Nikon D60 review
Image Quality & Value For Money
Nikon D60: Image Quality
Nikon D60 Review - Raw/JPEG
Our major complaint is the basic setting in the Raw+JPEG option. The JPEGS are usable for reference and snapshots, while the Raw files produce excellent results. However, you’ll 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 is update.
Nikon D60 Review - Exposure
The D60 produces well-exposed images, though scenes with lots of sky are prone to underexposure.
Nikon D60 Review - Noise
The Expeed processor is proving its worth, with excellent noise control up to ISO 800. Even in the Hi-1 setting, of ISO 3200 (equivalent), there is little obvious noise, though not quite up to the standard of the CMOS-based Nikon D300. For low-light shooting it’s great. Even the noise-reduction filter doesn’t soften the image too much.
Nikon D60 Review - Tone And Contrast
Tonal range is good especially when combined with the Active D-Lighting in high-contrast conditions – it really opens up the midtones and shadows.
Nikon D60 Review - Colour And White Balance
The D60 and the 3D Colour Matrix Metering excels, with punchy colour and accurate neutrals. The WB struggles in certain mixed conditions, as do most cameras, but the D60 manages better than some. The postproduction tools and custom colour functions do a grand job personalising images, though better results can be obtained in Photoshop.
Nikon D60 Review - Sharpness And Detail
With 10MP, there’s lots of detail but tends to bloom in very contrasty scenes – slightly more so than the larger pixels found on a similar 6MP camera. However in all but the most extreme examples there’s excellent resolution, especially with the new 18-55mm VR lens.
Nikon D60: Value For Money
Nikon D60 Review - Kit Options
Nikon has made the D60 available in several kit options; the body only for £450, with a standard kit
18-55mm lens for £500 and with a new Vibration Reduction standard 18-55mm for £530. I’d strongly recommend the final option if you’re buying from scratch, as the extra £30 will allow you to shoot at
slightly lower ISOs and reduce noise, while reducing the chance of camera shake in general. Sacrificing these benefits for the sake of £30 seems like a false economy.
Nikon D60 Review - D60 Competitors
The launch price of the D60 is reasonable and street price will doubtless be even lower. However, there are other cameras coming onto the market that can match or beat the spec of the D60 and so prove better value overall. While the D60 has a lot of new technology, most of that technology is new only to Nikon. Olympus and Sony provide shooting info on the LCD, and dust reduction has been around since the Olympus E-1 and has appeared on plenty of entry-level cameras in recent years.
Other beginners’ models have in-built stabilisation, so saving the added cost of VR lenses (though whether this is as effective is the subject of much debate) and the forthcoming Pentax K200D, which is similarly priced, has the added advantage of dust and weather sealing – though it remains to be seen how these new models will perform.