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Compared to...

As with the majority of our studio image quality comparisons we selected the nearest competition by category, specification, price and feature set. In this case the Nikon D60 goes up against Olympus' small, lightweight ten megapixel E-410 and Canon's ever popular EOS 400D (Rebel XTi). We've also included comparisons with the D60's predecessor (the D40X) to see if there's any obvious differences in the processing now the camera boast's Nikon's Expeed processing 'concept'. Note that the pricing shown here is a reflection of the fact that both the EOS 400D and Olympus E-410 are at the end of their lives (both are being replaced), so prices have fallen.

Camera Kit price Kit lens
equiv. FOV
Sensor
(effective pixels)
Nikon D60 $740 27 - 82.5 mm equiv. 10.2 MP CCD; 23.7 x 15.6 mm (1.5x crop)
Canon EOS 400D $730 28.8 - 88 mm equiv. 10.1 MP CMOS; 22.2 x 14.8 mm (1.6x crop)
Olympus E-410 $400 28 - 84 mm equiv. 10.0 MP LiveMOS; 17.3 x 13 mm (4/3 format)

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down, typically to F9 for 35 mm lenses and F6.3 for Four Thirds lenses. Here we have used the Nikon 50 mm F1.8 (it's sharper than the F1.4 at F9), Olympus 50 mm F2.0 Macro, and Canon EF 50 mm F1.4.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Nikon D60 vs. Nikon D40X

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D60: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
     
  • Nikon D40X: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
Nikon D60
Nikon D40X
3,633 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
3,695 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)

Although it's not something you'd see in a print, viewed up close you can see that the D60 produces output that is subtly different to the D40X (though it's worth stressing that we're really splitting hairs here). The D60's 'Expeed' processing is slightly more subdued (moving the D60 marginally closer to the kind of output we'd expect from Nikon's more 'serious' SLR bodies). The result is that the D60's output is slightly flatter, with lower contrast (and gentler highlight roll-off) and is a little softer (less sharpened) at a pixel level. Of course it's a two second job to tweak the D60's output to match the D40X.

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