Nikon D60 Review

The new 10-megapixel entry-level digital SLR from Nikon is called the D60.

It replaces the D40x and looks fairly similar on the outside.

However, there are some notable advancements beneath the surface.

Nikon’s fun new features

To begin with, the D60 receives a new dust-removal system in accordance with the majority of other digital SLRs available today. Additionally, it incorporates an eye-sensor that turns off the LCD when you place it to your eye just below the viewfinder eyepiece.

The introduction of a new VR (Vibration Reduction) version of the 18-55mm kit lens, which we utilized for our review, is the other noteworthy development.

There isn’t much else to report. The D40 series’ D40 body design is “inherited,” and it is quite compact—possibly too small. The buttons on the rear do feel a little crowded because the body isn’t as tall as a larger camera, making it harder to hold it securely.

For newcomers

The D60 is made with beginners and those looking to enhance their photographic abilities in mind. The UI is appealing and easy to use for new users, but it could irritate more seasoned users. To make the screen display interactive, you must first press the “info” button. Then, using the navigational controller, you must highlight the option you wish to edit.

After choosing this, you can then scroll up and down a list of choices by using the navigational buttons once more. Although everything is quite clearly written out, it takes time.

It does feel like a waste of the Command dial on the camera. Couldn’t this be used to modify the menu selections here? There would be less of this tiresome button pressing, and it would undoubtedly save some time.

Improvements to LCD screens

Since the D60 lacks a secondary LCD, all settings and status information are changed on the main screen on the back. On the D40 and D40x, this was a little annoying because the LCD remained lit when you held the camera up to your eye and only turned off when you partially depressed the shutter release.

Now that Nikon has added a sensor below the viewfinder eyepiece, this problem has been resolved. As soon as you bring the camera up to your eye, the display goes away. When you flip the camera to capture vertical images, the information display rotates as well, which is a wonderful feature.

The 18-55mm kit lens on the D60 is relatively lengthy despite the D60’s compact body, giving the device a generally imbalanced sense. The D60/lens combination is notably longer than the Canon EOS 400D and the Olympus E-410 in particular, though it is hardly a significant difference.

Low-cost digital SLR

For this camera, there are now two kit lens options. With a list price of £500, the outdated non-VR Nikkor 18-55mm kit zoom is the least expensive option. However, for only £30 more, you can purchase a D60 equipped with Nikon’s new 18-55mm VR (Vibration Reduction) lens.

This is a great deal, and Nikon’s VR performs admirably. Given the cost, the lens also seems to be well-made. Although the front element rotates while focusing, making it less ideal if you use a polarizing filter, the zoom and focusing operations are good for a budget lens.

Really excellent picture quality can be seen. The D60 can shoot both RAW and JPEG files, although while the RAW files have a somewhat wider dynamic range, there isn’t much of a difference in sharpness.

The JPEGs are completely adequate as long as the exposure is set correctly. Only JPEGs of Basic quality can be taken at the same time as RAW data. This is frustrating because it reduces how beneficial this feature could have been.

Image alterations

For some people, the variety of options for changing the image’s color and contrast may be bewildering.

On the mode dial, you can select a scene mode or change the color to one of several options, such as Standard, Softer, Vivid, Vivid+, and Black and White.

While the manual adjustments are excellent for photographers who want to use the more intuitive PASM modes and change the color settings manually, the scene modes are best for those who prefer to let the camera pick the settings.

Conversion to RAW

The D60, though, does more. You may perform basic in-camera image optimization and improvement in playback mode.

Additionally, if you shoot RAW files, you can edit them in camera as well. This lets you adjust various camera settings and create a second, JPEG version of the image.

Instead, you can use the included View NX image browser to edit JPEGs on your computer. Even if there are just a few RAW conversion choices available, this is still helpful.

Luminous effects

Interesting is the Active D-Lighting system. Despite already being present on the D300 and D3, this is another improvement over the D40x. Without influencing the mid-tones and highlights, Nikon’s D-Lighting system softens intense shadow detail.

Before, it was just a software adjustment made after the picture was taken. However, Active D-Lighting first performs the shadow-lightening technique while adjusting the exposure to ensure that the image keeps its strong highlight detail.

In high-contrast images, it occasionally works incredibly well, preserving good detail in both the shadows and the highlights. However, occasionally the shadow “masking” can be seen as a soft-edged “glow” surrounding the darker portions.

Restricted appeal

This is a common occurrence with this kind of shadow correction, not a defect with the Nikon equipment. It might be useful or useless depending on the situation.

