The huge PMA camera show in Las Vegas is happening this week, and like most camera geeks I wish I was there. Sadly you ungrateful lot haven't been clicking on enough adverts lately, so the coffee jar full of coppers that constitutes the TR budget won't stretch quite that far, however I can still keep you up to date on the latest camera launches thanks to the annual round of launch events that the big camera companies are holding for us stay-at-homes. This week it's the turn of industry veteran Nikon, which has announced bundle of new products, including seven new compact cameras, three new lenses and a new digital SLR.
The big news from Nikon this month is the launch of a new entry-level digital SLR, the D60. The new model is aimed at first-time DSLR buyers either upgrading from a digital compact camera or those finally making the switch from a film SLR. It fits into the existing Nikon DSLR range, rather unsurprisingly, between the D40 and the D80, replacing the excellent D40x. Some observers have been a bit surprised by the restrained specification of the new model, which amounts to little more than a relatively minor upgrade of the outgoing model. The body is virtually identical to the D40x, with the only external difference being a slightly larger shooting mode dial. The D60 also shares many of its primary features with the D40x, including its 10.2-megapixel Nikon DX-size CCD sensor, 2.5-inch 230K LCD monitor and, 420-point 3D colour-matrix exposure metering and three-point AF system. Rather surprisingly, considering the price and specification of the recently announced Sony Alpha A200 and Canon EOS 450D, Nikon has chosen not to equip the D60 with that latest must-have DSLR feature, live monitor view.
The new model improves on some features of its predecessor, including a wider range of easy-to-use scene modes, a revised shooting data monitor display with an orientation sensor, and a range of in-camera editing functions, including some RAW processing options.
New features unique to the D60 include an improved sensor dust-removal system which utilises the internal airflow caused by the movement of the reflex mirror to help blow dust off the sensor. Another new feature is the Active D-Lighting system, which helps boost the apparent dynamic range of high contrast images. This option is also available as a post-processing feature in playback mode.
The D60 will be available in the shops in a couple of weeks, with a recommended retail price of £529.99 in a kit with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, £499.99 as a kit with the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II or body only for £449.99.