The 10.1 megapixel Nikon D60 DSLR with its AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G VR kit lens is a more upscale entry level DSLR than its 6 megapixel brother, the D40, and a direct replacement for the D40X. With more resolution, a kit lens with in-the-lens image stabilization; a compact, easy handling body; great build quality and a reasonable price all go to make the D60 a Best-in-Class pick.
My Best In Class Pick
Nikon D60 (with 18-55mm VR Lens)
The Nikon D60 is a major upgrade from the Nikon D40, which is still in production, but only a minor one to the D40X, which has been discontinued. Externally, there is little difference between the D60 and the D40, the branding being the most apparent. The real improvements are all inside like a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor, the newer, faster EXPEED image processing concept adapted from Nikon’s more expensive D300 and D3 cameras; a faster frame rate of 3.0 per second (up from 2.5), image sensor cleaning using airflow instead of vibrating the sensor, automatic camera rotation detection, an eye sensor to control the screen display, an electronic “rangefinder” for manual focusing, in-camera RAW processing, and a stop motion movie function to mention a few.
Even with all the new, additional features, Nikon has still maintained the “less is more” philosophy established with the D40 to keep production costs low and quality high by not including features that most users will never use like exposure/white balance auto-bracketing, the Status Display LCD (the main LCD does double duty), and a dozen autofocus recticles cluttering the viewfinder when three are good enough. Standard features carried over from the D40 and D40X include Five Image quality modes, three Color Spaces, four Lens Servo modes, including Manual; Eleven Exposure modes, three Metering modes, eight White Balance presets, six Image Parameter presets with user setable Tone, plus Custom Curve; and, of course, Saturation, Hue, and Sharpness along with the most important feature of all: Nikon’s Active D-Lighting, which automatically controls excessive contrast, and can turn an otherwise useless, impossibly contrasty shot into a usable one.
Added to all this, the D60 comes with an improved kit lens, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G VR, with built-in image stabilization. Like its non-image stabilized brother that comes in the D40 kit, it has a plastic barrel and a plastic lens mount, too, but feels solid with fast, quiet autofocusing. Optically, it is sharp corner to corner with image distortion of 1% or less across the entire zoom range. Not what one would normally expect to find in an inexpensive kit lens. As with most Nikon camera bodies, the D60 will take most Nikon and Nikon-type lenses made for the past thirty years starting with the AI. There is one caveat; however: Only AF-I and AF-S type lenses with built-in AF motors will autofocus with the D60, since unlike some other AF Nikons neither it nor the D40 and D40X have in-camera drive motors.
So, if you’re looking for a small, compact DSLR that’s sturdy and comfortable to hold, produces sharp, low noise, fully stabilized images; has the features you need and none of the ones you don’t; is a joy to use; holds up to the occasional hard knocks; and won’t break the bank, then the Nikon D60 is the camera for you.
- +Interchangeable lenses
- +Full Auto or Manual control
- +Active D-Lighting
- +Small and Compact (for an SLR)
- -Auto-focuses only with AF-I and AF-S lenses (manual with the others)
- -In-lens Image Stabilization only
Where to buy
Nikon D60 (with 18-55mm VR Lens)
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices
|Product||Nikon D60 (with 18-55mm VR Lens)|
Close Sensor Type The image sensor converts the captured light into electrical signals. There are two main types of image sensors, CCD (charge-coupled device) and CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor). Neither technology has a clear advantage in image quality. CMOS can potentially be implemented with fewer components, use less power and provide data faster than CCDs. CCD is a more mature technology and is in most respects the equal of CMOS.
Close Sensor Size Most digital cameras, even most digital SLRs, have sensors that are smaller than a standard frame of 35 mm film (36 x 24 mm). These smaller sensors have a number of effects on the captured image and the use of the camera, including an increased depth of field, decreased light sensitivity, increased pixel noise, and increased degree of enlargement.
|23.6 x 15.8 mm|
Close Effective Sensor Resolution The Effective Sensor Resolution tells you the total number of pixels that are recorded when you take a picture. The units are MP, which stands for megapixels or millions of pixels. For outstanding fine compression prints, 3MP is required for 5x7's, 7.1MP for 8x10's, and 10.9MP for 11x14's. The effective sensor resolution is only one of many important factors that will determine the quality of the photograph when displayed or printed at different sizes.
|Sensor Raw Format Available||Yes|
|Max Shooting Speed (continuous)||3.0 frames/sec|
|Max Shooting Speed (burst)||3.0 frames/sec|
Close Image Stabilization Available Image stabilization features are designed to reduce the blur that results from normal, minute shaking of a lens due to hand-held shooting. However, image stabilization does not prevent motion blur caused by the movement of the subject or by extreme movements of the camera.
|Compatible Lenses||Nikon F|
|Min ISO Setting||100|
|Max ISO Setting||3200|
|Aperture Priority Mode Available||Yes|
|Shutter Priority Mode Available||Yes|
|Full Manual Exposure Mode Available||Yes|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 5.0 EV|
|Dioptric Adjustment Available||Yes|
Close LCD Screen Size The LCD Screen Size is the length of the miniature LCD monitor measured diagonally.
|LCD Screen Resolution||230000 pixels|
|Storage Media||SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card|
|Size (W x H x D)||5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in.|
|Weight (with batteries)||18.4 oz|
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