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Canon 5D vs Nikon D60

The Canon EOS 5D and the Nikon D60 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2005 and January 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (5D) and an APS-C (D60) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.7 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon 5D versus Nikon D60
Canon 5D Nikon D60
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (50 - 3,200) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
400 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
152 x 113 x 75 mm, 895 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 5D 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 5D and the Nikon D60. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 5D vs Nikon D60
Compare 5D versus D60 top
Comparison 5D or D60 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D60 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon 5D. Moreover, the D60 is substantially lighter (42 percent) than the 5D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 5D is splash and dust resistant, while the D60 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (5D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D60).

Concerning battery life, the 5D gets 400 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the D60 can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 5D 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299i
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
 
Canon 6D Mark II 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 5DS 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5D Mark III 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 950 g 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499i
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Canon 5D Mark II 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon 1D Mark II N 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999i
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
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.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D60 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 81 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 5D features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D60 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D60 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 5D and Nikon D60 sensor measures

With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the D60 (10MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 6.11μm for the D60) due to its larger sensor. However, the D60 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 5 months) than the 5D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 5D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 5D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 14.6 inches or 55.5 x 37 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.5 x 11.6 inches or 44.4 x 29.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.6 x 9.7 inches or 37 x 24.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D60 are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 5D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D60 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

5D versus D60 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 5D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D60 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 5D Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912none22.911.1136871
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
 
Canon 6D Mark II Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
 
Canon 5D Mark IV Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
 
Canon 5DS Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187
 
Canon 5DS R Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886
 
Canon 5D Mark III Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
 
Canon 1D Mark II N APS-H 8.2 3504 2336none22.311.297566
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
Neither the 5D nor the D60 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 5D 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 viewfinder in the 5D offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the D60 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 5D has a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 5D and Nikon D60 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 5Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 6D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n
 
Canon 5D Mark IVoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n
 
Canon 5DSoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 5DS Roptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
 
Canon 1D Mark II Noptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 5D, 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 5D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D60 uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 5D and Nikon D60 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 5DY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
 
Canon 6D Mark IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 5D Mark IVYmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-
 
Canon 5DSYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 5DS RYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 1D Mark II NY-----1.1---
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 5D (unlike the D60) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 5D and the D60 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark II, 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 5D or the Nikon D60 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.7 vs 10MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.53x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2005).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D60:

  • More compact: Is smaller (126x94mm vs 152x113mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 373g or 42 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (81 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 5D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 5D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

5D 10:06 D60

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 5D 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 5D and the D60 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 5D88/100+ +oo.. Aug 2005 3,299i
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
 
Canon 6D Mark II+80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 5DS+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5D Mark III+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499i
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Canon 5D Mark II91/10079/1004/55/5.. Sep 2008 3,499i
 
Canon 50D+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon 1D Mark II N.......... Aug 2005 3,999i
 
Nikon D3000+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729i
 
Olympus E-42085/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Canon 5D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D60:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon 5D 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 5D 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 2005 January 2008
    Launch Price USD 3,299 USD 629
    Sensor Specs Canon 5D Nikon D60
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.7 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4368 x 2912 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.25 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 1.47 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 50 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.9 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1368 562
    Screen Specs Canon 5D Nikon D60
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 5D Nikon D60
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 5D Nikon D60
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 5D Nikon D60
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-511A EN-EL9
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 152 x 113 x 75 mm
    (6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
    126 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 895 g (31.6 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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