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.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|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 charge||850 shots per battery charge|
|150 x 107 x 75 mm, 855 g||132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D60 and the Nikon D90? 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: 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.
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).
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.
|Canon D60»||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.2 oz||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999||-||Canon D60|
|Nikon D90«||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon T7« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon T7|
|Canon XC10« »||4.9 in||4.0 in||4.8 in||36.7 oz||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon 40D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D30« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||26.5 oz||540||n||May 2000||2,999||-||Canon D30|
|Contax N Digital« »||6.0 in||5.4 in||3.1 in||34.9 oz||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||33.1 oz||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon 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 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.
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 resolution advantage of the Nikon D90 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D90 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.5 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.2 x 11.4 inch or 43.6 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.3 x 9.5 inch or 36.3 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D60 are 15.4 x 10.2 inch or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inch or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inch or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
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.
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.
|Canon D60»||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||-||-||-||-||Canon D60|
|Nikon D90«||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73||Nikon D90|
|Canon T7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon T7|
|Canon XC10« »||1-inch||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon 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||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon 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.
|Canon D60»||optical||Y||1.8||114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon D60|
|Nikon D90«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n||Nikon D90|
|Canon T7« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T7|
|Canon XC10« »||-||n||3.0||1030||tilting||Y||1/2000s||3.8||n||Y||Canon XC10|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D30« »||optical||Y||1.8||114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon D30|
|Contax N Digital« »||optical||Y||2.0||200||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D100« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||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.
|Canon D60»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon D60|
|Nikon D90«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon T7« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T7|
|Canon XC10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||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« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||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 (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official 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.
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).
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. 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 Nikon D90 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 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 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.
|Canon D60»||-||+ +||o||-||-||Feb 2002||2,999||-||Canon D60|
|Nikon D90«||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon T7« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||Canon T7|
|Canon XC10« »||-||80/100||-||-||-||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon 40D« »||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||+ +||+ +||o||o||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon D30« »||-||+ +||-||-||-||May 2000||2,999||-||Canon D30|
|Contax N Digital« »||-||-||-||-||-||Feb 2002||7,399||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||+ +||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D100« »||-||+ +||o||o||-||Feb 2002||1,999||-||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.
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.
Specifications: Canon D60 vs Nikon D90
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||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 Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|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%|
|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|
|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|
|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 charge||850 shots per charge|
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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