Help choose between D60 and 450D (or 400D)
I am a first-time SLR buyer and have narrowed it down to Nikon D60 or the new Canon 450D/XSI (or potentially Canon 400D/XTI)..

I like Nikon's build quality and the solid feel compared to Canon 400D. However, I hear Canon's colors are better and it is compatible with more lenses..

Now I know the 450D is coming out with new features such as LiveView, more pixels and larger screen - things for which I don't care that much. However, I want an image stabilizing lens and the kit 400Ds don't offer the IS lens (at least yet)..

Moreover, I am not sure if it's worth waiting for 1+ months for 450D when D60 is available today, and pay almost $200 extra for 450D. I am looking to make family (kids, etc) photos and take pictures during trips - so nothing super complicated..

So please advise ..

Comments (12)

Lens compatibility is a matter of definition. More lenses will AF on the Canons, but although fewer lenses will AF on the Nikon, more can mount. Some quite old primes, for instance, that are despicably good and cheap. I have a Nikkor from the 60s for which I paid 15$. It's in excellent shape and produces stunningly sharp and clear images. The old, pre-AI lenses mount only on the D40, D40x and D60 (unless if you modify them).

Generally speaking, you can't go wrong with any choice. In theory, it'd make more sense to get the 450 instead of the 400, but I'm sure the image quality is very similar, if not actually the same..

Oh, and about Canon's colors, a lot of people actually think that Nikon's colors are better. It's a matter of opinion. Personally, I love Nikon's colors.

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Comment #1

I prefer Nikon kit lenses over Canon's, but that new Canon 18-55 IS is pretty darned good. It's going to be the kit lens for the Canon 450, as you mentioned, but there's no reason you can't get it on the 400 now. I know many who have..

I still prefer the feel of the Nikon, though. Just my opinion...

Comment #2

Hi, Im trying to make the same choice as you.. In fact I posted a similar question 2 days ago to this thread&.

I dont think you can go wrong with either camera. The way Im breaking the tie, is Im looking at a few other aspects& what type of lenses I may want to have in the future. How the camera fits in my hand. What specific features really matter to me..

Right now Im leaning towards the canon for two reasons. First is focus points. The canon has 9, Nikon is 3. From what I can tell, for moving subject (my boys playing soccer) focus is more accurate with more focuses points. Im sure there are ways to work around this but Im only a novice. .

Second is the feel. I borrowed a friends Nikon for a weekend and took about 500 pictures of my boys playing soccer. Then I borrowed another friends Canon and did the same. For my hands, the Canon seemed to fit better. However, I did like the Nikon view finder better..

I have been looking at color and such between the two, and for my eyes, I think Id be happy with either..

I still havent decided but when the Canon 450d is available, I make the final choice then. Just in time for my summer vacation..

Hope my 2 cents helps..


Comment #3

Thanks Jonathan..

I also noticed Canon's 9-point and faster autofocus compared to Nikon's 3-point AF. Also, Nikon doesn't have a motor in the body, it's only motor is in the lens. As I understand the Canon has two motors - although I am not sure how much advantage that adds other than the ability to use old lenses that don't have internal motors..

In terms of grip, I seem to be indefferent, but I haven't used either for more than a couple of minutes..

Some (unimportant) considerations: Although Canon's body and the kit lens are "made in Japan", they feel cheaper to me that those of Nikon. Plus the Nikon has a more satisfying shutter "click"...

Comment #4

Firstly any entry level DSLR will do what you want, and it's unlikely you will need an additional lenses. From what I can see people buying DSLRs have been brain-washed into believing that the kit lenses are useless, which is nonsense. Forget lenses until you have gotten used to the kit lenses. Only someone with very specialist requirements or who is in photography for business would need to factor possible future lens selection into a DSLR choice..

I'd suggest you look at a Pentax, Sony or Olympus again. Consider the way these feel to hold and when looking through the viewfinder. There are plenty of lenses for these and in my opinion for most people these offer more useful features than the Canons and particularly the Nikon entry level systems..

There was nothing much wrong with the last generation of DSLRs, so it's hard to see any reason to pay more for the new lot..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #5

CMPic wrote:.

I also noticed Canon's 9-point and faster autofocus compared toNikon's 3-point AF. Also, Nikon doesn't have a motor in the body, itsonly motor is in the lens. As I understand the Canon has two motors -although I am not sure how much advantage that adds other than theability to use old lenses that don't have internal motors..

That's not quite right..