The D60 receives good marks for both the quality of its pictures and the variety of options available for editing photos both during the taking and after they have been saved. Although the control interface is simple, regular modifications require an excessive amount of time.

The D60 is fantastic for beginners, but as you gain experience and desire to work more quickly, its attractiveness can diminish.

Nikon D60 Specifications

Kit priceUK: £388 Body Only / £425 With 18-55mm VR
US: $630 Body Only / $750 With 18-55mm VR
Body colorBlack
Sensor• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD sensor
• Nikon DX format (1.5x FOV crop)
• 10.2 million effective pixels
• 10.8 million total pixels
• RGB Color Filter Array
• 12-bit A/D converter
Anti-dust measures• Image sensor cleaning system*
• Airflow control system*
• Image dust off from reference frame (using optional Capture NX software)
Image sizes• 3872 x 2592 (Large, 10.0 MP)
• 2896 x 1944 (Medium, 5.6 MP)
• 1936 x 1296 (Small, 2.5 MP)
Image quality• NEF (12-bit compressed RAW)
• JPEG fine (1:4)
• JPEG normal (1:8)
• JPEG basic (1:16)
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG basic
Color space• IIIa (sRGB – more green for colorful landscapes) default
• Ia (sRGB)
• II (Adobe RGB)
Lens mountNikon F mount (with AF contacts)
Lens compatibility• AF-S, AF-I
• Other Type G or D AF Nikkor
• Other AF Nikkor/AI-P Nikkor• Type D PC Nikkor• Non-CPU• IX Nikkor/AF Nikkor for F3AF-All functions supported
– All functions supported except autofocus
– All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
– All functions supported except some shooting modes
– Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
– Cannot be used
Autofocus• Three-area TTL phase detection
• Nikon Multi-CAM530 autofocus module
• Only with AF-S or AF-I lenses
• Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)
Lens servo• Single-servo AF (AF-S)
• Continuous-servo AF (AF-C)
• Automatic AF-S/AF-C (AF-A)
• Manual focus (M)
AF Area mode• Single Area AF
• Dynamic Area AF
• Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF
Focus trackingPredictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF
Focus areaOne of three areas can be selected
Focus lockFocus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button
AF AssistWhite light lamp
Exposure mode• Digital Vari-program
    – Auto
    – Flash off
    – Portrait
    – Landscape
    – Child
    – Sports
    – Close up
    – Night portrait
• Programmed auto (P) with a flexible program
• Shutter-priority auto (S)
• Aperture-priority auto (A)
• Manual (M)
MeteringTTL full-aperture exposure metering system
• 3D color matrix metering II
• 420 segment RGB sensor
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to an 8mm circle in the center of the frame
• Spot: Meters 3.5 mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on the active focus area
Metering range• EV 0 to 20 (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
• EV 2 to 20 (spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C)
Meter couplingCPU coupling
Exposure compen.• +/- 5.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
AE LockExposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
AE BracketingNone
Sensitivity• Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200 Equiv. (HI 1)
Auto ISO options• On/Off
• Maximum ISO (200, 400, 800, or 1600)
• Minimum shutter speed (1 to 1/125 sec)
Shutter• Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
• 30 to 1/4000 sec (1/3 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: up to 1/200 sec
• Bulb
White balance• Auto (TTL white-balance with 420 pixels RGB sensor)
• Six manual modes with fine-tuning
    o Incandescent
    o Fluorescent
    o Direct sunlight
    o Flash
    o Cloudy
    o Shade
• Preset white balance (immediate or from photo)
WB fine tuningYes
Image parameters• Preset modes: Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait, B&W
• Sharpening: Auto, 6 levels
• Tone: Auto, 5 levels, Custom curve
• Color mode: Ia (sRGB), II (Adobe RGB), IIIa (sRGB)
• Saturation: Auto, 3 levels
• Hue: -9° to +9°
Viewfinder• Optically fixed eye-level
• Penta-mirror type
• Built-in dioptre adjustment (-1.7 to +0.5 m-1)
• Eye point: 18 mm (at -1.0 m-1)
• Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
• Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
• Focusing screen: Type B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V with superimposed focus brackets
Viewfinder informationFocus indications, AE/FV lock indicator, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of remaining exposures, Flash-ready indicator
LCD monitor• 2.5″ TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel
• Features automatic defeat via Eye Sensor*
Built-in flash• Auto pop-up in Auto, Vari-program modes
• Manual pop-up in P, S, A, or M modes
• Guide number approx. 12 at ISO 100
Sync contactX-contact only; flash synchronization at shutter speeds of up to 1/200 sec
Flash control• TTL flash control by 420-segment RGB sensor. i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR and standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR available when CPU lens is used with built-in flash, SB-400, SB-800, and SB-600
• Auto aperture with SB-800 and CPU lenses
• Non-TTL auto with SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27 and 22s
• Range-priority manual with SB-800
Flash mode• Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up: Auto, auto with red-eye reduction; fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• Night portrait: Auto, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye reduction; slow sync and slow sync with a red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• Landscape, Sports: Fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• P, A modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain with slow sync, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction
• S, M modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction
Flash compensation• -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3 steps
Nikon Creative Lighting systemSupported with built-in flash, SB-400, SB-800, and SB-600; Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-800 or SU-800 as Commander.
Shooting modes• Single frame shooting (S) mode
• Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 3.0 frames per second (slower with NR)
• Self-timer/remote control mode.
Continuous buffer• JPEG: Limited only by storage
• RAW: Approx. 9 frames (shooting continues at a slower rate)
Self-timer• 2, 5, 10, or 20 sec
Remote control• Remote Control ML-L3 (optional, Infrared)
• Camera Control Pro software (optional)
Text inputUp to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input is available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in EXIF header
Playback functions• Full frame
• Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments)
• Zoom (magnified)
• Slideshow
• Histogram indication
• Shooting data
• Highlight point display
• Auto image rotation
• Stop-motion movies created with D60*
Orientation sensorYes (Rotates user interface when using the camera in portrait orientation)*
Storage• Secure Digital / Secure Digital HC
• FAT / FAT32
• Supports firmware update via SD card
Video outputNTSC or PAL selectable
Connectivity• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
• Mass storage / PTP selectable
• Video out
• DC-IN (optional AC adapter and adapter connector)
LanguagesChinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
PowerLithium-Ion battery pack EN-EL9 (7.4 V, 1000 mAh)
Working environment• 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F)
• Less than 85% humidity
Dimensions126 x 94 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
Weight (no batt)471 g (1.0 lb)
Weight (inc. batt)522 g (1.2 lb)
Supplied accessoriesRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9, Quick Charger MH-23, USB Cable UC-E4, ViewNX, Rubber Eyecup DK-16, Camera Strap, Body Cap BF-1A, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Accessory Shoe Cap BS-1
Optional accessoriesWireless Remote Control ML-L3, Capture NX, Camera Control Pro, AC Adapter Connector EP-5, AC Adapter EH-5, Video Cable EG-D100, Semi Soft-Case CF-DC1, Speedlight SB-800/600/T041/R1C1


