Following on from Nikon's professional models at the end of last year, February saw the arrival of a new entry-level model in the form of the Nikon D60. The 16th DSLR to come from Nikon, the D60 is pitched at newcomers to digital SLRs and sits in the Nikon range between the D40x and D80.
The D60 is available in a kit with a Nikon standard 18-55mm zoom lens for £499.99, or with a newly developed 18-55mm VR (Vibration Reduction) lens for £539.99. Personally, I would opt for this set up, as unlike cameras from Pentax, Olympus and Sony, for example, Nikon doesn't provide in-camera image stabilisation.
Featuring the same 10.2MP CCD sensor as the D40x, at first glance there doesn't seem much difference between the two, but a close look reveals a host of new technology beneath the bonnet.
Nikon has taken the Expeed processor from the D3 and D300 models and put it at the heart of the D60, promising improved tonality and colour rendition, as well as allowing some post processing features, which we'll talk about later.
Another new addition is the dust reduction system which features the Image Sensor Cleaning System to reduce dust on the sensor via vibrations, along with the new Airflow Control System which passes air from the mirror box to small ducts in the camera base to clear dust away from the sensor.
Technology from the pro models also to be inherited by the D60 includes Active D-Lighting, a more advanced version of the older D-Lighting function found on older models. The new version can be applied before taking the image or afterwards in-camera to preserve details in particularly difficult lighting conditions. Examples of this would be when a subject is backlit against a bright sky, or when there is an extreme of dark and light when the details may get lost.