Canon D60 vs Sony A900
The Canon EOS-D60 and the Sony Alpha A900 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2002 and September 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D60) and a full frame (A900) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24.4 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 Sony Alpha A900? 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 Sony A900 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 Sony A900 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Canon D60. Moreover, the A900 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the D60. It is noteworthy in this context that the A900 is splash and dust-proof, while the D60 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A900||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Sep 2008||2,999||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon D30||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||750 g||540||n||May 2000||2,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Contax N Digital||152 mm||138 mm||80 mm||990 g||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic S1||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A99 II||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A99||147 mm||111 mm||78 mm||812 g||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A850||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon D60 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A900 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A900 is 151 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.
With 24.4MP, the A900 offers a higher resolution than the D60 (6.3MP), but the A900 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 7.38μm for the D60). Yet, the A900 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 6 months) than the 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 Sony A900 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A900 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.2 x 20.2 inches or 76.8 x 51.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.2 x 16.1 inches or 61.4 x 41 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.2 x 13.4 inches or 51.2 x 34.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D60 are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches 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 Sony Alpha A900 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Sony A900||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.7||12.3||1431||79|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|12.||Contax N Digital||Full Frame||6.1||3040||2008||none||21.5||10.5||1283||59|
|14.||Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95|
|15.||Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
|16.||Sony A99||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89|
|17.||Sony A850||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.8||12.2||1415||79|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D60 and the A900 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 A900 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D60 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the A900 has a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon D60 and Sony A900 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon D60||optical||Y||1.8 / 114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A900||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon XC10||none||n||3.0 / 1030||tilting||Y||1/2000s||3.8/s||n||Y|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9/s||n||n|
|6.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 300D||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon D30||optical||Y||1.8 / 114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Contax N Digital||optical||Y||2.0 / 200||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic S1||5760||Y||3.2 / 2100||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||9.0/s||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|16.||Sony A99||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||6.0/s||n||Y|
|17.||Sony A850||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D60 has one, while the A900 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.
The D60 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the A900 uses Compact Flash or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A900 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D60 only has one slot.
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 Sony Alpha A900 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A900||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon XC10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 300D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon D30||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Contax N Digital||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D100||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic S1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Sony A99 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A99||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony A850||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the D60 and the A900 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the A900 was followed by the Sony A99. Further information on the features and operation of the D60 and A900 can be found, respectively, in the Canon D60 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A900 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon D60 or the Sony A900 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-D60:
- More compact: Is smaller (150x107mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A900:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.4 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 97%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x 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 (922k vs 114k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (880 versus 620) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D60 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A900 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 3 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 Sony A900 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D60 or the A900 perform in practice. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon D60||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A900||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2008||2,999||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||4/5||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon XC10||..||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||..||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 300D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon D30||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||May 2000||2,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Contax N Digital||..||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2002||7,399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D100||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic S1||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||88/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||2,499||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A99 II||..||..||4.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A99||5/5||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A850||3/5||..||..||75/100||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||1,999||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon D60 vs Sony A900
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||Sony A900|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2002||September 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 2,999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon D60||Sony A900|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||35.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||24.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||6048 x 4032 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,000 ISO||200 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1431|
|Screen Specs||Canon D60||Sony A900|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||114k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon D60||Sony A900|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or MS cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon D60||Sony A900|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon D60||Sony A900|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||620 shots per charge||880 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
156 x 117 x 82 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||855 g (30.2 oz)||895 g (31.6 oz)|
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