Previous page Next page

Timings & File Sizes

Overall speed of operation is almost identical to the D40X (no surprise there) - the main difference is start up speed if you choose to have the dust reduction operate at every power up. If you disable the automatic cleaning it's ready instantly, utilizing Nikon's "sleep state" design means that you'll never have to wait for the camera, it'll always be faster than you. Shutter lag is very, very short, as is mirror blackout. In day to day use the D60 feels very much like a mechanical film camera, you know that when you hit the shutter release it's going to take that shot. Kudos.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3872 x 2592 JPEG Fine (approx. 3,400 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 4 GB SanDisk Ducati Edition SD card
  • 2 GB Lexar Pro 133x SD card
Action
Details
Time, secs
(4 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Power Off to On *1
Cleaning on
1.7 1.7
Power Off to On *1
Cleaning off
0.6 0.6
Power Off to Shot *2
0.1 0.1
Sleep to On
~0.1 0.3
Power On to Off
<0.1 <0.1
Record Review *3
RAW
1.1 1.1
Record Review *3
JPEG
1.1 1.1
Play *4
RAW
~0.1 ~0.1
Play *4
JPEG
~0.1 ~0.1
Play Image to Image
RAW
~0.1 ~0.1
Play Image to Image
JPEG
~0.1 ~0.1

*1 This is the amount of time before the status screen is shown on the LCD monitor, as shown by the next measurement this doesn't have any impact on how soon you can take a shot if you turn the dust removal at startup off.
*2 As good as instant, just like the D40 and D40X, the D60 the appears to remain in a 'sleep state' even when powered off.
*3 Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor.
*4 The D60 will cache an image once it has been displayed although it reads images so quickly from the card that the difference between an actual read and a cached read is hardly noticeable.

Continuous Drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/320 sec, F5.6), ISO 200. Measurements were taken from audio recordings of the tests. Media used were the same as above. Note that the frame rate starts to drop at any shutter speed below 1/250th second. The frame rate (and number of raw frames in a burst) also drops if you turn Active D-Lighting on.

The tests carried out below measured the following results for JPEG and RAW:

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 3.0 fps (+/- 0.01 fps)
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst
  • Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held after burst (buffer full)
  • Next burst - How soon after the burst it is fully written to the card (indicator goes out)

Burst of JPEG Large Fine images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme III SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 3.0 fps 3.0 fps
Number of frames - -
Buffer full rate - -
Next burst - -

Burst of RAW images

Timing
4 GB SanDisk
Extreme Ducati SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 3.0 fps 3.0 fps
Number of frames 6 *1 6 *1
Buffer full rate 1.4 fps 1.2 fps
Next burst 4.5 sec 4.5 sec
*1 The shooting rate remains at exactly 3.0 fps for 6 frames. The seventh shot is always 0.5 seconds later (i.e. 2.0 fps). The rate then drops to the quoted 'buffer full' rate.

Once again Nikon delivers exactly what it promises with 3.0 frames per second. Where the D40X would sometimes give us 7 frames at the maximum rate the D60 starts to slow at the 7th frame no matter what card you use. Our tests indicate that the buffer full rate is exactly the same as the D40X, though if you use the fastest card (such as the Sandisk Ducati used here) you will get a slightly better rate. Interestingly whatever card was used the 'recovery' time between full speed bursts was noticeably faster than the D40X, though of course there is one less frame in the buffer.

Effect of Active D-Lighting

There's no doubt that the D60's Active D-Lighting feature can significantly improve dynamic range the extra processing involved means there is a fairly significant performance hit, so it's best left turned off if you're attempting to shoot extended sequences in rapid succession. Comparison timings below are using a Sandisk 4.0GB Extreme Ducati Edition.

Timing
Active D-Lighting Off
Active D-Lighting On
Continuous Frame Rate (JPEG) *1 3.0 fps 2.6 fps
Number of frames (JPEG)*1 At least 100 frames 5 frames
Buffer full rate (JPEG)*1 n/a 0.3 fps
Continuous Frame Rate (RAW) 3.0 fps 2.6 fps
Number of frames (RAW) 6 frames 4 frames
Buffer full rate (RAW) 1.4 0.3 fps
Record Review (RAW or JPEG) 1.1 secs 3.6 secs
*1 In all cases JPEG Large / Fine

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card. Timing was taken from the instant the shutter release was pressed to the time the storage card activity lamp beside the compartment door went out. Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs
(4 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Approx.
size
3872 x 2592 RAW + JPEG Basic 2.4 2.5 10,200 KB *1
3872 x 2592 RAW 2.0 2.0 9,100 KB
3872 x 2592 JPEG Fine 1.5 1.5 3,400 KB
3872 x 2592 JPEG Normal 1.3 1.4 2,400 KB

*1 File size reported here is the size of the RAW and Basic quality JPEG files added together.
*2 The D60 begins writing around 0.6 seconds after the shutter release is pressed so you must subtract 'processing time' from the timing to get the actual write time.

Like its predecessors the D60 has very fast write times (it appears to actually be slightly faster); around 5 MB/sec for RAW images with fast cards as used in this test. Just like the D80, D40 and D40X the D60 has a very good buffer implementation which means that all image processing and card write processes occur in parallel with normal camera operation ('in the background'), hence never affecting your ability to take the next shot.

USB transfer speed

To test the D60's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 500 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Ducati Edition 4 GB SD card.

Method
Transfer rate
Nikon D60 (PTP) 5.5 MB/sec
Panasonic CardBus PCMCIA adapter 10.7 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 13.1 MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme Ducati Edition built in USB 16.8 MB/Sec

It's not going to be a major issue for most users (given that a card reader is hardly a significant investment), but we were disappointed to see that the D60 doesn't support the Mass Storage Protocol, only offering MTP or PTP. This means Mac users cannot simply mount the card when the camera is attached (for drag and drop copying) but must use the supplied Nikon Transfer software. PTP transfer is also slow; at best you'll get 5.5 MB per second from a USB 2.0 connection (and that's using a fast card). By comparison simply removing the Sandisk card and using its built-in USB connection will more than treble the speed with which you can copy images to your computer.

Previous page Next page
84
I own it
2
I want it
123
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments