'll fare better than the decade of yuppies, New Romantics and the Sinclair C5.

The D80 is aimed at enthusiasts, sitting somewhere between the entry-level Nikon D50 and the semi-professional D200. Like the D200, it has a 10.2-megapixel CCD, giving a maximum image size of 3,872x2,592 pixels. Focal lengths are multiplied by 1.5, so an 18-70mm lens gives you the same field of view as a 27-105mm lens on a camera using 35mm film.

The LCD has been enlarged to 64mm (2.5 inches), compared to 51mm (2 inches) on the D70s, but overall it's a slightly smaller and slightly lighter camera. Unusually for a dSLR, it uses SD cards rather than Compact Flash for storing images.

The other feature that's surprising to see in a dSLR is in-camera editing. The new Retouch menu includes options to adjust the lighting, apply filters, correct red-eye and trim your pictures. You can also overlay two images or create a multiple-exposure image from up to three consecutive shots. We'd rather download the original images to our computers and work on them in Photoshop, but maybe these features will be useful when you're travelling.

The Nikon D80 should be on sale in September, at prices ranging from around £700 for the body only, to £900 with an 18-70mm lens, or £950 with an 18-135mm lens. Check out our photo gallery for more pictures of the D80. -ML