I’ve had my [Panasonic DMC-FZ20](http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz20/) for a little over two and a half years, and after gaining more confidence and experience with photographic technique, I decided to take my equipment to the next level. I purchased a [Nikon D80](http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/) digital SLR camera a few weeks ago, and I’ve been having a blast learning how to use it and taking photos with it. The FZ20 was a great camera, but the D80 is just… excellent. It’s certainly not the highest end digital SLR, but it blows away every other camera I’ve used in terms of speed, image quality, depth of field, flexibility, and customization. There’s a [great review of it at DPreview.com](http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/). I was initially thinking about going with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, but while reading the [review of the XTi’s](http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/), the D80 was mentioned in a favorable light, and after reading the D80 review, and trying one out in person, I was convinced! The only things I’m losing compared to my FZ20 are optical image stabilization (which is somewhat compensated for by the ability to shoot at high ISO with very low noise) and light weight (the D80 is pretty heavy, but I’m getting used to it).

Hopefully I’ll be able to put together a little showcase of some of the photos I’ve taken with the D80, but for now, here’s a self-portrait I shot in our bathroom, handheld, room lighting only.

A photo of the old camera from the new camera, and vice versa, can be found [here](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/geekiness/d80/).

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