Nikon D60 Review
Nikon’s entry-level D40x has been reborn as the D60, which boasts a 10-megapixel maximum resolution and a dust-prevention system. This feature was sorely missing on the otherwise excellent D40x and now brings Nikon into line with competitors.
The ability to swap the lens in use to best suit your subject is one of the key features of a DSLR but you momentarily expose the camera’s sensor when doing so – that’s when dust or hairs can waft inside, showing up as unsightly smudges. So the D60’s dust-redirecting airflow system, plus the ability to self-clean said sensor on powering down, is a definite boon.
The only thing still missing is built-in image stabilisation to balance out any hand wobble when shooting at maximum zoom or slower shutter speeds. Fortunately, as well as offering the D60 at a body-only price for those possessing compatible lenses, Nikon is bundling it with either a standard 18-55mm or a VR (Vibration Reduction) equipped zoom. The latter provides the best value option for complete beginners, adding the required stability for just £30 more.
On the outside, not much has changed. The D60’s shooting options are still dialled in via a mode wheel atop the camera. In front of this, atop the rounded grip, is a springy shutter release button surrounded by an on/off switch. The back of the camera is dominated by a 2.5in LCD screen for reviewing images, which automatically switches off when you use the optical viewfinder above. Sadly, there’s no Live View option here – the feature that allows a DSLR’s screen to also be used to compose shots.
Nikon claims to have included a faster processor on the D60, but if you opt for its effective Active D-Lighting option – which automatically balances out exposures so you don’t lose background detail – the added processing slows things down considerably. As this is a consumer model, though, the extra few seconds wait proves a worthwhile trade-off for more naturalistic results.
The D60 is fast in operation – ready for the first shot in the time it takes your finger to reach for the shutter button. Allowing users to just point and shoot or access more complex manual controls within the one device means it represents good value for anyone trading up from a digital compact. For those who want more professional results without a steep learning curve, the D60 is a winner.