The Nikon D60

January 31, 2008

New Nikon DSLRs are inevitable, but Nikon's recent introduction has me puzzled. The new D60 seems little more than the existing D40x. My observation is that sales of the D40x have been falling off because its advantage over the D40 is not clear. I'm not sure that Nikon has done enough with the D60 to make it a strong seller; it may simply cannibalize what is left of D80 sales and still leave Nikon with a void in the middle of the line.

I would not trade up my D40 for the D60. In fact, I'm thinking of buying another D40 for my wife, who loves her Canon G9 for travel but finds it problematic for flash situations. I'm not impressed by the rise in megapixels, which does very little for the photos I take but surely drives up the archival storage requirements.

Also a bit confusing is the new 16-85mm VR DX lens. I thought sure Nikon's next move would be to add VR to the 18-135mm lens. My problem is that the 16-85 is going to be as expensive as the incredibly popular 18-200 VR DX lens! The extra 2mm on the bottom moves the wide angle from a 35mm equivalent of 27mm to 24mm, which is significant. But I can't figure out why one would buy the 16-85 instead of the 18-200 when the price, weight and size are very close. There was certainly nothing in Nikon's press materials to explain that.

Nikon will offer the D60 in a kit with the 18-55mm VR DX lens for $750 list, due in March.

As far as I'm concerned, Ken Rockwell is the authoritative source for Nikon DSLR information for the average, consumer photographer. I don't know whether he agrees with me about the D60 but I won't attempt to steal his thunder. Check him out. He's a great read whether you agree with him or not. I love his passion.

DP Review is a good source of information. When its editors first note DSLRs, they put up a chart of features and use a green asterisk to note areas of change or improvement. The number of asterisks for the D60 is very small.

I also like Imaging Resource. It has taken to creating show-floor videos that highlight newly announced products. There is a video on the D60, an interview with a Nikon USA representative.

Tags: DSLR, Nikon, Photography