Lately there have been many posts from newbies asking about the differences between D40, D60, and D80.
Perhaps I should summarize what I know into point form below:
1) About 2 years old (2006 model).
2) 6 megapixel CCD sensor.
3) Smallest and lightest Nikon DSLR body.
4) Kit lens is AF-S DX 18-55mm f3.5-5.6
5) Works 100% only with AF-S and AF-I lenses, which have in-built focusing motors.
6) With other lenses (eg. AF), the camera can meter, but cannot auto-focus because of the lack of a mechanical drive pin to turn the focusing screw on the lens. You can still focus manually. A green dot appears in viewfinder when subject is in focus.
1) 2008 model.
2) 10 megapixel CCD sensor (same as D40X and D80 (i think) ).
3) Image sensor cleaning system.
4) LCD auto switch off when eye is looking through viewfinder.
5) Same size as D40 (smallest and lightest).
6) Same issues as D40 with lenses. Cannot auto-focus with AF lenses. However, the 'rangefiner' display makes manual focusing quite easy and quick.
7) Kit lenses are updated from D40/D40X. Include VR (Vibration Reduction) function.
1) 2006 model.
2) 10 megapixel CCD sensor.
3) Larger and heavier than D40/D60. Body has more magnesium alloy components. Feels a bit more solid to hold and operate.
4) Kit lens has larger zoom range (18-135mm f3.5-5.6).
5) Can meter and auto-focus with AF, AF-S, AF-I lenses. Has mechanical drive pin.
6) More functions (image quality, ISO, WB) can be quickly accessed via rear buttons, without having to dive into the menus. Allows quicker setting changes.
7) For those interested in studio photography with multiple flash guns, the D80 can be programmed as a remote commander for Nikon Speedlights SB600 and SB800.
8) Additional purchase of Nikon authorised battery grip MB-d80 allows easy shooting in vertical (portrait) position.
Hopefully this answers most of the basic questions that newbies want to ask about these 3 cameras. If anybody has anything to add, please let me know.