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Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

The Canon EOS-D60 and the Nikon D90 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2002 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon D60   Nikon D90
Canon D60 Nikon D90
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 720/24p Video
ISO 100-1000 ISO 200-3200 (200-6400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 114k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 4.5 shutter flaps per second
620 shots per battery charge850 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 855 g 132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g

Body comparison: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

The physical size and weight of the Canon D60 and the Nikon D90 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon D60 and Nikon D90
Compare Canon D60 versus D90 top
Compare Canon D60 or D90 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D90 is notably smaller (15 percent) than the Canon D60. Moreover, the D90 is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the Canon D60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon D60 nor the D90 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 (Canon D60) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D90).

Concerning battery life, the Canon D60 gets 620 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the D90 can take 850 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60» 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D90« 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
 
Canon XC10« » 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499- i Canon XC10
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Contax N Digital« » 6.0 in 5.4 in 3.1 in 34.9 oz 100 n Feb 2002 7,399- i Contax N Digital
 
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D100« » 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100

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 D90 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the Canon D60, 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 Nikon D90

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D90 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (Canon D60) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon D60 and Nikon D90 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D90 offers a higher resolution than the Canon D60 (6.3MP), but the D90 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 7.38μm for the Canon D60). Yet, the D90 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 6 months) than the Canon D60, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon EOS-D60 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1000 The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D90 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400..

Canon D60 versus D90 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 2048-----Canon D60
 
Nikon D90« APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
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 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30« » APS-C 3.1 2160 1440-----Canon D30
 
Contax N Digital« » Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008-----Contax N Digital
 
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Nikon D100« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-----Nikon D100

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D90 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Canon D60 does not. The highest resolution format that the D90 can use is 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Canon D60 and the D90 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 D90 offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the Canon D60 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D90 has a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon D60, the Nikon D90, and comparable cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60»optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D60
 
Nikon D90«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
 
Canon XC10« »- n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 2000 3.8 n Y Canon XC10
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D30
 
Contax N Digital« »optical Y 2.0 200 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Contax N Digital
 
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Nikon D100« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D100

The Canon D60 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D90 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

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 Nikon D90 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60»Y-----1.1---Canon D60
 
Nikon D90«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Canon T7« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
 
Canon XC10« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon XC10
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30« »Y-----1.0---Canon D30
 
Contax N Digital« »Y-----FW---Contax N Digital
 
Nikon D7000« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D80
 
Nikon D100« »Y-----1.1---Nikon D100

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D60 (unlike the D90) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the Canon D60 and the D90 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Canon D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the D90 was followed by the Nikon D7000. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon and Nikon websites.


Review summary: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon D60 better than the Nikon D90 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-D60:

  • 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 February 2002).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D90:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
  • 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 (0.63x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (132x103mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 152g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (850 versus 620) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 6 months of technical progress since the Canon D60 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D90 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 2 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.

Canon D60 02:13 D90

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 Canon D60 or the D90. 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: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D60»-++o-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D90«++++4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Canon T7« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
 
Canon XC10« »-80/100--- Apr 2015 2,499- i Canon XC10
 
Canon 40D« »++++4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »++++oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »-++-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »-++-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »-++-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D30« »-++--- May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Contax N Digital« »----- Feb 2002 7,399- i Contax N Digital
 
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »++82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »++75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »+++o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D100« »-++oo- Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon D60:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D90:
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon D60 Nikon D90
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2002 August 2008
    Launch Price USD 2999 USD 1299
    Sensor Specs Canon D60 Nikon D90
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.6 x 15.1 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1000 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200-6400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 977
    Screen Specs Canon D60 Nikon D90
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D60 Nikon D90
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4.5 shutter flaps/s
    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 D60 Nikon D90
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D60 Nikon D90
    Battery Type BP-511 power pack EN-EL3e power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)620 shots per charge850 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 855 g (30.2 oz) 703 g (24.8 oz)

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