More digital camera in one package than ever
When we rated the D60’s predecessors, the D40 and D40x, we reckoned they’d be perfect if only they featured some form of dust prevention to avoid spots on images, and built-in stabilisation to reduce image blur.
Answering our call, the new D60 includes a self-cleaning sensor and for the first time Nikon has bundled a Vibration Reduction (VR) lens with a cheaper digital SLR. Outwardly little has changed. The D60 is small yet well constructed, the main shooting options controlled via a mode wheel similar to that on many digital cameras.
Images can be composed on the bright and clear optical viewfinder and reviewed on the rear 2.5in screen that otherwise displays a graphical menu. The image automatically rotates when the camera is turned on its side and switches off when you bring your eye to the viewfinder. Despite the lack of big changes Nikon says the improvements will make a difference to photographers.
It uses Nikon's new faster processor (the one found in the professional-level D300 and D3), which offers more accurate colours among other things.
There are new in-camera editing features: Active D-Lighting automatically evens out exposures so you don’t end up with a bright subject and dark background. In-camera retouching and RAW file processing – which formerly required specialist software – are also included.
What you don’t get is Live View, the popular feature that allows the screen to be used to compose images and check the focus, while if you don't want image stabilisation a package is available at £30 less. The D60 is quick: it was ready for the first capture in the time it took our fingers to find the shutter release.
The JPEG images it produced revealed plenty of colour and detail, with the D-Lighting lifting them above the level of snapshots. Noise was low even in poor light. In truth, though, the only essential feature among the D60’s additions is the airflow control system that channels dust out of the way of the sensor.
Owners of the recent D40x can rest easy, while those trading upwards from a compact camera have in the D60 the best value Nikon yet.
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Good points: Sensor cleaning system Great colours, free of noise Intuitive controls Bad points: Image stabilisation has a price premium No internal memory Not a big step from previous model Overall: An excellent starter SLR, adding more pixels, dust reduction and image stabilisation to an already-impressive camera series
£530 (18-55mm zoom lens included)
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