The step up from the D40 to the D40X was significantly greater than the step up from the D40X to the D60 (even though Nikon’s naming convention might seem to imply the opposite), and the D60 takes the successful formula established in the D40 / D40X and, well, if we’re being honest, doesn’t do much with it at all.

There are some pleasant new features, and including the new “VR” (stabilized) kit lens is a wise choice that makes the entire package more enticing, but it’s fair to say that the D60 is more of a subtle improvement than a complete overhaul of Nikon’s best-selling entry-level model.

It’s not that this is a bad thing; the D40’s success (and continued success) can be attributed to the fact that it ticks all the right boxes for its target market: it’s compact, well-made, incredibly simple to use, produces excellent results, and—most importantly—it’s most reasonably priced Nikon digital SLR ever produced.

The D60, like the D40X it replaces, offers a significant performance boost (both in terms of resolution and shooting speed), and the user interface improvements, D-addition, Lighting’s excellent dynamic range, the new kit lens, and the dust reduction system make an already excellent camera even better.

The D60 can now perform a few new tricks thanks to the new Expeed processing, which also lessens the visibility of chroma noise at higher ISO settings. However, the difference in output is really small; it’s still vibrant, bright, and “consumer friendly” (though purists may find it a little over-saturated by default).

Nikon D60 Price

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • enough dynamic range (better than D40 and slightly better than D40X)
  • good detail and resolution (especially at lower ISO settings)
  • a new technique for removing dust and a very practical rangefinder with a manual focus
  • surprisingly high building standards, clean lines
Need Improvements
  • Unfortunately, the RAW+JPEG preset only records JPEGs of Basic quality.
  • Non-AF-S/AF-I lenses can only be focused manually because the body lacks a lens motor.
  • High ISO performance is adequate, but not the best in class.
  • At the pixel level, the default settings are a tad too soft.
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