Recently my sister got one of these cameras, and I was lucky enough to be allowed to use it. It was a pleasure to use, even great fun. It offers great functionality for a fraction of the price of some D-SLRs. Much better than any compact camera I have ever used.
As with any SLR
, this camera
can be quite large if you are used to the bog-standard compacts you usually see. Then again, my Fujifilm E900
is already a large camera
. However, the D60
is quite small for a SLR, especially compared to some of the professional monsters you see. It's also quite heavy, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. The camera uses the SD card
, which is the de-facto standard for most cameras, which is pleasing, seeing as most D-SLRs used to use CF cards
. The supplied battery is a Nikon
proprietary standard, but lasts for quite a while (I didn't do any specific tests, but I got about 800 photos before needing to charge).
The camera is rather good for taking pictures with: it offers the usual PSAM, an Auto mode, and specialised portrait/landscape etc. modes. It was great to have a camera with which (at last) I could also take free length exposures. If you are in any of the PSAM modes there is a handy on screen illustration of aperture width which aids you in setting the shot up. There are unfortunately only three Autofocus
points. Metering is also limited to 5 point matrix, centre weighted or average modes. A nice touch is a sensor detecting when you bring your eye up to the viewfinder, and therefore switches
off the monitor, saving electricity. You cannot preview your photo on the screen (you have to look through the viewfinder) before you take it, unlike on a compact where you see the picture on the screen before taking, but this is perfectly normal for a D-SLR
. The buttons and scroll wheel
are conveniently located making it quite easy to adjust your settings while looking through the viewfinder, once you have memorised which of the two most commonly used buttons is which. By pressing another button at the bottom of the screen you can also get straight to a menu allowing changing of AF-mode, ISO and similar settings. The camera can detect when you turn it on its side, changing both its shooting screen, and also recording this in the picture, eliminating all that irritating turning of pictures. The burst mode is also rather good, albeit only offering 3Fps, but this is still excellent compared to my compact. For really fast picture taking you usually have to give out thousands anyway.
The camera is quite good for editing and viewing pictures. Since the pictures are automatically rotated on taking, you don't have to turn the camera. You can crop, overlay and otherwise change photos, and there's also the option of making stop-motion movies using photo sequences you have made. (This is more of a gimmick than anything else - I have yet to find a practical use for this.)
The camera can work with Windows, Mac
, and also Linux: it uses the PTP mode for transferring pictures: software is supplied for Windows and Mac (I haven't tested either, but my sister says the windows one works well, also in Vista). I used it under GNU/Linux (Kubuntu 8.04) using digiKam. (The camera, irritatingly, cannot be mounted as an ordinary file system under any OS, and needs some interface software.) It was slightly slow transferring pictures, but this was because I had about 4GB of pictures, and also partly because of my aged hardware (a ultra portable laptop
from '03). You can also simply take the SD card out and put it in an appropriate reader. There is also a cable allowing you to connect the camera to your TV
, if you wish to view your pictures there, which can be useful.
This is an excellent SLR to get if you are on a slightly tighter budget. If you have lots of money to spare though I would go for one of the more expensive Nikon D2 models, which are however quite a large investment. This is the camera to get if you want to take good photos without having to pay a fortune.