Pros Fast, lightweight, intuative, very good quality shots, reasonable price, VR lens STANDARD!
Cons Small body, lack of bracketing, doesn't support some legacy lenses
Summary This camera is a great camera as a 2nd for a professional and a perfect camera as a 1st for a prosumer. The price isn't unreasonable like the C/net review alluded to since the better performance (which the reviewer did acknowledge) is worth the extra bucks.
One extremely important note tho: you MUST test your individual camera in the store before purchasing it! I own a D80 that was defective from day one, with a seriously slower curtain assembly making for much fewer shots per second. Unless you KNOW your camera is perfectly manufactured before purchase, you need to have someone else do a 'road test' on it in the store and not be slammed like I was!
The D60's buffer isn't anything like the reviewer's performance and the camera used for the review may have been slightly less well manufactured. I get better than 3.1 frames per second and in good light with ISO at 100, I can run up 100 frames at FINE quality and LARGE size and NEVER use up the buffer! This is completely amazing to me because my D80 with almost identical resolution will max out after about 30 seconds.
Something incredibly useful and completely ignored in the review is the face sensor. This has nothing to do with "face recognition" in some cameras. This is the camera recognizing your face is at the camera and it turns off the display automatically. For people just learning to use a DSLR camera, this is a huge feature for saving time, battery life, and annoyance. Gone is the need to depress the shutter release halfway to darken the display when you still want to see it when not shooting. There's also a very convenient way to KEEP the display off if you're a more experience shooter and don't care to see the thing light up with either a set of handy setting monitors or a review of the last shot.
And speaking of that display... The reviewer didn't mention that there IS a cover for this display included, whereas some Canon's that cost $1000 more don't have one. And the display is also split into two sections: the first for seeing all the main functions and settings of the camera, and; the second for editing the most important ones 'on the fly'. Even the D80 isn't that easy to change and the display, while it may appear childish to some experienced users, is a blessing to inexperienced ones or people who first pick up the camera.
The focusing is as fast as my D80 but it does get confused in some situations, as the reviewer noted and that's a pain. Also, my 70 - 300 Nikkor lens won't autofocus and that really annoyed me since I wasn't aware of this fact before purchasing the camera. Had I known, I may have downgraded to the last D40 to be released. And that's another note missing from the review: Nikon has dumped the D40 line and will go with the D60 instead. So, this isn't just a "step up" for the D40; it's an entirely new lifeform and at 10.1 megapixels, this step up is considerable for the quality of shots.
Yes, the option of JPG settings with the RAW shooting option isn't as good as it could be. That's a big issue for me when reviewing shots on the computer before opening them for editing or deletion. When looking at a sub-standard JPG you really don't know if the RAW is usable or not. And the lack of bracketing for ANYTHING is just a nightmare. When you don't know how to get a shot to work in the field and you HAVE to move on, bracketing can save your bacon, whether it‘s for exposure or anything else. With the D60 you can rotate the command dials and scroll thru the same options as automatic bracketing, but you need to know how to do this, have the camera set to do it, and be fast enough to make it practical. 80,000 shots later, I can't do it on the D80 with the same control options.
On a purely personal note, I can't fathom why anyone would want to do extensive editing inside a camera when even the biggest screens are less than 5 inches across. I don't need HD 72" flat screen display with surround sound to know if the shot is washed out or not but I can't possibly tell if the focus is ‘the best of the burst’. I can't tell if everyone in a shot has their eyes open without scrolling on some ridiculously high zoom setting and jockeying around up and down to even FIND all the eyes in the shot if there are 20 people. LOL! And how can you tell if your creative editing looks like a 4-year old did it or if you got the nuances just right? I guess you can get to that aforementioned TV and hook the camera into it to do the editing without a computer. But in the age of laptops, playing around with a good shot in the less than good setting of a camera's view screen just isn't prudent.
Want a good camera for a beginner? The D60 excels with the large customizable graphic display. Want a second Nikon for very good digital shots as a prosumer? The D60 is your inexpensive best choice. Want a step up from your pocket rocket compact for macro (usually seriously expensive because of the need for expensive glass)? The D60 can slap on a couple of the inexpensive magnifying lenses (think infrared type screw-ons) and you'll be taking macros with a full-sized DSLR and faster than you can even turn on a compact. And know what? The D60 WILL autofocus thru the three I attached but will also display a circle telling you that the subject is in focus when you manually focus too. No, the quality of the shots you'll get from using this admittedly less-than-great way to get a macro isn't stellar and you shouldn't expect that. But for $10 you can get some macro from the same DSLR you're using for all the rest of your shots instead of fishing around for your trusty old snap-shooter.
