After the Nikon EM review last time (make sure to read that article if you wanna know why I also shoot film these days), we have the N80/F80. The letter simply indicates if it was a US import (N80) or not. There is no other difference whatsoever. This model comes in three editions: one without a databack, one that imprints date/time (it can be turned off of course), and one that imprints exposure info between frames.
+ modern layout and button philosophy, if you can use a Nikon DSLR, you can start shooting with the N80 right away.
+ great value; they are cheap enough to make sense for an adventure into the film realm, but offer enough functionality to make this adventure one worth while.
+ small, light, and discreet for an AF SLR camera
- instead of something like AA, you need CR123A batteries. Then again, one set should last you plenty of film rolls (realistically, how many you plan to try anyway?)
- don't use it in heavy rainfall, it really doesn't inspire confidence in that department.
- no metering with AIS lenses. Bummer.
- probably the best value out there in terms of a feature-rich modern film camera.
- people familiar with a Nikon DSLR. Way closer to your experience than an older, manual camera.
- excellent compatibility with modern lenses: AF, AF-S, VR, they all work!
- ...but, alas, AIS do not. Non-cpu lenses can be used in M mode and you have to guess the exposure.
- although it can take a beating within reason, this is not a camera fit for abuse. Not a bad hiking camera, but not the best either.
- not a great action camera. I did not like the AF response and custom settings make it a pain to tweak things as-you-go.
In this 2015 film adventure of mine (the purpose and scope of which will be revealed in the next couple of weeks), the N80 was my main film camera. I did enjoy using the Nikon EM, too, and I enjoyed using the third film camera of the group (which I will review next). But the N80 gave me the most hassle-free experience (at least from the perspective of someone used to advanced digital bodies). It is highly reliable, easy to use, yet allows the user all the control s/he needs. For my own purposes, it was superb. I suspect some people who want to use it for sports (film for sports? hmmm...) might find the AF response and customization philosophy a bit lacking. Similarly, I would feel uncomfortable dragging the N80 to sandy/dusty/wet environments. But for pretty much everything else, you cannot go wrong with such a cheap film camera. Highly Recommended!