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.
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.
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.
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.
|Canon D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Contax N Digital||152 mm||138 mm||80 mm||990 g||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon D30||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||750 g||540||n||May 2000||2,999|
|Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Nikon D1X||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999|
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
|Contax N Digital||Full Frame||6.1||3040||2008||none||..||..||..||..|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
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.
|Contax N Digital||optical||Y||2.0||200||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
|Contax N Digital||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
|Canon D60||..||+ +||o||..||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Contax N Digital||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2002||7,399|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon XC10||..||80/100||..||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Canon 40D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon 300D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon D30||..||+ +||..||..||..||May 2000||2,999|
|Nikon D100||..||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Nikon D1X||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2001||5,999|
|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.
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.
- Canon D60 vs Canon XTi
- Canon D60 vs Fujifilm X-A7
- Canon D60 vs Nikon D60
- Canon D60 vs Panasonic G90
- Canon D60 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Canon D60 vs Panasonic GM5
- Canon M vs Contax N Digital
- Canon SX60 vs Contax N Digital
- Contax N Digital vs Fujifilm GFX 100
- Contax N Digital vs Leica S2
- Contax N Digital vs Nikon D3400
- Contax N Digital vs Panasonic GX850
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 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 2,999||USD 7,399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon D60||Contax N Digital|
|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|
|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 - 1,000 ISO||50 - 1,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon D60||Contax N Digital|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.0inch|
|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|
|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 Life (CIPA)||620 shots per charge||100 shots per charge|
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)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.