Oh. The D60 comes with a flash. Some of the Canons that cost $2500 don't. Maybe you don't mind buying speedlights, extra batteries, cables, and other assorted necessities to take a simple flash shot. Gee, if you're spending thousands to buy a camera, throwing money at gear must be second nature - to take a quick and priceless picture of your dog in the house.
As an option, try this one: infrared remote controlled shutter release. The super-expensive but non-professional Canons have wired remotes and ports like your old BetaMax had for watching crummy videos. This camera that costs 1/4 the Canon price can get you snapping shots of yourself or even shooting things in the wild that wouldn't come near you if they saw you but don't know a camera from a rock. And what does a universal remote for your TV/VCR/DVD/DV/cable system sell for these days? How about just for your TV??? The D60's remote sells for $10 and come with a handy Velcro pouch that attaches firmly (thru holes) to your camera strap. As a bonus, it works for the D80 and who know how many other Nikons as well.
Bottom line: if you have a need for high quality digital images but limited cash an want to get the biggest bang for your buck, check out the Nikon D60 side-by-side with the Canon of your choice. If you don't leave with the Nikon, you aren't leaving with your money's worth.
PS One of the features one salesman used to try to get me to go Canon before even trying the D80 was the self-cleaning the Canons offer. Not only can you automatically have the D60 clean itself upon every shut down cycle, you can trigger it manually in a pinch. This may sound like hokum to purists and experienced DSLS users but if you're like me and LOATH finding a goobered spot on a great image but can't afford the time to clean out the body every single time you change lenses, this will make your day and sell the camera - hands down.
Pros Price, light weight, easy interface, great quality
Cons Does not include the capture NX software. Need to purchase separately.
Summary I dont really agree with the Cnet review of this Camara. Although there is not a drastic change over the D40x, there are plenty of improvements (VR lens, faster performance, Dust reduction system, etc) Considering your only paying a $50-75 price (depending on where you purchase) difference between the two models you are getting alot. If your a beginner-intermediate shooter, this camara will not disappoint you.
Pros Very easy to use with buttons to get you to all the settings quickly. You don't have to go through a dozen menus to get to the settings you need.
Cons None that I have found at this point.
Summary I've used Canon gear for almost 40 years. I have also used Bronica 2 1/4 in cameras. I was a weekend Pro for about 10 years, mostly weddings, portraits, and model portfolios. But I sold all my gear 14 years ago to fund other interest.
I got the urge recently to get back into photography and did a lot of research into DSLRs. My research pointed me to Canon and Nikon, some surprise huh! I finally went with the Nikon D60. It has excellent features for the money and Nikon lenses have always had a great reputation. My lenses have proved that it's still true with the 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR lenses. They're very sharp and clear. The VR does a great job an helps provide great results at shutter speeds that used to require a tripod!
While most people consider this a beginner camera; I would say while it's easy enough for a beginner to use, it's definitely more than that. It can do things we could only dream about with 35mm film cameras. This camera will make any advanced amateur or pro photographer very happy. It's light weight, easy to carry all day. It's built very sturdy and feels very solid.
The two VR lenses I have, focus precisely, fast, and silently. They are very sharp and clear when stopped down to F8 or so. The results at full aperture are slightly soft but not objectionable by any means. With the VR lenses I can now carry a light weight monopod instead of packing a heavy tripod.
It took a lot to get me to switch from my favorite, Canon, but the D60 made me do it!!
Pros Image quality, Dust Reduction and VR Kit Lens Rock
Cons A touch pricy
Summary Image quality, Dust Reduction and VR Kit Lens Rock!
The camera is light and very easy to handle - I could not be happier coming from the consumer point and shoot digitals I can say this is a welcome upgrade. VR in the kit lens has been fantastic - allowing me an honest three full stops for great low light hand held .
I also like that it uses SD memory so I can use my old cards but if you want anywhere near 3 frame/sec you will need FAST cards.
I was surprised to see the C-Net professional review not mention the dust reduction system on this camera - a great sales feature for me.
I am VERY happy with this camera and the kit lens is FAR superior to the Canon - my next choice.
Can't wait to pick up the 80-200 VR zoom for this.
Very satisfied user!
Pros Fast performance, great picture quality, nice ergonomics, nifty features
Cons More expensive than the competing models from Sony and Canon
Summary If you can spend the extra 50 dollars, you will be pleased. The kit lens that comes with it is great- lightweight and high-performance. Nikon is a clear competitor with Canon for the manufacturers of the best SLRs. The resolution is great for display on full HD 1080p TVs as well as large prints. The menu is easy to read, so beginners don't get confused. This camera has some new features like an eye sensor that closes the LCD when you put it to your eye and a movie mode that sticks 100 high-quality photos together to make a little animation. This is one of the greatest sub-1000$ SLRs out there.