Price: 383 . 424 . 450
Pros: Good image quality with extra features; variety of advanced controls.
Cons: Design feels cramped; some design aspects not intuitive.
Though similar to the less expensive D40, the D60 has some interesting new features, including useful dynamic-range extension (Active D-Lighting), where the camera automatically compensates exposure in areas of lost detail in shadows and highlights. This function made an appreciable difference in informal tests under high-contrast lighting, and when shooting indoors under low light its noise reduction was effective.
Another neat feature of the D60 opens the door to stop-motion-movie creation. After you shoot JPEG images and then select the images in the menu, the camera will output those images together in a short AVI clip. In playback mode, you can also view filter presets (such as warm tone, skylight) on your images, and before-and-after comparisons.
The D60’s other settings and modes include burst (at up to 3fps), white balance, macro, exposure compensation, and black-and-white.
Overall the D60’s performance is pleasing. The bundled kit lens produced crisp images without a lot of noise; and the noise-control and dynamic-range features were useful and successfully addressed both noise and blown-out highlights. In our tests, this model performed competitively, although it ranked in the lower echelons for its exposures.
With the Nikon D60, you get a lot of functionality for your dollar. However, its compact design comes at the expense of its ergonomics, layout and some features.