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First overview as at  4th February 2008

Just over a week ago Nikon announced the D60, a camera that has the same dimensions and appearance as the D40x, but with some of the features from the D300 and some new features we have not seen anywhere before.

So far we have seen the press release, the specification, a brochure and the mini website on the camera. The last of these two are not yet on the European Nikon website. The camera has been shown at a show in the USA and it is likely that the first time most of us could get to see it, is at the Focus on Imaging Show at the end of February.

The target date for availability is March. It will initially be priced in the UK at £449.99 for the body only,  body+18-55mm lens kit at £499.99, body +18-55mm VR lens kit at £520.99, and these are likely to be the first prices you sse advertised but may then fall over the next few months, if they follow the pattern of other models introduced, and initially there is a shortage then as more become available competition steps in. This may not be as much as in other cases as this camera is starting at around the price the D40x has been selling recently. They are likely to be available from outside the UK for considerably less. The USA pricing has not yet been announced.

The D60, like the D40x, is largely controlled from easy to access options on the rear screen, it has few controls, no top display panel, and will appeal to those who want a small and lightweight camera. It works fully with lenses that do not have electronic focusing motors, this often means many of the lenses that were developed for using with 35mm film cameras. You would need a D70/D80 or above to switch from 35mm photography to digital and make use of existing lenses and have autofocus. It cannot autofocus lenses that do not have electronic focusing motors, but is sort of compatible with most older lenses by using manual focus and most lenses this can be done with the aid of the electric rangefinder. Depending on the lens range it can vary from not working at all, working in manual only through manual aperture to full compatibility. If this is your first purchase, its not a problem as you can make sure all lenses purchased are compatible. There are a range of smaller lenses first developed for the D40 and D40x that are compatible and these are being extended.

This camera, is similar to the D40x, 10.2 megapixel, 3 focus points, 2.5 inch back panel, Auto modes in addition to P, S, A and M, uses SD cards. Also featured in the D80, ISO 100 to 1600 +1ev over. However it also has several new features including the new airflow system in addition to the vibration system to avoid dust on the sensor, first introduced recently into the D300, Active D-lighting to better deal with high contrasts.

Rear view detects upright or landscape and displays accordingly.

Ability to do camera editing of NEF (raw) files, Stop motion movie from a photo sequence, and works with creative lighting system if you use a SB800 or SU800 for a commander.

There may be some extra items that may be a first with this camera, and it appears that there may be a readout or display of how far away the camera is focusing. Currently none of the cameras display this, and if true this could be a major step as it is the missing piece of information that would allow depth of field to be calculated, and perhaps in the future displayed. With VR lenses conquering camera shake the next target has to be to better allow people to understand and handle depth of field so as to control better what is in focus.

It comes with  Nikon ViewNX and transfer, and is of course compatible with other software that you can buy.

So we have an unpadded version of the D40x, same size and weight with some extra facilities, and better ability to handle dust, contrast, and more editing features in camera for those who donít want to edit on a computer.  It will appeal to the same people as have liked the D40x, as an entry level camera, a small carry anywhere camera and a second camera body for other photographers. Perhaps not as earth shattering as the leap we made when the D300 came out but a nice camera, and at a price that will be extremely popular.

We will get hold of one as soon as they are available and then give a reaction to how it performs in practice.











See also

Comparison across the Nikon DSLR range.

Nikon DSLR Price Comparisons


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