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Image Size / File Quality Options

The D60 provides seven different image size / quality combinations. You can choose from image sizes of 3072 x 2048 (Large), 2048 x 1360 (Medium) or 1536 x 1024 (Small) in combination with either Fine JPEG or Normal JPEG quality settings. In addition there is of course RAW image format, this contains a RAW 'dump' of the data directly from the sensor (12-bits per pixel), a RAW file can not be viewed natively and but must first be converted. Most people consider the RAW format to be the 'digital negative' because it is lossless and has had no image processing applied to it (white balance, sharpening etc.) all of which can be adjusted at a later date before outputing the final image.


Standard Test Scene

To give an impression of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce the table below is a cross reference of some of them:

  • 3024 x 2048 RAW (to TIFF using Canon RAW converter 2)
  • 3024 x 2048 JPEG Fine
  • 3024 x 2048 JPEG Normal
  • 2048 x 1360 JPEG Fine
  • 1536 x 1024 JPEG Fine

Crops below are of the same 240 x 120 area of each image nearest neighbour magnified 200%.

Settings: ISO 100, Parameters: Normal, EF 28-70 mm F2.8L @ F8.0


 
3024 x 2048
RAW
As a 2,151 KB JPEG or original 7,832 KB .CRW & .THM (Canon RAW)
JPEG
FINE

2,893 KB
JPEG
NORM

1,412 KB
   

 
2048 x 1360
JPEG
FINE

1,437 KB
   

 
1536 x 1024
JPEG
FINE

882 KB

It's difficult to see very much difference between RAW and JPEG Fine, clearly RAW offers much more flexibility and for purists would be seen as the absolute 'digital negative', but there is visually very little difference between the two. JPEG Normal does introduce some visual artifacts, for most purposes I would recommend people stick to JPEG Fine (at any image size). There is a more detailed examiniation of the RAW format later in this review.

Obviously having all those additional pixels at your disposal means that smaller size images either straight out of the camera (Medium / Small sizes) or 'down sampling' Large images at a later date produces very sharp and very clean images. This is one of the big advantages of having such a large (pixel count) image.


Parameters

As with the D30 the D60 provides up to three sets of image processing parameters which can be set to change the output of the final image, these settings are applied in-camera to JPEG files and are recorded in the header of RAW files. On the D30 these parameters were programmed (into one of three sets) via the TWAIN driver and a USB connection, on the D60 the parameters can be programmed in-camera - a much better solution.

The D60 also adds a new parameter called 'color tone' which the manual describes as "adjusts the color balance... makes skin tones more red or yellow". In summary the four parameters which may be adjusted are: Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation and Color Tone.

What the D60 still doesn't have and I'm sure there are a lot of people who would like it is the ability to shoot in (and select) defined colour spaces. The new EOS-1D allows you to select between sRGB and Adobe RGB. It would have been nice to have seen this in the D60 (although perhaps that would bring the D60 a little too close to the 'professional' level).

Parameter: Contrast

Settings: ISO 100, EF 28-70 mm F2.8L @ F8.0, Small/Fine

Contrast: -1 Contrast: 0 Contrast: +1

As you can see there is a visible difference between the three contrast levels. Contrast -1 produces a very flat low contrast image which maintains shadow and highlight and boosts mid range grey. Contrast +1 produces a much punchier image which has much blacker blacks and whiter highlights.

Parameter: Sharpness

Settings: ISO 100, EF 28-70 mm F2.8L @ F8.0, Large/Fine

Sharpness: -1 Sharpness: 0 Sharpness: +1

Adjust the sharpness does seem to have a more visible effect than it did on the D30. I noticed when I first started shooting with the D60 that its images appeared to need less sharpening straight out of the camera than the D30 does. The Sharpness +1 setting works well and introduces very few artifacts, details are more visible and edges are sharper but for me it loses some of that silky photographic quality we see from the default sharpness setting.

Parameter: Saturation

Settings: ISO 100, EF 28-70 mm F2.8L @ F11.0, Small/Fine, Studio Flash

Saturation: -1 Saturation: 0 Saturation: +1

  1 Dark skin 2 Light skin 13 Blue 14 Green 15 Red 16 Yellow 17 Magenta
-1              
0              
+1              

You can see that the differences between each saturation level is very subtle. Compared to the D30 the D60's colours have been tweaked, red is stronger and other colours have been 'tuned down', thus it by default produces a more neutral balance. This is one setting where I would have liked to have seen at least a +/-2 level latitude of adjustment, the difference between -1, 0 and +1 is simply too subtle to be very useful.

Parameter: Color tone

Settings: ISO 100, EF 28-70 mm F2.8L @ F11.0, Small/Fine, Studio Flash

Color tone: -1 (More red) Color tone: 0 Color tone: +1 (More yellow)

  1 Dark skin 2 Light skin 13 Blue 14 Green 15 Red 16 Yellow 17 Magenta
-1              
0              
+1              

The color tone parameter is new to the D60, it allows you to preset the processing of reds (specifically those around skin tone levels) to have either slightly more red or slightly more yellow. There is no specific explanation of the use of this parameter but I'll make a guess that it's designed to satisfy the use of the camera in different parts of the world where the 'look' of regional models skin could look better in either modes -1 or +1.

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Comments

Total comments: 2
DomLouise
By DomLouise (8 months ago)

I own this camera currently. What is the worth of this camera now?? Above you say it's worth $1,999 for the basic body. It's obviously been a 11 years since this article was written.

0 upvotes
rtkennedy7
By rtkennedy7 (8 months ago)

I was looking through B & H used cameras online today, and saw the D-60 in (9) excellent condition for $159.00, and bought it. I've been looking for one for two years and the lowest price I could find for average condition was $250.00, until today. Were you happy with yours?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2