Nikon D60 review
Nikon D60: Handling
Nikon D60 Review - Disappointing AF
Let’s clear up thae Nikon D60 AF system first – it’s frankly disappointing. Apart from its speed, which is fairly slow, the three AF points fail to match that of most of its competitors, which is a shame. The AF is too slow to catch moving subjects, which can result in missed opportunities. The combination of dual lens and camera AF drives would quicken the autofocus and solve the problem. We're sure Nikon has economic reasons for the system, but it nevertheless lets down the performance.
Nikon D60 Review - Easy to Handle
In other ways, the D60 is much better. The handling itself is very nice. The Nikon D60 is a small camera but the grip is deep enough for a good hold with a reasonable balance and external controls that are easy to reach. It’s nicely designed, maintaining the distinctive Nikon look within a small, lightweight body.
Nikon D60 Review - Viewfinder
The D60's viewfinder is fairly bright and clear and features a proximity sensor that recognises when the camera is held to the eye, so the bright LCD screen shuts off and prevents distraction. Again, this a new feature to Nikon, but we’ve seen it before on Minolta and Sony cameras.
Nikon D60 Review - LCD Display & Battery Life
The D60's LCD itself is bright and it’s easy enough to use all the post-processing features, but the LCD is small compared to other cameras arriving in the market place. Furthermore, because the power-hungry LCD screen must be on to make exposure adjustments, we found that as the battery level dropped, the monitor kept shutting down as we tried to make changes to the camera settings. This became really frustrating towards the end of the day. Nikon quotes a battery life of 500 shots, which seems about right, but we would recommend getting a spare battery or recharging it regularly to avoid this problem occurring.
Nikon D60 Review - Burst Performance
The Nikon D60 has a good burst speed, considering the amount of JPEGs it can record in one go (if the AF can keep up). The camera records in Raw too using NEF files, and there’s a dual option of Raw + JPEG. Unfortunately this only allows the highly compressed Basic JPEG, rather than Fine JPEG, which we prefer.
However, the JPEGS are usable for reference and snapshots, while the Raw files do produce excellent results. However you will have to pay for an upgrade to Capture NX to make the most of them, the included View NX only converts NEF to TIFF or JPEG, with no processing options. Otherwise hold out until your favourite Raw converter, such as Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, gets updated to cope with the D60’s NEF files.
We mentioned in the image quality section that the camera can occasionally underexpose images, which is reason enough for Nikon to include auto bracketing, especially since beginners may not be able to properly evaluate the images or subject as well as more-experienced photographers. The fact this is missing is something of a mystery to me. I’m sure Nikon has its reasons, and it’s not a major criticism, but it’s a useful standby for inexperienced, and even experienced photographers, to get the best exposure from a trickily lit subject.