Home / Cameras / Camera / Nikon Coolpix P80 / Nikon Coolpix P80

Nikon Coolpix P80 - Nikon Coolpix P80

By Jamie Harrison



Our Score:


Other digital operations include a range of colour options ranging from natural to vivid and portrait, as well as a black and white mode with digital colour filters to simulate traditional optical filters such as red or yellow for example.

Aware of the limitations of the long lens, Nikon has added distortion correction to the line-up, which is designed to correct for any barrel and pincushion effect thrown up by the lens. Barrel distortion is usually especially visible at the wide end of the lens, and the distortion correction works efficiently. It can be turned off if so desired. The noise reduction however cannot be turned off; the only two settings are auto and on.

The built-in flash offers coverage over 8.8m in auto ISO mode, and includes flash compensation. There's also automatic red eye removal, which along with D-Lighting and face recognition, Nikon claims as ‘unique Nikon image innovations'.

The camera also offers a reduced resolution continuous shooting mode of 13fps, slowing down to 4fps at the largest setting for up to 30 shots, available in sports mode. A movie mode is also included as we'd expect.

Along with a decent 2.7 inch LCD, the camera also has an electronic viewfinder, both of which offer 230k resolution. Switching between them is a little awkward - the button is not too responsive and requires a good push. The EVF is reasonably good, though small, but images are clear and colourful. The information displayed on the screen is also very easy to read, with all relevant settings superimposed around the edges of the scene.

Start up time is relatively slow compared to some other cameras, while the zoom control can be a little too eager, I sometimes needed to pull in and out to hit the right focal length when composing. Other handling traits are pleasing though. I particularly like the rear command dial, which allows simple single step changing of aperture and shutter in their respective AE modes. In manual mode the EV compensation button needs to be pressed to switch between shutter and aperture.

Shooting on a bright day I occasionally experienced some lens flare, so a decent lens hood would have been a welcome accessory. The camera has a solid lens cap which needs to be removed before turning the camera on, as the lens extends slightly from the body at start up.

Fred Bargate

July 25, 2008, 10:17 am

This is a rebadged Olympus SP 560


July 25, 2008, 12:41 pm

So what Camera would you recommend for this sort of price range and features for someone who's looking to purchse a Camera with more creativity than a compact?

william 2

July 25, 2008, 1:37 pm

I would recommend the panasonic fz28


July 25, 2008, 3:43 pm

Or the Canon A720is/650is - compacts but with full creative control and if you use custom software you get full RAW write capability etc.

Alex Monro

July 25, 2008, 3:55 pm

The Fuji S9600 got a 10/10 rating and is now available for around this price.


July 25, 2008, 4:03 pm

@ Pihrana .. for under 𧵶-00 you will not find anything, anywhere to come within a million miles of a Fuji FinePix S9600. See review here:-


I have one & its incredible & is well deserving of its 10/10 review here by Cliff! Check it out.

Cliff Smith

July 25, 2008, 5:56 pm

Fred Bargate posted:

"This is a rebadged Olympus SP 560"

I agree. The SP-560UZ is 8.0 megapixels, the P80 is 10.1, they have different bodies, different processors, different controls and different lenses. And the Olympus uses 4x AA batteries while the Nikon has an Li-ion. And they look completely different. But other than that they are clearly identical.


Fred Bargate

July 25, 2008, 7:58 pm

A correction

The P80 is a clone of the Olympus SP560 lens on the SP570 electronics with the most useful AA batteries replaced by an expensive proprietry one.

Also compare the panasonic fz28 with the Olympus products / P80


July 26, 2008, 1:20 am

Fred is right, coping designs is rife in the camera industry. Only yesterday I found out my Nikon D300 is actually a rebranded Olympus OM-1!!

They both have a mirror, shutter and viewfinder, but most tellingly of all, they are both painted black!! I have sent an angry letter to Nikon UK, and am waiting on their response.. ;)

Seriously, there is a little grain of truth in what ole Fred is saying, the Olympus SP-550/560UZ share exactly the same lens with the Fuji S8000/8100fd.


July 26, 2008, 2:55 am

Good review. Comprehensive with well-explained reasons for every one of your conclusions. Although your scores for the Nikon P80 are much higher than your scores for the Fuji S8100 and Sony H50, a detailed reading of all three reviews reveals that the Nikon P80 is inferior to the other two, especially in terms of picture quality. Since you gave the Sony a 7 and the Fuji a 6, the Nikon P80 deserves a 5 at best.


August 3, 2008, 5:29 am

I found the feedbacks extremely helpful; in contrast to what a sales chap advised & recommended to me this afternoon for a shopping Saturday in search of a handy size with close matching performance to the higher end models within the DSLR range and the Nikon Coolpix P80 comes 2nd to the preferred choice i.e. the Lumix FZ18... yeah, a 2007 model.. and after seeing the launch intro to be this month, I'm now tempted to pit the Panasonic to that of the Fuji 9600... Nikon's P80 certainly lost my cool vote!

Lee Hammond

November 14, 2008, 4:33 pm

I thought that lens looked familiar, it is the same one used in the Olympus SP 560 And My Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd (And the S8100fd), that lens is clearly a tart!


April 27, 2009, 1:56 pm

I just bought a P80 (at a closeout price) after being dissatisfied with the poor low light performance of my Panasonic FX500 while shooting a sunset. I was looking at the Fuji 8100, Nikon P80, and Olympus SP570 bridge cameras because they all have manual controls, an EVF for bright sunlight when the LCD is hard to see, and lenses wider than 28mm. I liked the handling and design (and small size) of the Nikon the best, and although the reviews on it are iffy, the test shots at the review sites from it still looked the best of the three to me, so I decided to give it a try, figuring I could return it if I didn't like it. Well, I love it! It's just as quick as other compact cameras I've used, has great color (you can tell I'm American by my spelling of that word), accurate exposures, a sharp lens, and quite impressive zoom reach. The autofocus seems to work well in bright enough light for hand holding at the long end of the zoom and in extremely low light at the wide end, as long as I use center autofocus instead of multipoint autofocus, which tends to hunt a lot, especially when used at the long end of the zoom. Noise is as well controlled up to ISO 200 as other compact cameras I've used and the overall experience is quite fun, with impressive images at both ends of the zoom range. I even made sure I tried it right away on a sunset and even in that low light setting (after the sun had gone below the horizon lighting the clouds with nice colors) the autofocus, dynamic range, noise control and metering were great (for a compact camera). I couldn't be happier with this camera. I should point out that I always use ISOs of 200 or less (for quality images) and aperture priority mode because it gives me the easiest control of aperture and shutter speeds so I can't comment on the performance with auto and scene modes or auto or high ISO. And the normal and vivid color modes are pretty close in saturation and contrast, while the more vivid mode is too saturated and contrasty, reducing shadow details and looking too processed to my eyes. I haven't tried the distortion control or dynamic range enhancements, but I like the way the DR is applied to an image after it's saved, saving the original image too. It seems to me that reviewers are extremely hard on Nikon compact cameras because their SLRs are so good, expecting their compact cameras to be equally superior, and when they only perform as good or slightly better than other compacts, but not as good as Nikon SLRs, then they're too critical in their judgement. I've come to be suspicious of reviews anyway, as some cameras that don't get real good reviews have great looking images to me, while other cameras that get good reviews don't look that good to me. That's why I only buy from places that have a liberal return policy if I am not happy with my purchase. Overall, the P80 is an excellent buy in my opinion. Since it's been replaced by the P90, the price is falling, making it an even better buy.

comments powered by Disqus