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Nikon D60

Nikon_D60
Review Date: Sep 18, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, easy to use, good image quality, and inexpensive.
Cons:
Three focus points, you spend a lot of time digging through the menu, small size.

I have used my Nikon D60 for about five years. It has been a solid and relatively inexpensive learning tool which has allowed me to develop my knowledge of photography over the years. When combined with decent glass it allows the user to create images most beginning to intermediate photographers would be happy to display. The supplied kit lens (18-55 VR) is capable of handling most general photography duties the beginning photographer would ask of it. The VR works well on the lens and the lightweight 18-55 is a nice match to the D60 body.

I have added three items which have proven to be excellent additions to the D60:

Nikon 50mm 1.4G
Nikon 70-300 VR
Nikon SB-600

The addition of these two lenses and the flash have greatly increased the image quality and capabilities of the little camera. The lenses are my go-to glass for portraits and other subjects where high image quality is essential. The flash has opened up a new realm of photographic possibilities over the pop-up flash on the D60.

There are always negatives with any camera and with a beginner's camera such as the Nikon D60 there are a few:

1) If you want to change settings, you are going to be digging in the menu.
2) Three focus points means you will be working hard to properly compose your shots.
3) You don't want to reach beyond ISO 400 if you want to maintain any type of image quality.
4) The physical size of the camera makes handling a bit difficult at times.
5) Lack of a Nikon battery grip with controls for shooting in portrait mode.

There are quite a few positives to the D60:

1) The size of the camera makes it easy to haul around all day (you don't end up with great pictures if you leave your camera at home).
2) It served as an inexpensive entry into the world of DSLRs.
3) The image quality is actually quite good (when combined with good glass it is capable of creating really nice results).
4) It handles flash units the size of the Nikon SB-600 well.
5) The Active D Lighting works really well.
6) There are a lot of options available in the menu to modify your images.
7) The in camera sensor cleaner works well - no dust issues in five years of use.
8) It provides for RAW, JPG, or RAW+JPG options.
9) It has a variety of "scene modes" which can be useful for a beginner prior to switching to S,A, or M as your experience grows.

Overall I am quite pleased with my purchase as it has served me well for a long time considering it is a simple beginner's DSLR. I have outgrown its capabilities and will be moving to either the Nikon D600 or D800, but as a starter setup the D60 has proven to be a capable companion for my photographic studies. It has the same drawbacks as other beginner DSLRs, but it was a worthwhile purchase as an introduction into the world of photography.