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Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS-D60 and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were officially introduced in February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D60) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Contax provides 6.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon D60 VS Contax N Digital
Canon D60 Contax N Digital
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 6.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1000 ISO 50-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 114k dots 2.0" LCD, 200k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
620 shots per battery charge100 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 855 g 152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D60 and the Contax N Digital? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon D60 and the Contax N Digital is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital
Compare D60 versus N Digital top
Comparison D60 or N Digital rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Contax N Digital is notably larger (31 percent) than the Canon D60. Moreover, the N Digital is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the D60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D60 nor the N Digital 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

As can be seen in the images above, the N Digital has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D60, Canon provides the BG-ED3 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60» 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999iCanon D60
 
Contax N Digital« 6.0 in 5.4 in 3.1 in 34.9 oz 100 n Feb 2002 7,399iContax N Digital
 
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 iCanon T7
 
Canon XC10« » 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499iCanon XC10
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899iCanon Rebel
 
Canon D30« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999iCanon D30
 
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 iLeica M10
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999iLeica M9
 
Nikon D100« » 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999iNikon D100
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 59 percent) than the N Digital, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 D60 features an APS-C sensor and the Contax N Digital a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the N Digital is 152 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon D60 and Contax N Digital sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon D60 offers a higher resolution of 6.3 megapixels, compared with 6.1 MP of the Contax N Digital. 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 7.38μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The Canon EOS-D60 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Contax N Digital are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D60 versus N Digital MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none........Canon D60
 
Contax N Digital Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008none........Contax N Digital
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........Canon T7
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........Canon XC10
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........Canon D30
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469Leica M9
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........Nikon D100
Neither the D60 nor the N Digital 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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D60 and the N Digital 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 N Digital has a higher magnification than the one of the D60 (0.73x vs 0.54x), 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 D60 and Contax N Digital along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon D60
 
Contax N Digitaloptical Y 2.0 200 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Contax N Digital
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T7
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y Canon XC10
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon D30
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n Leica M9
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D100

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D60 has one, while the N Digital does not. While the built-in flash of the D60 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D60 and the N Digital write their files to Compact Flash 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-D60 and Contax N Digital and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60Ynonenone--none1.1---Canon D60
 
Contax N DigitalYnonenone--noneFW---Contax N Digital
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon XC10
 
Canon 40DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 20DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon RebelYnonenone--none1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30Ynonenone--none1.0---Canon D30
 
Leica M10Ynonenone--nonenoneY--Leica M10
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Leica M9Ynonenone--none2.0---Leica M9
 
Nikon D100Ynonenone--none1.1---Nikon D100

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the D60 and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the N Digital does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Contax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon D60 and the Contax N Digital? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

ilogo

Advantages of the Canon EOS-D60:

  • More compact: Is smaller (150x107mm vs 152x138mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 135g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (620 versus 100) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (200k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the N Digital is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D60 05:10 N Digital

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D60 and the Contax N Digital 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D60 or the N Digital. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60..+ +o.... Feb 2002 2,999iCanon D60
 
Contax N Digital.......... Feb 2002 7,399iContax N Digital
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 iCanon T7
 
Canon XC10..80/100...... Apr 2015 2,499iCanon XC10
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Canon Rebel..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899iCanon Rebel
 
Canon D30..+ +...... May 2000 2,999iCanon D30
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 iLeica M10
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica M9....4.5/54.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999iLeica M9
 
Nikon D100..+ +oo.. Feb 2002 1,999iNikon D100
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon D60:
Check Ebay offers
Contax N Digital:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 D60 vs Contax N Digital

    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 D60 Contax N Digital
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2002 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 2999 USD 7399
    Sensor Specs Canon D60 Contax N Digital
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3040 x 2008 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 11.90 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1000 ISO 50-1600 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon D60 Contax N Digital
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 200k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D60 Contax N Digital
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon D60 Contax N Digital
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D60 Contax N Digital
    Battery Type BP-511 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)620 shots per charge100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    152 x 138 x 80 mm
    (6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 855 g (30.2 oz) 990 g (34.9 oz)

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