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Compared to the Canon EOS-D60

The EOS-D60 is Canon's update to the much respected and price breaking EOS-D30. The D60 brings six megapixels of resolution and a slightly tweaked image engine. These two cameras were locked into a price war around the time of PMA 2002 and for many first time buyers the decision will simply be between the EOS-D60 and the D100. Clearly existing 'system' users (people who own lenses for either Nikon or Canon mount) will have a heavy preference going into this comparison.

 
Nikon D100

Canon EOS-D60
Kit price (street) US - $1999 US - $2199
Sensor 6.3 megapixel CCD 6.5 megapixel CMOS
Final image size 3008 x 2000 3072 x 2048
FOV crop 1.5x 1.6x
Lens mount Nikon F mount Canon EF mount *1
Colour space sRGB (2), Adobe RGB sRGB
Sensitivity ISO 200 - 1600, HI-1, HI-2 *2 ISO 100 - 1000
Metering 3D Matrix
CW Average
Spot
8 Segment evaluative
Center metering
CW Average
Shutter 30 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec
Bulb Yes Yes *3
Flash X-Sync 1/180 sec 1/200 sec
Exp. compen +/- 5 EV in 0.3, 0.5 EV steps +/-2 EV in 0.3, 0.5 EV steps
AF TTL, 5 AF points *4 TTL, 3 AF points
AF assist lamp Yes Yes
Self-timer 2, 5, 10 or 20 secs 10 secs
Continuous 3 fps, max 7/8 images 3 fps, max 8 images *5
White balance Auto, 6 settings, manual, fine tunable Auto, 5 settings, manual
WB Bracket Yes No
Image params. Sharpening
Tone
Color mode
Hue
Contrast
Sharpness
Saturation
Color Tone
Image formats JPEG, RAW, TIFF JPEG, RAW
Flash Pop-up Pop-up
Flash hot-shoe Yes Yes
Mirror lock-up Yes, 'Anti-mirror-shock' Yes, 'Mirror lockup'
PC Sync terminal No Yes
LCD monitor 1.8" 118,000 pixel 1.8" 114,000 pixel
LCD cover Yes, supplied No
Status panel Yes, illuminated Yes, illuminated
Viewfinder 95% coverage, grid lines 95% coverage
User memories 2 (A or B) 1 (up to 3 image param. sets)
Storage CF Type I/II CF Type I/II
Connectivity USB 1.1 USB 1.1
RAW Conversion Yes, included, optional NC3 'more power' Yes, included RAW converter
PC Remote control Yes, supplied software Yes, supplied software
Portrait grip Optional Optional
Power Supplied Lithium-Ion 1400 mAh Supplied Lithium-Ion 1100 mAh
Weight (no lens) 775 g (1.7 lb) 852 g (1.9 lb)

*1 This will be a contentious point but I believe the larger choice of USM lenses available for the Canon EF mount should make the Canon more attractive to the first time user.
*2 It would have been nice to have an ISO 100 option on the Nikon D100.
*3 Canon EOS-D60 has superb ultra-long exposure abilities, 5 minute exposure not a problem.
*4 Nikon D100 has the better AF system, faster focusing and better in low light.
*5 Canon EOS-D60 has excellent 'double buffer' system which improves continuous shooting.

Studio scene comparison

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from the same tripod position (apart for slight compensation because of the difference in FOV crop) within about a minute of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%.

  • Nikon D100: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Auto, Color Mode: I, Self-Timer,
    White balance: Manual Preset, Manual Exposure, Manual Focus, Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens,
    Large/Fine JPEG
     
  • Canon EOS-D60: Parameters: Standard, Self-Timer, White balance: Manual Preset,
    Manual Exposure, Manual Focus, Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Large/Fine JPEG

Note: We used the 'Auto' sharpening setting on the D100 as this proved to be consistently sharper than the 'Normal' setting. For examples of sharpening levels see this page.

Interesting to note the slight difference between the sensitivity / Tone curve of these two cameras, at ISO 200 their was 0.7 EV difference between the D100 and the EOS-D60 (to the D60's advantage) to produce an image with the same brightness.

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
ISO 200, F9, 0.5 sec ISO 200, F9, 0.8 sec

There's very little to argue from a colour response point of view, the D100 being slightly stronger (more saturated) but both cameras doing a more than capable and accurate job of reproducing scene colours. Tonal balance tends to be a little flatter on the EOS-D60 and with more contrast on the D100 (although this could be selectively changed on either camera). Resolution and sharpness must go to the EOS-D60, by comparison the D100 is left looking soft with far less 'crisp' detail.

Footnote: You may also download the Canon EOS-D60 sample taken at ISO 100 (this camera's lowest noise sensitivity).

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