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Canon D60 versus Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS-D60 and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were announced in February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (Canon D60) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixel, whereas the Contax provides 6.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital

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. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the Canon D60 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital
Canon D60 versus N Digital top view
Canon D60 and N Digital rear side
Body view (Canon D60 on the left)

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 Canon D60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

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.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon D60 (⇒ rgt) 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 no 2002 2,999discont. check
Contax N Digital (⇒ lft) 152 mm 138 mm 80 mm 990 g 100 no 2002 7,399discont. check
Canon 5D Mark IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 YES 2016 3,499 latest check
Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 125 mm 102 mm 122 mm 1040 g .. no 2015 2,499discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 no 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 no 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 no 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 no 2003 1,999discont. check
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 no 2003 899discont. check
Canon D30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 750 g 540 no 2000 2,999discont. check
Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 no 2002 1,999discont. check
Nikon D1X (⇒ lft | rgt) 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 YES 2001 5,999discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.


Sensor comparison: Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital

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 tend to be more expensive and 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
Sensor size

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon D60 offers a higher resolution of 6.3 megapixel, compared with 6.1 MP of the Contax N Digital. This megapixel 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.

Canon D60 versus N Digital MP
Sensor resolution

For most 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon D60 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no - - - -
Contax N Digital (⇒ lft) Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008 no - - - -
Canon 5D Mark IV (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 30.1 6720 4480 4K/30p 24.8 13.6 2995 91
Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 12.0 4000 3000 4K/30p - - - -
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.3 703 64
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.5 10.8 736 59
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.9 11.0 721 62
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.1 10.9 571 57
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.0 10.8 544 55
Canon D30 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 3.1 2160 1440 no - - - -
Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no - - - -
Nikon D1X (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 5.9 3008 1960 no - - - -
Neither the Canon 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: Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Canon 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 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. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon D60 (⇒ rgt) optical YES 1.8 114 fixed no 4000 3.0 12 no
Contax N Digital (⇒ lft) optical YES 2.0 200 fixed no 8000 4.0 no no
Canon 5D Mark IV (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.2 1620 fixed YES 8000 7.0 no no
Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1030 tilting YES 2000 3.8 no YES
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 230 fixed no 8000 6.5 12 no
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 2.5 230 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 2.5 13 no
Canon D30 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 114 fixed no 4000 3.0 12 no
Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 3.0 11 no
Nikon D1X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 2.0 120 fixed no 16000 3.0 no no

Both the Canon D60 and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Canon D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the N Digital does not have a direct successor.

Review summary: Canon D60 vs Contax N Digital

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon D60 and the Contax N Digital? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


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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).

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Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:

  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • 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 (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). 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.

Canon D60 05:05 N Digital

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the Canon D60 and the N Digital in practical situations. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon D60 (⇒ rgt) - HiRec reviewed - - 2002 2,999discont. check
Contax N Digital (⇒ lft) - - - - - 2002 7,399discont. check
Canon 5D Mark IV (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 87/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2016 3,499 latest check
Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 - - - 2015 2,499discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) 90/100 HiRec HiRec 4.5/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 87/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 1,999discont. check
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 899discont. check
Canon D30 (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - - - 2000 2,999discont. check
Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2002 1,999discont. check
Nikon D1X (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2001 5,999discont. check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.


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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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