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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Nikon D60 DSLR

Nikon Digital Cameras


Nikon D60 DSLR Review

Review Date: Jun 23, 2008

Category: Beginner / Family DSLR

Nikon D60

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2008 - Family DSLR
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2008 - Family DSLR


The Nikon D60 DSLR remains one of the easiest entry-level DSLR to use. With 10.2 megapixel resolution on an APS-sized (23.6 x 15.8mm) CCD image sensor, the Nikon D60 captures well-exposed images with balanced exposure and pleasant colors in all kinds of lighting situations, including in the very difficult noonday sun when images on a lesser-capable camera usually come out flat, unflattering and high contrast with blown highlights.

The Nikon D60 has excellent image quality (including excellent low-light performance) up to ISO 800 with plenty of details preserved. It has better dynamic range than the D40, being able to hold detail in highlights much better. Active D-Lighting works well to retain detail in the shadows. The Matrix metering works flawlessly and those who like their colors intense will love the vivid saturated colors right out of the camera.

3x Optical Zoom
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Wide-angle 27mm Tele 82.5mm
Wide-angle 18mm
(27mm, 35mm equivalent)
Telephoto 55mm
(82.5mm, 35mm equivalent)

One of the advantage of a dSLR is the ability to use interchangeable lenses suited for specific jobs. The Nikon D60 comes with a new optically image stabilized AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR Lens as standard kit lens, which provides a 27-82.5mm equivalent field of view.

55mm, Programmed Auto, Multi-Pattern, 1/250 sec., F8.0, ISO 100

The actual macro capability is a function of the lens you use, and I find that I obtain my best macro results using this lens by zooming in.

If you are into macro photography, check out the 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor lens which features a silent wave motor and Vibration Reduction technology that Nikon claims allows photographers to shoot hand-held at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than otherwise possible.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 100
ISO 100
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 3200  
ISO 3200  

The Nikon D60 has 5 ISO settings going from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, plus the ability to "boost" to a higher ISO setting dubbed "HI 1" which is equivalent to ISO 3200. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds. At ISO 200 to 800, noise is under control and detail is preserved. Noise is also low at ISO 1600 but at the expense of some slight detail loss. The boosted ISO 3200 is very noisy.

This low-noise high-ISO characteristic should please those who are tired of P&S digicams' inability to capture quality low light shots.

Chromatic Aberrations

I have not seen CA present in most everyday shots. In the very high-contrast shot above, the corner delimited by the red square at top left, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows negligible purple fringing.

Long Shutter Speed

Long Shutter Speed

32mm, Manual, Multi-Pattern, 30 sec., F5.0, ISO 200
Manual WB, Self-timer 10 sec., Tripod Used
Long Exposure Noise Reduction ON
using the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR lens

The Nikon D60 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 30 sec. in Manual, Shutter-Priority and Aperture-Priority modes (plus Bulb in Manual mode), therefore allowing nice night photography. Generally, with image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds. When you set Noise Reduction to ON in the menu [Shooting Menu - Noise Reduction - ON], the Nikon D60 has special noise reduction algorithm that automatically kicks in when an ISO 400 or higher is used and/or a shutter speed of 8 sec. or longer is used. For shutter speed of 8s and longer, you'll notice a longer processing time (approx. twice as long) before the next picture can be taken.

To test this noise reduction algorithm, we decided to take a low-light indoors shot. To obtain a long exposure, I turn off all the lights in the room, turn on light in a room across the hall.

I experiment a bit to obtain the optimum exposure, eventually settling on 30 sec. at F5.0. Even at this long shutter speed, the Nikon D60's noise reduction seems to be working well, producing a nice smooth blurring effect of the background. The colors, however, at this long exposure leaves a little to be desired. [Yes, I also tried using AWB and WB=Incandescent.]

We find that the AF is very responsive and images snap quickly into focus. There is a dedicated AF-assist illuminator (white light) to aid in focusing.


The Nikon D60 does not incorporate a live histogram. In Playback mode, press the Multi-Selector up/down and you can view a Histogram.

We find the overall image quality of the Nikon D60 up to ISO 800 to be excellent with details preserved in the shadows and highlights. ISO 1600 is very usable.

The pictures in the Nikon D60 Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided unprocessed samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 3872 x 2592 pixels original size (click on the image for the original version). Any of the 800x600 image that is adjusted for levels and/or sharpened in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name. Original images are never adjusted.

[I shot the first half with Vivid color and medium sharpening, and the second half at normal color.]

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!


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