Canon 40D vs Nikon D60
The Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D60 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and January 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)||ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 230k dots||2.5 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6.5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|750 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g||126 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D60? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D60 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D60 is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the D60 is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the D60 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (40D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D60).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Olympus E-30||142 mm||108 mm||75 mm||701 g||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299|
|Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D60 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 52 percent) than the 40D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D60 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (40D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 40D offers a higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D60. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 6.11μm for the D60). Moreover, it should be noted that the D60 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 40D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The Nikon D60 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-30||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.4||530||55|
|Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 40D and the D60 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 40D has a higher magnification than the one of the D60 (0.59x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Nikon D60 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the D60 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D60 uses SDHC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Nikon D60 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the D60) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 40D and the D60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the D60 was followed by the Nikon D5000. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Nikon D60? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.53x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2007).
Advantages of the Nikon D60:
- More compact: Is smaller (126x94mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 300g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (52 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 40D is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D60 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the D60 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon 40D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Nikon D60||80/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|Canon 70D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 1100D||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon 60D||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 50D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon 450D||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 400D||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Nikon D3000||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D5000||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|Nikon D90||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Olympus E-30||..||71/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299|
|Olympus E-420||85/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 40D vs Nikon D60
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2007||January 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 629|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.73 μm||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.03 MP/cm2||2.69 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64||65|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||703||562|
|Screen Specs||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||50 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 40D||Nikon D60|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
126 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||522 g (18.4 oz)|
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