Nikon D60 vs Olympus E-1
The Nikon D60 and the Olympus E-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2008 and June 2003. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D60) and a Four Thirds (E-1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 4.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|10 MP, APS-C Sensor||4.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)||ISO 100-800 (100 - 3,200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5 LCD, 230k dots||1.8 LCD, 134k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|500 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|126 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g||141 x 104 x 81 mm, 738 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D60 and the Olympus E-1? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D60 and the Olympus E-1. 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 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 Olympus E-1 is notably larger (24 percent) than the Nikon D60. Moreover, the E-1 is substantially heavier (41 percent) than the D60. It is noteworthy in this context that the E-1 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D60) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-1).
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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|Olympus E-1||141 mm||104 mm||81 mm||738 g||750||Y||Jun 2003||1,699|
|Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Olympus E-5||142 mm||117 mm||75 mm||873 g||750||Y||Sep 2010||1,699|
|Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|Olympus E-3||142 mm||116 mm||75 mm||876 g||750||Y||Oct 2007||1,699|
|Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D60 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 63 percent) than the E-1, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 Nikon D60 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-1 is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D60 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 10MP, the D60 offers a higher resolution than the E-1 (4.9MP), but the D60 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 6.78μm for the E-1). However, the D60 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the E-1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D60 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D60 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-1 are 12.8 x 9.6 inches or 32.5 x 24.4 cm for good quality, 10.2 x 7.7 inches or 26 x 19.5 cm for very good quality, and 8.5 x 6.4 inches or 21.7 x 16.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D60 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|Olympus E-1||Four Thirds||4.9||2560||1920||none||..||..||..||..|
|Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-5||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.6||10.5||519||56|
|Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|Olympus E-3||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.6||10.5||571||56|
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D60 and the E-1 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 E-1 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. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D60 has a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.48x), 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 Nikon D60 and Olympus E-1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D60 has one, while the E-1 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 SDHC cards, while the E-1 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-1 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 Nikon D60 and Olympus E-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-1 (unlike the D60) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the D60 and the E-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-1 was replaced by the Olympus E-3, while the D60 was followed by the Nikon D5000. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D60 and the Olympus E-1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D60:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 4.9MP) with a 46% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging 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.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.48x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 134k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (126x94mm vs 141x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 216g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (63 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the E-1 launch.
Advantages of the Olympus E-1:
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2003).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D60 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Nikon D60 and the Olympus E-1 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D60 and the E-1 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 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.
|Nikon D60||80/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|Olympus E-1||..||+||o||o||..||Jun 2003||1,699|
|Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Nikon D3100||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D5000||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|Nikon D90||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Olympus E-5||..||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,699|
|Olympus E-450||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|Olympus E-620||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-420||85/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|Olympus E-3||88/100||+ +||o||o||4/5||Oct 2007||1,699|
|Olympus E-330||..||+||o||3.5/5||..||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-300||..||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 5DS R vs Nikon D60
- Canon 60D vs Nikon D60
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-1
- Leica X Typ 113 vs Nikon D60
- Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D60
- Nikon D60 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon D60 vs Panasonic GX85
- Nikon D60 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D60 vs Sony A6000
- Olympus E-1 vs Panasonic GH5
- Olympus E-1 vs Pentax 645D
- Olympus E-1 vs Sony RX100 II
Specifications: Nikon D60 vs Olympus E-1
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||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2008||June 2003|
|Launch Price||USD 629||USD 1,699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.88 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||4.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3872 x 2592 pixels||2560 x 1920 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.11 μm||6.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.69 MP/cm2||2.19 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.5||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||562||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||134k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||150 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D60||Olympus E-1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
126 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
141 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||522 g (18.4 oz)||738 g (26.0 oz)|
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