This year for my birthday I was lucky enough to get a Nikon N80 camera and Tamron's new 28-300 lens. I have always been a big Nikon fan having previously been using my N90 and 6006 for my auto focus photography and two manual FG when I want to "rough it" and go totally manual.
Having my annual trip to Vermont scheduled in the beginning of October I would have the perfect opportunity to give both the N80 and lens a good workout. The first thing you notice about the N80 and the Tamron lens is their size, both are small and light, great features if you like to carry your equipment through rough terrain. The N80 along with being small is also very thin; this can make things awkward for those with very large fingers or big lenses. However, when taking performance into account the N80 and the Tamron lens perform like giants. The N80 is loaded with helpful features like Multi-zone auto focus (you decide where the center of focus is from five zones), depth of field preview button, 18 different camera controls that can be re-programmed by the user. The advanced metering is a ten-segment 3D matrix metering along with the choice of center weighted metering, and the choice of five spot meters and a five-segment flash sensor and a whole range of flash modes. The N80 comes with comes with the entire standard operating modes: fully automatic programmed auto exposure, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual. Some other features such as LCD panel illuminator; eyepiece diopter adjustment; on demand grid lines on the viewing screen as well as the ability to use a standard cable release.
If you looking for a serious amateur camera with lots of pro features that's built for the long haul then the N80 is the perfect choice. The N80 can be had for about $439 a various local camera stores however, be prepared to wait since this is a popular camera and stores are running out as soon as they get them.
Tamron's new 28-300 lens offer lots of performance in a small compact package. Then gives the ability to shoot landscapes with wide angle along with telephoto nature shots without ever changing your lens. This is a perfect inexpensive lens for the field just make sure you use a tripod since then f-stop at 300mm is 6.3 and 3.5 at 28mm. The new Tamron lens currently cost about $399 and can be had at any local camera store.