Canon's autofocus system has always used a motor in the lens. It's a better system and is the major reason why I bought my first Canon SLR in 1990. I still have, and still use, lenses which I bought for that camera 15+ years ago and they function exactly the same as any Canon lens bought today. That is not true of any other manufacturer, and it is the result of the excellence of Canon's autofocus system which has stood the test of time..

Nikon originally used a motor in the body. Quite honestly I am at a loss to explain why they made this strange design decision back in the 1980s - right from the outset it caused problems with slower focusing and the impossibility of building big telephoto lenses. They then had to introduce another system which had a motor in the lens (AF-I and AF-S lenses) but because most of Nikon's autofocus lenses had no motor, the bodies had to have a motor too. Does that sound crazy to you? It does to me..

Then with the launch of the D40 a couple of years ago Nikon finally dropped the in-body motor. This means that the D40 (and the D40x and now the D60) can't autofocus with many of Nikon's best lenses, or with many Sigma and Tamron lenses..

To be fair to Nikon (a) they should have bitten the bullet and done this years ago, and (b) the D60 is targeted at people who will buy the camera with it's kit lens and may never buy another lens. But it is really annoying to see posts on these forums from hapless D40/x owners who discover after they have spent their money that a bargain price second hand lens, or Nikon's low cost but excellent 50 mm prime, or all three of Sigma's highly regarded and very affordable 50, 70 and 105 mm macro lenses, won't work with their camera..

To answer the main question from your opening post - take a look at the Conclusions pages of the 400D and D60 reviews on this site. The negatives of the 400D are mainly little niggles that the reviewer didn't like - perfectly valid as long as you keep them in perspective. The negatives for the D60 include several missing features, not just the AF motor, which is much more serious. You may not know right know why you need exposure bracketing, or mirror lock, or a fully featured RAW converter - but by the time you do it will be too late..

Just a quick word on the 450D. Obviously the cost is higher and that is an important consideration. But the list of improvements is far more extensive than you suggest - there's a useful summary of them here:

It won't be immediately obvious which ones are significant, but if only only half of them make a difference to you (and they will) then the extra cost is surely worthwhile...

Comment #6

The focus motor aspect for the Nikon vs the Canon is interesting. However for the lenses Im interested in, this becomes a non issue for me. Someone made the interesting point that if you have a large range of lenses in mind, the D60 is most likely not the right camera..

Build quality. Like you the Nikon feels more like a camera. I personally expect that I will only have this camera 5 or so years so Im not sure how important that is. One of my friends has a Canon 350D and is pretty rough with it, and it seems to be holding up..

I think looking at the lens selection and lens cost is a good way to decide. That way you can leverage any additional investment in the optics to future upgrades. Since Im entering the DLR world, Im looking as this is which path do I take, Nikon or Canon. Tough choice. I do have a Canon SLR but the lens is not worth bringing over to the digital world, so it a clean slate for me..

One of the reasons Im going from my point and shoot digital camera is that Im limited to the lens on the camera. So I need the ability to have more than the standard lens so over time, I want to build that up..

Good luck and Id be curious on what you finally decide on..

Jonathan S..

Comment #7

Sjgcit wrote:.

Only someone with very specialistrequirements or who is in photography for business would need tofactor possible future lens selection into a DSLR choice..

You cannot be serious?..

Comment #8

The truth is that for quite a while, I don't plan to buy another lens other than the kit. The kit is enough of an investment ($700-900) and I am not planning to be trekking the mountains for the perfect shot at 4am..

Since I am buying the first DSLR, I may as well buy a new generation (like D60, 450D) unless they don't bring anything to the table. I personally like the image stabilization aspects and dust cleaning technology in D60 and in 450D...

Comment #9

Thanks for the post..

From what you say I gather that since both use lens motors, there is practically no difference (in that aspect)..

I would love to go with 450D, but what I wonder is if it is worth the extra $200 over Nikon D60...

Comment #10

Also, does anyone know if DIGIC III will be a noticable improvement over DIGIC II?..

Comment #11

Hi All,.

I posted a month or so ago asking thoughts on cameras&..

I was considering Canon Rebel Xsi or Nikon D60/D80.

As promised Im posting what I decided on doing..

2 weeks ago I bought the new Canon Rebel Xsi or 450D. Right now Im using the kit lens, but I am coming to the conclusion that my second lens will be Canon EF 28-200. Though, wish it had IS. The reason that Im not considering the 55-250 or such is 55 is a bit too narrow for a general sports lens..

The camera is absolutely fantastic. I took it to Death Valley National Park and have some amazing results. I wasnt looking for a 12 megapix camera, but now that I have one, I see the value of 12 mpix..

Thanks again for all who shared their thoughts..


Jonathan S..

Comment #12

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